With only three unbeaten teams left, the NFL is heading to Week 6. The Denver Broncos survived their biggest scare yet against the Dallas Cowboys, while the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs took care of business, respectively. Teams are starting to separate themselves and for some, their seasons are already over. Here are this week’s power rankings.
1. Denver Broncos SAME: It was a wild and crazy game for the Broncos, but they found a way to win, while the Cowboys found a way to lose. Expect Peyton Manning, on pace for 64 touchdown passes, to have no problem covering a 28-point spread against Jacksonville next week.
2. New Orleans Saints UP 1: Despite an impressive effort from Jay Cutler, the Saints handled the Bears on the road, proving they are legit and may very well get home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Drew Brees is as sharp as he’s ever been with Sean Payton back at the helm.
3. Seattle Seahawks DOWN 1: No longer unbeaten, Seattle lost a road game to a Colts team that looks like a true contender. Russell Wilson needs to start the game faster and the defense can’t have these lapses. The Saints look like a better bet than the Seahawks right now.
4. Kansas City Chiefs UP 2: Once again, it was defense the helped out the Chiefs. A fumble returned for a touchdown and a late interception of Ryan Fitzpatrick led to a come-from-behind win over the Titans. Just keep in mind that the offense is far from perfect and the combined record of teams that they have faced is 7-18. Lets see more before we call them true contenders.
5. Indianapolis Colts UP 2: A rough first half was no match for the Andrew Luck comeback machine. Indy took another step in the right direction towards being a contender with a win over Seattle. Trent Richardson needs to run the ball more efficiently, but it’s clear that Luck is the best young quarterback in the NFL.
6. Green Bay Packers DOWN 1: Green Bay was back with a vengeance to reach .500 and show they are still the favorites in the NFC North. The element of Eddie Lacy running the ball will be key in this divisional race.
7. San Francisco 49ers UP 1: Despite the early shakiness of Colin Kaepernick, he’ll be fine once he gets back Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham. The defense is looking strong as well, even with the absences of Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith.
8. Cincinnati Bengals UP 1: The Bengals are starting to look like a team that is infinitely better at home than on the road. Despite some sloppy play, the Patriots were even sloppier. Give credit to a banged up Cincinnati secondary for holding them in check.
9. New England Patriots DOWN 5: The Pats finally lost, and despite having Danny Amendola, the offense was still out of sync. The conditions weren’t great, but the fact is that Vince Wilfork was missed and this offense has a bunch of random parts just thrown together with hopes for success.
10. Baltimore Ravens UP 4: All they do is win. The Ravens, despite having little success outside of the Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith connection, won a tough road game in Miami. This was a classic bounce-back game for a disciplined team that can squeak out wins when it needs to.
11. Detroit Lions DOWN 1: Missing Calvin Johnson and playing the Packers in Lambeau coming off a bye? That’s a recipe for disaster. But it’s hard to wonder what it would be like with a healthy Johnson in Detroit. We’ll find out in Week 13.
12. Chicago Bears DOWN 1: After a 3-0 start, Marc Trestman’s team has lost two tough games, but the offense still looks solid with Alshon Jeffery breaking out for 218 yards and a score. A rebound opportunity awaits Thursday night against the pitiful Giants.
13. Miami Dolphins DOWN 1: At least Ryan Tannehill was able to hold onto the ball, although a 21 for 40 completion line isn’t great. A Reshad Jones pick six almost capped a comeback, but the defense could not hold on.
14. Tennessee Titans UP 1: It really is a shame that Jake Locker is out. Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn’t awful in relief, but threw a late pick. The Titans are fortunate to be 3-2, but they might not win many games until Locker returns.
15. Cleveland Browns UP 6: Shooting up the rankings once again, Cleveland knocked off the Bills to stay atop the AFC North with the Ravens and Bengals. Brian Hoyer is out for the year with a torn ACL, however, so that may be the end of the Browns’ magical run.
16. Dallas Cowboys UP 2: It was a heroic effort by Tony Romo and the Cowboys, but a late interception showed it was classic Dallas. This team has to put together some sort of consistency on both sides of the ball, or else they won’t win what is the weakest division in football.
17. Houston Texans DOWN 1: The ground game has slowly but surely been getting back on track, but the big news is that Matt Schaub threw a pick six for the fourth straight week and was benched for T. J. Yates. This team is going absolutely nowhere with Schaub, and the defense is declining as well
18. Washington Redskins UP 1: A bye week gave Robert Griffin III a chance to work out his early season struggles. They have a showdown with the Cowboys next week for first place in the NFC East.
19. Arizona Cardinals UP 4: It was thought that the Cardinals’’ offense would thrive and the defense would struggle, but it looks like it’s been the other way around. Arizona is a surprising 3-2 with Patrick Peterson leading the way.
20. New York Jets UP 6: Geno Smith and the Jets have experienced plenty of ups and downs, but the fact of the matter is that they’re 3-2 and two of those wins came from big plays by Smith. If this team can get more consistent play and cut down their penalties, they could wind up in a playoff race.
21. Atlanta Falcons DOWN 8: This team has gone all the way from the top to the bottom in this conference. The defense is in shambles, the running game is weak, and the offense is not as explosive. Plus, they’re not getting a lot of luck like last year.
22. Philadelphia Eagles UP 2: In a game that they had to win, the Eagles won for the first time since Week 1. Nick Foles was solid in relief of Michael Vick, but this team really won’t go anywhere if Vick were to miss an extended period of time.
23. Carolina Panthers DOWN 6: Even after a bye, Cam Newton was pretty terrible, and it’s time to wonder if he’ll ever be a winner. The supporting cast is not great, but as a former top pick, Newton needs to be stacking wins.
24. Buffalo Bills DOWN 4: The Bills are a much different team on the road, and it shows. Now, after losing E. J. Manuel, they’re forced to start Thad Lewis, which signals even more trouble in Buffalo.
25. St. Louis Rams UP SAME: Sorry Rams, but a blowout win over the Jaguars at home doesn’t count for much. Austin Pettis is emerging as a playmaker, but there are few of those in the Rams’ lethargic offense.
26. Oakland Raiders UP 3: Terrelle Pryor is for real. He’s making plays with both his arms and his legs, but more importantly, he’s generating wins with virtually no help around him.
27. San Diego Chargers DOWN 5: There’s virtually no consistency with the Chargers’ play (seeing the trend here?). The offense has clearly made a turnaround with Mike McCoy at the helm, but when Phillip Rivers is even the slightest bit off, the defense can’t hold anyone.
28. Minnesota Vikings DOWN 1: So the Vikings spent their bye week trying to get out of a 1-3 hole, and the solution they came to was Josh Freeman. Things aren’t good in Minnesota.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers UP 1: Winless and on their bye week, the Steelers travel to New Jersey to take on a surprisingly scary Jets’ team.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers UP 1: Greg Schiano survived the bye week, but if they lose a home game to the Eagles next week, he may not be so lucky.
31. New York Giants DOWN 3: Every night when the Giants go to sleep, they thank their lucky stars for the Jaguars. That’s the only thing keeping them from being the worst team in the NFL.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars SAME: They couldn’t possibly not cover another line against the incredibly inept Rams, right? Right? Next up, a trip to Denver to see Peyton Manning.