Welcome back to another week of NFL Power Rankings.
We find ourselves entering the middle of the NFL season as teams continue to establish themselves, while others wilt under pressure and begin to focus on 2021.
Through 5 weeks, four teams remained undefeated: Green Bay, Seattle, Pittsburgh and Tennessee. Only one of those teams (Seattle) is 5-0.
We saw another head coach fired, as Atlanta moved on from Dan Quinn.
Dak Prescott suffered a heartbreaking injury. Chandler Jones is also out for the rest of the season due to injury.
COVID is still effecting teams, but we *should* see every game scheduled to take place the next two days take place (but we won’t know for certain until the hours before those games).
With that, lets get to some rankings.
Biggest rise: Las Vegas Raiders (up 4 spots)
Biggest fall: San Francisco 49ers (down 4 spots)
1. Green Bay Packers (PR: 2)
Record: 4-0 | Week 6 opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (away)
Green Bay benefitted from a bye week, but even before that they were playing like one of the best teams in the league. The offense looks as strong as ever, and they’ll welcome back Davante Adams this week. I’m really looking forward to Brady-Rodgers.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (PR: 1)
Record: 4-1 | Week 6 opponent: Buffalo Bills (away), Monday
The Chiefs defense was exposed last week by a rather unlikely suspect in the Raiders, but even then Kansas City only lost by 8 points (which, believe it or not, is the biggest loss of Patrick Mahomes’s career). You have to play nearly perfect football to beat this team, and even then it’ll come down to the wire.
3. Baltimore Ravens (PR: 4)
Record: 4-1 | Week 6 opponent: Philadelphia Eagles (away)
Baltimore made light work of the Bengals last Sunday, as Joe Burrow had the worst game of his young NFL career. The Ravens defense had themselves a day, forcing 3 turnovers while only allowing a last minute field goal. After next week, their schedule intensifies immensely.
4. Seattle Seahawks (PR: 3)
Record: 5-0 | Week 6 opponent: BYE WEEK
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about Russell Wilson. After Minnesota failed to convert a 4th down, Russ got the ball with 2 minutes left and drove his team 95 yards down the field to win the game. Seattle only had the ball for 20+ minutes (!) but it was not enough at the end.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (PR: 6)
Record: 4-0 | Week 6 opponent: Cleveland Browns (home)
The Steelers came back from their unexpected bye week and found themselves in a back-and-forth against their state rivals. Although Philly never had the lead, this game got close, but the Steelers prevailed. We also witnessed the arrival of rookie WR Chase Claypool, who scored FOUR (4) touchdowns in the game.
6. Tennessee Titans (PR: 8)
Record: 4-0 | Week 6 opponent: Houston Texans (home)
Talk about a statement win. Tennessee had all the odds against them given the never-ending circumstances of their COVID outbreak, but they came out and just smacked Buffalo. It ended any doubts I had about the legitimacy of this group after their first 3 wins against less than stellar opposition.
7. Buffalo Bills (PR: 5)
Record: 4-1 | Week 6 opponent: Kansas City Chiefs (home), Monday
The Bills came back down to Earth last week after starting 4-0. Josh Allen looked human, the run game was non-existent, and every concern about the defense came to light. This is still a good group, but their flaws were exposed on Tuesday.
8. New England Patriots (PR: 7)
Record: 2-2 | Week 6 opponent: Denver Broncos (home)
I feel like the Patriots haven’t played in a month, and they certainly haven’t been able to practice much the past two weeks. That’s the reality of the world we live in. I’m still impressed with what I’ve seen this year, and hopefully that continues tomorrow against Denver.
9. Los Angeles Rams (PR: 9)
Record: 4-1 | Week 6 opponent: San Francisco 49ers (away)
Since Week 1 Jared Goff has been playing excellent football. That continued against Washington last week as the Rams pulled to 4-1. Every win they’ve had this season has been against an NFC East team, so the competition will get much harder as the year progresses, but they’ve done their job thus far.
10. New Orleans Saints (PR: 10)
Record: 3-2 | Week 6 opponent: BYE WEEK
The Saints found themselves down 17 at home against the Chargers on Monday night, but were able to get to OT thanks to a missed FG by LA, then pulled off the win. We know what this team should be, but I just don’t think it’s gonna look pretty this year (doesn’t mean they won’t keep winning)
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (PR: 11)
Record: 3-2 | Week 6 opponent: Green Bay Packers (home)
The name of the game for Tampa moving forward is discipline. They had 11 penalties for 109 yards against Chicago last week. They’re tied for the lead league in penalties. This is a talented group, but last week was a perfect example of how unforced errors can lose you a game in the NFL.
12. Las Vegas Raiders (PR: 16)
Record: 3-2 | Week 6 opponent: BYE WEEK
Well, the Raiders showed me something last week. I was worried this team was about to spiral into a 5-game losing streak, but then they go and put 40 on the Chiefs and contain Patrick Mahomes on their way to a victory. They go into their bye week right in the middle of the AFC playoff picture.
13. Cleveland Browns (PR: 14)
Record: 4-1 | Week 6 opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers (away)
The Browns have recovered wonderfully from their Week 1 loss to Baltimore as they just keep winning. Cleveland beat a hot Colts team, continuing to assert themselves physically. The culture is starting to change, the pieces are starting to fit together.
14. Indianapolis Colts (PR: 13)
Record: 3-2 | Week 6 opponent: Cincinnati Bengals (home)
Indy’s loss at Cleveland was a setback for this group. The Colts had been winning behind the backs of a strong defense, but the unit allowed 32 points to Cleveland. More concerning was the play of Philip Rivers, who threw 2 interceptions and did not look good at all. They need more out of him, or else they’re destined to finish near .500 again.
15. Chicago Bears (PR: 15)
Record: 4-1 | Week 6 opponent: Carolina Panthers (away)
Chicago is 4-1, but their 4 wins are by a combined 13 points. A win is a win, but they’ve yet to assert themselves as a team that others should be worried about. If Nick Foles and the offense start clicking, that could change.
16. San Francisco 49ers (PR: 12)
Record: 2-3 | Week 6 opponent: Los Angeles Rams (home)
The 49ers were destroyed on Sunday by the Dolphins. It was the worst loss and performance of Jimmy G’s career, and possibly the most disappointing loss of the Kyle Shanahan Era. This group has a LOT of work to do to get back to where they were last season.
17. Carolina Panthers (PR: 17)
Record: 3-2 | Week 6 opponent: Chicago Bears (home)
Carolina very well might be the most surprising team above .500 at this stage of the season. Whatever they’re doing, it’s working. Teddy Bridgewater is looking better and better, while the Panther secondary has put together an impressive stretch of games. Mike Davis has filled in admirably for Christian McCaffery. Here’s hoping their run continues.
18. Arizona Cardinals (PR: 18)
Record: 3-2 | Week 6 opponent: Dallas Cowboys (away)
Arizona ended their losing streak last week by being blessed with playing the Jets. The chemistry between Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins is growing, as seen with Nuk’s phenomenal TD catch. However, the bad news for this team is the loss of Chandler Jones, who will be out for the rest of the season due to biceps injury he suffered against the Jets.
19. Miami Dolphins (PR: 21)
Record: 2-3 | Week 6 opponent: New York Jets (home)
I told you the Dolphins had been flying (or swimming) under the radar. They’d been close in all their losses this season, but there was nothing close about their win against the 49ers last week. Something good is being built here.
20. Dallas Cowboys (PR: 19)
Record: 2-3 | Week 6 opponent: Arizona Cardinals (home)
First off I want to give my thoughts and best wishes to Dak Prescott.
Dallas came out slow last week, but got back into the game against the Giants. It was a close win, and Andy Dalton filled in admirably for Dak. The same problems remain for this team as were there before Dak, only now the offense will have an even bigger burden to try to compete the rest of the way.
21. Philadelphia Eagles (PR: 23)
Record: 1-3-1 | Week 6 opponent: Baltimore Ravens (home)
It was moral victory, but Philly competed strongly against the Steelers. They’re improving week-by-week, and being in the NFC East gives them time to figure things out. Someone has to win that division, and it very well could be the Eagles.
22. Minnesota Vikings (PR: 22)
Record: 1-4 | Week 6 opponent: Atlanta Falcons (home)
Minnesota could have kicked a field goal to take an 8-point lead late against Seattle, but they decided to go for it on 4th at the 6 but failed to convert. I get the logic, a first wins the game, and Russell Wilson is dangerous (as he proved). Regardless, even as good as they played, Minnesota is 1-4 and will not have Dalvin Cook tomorrow.
23. Los Angeles Chargers (PR: 20)
Record: 1-4 | Week 6 opponent: BYE WEEK
Justin Herbert has been excellent throughout his first 4 NFL starts, but he is falling victim to a badly-coached team. This team held double digit leads against the Chiefs, Bucs and Saints, yet lost each game (two in OT). The initial gameplans are good, but adjustments are not being made. This is a trend that dates back to last season.
24. Houston Texans (PR: 27)
Record: 1-4 | Week 6 opponent: Tennessee Titans (away)
Houston won their first game after firing Bill O’Brien, showing shades of 2019 in the process. The defense forced their first turnovers of 2020, while the offense played their most complete game of the season. The schedule doesn’t get any easier.
25. Cincinnati Bengals (PR: 24)
Record: 1-3-1 | Week 6 opponent: Indianapolis Colts (away)
Joe Burrow had the worst game of his young career last week. The Bengals weren’t a juggernaut by any means, but last week showed they still have a ton of work to do and this is an incomplete product. Learning experience type of game (unless you’re A.J. Green, who should be allowed to leave)
26. Detroit Lions (PR: 25)
Record: 1-3 | Week 6 opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars (away)
After the Lions bye week last season they went 1-11. It can’t get much worse than that, right? If you’re Matt Patricia, you better hope not!
27. Jacksonville Jaguars (PR: 26)
Record: 1-4 | Week 6 opponent: Detroit Lions (home)
Another loss for the Jags, as they are experiencing the inverse of the Cleveland Browns. Doug Marrone’s time is coming close to an end in Jacksonville. How did this team make it to the AFC Championship Game in 2017?
28. Washington (PR: 28)
Record: 1-4 | Week 6 opponent: New York Giants (away)
We saw Alex Smith return to an NFL field last week after Kyle Allen suffered an injury. They journey Smith took to get here is truly remarkable, as there may have been higher odds of him losing his leg in the immediate aftermath of his injury. It’s something to root for in what will be a long season in D.C.
29. Denver Broncos (PR: 29)
Record: 1-3 | Week 6 opponent: Denver Broncos (away)
Luckily for Denver, Drew Lock return tomorrow. Unluckily for Denver, they face a Patriots team that has historically feasted on young QBs under head coach Bill Belichick.
30. New York Giants (PR: 31)
Record: 0-5 | Week 6 opponent: Washington (home)
I admired their effort against the Cowboys last week, but again, this is a very bad team.
31. Atlanta Falcons (PR: 30)
Record: 0-5 | Week 6 opponent: Minnesota Vikings (away)
Atlanta ended their streak of starting 1-4 by getting to 0-5. That was enough for Arthur Blank to finally fire Dan Quinn, as well as GM Thomas Dimitroff. The goal now should be to tank for Trevor and begin a rebuild from there.
32. New York Jets (PR: 32)
Record: 0-5 | Week 6 opponent: Miami Dolphins (away)
Le’Veon Bell is out the door, which begs the question of how much longer until the Jets clean house all the way and fire Adam Gase.
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