NFL POWER RANKINGS - WEEK 5
by Jonny Gaunt
1. Arizona Cardinals (5-0)
Divisional games are tough as division opponents can typically better scheme on defense for your offensive game plan. Despite this, the Cardinals were still able to win and watch their defense carry the load in a victory.
2. Buffalo Bills (4-1)
Buffalo has looked like the best team in the AFC so far this season. Putting together complete games on offense and defense, they have figured out a pass rush and finally dealt a blow to the Chiefs in a head-to-head matchup.
3. Los Angeles Rams (4-1)
Stafford still didn't look quite like himself in this game, perhaps due to the finger injury. However, the Rams continue to show they are far more than a one man team. Winning on the road when you aren't at your best is a sign of an elite team.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1)
Well Brady looked as strong as ever against the Dolphins, truly throwing his hat in the MVP discussion. While it was only Miami, the defense looked strong and more put together for the first time this season.
5. Los Angeles Chargers (4-1)
The new aggressive coaching style is playing to win with this talented Chargers team. Despite having no home crowd to speak of, Los Angeles has found a way to win several tight matchups, finally receiving some good fortunate late in games.
6. Baltimore Ravens (4-1)
Lamar Jackson is simply unexplainable. With better stats than his MVP season, he has overcome the cluster injuries at running back to lead this team to several wins in which they were outperformed by their opponent.
7. Dallas Cowboys (4-1)
Dallas is real. Their division is still poor and they have been extremely healthy so far this season. With their young stars on defense emerging and a resurgent running game, the Cowboys are in line to complete for the NFC crown.
8. Green Bay Packers (4-1)
A win is a win, but did it ever fell like the Packers tried to give that game away against Cincinnati. In a wild finish in which Crosby missed numerous kicks to win the game Green Bay survived a competitive Bengals team.
9. Cleveland Browns (3-2)
The Browns suffered another absolutely brutal loss against another quality opponent. Eventually, Baker needs to show that the Browns can beat a quality team because of his play. The refs were atrocious, but the game was still there to be won.
10. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3)
Mahomes is trying to make up for the defense's historic poor play which has led to an uncharacteristic amount of turnovers. However, another huge issue that must be corrected is an unwillingness to run the ball.
11. Tennessee Titans (3-2)
After a sluggish start to the season, the Titans have returned to the basics (meaning it's Derrick Henry's show, with Tannehill utilizing the play action opportunities). They should run away this terrible division.
12. Cincinnati Bengals (3-2)
What a missed opportunity for the Bengals to get a marquee win over one of the NFL giants at home. Moral victories are no longer enough for this team. They have made huge improvements in talent but results are necessary.
13. New Orleans Saints (3-2)
Clearly the Saints are more than capable of defeating the below average teams in this league, but there has been little consistency on offense. They miss weapons on the outside and until Michael Thomas returns they will lack in that area.
14. Carolina Panthers (3-2)
Sam Darnold was disappointing, reverting to his own turnover-happy ways against a stingy Eagle defense. This team is only capable of going as far as he can take them. Darnold must be more patient in decision-making going forward.
15. Minnesota Vikings (2-3)
Finding a way to win in Detroit has helped the Vikings salvage the first part of the season. If Dalvin Cook can return soon there is enough talent on this team to make a strong playoff push in the Wild Card.
16. Denver Broncos (3-2)
Denver has come back down to earth with a bad loss against the Steelers. The supposedly vaunted Bronco defense allowed a poor Pittsburgh running game to get going and control the game from the start.
17. Chicago Bears (3-2)
With an improved game plan and scheme centered around Justin Fields and a playmaking defensive line, the Bears have won consecutive games. Once again, the Bears are in position to fight for a playoff spot.
18. New England Patriots (2-3)
New England did their best to lose to the lowly Texans. There is little margin for error as many teams they will play this season have more explosive options. But, with Bill's coaching and Mac's consistency, they will always be competitive.
19. San Francisco 49ers (2-3)
Once again the injury bug has bit the Niners who currently would have to start their third string quarterback. Luckily, they have the bye week to rest up either Trey Lance or Jimmy Garropolo. Without consistency at that position, they will struggle to win a lot of games.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3)
After being left for dead a week ago, the Steelers had a renaissance in the run game. If the offensive line can run block this well and create the desperately needed balance perhaps Pittsburgh isn't quite done yet.
21. Las Vegas Raiders (3-2)
A bad loss to the Bears was completely overshadowed by the off-field firestorm around Jon Gruden. This team's season might effectively be done as their head coach is out and organizational questions will be huge distraction.
22. Seattle Seahawks (2-3)
The Seahawks had major concerns to begin with, but now losing Wilson for up to 10 weeks in one of the toughest division could mean the season turns bad quickly. Not owning their upcoming first round pick is salt in the wound.
23. Indianapolis Colts (1-4)
The Colts had every opportunity to win as they dominated Baltimore for three quarters. Unfortunately, it only took Lamar Jackson one to steal the win in the end. A bad division provides an opportunity, but they are running out of time.
24. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3)
A strong defense and a duel threat QB provides the Eagles with high ceiling and low floor games. The most important question this year for Philly is whether they have their franchise QB and head coach for the next decade.
25. Washington Football Team (2-3)
It's hard to pinpoint the issue with this Washington team. Somehow last year's vaunted defense has turned into one of the leagues worst. This season could be lost quickly if the mindset doesn't change quickly.
26. Atlanta Falcons (2-3)
Atlanta had an interesting game in London with the Jets in which they dominated, but let New York come back into the game late. The Falcons appear to still be figuring themselves out on offense under Arthur Smith.
27. Miami Dolphins (1-4)
Miami has been an underreported disappointment so far this season. Even before Tua was injured, the offense was sputtering and the defense has been unable to create the turnover margin they lived off of last year.
28. New York Giants (1-4)
A scary moment with Daniel Jones exiting with a concussion compounded the injury issues at the wide receiver position and the weakness of the offensive line. The NFC East is poor, but the Giants are running out of time for corrections.
29. New York Jets (1-4)
If Zach Wilson can't figure out how to protect the ball, this will be a long rookie season for the young QB. Currently, he has doubled his touchdowns with turnovers. He needs to show more control as a future franchise QB.
30. Detroit Lions (0-5)
The Lions have been competitive in every game only to have their hearts ripped out at the end of several of them. The losing streak will end eventually with a real opportunity this week at home against the young Bengals.
31. Houston Texans (1-4)
Houston had a great chance to get their second win of the season only to see their lead go up in flames, partially due to troubles in the kicking game. Davis Mills played admirably for a rookie against the veteran Patriots coaching staff.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5)
Perhaps the most concerning part of the Jaguars season thus far has been their lack of competitiveness in most of their games. Other than Cincinnati, they are getting blown out, with Lawrence being one of the rare glimmers of hope.