NFL Power Rankings (Week 5)
After what used to be a quarter of the season, it’s about that time when things are starting to become more clear as far as where teams stand. The Cardinals join the top tier in the league after quite the impressive win on the road against the Rams. Some would argue they deserve to be higher, but again, I try not to overreact. I still think the Rams, Packers, Chiefs, and Buccaneers are all better suited to make a Super Bowl run. Oh, and don’t forget about the Bills, who since losing in Week 1 have recorded two shutouts and outscored their opponents 118–21. Jeeze.
Despite a third straight victory, the Browns drop a tier simply because they have not impressed offensively, particularly through the air. Baker needs to be better; it’s that simple. The Ravens have now won three straight, and looked much better this week than they did last week. New to this tier are the Cowboys and the Chargers who both have impressed mightily en route to their 3–1 starts to the season. They deserve to be here right now, and likely for the rest of the season.
After disappointing home losses in consecutive weeks, the 49ers drop a tier. It’s tough to be considered a Super Bowl contender with question marks at the QB position, and injury or not, that’s what this team has. The Raiders made the game competitive on Monday Night despite an atrocious performance in the first half. They fall slightly this week. The Seahawks played like a desperate football team and got a solid road win this week, showing they’ll still be in the playoff conversation for the whole season. With a decimated WR core, the Titans had a somewhat shocking loss this week, but don’t fall too far. They should get healthy, and play in a truly horrible division, so they’ll be fine. The Panthers and Broncos both were handed their first losses of the season, but should remain relevant for quite some time at the very least.
I almost made a different tier for these next four teams because, once again, I struggled to find teams that seem playoff caliber. The Steelers stink, but I’ll keep them here for at least one more week, mostly out of respect for the organization quite frankly. The Patriots played a heck of a game on Sunday night in the Brady-Belichick bowl, earning my respect (which I’m sure means a lot to them). Offensively, Mac Jones looks like he can hold his own at least and make the simple plays. Defensively, they played their butts off. I still don’t think they’re very good, but they deserve to be in this category. The Vikings couldn’t do anything on offense. It’s maddening how inconsistent they are on that side of the ball. They have so much talent, but you never know when it’ll show up. The Football Team barely squeaked out a win. I still can’t figure out why that defense is so bad, but it is. They’ve allowed the 4th most points in the league so far.
Don’t look now, but the Bengals are sitting atop the AFC North (due to tiebreakers, but still). They’ve looked good. I want to see a little more though before moving them up a tier. The Saints keep proving me right with how much they stink. They’re back in this tier where they belong after losing in overtime to the Giants, who jump back up after their strong game. They’re a better team than most in this tier, but don’t have the record to back that statement up. The Colts and Bears both got wins against bad teams, but have done nothing to show they’ll be playoff-relevant. The Eagles and Dolphins round out this tier with losses this week.
The Jets picked up their first win of the season and looked impressive in doing so. The defense is actually competitive, and Zach Wilson and that offense made some plays. The Falcons and Lions did not look particularly good in their losses, and certainly will be in the conversation for top 5 picks in next year’s draft. The AFC South may have the worst two teams in the entire league in the Texans and the mess of a franchise that is the Jaguars. C’mon Urban Meyer — be better.