Saturday 24 February 2018 / 07:15 PM


Well, the NFL got weirder in week five, and some teams have been revealed as fruads, while others have proven they belong in the discussion. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at this weeks’ power rankings.

1. Minnesota Vikings (5-0) +1

I don’t know how this is happening, but the Vikings can’t be stopped. Bradford has been adequate and ready, and the running game is consistent on offense. Oh, and the defense happens to be the best in football, and absolutely terrorized the Texans potent passing attack and the Vikings head into the BYE the hottest team in football.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) +2

A hearty thumping of the Jets can make anyone feel better. The Steelers are back to rolling, and the offense looks as potent as ever. They’ve got the Dolphins coming this week, and should have no problem getting that 5th win. With the fall of the Bengals and Ravens, and division title could come easier than expected for Tomlin and co.

3. New England Patriots (4-1) +2

Well, that certainly didn’t take long. Tom Terrific torched the Browns in his first game back, in what amounted to a glorified preseason game. Brady and the offense looked solid, and the defense took advantage of a bad quarterback situation. Things get tougher against the Bengals, but Brady gets the comforts of home.

4. Atlanta Falcons (4-1) +6

The Falcons walked into Denver and stunned the defending champs. Trevor or not, that’s pretty impressive. Matt Ryan played well against the defense, and the defense harassed Paxton Lynch. The Falcons collapsed around this time last season, and Matty Ice and company are hopeful that’s not their fate this time around. A trip to Seattle will show us what’s real.

5. Denver Broncos (4-1) -4

Denver took a tough loss at home from Atlanta, but it may not be so bad considering they were missing their starter. But, the loss did show that it does matter who the starter is, and the defense can’t just carry any QB to a win. They need Trevor back, and a Thursday night trip to San Diego is much more challenging than their record suggests.

6. Dallas Cowboys (4-1) +3

The Dak Attack just keeps on rolling. A win over the Bengals that was a much wider gap than the final score indicated. And the start seems to have given fans a real quarterback controversy, but the ownership and coaches disagree. Ezekiel Elliot has been even better, and the Cowboys lead the league in rushing. Dallas is rolling.

7. Green Bay Packers (3-1) -1

Green Bay looked rested and fresh after that BYE week and loss to Detroit, taking care of the Giants. The defense is coming along, and harassed the Giants all night long. But the offense isn’t the same potent one we expected, and was just meh during their game. But Aaron Rodgers has given us proof before that he’ll figure it out.

8. Seattle Seahawks (3-1) -1

I know, it’s crazy that the Seahawks would drop during their BYE week. But they’ll get their chance to shoot up the rankings against the potent Atlanta offense. We’ll get to see if the Legion of Boom is really back against the high profile Falcons.

9. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) -6

The Eagles took a tumble, but don’t be overly concerned. It was a tough loss against Detroit, and Carson Wentz finally looked human. But the real tests come now. The next six for Philly? Three road divisional games, the Vikings, Falcons, and Seahawks. Yikes.

10. Oakland Raiders (4-1) +1

Da Raaaaiiiders look like contenders all of a sudden. But they aren’t moving too high up the rankings because of who they are beating. The defense is giving up massive points, and the schedule has been weak. A home game against KC will tell us more, but even they aren’t too hot. The Raiders may get a smooth ride to the postseason.

11. Washington Redskins (3-2) +7

Just when you thought the ‘Skins were on the mat and done for the season, they rose right back up. A big win over the Ravens this week has capped off a three game winning streak, and with the Eagles faltering, they are right back in the race for the division. They get a chance to jump the Eagles this week, in a big matchup.

12. Buffalo Bills (3-2) +6

Count Rex safe for the time being. The offense has come back to life, scoring 30 on the LA Rams and capping an impressive three game rise back above .500. The Bills are quietly just a game back of the Patriots, with a head to head win over them. If you would have said that would be the case in week two, I would have asked what year you were talking about.

13. Baltimore Ravens (3-2) -5

Another tough loss for Baltimore, falling to Washington. It’s the third time this season that the Ravens offense has been held under 20 points. On the plus side, they get the struggling Giants this week. But Flacco and company need to take advantage of a defense that is playing well.

14. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2) —

The Chiefs had a BYE week to recollect their thoughts after the smack down the Steelers dealt them. But head coach Andy Reid says the offense looks better in practice. Let’s hope so, because the defense has been playing well enough for the Chiefs to keep up in that division.

15. Los Angeles Rams (3-2) -2

It was a tough loss for the Rams, but at least they scored a touchdown. It was the first touchdown for the Rams in LA since 1978. Aside from that, the offense got grounded, and they’ll look to get back to the passing attack they’ve relied on against Detroit. Jeff Fisher wants the hype back in LA, and a win would go a long way to proving they aren’t a one-hit wonder.

16. Houston Texans (3-2) -7

The Texans became the latest victim of the freight train that is the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. They got absolutely walloped on both sides of the ball, and it’s the second game without Watt that the defense struggled to find a rhythm. Everyone has hit the buzzsaw of the Vikings, so it shouldn’t be time to panic yet. Plus the division is bad around them, but the Texans need to win Sunday night.

17. Arizona Cardinals (2-3) +2

The Cards got back to their winning ways, rebounding with a solid win over the 49ers on Thursday. They get another struggling team in the Jets, and both teams need a win in the worst of ways. The Cards are in danger of getting passed by the Seahawks, and that’s not where you want to be in a division race.

18. Cincinnati Bengals

I’m not sure what changed with the Bengals. They’ve consistently been one of the best regular season teams every year of the Andy Dalton era. But the defense isn’t as good as last year, and the offense is no where close to what we’re used to. The Bengals are struggling, and it’s gut check time. A trip to Foxborough isn’t what you want when you’re skidding.

19. Indianapolis Colts (2-3) +4

I don’t care if it’s the Bears, a win is a win for this Colts team. The defense needs work, the offense needs work, everything but Andrew Luck needs work. But as long as number 12 is on the field, the Colts have a chance. And they have the biggest game of the season thus far against Houston coming up, and can flip the dynamic with a win.

20. New York Giants (2-3) -5

How quickly things have changed. The Giants defense was clicking and the offense was rolling, and now neither is true. They were stopped by a less than stellar Green Bay attack that limited Eli and company to nothing through the air. That can’t happen going forward, especially with that group of receivers. Baltimore gives a chance to rebound.

21. Detroit Lions (2-3) +7

Well, it wasn’t pretty but the Lions got a big win over the Eagles. The home game gave the Lions the chance to settle in and get the win, and the defense frustrated Carson Wentz like no one had so far. Matt Stafford still keeps slinging it, and the Lions have a chance to make a little noise if they can pick up a win against the beatable Rams.

22. Tennessee Titans (2-3) +5

The Titans got a win over the equally bad Miami Dolphins, and got their offense back on track to boot. They still aren’t using Mariota like they should, but if their winning, the coaching staff should keep it up. The Browns are next, and the Titans could get a little win streak building.

23. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) -2

The Jags were off this week, and last played in an upset win over the Colts in London. The off time should have given the Jags ample time to get the offense slightly back on track. The Bears are a beatable team, and Jacksonville can still compete in a division with no clear favorite.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) +6

Sure, there was no Cam Newton. And sure, the Panthers aren’t the same ones we’re used to seeing. But winning in Carolina on a Monday night is big. And Jameis may have seen that there is upward mobility in the division. The BYE week will give them some time to get better before coming back out for a tough stretch.

25. Carolina Panthers (1-4) -5

The Panthers are on the way down. Sure, Cam Newton will be back next week, but there’s nothing to suggest that the winning will start with him. The Panthers are struggling defensively and offensively, and need some kind of revitalization. The Saints could be that, but they need Newton back fast before the slim chance for the playoffs disappears.

26. New York Jets (1-4) -4

Speaking of teams skidding, the Jets are in trouble in a big way. A 1-4 start in a division that features the Patriots almost for sure means they aren’t winning it, but any hope for the playoffs relies on getting a win. Unfortunately, their next chance is a Monday night game against the resurgent Cardinals.

27. San Diego Chargers (1-4) -2

The Chargers are depleted, injured, and struggling. But, as crazy as it seems, the Chargers are only a few plays away from being 4-1 or even 5-0. This team is close every week, and they will get someone soon. But as far as contending, the injuries are really mounting.

28. New Orleans Saints (1-3) -4

The Saints had the week off, and got jumped a lot. But still, the Saints are pretty rough, and have a lot to prove before we can start moving them up the standings. They’ll get a chance to give hated rival Carolina a knockout punch following their BYE.

29. Miami Dolphins (1-4) –

Just how much longer can the team keep Tannehill as the starter? The Dolphins are bad in every sense, and it’s not all his fault, but this thing just isn’t working. The Dolphins are in a near decade rebuild, and a 1-4 start isn’t cutting it. Oh, and you get the Steelers at home next game. Good luck with that.

30. Chicago Bears (1-4) -4

Well, it only took a week, but the Bears are back to losing. The offense couldn’t move against the Colts putrid defense, and the defense remained bad. The Bears are heading toward the bottom of the NFL, with no end in the freefall in sight.

31. San Francisco 49ers (1-4) –

The 49ers are spiraling after their knockout of the Rams in week one, and Chip Kelly is going with a new QB to fix the struggles. Kaepernick will try to right the ship against the red hot Bills, but they’ve got way more problems than the quarterback. There just isn’t a lot of talent on this team.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-5) –

Another week, another lost quarterback for the Browns. They were the victims of the Tom Brady assault this week, but get some winnable games in the next few weeks. Keeping a quarterback in the game should be the top priority first, though.

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About the author

Austin Albertson

Austin is CBS' senior NFL and NBA analyst, bringing you commentary on everything between the lines and inside the hashes, from the film room to the scoreboard.

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