There’s been plenty of movement once again in our NFL Power Rankings after another round of topsy-turvy results in Week 6.
- Minnesota Vikings (5-0) –
The Vikings had the week off this week, and I’m not sure things could have gone much better for them during the BYE. The Lions, Packers, and Bears all lost, and the cushion for the division has grown to 2.5 games without snapping the ball. Not bad for an off week.
- New England Patriots (5-1) +1
The Patriots keep snatching the life out of the teams they play. The capable Bengals were destroyed up in New England, with Brady looking as crisp and sharp as ever. They also got a big gift this week, with Big Ben being ruled out for the game on Sunday in Pitt. Sure, it’s not a lock, but this team looks to be on a mission.
- Seattle Seahawks (4-1) +5
Just find a way to win. Regardless of the opinion of the call, the Seahawks got the win over the Falcons, and moved their way back up the rankings after the tough start. The offense looks improved, and Wilson looks in control. New pickup CJ Spiller also added a dimension to this offense. A date with the streaking Cards awaits.
- Dallas Cowboys (5-1) +2
Before you ask, no idea how the Cowboys keep winning. The defense is smothering, and playing way better than they should be. The offense is also moving, after doing a whole lot of nothing without Romo and Dez last year. The Cowboys get a week to rest up, and for the debate of Romo or Dak to take over.
- Atlanta Falcons (4-2) -1
There aren’t much tougher ways to lose a game, but the Falcons got it. The win snapped a four game win streak that cemented Julio Jones and Matt Ryan as a monster tandem. That happened Sunday, too. But the concern is that Ryan is too locked in on Jones, and he’s not near as accurate when not throwing his way. A winnable game against San Diego awaits.
- Denver Broncos (4-2) -1
Not sure there’s much of an excuse for that loss. The Denver defense has been gassed in two games in a row now, as the offense struggles to put any production up. Trevor Siemian has regressed, and he’s got to figure out what’s going on. The defense is still top-notch, but they can’t score too.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) -5
Hold on before you call foul on the drop for Pitt. That game against Miami was ugly, and borderline unforgiveable, but this is more of a brace for the slight fall as Big Ben sits. The Patriots are definitely not who you want when you’re dealing with any issues, or even when you’re not.
- Buffalo Bills (4-2) +4
Would you look at the Bills. The offense has exploded without it’s former OC, and the running game is gashing teams. LeSean McCoy is back in form, and the Bills defense is improved with less time on the field. Proving they can win games they should is big this week, as the Dolphins host them. A win here and the Bills get more interesting.
- Washington Redskins (4-2) +2
The Redskins are off to one of their best starts in recent years, after fumbling out of the gate. They’ve rattled off four straight, and that win over Philly is huge. They get a break from division for a little while, and the defense has to hold up. Oh, and Kirk Cousins is performing.
- Kansas City Chiefs (3-2) +4
The Chiefs let the division know that they aren’t done. The streaking Raiders hit the tough Chiefs defense, and KC pulled back to even if they can get the win this week over the Saints. The defense is really playing well, and Alex Smith has been fine, despite the comments from Jack Del Rio.
- Houston Texans (4-2) +5
It was an emotional win for the Texans on Sunday, as they were able to drive a knife through the heart of the Colts. The Texans are now the clear favorites, but face immediate challenges as they travel to Denver this week. If they can get by this, it’s certainly be impressive, and make the Texans the challenger in the AFC beside the Pats.
- Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) -3
I can’t punish the Eagles too much for the loss, as they battled back. But that was an ugly showing from Carson Wentz. After lighting the league on fire, the stud rookie fell back to earth, getting rough pressure the whole game. The defense couldn’t muster a stop, spending most of the day on the field. Wentz and the offense needs to figure it out soon, with the Vikings coming to town.
- Oakland Raiders (4-2) -3
It had to end eveutally, right? The Raiders offense finally met some resistance this week, running into KC. They’ll get some time to figure it out before meeting Jacksonville, who may not have the athletes to keep up with this Raiders attack.
- Green Bay Packers (3-2) -7
What’s the deal with Aaron Rodgers? He’s been statistically the least accurate QB in the NFL this year, and looks to be aging worse than Brady. How’s that possible? Maybe the loss of Jordy Nelson wasn’t a flash in the pan. Aaron needs to figure this out, because they go no where without him.
- New York Giants (3-3) +5
The Giants got past all the drama and notched a win over the weekend. Odell Beckham had more antics, but you can expect that, and the Giants offense looked back to normal. The defense needs to come along at the same pace for them to seriously compete.
- Arizona Cardinals (3-3) +1
The Cardinals are back on the right side of things, evening their record at 3-3. Carson Palmer is better, and the running game is back to being a focus. Beating the Jets isn’t uber impressive, but they’ll take the win. They could take over the division with a win on Sunday.
- Baltimore Ravens (3-3) -4
The Ravens took another tumble down the rankings after a loss in thanks to the slowing offense. Joe Flacco has started to struggle, even with better play from the receiving corps. The defense also hasn’t bee great, and the Ravens aren’t quite the team that they were just a few weeks ago. The struggling Jets could provide some relief.
- Los Angeles Rams (3-3) -3
It appears as though the Rams have come back down to earth, with the defense struggling to return to the form it had taken in the first few weeks. The offense is also struggling, with the passing attack resigned to the same fate as the running game. The Giants would have been a nice remedy a few weeks ago, but this offense isn’t struggling anymore.
- Tennessee Titans (3-3) +3
The Titans are back to winning, and if you would have told us at the beginning of the season that the Titans would be favored AND ahead of Indy heading into this game, I would have called you crazy. But here we are. The Titans have a real shot to both give the Colts a deathblow this week, and move up a real contender in the division.
- Detroit Lions (3-3) +1
That’s the Lions we’re used to seeing. But if there’s anyone that shouldn’t be ashamed of the performance Sunday, it’s Matt Stafford. Stafford has been slinging it in his 15 starts with Jim Bob Cooter. He’s thrown for 38 TDs to just 7 INTs with the new OC. If Stafford is throwing like that, the bad defense has a chance.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3) +2
Just when you thought they were dead, the Jaguars are back! The trendiest pick outside of Oakland to break through to the playoffs, the Jaguars have pushed themselves back to position to contend for the division, maybe. And they’ll get Oakland this week. Interesting tidbit: the Gus Bradley Jags have yet to beat a team that finished with a winning record.
- New Orleans Saints (2-3) +6
I know that the Panthers are 1-5, but that was an impressive win for the Saints. And they got it the exact way we knew they would have to: lighting up the scoreboard. Brees was downright magical Sunday, and he’ll likely have to be to keep things going for wins. They’ll get a stiffer test in Arrowhead, though.
- Cincinnati Bengals (2-4) -5
Can’t lose too many points for losing to the Pats, but you certainly can for getting a beat down like that. The defense struggled bad, but not as surprisingly as the lack of production from Dalton and the offense. With the Steelers streaking, it’s time to get things together, otherwise the division may be lost.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) –
The Bucs got a BYE, but the division around them stayed grounded. They stayed the second place team in the division, and the Falcons got a little closer. The forgiving 49ers meet them on the other side of the BYE, and things could get interesting if the Falcons drop another one this week.
- San Diego Chargers (2-4) +2
The Chargers finally got a close game to go their way, and capitalized on the struggling Broncos offense. It had to be cathartic to get the win over the defending champs, and right the ship. Maybe seeing a game go the right way can swing things around. But the Falcons will be a much stronger defensive test.
- Miami Dolphins (2-4) +3
Well, that was random. The Dolphins pummeled the Steelers, albeit without Big Ben in the second half. Still, it was impressive to see them show a pulse. It’s time to see now whether it was a fluke, and if Tannehill can keep up his play, or if he’ll be the streaky QB we all know.
- Indianapolis Colts (2-4) -8
It just keeps getting worse. The Colts have fallen flat on their face, behind a defense that can’t stop anyone and an offense that is nothing aside from Andrew Luck. The lack of spending on this roster is showing, and the players just aren’t the quality they need. The Texans will run away with this thing if the Colts don’t right the ship soon.
- Carolina Panthers (1-5) -3
Speaking of trainwrecks, the Panthers are in full upheaval, complete with a Cam Newton breakdown after the game. The Panthers defense cost them yet another game, and going into the bye, it’s time for a gut check. It’s a make or break situation going forward, with no room for error.
- New York Jets (1-5) -3
The Jets are in flux. Ryan Fitzpatrick, the expensive gamble the Jets took in the offseason, looks like a bust. And now the playoffs look out of reach yet again. The Jets are struggling on each side of the ball, but the offense is terrible. Geno Smith will start week four, and that’s never an ideal scenario.
- Chicago Bears (1-5) —
Yeah, the Bears are bad. Jay Cutler is struggling, the defense is abysmal, and John Fox is coming up with new adjectives to describe their depressing play. On the plus side, you’ll get the bad play out of the way early this week: they play in the Thursday game.
- San Francisco 49ers (1-5) –
The slide continues for the once-promising 49ers. The defense caved in, and the offense isn’t moving the ball. This is about where we though the 49ers would be when the season started, and we knew it would be a rebuild. Chip Kelly can start where he wants, so we’ll see where he goes from here with no more expectations.
- Cleveland Browns (0-6) –
Well, at least the QB didn’t go down this week. The Browns are showing some fight, and the offense looks alright, all things considered. Even the defense shows flashes. But it’s going to be a long rebuild in Cleveland, but I like the direction so far. They could beat the Bengals.