NFL Week 6 Power Rankings

     Weeks 4 and 5 of the NFL season produced quite the show.  The remaining undefeated teams all fell, the Patriots were on both sides of blowouts, and the Buccaneers actually looked like an NFL football team instead of the youth squad that showed up for the first three games.  There has been overall a large shakeup in the rankings, proving just how much of a difference two games can make.  Here are the week 6 power rankings.
     32) Jaguars (0-5) (Week 4 Rank: 32): The Jaguars have looked a little better since playing Blake Bortles, but overall they still have one of the NFL’s worst offenses and worst defenses.
     31) Raiders (0-4) (30): The Raiders have fired their head coach Dennis Allen, and I’m not sure how much good it does them in the end.  The Raiders have a long string of problems, and the coach is only one of them.  Losing by 24 to the Lions doesn’t bode well.
     30) Jets (1-4) (21): Geno Smith has played very poorly, but Michael Vick didn’t perform much better.  They got shutout by the Chargers, and life shouldn’t get any easier in a matchup against the Broncos next week.
     29) Titans (1-4) (28): The Titans lost Jake Locker last week against the Browns and followed it up by blowing a 25 point lead, for the third largest meltdown in NFL history.  And if that happens against the Browns, I don’t want to see them play better teams.
     28) Buccaneers (1-4) (31): It was surprisingly a strong two weeks down in Tampa.  They pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season by beating the Steelers in week 4, and nearly beat the Saints in week 5.  The NFC South is so weak that somehow I’m willing to put them back into contention if they keep Mike Glennon at QB.
     27) Redskins (1-4) (25): Their loss against the Giants was no better than pathetic, but they were able to make up for it by playing a decent game against the Seahawks.  However, they pick up two losses and in the tough NFC East (hey the NFC East is good again!) they’re all but done.
     26) St. Louis Rams (1-3) (29): Somehow the Rams manage to move up in the rankings by losing.  They’re a better team than they get credit for, and Austin Davis is actually not that bad at QB.  They’re main problem is that the Rams are losing close games that could be Ws, most recently against the Eagles 34-28 last week.
     25) Vikings (2-3) (27): The Vikings have managed to find ways to survive without Adrian Peterson, picking up a huge win against the Falcons in week 4.  Matt Asiata has been better than expected, especially in the passing game.  The Vikes aren’t going to be the cellar dwellers that they were supposed to be.  However, they aren’t good either.
     24) Saints (2-3) (19): Oh how the mighty have fallen.  The Saints are 0-3 on the road, and got destroyed by the Cowboys.  Somehow they managed to beat the Bucs in OT, and could really be 1-4. They are a bad team this season, but then again, they are in the NFC South and they do have Drew Brees.  They could turn it around, but it doesn’t look good.
     23) Browns (2-2) (22): No Johnny Football in Cleveland so far.  Brian Hoyer has done an adequate job leading the Browns and they’ve been playing alright.  Props to them for being decent, but decent doesn’t cut it in the NFL.  And nice 25 point comeback, although they really shouldn’t have been down 25 to the abysmal Titans in the first place.
     22) Dolphins (2-2) (26): The only game for the Dolphins in the last two weeks was a 38-14 domination of the Raiders.  Congrats, you beat Oakland in London.  I’ll give you a bit of a boost, but now I want to see you beat a real team.
     21) Bears (2-3) (10): The Bears are the first huge slide in the rankings.  On paper, losing to the Packers and Panthers isn’t that bad, but they just haven’t looked the same in those games, and Jay Cutler has gone Mr. Hyde over the last two weeks.  Da Bears are going to need a win soon, but they’ll have to go in Atlanta to do it.
     20) Falcons (2-3) (7): Speaking of huge slides, none is bigger than the horrendous -13 drop the Falcons have suffered is well deserved.  They allowed 42 in a loss to the Vikings, and then were mostly ineffective in their loss against the Giants.  Similar to the Saints, they can’t win on the road.
     19) Bills (3-2) (15): The Bills are sitting on top of the AFC East, playing off of a poor start by the Patriots.  They were able to get a nice win against the Lions, however that was mostly due to the 0-3 field goals of Alex Henery, who was recently cut.  Their drop is more about other teams performing well than them playing poorly.
     18) Panthers (3-2) (14): The Panthers win the award for most confusing team so far in my books.  Every week a different team seems to show up.  The last two weeks have seen a 28 point blowout loss to the Ravens and a close win over the Bears.  Their next two games on the road against the Bengals and Packers should be huge tests and will say a lot about who the Panthers are.
     17) Steelers (3-2) (11): It’s been a very disappointing pair of games for the Steelers.  They played two teams that came into the matchup winless and came out only 1-1 with a +5 point differential.  Any team that loses to the Bucs is not a strong team in my book, and they were the first team to score less than 34 against the Jaguars, only scoring 17.  Who knows how far they would drop if they lost that game.
     16) Houston Texans (3-2) (24): The Texans defense is for real, and J.J. Watt should be considered in the MVP race this season.  However, their offense is most definitely not for real.  Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t getting it done.  The Texans defense is keeping them in games, and got them a big win against the Bills.  They followed up by losing a close OT game in Dallas.  Now only if the offense would show up.
     15) Chiefs (2-3) (20): I’m a lot higher on the Chiefs than a lot of people are.  They showed a lot of toughness in their 41-14 thrashing of the Patriots and I don’t think they should be punished for a five point loss in San Francisco.  Knile Davis has performed very well in the absence of Jamaal Charles, and lets not forget they do have a strong defense.
     14) Lions (3-2) (13): I have no idea what happened to the Lions over the offseason, but it’s weird.  Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin has done a tremendous job turning the Lions D into *gasp* one of the better defenses in football.  However, the big problem has been putting points up on the board. Much of that can be attributed to kicker Alex Henery, who went 0-3 losing them a game against the Bills.  Now the Lions need to focus on the health of Megatron.
     13) Giants (3-2) (23): My Giants are on a 3 game win streak!  It’s been a great three games for Eli Manning, with nine touchdowns versus only one interception.  Rashad Jennings has been an effective runner, and Andre Williams is an adequate backup.  Odell Beckham Jr. is finally playing and looks good, and the defense is strong.  Things are looking up for Big Blue.  And by the way, how come when the Giants crush the Redskins it’s because the Redskins suck and when the Seahawks beat the Redskins by seven it’s all Russell Wilson?  Bias much?
     12) Patriots (3-2) (8): I don’t know what to make of the Patriots, but I think it’s at least a good sign that they have managed to pick up three wins so far, and that they managed to crush the last undefeated team in the NFL.  The offense is still relatively weak, but at least things are looking better now.
     Just a quick note: the next five or six teams are really interchangeable as not much separates them, so don’t take the specific numbers too seriously.
     11) Cowboys (4-1) (18): The Cowboys have managed to be a strong team, holding a strong 4-1 record.  However, despite the strong offense and the incredible performance by DeMarco Murray this season, I’m not ready to stick them in the top six or seven like I’ve seen from some other people.  They’re barely escaping with wins, so until they really start destroying people they won’t go much higher.
     10) 49ers (3-2) (16): Two strong wins have the Niners up into the top ten this week.  They’re only third in their division, but Kaepernick is starting to get his turnovers under control and the team is gaining ground and confidence.
     9) Ravens (3-2) (9): The Ravens haven’t moved anywhere in the rankings this week.  They played the Colts to a close 20-13 loss which is solid considering how the Colts are a very strong team with an elite quarterback.  However, they definitely make up for it with a 38-10 win over the Panthers.  The running back situation still confuses me, but as a whole they look like a solid playoff contender.
     8) Packers (3-2) (17): The Packers have finally returned!  But seriously, the last two weeks have really shown an adjusted Packers team who have found themselves.  Eddie Lacy has had a strong two weeks, and all of a sudden the Packers are in a tie for the division lead.
     7) Cardinals (3-1) (4): It looks like Drew Stanton can’t win every game.  Peyton Manning was the man to tear apart the Cardinals defense, but then again Peyton does that to everyone, so that’s really not that bad a thing for the Cards.  They are still tied with the Seahawks, but they need Carson Palmer back.
     6) Colts (3-2) (12): If I said it once, I’ll say it again: Andrew Luck is really good.  So are the receivers, and Bradshaw has really flourished in the Indianapolis offense.  They had an impressive win against a strong Ravens team and have recovered from an 0-2 start.  The Colts should be a strong playoff contender come December.
     5) Eagles (4-1) (5): The Eagles are in a similar boat as the Cowboys in the sense that they’re winning close games against less than great opponents and they don’t have a strong defense.  LeSean Mccoy has had a disappointing start to his season and the Eagles have offensive line struggles, but they’re still a good team.  Sunday night’s Eagles vs. Giants matchup will be a big one.
     4) Bengals (3-1) (1): The last remaining undefeated team in the NFL ran into a storm when they played a fired up Patriots team that came angry and came to play.  However, I still believe the Bengals are a very strong team.  The Bengals will have a very hard stretch coming up against the Panthers, Colts, and Ravens, and two wins over that stretch will cement the Bengals’ status as a strong contender.
     3) Chargers (4-1) (6): The Chargers believe they are the best team in the NFL, and they very well may be.  They’re coming off a 31-0 shutout of the Jets, and have only allowed 12.4 points per game thus far.  Philip Rivers is having an incredible season and Branden Oliver is the fantasy pickup of the week.  It’s smooth sailing for the bolts week 6 against the Raiders.  I’m just waiting for them to go into Denver in week 8.
     2) Broncos (3-1) (3): Peyton Manning is closing in on the all-time passing touchdowns record, and should pass Brett Favre in the next two or three games.  This is such a talented team that it’s really hard to imagine them not going back to the Super Bowl, despite teams such as the Chargers and Colts hot to stop them.  They have an easy matchup against the Jets next week, but then they take on the 49ers and Chargers in tough games.
     1) Seahawks (3-1) (2): It could’ve been prettier, but the Seahawks ended up victorious in D.C., defeating the Redskins last week.  Russell Wilson is playing incredibly smart football, and leading the Seahawks to another successful season.  The Bengals loss was all it took to bump Seattle into the top spot this week.
   
Thanks for reading,
Connor

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