SLR’s Week 6 NFL Power Rankings

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Oct 6, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates (13) prepares to run a play against the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth quarter at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Texans 34-3. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

16. Miami Dolphins (3-2) ▼6

It’s a crash back to earth (and reality) for the Dolphins, who lost their second game in six days after starting 3-0. But really, this wasn’t ever going to be a 16-0 team, so what they have to do now is show some character, regroup over the bye week, and get back into the win column. They may have found their leader in Ryan Tannehill, but he still has work to do.

15. Cleveland Browns (3-2) ▲4

I’d actually love to move the Browns up further than this. They play great defense, explosive special teams, and they’re even getting contributions out of Willis McGahee. But Brian Hoyer’s success, however brief, has proven what’s possible with competency at the quarterback position. Brandon Weeden is 0-2 as a starter this year, which should tell you something. The fact that he outplayed Jeff Tuel on Thursday Night is not exactly a mark of pride.

14. Houston Texans (2-3) ▼5

This team has talent in droves, but they’re not going any further than Matt Schaub can deliver them. And right now, all Schaub is delivering is touchdowns to the other team (for the last four games straight, an NFL record). With T.J. Yates finishing the game against San Francisco, there might be a quarterback controversy brewing here, which is never a good sign for a defending division champion.

13. Chicago Bears (3-2) ▼1

It isn’t panic time for the Bears, who are still tied for the lead in the NFC North, but it might be time to regroup just a little after two straight losses. Still, there’s no shame in losing to the Saints, and they have a get-right game against the Giants next week. If they drop that one, then it’s panic time.

12. Detroit Lions (3-2) ▼1

Anyone who thinks Calvin Johnson is overpaid, I implore you to watch game film of the Lions-Packers game from this week. It isn’t just about how many passes he catches. The entire Packers offense lost all respect for the deep ball (maybe the passing game in general) the moment Johnson was declared inactive, and the entire offense collapsed as a result. Credit to the defense for holding the Packers to field goals, keeping the Lions in the game longer than they deserved to be.

11. Baltimore Ravens (3-2) ▲4

The Little Super Bowl Champion That Could keeps chugging along, keeping itself a game on the right side of .500, which is fine for now. That was a big win over the Dolphins, who were undefeated not too long ago, and so they get a move up. But their $120 million quarterback really needs to stop throwing the ball to the other team. Related: Good things tend to happen when Ray Rice gets the ball.

10. Tennessee Titans (3-2) ▼4

Ryan Fitzpatrick played a surprisingly not terrible game against a tough Chiefs defense, even getting them the lead late. It wasn’t enough to get them the win, but it just might be enough to keep them treading water while they wait for Jake Locker to return. It has to be a concern that Fitz also led the team in rushing, though. The schedule doesn’t get any easier with a road trip to Seattle followed by the 49ers at home.

9. Green Bay Packers (2-2) ▲4

And this is why I had a sub-.500 team in the top half of the rankings last week. The Packers certainly aren’t the juggernaut they have been in years past, but it’s still hard to argue against them as the favorites in the NFC North. Even in a game where they struggled to find the end zone, and Aaron Rodgers was on and off his game, they still knocked off the Lions by 13 points.

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Tags: Detroit Lions NFL Power Rankings NFL Week 6

  • Liang

    First comment!!!!

    • Dean Holden

      Not bad.

      • Liang

        OMG I got the writer replied personally!!!!! Share and comment people!!!!!

  • jzgames11

    Nice ranking, I’m hoping my Raiders continue to grow with Terelle Pryor, playoffs or not, Raiders are fun to watch and have real hope for future success.Considering 50 million in cap space is going to players not on the team and hopefully a good draft this off-season, we should be a playoff contender in a year or 2, of not this year. Our Oline is beat up bad and Rb situation is no better so this year may be too much to ask for.

    • Dean Holden

      Thanks for reading! Yeah, I was prepared to put the Raiders right above the winless teams at 28. But I watched them play against the Chargers and came away genuinely impressed. Knocking the Raiders is trendy, and I’m not genuinely a fan of the running QB, but Pryor has improved his mechanics and decision-making IMMENSELY since his OSU days. I genuinely think that team is going somewhere.

  • GW

    barely holding off Seattle team at home and also getting beat by the Miami Dolphins at home doesn’t warrant the Colts leapfrogging the Seahawks. Indy is still a top 5 though.


    2.New Orleans



    5.Kansas City

    6.San Francisco

    7.Green Bay



    10.New England

    • Dean Holden

      I don’t especially disagree with these rankings. But re: Indianapolis over Seattle, the rationale is simple. I try to rank teams under the rationale that each team would beat the team beneath it. Since Indy and Seattle share a common record as a DIRECT result of Indy beating Seattle head-to-head, it seems appropriate.

      • SLC_Raider

        You say you believe each team would beat the team beneath it, yet you still ranked the Charges above the Raiders, who just beat down San Diego. If you are using this rational for putting the Colts ahead of Seattle, then explain why it doesn’t apply for Oakland?

        • Dean Holden

          That is a fair question. The Raiders made me a believer with their athletic play and the development of Terrelle Pryor, but I’m not yet convinced they can play that way consistently. If those teams played again next week and the week after under the same circumstances, I’m not so sure the Chargers wouldn’t win the next two.

          That being said, these are weekly power rankings. There’s no rule of thumb that can hold up 100% of the time. The “would this team beat the team below it” rule is one I like to use as a general rule, but it works a lot better when the teams playing are only a few spaces apart, like the Colts and Seahawks were.

          I like that Raiders squad, but if they beat the Chiefs next weekend (and I think they can), that doesn’t mean the Chiefs are coming down 10 spots and the Raiders up 12 just so I can position them relative to the week’s outcomes. That said, they’ll erase a lot of doubts I have if they can pull the upset in KC.

          Thanks for your comment.

  • Mark Snyder

    Take the top 2 defensive players and 3 other starters from any other defense and see how they do. At this moment in time (while Von Miller and Champ Bailey remain out), you can say Denver is number 2. Soon enough their defense will be a different beast, though.

    • Dean Holden

      Perhaps so. And these are weekly rankings, so at that time, it’s very possible they’ll be back to number one. But for now, I can’t get fully behind a defense that gave up 48 points (and nearly the game) to what was statistically a bottom-half offense coming in.

      Check that. If I lined up wide, maybe I COULD get behind them.

      • Mark Snyder

        Romo has always been capable of these kinds of performances, when it strikes him. I think they got caught in a perfect storm. I don’t see such a shootout happening again (well, maybe against Andrew Luck).

        • Dean Holden

          If they beat the Colts, there won’t be any way I can keep them out of first. I might have to invent a new position above first to put them.

    • Chase

      Mark, this is a weak excuse. The Saints have had a FAR worse time with Defensive injuries this season. I like Denver and might very well get to enjoy another Brees vs Manning Superbowl, but the team with the better defense is clear…

      “Rob Ryan’s official title is defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints. But during his first few weeks on the job he’s operated more like the director of FEMA.

      Just about everything that can go wrong for the defense has since the Saints opened training camp on the 2013 season. Seemingly a week hasn’t gone by that Ryan hasn’t lost a key defender to injury. And we’re not talking fringe players or subs. We’re talking starters, guys Ryan was counting on to right the Saints’ listing defensive ship when camp opened.

      First, outside linebacker Victor Butler went down. He was quickly followed by fellow linebacker Jon Vilma. Martez Wilson, Kenyon Coleman, Will Smith and Glenn Foster followed shortly thereafter. If you’re counting, that’s six defenders, all in the front seven. And that was before the season even started.

      The first two games of the season have claimed two defenders apiece. Defensive linemen Brodrick Bunkley and Tyrunn Walker went down in the opener against Atlanta. Cornerback Patrick Robinson and defensive tackle Tom Johnson joined the M.A.S.H. unit last week at Tampa Bay.

      Wilson returned to action last week, and Walker and Foster began practicing again this week.”


      • Dean Holden

        Wow. Even I didn’t know it was that bad. All the more impressive that the Saints’ defense frustrated the Bears as much as they did.

      • Mark Snyder

        Saints need a better defense. They are not the offensive juggernaut that Elway has assembled. I was only referring to giving up so many points. I’m happy for the Saints, I like them and I hope they make it.

        • Chase

          Not trying to be mean, but what are you smoking? Denver has the #1 offense and #29 defense compared to the Saints having the #4 offense and the #11 defense… Are you sayimg the #4 offense this year, and a top 5 offense since around 2009 is NOT a “juggernaut?”

        • Chase

          Mark, I am very happy for Denver and I’m not posting to be mean; but you neex to take the mile high blinders off and look around. The Broncos are a very strong and impressive team, but their defensive play this week was a bit concerning. They can’t expect for Manning to put up 50 points every week and carry the team through the superbowl. We have yet to see a defense knock Manning around and how he will take some heavy hits… There is still a lot of season left.

          • Mark Snyder

            What I said is that Denver’s defense was without two pro bowl caliber starters, including one of the top 3 pash rushers in the łeague last year. And they are riddled with injuries elsewhere. As far as the offense, they have been performing at a different level than the league has seen for a while almost since Manning arrived. A Saints fan hoping for some heavy hits on Manning, isn’t that a bit ironic! Let the season play out, we will see what it looks like in the end.

          • Chase

            I understand the injuries… honest. I’m not going to keep arguing with you b/c we obviously look at the situation in two different ways. Players get hurt… Other players are there to step up when needed… Denver’s D was a floor mat Sunday for Romo and the boys. Yes, it was like that on both sides; but more is expected from the team most polls had ranked at #1. Denver’s O is by far their most attractive feature. They seem unstoppable, and no one is arguing otherwise. You claim they are “performing at a different level than the league has seen for a while.” This is where you lose me. I look at the Packers 2-5 years ago, the Saints for most of the past 5 years, the Patriots for the majority of the past decade, and the Colts for all of the years Manning was there and think that your comment is senseless. A lot of seasons a team looks unstoppable, and Denver is scary this season; but I feel like your comment is a bit premature after less than 1/3 of the season being over.

            Now to the Saints fan comment… I have watched almost every Saints game for the past 15+ years of my life. That circus the Commish put on was pathetic. I never saw any of the players purposely try to injure another player. Yes, there was locker room trash talk, and there were some big hits; but the Saint’s D were one of the least penalized teams over that span. That does bring up aggressive D’s though! I’m pretty sure Manning would have at least 2 more rings if it weren’t for his mistakes against them :)

            No more arguing here… It’s been fun. Enjoy the rest of the season and I’ll see you next week in the week 7 power rankings!!!

          • Mark Snyder

            I love it when people take other people’s viewpoint and say ‘you need to take the blinders off’. I don’t think the Broncos need to make any excuses for putting up a tough W. Even truly juggernaut defenses (like Alabama fields year after year), can get caught in shootouts sometimes. It happens. The mark of a winner is that they find a way to post the W anyway. Broncos didn’t in last years playoffs. They did this time. To me, the most important play of this game was when Moreno ran to the half yard line and went down, letting Manning kill the clock and kick the winning FG. If they had done a similar percentage play in last year’s playoffs against Baltimore, we might be talking about ‘defending champion Broncos’ right now. You know Manning is going to perform. It’s John Fox’s learning from past mistakes that bodes well, in my opinion.

  • Matty Long

    you are just strait up stupid, i dont see how you can move a team down after winning AND scoring 51 points…no matter how ugly it was with defense. You know nothing.

    • Chase

      You do realize this isn’t “offensive rankings” and the team that was bearly beat after 51 points had a 2-2 record, don’t you? I guess I don’t know anything either though… Keep living in Matty world.

    • Dean Holden

      What is important is not that they scored 51 points. What interests me is that they won by three points over a 2-2 team, and they needed an extremely fortunate turnover to not LOSE 51-48. We know the Broncos will score points. Now we know anyone with a half-competent offense will do the same against them. Can they win every game in a shootout? Maybe, but it’s not a sustainable strategy.

      • Mark Snyder

        Your picture above does not look like ‘an extremely fortunate turnover’. It looks like a great defensive play to me. Am I missing something? I think the best think to say about how this game went down is that the Broncos made Tony Romo look like…Tony Romo. In the end it was enough!

        • Dean Holden

          It’s not that the turnover just fell into their hands. Danny Trevathan made a great play on the ball, though Romo had no business trying to force it in a tie ball game. What was fortunate was the timing. Romo and Manning both turned the ball over once. Romo just managed to do it (again) at a time when turning the ball over meant losing the game.

    • Matty Long

      So hold up Chase, by that logic are you aware that two of the Saints victories came by a total of 7 points…(barely winning) to teams who have a combined record of 1-8..that is great! And Dean what the Broncos NEED is for their 2 star defensive players to get back on the field and for 4 others defensive starters to not get injured and leave a game, once they are back and healthy they will NOT give up 48 points again. What is impressive though is that the Broncos while not in the prettiest fashion show they can win tough games when they need to despite being sorely depleted on D. Which is the staple of a good team…being able to overcome adversity and pull out a win.

      1. Broncos
      2. Saints
      3. Chiefs
      4. Colts
      5. Seahawks
      This is how top 5 should round off.

      • Chase

        You still seem to be missing the point. This is the: SLR’s Week 6 NFL Power Rankings!!!!
        I have never said one team is better than another, and I have a great respect for all of the teams in your top 5. You, my friend, were the one posting “you are just strait up stupid” and “You know nothing” to a very logical post. Both top two teams won and played away games, but the Saints handled their business in a solid fashion against a strong opponent. That’s all. End of story. There’s a lot of season left to see where the teams will end for the season…

      • Dean Holden

        That’s a perfectly reasonable top 5, but that’s not how I see it right now. Weekly power rankings are not about who might get better when they get players back. And I don’t think anybody can argue that the Broncos are not a good team. No. 2 in the rankings doesn’t mean they’re terrible by any means. But by the eye test, the Saints and Broncos are both undefeated teams, and the Saints played a more complete game against a stronger opponent. The same will hold true if they can knock off the 4-1 Patriots next week.