NFL Power Rankings: Who’s Still Alive?


This week’s NFL power rankings sees Atlanta drop out of the top five after losing to the Saints. The new top five is comprised of the five remaining undefeated teams after Carolina went into Century Link Field and beat the Seahawks.

The Minnesota Vikings find themselves in the top ten essentially by virtue of their bye week. Six weeks into the season and there are just ten teams with winning records. There are 18 teams with a losing record which means there are just four teams with even records, the Bills, Colts, Giants and Eagles. With parity as it’s been in the NFL, we can expect some of these winning teams to start losing and some of the teams with losing records to start winning.

Denver faces Green Bay, Indianapolis and New England over the next five weeks. Green Bay goes to Denver and then follows that up with a trip to Carolina in consecutive weeks. The top teams will be cannibalized over the next month. As for bad teams that have a chance to rebound, Detroit, New Orleans and San Diego are three teams that will almost certainly put some consecutive wins together soon. All three teams have at least six match ups left on the schedule against teams with losing records. San Diego should easily win their next five games (more on that below) and if the Saints can get through their next two games unscathed, they could win six of their last eight games.

As for Detroit, injuries have taken a toll on the defense but if they can beat Minnesota at home and then win in London against the 1-5 Chiefs (two tasks that are certainly within the realm of possibility), there’s only the two Packers games ahead that are trouble on the schedule. If they can split the four tough match ups left on the schedule (@GB, PHI, GB, @NO), the Lions could finish with a winning record. As I mention below though, there’s no margin for error.

This week’s biggest riser is Miami who moved up nine spots from 29 to 20. The Dolphins impressed under Dan Campbell, the interim head coach for the terminated Joe Philbin. Lamar Miller had himself a ball game which allowed Tannehill to work the field passing, which is the way Miami’s offense should have looked from the beginning of the season. It was just one game and it was against the Titans, but Miami’s roster was always talented. If they’ve found someone who can tap into that talent, the sky is the limit.

Fittingly, our biggest drop this week was the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee has dropped four straight since Mariota’s coming out party and now the young quarterback has a sprained MCL that may cause him to miss a little time. Even though there are some winnable games on the schedule (they’re in the AFC South after all), there are still plenty of games the Titans can lose, especially since they’ve already lost to the Browns, Colts, Bills and Dolphins, none of which have a winning record.

That about does it for the big movers and shakers in this week’s NFL power rankings, so without further ado:

Previous: . Green Bay Packers. 1. team. 49. Despite San Diego giving the Packers a run for their money, Aaron Rodgers and the offense were able to out-duel Rivers and the Chargers’ offense. That’s going to be a familiar story for a lot of teams this year.. (6-0)

Previous: . New England Patriots. 2. team. 47. I don’t think anyone thought Indy was going to win that game on Sunday night. The Patriots are a machine and the defense is playing better than expected. If they can keep it up, they won’t lose.. (5-0)

(6-0). Previous: . Cincinnati Bengals. 3. team. 56. Cincy put up 34 points against a good Bills defense IN Buffalo. That’s no small feat. Dalton finally has a healthy offense that provides serious versatility.

4. team. 87. The Panthers went into Seattle and earned a victory. You’ve got to respect that. Cam Newton should be getting MVP attention. He has accounted for 11 total touchdowns and over 1,000 passing yards with essentially Greg Olsen and Ted Ginn Jr. as his only options. The Panthers are doing more with less than just about any team in the league.. (5-0). Previous: . Carolina Panthers

45. The undefeated Broncos host the undefeated Packers this weekend. I wouldn’t bet on a Broncos victory, but if Peyton is going to look like his old self at all this year, it’s going to be against the Packers’ porous pass defense.. (6-0). Previous: . Denver Broncos. 5. team

Atlanta Falcons. 6. team. 44. Last week I mentioned how Carolina will have a couple more losses than Atlanta by the time they meet in Week 14. Not sure that’s the case now after the Falcons dropped one in New Orleans and the Panthers left Seattle still undefeated. Those two late season matchup are going to be blockbusters. Both teams could be 9-3 or better when they face off.. (5-1). Previous:

(4-1). Previous: . New York Jets. 7. team. 30. The Jets travel to Foxboro this week in a battle to determine first place in the AFC East. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I’d guess it’s been seven years since the Patriots weren’t in first place this late in the season. This game should be a good test for two underrated units: the Pats’ defense and the Jets’ offense. The Jets have scored over 30 points twice and have scored over 20 points in each game but their one loss.

Previous: . Arizona Cardinals. 8. team. 32. I don’t know what happened to the Cardinals. I don’t know which is worse, the offense only scoring 13 points against the Steelers’ defense, or the defense allowing 25 points to a Steelers offense that was forced to play Landry Jones. Maybe it just wasn’t their day. They get the benefit of the doubt for now.. (4-2)

Don’t look now, but the Steelers are just two games behind the undefeated Bengals in the AFC North. They travel to Arrowhead this week, but there’s a chance Big Ben returns for their November 1st matchup with the Bengals. The Cowboys should have taken notes on how to tread water while your quarterback is hurt.. (4-2). Previous: . Pittsburgh Steelers. 9. team. 55

Minnesota Vikings. 10. team. 60. The Vikings have an easy slate their next four games. They’d better take care of business in those games because the four games that follow those are going to be tough. The offense is still finding its footing and the defense has showed waves of cohesive and effective play, but the Vikings needs more consistency from both units if they’re going to contend for a playoff spot this year.. (3-2). Previous:

Philadelphia Eagles. 11. team. 54. When the Eagles lost in Washington, I thought they were written off. Then they went and routed the Saints. They followed that up by beating the Giants on Monday night. Maybe the Eagles just dropped a bad game to Washington. Their next two games will tell us as Philly travels to Carolina and then to Dallas after their bye.. (3-3). Previous:

12. team. 16. Count this in the number of sentences I would never have imagined I’d be saying six weeks into the 2015 season: The Bills really need Tyrod Taylor back and healthy in order to compete in the division.. (3-3). Previous: . Buffalo Bills

(3-3). Previous: . New York Giants. 13. team. 31. After an 0-2 start, the Giants were starting to roll. Then the Eagles’ Nolan Carroll intercepted Eli Manning and returned it for a touchdown in a Monday night contest that featured seven turnovers. Does anyone want to win the NFC East?

46. Andrew Luck looked a lot closer to his old self last Sunday. The Colts lost to the Patriots but the offense is heading in the right direction. Now it’s on the defense to find themselves. They’ve given up almost 25 points per game and they’ve played the Jaguars, Titans and Texans.. (3-3). Previous: . Indianapolis Colts. 14. team

15. team. 36. The Seahawks have lost all three road games and just dropped their first home game in forever. Let’s not forget they stole one of their two victories from the Lions. Maybe the Seahawks just aren’t that good? Before we get too carried away, three of their losses are to currently undefeated teams. So there’s that.. (2-4). Previous: . Seattle Seahawks

28. The Raiders aren’t very good on the road, but they’re competitive at home. The problem is they’ve got some stiff competition coming into Oakland the rest of the way. This may be the highest the Raiders get in these power rankings.. (2-3). Previous: . Oakland Raiders. 16. team

17. team. 123. The Cowboys have sunk. Right now, their ceiling is about 7 wins. That’s not going to cut it in the NFC East, even if every team in the division is having a down year.. (2-3). Previous: . Dallas Cowboys

Previous: . St. Louis Rams. 18. team. 51. Now is the time for the Rams to make a move. The Browns, 49ers, Vikings, Bears and Ravens are up next on the schedule and three of those games are at home. If it’s not now, it’s never.. (2-3)

13. Who are the Chargers? Their two wins were against the Lions and Browns, collectively 3-9. On the other hand, they’ve lost to the Bengals, Steelers and Packers by a combined 16 points. The Chargers should be able to right the ship over the next five weeks. Their opponents in those games are a combined 7-22.. (2-4). Previous: . San Diego Chargers. 19. team

The Dan Campbell era got off to a good start with a 38-10 victory over the Titans and however short-lived Campbell’s reign may or may not be, the Dolphins’ rejuvenated run game will certainly help out Tannehill who completed 22 of 29 passes last Sunday.. (2-3). Previous: . Miami Dolphins. 20. team. 59

(2-3). Previous: . Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 21. team. 48. The Bucs moved up six spots this week mostly because there are so many teams with 4 and 5 losses. There are 13 teams with at least four losses already. That’s insane.

Cleveland Browns. 22. team. 53. Cleveland’s last three losses have all been by one score. If their defense could stop the run, they could 5-1 or 4-2. Instead, they could finish the season with that many wins.. (2-4). Previous:

team. 15. If the Saints can beat the Colts and the Giants the next two weeks, they could very well find themselves with a six game win streak at 7-4, back in the thick of the divisional race and facing the Panthers in Week 13. One game at a time though.. (2-4). Previous: . New Orleans Saints. 23

Previous: . San Francisco 49ers. 24. team. 42. The 49ers are starting to find their offense but in the NFC West, they’re already out of the race. Even if they weren’t, the defense isn’t good enough to get them wins.. (2-4)

The Bears and Lions went head to head in a “who wants to lose this game more” battle. The Bears won I guess. When the Bears score points, the defense gives up more.. (2-4). Previous: . Chicago Bears. 26. team. 57

10. The Texans have two wins. Against the Jaguars and the Buccaneers. They’ve got six or seven winnable games left on the schedule though. Such is life in the AFC South.. (2-4). Previous: . Houston Texans. 27. team

The Lions are a second half collapse and a missed call away from being 3-3. Ah, what might have been. While the Lions have an easy schedule from here on out, their margin for error has been completed erased. Something else the Lions have in their favor is that there are only ten teams with winning records right now and Minnesota is holding the final wildcard spot. If Detroit can beat Minnesota and keep pace with them over the three weeks that follow, they could pass the Vikings in the NFC North late.. (1-5). Previous: . Detroit Lions. 28. team. 50

29. team. 26. I thought Baltimore was going to turn things around when they beat the Steelers in Week 4. They’ve followed up that performance with consecutive losses to the Browns and 49ers. These birds are cooked.. (1-5). Previous: . Baltimore Ravens

30. team. 52. Jacksonville has lost four straight since barely beating Joe Philbin’s Dolphins. Jags fans are starting to question Gus Bradley and the Jaguars don’t have a real chance to win for three weeks when they face the Ravens.. (1-5). Previous: . Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans. 31. team. 35. Tennessee has lost four straight since winning Week 1 against Tampa Bay. The teams they’ve lost to are not particularly good either. The Browns, Colts, Bills and Dolphins have beaten the Titans with the Falcons up next.. (1-4). Previous:

32. team. 124. The Chiefs have lost five straight since barely beating the Texans Week 1. Even if three of those losses are to the Broncos, Bengals and Packers, the Chiefs are going to have to get back in the win column to move out of this spot. The defense has played better the last two weeks, but the Chiefs keep losing. They host the Steelers before heading to London to play the Lions.. (1-5). Previous: . Kansas City Chiefs

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