Week Five Rankings

nfl

What an exciting week in football (both college-level and professionally I’d say). Some teams continue their unchecked descent thanks to injuries and mistakes while others soar ever higher above haters and lesser expectations. The balance of power continues to shift as there is no one squad that has it all. Let’s look at a week where the Packers and Eagles caught lucky breaks in the form of an early bye.

The Good:

  1. Denver Broncos- What more needs to be said about the Broncos? They aren’t playing like typical Super Bowl winners who lay lax on their laurels and then have an off-season. They’re true contenders yet again. And this time it was partially Paxton Lynch’s team to lead to victory. A solid 27-7 victory over Tampa Bay nets them the number one slot again. +1 4-0
  2. Minnesota Vikings- The Vikings have proved for yet another week that they are for real and this time their victim was the New York Giants who have now fallen behind in two games, albeit the last contest closer than this one. Sam Bradford finally seems to have a grip on reality and the Vikings defense is truly a monster I’d not like to meet in person. +1 4-0
  3. New England Patriots- This time was bound to come eventually although few could’ve seen it coming as it did. Surely the Patriots couldn’t be perfect without Tom Brady? But they came pretty darn close before the Bills handed them their first home shutout at Gillette Stadium. It may be a minor setback but we shall see how they fare now that the Brady Bunch is back in action. -2 3-1
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers dipped a lot last week thanks to a huge loss to the Eagles but by the same token they ascended this week with a spectacular deconstruction of the Kansas City Chiefs. I honestly thought it would be a much closer contest. But the Steelers’ 43 points says others. +6 3-1
  5. Seattle Seahawks- The Seahawks went out and had themselves a game against the Jets who still looked pretty shaky, but for all their efforts they’re staying put as better teams ascended and worse descended. The injury problems continue but somehow they seem to be getting by, much like the Patriots who’ve faced similar issues this season. +/- 3-1
  6. Philadelphia Eagles- Carson Wentz and his new crew remain undefeated for now as they were one of two teams to be graced with an early bye week. For all their efforts thus far they remain unmoved in the standings, however we shall see if their fire continues or their wings are finally clipped next week. +/- 3-0
  7. Green Bay Packers- The Packers are the only other team this week with a bye however thy are going to find themselves dropped a few spots after the spectacular performances of their peers. They’ve been shaky so far and they need to get a grip on things before they fall into an unsteady pattern. -3 2-1
  8. Dallas Cowboys- With their win this week over San Fransisco, the Cowboys cemented themselves not only within my top ten but as a solid contender in the NFC. Dak and Elliot are for real and so is the Cowboys offensive line, which could prove to be very important in games to come especially as far as other teams and their lack of good O-line units are concerned. The dream may finally be coming true in Dallas. +6 3-1
  9. Atlanta Falcons- What’s it take to get into the top ten this week? How about a two score victory over the Carolina Panthers and a two game hold on the top slot in your division? Matt Ryan and Julio Jones made HISTORY. And plenty of other players made plays as well. Now let’s see if the Falcons can keep it up. +10 3-1
  10. Cincinnati Bengals- The Bengals came out strong this week and showed that they’ve still got it even if they’ve faced some tough competition thus far this year. They hauled in 22 points on the Dolphins who just can’t catch a break and the connection between Dalton and Green was on display for yet another game. It’s time to separate the men from the boys and the Bengals have stepped up and said they’re ready to play. +1 2-2

The Also Good But Not Quite As Good:

  1. Oakland Raiders- The Raiders are moving back up in the world. They’ve played some tight, close matchups and this week was no different. However they managed to knock off a talented defense and ruin the Ravens perfect streak. Derek Carr and Michael Crabtree are becoming as big if not bigger than the AC/DC connection this year and it shows results in their clutch victories. +1 3-1
  2. Buffalo Bills- The Bills have been a bit confusing thus far. They put up some solid performances but started off 0-2 only to come back and beat both the Cardinals and Patriots in back to back blowout matches. That’s some pretty good gameplay and also shows that they’re either improving or getting ready to flop for another few games. For now, they’ve been justly rewarded for their demolish derby against the Patriots on Sunday. +6 2-2
  3. Baltimore Ravens- The Ravens stay put for this week even though they lost a close one to the Raiders by a point at the end. Joe Flacco and Steve Smith and the entire team looked good on the field and had some big plays. The Ravens are going to be a team to watch because even in low-scoring affairs they put up what points they need and then the defense does the rest of the job for them, often holding opponents to fewer scores. +/- 3-1
  4. Arizona Cardinals- I don’t really know what to say at this point, but the top teams of last year’s NFC have been very underwhelming thus far this season. I’m not sure what happened to the Cards and Panthers but they’ve been following similar paths so far. Carson Palmer is out with a concussion possibly and the defense just hasn’t been the same with only one win under their belt so far. -5 1-3
  5. New York Giants- The Giants lost another one although it wasn’t as close a contest as it was with their division rivals. Eli and OBJ almost had some seriously good connections but the magic didn’t work this time around. The Vikings defense hounded them and pounded them all night long. Time to see if the team can reverse their fortunes and get back in the game again. +/- 2-2
  6. Carolina Panthers- Carolina’s descent can’t be ignored any longer. They’ve played poorly week to week and it mostly revolves around the offensive line letting too many hits get to the QB and the defense giving too many big plays away. Either on its own is an issue but the secondary alone gave away large chunks of change to Jones and the Falcons in a 48-33 loss this week and that’s unacceptable. -8 1-3
  7. Houston Texans- Despite a win and solid showing against the Tennessee Titans, the Texans actually moved down one slot this week due to the number of teams playing at a higher level and moving up. Brock Osweiler actually played again this week and that definitely made a difference. Bill O’Brien’s squad redeemed themselves for now after their loss to the Patriots last week. -1 3-1
  8. Kansas City Chiefs- Another week, another unsure Chiefs showing. I definitely thought this game would be much more of a contest than it was, especially with two high caliber running backs returning and being pitted against each other. But even Jamaal Charles couldn’t save this game and was played sparingly as it was. -11 2-2
  9. Los Angeles Rams- Let’s take this all in shall we? The Rams currently sit atop the west although they are tied record wise with Seattle Seahawks (whom they have defeated once already). Their victory over the Cardinals proved the Rams defense isn’t one to scoff at. Things are getting worked on in Los Angeles. +5 3-1
  10. Washington Redskins- The Skins stepped up yet again, even if it was against the Browns who are interesting but just can’t seem to win any games no matter how close they get. This time it wasn’t close enough and the Redskins ran away with a 31-20 victory. +3 2-2

The Alright I Guess:

  1. Tennessee Titans- Sure, the Titans lost this one by a touchdown but then they also put up twenty more points than they would have if it had been any other team more than likely. They didn’t completely kill their chances of winning by themselves. So on the turnovers and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory part of things, they weren’t too shabby. +4 1-3
  2. New Orleans Saints- New Orleans had to win a game and it had to be this one. They were spared an 0-4 start by the wiles of Drew Brees. He’s played consistently the past few weeks even though they have been outgunned and beaten each time. But finally his team came through and the defense didn’t entirely shatter in a comeback win over the Chargers. +7 1-3
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars- The Jaguars are another team who needed a win and they finally got it at the expense of the equally unproductive Colts who gave the game away even once they had started making their comeback run. Blake Bortles and his crew still have a ways to go, but if they can replicate the success they had in the first week then they might be alright. +4 1-3
  4. Miami Dolphins- The Dolphins dropped yet again and this time it was big. Cincinnati didn’t let them get by with much and for another week Ryan Tannehill was largely of no consequence. The Dolphins just can’t hang with many teams right now and need to do better in the coming weeks if they want to salvage the year. -7 1-3
  5. New York Jets- The Jets have stunk up the place for the past two games and don’t let their 17 points against the Seahawks 27 fool you because they were bad this time around too. They may not have had eight turnovers but Ryan Fitzpatrick sure tried to repeat his performance from last week didn’t he? -5 1-3
  6. Detroit Lions- Man, and at one point these Lions had a real chance but Chicago dashed those hopes this week. Not only did the Bears prevent themselves from being the worst team next to the Browns, but they knocked a division rival down a peg as well. What’s next for Stafford’s cowardly lions? -5 1-3
  7. Indianapolis Colts- They had a bad year last year without Andrew Luck and it looks like the feeling of not being good enough has carried over even with him healthy. The Colts just obviously haven’t caught the break they need yet and the Jaguars showed that in London. -1 1-3
  8. San Diego Chargers- For all of their ups and downs, San Diego stays put for another week. They’ll be leading a game by double digits and still manage to lose it. I just can’t get behind a team that’s that talented and throws away games. They’ve got plenty of injured players and yet still have talent enough to win but they waste opportunities. +/- 1-3
  9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Another inconsistent showing from Jameis and the Bucs means another drop in the ranks for them this week. It was another week in which they were outplayed similarly to their matchup against the Cards. They got hit with their second consecutive lightning delay and it made them skittish yet again it would seem. -7 1-3
  10. Chicago Bears- Well John Fox ought to be content enough right now with simply not being the worst team in the league. This week that belongs to Cleveland yet again as the Bears have at least netted one win. +2 1-3

Pure Meh:

  1. San Fransisco 49ers- The 49ers did their best impression of a winning team but it wasn’t enough and they faltered yet again in the final moments and allowed a Cowboys victory. They had the chance for things to go any other way and they blew it yet again. -1 1-3
  2. Cleveland Browns- The Browns are back here again and the only difference is this time it wasn’t a close one. Their record could and probably should be a lot different right now. -1 0-4
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