Now that Week 5 of the 2020 NFL season is over, it’s time for everyone’s favorite meaningful exercise: NFL Power Rankings! Let’s take a look at how all 32 teams stack up. And don’t forget to hear me talking about the league’s landscape on my national podcast: The ODDcast!
BLG’S NFL WEEK 6 POWER RANKINGS
1 - Seattle Seahawks (Last Week: 1) - It might not always be pretty but style points don’t matter for this squad. The Seahawks are never out of a game with Russell Wilson around. He continues to be the NFL’s MVP.
2 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 3) - The Packers will return from their Week 5 bye to play 12 straight games. First up is Aaron Rodgers versus Tom Brady for just the third (and potentially last?) time ever. The series is currently tied at 1-1.
3 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 1) - The Chiefs usually dominate their AFC West opponents but they’ve sure looked mortal against them this year. KC needed overtime to beat the Bolts and they suffered their first loss to Las Vegas. Pat Mahomes finally threw an interception. What a fraud.
4 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 4) - The Ravens own the NFL’s best point differential (+74) through five games. Their only loss came to the reigning Super Bowl champions. Their defense pitched a shutout in Week 5 up until Cincy kicked a meaningless field goal with 32 seconds left in the game. Baltimore could reach 5-1 with a game in Philly up next.
5 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 5) - No one drafts and develops wide receivers quite like the Steelers do. Chase Claypool is the latest stud in their receiving corps. Ben Roethlisberger is doing a nice job of playing point guard and getting the ball out quick to his play-makers.
6 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 6) - I’m dropping the Titans a spot because 1) I should’ve had Buffalo ahead anyway and 2) I’m punishing them for being irresponsible about handling COVID-19. Hopefully the NFL punishes them much more severely than I did. UPDATE: Wow. The Titans look pretty good! Impressive blowout win over Buffalo.
7 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 8) - The Rams swept the NFC East by beating Washington. Will be interesting to see how they fare against tougher competition. That’s not exactly coming soon with matchups against San Fran, Chicago, and Miami up next. This team could soon be 7-1 or 6-2. 8
8 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 9) - They were fortunate to come out with the win on Monday night. There are real questions about Drew Brees’ noodle arm at this point.
9 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 13) - The Browns are legitimately a top 10 team in the NFL right now. They rank sixth in offensive points per game and first overall in takeaways with 12. Cleveland is on the path to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Beating Indy was big for tiebreaker purposes.
10 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 7) - The Bills are 3.5-point favorites heading into their Tuesday night game against Tennessee. I reserve the right to flip their ranking back to seven if they lose. UPDATE: So, maybe the Bills aren’t for real for real after all? Terrible Tuesday night loss.
11 - New England Patriots (LW: 10) - I didn’t move the Pats down when they lost last week but I’ll do it here on their unexpected bye.
12 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 16) - The Raiders out-Chiefs’d the Chiefs on Sunday by airing it out for big plays to outpace KC’s offense. The defense has issues but Jon Gruden’s team is going to be capable of winning shootouts.
13 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 11) - Tom Brady is down to 16th in passer rating after a lackluster showing at Soldier Field. He’s actually still there, trying to find someone to believe him it’s that’s fourth down.
15 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 15) - The Cards comfortably beat the NFL’s worst team. It’d be nice to see Kyler Murray have some more games without interception(s) because he only has one of those so far.
16 - Chicago Bears (LW: 18) - Nick Foles > Tom Brady. Still not actually buying the Bears, though. They’re the second worst 4-1 team in DVOA history. Foles needs to play a lot better to have this team feeling like their quality truly matches their record.
As promised, here are the worst 4-1 teams in DVOA history (since 1985). This isn't necessarily bad news for Chicago, most of these teams ended up making the playoffs and some (ATL 1995 and 1998) improved significantly after their "slow starts." #DaBears pic.twitter.com/olNOwk12Z7— Aaron Schatz (@FO_ASchatz) October 12, 2020
17 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 12) - So much for having the NFL’s No. 1 defense. The Colts allowed 25 points and 385 total yards to Cleveland. More troubling, however, is the Philip Rivers looked washed.
18 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 17) - They say it’s a game of inches and the Vikings learned that the hard way by failing to convert a fourth down at Seattle’s 6-yard line. Mike Zimmer made the right call to go for the win; the players just didn’t execute. This team is better than their 1-4 record indicates. But their playoff hopes might be out of reach anyway.
19 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 19) - The Chargers could’ve beaten New Orleans in regulation if Michael Badgley’s game-winning field goal attempt didn’t single doink off the right upright. More like Michael BADley, amirite? Seriously, though, Justin Herbert is good and that’s promising. The Chargers’ coaching staff just needs to trust him more. Too conservative right now.
Frustrating to see Chargers be so conservative, given how well Justin Herbert played.— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) October 13, 2020
18 rushes for 20 yards on first down - including the first play of that last drive in regulation.
Have epitomized the "lose later rather than try to win now" mentality.
21 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 21) - Talk about a Pyrrhic victory. The Cowboys moved into first place in the NFC East with their win but they lost Dak Prescott for the season. On the bright side for Dallas, they have the NFL’s easiest remaining schedule. They could still win the division with Andy Dalton leading the way.
22 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 23) - Kind of felt like a moral victory for the Eagles with Carson Wentz playing much better and the offense coming alive. Plus, Philly might actually have a good wide receiver in Travis Fulgham!? It’s unfortunate that the defense ruined what could’ve been a big win.
23 - Houston Texans (LW: 27) - The Texans celebrated Bill O’Brien’s departure with their first win. It’s not uncommon for teams to see a bump right after firing their unlikeable and/or ineffective head coach. It typically doesn’t last, though.
24 - Detroit Lions (LW: 24) - They return from their bye to face Jacksonville and Atlanta next. If the Lions can’t win both of those games, Matt Patricia should be fired. He should lose his job anyway, to be clear, but even sooner if those tilts are both losses.
25 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 14) - How the mighty have fallen. The reigning NFC champions are alone in the basement of the NFC West after getting molly-whopped in Miami. Jimmy G was benched in part due to injury but such a move only strengthened suspicions about him being a long-term quarterback solution. Things might only get worse from here with the 49ers having the NFL’s toughest remaining schedule.
26 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 22) - Joe Burrow has been sacked 4.4 times per game and hit 10.4 times per game through five weeks. Someone please get this young man an offensive line to protect him.
27 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 26) - After starting out stronger than expected, the Jags have since fallen back to Earth. The NFL’s youngest and least expensive roster offers hope for the future if the Jags can get the right head coach and general manager in place.
28 - Denver Broncos (LW: 29) - The Broncos were scheduled to play on Monday night but will instead face New England this Sunday. Long layoff for a team that hasn’t played since Thursday Night Football on October 1.
29 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 28) - Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff are finally gone. This team needed a restart and they’ve got it.
30 - Washington Football Team (LW: 30) - Alex Smith taking NFL snaps was simultaneously great to see and terrifying. He doesn’t look like he’s ready to be effective, though, so it’ll be more Kyle Allen if he’s healthy. Washington obviously needs to find their long-term quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft.
31 - New York Giants (LW: 31) - The Giants almost had their first win. Instead, they’re 0-5. And no team that’s ever started with five straight losses has made the playoffs. Daniel Jones still hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Week 1; he own the NFL’s second worst passer rating.