Now that Week 5 of the 2021 NFL season is in the books, it’s time for everyone’s favorite meaningful exercise: NFL Power Rankings! What differentiates these rankings from others is that they’re the only truly accurate ones in the entire universe. Let’s take a look at how all 32 teams stack up entering Week 6. Even more power rankings discussion in this week’s episode of The ODDcast on The SB Nation NFL Show.
BLG’S WEEK 6 NFL POWER RANKINGS
1 - Buffalo Bills (Last Week: 2) - The Bills have looked like an unstoppable juggernaut ever since losing in Week 1. They own the league’s best point differential at +108. The next closest team is +62. No one goes into Kansas City and dominates Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes like Sean McDermott and Josh Allen just did. Statement win for a team that could very feasibly win the Super Bowl.
2 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 3) - The Cards stand alone at the top of the standings with the NFL’s only remaining perfect record. Are they truly the best team in the league, though? Still not ready to say that.
3 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 4) - The Rams bounced back from their first loss and picked up a crucial win in Seattle. Going to be disappointing for them if they can’t catch Arizona and have to settle for the No. 5 seed in the NFC playoff picture.
4 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 6) - Justin Herbert is so dang good. Hard not to like what Brandon Staley has done thus far as well. The Chargers might very well have the MVP and the Coach of the Year. Back in May, I said this team is winning the AFC West. So far, so good. Case to be made they deserve the top spot in the AFC ahead of Buffalo.
Chargers QB Justin Herbert through his first 20 games: 5,912 passing yards (second most by any QB in NFL history) and 50 total TD.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 11, 2021
He now has 7 games with at least 3 TD and 0 INT, the most by any QB through his first two seasons in NFL history.
5 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 5) - Tom Brady out here throwing five touchdowns in a 45-17 win at 44 years old. He’s in the MVP conversation. The Bucs’ defense has some issues but they won’t matter as much if the offense can keep it going.
6 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 1) - Five spot drop for the Browns? After playing a pretty good game against the Chargers? Just how the rankings shook out this week with all the teams ahead of them winning. Cleveland’s still a very good group. Not a ton to knock them for. With that said, we have seen Baker Mayfield fail to deliver in some key spots.
7 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 7) - The Ravens stick in this spot because they flirted with losing on Monday night. But Lamar Jackson ultimately came through by leading Baltimore to four touchdowns on the Ravens’ final four drive. There’s really something to this Ravens. They’ve got heart. They fight.
Lamar Jackson just threw for 442 yards and completed 86% of his passes.— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) October 12, 2021
No quarterback in NFL history has ever thrown for 400+ and had a completion percentage that high.
8 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 8) - The Packers flirted with losing but ultimately pulled off the W. Mason Crosby bears watching moving forward after missing three field goals and one extra point in Week 5.
9 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 10) - The Cowboys are in a great position to run away with the NFC East. Pretty annoying!
10 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 9) - How the mighty have fallen. The Chiefs’ season is far from over but the damage is probably done in terms of not being able to land the No. 1 seed. KC’s defense is just so bad.
11 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 14) - The arrow appears to be pointing up on this Bengals team but they haven’t “made it” quite yet. Still, they almost upset Green Bay. Can’t sleep on the Stripes.
12 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 11) - Crazy that it took until his 10th season for Russell Wilson to finally miss a game. Seattle probably isn’t going anywhere fast with Geno Smith at the helm. A down year for the ‘Hawks could be the precursor to Wilson’s exit from the Pacific Northwest.
13 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 13) - Trey Lance clearly isn’t ready to dominate from Day 1. And that’s not the end of the world. It is a bummer that he’s dealing with an injury and the 49ers might have to turn back to Jimmy Garoppolo.
14 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 12) - 3-0 feels like forever ago after two straight losses and Jon Gruden being fired. Las Vegas should hire Doug Pederson in the offseason.
15 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 15) - The 3-0 start wasn’t a sign of great signs to come. Sam Darnold stinks and limits this team’s ceiling. Getting Christian McCaffrey back will help if he’s healthy. Stephon Gilmore could also provide a boost to an already good defense. This team could conceivably land a third wild card spot but they won’t be scaring anyone in the postseason.
16 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 17) - Jameis Winston is posting one of the weirder QB stat seasons in history. His 108.1 passer rating ranks sixth while his 892 passing yards are only 29th most.
17 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 18) - A 54-yard game-winning field goal prevented the Vikes from dropping t
18 - New England Patriots (LW: 19) - Only six teams have scored fewer points than the Pats. But, yeah, Bill Belichick is a genius for signing both Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. A revolutionary bully-ball offense that’s changing the league.
19 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 20) - The Titans got the gift of a free win by playing the Jags in Week 5. Things are about to get tougher with vs. BUF, vs. KC, at IND, at LAR up next. Their AFC South lead will be tested.
20 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 21) - Ben Roethlisberger turned in his most efficient passing performance against Vic Fangio’s defense. It was only his second 100+ passer rating games in his last 12 starts. Hard to imagine the Stillers have suddenly turned a corner but they at least stopped some bleeding.
21 - Denver Broncos (LW: 16) - The Broncos are coming back to Earth after their 3-0 start against some of the NFL’s very worst teams. Teddy Bridgewater is good to help you get to a middling record at best.
22 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 23) - Well, it sure wasn’t pretty, but the Birds found a way to get a much-needed win in Charlotte. Jonathan Gannon’s defense rebounded against a bad quarterback playing behind a suspect offensive line. The D and the special teams really bailed out a bad offensive showing. The Eagles are going to need a lot more out of Jalen Hurts and Nick Sirianni moving forward.
23 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 24) - Carson Wentz balled out on Monday Night Football but it didn’t matter with his kicker and his defense letting him down. The good news for the Colts is they have some winnable games coming up while Tennessee has some tougher ones. Indy is very much alive in the AFC South. Keep playing Wentz, Colts! I’m totally not just saying this because the Eagles benefit from you doing so!
24 - Chicago Bears (LW: 25) - Justin Fields is on the board with his first win. He’s shown shown promise but he has a long way to go to have the Bears seriously contending for anything.
25 - Washington Football Team (LW: 22) - They’ve allowed the second most points in the NFL through five games. Who could’ve expected that defense would go from elite to awful?
26 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 27) - The Falcons own North Jersey after beating both the Giants and the Jets. Can the Falcons build on a breakout game for Kyle Pitts? Probably not (in a super meaningful way, at least).
27 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 26) - The Dolphins have been outscored outscored 131 to 62 since Tua Tagovailoa got hurt. The good news is that he could be back this week against the Jags. If Miami can’t beat Jacksonville, they’re serious contenders for the No. 1 overall pick ... which will be sent to Philly. The Dolphins’ decision to move back up in the 2021 NFL Draft isn’t looking so hot.
28 - New York Giants (LW: 28) - The Giants are banged up and bad. They’re well on their way for their eighth losing season in the last nine years.
29 - New York Jets (LW: 29) - Zach Wilson leads the NFL in interceptions. He has nine picks to just four touchdowns for a league-low 62.9 passer rating. It’s too early to say for sure but is it possible he’s just a bust?
30 - Detroit Lions (LW: 30) - No team has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory like the Lions. It’s a shame because they’ve played well enough to have at least one win by now. The short-term losing could help the team’s long-term outlook, though. Gotta get that new QB.
31 - Houston Texans (LW: 31) - Although they lost, Davis Mills had a really good game. Maybe there’s some hope for him? Could be the most positive Texans development since ... ?
32 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 32) - 20 losses in a row. Seven more away from breaking the NFL record. Just take the L on Urban Meyer and move on already.