NFL Power Rankings Week 6: Skilled Defensive Teams Dominating Top 5
NFL Power Rankings Are Becoming Impossible Lists to Create
Welcome back to my Rant Sports NFL Power Rankings. If you take a look at last week's list, you might come to the conclusion that I have no idea what I'm talking about. What do I mean by that? 10 teams ranked lower than their opponents in my power rankings won their matchup, so essentially there were 10 upsets out of 14 total matchups, according to me at least.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who had that many upsets from his rankings, and I promise I'm not as clueless as that stat would seem to indicate. One thing is for sure, parity is alive and well in the NFL.
Probably the biggest surprise of the weekend was a tie between the Cleveland Browns finally getting a win and the New York Giants upsetting the San Francisco 49ers the way that they did. The Browns beat the Cincinnati Bengals for their first win of the season, climbing them out of the cellar for the first time in a few weeks.
The No. 10 team beating the No. 3 team (from last week's rankings) doesn't seem like that big of a shock, but the way they put a beating on the 49ers was both impressive and not at all expected. Well, maybe it was expected by the Giants players and coaches.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) (Last Week: 31)
The Jacksonville Jaguars were on a bye this week, but with the Browns getting a win they fall back to the worst team in the NFL.
31. Kansas City Chiefs (1-5) (Last Week: 30)
The Kansas City Chiefs were demolished by the Bucs on Sunday Things are just not going right at all for the Chiefs.
30. Cleveland Browns (1-5) (Last Week: 32)
The Cleveland Browns were able to finally get a win after a couple of close calls in the first few games of the year. They played very well across the board and feel like they could be heading in the right direction, at least as far as the next couple of years are concerned.
29. New Orleans Saints (1-4) (Last Week: 28)
The New Orleans Saints were on a bye this week, but their defense still gave up a million yards (joke).
28. Carolina Panthers (1-4) (Last Week: 27)
The bye came at a good time for the Carolina Panthers, who had much higher expectations than the results they are getting on the field. Ron Rivera is on the hot seat.
27. Oakland Raiders (1-4) (Last Week: 22)
Oakland Raiders have been so up and down it's ridiculous. They got hammered by the Dolphins, beat the Steelers, got smashed by the Broncos and hung tough with the Falcons on Sunday. They are still mostly losing, so they deserve to be this low.
26. Tennessee Titans (2-4) (Last Week: 29)
In one of the many upsets over the weekend, the Tennessee Titans got things started on Thursday night with an upset of the Steelers. They can be a decent team, but they are just wildly inconsistent.
25. Indianapolis Colts (2-3) (Last Week: 19)
Clearly the Indianapolis Colts were riding a wave of emotion in their comeback win over the Packers last week. They came back down to Earth against the Jets in a blowout loss.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) (Last Week: 25)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers showed how good they can be when they reach their full potential, though it's not that impressive since it was against the Chiefs.
23. New York Jets (3-3) (Last Week: 24)
It is difficult to get a read on the New York Jets, but one thing is clear is I doubt they're a playoff team without Darrelle Revis or Santonio Holmes in the mix.
22. Cincinnati Bengals (3-3) (Last Week: 15)
The Cincinnati Bengals have back-to-back losses now and just lost to one of the worst teams in the league. Their playoff chances take a huge hit after that, but the AFC is so wide open and average we just don't know.
21. Buffalo Bills (3-3) (Last Week: 26)
The Buffalo Bills bounced back from two embarrassing losses to upset the Cardinals on the road. They got help from Arizona kicker Jay Feeley, but a win is a win.
20. Detroit Lions (2-3) (Last Week: 23)
The Detroit Lions got an impressive come from behind win over the Eagles on Sunday, but they have some ground to cover in their division. It starts with the Bears next week on Monday Night Football.
19. San Diego Chargers (3-3) (Last Week 18)
The San Diego Chargers used several turnovers to propel them to a 24-0 lead over the Broncos, but then Philip Rivers happened. He turned the ball over five times and the Broncos capitalized by scoring 35 consecutive points. It was one of the worst collapses I've ever seen. It ties the largest comeback for a road team in NFL history and ties the largest comeback on Monday Night Football.
18. Dallas Cowboys (2-3) (Last Week: 17)
The Dallas Cowboys are 2-3, but they have lost to three top 10 teams in my power rankings. Let's wait a little before we call their season a waste.
17. St. Louis Rams (3-3) (Last Week: 12)
After two surprising wins over the Seahawks and Cardinals, the St. Louis Rams had a disappointing loss to the Dolphins on Sunday. Their normally solid kicker Greg Zuerline missed a 66 yard field goal to win the game, though it had the distance. It may have been the best missed field goal in NFL history.
16. Miami Dolphins (3-3) (Last Week: 21)
The Miami Dolphins have two straight wins against some tough teams and nearly upset the Cardinals on the road three weeks ago. We may have to start taking them seriously.
15. Washington Redskins (3-3) (Last Week: 20)
The Washington Redskins are up and down this year, but Robert Griffin III is so explosive he gives them a chance to beat just about anyone in the NFL. He became the first player ever with a 75 yard pass and 75 yard run in the same season. Not bad.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) (Last Week: 9)
I don't know what to think about the Philadelphia Eagles at this point. They have great wins over the Giants and Ravens, but poor losses to the Cardinals (blowout loss) and Lions. They gave up a 10 point lead in the fourth quarter to the Lions, and Michael Vick is still turning the ball over way too much. Still, they are just one game out of first place.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3) (Last Week: 8)
Nothing went well in the Pittsburgh Steelers' loss to the Titans last Thursday. Though they sit at 2-3, the rest of the AFC is so average they still have a legitimate shot at the Wild Card.
12. Minnesota Vikings (4-2) (Last Week: 11)
The Minnesota Vikings lost to the Redskins pretty soundly on the road, which isn't a huge deal for a young team. They still have an impressive resumé and a good chance to compete for at least a wild card spot. That is if Christian Ponder can continue to take care of the football.
11. Denver Broncos (3-3) (Last Week: 16)
The Monday night game against the Chargers could not have started out worse for the Denver Broncos. They had three early turnovers, but making matters worse is two of them were on special teams. But the Chargers absolutely collapsed, giving up 35 consecutive points in the second half. You cannot keep giving Peyton Manning a short field and expect to keep him down, which is exactly what the Chargers were doing.
10. New England Patriots (3-3) (Last Week: 7)
It's never easy to go into Seattle and get a win, but the New England Patriots cannot feel good about blowing a 13 point lead in the fourth quarter. They squandered many chances to put the Seahawks away.
9. Arizona Cardinals (4-2) (Last Week: 6)
I don't know what to make of the Arizona Cardinals anymore. They have good wins against the Eagles and Patriots, but a couple bad losses to the Rams and Bills. Losing Kevin Kolb may hurt, as John Skelton threw an interception in overtime that gave the Bills a chip shot field goal to win it.
8. Seattle Seahawks (4-2) (Last Week: 14)
The Seattle Seahawks take a huge jump in my power rankings. Any time you beat the Patriots you deserve credit. Any time you come from down 13 in the fourth quarter you deserve credit. The Seahawks did both in this game.
7. Green Bay Packers (3-3) (Last Week: 13)
Let's be honest, the Green Bay Packers should be 4-2 but got screwed by the replacement referees. They demolished the former No. 1 team in my power rankings on the road, and appear to be back to their dominant selves. Aaron Rodgers had a classic answer when asked about the team's critics, responding with a simple "Shhhhhhh."
6. San Francisco 49ers (4-2) (Last Week: 3)
I don't think this past Sunday could have gone any worse for the San Francisco 49ers, who were absolutely hammered by the Giants in front of their home crowd. Alex Smith was awful, the Giants jumped out to a 17-3 lead and the 49ers could not recover. Trusting Smith turned out terribly, as he threw two crucial second half interceptions that ended their hopes of a comeback.
5. New York Giants (4-2) (Last Week: 10)
It is quite clear that the New York Giants can beat anyone they want if they play as well as they did on Saturday. The funny thing is the offense did not play all that well, but they took care of the football and made plays when they had to. It was all about the defense, who was dominant despite still missing key players like Chris Canty and Kenny Phillips. The sky is the limit for this team, they just have to play like this every week. Unfortunately that is easier said than done.
4. Chicago Bears (4-1) (Last Week: 5)
The Chicago Bears were on a bye last week, but have a tough test against the Lions coming up. If their defense plays like it has all season there aren't many teams that can beat them.
3. Houston Texans (5-1) (Last Week: 1)
On the surface losing to a 2-3 team might make you think the Houston Texans should drop more than two spots, but they are still 5-1. They met a desperate Packers team who is still one of the more explosive offensive teams in the league. When they are clicking like they were Sunday night no one can stop them, much less a team missing their starting Pro Bowl middle linebacker for the first week.
2. Baltimore Ravens (5-1) (Last Week: 4)
Prediction: You will start to see the Baltimore Ravens dropping down this list in the next few weeks. They lost both Ray Lewis and starting corner Lardarius Webb for the season. Those are killer injuries that they won't be able to recover from. They might still make the playoffs, but their Super Bowl chances took a massive hit this weekend.
1. Atlanta Falcons (6-0) (Last Week: 2)
This shouldn't come as a shock. The Atlanta Falcons are the only remaining undefeated team in the league. Until they get knocked off they'll remain at the top. They've had a couple close calls, including one with the Raiders this weekend, but are finding a way to win those games and building character in the process.