I’d like to welcome you all to the fourth installment of our new weekly NFL power rankings feature, to be found here each and every Thursday evening on Rant Sports. Helping me out in this season-long endeavor will be my good buddy Anthony Travalgia. We have each taken half of the NFL’s 32 teams and offered our thoughts on each in an alternating fashion. The net change from week’s rank is now listed in parenthesis. (D = Down, U = Up, E = Even).
32) Cleveland Browns (0-5) (Anthony) (E)
– The Browns have been consistently bad this season, but hey at least they are consistent at something.
31) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) (Benjamin) (D-5)
– After a 41-3 loss to the Bears in their own backyard and allowing 35 points in the game’s final 20+ minutes, have the Jaguars hit rock bottom?
30) Buffalo Bills (1-2) (Anthony) (D-2)
– Just checked the box score and no the 49ers have not stopped scoring yet, check back later.
29) New York Jets (2-3) (Benjamin) (U-2)
– I’m going to play devil’s advocate here and say that the Jets actually impressed me quite a bit this past Monday night. Despite all of their injuries, they still hung tight with one of the NFL’s most well-rounded teams.
28) Tennessee Titans (1-4) (Anthony) (U-1)
– It’s been one step forward, two steps backwards for Chris Johnson and the Titans.
27) Oakland Raiders (1-3) (Benjamin) (D-3)
– The Raiders didn’t lose last week, earning them a spot above the five disaster squads behind them.
26) Carolina Panthers (1-4) (Anthony) (D-6)
– Expectations were high for the Panthers coming into this season, Cam Newton has done a good job killing those expectations.
25) Kansas City Chiefs (1-4) (Benjamin) (E)
– Kansas City fans cheering the injury to quarterback Matt Cassel was quite possibly the most appalling thing that I’ve ever seen in football. They’ve got a long way to go towards earning back respect across the league.
24) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) (Anthony) (D-2)
– Coming off the bye, the Bucs needs to right the ship, because the ship is about to sink in Tampa.
23) New Orleans Saints (1-4) (Benjamin) (U-8)
– The Saints are a tale of two units. Their offense is not 1-4 caliber. But their defense is simply too porous for Drew Brees and the offense to overcome.
22) Denver Broncos (2-3) (Anthony) (D-12)
– Willis McGahee did a great job making sure we wouldn’t be able to see another great Peyton Manning fourth quarter comeback.
21) Detroit Lions (1-3) (Benjamin) (U-1)
– The Lions still don’t have much of a defense. On the bright side, Calvin Johnson is still Calvin Johnson.
20) Washington Redskins (2-3) (Anthony) (D-5)
– Washington gave the undefeated Falcons one heck of a game and if RG3 made it through, it could of been a different story.
19) Seattle Seahawks (3-2) (Benjamin) (D-1)
– Seattle’s defense suffocated the Carolina offense last week, holding Cam Newton under 200 yards passing (190). They’ll face a whole new animal this week with Tom Brady and the Patriots coming to town.
18) Dallas Cowboys (2-2) (Anthony) (U-1)
– Great news last weekend for Dallas as Tony Romo succeeded in not throwing any interceptions.
17) Cincinnati Bengals (3-2) (Benjamin) (D-5)
– Just when folks were about to dub the Bengals a true threat in the AFC, they lay an egg at home against Miami. Simply not a loss Cincinnati can afford when playing in such a competitive division.
16) Miami Dolphins (2-3) (Anthony) (U-5)
– The Dolphins are the second best team in the AFC East. What does that say about the AFC East?
15) San Diego Chargers (3-2) (Benjamin) (E)
– I still don’t know what to make of this team. If not for a ridiculous string of penalties, the Chargers may have been able to come from behind and take down the Saints last week at the Superdome.
14) Green Bay Packers (2-3) (Anthony) (D-3)
– Blowing a big lead to the Indianapolis Colts is not a good thing. Things are not looking good for the Packers.
13) Indianapolis Colts (2-3) (Benjamin) (U-11)
– Indy’s emotional win over the Packers last week was truly something to behold. Those are the moments that just really transcend the game.
12) Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) (Anthony) (D-5)
– Another game, another two turnovers by Michael Vick. Eventually all those turnovers will catch up to him.
11) St. Louis Rams (3-2) (Benjamin) (U-5)
– The Rams defense had their coming out party against the undefeated Cardinals last Thursday evening and should have another good week on tap with a visit to the Miami Dolphins.
10) New York Giants (3-2) (Anthony) (U-4)
– The Giants run game on Sunday was scary good, the defending champs certainly need that to continue.
9) Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) (Benjamin) (U-8)
– It wasn’t pretty, but the Steelers pulled through with a huge win over Keystone State rival Philadelphia this week. However, the bigger news is without a doubt the loss of safety Troy Polamalu. Seriously, when is Polamalu ever NOT injured?
8) Arizona Cardinals (4-1) (Anthony) (D-3)
– The Cards may need to pull healthy running backs off the streets in order to field a team for Sunday.
7) New England Patriots (3-2) (Benjamin) (U-2)
– While I still can’t trust their defense as far as I could throw them, the Patriots picked up a hugely important victory over the Broncos this week at Gillette Stadium. That win could become valuable towards the end of the year when playoff seedings are being sorted out.
6) Minnesota Vikings (4-1) (Anthony) (U-2)
– Possibly the biggest surprise in all of football with their 4-1 record.
5) Chicago Bears (4-1) (Benjamin) (U-1)
– The Bears were supremely impressive two weeks ago against Dallas and looked like world-beaters in a 41-3 rout of the Jaguars this week. Their defense has secured a spot in the NFL’s top-five.
4) Baltimore Ravens (4-1) (Anthony) (E)
– Baltimore’s defense came back to life this weekend, but then again, it was against the Kansas City Chiefs.
3) Atlanta Falcons (5-0) (Benjamin) (E)
— The Falcons struggled against an inferior opponent for the second consecutive week, but their undefeated record is certainly hard to argue with.
2) Houston Texans (5-0) (Anthony) (D-1)
– If Mark Sanchez wasn’t Mark Sanchez, we could be talking about a 4-1 Texans team.
1) San Francisco 49ers (4-1)(Benjamin) (U-1)
– The 49ers have outscored their last two opponents (New York Jets and Buffalo Bills) by a combined score of 79-3. If that’s not complete domination, I don’t know what is.
Thanks for reading!