2013 NFL Power Rankings Week 5: New Orleans Saints Come Up Big on Monday Night; Remain Unbeaten
2013 NFL Power Rankings: Week 5
After an exciting game between the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins--it's time to take a look at the 2013 NFL Power Rankings for Week 5.
There was plenty of hype surrounding Monday night's game as the Saints and Dolphins both entered the matchup with 3-0 records, but in the end--New Orleans was simply too much for Miami to handle on the road. Between Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham being impossible to contain to all of the turnovers by Ryan Tannehill, the Saints are clearly one of the top teams in the NFC along with the Seattle Seahawks and at this point--it's hard to imagine any defense stopping them over the rest of the season.
Along with Monday's matchup, there was plenty of excitement to take away from Week 4 between the Buffalo Bills picking off Joe Flacco five times to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots coming through with a big road win against the Atlanta Falcons. It may only be one month into the regular season, but with Week 5 right around the corner, we're beginning to see which teams are contenders and which ones are contenders.
It's crazy to think there are still five teams with a perfect record and it will certainly be interesting to see which teams can remain perfect after Week 5. Without wasting any more time, let's take a look at the 2013 NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 5.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars 0-4 (32)
At this point, each Sunday is just sad for the Jacksonville Jaguars as they were embarrassed at home once again by the Indianapolis Colts. Three interceptions by Blaine Gabbert and only 23 rushing yards by Maurice Jones-Drew shows just how bad things are in Jacksonville, but let's talk about how they've only scored 31 points in four games this season.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-4 (30)
It's hard to believe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looked like they were heading towards their first win of the 2013 season before a fourth quarter collapse against the Arizona Cardinals. Mike Glennon looked decent in his first career start (24 of 43 for 193 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions), but this is a team that has just looked flat-out awful in the month of September.
If things don't turn around soon in Tampa Bay--don't be surprised if Greg Sciano's hot seat heats up.
30. New York Giants 0-4 (28)
The only positive factor from this game for New York Giants fans was Victor Cruz (10 catches for 164 yards with one touchdown) had a monster day for fantasy football owners. Still, this offensive line is absolutely terrible and the Giants have been one of the biggest disappointments during the first month of the season.
With the way things have looked so far, Eli Manning will be lucky if he manages to make it through the entire season without getting hurt.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers 0-4 (27)
The Cleveland Browns have a better record than the Pittsburgh Steelers heading into Week 5 shows just how bad this season has been so far for Mike Tomlin and company. Once again, the Steelers attempted to rally when it was too late against the Minnesota Vikings and it's clear this team is far from the dominant level we're used to seeing each season.
Just like Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger will be lucky to make it through the regular season without getting hurt.
28. St. Louis Rams 1-3 (19)
It's hard to believe the St. Louis Rams seemed like a team capable of being a sleeper contender at the beginning of the season as they're coming off another brutal loss--this time to the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams' defense had zero answers when it came to stopping Frank Gore (153 rushing yards with one touchdown on 20 carries) and this team better figure out a way to turn things around before it's too late--especially when it comes to the struggling Sam Bradford.
27. Oakland Raiders 1-3 (26)
After a quick 14-0 start, the Oakland Raiders appeared to be on their way to getting back to .500, but the offense unfortunately couldn't get anything going once the first quarter came to an end against the Washington Redskins. When considering how poor Washington's defense has looked this season, this is an embarrassing loss for the Raiders and Matt Flynn (21 of 32 for 227 yards with one touchdown and one interception) certainly missed out on a major opportunity to prove himself as a starter in the NFL.
26. Philadelphia Eagles 1-3 (24)
Be honest--did you really think the Philadelphia Eagles had a chance on the road against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos with the way their defense has looked in the first month? Sunday's performance was absolutely pathetic for the Eagles and next weekend's matchup against the New York Giants certainly won't be an easy one.
25. Washington Redskins 1-3 (29)
After three weeks of frustration, the Washington Redskins finally came through with their first win of the season on the road against the Oakland Raiders--and it was a big one. The fact that this team managed to overcome an early 14-0 deficit shows maybe there is hope for this team after all, but there's still plenty of work that needs to be done on both sides of the ball.
Plus, let's not forget the Raiders aren't exactly the best team in the league either.
24. Minnesota Vikings 1-3 (31)
It FINALLY happened--the Minnesota Vikings managed to hold on for their first win of the season in a crucial game against the Steelers. While Adrian Peterson (140 rushing yards with two touchdowns) proved once again why he's one of the best running backs in the league, the real story from this game is how the Christian Ponder era could be coming to an end soon in Minnesota after Matt Cassel (16 of 25 for 248 yards with two touchdowns) looked impressive under center.
23. New York Jets 2-2 (20)
For some odd reason, football fans are surprised that Geno Smith has struggled at times so far this season as a rookie. Not only did Smith and the offense of the New York Jets look awful, but the defense was no match for a Tennessee Titans team that looks like a contender in the AFC over the first month of the season.
It was a surprise to see the Jets jump out to a 2-1 start and Sunday looked like the team most of us expected to see in 2013.
22. Buffalo Bills 2-2 (25)
In what may have been one of the biggest surprises of Week 4, the Buffalo Bills pulled off a huge win against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. What's even more impressive--the defense managed to pick off Joe Flacco five times.
Take all of this into consideration with the fact that E.J. Manuel (10 of 22 for 167 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions) struggled for most of the game--this was a big win for Buffalo to get back to .500.
21. Carolina Panthers 1-2 (18)
After a bye week, the Carolina Panthers hope they can continue their momentum from Week 3 in a big matchup against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Cam Newton needs to figure out a way to help fix an offense currently ranked 25th overall in the league--32nd when it comes to passing yards per game.
20. Green Bay Packers 1-2 (16)
Nobody needed the bye week more this early in the season than the Green Bay Packers as they already have two frustrating losses to the 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals. This team will always be strong contenders as long as Aaron Rodgers is healthy, but the Packers need to come up with a big win on Sunday against the Detroit Lions to avoid falling behind even more in the NFC North standings.
19. Arizona Cardinals 2-2 (23)
Give the Arizona Cardinals credit for rallying in the fourth quarter when they appeared to be on their way to a third loss of the season. Even if they were playing the Buccaneers, any win on the road is impressive and the Cardinals will certainly need all of the help they can get considering how tough the NFC West is this season.
Still, Carson Palmer needs to get out of his early funk as he's thrown more interceptions (six) than touchdowns (four) so far this season.
18. Cleveland Browns 2-2 (21)
Brian Hoyer is 2-0 as the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns and this team is tied for first place in the AFC North heading into Week 5. For a team that was apparently "tanking" when trading Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts, the Browns look rejuvenated since Hoyer took over the starting job and Jordan Cameron (10 catches for 91 yards with one touchdown) is quickly working his way up to being one of the league's top pass-catching tight ends.
17. Atlanta Falcons
If the Atlanta Falcons are going to be Super Bowl contenders, they need to figure out a way to play well against other contenders. Three losses to the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots makes this team look like they don't deserve to be on the same level as top teams in the league and Matt Ryan better figure out a way to help this team turn things around before it's too late.
16. Dallas Cowboys 2-2 (13)
Tony Romo didn't even have a bad game (27 of 37 for 244 yards with two touchdowns), but it was the defense of the Dallas Cowboys that struggled against Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers. Despite the loss, it's crazy to believe the Cowboys seem to have the best shot at winning the division as they're still in first place with a 2-2 record--which is embarrassing for the rest of the NFC East.
15. San Diego Chargers 2-2 (22)
Not only did Philip Rivers (35 of 42 for 401 yards with three touchdowns and one interception) have another impressive performance, but Antonio Gates looked like his old dominant self after catching 10 passes for 136 yards with one touchdown. The Denver Broncos may still be the favorites to win the AFC West, but the San Diego Chargers are playing good football so far in 2013 and it will be interesting to see if Rivers can keep playing at this level.
14. San Francisco 49ers 2-2 (17)
After back-to-back frustrating losses, the San Francisco 49ers needed this win against the St. Louis Rams. They may have come up on the winning end, but it's debatable when it comes to whether or not the team should be concerned over Colin Kaepernick (15 of 23 for 167 yards with two touchdowns).
The numbers are decent, but if there's anything to take away from the last couple of weeks, it would be teams look like they're starting to figure out how to contain Kaepernick--so it will be interesting to see how the quarterback performs over the next couple of weeks.
13. Cincinnati Bengals 2-2 (8)
Is it time to hit the panic button for the Cincinnati Bengals? For a team with high expectations at the beginning of the season to win the AFC North, the Bengals' offense currently ranks in the bottom half of the league and Andy Dalton has looked anything but impressive over the first four games.
Luckily, the rest of the AFC North is struggling just as much as the Bengals--so they still have a shot to turn things around.
12. Houston Texans 2-2 (9)
There's absolutely no excuse for what happened with the Houston Texans against the Seattle Seahawks--none. Why Matt Schaub would even consider throwing the ball that late in the game instead of running out the block is mind boggling and this is a game Houston will look back on knowing they should have won considering they had a 17 point lead in the second half.
11. Baltimore Ravens 2-2 (7)
How to the Baltimore Ravens go from crushing the Houston Texans to losing on the road against the Bills? The defending Super Bowl champions displayed one of their worst performances from the last couple of years as Joe Flacco threw five interceptions in the loss.
This was a game that should have been a win for Baltimore considering the favorable matchup and four weeks into the season--it's still difficult to determine what to make of the defending champs.
10. Tennessee Titans 3-1 (15)
It's time to believe in the Tennessee Titans as this team could easily have been 4-0 so far this season. Even if it was a favorable matchup for the Titans against the Jets, Jake Locker and company have looked impressive so far and this team is proving they may be the team to beat in the AFC South--but they still have plenty to prove first.
9. Chicago Bears 3-1 (4)
It was one of those days for Jay Cutler on Sunday as the quarterback looked awful against the Detroit Lions with three interceptions. The Chicago Bears pulled off some impressive wins over the first three weeks, but the Lions may have exposed this team's weakness on defense as they couldn't contain Reggie Bush (139 rushing yards with one touchdown on 18 carries) if their lives depended on it.
Regardless, this was only one game and there's no reason for the Bears to be concerned, but Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints certainly won't be an easy one.
8. Miami Dolphins 3-1 (5)
Did the pressure of being undefeated catch up with the Miami Dolphins? Give this team credit as they put up a fight with the Saints, but turnovers ended up being a costly factor as Drew Brees managed to capitalize on Miami's mistakes with two touchdown passes.
New Orleans is never an easy place to play in and there's no reason why the Dolphins still can't compete with the New England Patriots for the AFC East.
7. Detroit Lions 3-1 (14)
The Detroit Lions are one win away from matching last year's total and Sunday's win against the Bears was a huge statement that this team is a strong contender in the NFC. The Lions had one of the best overall teams on paper heading into the regular season and over the first month--they have certainly looked like it.
After missing Week 3, it was good to see Reggie Bush (139 rushing yards with one touchdown on 18 carries) display a strong performance as he continues to be a perfect fit for Detroit's offense.
6. Indianapolis Colts 3-1 (10)
There isn't much to say considering it was a win against the Jaguars, but the Indianapolis Colts continue to dominate their opponents. With young stars like Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson on the rise, the Colts seem like a team on the rise as they continue to look like one of the top teams to beat in the AFC.
5. New England Patriots 4-0 (11)
If there were any doubters about the New England Patriots before Week 4, they aren't doubting this team anymore as Tom Brady and company pulled off an impressive win on the road against the Falcons. For a team battling numerous injuries, the Patriots continue to find ways to win and once again--Brady continues to prove it doesn't matter who his weapons are as he's only going to keep finding ways to win.
Unfortunately though, losing Vince Wilfork for the season with a torn Achilles is a major blow to the defense.
4. Kansas City Chiefs 4-0 (6)
It's amazing how quickly Andy Reid has turned things around with the Kansas City Chiefs as they're arguably the biggest surprise of the 2013 season so far. The 4-0 record is impressive after their latest win against the Giants, but keep in mind they still play in the same division as Peyton Manning--which means they still have lots of business to take care of.
3. New Orleans Saints 4-0 (3)
The New Orleans Saints weren't receiving the love they deserved over the first three weeks, but Monday's win against the previously undefeated Dolphins showed just how dangerous this team can be. With one of the best offenses in the league, Drew Brees has this team rolling heading into October and the Saints certainly have what it takes to be one of the best in the NFC.
And the best part is--the defense looks much better than one year ago.
2. Seattle Seahawks 4-0 (1)
Call it luck or whatever you want, but good teams find ways to win football games in the most bizarre ways and that's exactly what happened with the Seattle Seahawks against the Texans. The Seahawks showed why you should never give up no matter what the circumstances and once again--the defense showed why they're one of the best in the league after that second-half rally to help this team remain undefeated.
1. Denver Broncos 4-0 (2)
If there's anything to take away from the first month of the regular season, it would be Peyton Manning is playing on a completely different level of his own and the Denver Broncos have one of the most dangerous offenses in the league. At this point, it's difficult to imagine any defense stopping the Broncos and at this rate--Manning will have numerous records at the end of the regular season.