NFL Power Rankings: Week Five

Does prime time really get any better than this? The 2018 QB class continues to show out and there’s a massive movement of youth turning into stars league-wide. The NFL today is beginning to look nothing like the league did just four short years ago, and that might be a good thing. A very good thing. Welcome to your Week Five NFL Power Rankings.

(1) Buffalo Bills 

Buffalo has officially put the league on notice. This defense is legitimate, having faced mass scrutiny for their dominant performances against a plethora of weak offenses, and they shut down Mahomes and company on Sunday Night Football- As much as one can really shut down Mahomes, anyway. Josh Allen made every throw he needed to and, after five weeks, the Bills have completely turned their season around.

(2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

What a surprise, Tom Brady dominates the Dolphins. Stop me if you’ve heard that headline about 40 or so times, but this may have been his best showing yet, featuring five touchdown passes and 411 yards. Antonio Brown is looking like he did in his prime, and the world seems to have forgotten about all of the drama that ended with him winding up in Tampa Bay.

(3) Los Angeles Rams

Way to bounce back. Robert Woods finally got the targets he needed, taking in a whopping 12 catches for 150 yards with no drops as L.A. proves once again that they are deep on offense. Their terrifying defense doesn’t stop making plays happen, after a rough week against Arizona they immediately regained their footing.

(4) Green Bay Packers

A win is a win, but this wasn’t how Green Bay thought that it would go. Mason Crosby missed every single kick late in the game, up until his final attempt at an overtime game-winner, which he nailed from 49 yards out. Rodgers was pedestrian, but DaVante Adams had one of the best games of his career, with over 206 yards and a TD.

(5) Los Angeles Chargers up 5

Justin- and I cannot stress this enough- Herbert. The Chargers have one of the hottest passing games in the NFL right now, and it’s no secret as to why. A combination of good offensive line play, stellar wide receivers, a quality running back and the cream of the crop from the 2020 QB draft class form a Power Rangers-esque ‘Megazord’, carving up defences.

(6) Dallas Cowboys up 1

Dallas is already the best team in their division, that much is clear, especially after the beatdown they handed to the Giants’ backups after a slew of injuries. Their red zone offense stalled out uncharacteristically, but the team moved the ball up and down the field at will. They might be making a run come January. 

(7) Baltimore Ravens up 2

Lamar Jackson: Running Back Quarterback. Lamar had the best passing game of his career, and it wasn’t particularly close. The offense’s early struggles to convert yards into points were made moot by the epic late-game comeback, and the story of this game will deservedly be about Jackson beating opponents with his arm to come from behind; The largest question that was remaining on his franchise QB checklist. A big game from Mark Andrews, too.

(8) Cleveland Browns 0

The Browns offense can feel good about this game, but with his top-two running backs combining for 222 rushing yards on the day, Baker Mayfield doesn’t get to be the hero of the story. A lot of the best teams on this list have electric, dominant offenses that can win in a lot of ways, but most of them have better passing defences than Cleveland.

(9) Arizona Cardinals down 4

A brief stumble for Arizona, as they played a premier defense, but one that should have catered to their strengths in the passing game. Instead, it was a slow slog in which they barely eked out a win, in part due to the performance of their own defensive line.

(10) Kansas City Chiefs down 10

Kansas City is in actual trouble for the first time in three years. Mahomes and the offense are still electric but stoppable, and this secondary is forcing them to put up more and more points to stay ahead; It’s unsustainable. Having missed out on all the decent talent left on the market, they’ll need to swing a trade to fix this, or keep getting caught in shootouts.

(11) New Orleans Saints up 2

We all knew what we were getting with Jameis Winston, and he never fails to deliver some of the best and worst QB play we’ve ever seen in a single gameday each week. A successful Hail Mary, a bad interception, a huge 72-yard TD, a terrible strip-sack; Winston doesn’t care about your heart rate. Alvin Kamara is invaluable to this offense.

(12) Tennessee Titans up 4

Another week, another huge game for Derrick Henry, who looks set to break all his own rushing records with an extra game this season. His first two touchdowns put the game on ice long before it was actually over, and his third was just icing on the cake. No-one will contest Henry for the rushing crown, yet again.

(13) San Francisco 49ers down 1

Trey Lance clearly has the traits necessary to succeed in the NFL, and he’s already started learning from his mistakes, but he has a long road to walk. Jimmy G will be the starter when he returns, and this defense can keep them within range until then.

(14) Indianapolis Colts up 1

Seattle should prepare to free fall in these rankings over the next six to eight weeks, as well as the NFL standings. Despite looking good in his brief action, Geno Smith is a huge step down from Russell Wilson.

(15) Seattle Seahawks down 4

We could talk about the Raiders’ bad start to the season with the ball in their hands, or the defense playing well because of their scheme and not due to any particular star power, but instead we have to touch on Gruden. His resignation leaves Vegas at a standstill, and we’re not going to know what the situation really looks like until a few weeks from now.

(16) Las Vegas Raiders down 2

We could talk about the Raiders’ bad start to the season with the ball in their hands, or the defense playing well because of their scheme and not due to any particular star power, but instead we have to touch on Gruden. His resignation leaves Vegas at a standstill, and we’re not going to know what the situation really looks like until a few weeks from now.

(17) New England Patriots up 1

Down 4 starting offensive linemen for this game, there was a significant amount of concern that the Patriots were about to be dismantled. Instead, their backup OL played a great game, giving Mac Jones all the time he needed to throw, even if those throws weren’t spectacular (and often fortunate, for two would-be interceptions were dropped). This isn’t a game to celebrate for New England, despite the ‘W’.

(18) Pittsburgh Steelers up 2

Where was this Steelers offense all season, and why did they just show up now? Najee Harris finally did what the team had expected him to do from the beginning, and Ben Roethlisberger remembered how to throw, hitting Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool whenever it mattered.

(19) Cincinnati Bengals 0

Burrow and the boys took a while to get started against Green Bay, but when they found their footing they came out swinging. Joey B to Ja’Maar Chase has become a must-see connection every gameday, and they did it all over again. Falling short due to a plethora of kicking errors, Cincy has been an inch from victory twice this season

(20) Carolina Panthers down 3

Sam Darnold was clearly feeling the loss of Christian McCaffrey against Philadelphia, and despite a dominant performance by the Carolina defense, they couldn’t overcome the debacle that was Darnold’s first bad game as a Panther. They appear to have their RB2 in Chuba Hubbard, but losing Dan Arnold to Jacksonville may have hurt this offense more than they’d like to admit.

(21) Minnesota Vikings 0

Eking out a victory at the buzzer thanks to a miracle last-second field goal drive isn’t really that much to be proud about when you do it against the Lions. Minnesota has to be pleased with the play of Justin Jefferson, but it seems that every time Dalvin Cook is inactive, this offense flails. They’ll need to find their rhythm with him on the sidelines if they want to start winning meaningful games.

(22) Washington Football Team 0

This Washington defense were expected to be one of the best units in the NFL this season, so what happened? They’re healthy, well schemed, and consistently underperforming in every important area anyway. The offense isn’t good enough to balance things, even with Gibson and McLaurin active, and the WFT need to figure things out quickly before their season goes down the drain.

(23) Miami Dolphins up 1

Jacoby Brissett played better than Tua Tagovailoa was this season against one of the NFL’s premier defenses, but it wasn’t going to be enough when their formerly dominant secondary was carved up by some of the best offensive talent in the game today. Unless they figure that out quickly, Miami is in for a long season.

(24) Denver Broncos down 1

It seems that neither Lock nor Bridgewater are the answer under centre for the Broncos, as they fail to move the ball effectively to take advantage of the field position they are consistently handed by their unbelievable defense. Half a team isn’t enough in the NFL, and there’s a lot of work still to be done in Denver.

(25) Philadelphia Eagles 0

After three quarters of absolute incompetence from every side of the ball, the Eagles finished the game like a Super Bowl contender would; Dominant defense, critical special teams plays, and a versatile offense. If they knew how to do that for four quarters, they’d be scary, but the splashy and inconsistent Philly roster just doesn’t have enough to make it work yet. A great win, but they can’t expect miracles like this moving forwards.

(26) Chicago Bears 0

A good day for Fields and friends, but the rookie needs to learn to play under pressure. He was 11/15 for almost 100 yards and a touchdown when in a clean pocket, but only 1/5 for 12 yards when pressured.

(27) Atlanta Falcons up 1

It was a long day of NFL football, starting at 9:30am in the place where football began: England. Matt Ryan is looking like the Matty Ice of old, Kyle Pitts finally breaks out in London, scooping up his first career touchdown amongst his nine catches for 119 yards. This offense is starting to gel, and could put up big points against a lot of teams league-wide.

(28) New York Giants down 1

New York is in trouble, losing just about everyone to the feared blue tent in the course of their loss to Dallas on Sunday. Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, and a number of other names all went down, and most of them wouldn’t return. No idea what happens in week six for the battered and beaten Giants as they play host to the L.A. Rams, but it won’t be pretty.

(29) Houston Texans up 1

The Texans were the best team in this game for 45 minutes, then it all fell apart in epic fashion. Davis Mills was electric and, after a tough series of games to start his career, he’s started to make a case for remaining the starting QB over Tyrod Taylor when he comes off injured reserve. This roster is still awful, but a great day by a QB is always enough to lift a team above their standing.

(30) New York Jets down 1

Perhaps Jets fans should begin to worry; Zack Wilson hasn’t done much so far. Wilson couldn’t get started, with one pick and one completion to summarize his first three drives, and the offense had to rely on a weak Falcons secondary hurting themselves to gain any real yardage. Their late comeback fell short against a team that had allowed more passing TDs than any team in the league. 

(31) Detroit Lions 0

If you’re looking for bright sparks in this game, the Lions defense is possibly the only one. Their coaches did them a disservice with their play-calling, and the offense let everyone down in the end, but we maintain that this team could trap a lot of quality teams who overlook them.

(32) Jacksonville Jaguars

As Trevor Lawrence eases into the pace of the NFL, he’s bound to have some growing pains, but this game made him look almost good. With absolutely no support, and a seemingly inept coaching staff, he’s flashed. If they had any talent around him, he could actually get them to win games.

Iestyn Harris
One of the owners The Sports Wave, and a Journalist at Buffalo Fanatics, I'm an English immigrant living in Canada. A huge Buffalo Bills fan, I also love my Boston Celtics, Toronto Blue Jays, and Queens Park Rangers.

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