Sconnie Sports Talk

NFL Power Rankings: Week 6

LeVeon Bell is clearly the MVP of the Steelers without Ben Roethlisberger.
(Picture from

1. New England Patriots (Last week: 1)

Another week, another dominate performance by the New England Patriots. Tom Brady is playing out of his mind, the defense is improving, and the weapons on offense seem to be more than enough for this team to win. Julian Edelman is averaging 8.5 catches for 100 yards per game this year.

2. Green Bay Packers (Last week: 2)

In a shocking turn of events, Aaron Rodgers may be human. The good news is this team is above-average in nearly every facet of the game, except run defense here and there. Todd Gurley gashed this team; fortunately Nick Foles couldn’t do much.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 3)

The Bengals had no business winning that game, but here we are at 5-0. Andy Dalton is 3rd in touchdowns, 2nd in yards, 3rd in passer rating, all while throwing two interceptions in five games. Outside of him, this offensive line is playing out of their minds right now.

4. Denver Broncos (Last week: 4)

The difference between a team everyone thinks is elite right now (Cincy, GB, and NE) and the Broncos boils down to one positional group: the offensive line. Those three teams have great OLs; look what Dalton, Rodgers, and Brady are doing. The Broncos have the best defense in the NFL, but the offensive line is one of the five worst in the league.

5. Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 6)

Unlike past weeks, the Falcons really had to gut this one out against a physical Redskins team. Devonta Freeman is quickly becoming one of the elite playmakers at the running back position. Matt Ryan is also showing smarter football as his career progresses. This Sunday wasn’t his best performance, but it is the reason we call him Matty Ice.

6. Arizona Cardinals (Last week: 8)

Arizona had a bad Week 4 from start to finish, but rallied back to destroy the Lions. The Cardinals seem to have a defense that isn’t statistically dominant, but makes plays at incredibly opportune times. None of the numbers on defense indicate that this team is playing great football, but it doesn’t matter when your QB throws 13 touchdowns in five weeks, and you average an NFL-best five yards per rush.

7. Carolina Panthers (Last week: 7)

Carolina stays put on their bye week. They travel to Seattle next week; Luke Kuechly has been cleared to play.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week: 9)

After losing the game the week before, Mike Tomlin came back and won the game with his play call. Michael Vick stepped up in the fourth quarter, and Le’Veon Bell might be the best running back in football. Pittsburgh allows 19 points per game on defense, good for 7th (tied) in the NFL. When Big Ben returns to the field, you better expect that he will score at least 20 points per game.

9. Seattle Seahawks (Last week: 5)

No one really knows how to feel about Seattle right now. Is the offensive line really this bad? Probably not. The real question is how the defense managed to blow a 24-7 fourth quarter lead. This team is lacking an identity right now, and that identity’s name is Marshawn Lynch. It’s alsoworth noting that Seattle started 3-3 last year before going to the Super Bowl.

10. New York Jets (Last week: 10)

A bye week for the Jets post-London. Next week should be a physical matchup with the Redskins.

11. Minnesota Vikings (Last week: 11)

After a bye week, the next five game for the Vikings are: vs. Chiefs, @ Lions, @ Bears, vs. Rams, and @ Raiders. Please find one game on there that the Vikings won’t be favored in.

12. Buffalo Bills (Last week: 12)

The Bills are a really interesting team to try and figure out. One part of you loves that defense and their 3-2 record. The other side watched them get blown out by New England (which seems to be happening to everyone), lose to the Giants, and almost lose to Tennessee. Everyone was sold early, but now people have doubts in Rex Ryan’s team.

13. Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 13)   

3-2 after an 0-2 start. The Colts are better than they played the first two weeks, but does anyone really think they can even kind of hang with the Patriots right now? Andrew Luck needs to get healthy before it’s too late. I’m sure Indy will end up making the playoffs, simply because they share a division with Houston, Tennessee, and Jacksonville.

14. New York Giants (Last week: 18)

The Giants are your NFC East leaders right now. New York came back in dramatic fashion against the 49ers and now they are one of only five teams in the NFC to have a record above .500. Eli Manning is having an MVP-like season with top-10 QB rankings in all the major statistical categories.

15. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 14)

How bad is the Cowboys’ offense without Romo and Bryant? Some weeks we see this defense play well, but they have not been consistent. The Cowboys are one of seven teams with a 2-3 record in the NFC.

16. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 21)

It’s hardly impressive beating the Saints this year, but Philly absolutely throttled New Orleans in every facet of the game. Bradford has strung together two good games in a row, and the running back committee is working effectively. Next week, the Giants and Eagles will compete for the division lead on Monday night.

17. St. Louis Rams (Last week: 15)

Todd Gurley looks like he is the real deal, as he was the only thing that was working for the Rams offense this past week. It’s hard to find little victories when you lose by two touchdowns, but they held GB to two offensive scores, and turned Rodgers over four times!

18. San Diego Chargers (Last week: 16)

What a heartbreaking loss for the Chargers. San Diego now sits at 2-3 in a much clearer AFC playoff picture. The season is still young and the Chargers still have time to move up, but they need to start getting healthy. Every year it seems we are talking about a depleted Chargers team, and this year is no different.

19. Cleveland Browns (Last week: 24)

Josh McCown threw for 457 yards and came back from behind to beat the Ravens on the road. While Cleveland’s run defense may be spotty, this pass defense held a weapon-less Joe Flacco in check on Sunday. Also, if you don’t know who Gary Barnidge is, watch the catch he made this week.

20. Washington Redskins (Last week: 23)

Even though the Redskins lost, they pushed a 5-0 Falcons team to overtime. Kirk Cousins losing the game on an OT pick-6 is mildly hilarious, just considering all the issues surrounding this team at the QB position. Outside of that, the Redskins are playing good, physical football right now, and are only 1 game out of the division lead.

21. Oakland Raiders (Last week: 20)

Oakland showed up on Sunday, but they just didn’t have enough offense to get it done. Denver clearly has one of the best defenses in the NFL, but Oakland has to do better than 10 points. As much as the defense has kept this team in games, the offense has lost games for them.

22. Chicago Bears (Last week: 32)

“Two wins in a row for the Chicago Bears” is a phrase I did not expect to say this season. It really is worth noting that the Bears have been competitive in every game Jay Cutler has played.

23. Baltimore Ravens (Last week: 19)

The Ravens are now 1-4, with their lone win over a Michael Vick-led Steelers team in overtime. Last week I said that they should be able to beat both Cleveland and San Francisco, but that clearly wasn’t the case. The Baltimore secondary is a candidate for worst position group in the NFL.

24. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 17)

After losing to the Bears, the Chiefs fall to 1-4 and sit 4 games behind the Broncos in the AFC West. This team has to start turning things around fast, but it won’t be easy after losing their team’s best player for the rest of the season in Jamaal Charles. Next week they travel to Minnesota, in what will not be an easy game.

25. Houston Texans (Last week: 25)

Going back to Brian Hoyer is the right decision, and Bill O’Brien should have never turned to Ryan Mallett. Wade Phillips was the defensive coordinator last season in Houston, and moved to Denver this offseason. All you have to do to understand this season better is look at the change in defensive statistics in Houston from last year to this year.

26. New Orleans Saints (Last week: 22)

The Saints have a lost season. Sean Payton and Drew Brees may have used up all their success in New Orleans as it looks time for a full-blown reset in the Bayou. This defense cannot stop anybody, and this offensive line is under-performing this year to say the least.

27. Miami Dolphins (Last week: 26)

Luckily for Dolphins fans, they didn’t play this week. Next week they will travel to Tennessee.

28. Tennessee Titans (Last week: 29)

The Titans did what young teams and young quarterbacks do: lose close games late in the fourth quarter. As good as Mariota has been at times, he has been cringe-worthy at others. Some sites are rating this team around 20-23, but I don’t buy it. There is a reason this team had the No. 2 overall pick last year. They haven’t won a football game in a month.

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last week: 31)

The Buccaneers will ride Doug Martin as far as he can take them (and my fantasy team appreciates every carry). Jameis Winston almost made one of the worst plays of the season, had he not been down-by-contact. Tampa has two wins over New Orleans and Jacksonville, and will go into their bye week at 2-3.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 28)

Jacksonville lost a game to a Tampa Bay team that I thought was not as good as them. While Bortles and this offense are showing promise, this defense is weak. The Jaguars have young pieces that are slowly coming together, but that is not resulting in wins.

31. San Francisco 49ers (Last week: 30)

As good as they looked at times this past week, the NFL is a win or lose league. If you win, everything is ok for a week. If you lose, the world is on fire. The 49ers have not won a football game since September 14th and don’t look like they will be winning games anytime soon.

32. Detroit Lions (Last week: 27)

The Lions are averaging 49 yards a game running the football. Let that sink in for a second. Stafford is a perfectly capable NFL quarterback, but this offensive line is abysmal. Along with the Baltimore Ravens’ secondary, that unit is also a candidate for worst positional group in the NFL.