1. Minnesota Vikings (5-0; Last Ranking: 2)
For the next two weeks, the Vikings will sit atop these rankings as the only undefeated team in football (they have a bye next week). We’ve talked about the defense, but Sam Bradford is putting up the best QB stats in Minnesota since Brett Favre’s 2009 season.
2. New England Patriots (4-1; Last Ranking: 3)
Brady is back, and the rest of the NFL should be worried. After a tumultuous offseason for the Patriots, it is all over now with TB12 back on the field. If this team plays well, they will be in position for a first round bye and a deep playoff run.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1; Last Ranking: 6)
It is simple: when this offense plays to its full potential, there are zero defenses in the NFL that can stop them. As of right now, Big Ben is on pace for 4,800 yards and 48 touchdowns. When will people start talking about him as an MVP candidate?
4. Green Bay Packers (3-1; Last Ranking: 5)
The Packers defense is legit, which is why many pegged them as a Super Bowl favorite in the preseason. However, something just looked off about this team on Sunday Night. Their win sets up a fun rematch with the Cowboys at Lambeau next week.
5. Atlanta Falcons (4-1; Last Ranking: 11)
The Falcons might be legit. Notice the words “might be”. Remember when they starter 5-0 last year, only to finish the season 3-8? Right now they are the 5th best team in the NFL. If they beat the ‘Hawks in Seattle next week, that might prove some doubters wrong.
6. Denver Broncos (4-1; Last Ranking: 1)
After sitting at #1 on the power rankings last week, the Broncos fall out of the top 5 after losing at home. It isn’t so much that they lost, it is the fact that their defense was overmatched at times. They travel to San Diego tomorrow for Thursday night.
7. Seattle Seahawks (3-1; Last Ranking: 7)
After a bye in week 5, the Seahawks look to continue their hot streak against the red-hot Atlanta Falcons
8. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1; Last Ranking: 4)
The Eagles have’t won a game since week three, which sounds way worse than it is. However, after a bye and three wins, you would have hoped the Eagles would win in Detroit. They travel to D.C. next week.
9. Oakland Raiders (4-1; Last Ranking: 12)
The Raiders have allowed the most yards in the NFL, and they’re also 24th in points allowed in the NFL. Yet somehow they sit here with a 4-1 record, likely due to a cake-walk of a schedule. The good news for them is it doesn’t get a lot tougher.
10. Dallas Cowboys (4-1; Last Ranking: 17)
The Cowboys are legit, and Dak Prescott is too. This is eerily reminiscent of the way Russell Wilson bursted onto the scene four years ago. Their next six games are really tough, but the ‘Boys proved themselves against the Bengals.
11. Buffalo Bills (3-2; Last Ranking: 20)
Similar to the Redskins below, the Bills start 0-2 and have since caught fire. Their schedule has been tough, with wins over Arizona, New England, and L.A. Their next two games are against San Francisco and Miami.
12. Washington Redskins (3-2; Last Ranking: 21)
The Redskins started 0-2, but have since reeled off victories over the Giants, Browns, and Ravens. Next week, the Redskins play the Eagles and have an opportunity to really assert themselves in the division race.
13. Baltimore Ravens (3-2; Last Ranking: 8)
The Ravens started 3-0, and have dropped two games to the Raiders and the Redskins. Their schedule gets much tougher the rest of the way: Cincy twice, Pittsburgh twice, Philly, @ New England, and @ Dallas. Are they for real?
14. Arizona Cardinals (2-3; Last Ranking: 14)
The Cardinals are a good team, but they have to start playing winning football. Taking down the Buccaneers was a good step in the right direction. They have a chance to move to 3-3 with a MNF win at home over the Jets.
15. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2; Last Ranking: 15)
The Chiefs are the only 2-2 team in the NFL. After a week 5 bye, they travel to Oakland in week 6.
16. Houston Texans (3-2; Last Ranking: 10)
After looking like one of the NFL’s best teams in the first three weeks of the season, the Texans have lost JJ Watt and two games since then. Brock Osweiler looks bad, and RB Miller hasn’t been productive at all.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3; Last Ranking: 9)
What is going on with the Bengals? It just looks like this team isn’t motivated to play in these games. They have the talent, depth, and coaching to win 12 games, but something just always seems to go wrong in Cincy.
18. Los Angeles Rams (3-2; Last Ranking: 16)
Are the Rams as bad as they looked in week 1? Of course not. Are they as good as they showed in weeks 2-4? Also an overwhelming no. Like most Jeff Fisher-coached teams, the Rams are a .500 football team.
19. Indianapolis Colts (2-3; Last Ranking: 23)
The Colts are going to force Andrew Luck to run for his life again this year. However, regardless of anything that has gone on in recent years, they are still in the division race. If they weren’t in the worst division in football, Pagano and Grigson would have lost their jobs a long time ago.
20. New York Giants (2-3; Last Ranking: 19)
Remember when everyone thought the Giants were legit? You can’t buy wins in the NFL; winning comes from culture and chemistry. Based on what happened on Sunday Night, the Giants need to start building team chemistry and fast.
21. Carolina Panthers (1-4; Last Ranking: 13)
The Panthers have three more losses through five games than they did the entire regular season in 2015. Their meltdown on Monday Night was tough to watch, even if it wasn’t with Cam Newton. This team now finds itself three games back of ATL.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3; Last Ranking: 22)
Jacksonville had a week 5 bye, and will match up with the Bears in Chicago next week.
23. New York Jets (1-4; Last Ranking: 18)
The Jets have had a brutal schedule this season. But guess what Jets fans: your season isn’t over! A win over Arizona next week will put this team at 2-4 with 4 straight very winnable games. 6-4 is unlikely, but possible.
24. New Orleans Saints (1-3; Last Ranking: 24)
New Orleans spent week 5 on a bye. They will take on the the struggling Panthers at home.
25. Detroit Lions (2-3; Last Ranking: 28)
The Lions are one of the most confusing teams in the NFL. On paper, they look like they have the skill and talent to sit around .500. When you watch this team, they just always look out of sync. Next week, they take on the Rams at home.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3; Last Ranking: 30)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won one of the ugliest football games people have watched in a long time on Monday night. The Bucs did what they needed to win: don’t turn it over, win time of possession, and run the ball.
27. San Diego Chargers (1-4; Last Ranking: 25)
The Chargers can’t close out games and that is the reason they are 1-4 this year. They have a had a 2nd half lead in every single game they have played. Their four losses have come by a combined 14 points.
28. Tennessee Titans (2-3; Last Ranking: 29)
The Titans are simply not that great. They have some very talented pieces on both sides on the ball, but their roster is just full of holes. They did look good this weekend, but Miami has been having that effect on people this year.
29. Miami Dolphins (1-4; Last Ranking: 26)
The Dolphins are bad, there is really no other way to put it. After a nationally televised trouncing in week 4 against the Bengals, they were taken down by the lowly Titans. This offensive line cannot block anyone. They host Pittsburgh next week.
30. Chicago Bears (1-4; Last Ranking: 27)
Losing on Sunday was probably a better thing for the Bears in the long run. They should be trying to find their quarterback of the future in this next draft, and the more losses they can accumulate, the better it will be next year.
31. San Francisco 49ers (1-4; Last Ranking: 31)
The 49ers are not good, and playing a Carson Palmer-less Cardinals team didn’t even help them. The team has to decide if it wants to go with Blaine Gabbert moving forward, or see if they can squeeze whatever is left out of Kaepernick.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-5; Last Ranking: 32)
Cleveland had no chance to win the game they played on Sunday. Starting multiple back ups, including a rookie 3rd string quarterback, and going against Tom Brady in his first game back from suspension is not a recipe for success.
Photo courtesy of NFL Spin Zone