NFL Power Rankings Poll Week 5: Chiefs Take Over the Top, Eagles and Bears Climb

After a gutsy road win, K.C. edges out New England for No. 1, while Philly and Chicago make big jumps back into the top 10. Elsewhere, the Vikings, Ravens and Colts tumble and Washington challenges Miami’s grip on the bottom.
By SI Staff ,

This week’s voters:

Andy Benoit, Staff Writer
Andrew Brandt, Business of Football Columnist
Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Jonathan Jones, Staff Writer
Kalyn Kahler, Writer/Producer
Robert Klemko, Senior Writer
Bette Marston, Associate Editor
Mark Mravic, Executive Editor
Conor Orr, Staff Writer
Jenny Vrentas, Senior Writer

1. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (4-0)

Previous rank: 2
Points in poll: 315
Highest-place vote: 1 (6 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 3 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Detroit, 34-30
This week: vs. Indianapolis

Chiefs vault Patriots for first time this season, thanks to quality of wins and opposition. K.C. and New England could jockey at the top of these rankings until they actually play on Dec. 8.

2. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (4-0)

Previous rank: 1
Points in poll: 314
Highest-place vote: 1 (4 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 2 (6 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Buffalo, 16-10
This week: at Washington

Five more sacks and three more interceptions for a defense that’s allowed just one TD over four games. But Tom Brady had his lowest-rated performance in 13 years. What gives?

3. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (3-1)

Previous rank: 8
Points in poll: 284
Highest-place vote: 2 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 8 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Dallas, 12-10
This week: vs. Tampa Bay

The league’s 24th-ranked defense played stifling at the right times against the Cowboys. This team can win big games without scoring big.

4. DALLAS COWBOYS (3-1)

Previous rank: 4
Points in poll: 282
Highest-place vote: 4 (5 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 7 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to New Orleans, 12-10
This week: vs. Green Bay

The first real test against a tough team didn’t go quite as game-planned. Maybe pump the brakes on the Kellen Moore Canton testimonials?

5. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (2-2)

Previous rank: 15
Points in poll: 280
Highest-place vote: 3 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 7 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Green Bay, 34-27
This week: vs. N.Y. Jets

Iggles jump 10 spots with impressive road win over the Packers, back to where lots of people expected this teamed to be in the first place.

6. LOS ANGELES RAMS (3-1)

Previous rank: 3
Points in poll: 264
Highest-place vote: 3 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Tampa Bay, 55-40
This week: at Seattle (Thurs)

Sean McVay’s troops have just four days to regroup after that stunner against the Bucs. Last year’s two wins over the Seahawks were by a combined seven points.

7. GREEN BAY PACKERS (3-1)

Previous rank: 5
Points in poll: 255
Highest-place vote: 4 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 10 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Philadelphia, 34-27
This week: at Dallas

Beware, Aaron Rodgers: You are in danger of losing your facial-hair-swag crown to Gardner Minshew.

8. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (3-1)

Previous rank: 13
Points in poll: 254
Highest-place vote: 3 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Arizona, 27-10
This week: vs. L.A. Rams (Thurs)

Two votes at 17? A couple of our voters are still not impressed. The loser of this week’s NFC West Thursday nighter could be in an early-season hole in a tight division.

9. CHICAGO BEARS (3-1)

Previous rank: 17
Points in poll: 241
Highest-place vote: 7 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 10 (4 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Minnestoa, 16-6
This week: at Oakland

Yes, the defense is a terror, but it won’t matter if the Bears can’t score—which means Eddy Piñeiro might end up Chicago’s offensive MVP.

10. DETROIT LIONS (2-1-1)

Previous rank: 14
Points in poll: 232
Highest-place vote: 6 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (4 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Kansas City, 34-30
This week: Bye

Four-place jump after a loss? The Lions had Patrick Mahomes and company on the ropes; to take the next step they’ll have to learn how to close out those kinds of games­­.

11. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (3-0)

Previous rank: 11
Points in poll: 208
Highest-place vote: 10 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 15 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: Cleveland (Mon)

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who took over the worst unit in the league in 2017 and lifted it to third so far this year, is getting some notice as a head coaching candidate.

12. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2-2)

Previous rank: 16
Points in poll: 201
Highest-place vote: 10 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Miami, 30-10
This week: vs. Denver

Miami actually played the Chargers tight for two quarters. Melvin Gordon’s return can’t hurt.

13. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (2-2)

Previous rank: 7
Points in poll: 197
Highest-place vote: 9 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 18 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Chicago, 16-6
This week: at N.Y. Giants

“You have to be able to throw the ball, you have to be able to make plays, you have to be able to hit the deep balls.” Adam Thielen has an idea of what ails the Vikes’ passing attack.

14. BALTIMORE RAVENS (2-2)

Previous rank: 6
Points in poll: 196
Highest-place vote: 10 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Cleveland, 40-25
This week: at Pittsburgh

The glow is beginning to fade. Ravens D gave up 530 yards to Cleveland, fourth-most in team history, and emotions flared in the postgame locker room.

15. TENNESSEE TITANS (2-2)

Previous rank: 19
Points in poll: 172
Highest-place vote: 13 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Atlanta, 24-10
This week: vs. Buffalo

Marcus Mariota has yet to throw an interception, and after suffering 17 sacks through the first three games he got out of the Atlanta game clean.

16. CLEVELAND BROWNS (2-2)

Previous rank: 20
Points in poll: 171
Highest-place vote: 14 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Baltimore, 40-25
This week: at San Francisco (Mon)

A confident and convincing win for the preseason darlings over the early-season darlings. Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb tore through what had been a good Ravens D.

17. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (2-2)

Previous rank: 9
Points in poll: 170
Highest-place vote: 9 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Oakland, 31-24
This week: at Kansas City

All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard and starting safety Clayton Geathers are in the concussion protocol, status uncertain, as Indy’s D prepares for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Yikes.

18. BUFFALO BILLS (3-1)

Previous rank: 12
Points in poll: 164
Highest-place vote: 14 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to New England, 16-6
This week: at Tennessee

With Josh Allen’s status up in the air, the Bills may have to lean even harder on the ageless Frank Gore. Buffalo’s rushing attack ranks fourth in the league, but Allen accounts for 22% of it.

19T. CAROLINA PANTHERS (2-2)

Previous rank: 22
Points in poll: 140
Highest-place vote: 17 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Houston, 16-10
This week: vs. Jacksonville

Ron Rivera has reshaped the defense and is calling plays on that side. The result: Carolina’s D is fourth in the league and has 14 sacks over the last two games.

19T. HOUSTON TEXANS (2-2)

Previous rank: 10
Points in poll: 140
Highest-place vote: 15 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Carolina, 16-10
This week: vs. Atlanta

If more reporters asked questions like this, and more players gave answers like this, we’d all know a lot more about what goes on in an NFL game. Also, Deshaun Watson has been sacked 18 times and deserves better.

21. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (2-2)

Previous rank: 25
Points in poll: 134
Highest-place vote: 17 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat L.A. Rams, 55-40
This week: at New Orleans

Is the Bruce Arians-Byron Leftwich effect taking hold? Jameis Winston has passed for 765 yards and seven TDs in the last two games—and might be cementing his future in Tampa.

22. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-2)

Previous rank: 21
Points in poll: 110
Highest-place vote: 20 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (4 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Denver, 26-24
This week: at Carolina

If Leonard Fournette finds his legs and Gardner Minshew continues to play smart and efficient, Jacksonville might yet contend. The division is a total toss-up at this point.

23. ATLANTA FALCONS (1-3)

Previous rank: 18
Points in poll: 93
Highest-place vote: 22 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Tennessee, 24-10
This week: at Houston

Banged-up O-line allowed five sacks of Matt Ryan, just one of a slew of problems on this lackluster team.

24. NEW YORK GIANTS (2-2)

Previous rank: 24
Points in poll: 89
Highest-place vote: 23 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Washington, 24-3
This week: vs. Minnesota

They’re 2-0 under Daniel Jones, but the mounting injuries threaten to derail the train.

25. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (1-3)

Previous rank: 23
Points in poll: 80
Highest-place vote: 24 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Cincinnati, 27-3
This week: vs. Baltimore

Against Cincy, Pittsburgh designed short, safe routes for Mason Rudolph to get the young starter some confidence. Let’s see how that factors in against Baltimore.

26. OAKLAND RAIDERS (2-2)

Previous rank: 26
Points in poll: 78
Highest-place vote: 21 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Indianapolis, 31-24
This week: vs. Chicago

Derek Carr has had a 100-plus passer rating in three of four games and is completing a career-high 72.1 percent of his throws. The next Rich Gannon?

27. DENVER BRONCOS (0-4)

Previous rank: 27
Points in poll: 59
Highest-place vote: 26 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Jacksonville, 26-24.
This week: at L.A. Chargers

A bleak season got worse with word that Bradley Chubb will be out for the year with a torn ACL.

28. CINCINNATI BENGALS (0-4)

Previous rank: 30
Points in poll: 51
Highest-place vote: 27 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Pittsburgh, 27-3
This week: vs. Arizona

After his umpteenth sack in a dismal drubbing by the Steelers, Andy Dalton had just a hint of that I have $80 million in the bank; do I really need this? look.

29. ARIZONA CARDINALS (0-3-1)

Previous rank: 28
Points in poll: 40
Highest-place vote: 28 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Seattle, 27-10
This week: at Cincinnati

Kyler Murray has attempted 169 passes in his first four NFL games. Only two QBs in NFL history have thrown more in their first four: Andrew Luck and … Mike Glennon?

30. NEW YORK JETS (0-3)

Previous rank: 31
Points in poll: 36
Highest-place vote: 28 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (6 voters)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: at Philadelphia

Sam Darnold could be back from mono, but the Jets will need to get better across the board to avoid 0-4.

31. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (0-4)

Previous rank: 29
Points in poll: 20
Highest-place vote: 31 (10 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (10 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to N.Y. Giants, 24-3
This week: New England

Go back to an ineffective Case Keenum, or throw rookie Dwayne Haskins to the wolves? As The MMQB’s Conor Orr notes, there are no good QB answers for Jay Gruden.

32. MIAMI DOLPHINS (0-4)

Previous rank: 32
Points in poll: 10
Highest-place vote: 32 (10 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (10 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to L.A. Chargers, 30-10
This week: Bye

The way would-be Dolphins pass-catchers are dropping the ball, you’d think they had something against Josh Rosen. Miami has the worst point differential (-137) ever through four games.

Question or comment? Email us at talkback@themmbq.com.

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