NFL Power Rankings Week 5

Wednesday October 9th, 2013

Geno Smith tallied three touchdowns and zero interceptions against Atlanta, propelling the Jets to 3-2.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After five weeks of action, 25 of the league's 32 teams are within one game of a playoff spot -- either via the wild card or a division crown.

The number of undefeateds has dropped to three, thanks to losses by Seattle and New England. The number of winless squads, on the other hand, held firm at four, with the Giants and Jaguars looking very deserving of the bottom of the barrel.

MORE COVERAGE: How to fix struggling teams | MMQB | Player-by-player fantasy projections

There was movement again in our Power Rankings, in between steady No. 1 Denver and arguably steadier No. 32 Jacksonville. Here's how it shapes up heading in to Week 6:

NFL Power Rankings
1Denver Broncos
Last Week: 1
The Broncos are just rubbing it in now. Here's a short list of players with less rushing TDs in 2013 than Peyton Manning, after his bootleg run on Sunday: Chris Johnson, DeAngelo Williams, Ryan Mathews, Stevan Ridley, Ben Tate, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick.
2New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 3
Ten Saints have caught passes from Drew Brees ... matching the number of New Orleans defenders to register at least one sack through Week 5.
3Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 5
The Chiefs' kicker in 2003, the last time they started 5-0? Morten Andersen, who was born in 1960, the same year this franchise began playing as the Dallas Texans in the new AFL. That's apropos of nothing with regards to the 2013 Chiefs. But passing on the chance at a Morten Andersen reference makes for poor Power Rankings karma.
4Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 6
Travel advisory for anyone planning a trip to Indianapolis (which is, by the way, an awesome town that I hope lands another Super Bowl soon): Mentioning Curtis Painter's name there is like rolling into Hogwarts with an "I <3 Voldemort" T-shirt.
5Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 2
Jermaine Kearse is operating at a pretty absurd success rate this season. He has had his hands on the football eight times so far this season -- four receptions, three kick returns and a blocked punt -- resulting in two touchdowns and a forced safety.
6San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 7
Efficiency, thy name is San Francisco. The 49ers had six scoring plays in their 34-3 romp of Houston, and they needed just six Colin Kaepernick completions to make that happen.
7New England Patriots
Last Week: 4
Though Sunday's game snapped Tom Brady's streak of consecutive games with a TD pass at 52, it was the 28th time in Brady's career that he failed to throw a touchdown. Somewhat amazingly, the Patriots have a record of 16-12 in those contests.
8Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 11
"Mason Crosby was on fire today" is a real sentence that Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said aloud in a totally non-sarcastic way on Sunday. That's what a 5-for-5 effort on field-goal attempts will do for a guy.
9Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 13
Pretty fitting that Adam "Pacman" Jones sealed Cincinnati's Week 5 win with an interception in monsoon-like conditions, given Jones' history of making it rain.
10Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 16
Every once in awhile when I visit my parents' house, my mom will ask me to sort through some old possessions of mine. Occasionally, I'll find something pretty cool -- "Oh man! A Drew Bledsoe Starting Lineup figure!" This is kind of what goes on with Ray Rice and the Ravens. They'll forget about him for a week or two, then rediscover him and be thrilled, like in Sunday's win over Miami.
11Chicago Bears
Last Week: 10
Don't look now, but Alshon Jeffery's quickly becoming one of the league's best young players. He had 10 grabs for 218 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, putting him on pace for almost 1,400 yards receiving this season.
12Detroit Lions
Last Week: 8
The last Packers quarterback to lose a home game to the Lions was Mike Tomczak, in 1991. He was replaced the next season by one Brett Favre, and Detroit has rolled snake eyes at Lambeau ever since.
13Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 12
Mike Wallace has a pair of 100-yard receiving performances so far this season ... and they've both come the week after Wallace complained that he's not getting the ball enough.
14New York Jets
Last Week: 26
The ultimate piece of evidence that we all have no idea what's going to happen in the NFL would come if Rex Ryan, thought to be a dead man walkin' heading into 2013, somehow coaxed 10 wins out of this group and won Coach of the Year.
15Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 9
In the argument of the NFL's most underrated player, Titans DT Jurrell Casey might have a legitimate ... uh ... case. He's already picked up three sacks this season, matching his 2012 total, and Pro Football Focus ranks him behind only Ndamukong Suh among defensive tackles this season.
16Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 17
Woody Hayes once said, "Find a mistake-proof quarterback and you have this game won." He would not have gotten along with Tony Romo all that well.
17Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 18
When I played baseball in my youth, we always devoted the end of at least one practice to working on slides. NFL teams might want to consider a similar tactic with quarterbacks. Brian Hoyer's extremely unfortunate, untimely injury was the latest proof that very few QBs know what they're doing there.
18Houston Texans
Last Week: 14
Too much energy is being devoted to Matt Schaub's issues, and not nearly enough to the fact that Arian Foster and Ben Tate have one combined rushing touchdown. Foster has averaged 13.7 TDs alone over the past three years.
19Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 23
Kevin Kolb's numbers in five Cardinals starts last season: 3-2 record, eight touchdowns, three interceptions, an 86.1 rating and 1,169 yards. Carson Palmer's numbers through five Cardinals starts: 3-2 record, five touchdowns, nine interceptions, a 67.0 rating and 1,185 yards.
20Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 21
If you're a believer in trends, this is a positive one for the Vikings: Teams which played in the NFL's London game over the past five seasons are 7-2-1 following the subsequent mandatory bye week.
21St. Louis Rams
Last Week: 22
Credit goes to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for pointing out that the Rams have committed a staggering 17 penalties on special teams in five games. Perhaps most annoyed by that (other than perma-annoyed Jeff Fisher) may be Tavon Austin, who's had a couple of big returns called back.
22Washington Redskins
Last Week: 24
The Redskins really launched their late-season push in 2012 by rolling through Dallas on Thanksgiving Day. And whaddya know, Washington has a chance to pull into first place with a win over the Cowboys this Sunday.
23Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 27
How about that turn-back-the-clock performance from Charles Woodson. The longtime NFL vet had an interception and just his second career fumble-return TD in Oakland's (very, very) late Sunday night win.
24San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 15
Eddie Royal has gone full Ogletree. Just like Kevin Ogletree did last season in catching two TDs on opening weekend and then fading away, Royal has found himself mired in a scoring slump after finding the end zone five times over San Diego's first two games.
25Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 19
Tony Gonzalez now has a catch in 200 consecutive games, a simply remarkable run. And 200, coincidentally, also happens to be the average number of passes Matt Ryan will throw to him each game from here out with Julio Jones done for the year and Roddy White hobbling.
26Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 28
On the Kirk Cousins Perceived Trade Value scale, Nick Foles' 197-yard, two-TD effort in Sunday's win makes him worth a first-round pick, a third-round pick and a 12-inch Subway sub.
27Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 20
A quick search on YouTube for Buffalo's new starting QB, Thaddeus Lewis, pulls up a highlight tape of Lewis' time at Duke, set to DJ Khaled's "All I Do Is Win." Duke's record during Lewis' four seasons: 10-38.
28Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 25
The Panthers have the league's third-best defense, both in points and yards allowed. Sure, playing the Zombie Giants helped a ton, but that's an overall performance deserving of better than a 1-3 record.
29Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 29
Pittsburgh hopes new addition Levi Brown can help bolster a sieve-like offensive line. And if that doesn't work, it's on to Plan B: Putting the Pirate Parrot at center and hoping to steal some of the local baseball team's mojo.
30Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 30
Maybe the Buccaneers' bye week (as in "Bye bye, Josh Freeman") will help stabilize a turbulent situation. Otherwise, Greg Schiano's going to have to pick another scapegoat.
31New York Giants
Last Week: 31
Tom Coughlin told folks this week that they should blame him, not Eli Manning, for the Giants' terrible start. That shouldn't be much of a problem.
32Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 32
Hey, if Justin Blackmon can average 27.2 yards per catch with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne throwing him the football, just imagine what he might do with Teddy Bridgewater back there.

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