NFL Week 6 is in the books, and there’s little debate as to who the best team in the NFL is. But after that, there’s loads of intrigue. Can we still trust the Kansas City Chiefs after two straight losses? Are the New Orleans Saints on a march to the NFC’s best record, or will Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks keep their red-hot pace? Of course, in their own division they trail the undefeated San Francisco 49ers.
The Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Rams both lost their third straight games, dropping them out of my top ten. The biggest upward movers from Week 6 include the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, and Carolina Panthers.
At the bottom of the barrel, the power rankings rang true. The 31st-best team in the NFL beat the 32nd-best team in the NFL by just a point. The Atlanta Falcons have also entrenched themselves near the bottom of the rankings. So much for a NFC Championship game berth as I predicted in the preseason.
Power Rankings After Week 6
- New England Patriots (6-0) [Last Week: 1]
- New Orleans Saints (5-1) [Last Week: 3]
- Seattle Seahawks (5-1) [Last Week: 5]
- Green Bay Packers (5-1) [Last Week: 4]
- San Francisco 49ers (5-0) [Last Week: 6]
- Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) [Last Week: 2]
- Houston Texans (4-2) [Last Week: 13]
- Buffalo Bills (4-1) [Last Week: 9]
- Minnesota Vikings (4-2) [Last Week: 17]
- Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) [Last Week: 12]
- Detroit Lions (2-2-1) [Last Week: 11]
- Los Angeles Rams (3-3) [Last Week: 7]
- Carolina Panthers (4-2) [Last Week: 16]
- Dallas Cowboys (3-3) [Last Week: 8]
- Baltimore Ravens (4-2) [Last Week: 10]
- Indianapolis Colts (3-2) [Last Week: 14]
- Chicago Bears (3-2) [Last Week: 15]
- Oakland Raiders (3-2) [Last Week: 19]
- Cleveland Browns (2-4) [Last Week: 21]
- Denver Broncos (2-4) [Last Week: 26]
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4) [Last Week: 18]
- Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4) [Last Week: 22]
- Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4) [Last Week: 25]
- New York Giants (2-4) [Last Week: 24]
- Arizona Cardinals (2-3-1) [Last Week: 27]
- Tennessee Titans (2-4) [Last Week: 23]
- Los Angeles Chargers (2-4) [Last Week: 20]
- New York Jets (1-4) [Last Week: 30]
- Atlanta Falcons (1-5) [Last Week: 28]
- Cincinnati Bengals (0-6) [Last Week: 29]
- Washington Redskins (1-5) [Last Week: 31]
- Miami Dolphins (0-5) [Last Week: 32]
New England Patriots Stay At the Top
A week after grabbing the top spot in my rankings, the Patriots are sitting even more firmly at the top of the totem pole now. Losses by the Chiefs and Rams, two of the best teams from last season, give the Patriots some breathing room at the top of the rankings.
Their competition has still been extremely weak: Steelers, Jets, Dolphins, Redskins, Giants and the Bills (the only team they’ve played that holds a winning record.) But this season has showed us that “good” teams struggle to beat inferior competition on a weekly basis. Good teams still lose with some regularity. Great teams don’t. The Patriots are a great team.
Can Chiefs, Rams, Cowboys Bounce Back?
All three of these teams made at least the second round of the playoffs last season. The Chiefs and Rams each grabbed the top seed in their conferences. Through three weeks in 2019, all three teams were 3-0, seeming to pick up where they left off.
Now, Los Angeles is reeling from three straight losses, as are the Dallas Cowboys. The Chiefs extended their hot start to 4-0, but have lost back-to-back games since then.
At this point in time, I see all three teams bouncing back to make the playoffs. But it could be an uphill battle, and there’s definitely no guarantees. In the AFC West, the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos have quietly started to play some solid football. I don’t think the Chiefs lose the division, but if their rivals steal some head-to-head games, it could create drama.
The Cowboys are 3-3, but so are the Philadelphia Eagles. The two teams clash in Week 7 for a temporary hold on first place in the NFC East. If the New York Giants can beat the Arizona Cardinals at home, the loser of Cowboys-Eagles would be tied with New York. The NFC East could get complicated fast.
Lastly, the Rams face the biggest challenge to make the postseason. They’re currently 3rd in the NFC West, with losses to the 5-0 49ers and 5-1 Seahawks. To make matters worse, the NFC Wildcard picture is currently packed, with the entire NFC North, Carolina Panthers, and 2nd place team in the NFC East also vying for position. It’s likely the NFC West sends at least two teams to the playoffs.
Header photo credit: Robert Deutsch and Kyle Terada -USA TODAY Sports
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