While I considered the outcomes of Week 5 to be pretty tame and have little effect on the Power Rankings, the same cannot be said about Week 6. Shake-ups at the top, near the bottom, and in the middle of this week’s rankings are a result of some interesting games that took place in Week 6.
I labeled the juicy Green Bay Packers-Tampa Bay Buccaneers matchup to be the game of the week in my Week 6 NFL Picks. I expected either a back-and-forth game with a one-score winner, or an easier Packers victory. The last thing I would have predicted was for Aaron Rodgers to be held scoreless after the first quarter, with Tom Brady and The Buccaneers earning a 38-10 victory.
Another game I thought might have been closer was the meeting of the then 4-1 Cleveland Browns and 4-0 Pittsburgh Steelers. I predicted a 27-20 Steelers win, but instead Pittsburgh shut down Cleveland with a 38-7 win, and saw a significant bump in their ranking as a result.
With a couple shake-ups in the Top Ten and more changes in the rankings throighout, here’s how I rank all 32 teams through six weeks of NFL action.
MVP Watch: Quarter Season
Post-Week 6 Power Rankings
- Seattle Seahawks (5-0) [Last Week: 1]
- Two straight weeks at the top: As previously discussed, the Seahawks are far from perfect. Their defense isn’t as strong as usual, and they find themselves in too many close games. But they’ve won them all so far, and Russell Wilson is leading the NFL’s premiere offense.
- Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) [Last Week: 3]
- The Chiefs took a slight fall after losing to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5, but handled the Buffalo Bills in Week 6. They may not be undefeated, but there’s hardly any teams that could even attempt to make the case they’re better than Kansas City.
- Baltimore Ravens (4-1) [Last Week: 4]
- Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0) [Last Week: 7]
- Through Week 4, the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers failed to crack into my Top 10, by virtue of only beating bad teams. While I still want to see how they would fare against another Top 10 team, the 5-0 Steelers deserve to be considered among the NFL’s best until further notice.
- Tennessee Titans (5-0) [Last Week: 5]
- The 5-0 Tennessee Titans could be higher on this list, but a few of their wins have been razor-thin over inferior competition. The Titans beat the Broncos, Jaguars, and Vikings by just six points in their first three weeks, and needed overtime to dispatch the Texans in Week 6.
- Green Bay Packers (4-1) [Last Week: 2]
- The Green Bay Packers had a case for #1 last week, and may have earned it this week with a win over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But the Packers disappeared after the first quarter and were handed an embarrassing 38-10 loss, and Green Bay slides out of the Top 5.
- Chicago Bears (5-1) [Last Week: 12]
- Biggest Winner of Week 6: After outlasting the Carolina Panthers 23-16, the Chicago Bears are easily inside the Top 10 with a 5-1 record. Not all the mainstream sports sources are ready to label the Bears contenders yet, but with a a strong defense, and an offense that is usually decent, sometimes good, and often clutch, Chicago could make noise this season.
- New Orleans Saints (3-2) [Last Week: 9]
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2) [Last Week: 13]
- The Buccaneers rise four spots, bouncing back from a loss to the Bears with a surprising 38-10 blowout of the Green Bay Packers. Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Ronald Jones, and the rest of the Buccaneers offense are all clicking.
- Buffalo Bills (4-2) [Last Week: 8]
- Buffalo has lost back-to-back games, albeit against the two teams that played in the AFC Championship Game last season. Buffalo’s performance against Kansas City wasn’t nearly as bad as last Tuesday’s game against Tennessee, but Josh Allen and the Bills still need to prove they can play with, and beat, the AFC’s finest.
- Los Angeles Rams (4-2) [Last Week: 6]
- The Los Angeles Rams squandered a chance to beat a depleted San Francisco 49ers squad on Sunday Night Football. With four weak wins all against NFC East opponents, the Rams don’t have the resume to make the Top 10 this week.
- Las Vegas Raiders (3-2) [Last Week: 10]
- Arizona Cardinals (4-2) [Last Week: 16]
- San Francisco 49ers (3-3) [Last Week: 18]
- After a dramatic drop of eight positions in last week’s Power Rankings, the 49ers rise four spots. Jimmy Garroppolo bounced back well in a three-touchdown performance and 24-16 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
- Cleveland Browns (4-2) [Last Week: 14]
- The Cleveland Browns were blown out 38-7 by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but manage to drop only one spot this week. They recently beat the Colts and they do have four wins, so they’re ranked 15th, an average team in the middle of the pack.
- Indianapolis Colts (4-2) [Last Week: 15]
- New England Patriots (2-3) [Last Week: 11]
- Biggest Loser of Week 6: The Denver Broncos aren’t a laughing stock, especially with a healthy Drew Lock at quarterback. But the Patriots should’ve beat Denver, and the Broncos handed New England every chance to do so in the fourth quarter. For failing to get it done, and dropping to 2-3, the Patriots fall six spots.
- Miami Dolphins (3-3) [Last Week: 21]
- The Dolphins are one of the NFL’s hottest teams, winning three of their last four games. But with two of those wins coming against the Jets and Jaguars, the Dolphins need to keep winning to break into the top half of the rankings. It feels like an odd time to make a change at quarterback, but that’s exactly what Miami is doing, benching Ryan Fitzpatrick in favor of rookie Tua Tagovailoa. (See Also: Tua Tagovailoa Named Dolphins Starting Quarterback)
- Carolina Panthers (3-3) [Last Week: 19]
- Los Angeles Chargers (1-4) [Last Week: 17]
- Houston Texans (1-5) [Last Week: 20]
- Despite a 1-5 record, I still can’t call the Houston Texans a bad team. They took the 5th-ranked Titans to overtime in Week 6.
- Philadelphia Eagles (1-4-1) [Last Week: 24]
- Denver Broncos (2-3) [Last Week: 26]
- Detroit Lions (2-3) [Last Week: 25]
- Atlanta Falcons (1-5) [Last Week: 29]
- Atlanta’s offense finally came back to life with a 40-23 victory over the Vikings. The Falcons will squeak out a few wins this season if they keep putting up 30+ points.
- Dallas Cowboys (2-3) [Last Week: 23]
- The Arizona Cardinals had a field day against the Cowboys defense, and Andy Dalton’s offense managed just 10 points.
- Minnesota Vikings (1-5) [Last Week: 22]
- The Vikings squandered a chance to stay in the win column with an embarrassing loss to the Falcons.
- Cincinnati Bengals (1-4-1) [Last Week: 27]
- Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) [Last Week: 30]
- New York Giants (1-5) [Last Week: 28]
- Despite winning their first game of the season, the Giants fall two spots… because almost allowing a fourth quarter comeback and beating Washington by just a point is hardly inspiring.
- Washington Football Team (1-5) [Last Week: 31]
- New York Jets (0-6) [Last Week: 32]
- Four straight weeks at the bottom: Joe Flacco and the New York Jets lost 24-0 to the Miami Dolphins, in what I believe is the first shutout of the year. I don’t see how New York could possibly rise out of the 32nd position, barring a major injury that makes the Giants, Jaguars, or Washington even worse.
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