Week 6 is in the books for the 2021-22 NFL season, and there was a fair share of Power Ranking-altering results across the league. The two biggest matchups of the […]
Week 6 is in the books for the 2021-22 NFL season, and there was a fair share of Power Ranking-altering results across the league.
The two biggest matchups of the week didn’t even produce close games: as Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens blew out the Los Angeles Chargers, and Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals steamrolled the Cleveland Browns to improve to 6-0. At least Monday night’s matchup lived up to the hype, with the Tennessee Titans outdueling the Buffalo Bills 34-31 in a nail-biter.
Who is the #1 team this week? Which teams are on the move, up or down? Read on for my full Week 6 Power Rankings.
Should the Arizona Cardinals have ever lost their #1 spot in the Power Rankings? Probably not, but after Buffalo’s blowout win over the Chiefs last week, the Bills felt like the hottest team in the league. But even if the result was different and they were able to narrowly overcome Tennessee on Monday night, I still would’ve had the Cardinals back on top. Kyler Murray and company cruised to a 37-14 win over a good Browns team to improve to 6-0 on the season.
Baltimore Ravens (5-1) [Last Week: 4]
The meeting between the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday was my highlight matchup of Week 6, but the Ravens weren’t interested in playing a close game. Baltimore dominated Justin Herbert and the Chargers, scoring a touchdown in every quarter en route to a 34-6 win. The Ravens aren’t just a good team, they’re right there with the best in the NFL.
Buffalo Bills (4-2) [Last Week: 1]
The Buffalo Bills may be a 4-2 team among a group of multiple 5-1 teams, but even after a narrow 34-31 loss to the Titans, Buffalo is still one of the best teams in the NFL. The Bills made a ballsy but calculated decision to go for it on fourth down rather than a kick a field goal, and while it didn’t pay off, it’s pretty easy to imagine the game going the other way. I don’t really fault Buffalo for losing to Tennessee, but allowing 34 points was a change for a usually stout defense.
Los Angeles Rams (5-1) [Last Week: 3]
It was business as usual for Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams, as they picked the Giants defense apart in a 38-11 win at MetLife Stadium. Stafford tossed four touchdown passes, and Cooper Kupp caught 9 balls for 130 yards and two scores.
Green Bay Packers (5-1) [Last Week: 6]
Aaron Rodgers owns the Bears, and the NFC North as he willed the Green Bay Packers to a 24-14 win at Solider Field behind three total touchdowns. Since their Week 1 loss to the Saints, the Packers have chugged along with five straight victories.
Dallas Cowboys (5-1) [Last Week: 9]
The Dallas Cowboys could nearly be 6-0 if not for a narrow Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers. Dallas is one of two teams to beat the Chargers this season and ended the Panthers 3-0 start. Dak Prescott’s offense has scored an NFL-high 205 points this season, and the Cowboys are legitimate contenders in the NFC.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-1) [Last Week: 5]
There’s no reason I couldn’t have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a bit higher, but among a slew of teams with five wins or more, this is where I see Tampa Bay slotting in. Sure, they’ve blown out the Falcons and Dolphins, but matchups against the Cowboys, Patriots, and Eagles were much closer. In a head-to-head matchup with the Rams, the Buccaneers fell 34-24. I need to see them beat some more quality teams.
Los Angeles Chargers (4-2) [Last Week: 7]
I won’t sugarcoat the Los Angeles Chargers 34-6 loss to the Ravens this week: it was bad, and disappointing. But the Chargers total body of work is still impressive, with wins over the Chiefs, Raiders, and Browns, and even a 20-17 loss to Dallas that wasn’t that bad. I still like Herbert and the Chargers overall this season.
Kansas City Chiefs (3-3) [Last Week: 10]
It’s becoming more apparent every week that this year’s Kansas City Chiefs are different than last years. The good news for Kansas City is that the Ravens, Chargers, and Bills games (all matchups they lost) are behind them, and there’s only a handful of opponents left on the schedule that will threaten the Chiefs. Kansas City could realistically spin a 2-3 start into a 12-5 finish or so.
Tennessee Titans (4-2) [Last Week: 12]
The Tennessee Titans might have the widest range in results of any team in the NFL: with a loss to the lowly Jets, but an upset win over the Bills this week on Monday Night Football. Derrick Henry had a monster game with 143 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries. While this Tennessee team was a a little slow to start the season, they’re beginning to heat up.
Cleveland Browns (3-3) [Last Week: 8]
Up until Week 6, the Cleveland Browns losses were excusable: a 33-29 Week 1 loss in Kansas City and a thrilling 47-42 loss to the Chargers last week. But Baker Mayfield and the Browns looked lost this week in a 37-14 manhandling at the hands of the undefeated Cardinals. Arizona is a great team, but Cleveland’s failure to show up is alarming as the Browns slide to 3-3.
New Orleans Saints (3-2) [Last Week: 11]
The New Orleans Saints enjoyed their bye week at 3-2 ahead of a couple high-profile games against the Seahawks on Monday night and their first meeting of the season with Brady and the Buccaneers on Halloween.
Las Vegas Raiders (4-2) [Last Week: 15]
After back-to-back losses, Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders got back in the win column with a 34-24 road win over the Broncos, in their first game after the resignation of Jon Gruden.
Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) [Last Week: 16]
Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals are looking more legit every week, following up an overtime loss to the Packers with a 34-11 blowout win over the Lions. Cincinnati has already matched their win total from last season, and could be a fringe playoff contender if they keep up this pace.
San Francisco 49ers (2-3) [Last Week: 13]
The San Francisco 49ers will host the Colts on Sunday Night Football following their bye week. The 49ers have suffered three straight losses, but all by one score and all against good teams (the Packers, the Seahawks with Russell Wilson, and the undefeated Cardinals.)
Minnesota Vikings (3-3) [Last Week: 21]
Stock is rising for Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings, who have won three of their last four games. All three losses, to the Bengals, Cardinals, and Browns, have come by one score, and Minnesota was actually the closest team to beating Arizona this season, with a narrow 34-33 road loss.
Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3) [Last Week: 22]
The Pittsburgh Steelers have revived their season, winning back-to-back games against the Broncos and Seahawks. Pittsburgh still isn’t the same team that started 11-0 last season though, and probably wouldn’t have beat Seattle in overtime if Russell Wilson was playing.
Seattle Seahawks (2-4) [Last Week: 14]
The Seattle Seahawks already had issues, namely on defense, before Russell Wilson needed surgery on his finger. With Geno Smith piloting the offense for the next few weeks, Seattle might slide in to an even bigger hole than 2-4.
New England Patriots (2-4) [Last Week: 19]
Mac Jones and the New England Patriots haven’t budged from this spot in a few weeks. New England played the Cowboys hard all the way to overtime, and it was as inspiring as a loss can be. But zooming out and looking at the bigger picture, New England is having a hard time turning solid performances into wins, doing so only against the leagues weakest teams.
Chicago Bears (3-3) [Last Week: 20]
The Chicago Bears are .500 and have a solid defense, but if Justin Fields and the offense can’t put up points, Chicago won’t get very far. The Bears have scored 98 points this season, the third-lowest mark in the league, and didn’t have enough offense to keep up with the Packers in a 24-14 loss at home this week.
Indianapolis Colts (2-4) [Last Week: 23]
The Indianapolis Colts aren’t moving up a ton in these rankings despite two wins in three weeks, but that’s because I refused to rank them very low in the first place. Even at 0-3 and 1-4, I knew the Colts weren’t that bad, they just had arguably the toughest opening schedule in the league. Indianapolis even has a positive +8 point differential now after blowing out the Texans 31-3.
Carolina Panthers (3-3) [Last Week: 17]
The Carolina Panthers 3-0 start wasn’t a complete fluke, but Carolina has dropped three straight games now. All three losses have come in single-score fashion, against the Cowboys, Eagles, and Vikings, but the real question is what happened to Carolina’s defense? After allowing 10.0 points per game in the first three weeks of the season, the Panthers defense has allowed 30.3 points per game the past three weeks. Sometimes the best defense can be a solid running game, so the Panthers should be anxious to get Christian McCaffrey back on the field.
Denver Broncos (3-3) [Last Week: 18]
Like the Panthers, the Denver Broncos have squandered a 3-0 start with three straight losses, but unlike the Panthers, Denver’s 3-0 start may have been a fluke all along. Denver’s three wins came against the Giants, Jaguars, and Jets: three teams you’ll find near the very bottom of this list. The Broncos have since lost to the Ravens, Steelers, and Raiders, with only the Pittsburgh game coming by a single score.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-4) [Last Week: 24]
After going down 21-7 at halftime, Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles put up a god fight, but ultimately fell 28-22 to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers last Thursday night. Philadelphia might be the second-best team in the NFC East, but they’re still worlds behind the Cowboys.
Atlanta Falcons (2-3) [Last Week: 26]
The Atlanta Falcons have only beaten the Giants and Jets so far, but have winnable games against Miami and Carolina following their post-London bye week.
Washington Football Team (2-4) [Last Week: 25]
Washington Football Team built a 13-10 lead over the Chiefs at halftime thanks to two Patrick Mahomes interceptions, but fell 31-13 for their fourth loss of the season.
New York Jets (1-4) [Last Week: 29]
This is the highest the New York Jets have been all season: and all they had to do was go on bye. In reality, the teams underneath the Jets have just been bad, and while New York wasn’t great themselves to start the season, I’d still take them head-to-head over the next five teams at this exact moment.
New York Giants (1-5) [Last Week: 28]
With a battered offensive lineup, with rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney joining the laundry list of injured offensive players, the New York Giants didn’t stand a chance in a 38-11 loss to the Rams, and left Daniel Jones in the blowout loss despite being just a week removed from a concussion.
Detroit Lions (0-6) [Last Week: 30]
After a 34-11 beatdown at the hands of the Bengals, the Detroit Lions should probably be lower. But looking at their full body of work, including one-score losses to the 49ers, Ravens, and Vikings, Detroit isn’t the worst team in the NFL despite being the only winless one.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) [Last Week: 32]
The Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Dolphins 23-20 in London with two 50+ yard field goals in the second half including one at the buzzer for the win. Trevor Lawrence earned his first win as an NFL starter, and the Jaguars snapped a 20-game losing streak dating back to Week 2 of last season.
Houston Texans (1-5) [Last Week: 31]
Davis Mills and the Houston Texans played surprisingly well against the Patriots last week, but were brought back down to Earth with a 31-3 loss to the Colts in Indianapolis.
Miami Dolphins (1-5) [Last Week: 27]
The Miami Dolphins have lost five straight games, been outscored by 78 point on the season, and despite the return of Tua Tagovailoa, and allowed the Jaguars to break a 20-game losing streak. All of it adds up to a strong case for Miami as the new worst team in the NFL at this exact moment.
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