Week 6 Power Rankings
We're 5 weeks into the NFL season and we're already starting to see what kind of season this is. 10 teams are already dead, and one team (the Indianapolis Colts) have pretty much clinched their division.
It's a wide open season, but by this time next week there may be only 18 teams alive.
As for now, here are your Week 6 Power Rankings.
1. New York Giants: Questions about their schedule, but you can't punish a pro team for beating who's on their schedule. Before the Plax incident this team was in cruise control last year; I think they're back to that form.
2. Indianapolis Colts: Is this the best Colts team we've seen all decade? If so they're about to get better with Anthony Gonzalez, Bob Sanders, Gary Brackett, and Kelvin Hayden all coming back after their bye week. They need Donald Brown and Joseph Addai to stay healthy.
3. Minnesota Vikings: They may not be the best team that Favre has ever been on, but they're definitely the best team that Sidney Rice has ever been on. The real competitive part of their schedule begins now with Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Green Bay consecutively.
4. New Orleans Saints: Everybody's love story of the first quarter of the season, the Saints have come storming out of the gate. They've had impressive wins over a McNabb-less Eagles, and a hot Jets team. We'll learn more about them in the next 4 weeks when they play the Giants, @ Miami, Atlanta, and Carolina. It'll be interesting to see what they do once their division play begins.
5. Denver Broncos: Okay, okay, okay. I guess we have no choice but to consider the Broncos an elite team right now. Right now they've beaten a good Bengals team on the road, and had a solid home stand taking out Dallas and New England. Heading into their Week 7 bye, the Broncos can wrap up their division on Monday night with a win on the road vs the Chargers. Scary thought for San Diego, but easier said than done for the Broncos.
6. Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Vick has meant nothing to this team but maybe it's because they're great without him. This is a team with a Super Bowl look. If they can overcome the Giants and win this division, they'll be a tough out come January.
The Very Good
7. Atlanta Falcons: The beating this team on San Francisco either reflects how good the Falcons are, or how far the 49ers still need to come to compete. We'll know if this team is a super Bowl contender after week 8 (next 3 vs Chi, @ Dallas, @ NO).
8. Cincinnatti Bengals: Say what you will, the fact of the matter is this team has been good for the past five years, they've just underachieved, gotten arrested, or had injury problems. This year, the Bengals are staying out of the slammer, staying healthy, and look like they'll be back in the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers: An impressive win over San Diego was followed by a walk-through against the Lions. This team will find it's way into the playoffs, I don't know how far they'll go this year.
10. Chicago Bears: We'll know if they're for real after this week, but they look like they're pretty good. Cutler is doing well as a game manager. At some point they'll miss Urlacher.
11. New England Patriots: They benefit from playing in the right division. This Patriots team is a lot closer to the 2005 Patriots than they are to the 2007 Patriots, but because the Jets are young, the Dolphins are average, and the Bills are awful, the Pats will be playing in January and will have at least one home game. Their next two opponents are winless, but after that it doesn't really let up.
12. Baltimore Ravens: Is it just me or have the Ravens been the same team since 2000, just with different faces. Since the magical Super Bowl run, the Ravens have struggled to every truly develop into an elite contender. Their schedule doesn't get much tougher, and if they come out on the wrong side of it (@ Min, Bye, Den, @ Cin, @ Cle, Ind, Pit, GB) they'll be watching the Bengals and Steelers enter the tournament.
Hanging in There
13. Dallas Cowboys: If we stopped pre ranking them in the top five every season we'd be able to appreciate this team for what it is; a good team. Expectations have turned this team into a punchline since 2007, but they shouldn't be treated any differently than the Packers, Bears, and Seahawks. That's the level they're on.
14. San Francisco 49ers: They're not as good as we thought they were but they have a shot at the playoffs. Frank Gore needs to get healthy.
15. San Diego Chargers: A must win in week 6 if there ever was one. If the Chargers lose at home to Denver they can call it a season and start building towards 2010. Good news for Chargers fans, they're 9-0 when wearing the Powder Blue's; and guess what they're wearing Monday night?
16. New York Jets: The book is out on the Jets. They're a year away at least. I like Sanchez but I can't see this team finishing the season in the playoffs. They'll be good next year though; if Shonn Greene can develop.
17. Arizona Cardinals: Their division hopes stayed alive this past week with a big win over Houston. They'll flirt around .500 for the season. Is that enough to win the West?
18. Miami Dolphins: Last year they started 0-2 and won the division. This year they started 0-3, will they at least win the Wild Card? Chad Henne is good, and the bye week couldn't have come at a better time. New Orleans, @ NYJ, and @ New England loom on the horizon.
19. Seattle Seahawks: Yeah they're still alive. Matt Hasselbeck is back, and Jacksonville found out about it first hand. A win against Arizona this week and they're in the hunt, a loss and they're 2009 is over.
20. Green Bay Packers: This is a team that will stay alive these next two weeks and should be 4-2 heading into the Favre Bowl II. We'll know more about their season after that.
21. Carolina Panthers: They're hanging on to their season, but they've got a great chance to get to .500 with Tampa and Buffalo these next two weeks.
22. Houston Texans: This franchise has issues; Every time they're supposed to break out they fall. Every game from now until week 9 is a must win if they want to stay alive for the wild card. Division hopes are over.
23. Washington Redskins: The Redskins won't be able to turn their ship around because of the division they play in.You're looking at at least 3 more losses right there. Season over. Campbell era over. Zorn era over. Shanahan era begins?
24. Detroit Lions: The only team on the dead list who can say things are looking better.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: They're not that bad, but if you lose to Seattle by that much, how good are you really?
26. Tennessee Titans: At this point last year they were 5-0, now they're 0-5. See what you have in Vince Young this way you know whether or not to draft Bradford, McCoy, Snead, or Clausen this April.
27. Buffalo Bills: It's not because of T.O. I'm not even sure if Jauron needs to get fired. Their defense has gotten smothered by injuries and Trent Edwards isn't a pro starter. This team needs a Phil Simms/Kyle Orton type to lead this team... I think that player exists on Denver's bench.
28. Kansas City Chiefs: I'll tell you one thing, though he may not be a Super Bowl coach, the Chiefs never looked this hopeless under Herm. LJ is old, Cassell is mediocre, and I'm tired of people with the name Todd. I like Brodie Croyle though, they should see what they have in him.
29. Cleveland Browns: Don't fire Eric Mangini. This was never going to be a one year turn around; it's why he traded Winslow. Not to mention the team lost Stallworth, Jamal Lewis is aging, and Braylon Edwards needed to go. They need a QB and it's only a matter of time before Mangini starts his guy.
30. Oakland Raiders: How much longer before this team ends up at #32. JaMarcus is a long way away from being a decent NFL QB.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Raheem Morris shouldn't be the head coach. Josh Johnson shouldn't be the starting QB. This team shouldn't exist in 2009.
32. St. Louis Rams: This team is bad. 2008 Lions bad.