Sports

NFL Power Rankings entering Week 6


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The shifts continue

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Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals remain perfect. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions are looking for their first win. However, the top of the power rankings does not reflect an undefeated team. As we head toward Week 6 of the 2021 NFL season, let’s see how things currently stack up…

32. Detroit Lions (0-5, lost to Minnesota Vikings)

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Hard to imagine a team with tougher luck than the Detroit Lions. Simply unfathomable how they lose week after week in such brutal fashion. Next: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5, lost to Tennessee Titans)

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Bob Self/Florida Times-Union

Awful on the field. Embarrassing off of it. Next: vs. Miami Dolphins (in London)

30. New York Jets (1-4, lost to Atlanta Falcons)

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Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

After an inexplicable win over the Tennessee Titans, the New York Jets reverted to their losing ways. No excuse for falling to a meek Atlanta Falcons team. Next: Bye Week

29. New York Giants (1-4, lost to Dallas Cowboys)

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants saw their offense decimated against Dallas. And it didn’t seem as if the Big Blue defense had any answers for Dak Prescott & Co. Oh— and all that is on the horizon are Aaron Donald and his defensive friends. Next: vs. Los Angeles Rams

28. Houston Texans (1-4, Lost to New England Patriots)

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Davis Mills actually shows signs of hope for Houston. The problem is, they still have Deshaun Watson totally stuck in limbo. The Patriots game could have — should have? — been a victory for David Culley. However, bad teams, always find ways to lose. Next: at Indianapolis Colts

27. Miami Dolphins (1-4, lost to Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Miami is playing the way it did in its first season under Brian Flores— abysmally. What has happened to the Fish? They are flailing and failing. Rewarded with a trip overseas, too, so who knows what’s in store for Week 6. Next: at Jacksonville Jaguars (in London)

26. Atlanta Falcons (2-3, defeated New York Jets)

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Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Arthur Smith accomplished what his former team couldn’t a week before: defeated the New York Jets. Maybe the best thing for the Falcons’ offense was losing a pair of WRs for the game, so Kyle Pitts could finally be the dominant target for Matt Ryan. Next: Bye Week

25. Washington Football Team (2-3, lost to New Orleans Saints)

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

This team is disappointing. So much was expected from a young and hungry defense, and it is delivering virtually nothing for Ron Rivera. This simply can’t be a hangover from winning the NFC East. Next: vs. Kansas City Chiefs

24. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3, defeated Carolina Panthers)

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Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Hurts is playing better than anyone in the Philadelphia Eagles organization thought he would. As expected, they will say their faith was in the QB the whole time. (Bunk.) Next: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Thursday Night)

23. Minnesota Vikings (2-3, defeated Detroit Lions)

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

They almost lost to the Detroit Lions. Let that sink in before you believe anything about this team. It took a 54-yard field goal to beat a winless team at home. Bad news. Next: at Carolina Panthers

22. Indianapolis Colts (1-4, lost to Baltimore Ravens)

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

What a brutal way to lose. The Colts were up 16 points in the fourth quarter and allowed 22 points in a row to lose in overtime. The Colts were 120-0 since moving to Indianapolis with a 16-point or more lead. Umm, the last time they lost a game with that kind of lead was 1983… when they were the Baltimore Colts. Next: vs. Houston Texans

21. New England Patriots (2-3, defeated Houston Texans)

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots struggled to beat the Houston Texans on the road. Damien Harris hurt the momentum again with a goal-line fumble. Bill Belichick team is specializing in playing close games—that is not going to worry anyone in Buffalo. Next: vs. Dallas Cowboys

20. Chicago Bears (3-2, defeated Las Vegas Raiders)

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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears defeated the Las Vegas Raiders on the road. There has been nothing but complaints about this team and its offense—yet, the Bears are somehow only a game behind the Packers in the NFC North. Surprising when you look at the standings, but true. Next: vs. Green Bay Packers

19. San Francisco 49ers (2-3, lost to Arizona Cardinals)

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Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries, injuries, injuries are hurting the San Francisco 49ers. At some point, you have to win with the hand you have been dealt. There is no better time for a team to be getting its bye week. Next: Bye Week

18. Denver Broncos (3-2, lost to Pittsburgh Steelers)

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos were 3-0 against teams that started collectively 0-9 at that point. Now, Denver has played two AFC North teams, and is suddenly 3-2. Not a good omen for the future. Next: vs. Las Vegas Raiders

17. New Orleans Saints (3-2, defeated Washington Football Team)

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The yo-yo continues, as the Saints pulled out a win against Washington that was helped by a Hail Mary. Next week should be a down week, right? Oh, they are on a bye! Next: Bye Week

16. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3, defeated Denver Broncos)

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers clicked against the Denver Broncos. Injuries loom, of course, and the AFC North is a tough test. They catch what could be a break as Seattle will be without Russell Wilson—unless his finger miraculously heals—when they play in Week 6. Next: vs. Seattle Seahawks

15. Carolina Panthers (3-2, lost to Philadelphia Eagles)

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Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers are slumping and in desperate need of getting Christian McCaffrey healthy. He is beyond vital to the offense and the team. A totally different group when the elite running back is out. Next: vs Minnesota Vikings

14. Las Vegas Raiders (3-2, lost to Chicago Bears)

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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders were consistently inconsistent under Jon Gruden. The off-field turmoil can’t help. Now Gruden is gone as they prep to face another team that started 3-0, and is now slumping. Next: at Denver Broncos

13. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3, lost to Buffalo Bills)

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Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs are still a team that can easily turn things around in the weeks ahead—but at 2-3, with Mahomes making mistakes that have hurt the team, there still should be some concern in K.C. Next: at Washington Football Team

12. Seattle Seahawks (2-3, lost to Los Angeles Rams)

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AP Foto/Elaine Thompson

After 149 consecutive Russell Wilson starts, Pete Carroll is likely going to have to start Geno Smith at Pittsburgh. Smith should have some kind of following at the game since he played college ball at West Virginia. It won’t be exactly like Tom Brady’s homecoming, trust us. Next: at Pittsburgh Steelers

11. Tennessee Titans (3-2, defeated Jacksonville Jaguars)

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Bob Self/Florida Times-Union

The Titans defeated the winless Jacksonville Jaguars. That came after they lost to the then-winless New York Jets. How thrilled is Mike Vrabel that the AFC South is awful? Next: vs. Buffalo Bills (Monday Night)

10. Cincinnati Bengals (3-2, lost to Green Bay Packers)

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USAT

The Bengals are an exciting team, which is unexpected in 2021. They played the Green Bay Packers tough in a game either team could have won (had a kicker delivered). The Joe Burrow health situation must be monitored, because this next game is dangerous. Cincy has not proven it can look through any opponent. Next: at Detroit Lions

9. Los Angeles Rams (4-1, defeated Seattle Seahawks)

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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams went to Seattle and handled the Seahawks. Not only that, they got a huge advantage going forward if Russell Wilson misses a month or more. The biggest headache in the NFC West is Arizona, not SF or Seattle. Next: at New York Giants

8. Dallas Cowboys (4-1, defeated New York Giants)

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dak Prescott has made an enormous difference for Dallas. The Cowboys crushed a Giants team decimated by injuries during the game. They are going to be on cruise control in the NFC East if the trailers keep failing at the rate they are. Next: at New England Patriots

7. Cleveland Browns (3-2, lost to Los Angeles Chargers)

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

There are losses, and then there are ones that are tough to digest. The Browns and Chargers went at it for four quarters before Cleveland succumbed by helping Austin Ekeler score a touchdown. Thrilling game to watch and one that should build confidence as opposed to damaging. Next: vs. Arizona Cardinals

6. Los Angeles Chargers (4-1, defeated Cleveland Browns)

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts are ahead of the Browns … barely. They overcame a doublc-digit deficit, and bad kicking, to topple Cleveland. Next: at Baltimore Ravens

5. Arizona Cardinals (5-0, defeated San Francisco 49ers)

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Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals keep on rolling and will bring a perfect record into Cleveland for a huge game in Week 6. Next: at Cleveland Browns

4. Baltimore Ravens (4-1, defeated Indianapolis Colts)

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Talk about an absolutely magic victory. Down 16 points in the fourth quarter, Mark Andrews caught a pair of touchdown passes and 2-point conversions to force overtime. The Ravens got the ball after the OT coin toss and Lamar Jackson found Marquise Brown for the game-winning TD. Wow! Next: vs. Los Angeles Chargers

3. Green Bay Packers (4-1, defeated Cincinnati Bengals)

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Albert Cesare / The Enquirer

The Mason Crosby kicking issues made the game dramatic and tense. Then again, Evan McPherson did his best to hurt the Bengals, too. A great game to watch and one to win. Next: vs. Chicago Bears

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1, defeated Miami Dolphins)

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AP Photo/Jason Behnken

Tom Brady had five touchdown passes, and the Buccaneers won. How many times can a script be repeated? Next: at Philadelphia Eagles (Thursday Night)

1. Buffalo Bills (4-1, defeated Kansas City Chiefs)

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

A statement-making victory by Buffalo at Kansas City. Josh Allen is a superstar and the Bills are a threat to roll through anyone they play. Next: at Tennessee Titans (Monday Night)

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