NFL Power Rankings: The Good, Bad and Ugly Heading into Week 5

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 30:  Aldon Smith #99 of the San Francisco 49ers sacks Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets during a game at MetLife Stadium on September 30, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

After another wild week in the NFL, it’s time to break down the good, the bad and the ugly in the Week 5 edition of the power rankings.

While many favorites continued to play well, there were more than a few surprises. Those upsets have resulted in big changes in the rankings this week.

If you’re looking for which teams played well, which teams left a win on the field or which team simply looked dreadful, look no further!

The Good

Minnesota Vikings

After yet another shock win over an NFC juggernaut, it's safe to say the Minnesota Vikings’ success so far in 2012 is the biggest surprise in the NFL right now.

Two straight wins over the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions have fans and experts buying into what the Vikings are doing, but the excitement isn’t over yet. With a very winnable stretch of games before the bye week, Minnesota is on the right track to a great season.

As much as the NFL has turned into a passing league, the Vikings are a power-running team, predicated on stellar defense and between-the-tackles rushing attacks.

If Minnesota can keep its roster healthy, it will continue to win games and climb the rankings.

The Bad

New Orleans Saints

The old NFL adage claims that bad teams find ways to lose, and that has become the truth for the New Orleans Saints in 2012. Another loss to the Green Bay Packers drops them down the power rankings even farther.

No matter how many touchdowns quarterback Drew Brees throws, that defense is awful.

New Orleans’ pass defense is ranked a dreadful 24th in the NFL, but looks amazing in comparison to the dead-last ranking of the rush defense. Add them together and you have the worst statistical defense in the NFL.

Brees has his offense clicking once again, but he is always chasing the opposition. As a team, the Saints must get a lead early and hold on throughout the game, or fear starting the season at 0-5 or worse

The Ugly

New York Jets

After scoring 48 points in the first game of the season, the New York Jets offense has scored a total of 33 points in the last three games. No matter what division a team plays in, that’s just not good enough.

With calls for Tim Tebow to start at quarterback over Mark Sanchez, the only positive note was the play of the defense. As seen in Week 4, without Darrelle Revis along the edges, the Jets are forced to simplify their packages.

If New York can’t get their offense knocking on all cylinders once again, the defense will not be able to keep the games close enough to turn this into a playoff season.

While the Jets fall down the rankings this week, there may be no end in sight for this team.

Post-Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

1. Houston Texans (4-0)

2. Atlanta Falcons (4-0)

3. San Francisco 49ers (3-1)

4. Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

5. Green Bay Packers (2-2)

6. New England Patriots (2-2)

7. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)

8. Chicago Bears (3-1)

9. San Diego Chargers (3-1)

10. Denver Broncos (2-2)

11. Arizona Cardinals (4-0)

12. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1)

13. Minnesota Vikings (3-1)

14. New York Giants (2-2)

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2)

16. New Orleans Saints (0-4)

17. Washington Redskins (2-2)

18. St. Louis Rams (2-2)

19. Buffalo Bills (2-2)

20. Dallas Cowboys (2-2)

21. Carolina Panthers (1-3)

22. Detroit Lions (1-3)

23. Seattle Seahawks (2-2)

24. New York Jets (2-2)

25. Kansas City Chiefs (1-3)

26. Indianapolis Colts (1-2)

27. Tennessee Titans (1-3)

28. Miami Dolphins (1-3)

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3)

30. Oakland Raiders (1-3)

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3)

32. Cleveland Browns (0-4)

Check back for more on the National Football League as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s NFL page to get your fill of all things football.


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