NFL Power Rankings Week 6: Teams That Have Peaked
The NFL is all about peaking at the right time. Just look at the Green Bay Packers or New York Giants last year, or the Packers the year before that for that matter.
Controlling when a team peaks is often beyond anyone's control—there are many factors that play into it—but that doesn't mean it is impossible to see it happening.
Here are three teams that have already hit their high-water mark.
No. 1: Houston Texans
The Houston Texans have earned this No. 1 ranking, but they won't hold it for much longer. First comes this unfortunate bit of news, which the Texans tweeted out:
Kubiak: LB Brian Cushing has a torn ACL, is out for yr. Will have surgery when swelling goes down.— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) October 9, 2012
Cushing's absence will be huge. He controls the defense from his middle linebacker position in the pass and run game. He leads this team in tackles, and he already recorded an interception this season.
Also, while the Texans are 5-0, they have not faced the most brutal of schedules—they have yet to play a team that currently has a winning record.
They now will face the Packers and Ravens in their next two games while the defense adapts to life without Cushing. This does not bode well for the Texans.
I'm not calling for a collapse here. Just a slight slide from their perch atop the rankings.
No. 6: Arizona Cardinals
I am a believer in this Cardinals team. Their defense is going to keep them in every game, and I expect them to be battling for the playoffs at the season's end.
However, their holes will finally start to take a toll. This team is 31st in rushing yards, and they can't shake the running-back injury bug. This is going to put even more pressure on their quarterbacks who do not inspire a lot of confidence in the first place.
The Cardinals will play the Bills next week, but then they have a fear-inducing stretch of games that finds them playing the Vikings, 49ers, Packers, Falcons and Rams, the team they just lost to.
This is a rough stretch for a team that has to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find a running back.
No. 11 Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are a solid 3-2, but two of those wins were pure luck. There was the Monday Night debacle against the Packers, and last week, Cam Newton had an open receiver on 4th-and-goal with time running out that would have gave his team the lead, and he threw it half the distance he needed to.
I don't want to be too hard on Seattle. They have an excellent defense, and they put themselves in a position to win those games, but this offense is not going to get it done over the long haul.
Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson is having a hard time getting the passing offense going, which is understandable because he is working with one of the worst wide receiver corps in the league.
They'll travel to take on the Patriots next week, and then host the 49ers the following week. I don't see them winning either.
Langford's Week 6 NFL Power Rankings
1. Houston Texans
2. Atlanta Falcons
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. New England Patriots
5. San Francisco 49ers
6. Arizona Cardinals
7. Green Bay Packers
8. Minnesota Vikings
9. New York Giants
10. Philadelphia Eagles
11. Seattle Seahawks
12. Chicago Bears
13. Denver Broncos
14. Pittsburgh Steelers
15. San Diego Chargers
16. Cincinnati Bengals
17. Dallas Cowboys
18. Miami Dolphins
19. Washington Redskins
20. Detroit Lions
21. Indianapolis Colts
22. Tennessee Titans
23. New York Jets
24. Carolina Panthers
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
26. St. Louis Rams
27. Kansas City Chiefs
28. New Orleans Saints
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Oakland Raiders
31. Buffalo Bills
32. Cleveland Browns
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