NFL Power Rankings Week 6: Major Flaw Keeping Each Team from Reaching Potential

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 14:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders at Georgia Dome on October 14, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers and New York Jets both delivered breakout performances on Sunday, while others left people scratching their heads in a wild Week 6 of NFL action.

Entering Week 7, each team's strengths and weaknesses are more clearly defined than they were before.

Only one undefeated squad remains, and even Atlanta isn't perfect at this point.

Let's power rank the NFL's teams, pointing out each team's biggest flaw in the process.


1. Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta is the league's lone undefeated team, but they haven't been flawless in the past three weeks. Defensively, they're consistently allowing over 100 rushing yards per game.


2. Baltimore Ravens

Shockingly enough, Baltimore's run defense is the problem. Dallas' DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones both ran well on Sunday, keeping Baltimore in the bottom half of the league when it comes to stopping the run.


3. Houston Texans

The Texans lack explosiveness through the air on offense. That creates problems when Arian Foster is shut down, like he was Sunday night.


4. Chicago Bears

Jay Cutler is still turnover-prone, but this team is playing great football. One concern could be a lack of playmaking targets for Cutler, despite Brandon Marshall's excellent season so far.


5. New York Giants

The Giants win over the 49ers on Sunday was impressive, but this team is still allowing teams to move the ball at will through the air.


6. San Francisco 49ers

Alex Smith hasn't responded to San Francisco's new weapons as many anticipated, capped by his three-interception performance versus the Giants on Sunday. On an otherwise loaded team, he may be the weakest link.


7. Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers showed that he still leads one of the league's most dangerous passing attacks, but a consistent ground game has yet to emerge. On top of that, Green Bay's offensive line still leaves Rodgers vulnerable at times.


8. Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota is one of the year's best stories, but they won't take the next step until the passing attack can stretch the field vertically.

It seems to happen every week at some point. The Vikings have control of the game, needing one big play to break things open. Rather than getting that play, Minnesota has to settle for something less far too often.

Adrian Peterson has been great, and the defense has better than expected. Christian Ponder has played very well for the most part, but the Vikings must find more big plays down the field.

It will be interesting to see how they handle a disappointing loss, especially with Chicago and Green Bay heating up.


9. San Diego Chargers

Check back after Monday Night Football.

10. Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson played very well in his team's victory over the Patriots on Sunday, but the team's defense is still its strongest unit. A consistent passing attack is holding this team back.


11. Arizona Cardinals

A run game averaging less than 70 yards per game puts far too much pressure on an already shaky passing attack.


12. New England Patriots

New England struggles versus defenses that like to bring the pressure. That has been shown three times, with losses to Arizona, Baltimore and Seattle all stemming from issues up front.

Tom Brady is still Tom Brady, and Stevan Ridley has given Bill Belichick's team an added element on offense, but a shaky offensive line could doom a talented unit.

Defensively, the Patriots rank near the bottom in passing yards allowed. They are allowing too many big plays, despite improvements made in their front seven.

Inconsistency hasn't gone with the Patriots for some time, but it's crept into both sides of the ball this season.


13. Washington Redskins

Robert Griffin III has this squad believing, but the league's 31st-rated pass defense doesn't.


14. Denver Broncos

Check back after Monday Night Football. 

15. Philadelphia Eagles

I'll keep this simple and straight forward. Michael Vick won't lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl, not now and not ever.


16. Miami Dolphins

Miami might be the biggest surprise of the year, at least recently. Ryan Tannehill improves each week, and the Dolphins run defense is No. 5 in the league.

The Dolphins aren't going to contend this season, but the pieces are there for the future. The only glaring hole in this team's arsenal right now lies in its pass defense.

Miami allows well over 250 passing yards per game, something that can't happen if it wants to continue its two-game winning streak.

In a division filled with 3-3 teams, all bets are off. If I had to pick one team to emerge from the jumbled AFC East right now, it would be Miami.


17. St. Louis Rams

Sam Bradford runs a solid West-Coast attack. However, this team doesn't have a vertical threat to speak of. This will hold Jeff Fisher's team back from taking the next step.


18. Detroit Lions

Detroit earned a much-needed win on Sunday, but Matthew Stafford only has four touchdowns on the season. Add a meager run game to that, and Detroit has offensive issues all of the sudden.


19. Dallas Cowboys

Aside from Tony Romo's usual turnover woes, the Cowboys are 26th in the NFL at running the football.


20. Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are a weird team. They aren't particularly bad at one thing. However, in their three losses they're being outscored 71-13 in the second half.


21. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers struggle to run the ball, forcing the oldest defense in the NFL to play more than it wants too. On top of that, they're the most penalized squad in the league.


22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Josh Freeman erupted with a 300-plus yard performance on Sunday, but the Buccaneers passing attack, and offense in general, often leaves something to be desired.


23. New York Jets

Rex Ryan's crew exploded for a blowout victory over the Colts on Sunday, but they still have more issues than they do positives. Stopping the run consistently, or the failure to do so, will haunt this team all year.


24. Buffalo Bills

Ryan Fitzpatrick still struggles more than a No. 1 quarterback should, despite having one of the league's best backfields to lean on. Add a struggling defense on top of that, and Buffalo will fail to get over the hump once again.


25. Indianapolis Colts

Highlighted by Shonn Greene's 161-yard performance on Sunday, Indianapolis can't stop anyone on the ground. Despite a solid rookie season from Andrew Luck, this team isn't going anywhere just yet.


26. Tennessee Titans

Defensively, this team hasn't allowed less than 20 points all season. That's a bad combination for a team that's only cleared the 20-point mark twice themselves.


27. Oakland Raiders

Darren McFadden was better on Sunday, but there is no reason for Oakland to have the league's lowest-rated rushing offense.


28. Cleveland Browns

Youth is a concern for the NFL's youngest team, but not as much as Brandon Weeden's 10 interceptions are.


29. New Orleans Saints

This is too easy. When you're allowing over 280 passing yards and nearly 173 rushing yards per game, wins won't be easy to find.


30. Carolina Panthers

Never thought I would say this, but Cam Newton is the problem right now. He doesn't have much help around him, often times causing him to force bigger plays than he should.


31. Jacksonville Jaguars

Blaine Gabbert receives no protection and doesn't really have anyone to throw too on top of that. The Jaguars have the league's worst pass offense, made worse by a bad defense.


32. Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City has way more talent than it likes to show, mostly due to its horrendous turnover problems. Matt Cassel has nine interceptions on the season. His replacement, Brady Quinn, had two more on Sunday.


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