NFL Power Rankings Week 6: Evaluating Current League Landscape
The first five weeks of the 2013 NFL season are in the books, and only three unbeaten teams remain.
Heading into Week 6, the Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs are each 5-0 heading and on the fast track to earning coveted home-field advantage this postseason. But remember, this is the NFL we're talking about, where things tend to change quickly.
Below, we'll assess the entire league landscape heading into Week 6, highlighting teams that made the biggest statement this past weekend.
*Teams that made huge statements are italicized.
1. Denver Broncos (5-0)
Defensively, there's plenty of room for improvement in Denver. But so long as the Broncos are scoring 46 points per game, it's difficult to foresee anyone beating them.
Peyton Manning looks sharper than ever before, and the seemingly endless array of weapons at his disposal makes Denver the NFL's top team heading into Week 6. The Broncos will be 27-point favorites over the winless Jacksonville Jaguars this coming weekend, per Bovada, which speaks to how dominant they've been (and how bad the Jags have been) this fall.
For now, it looks like the Broncos' biggest tests will come in Weeks 11 and 13, when they take on division rival Kansas City in two high-stakes showdowns.
Which undefeated team has been the most impressive thus far?
2. New Orleans Saints (5-0)
When the high-powered New Orleans Saints are holding opponents to just 14.6 points per game, they're going to win a lot of games. Drew Brees and company are taking the form of a Super Bowl contender.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (5-0)
Only the Denver Broncos are outscoring their opponents by more points than the Kansas City Chiefs this season. And no team in the NFL boasts a better turnover differential than Kansas City, which is plus-10 through five games.
4. Indianapolis Colts (4-1)
With convincing victories over both the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, Andrew Luck and the Colts have proven that last season was no fluke and that they are legitimate challengers in the AFC this year.
The numbers haven't been overwhelming for the Colts, but Indy does boast a top-five rushing attack and one of the best secondaries in the league in terms of fewest yards allowed.
With the Houston Texans reeling, the Tennessee Titans losing their starting quarterback for at least a month and the Jacksonville Jaguars still searching for their first win, the Colts have to be the favorite in the AFC South this fall.
5. Seattle Seahawks (4-1)
There's certainly no shame in losing to the Indianapolis Colts on the road, but the Seattle Seahawks proved to be vulnerable away from the "12th Man" in Week 5, as they were outscored 11-0 in the fourth quarter to suffer their first loss of 2013.
6. New England Patriots (4-1)
The Patriots are perfect no more, but New England still boasts a championship caliber defense. Only Kansas City is allowing fewer points per game than the Pats in 2013.
7. San Francisco 49ers (3-2)
Back-to-back blowout victories have the Niners feeling good about themselves, and they are currently just one game back of the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West.
Jim Harbaugh has to be proud of how dominant his defense has been since the start of Week 4. San Francisco has allowed just 14 points combined over the past two weeks, and they have picked up the pace offensively as well, scoring 69 total points over the same two games.
With a matchup against the Arizona Cardinals on tap for Week 6, the 49ers look poised to remain on track as they aim to hit midseason form.
8. Baltimore Ravens (3-2)
Baltimore finally got a road win in Week 5, beating the Miami Dolphins in a game that could have huge playoff implications down the road in a potential AFC wild-card tiebreaker scenario.
While the Ravens' offense is still out of sync, especially in the running game, the defense has been encouraging since the season opener.
9. Cincinnati Bengals (3-2)
We know the Bengals are a playoff team at home this season, but can they play up to their potential on the road?
We'll find out in Week 6 in Buffalo.
10. Green Bay Packers (2-2)
The Week 4 bye week couldn't have come at a better time for the Packers, who returned in dominant fashion against division-rival Detroit in Week 5. Green Bay is right back in the mix in the NFC North and, more importantly, they are firing on all cylinders offensively.
The Packers have balance on offense for the first time in a long time, ranking fourth in passing yards and fifth in rushing yards heading into Week 6.
If the offense can limit the turnovers that plagued the team in losses to the 49ers and Bengals, and if the defense can continue to keep opponents out of the end zone, the Packers have the weapons to challenge the Saints, Seahawks and 49ers in the NFC.
11. Tennessee Titans (3-2)
Tennessee has only turned the ball over three times this season, and while that bodes well for the Titans' chances of snagging an AFC wild-card berth, it may not matter against Seattle this weekend.
The Seahawks are beating their opponents by 27 points per game at home in 2013.
12. Detroit Lions (3-2)
Detroit could have emerged as the hands-down favorite in the NFC North with a win over Green Bay in Week 5. Instead, the Lions did what they have since the early 1990s, they lost to the Packers at Lambeau Field.
So close and yet so far.
13. Chicago Bears (3-2)
Chicago's 3-0 start was impressive, but the Bears have fallen back down to earth after consecutive losses to Detroit and New Orleans.
The good news for Bears fans is that the winless Giants are coming to town on Thursday night, so expect Chicago to right the ship in Week 6.
14. Miami Dolphins (3-2)
The bye week comes at a perfect time for Miami, which has lost two in a row following a 3-0 start. The Dolphins are struggling on both sides of the ball and must find a way to protect Ryan Tannehill.
15. New York Jets (3-2)
The Jets' defense deserves a ton of credit for New York's positive start this season.
Now, if Geno Smith and the offense can limit the turnovers moving forward, this a team with legitimate AFC wild-card hopes in 2013.
16. Dallas Cowboys (2-3)
Just when it looks like Dallas is about to turn the corner, the Cowboys (usually Tony Romo) make a critical error. But despite their gut-wrenching loss to Denver in Week 5, the Cowboys look to be by far the best team the NFC East has to offer.
Fortunately, Dallas only has to outlast New York, Philadelphia and Washington in order to earn a home playoff game in January.
17. Cleveland Browns (3-2)
Cleveland is above .500 for the first time since Week 3 of the 2011 season, but let's not overreact. The Browns have lost Brian Hoyer for the season because of a torn ACL, and they have tough matchups against Detroit, Green Bay, Kansas City and Baltimore on the horizon before their Week 10 bye.
The Dolphins and Jets appear to be bigger threats in the AFC at the moment.
18. Arizona Cardinals (3-2)
It's difficult to take the Cardinals seriously at 3-2. The teams they've beaten are a combined 4-9, and Carson Palmer has thrown seven interceptions over the last three games.
You can bet that sloppy play will catch up to Arizona against improved competition in the coming weeks.
19. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3)
Philadelphia finally stopped the bleeding in Week 5, kicking the division-rival Giants while they were down to grab a share of the NFC East lead.
Say what you want about the Eagles and their recent struggles, but they will remain in the playoff mix thanks to their anemic division.
20. Houston Texans (2-3)
The Texans have dropped three-straight games following a 2-0 start, and they have serious questions to answer at quarterback. Veteran Matt Schaub's confidence appears to be hanging on by a thread and for obvious reason, as his poor play has wasted the efforts of a stout defensive unit to start 2013.
21. Oakland Raiders (2-3)
Until the Raiders can become more threatening in the passing game, the offense will continue to struggle against quality defenses. With a tough game at Kansas City scheduled for this weekend, Oakland is likely to be sitting at 2-4 heading into its Week 7 bye.
22. San Diego Chargers (2-3)
Unfortunately, San Diego's inconsistency continues to outshine its potential. Every time it looks as if the Chargers are going to take the next step and become a contender in the AFC, they turn the ball over five times and lose to a team they should have beaten handily.
23. Buffalo Bills (2-3)
With three of their next five games on the road, EJ Manuel's injury couldn't have come at a worse time for the Buffalo Bills, who continue to take one step forward and two steps back.
24. St. Louis Rams (2-3)
The Rams have to be able to run the ball with more success in the coming weeks in order to help out their fading defense.
St. Louis has wins over Arizona and Jacksonville at home, but the schedule doesn't get any easier.
25. Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
In a pass-first league, the Vikings' dismal secondary is sure to hold them down, unless big strides are made soon. Minnesota also needs to find stability under center.
Adrian Peterson is keeping the offense relevant, but how long can he keep it up?
26. Carolina Panthers (1-3)
Carolina scored six points in last week after coming off a bye.
The Panthers have a win thanks to the Giants, but time is running out for Cam Newton to prove he can lead Carolina to the promised land—or at least the playoffs.
27. Atlanta Falcons (1-4)
The Falcons simply haven't been able to finish games to start the season. So many games in the NFL are decided in the waning moments, and unfortunately for Atlanta, that's when the Falcons are playing their worst football.
The worst winless team is the...
28. Washington Redskins (1-3)
Unless the Redskins improve dramatically on the defensive side of the ball, it won't matter what RG3 does moving forward. Washington's D has been dreadful, and the team will continue to struggle against quality teams unless adjustments are made.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4)
Pittsburgh is clearly the "best of the worst" when it comes to the league's remaining winless teams. The Steelers boast a top-10 passing attack and a solid defensive unit that ranks fifth against the pass.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4)
Thanks to a bye in Week 5, the Bucs were able to get through a weekend without a loss. Even better, Tampa shares the state of Florida with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
31. New York Giants (0-5)
New York is turning the ball over four times per game and is being outscored by 20 points each week. Thankfully, the Giants have won two Super Bowls since 2007.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5)
The Jaguars' 51 total points through five weeks is the worst of any team in the league. Plus, no team has been outscored by more points than Jacksonville this season.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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