Predicting Post-Week 6 NFL Power Rankings

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Predicting Post-Week 6 NFL Power Rankings
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Anybody can do an NFL power rankings article. But an NFL power rankings article that also includes predictions about what the standings will look like next week?

Well, now that's a different animal altogether. 

Here, I've provided predictive power rankings after next week's slate of games.

So, we have power rankings, Week 6 game predictions and oodles of NFL goodness.

Let's do this.

 

32. Jacksonville Jaguars

Record: 0-5

Record After Week 6: 0-6

Analysis: Hey, on the bright side, Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon are pretty good, right? Teddy Bridgewater will look good wearing the Jags uniform next season, right? Man, this is a terrible football team. 

 

31. New York Giants

Record: 0-6

Analysis: It's pretty simple for the Giants: They can't hold onto the ball. You simply won't win if you turn the ball over 20 times in a five-week stretch, and the Giants didn't look any better playing on a short week against the ball-hawk Bears. Eli Manning threw an additional three interceptions to bring his total to a league-leading 15—as many as he had all of last season. 

 

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Record: 0-4

Record After Week 6: 0-5

Analysis: Boy, the Bucs are a mess. At this point, Greg Schiano is probably coaching for his job, while Mike Glennon now has his chance to prove he's the future. This team is probably better than its winless record, but a game against the high-flying Eagles is no easy task. 

 

29. Carolina Panthers

Record: 1-3

Record After Week 6: 1-4

Analysis: Cam Newton is 25th in the NFL in passing yards per game, 25th in completion percentage and 29th in Total QBR. Until he improves his play, the Panthers are going to struggle. 

 

28. Pittsburgh Steelers

Record: 0-4

Record After Week 6: 1-4

Analysis: With Le'Veon Bell back in the fold, the Steelers running game should continue to improve. But until the defense steps up, with the team allowing 27.5 points per game (23rd in the NFL), Pittsburgh will continue to struggle. Coming off a bye, however, and with the Jets having a short week of preparation, I like the Steelers to pull off the upset and get their first win. 

 

27. Minnesota Vikings

Record: 1-3

Record After Week 6: 2-3

Analysis: Christian Ponder was the biggest question mark for this team coming into the season. Five games in, the Vikings have tired of waiting for a better answer than the one Ponder has provided, so they signed Josh Freeman this week. Even if Adrian Peterson runs for 2,500 yards, the Vikings won't be making the playoffs unless they get better play at quarterback. Still, with the Carolina Panthers coming to town, the Vikings should be able to get their second win.

 

26. Atlanta Falcons

Record: 1-4

Record After Week 6: 1-4 (bye)

Analysis: Atlanta's season has officially become a dumpster fire heading into the bye. Julio Jones is likely done for the year (via Tom Pelissero of USA Today), Roddy White can't get healthy, and the team simply isn't very good in the trenches on either side of the ball. It's hard to see Matt Ryan and company turning this thing around.

 

25. Washington

Record: 1-3

Record After Week 6: 1-4

Analysis: Washington has to be better after its bye, right? Robert Griffin III should be all systems go, but this team's issue is its league-worst defense, shoddy offensive line and a lack of playmakers in the passing game. Romo and the 'Boys are going to light up Washington this week, and RG3 can't win games by himself.

 

24. St. Louis Rams

Record: 2-3

Record After Week 6: 2-4

Analysis: The Rams have been one of the biggest disappointments of the young season. The defense has stunk, Jared Cook has gone AWOL since Week 1, and the running game has been atrocious. Can they turn it around? Probably, but a trip to Houston will test them this week. 

 

23. Buffalo Bills

Record: 2-3

Record After Week 6: 2-4

Analysis: The Bills would be higher on this list, but their starting quarterback this week is Thad Lewis, fresh off the practice squad. If Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller can't keep the ball moving on the ground, the Bills are going to be in serious trouble while EJ Manuel is injured. 

 

22. San Diego Chargers

Record: 2-3

Record After Week 6: 2-4

Analysis: Philip Rivers is revived and has San Diego's passing attack firing on all cylinders. Unfortunately, the Chargers also can't seem to stop opposing quarterbacks. Andrew Luck is going to rip this defense to shreds. 

 

21. Oakland Raiders

Record: 2-3

Record After Week 6: 2-4

Analysis: In Terrelle Pryor the Raiders trust! As Oakland's starter, Pryor is 2-2 and has completely changed the dynamic of this offense, offering a scrambling threat but also showing the patience and maturity to look for a play down the field before taking off. He's Cam Newton Lite, but with a better record. 

 

20. Tennessee Titans

Record: 3-2

Record After Week 6: 3-3

Analysis: Without Jake Locker, it's hard to see the Titans beating either the Seahawks or 49ers in the next two weeks. The defense will keep the Titans in games, but unless Chris Johnson gets going, Tennessee is going to struggle with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm. 

 

19. Arizona Cardinals 

Record: 3-2

Record After Week 6: 3-3

Analysis: The offense doesn't offer much to get excited about, but with a solid defense and an easy schedule to open the season, the Cardinals are 3-2. They'll be tested in the next three weeks, however, facing the Niners, Seahawks and Falcons. 

 

18. New York Jets 

Record: 3-2

Record After Week 6: 3-3

Analysis: The talk will probably surround rookie quarterback Geno Smith after Monday night's win over the Falcons, but this defense is legit. Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson are dominating in the trenches, and, not surprisingly, the Jets defense is dramatically improved because of it. They probably don't have a compelling enough offense to reach the playoffs this year, but with a solid defense, the future is bright.

 

17. Philadelphia Eagles

Record: 2-3

Record After Week 6: 3-3

Analysis: Give the Eagles this: Outside of their drubbing by the Broncos, they've been in every game and could be a 4-1 team right now. If Nick Foles is the starter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Eagles shouldn't miss a beat. The defense couldn't stop a crawling baby with a stairway gate, but behind LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson, Chip Kelly's offense has been one of the most dynamic in the league. 

 

16. Dallas Cowboys

Record: 2-3

Record After Week 6: 3-3

Analysis: The Cowboys could easily be 4-1, but the pass defense has been atrocious (326.4 yards allowed per game, ranking 31st in the NFL) and the team hasn't been able to win close games late. However, facing a Washington team that is allowing the most overall yards per game in the NFL (440.5), Tony Romo and company should get back on track. 

 

15. Houston Texans

Record: 2-3

Record After Week 6: 3-3

Analysis: The talent is there, but if Matt Schaub doesn't figure things out, it won't matter. If Schaub can't turn things around against an atrocious San Diego Chargers pass defense that is allowing 288.8 passing yards per game, tied for 27th in the NFL, the Texans are in serious trouble.

 

14. Miami Dolphins

Record: 3-2

Record After Week 6: 3-2 (bye)

Analysis: When you consider that the only team the Dolphins have played with a losing record is the Atlanta Falcons—a team with plenty of talent despite its struggles, mind you—a 3-2 record is nothing to sneeze at. With a bye this week to iron out some of the kinks, the Dolphins have the look of a team that could sneak into the playoffs. 

 

13. Detroit Lions 

Record: 3-2

Record After Week 6: 3-3

Analysis: The Lions went into last Sunday's game against the Packers having scored at least 21 points in every game and were fresh off of laying 40 points on the Chicago Bears. But without Calvin Johnson, the Lions mustered just nine points. Getting him back is obviously key, though I think the red-hot Cleveland Browns will inch past the Lions in Cleveland, even with Megatron in action. 

 

12. Baltimore Ravens 

Record: 3-2

Record After Week 6: 3-3

Analysis: Isn't it amazing how much better the Ravens are when Ray Rice, and not Joe Flacco, is the focal point of the offense? Seriously, it feels like we talk about the same thing every year. Against the Miami Dolphins, Rice had a total of 33 touches for 102 yards and two touchdowns, and the Ravens won. It isn't rocket science, Baltimore.

 

11. Cleveland Browns

Record: 3-2

Record After Week 6: 4-2

Analysis: This team is legit, folks. The defense is rock solid, Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron are dangerous weapons, and Brandon Weeden looked solid in relief duty against the Buffalo Bills. Expect a raucous crowd in Cleveland when the Lions come to town.

 

10. Chicago Bears

Record: 4-2

Analysis: The Bears had lost two straight, but the ascension of Alshon Jeffery is a great sign for this team. Jeffery had a nondescript outing against the Giants, catching only one pass for 27 yards, but his presence helped Brandon Marshall shine for a two-touchdown performance. A Thursday night matchup against the hapless New York Giants also helped.

 

9. Green Bay Packers 

Record: 2-2

Record After Week 6: 3-2

Analysis: The Packers have really had a brutal start to the season, and they next face the Baltimore Ravens. Even without Clay Matthews (expected to miss a month with a broken thumb, per ESPN's Adam Schefter), you have to think Aaron Rodgers and this dangerous Green Bay offense will keep on humming.

 

8. Cincinnati Bengals

Record: 3-2

Record After Week 6: 4-2

Analysis: The Bengals have impressive wins over both the Patriots and Green Bay Packers. They've come out of the difficult portion of their schedule and should ride a solid defense back to the playoffs, starting with a winnable contest in Buffalo. If Andy Dalton and A.J. Green can get back on the same page, look out. 

 

7. San Francisco 49ers

Record: 3-2

Record After Week 6: 4-2

Analysis: Everyone can stop pressing the panic button; the 49ers are just fine. Yes, Colin Kaepernick has seemed to regress, but he's also been without receiving threats Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham. Meanwhile, the defense has kept on ticking, even without Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith. They should remain one of the favorites in the NFC and will handle the Arizona Cardinals.

 

6. Kansas City Chiefs

Record: 5-0

Record After Week 6: 6-0

Analysis: The Chiefs look like they will ride a solid defense and easy schedule right into the playoffs. The additions of head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith have this team playing smart football. It's hard to imagine the Oakland Raiders coming into Kansas City and handing the Chiefs their first loss. 

 

5. New Orleans Saints 

Record: 5-0

Record After Week 6: 5-1

Analysis: In any other season, Drew Brees would probably be the early favorite for MVP. Jimmy Graham has arguably been the NFL's most dangerous non-quarterback offensive weapon this season, while the return of Sean Payton has this team humming. Add in a new and improved defense, and the Saints are for real, folks. I think they'll lose in New England this week, but not by much. For the moment, they're the class of the NFC.

 

4. New England Patriots

Record: 4-1

Record After Week 6: 5-1

Analysis: When you consider that the team has dealt with injuries to Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and Stevan Ridley and that Tom Brady has had to break in a pair of rookie receivers, the Pats' 4-1 start is impressive. Playing t home on Sunday and with the return of Gronk likely, the Patriots will topple the mighty Saints. Bill Belichick has a legit defense, folks—a scary sign for the rest of the AFC.

 

3. Seattle Seahawks

Record: 4-1

Record After Week 6: 5-1

Analysis: I still think the Seahawks will end up being the class of the NFC, but they are bumped down a few spots after losing to the Colts on the road. The Seahawks remain fairly predictable—they struggle on the road (2-1 with the two wins coming by a combined total of eight points) and remain unbeatable at home (10 straight wins at CenturyLink Field). There's no way the Tennessee Titans go into Seattle and steal a win. 

 

2. Indianapolis Colts

Record: 4-1

Record After Week 6: 5-1

Analysis: With wins over the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, Andrew Luck and the Colts announced in no uncertain terms that they are for real. If they can get Trent Richardson going, they'll be even more imposing.  

 

1. Denver Broncos

Record: 5-0

Record After Week 6: 6-0

Analysis: Is there any doubt that the Denver Broncos are the best team in the NFL? They lead the league in points per game, passing yards per game and total yards per game. They have the game's best quarterback at the moment in Peyton Manning, along with arguably the NFL's best group of receivers. This week, they play the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that has scored the same amount of points this season (51) as the Broncos scored against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Look out below. 

 

Hit me up on Twitter—I'll answer your fantasy lineup questions, make ill-fated NFL predictions and tweet knee-slapping jokes. Well, the first two things, at least. 

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