NFL Power Rankings: Assessing Every Team's Situation Heading into Week 6
The 2013 NFL season has taken a number of strange twists and turns through five weeks.
All it takes is one quick glance at the standings to notice that the New York Giants are one of four winless teams, while the Cleveland Browns are surprisingly 3-0 since trading their top offensive weapon in running back Trent Richardson.
But with another slate of matchups on the horizon, don't get used to it, because things are certain to change again.
Let's take a look at where all 32 teams stand heading into Week 6.
*Super Bowl favorites are italicized.
1. Denver Broncos (5-0)
Offensively, it's nearly impossible to improve on 46 points per game. But make no mistake, Peyton Manning and the Broncos' high-powered offensive attack won't be enough to get the job done in the postseason.
We've seen this movie before, and Denver's defense must pick up the pace in order for the Broncos to avoid another early postseason exit.
The Broncos deserve plenty of applause for their efforts to this point, but eventually, the secondary will need to show up and make some key stops against elite offenses.
2. New Orleans Saints (5-0)
Speaking of offensive juggernauts that are off to fast starts, New Orleans has completely flipped the switch from 2012 to 2013. The defense is allowing just over 14 points per game this season and making Brees' brilliance count for more.
If the Saints can beat the Patriots this week, they'll be 6-0 with only three remaining games against teams that are currently .500 or better (Jets, 49ers and Seahawks).
Which surprising AFC contender has the best shot to win it all in 2013?
3. Kansas City Chiefs (5-0)
Andy Reid has the Chiefs playing brilliant playoff-style football in October. Kansas City defends with endless effort and doesn't turn the ball over. That's a recipe for success.
But will it continue?
4. Indianapolis Colts (4-1)
Indy will need to stiffen up against the run defensively in the coming weeks if it hopes to emerge as a legitimate Super Bowl threat. But for now, Andrew Luck has the Colts playing at an extremely high level while the rest of the AFC South flounders.
5. Seattle Seahawks (4-1)
The Seahawks aren't a bad road team by any means, but their dominance in Seattle makes earning home-field advantage that much more critical to their championship hopes in 2013.
Week 5's loss at Indianapolis is nothing to stress over for Pete Carroll, but it does prove his squad is beatable away from the 12th man.
The good news: The 'Hawks will be back at home this weekend, where they are outscoring their opponents by 27 points per game. On top of Seattle's ridiculous margin of victory in the Emerald City, the Seahawks haven't lost there since December 2011.
Which recent Super Bowl loser has the best chance to get back in 2013?
6. New England Patriots (4-1)
While much of the talk has centered on Tom Brady's surprising success with a limited arsenal at his disposal, the Patriots have been excelling on the defensive side of the ball in 2013.
Only Kansas City is allowing fewer points per game this season than New England.
7. San Francisco 49ers (3-2)
Back-to-back blowout victories have reminded the rest of the league that San Francisco is still a serious threat in the NFC. The defense has allowed just 14 total points since the start of Week 4, and the offense is moving the ball and scoring points like it was a year ago.
8. Baltimore Ravens (3-2)
The defending Super Bowl champions have surrendered just three offensive touchdowns over their past four games and finally ended their two-game road skid in Miami last weekend. A Week 6 showdown with the Green Bay Packers will tell us a lot more about this AFC contender.
9. Cincinnati Bengals
Yet again. Cincinnati has the look of a playoff team. But if the Bengals want to take the step from AFC Wild Card to division champion, they will have to prove they can play winning football on the road.
Sunday's matchup with the Bills in Buffalo offers them a third shot to pick up their first road win of 2013.
10. Green Bay Packers (2-2)
Green Bay will need a few unsung heroes to step up on defense with Clay Matthews expected to miss nearly a month with a thumb injury. Luckily, the Packers have Aaron Rodgers and a surprisingly balanced offensive attack to bail them out.
Which 3-2 Week 5 loser is the biggest lock to bounce back in Week 6?
11. Tennessee Titans (3-2)
There's no denying that Jake Locker's hip injury hurts Tennessee. The third-year passer was playing mistake-free football before going down, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is nothing more than a serviceable replacement.
With Seattle and San Francisco up next, the Titans could easily be 3-4 by the time Locker is ready to return following the team's Week 8 bye.
12. Detroit Lions (3-2)
Week 5's loss to the Green Bay Packers shows why Detroit can't be considered a contender just yet. When the Lions struggle offensively, they stand zero chance. Sure, the defense is improved this year, but not enough to overcome Detroit's offensive dry spells.
13. Chicago Bears (3-2)
The Bears are trending way down after two consecutive losses, but fortunately, Chicago will host the winless New York Giants in Week 6. Anything less than a win would be crushing for the Bears considering four of their next six games are on the road.
14. Miami Dolphins (3-2)
After three weeks of trying to convince the rest of the NFL that they were contenders, the Dolphins have spent the past two weeks reminding us that they are a few pieces away from challenging in the AFC.
Miami can't protect Ryan Tannehill and the defense is far from championship-caliber. The bye week came at the perfect time for Joe Philbin's squad.
15. New York Jets (3-2)
If Geno Smith and the Jets can take care of the ball like they did in Week 5's upset of the Atlanta Falcons, they are AFC Wild Card threats this fall. If not, New York's elite defense won't be enough to lead it back to the postseason.
Nonetheless, the Jets have a chance to fire up a winning streak in Week 6 against the winless Steelers.
16. Dallas Cowboys (2-3)
Cowboys fans have got to be encouraged by what they saw in Week 5, even if Dallas is below .500 through five weeks. After all, Tony Romo and the Dallas offense are firing on all cylinders heading into Week 6's divisional clash with the Washington Redskins.
A win over Washington would keep Dallas atop the division and feeling good about its playoff chances.
17. Cleveland Browns (3-2)
It's impossible to ignore the fact that the Browns are above .500 for the first time in two years. Unfortunately, Cleveland lost the player that sparked its current winning streak, quarterback Brian Hoyer, to a season-ending ACL tear.
With road games against Green Bay and Kansas City on tap after Week 6's home showdown with the Detroit Lions, Sunday's outcome could determine whether the Browns remain in the AFC mix.
18. Arizona Cardinals (3-2)
Let's face it: The Cardinals still have a ton to prove. Arizona's three wins have come against teams with a combined record of 4-9, and the schedule only gets tougher, with matchups against San Francisco, Seattle and Atlanta upcoming.
19. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3)
No one in the NFC East can play defense this season, but at least the Eagles sport the league's top-ranked rushing attack, led by LeSean McCoy.
Philadelphia should be able to beat up on the winless Bucs this weekend and get back to .500 before pivotal matchups against Dallas and New York in Weeks 7 and 8.
20. Houston Texans (2-3)
Three straight losses have the Texans fading fast in the AFC South. The season is still far from over, but if Houston can't end its losing streak at home against the St. Louis Rams in Week 6, it might not matter.
21. Oakland Raiders (2-3)
After a confidence-boosting win over division rival San Diego last weekend, the Raiders are poised to come back down to earth in Week 6 in Kansas City. The undefeated Chiefs boast one of the top defenses in the league and should have an answer for Terrelle Pryor's arm and legs.
22. San Diego Chargers (2-3)
San Diego's potential continues to be overshadowed by its inconsistency. Just when you think the Chargers are a playoff team, they put together a head-scratching performance.
23. Buffalo Bills (2-3)
With Thad Lewis set to start under center for the Bills against the Bengals in Week 6, Buffalo appears to be in serious trouble. The Bills defense has been average at best this season, and now EJ Manuel's injury has created question marks on offense.
If Buffalo falls to Cincinnati, things will really start to unravel considering the Bills' following two games are on the road.
24. St. Louis Rams (2-3)
Until St. Louis can put together a complete game against a quality team, it's hard to consider them a threat. The Rams have struggled to run the ball all year long and have given up 31 or more points in their three losses.
25. Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
The Vikings will be favored to earn their second straight victory over the Panthers this weekend. And considering the NFC North hasn't been overly impressive to start the year, at 2-3, the Vikings would be right back in the thick of things.
26. Carolina Panthers (1-3)
Not that the Carolina Panthers bandwagon was crowded to begin with, but very few will be expecting big things from Cam Newton and company the rest of the way following a 22-6 loss to the Arizona Cardinals off a bye week.
27. Atlanta Falcons (1-4)
Injuries and a fading defense have Atlanta destined for a long year.
The Falcons will enjoy a bye in Week 6 but still have very tough games against Seattle, New Orleans, Green Bay and San Francisco left to play.
28. Washington Redskins (1-3)
It won't matter what RG3 does moving forward unless Washington tightens up its defense. Opponents are finding throwing lanes and gaping holes far too easy to come by against the Redskins through the first quarter of the season.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4)
Pittsburgh appears to be the most dangerous of the four remaining winless teams coming into the weekend. The Steelers still boast one of the top secondaries in football and have had some close losses this season.
Which winless team is most likely to get a win in Week 6?
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4)
The Bucs' big problems are on the offensive side of the ball, where they are averaging 11 points per game and relying on rookie quarterback Mike Glennon to lead the way after parting ways with veteran Josh Freeman.
31. New York Giants (0-5)
New York is averaging four turnovers per game this season and has allowed at least 31 points in every game. Porous defense and sloppy play on offense have the Giants still searching for their first win heading into Week 6.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5)
The Jaguars are losing each week by an average of 22.4 points and have scored nine or fewer points in three of their five losses.
An upset win over the Broncos would have Jacksonville rising fast, but don't get your hopes up.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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