NFL Power Rankings: Breaking Down Every Team After Thursday Night Football

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IOctober 11, 2013

Oct 6, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA;  Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) during the second half of the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts won 34-28. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a roller-coaster ride like none other heading into Week 6's weekend games.

The New York Giants are one of the worst teams in the league, the Kansas City Chiefs are one of the best teams in the league and quarterbacks like Terrelle Pryor are upstaging quarterbacks like Colin Kaepernick.

What the heck is going on? The 2013 NFL campaign is the equivalent of riding "Splash Mountain" at Disneyland (Brer Rabbit's story has nothing on this).

Here's a breakdown of all 32 teams heading into Week 6's weekend action.

*Note: Ranking based on a combination of record, point differential and strength of schedule through Week 5.

1. Denver Broncos (5-0)

The Broncos have played a fairly easy strength of schedule thus far, but they've also posted the best point differential in the NFL by far at plus-91. You can't ignore that, nor the fact that the Broncos just dropped 51 points in Dallas.

2. New Orleans Saints (5-0)

The Saints are closer to the Broncos than you may think. They've played a more difficult strength of schedule, are undefeated and have a better defense than Denver. It wouldn't surprise me if the Saints are No. 1 by the end of the season.

3. Indianapolis Colts (4-1)

The Colts have beaten the 49ers and Seahawks in two of the last three weeks. That's hard to ignore. Also hard to ignore: the chemistry being developed between Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton.

4. Seattle Seahawks (4-1)

Faced with one of the toughest schedules in the NFL thus far, the Seahawks suffered a rare loss last week to the Colts. Still, this is a balanced team that obliterated the 49ers in Week 2.

5. Kansas City Chiefs (5-0)

The only thing keeping the Chiefs from the top three is their strength of schedule thus far. They have played the Jaguars, Cowboys, Eagles, Giants and Titans.

6. New England Patriots (4-1)

The Patriots suffered an ugly loss to the Bengals last week, but they are still 4-1. The expected return of Rob Gronkowski should help Tom Brady out, and the defense has generally been solid.

7. San Francisco 49ers (3-2)

The 49ers have bounced back after losses to the Seahawks and Colts. The 34-3 win against the Texans last week was a demolition. Colin Kaepernick needs to step up soon to add some balance to the offense, though. So do San Francisco's receivers.

8. Baltimore Ravens (3-2)

Don't count the defending champions out. They aren't on the same level as the Broncos and they suffered an embarrassing defeat to the Bills in Week 4, but they bounced back last week with a big win over the Dolphins. The defense has generally been solid.

9. Miami Dolphins (3-2)

The Dolphins have faced an extremely tough strength of schedule thus far, but they are still 3-2. That shows this team's progress. They may not be on the same level as the Saints, but they are right there with the Ravens.

10. Cleveland Browns (3-2)

You have to give the Browns credit thus far, even if you don't trust quarterback Brandon Weeden in the long-term. The defense has been stout for the most part. It's going to be interesting to see if the Browns' mighty pass rush will fluster Matthew Stafford and the Lions in Week 6.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (3-2)

The Bengals will go as far as Andy Dalton takes them. Sounds like a broken record, right? It's true, though. This defense is solid, but the Bengals won't beat teams like the Patriots, 13-6, all the time.

12. Green Bay Packers (2-2)

The Packers sit at a modest 2-2, but they have played a tough schedule thus far, losing to the 49ers and Bengals, while beating the Lions last week. The return of Eddie Lacy should help the running game.

13. Detroit Lions (3-2)

I never feel comfortable about the Lions under Jim Schwartz. Week 5 was a perfect example. After beating up on the Bears in Week 4, the Lions lost to the Packers last week, 22-9. Everything is a crapshoot with this team. Too inconsistent for my liking. It's worth noting that the receiving corps has been hit hard, though.

14. Chicago Bears (4-2)

The Bears have gone 4-2 with a middle-of-the-road slate so far. A win over the Giants these days doesn't say much about any team. The losses to the Lions and Saints indicate this team isn't one of the top dogs.

15. Tennessee Titans (3-2)

The Titans have Ryan Fitzpatrick under center right now, which is pretty bad news. But the defense earned its stripes in a close loss to the Chiefs last week.

16. Arizona Cardinals (3-2)

The Cardinals have been outscored by opponents despite having a ho-hum strength of schedule. Sounds like a ho-hum team to me. Carson Palmer adds some explosiveness to the Cardinals, but he can also lose games for you, given his tendency to throw picks.

17. New York Jets (3-2)

Two words, one name: Geno. Smith. If the rookie signal-caller continues to progress at this rate, quarterback-needy teams are going to be wishing they selected him early in the first round of the draft. You have to give Rex Ryan credit for the bounce-back we have witnessed from the Jets. 

18. Dallas Cowboys (2-3)

The Cowboys are the best 2-3 team in the there's that. But 2-3 doesn't cut it, and nobody knows that better than Tony Romo. It's a shame that an otherwise splendid performance was overshadowed by Romo's pick at the end of the 51-48 loss to the Broncos. What happened to this team's defense?

19. Houston Texans (2-3)

Matt Schaub is most likely hiding out in a bunker somewhere in Texas right now. He's been plain awful this season, and Texans fans have grown impatient. But the Texans also allowed Frank Gore and company to run all over them in Week 5. That's another area of concern.

20. Oakland Raiders (2-3)

I'm officially a believer in Terrelle Pryor. He is throwing the ball beautifully lately. On top of that, he hasn't thrown a pick since Week 1. This defense is also underrated.

21. San Diego Chargers (2-3)

The inconsistency of this team from week to week is uncanny. At some point, you have to start blaming Philip Rivers. He's still throwing too many interceptions, and it's getting old.

22. Buffalo Bills (2-3)

The injury bug has hit the Bills hard, but that's still no reason to give up 37 points to the Browns. The Browns came into the Week 5 matchup averaging 16.0 points per game.

23. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3)

So, the Eagles beat the Redskins and the Giants. Hooray, they are better than the Redskins and the Giants. Normally, though, this defense can't get off the field.

24. St. Louis Rams (2-3)

The Rams have faced an easy strength of schedule and they have gone 2-3 to show for it. Not good. They beat up on the Jaguars, but, then again, who doesn't? Neither the offense nor the defense impresses me. Neither does Sam Bradford against quality competition, either.

25. Atlanta Falcons (1-4)

The Falcons just can't win close games. But, close or not, they are still losing. The team has talent, but its mental game is off. The confidence has to be at a season-low at this point.

26. Carolina Panthers (1-3)

"The best 1-3 team in the NFL" is not a good motto for an organization. The 22-6 loss to the Cardinals last week was embarrassing. I don't know who the real Cam Newton is, but he's certainly not any good right now. Newton has tossed five interceptions in his last three games.

27. Washington Redskins (1-3)

I have hope that the Redskins will be able to turn things around as Robert Griffin III works his way back from a torn ACL, but the key is in the defensive ranks. The 24-14 win over the Raiders in Week 4 was encouraging. Then again, the Redskins were facing backup Matt Flynn.

28. Minnesota Vikings (1-3)

The Vikings have suffered close losses to the Lions, Browns and Bears (oh my?), while beating the Steelers. Still, they are 1-3. Perhaps Josh Freeman helps them, but if fans are expecting the former Buccaneers signal-caller to revitalize the offense, they are in for a rude awakening.

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4)

When you are a mess both on and off the field, you turn out being a bad team. The defense has actually been solid, but Tampa Bay has one of the NFL's worst offenses, and that's not going to change anytime soon with rookie Mike Glennon currently under center.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4)

Everything has caught up to the Steelers finally: age, the poor pass protection and the putrid running game. Ben Roethlisberger can only do so much when Pittsburgh's offensive line resembles a silky curtain.

31. New York Giants (0-6)

If the Giants continue on this path, they won't win a game this season. They have looked awful on both sides of the ball. Eli Manning has thrown a league-high 15 interceptions—Carson Palmer is second with nine picks.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5)

This team needs a new quarterback—Blaine Gabbert and/or Chad Henne clearly can't get the job done. The defense isn't the worst unit in the league, but it's not far off, either.

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