NFL Week Five Power Rankings: Mardi Gras In October?

Jonathan SlotterCorrespondent IOctober 6, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - OCTOBER 04:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints throws the ball against the New York Jets at the Louisana Superdome on October 4, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


Team who gained the most spots: Jacksonville, jumping from 23 to 17th.

Team who fell the most spots: a three way tie between the Chargers, Cowboys, and Bills who all fell five spots.


Game I can’t wait to see next week: Bengals Ravens. The Bengals could make a serious statement if they pull this one off, but even if they keep it close it gives them confidence. A very watchable game is the Cards-Texans, just like some Big XII football.


1.     (1) New York Giants—Dominated most of the game against the Chiefs. Steve Smith has really turned into a top, consistent receiver in the league. The defense got constant pressure as Cassel completed under 50 percent of his passes.

2.     (7) New Orleans Saints—Defense really took it to the Jets while the offense was missing for most of the game. Defense coming up big though has to be comforting as the Saints are becoming more and more of a force.

3.     (5) Indianapolis Colts—Dominated the Seahawks from start to finish. Peyton Manning and Co. continue to tear defenses to shreds. The defense is also playing up to par. When both are clicking they could be the best team in the NFL.

4.     (6) New England Patriots—The Patriots look like the Pats of old. Wes Welker made Brady’s life much easier, throwing for 258 yards. The running game was enough and the defense did what it had to do to win.

5.     (4) Minnesota Vikings—Played a great game against a good Packers team. Defensive line was outstanding, Favre had his best game in years, and wasn’t asked to do much. This play calling looks like a recipe for success.

6.     (3) Baltimore Ravens—Not to be outdone by Tom Brady, Flacco had himself a game, throwing for 264 yards. Ray Rice also put in over 100 yards. They played a tough game but just didn’t have enough at the end. If the game is in Baltimore the game might be different. The defense though has to help out Flacco and Co.

7.     (2) New York Jets—Mark Sanchez finally looked like a rookie, but the defense also made Drew Brees look human also. Under 200 yards and no offense. If Sanchez doesn’t make those mistakes the game is much closer. The Jets are still a team to be feared.

8.     (9) Philadelphia Eagles—What better schedule could you have over the next three weeks? Bucs, Raiders, Redskins. Someone should pick up the Eagles defense quickly.

9.      (8) Atlanta Falcons—Look to rebound after the bye week from the Patriots defeat. 49ers will be stingy and Ryan needs to find Gonzales.

10.  (10) Chicago Bears—After keeping the Lions in the game for the first half, the defense allowed only three points in the second. Jay Cutler looked good, but Matt Forte stole the show with his 121 yards. The defense needs to play more like the second half though if they are going to compete in the loaded North.

11. (12) Cincinnati Bengals—The Bengals tried to give the Browns the game, but came out with the win in last second overtime fashion. Palmer continued to look good and Cedric Benson has continued to be a nice surprise. The defense can’t fall asleep in the second half of games though. However, a win is a win.

12. (15) Denver Broncos—A big statement game for the Broncos showing everyone they are a legit 4-0 team. I’m  not quite sold but the next two weeks should tell us more (Pats and Chargers).

13. (13) San Francisco 49ers—No Gore, no problem. Blitz the Rams 35-0 and continue to play solid, disciplined football under Mike Singletary. Beating the Falcons will go a long way in gaining respect in the league and beating a team outside of the NFC West.

14. (17) Pittsburgh Steelers—After bolting out of the gate against the Chargers, Pittsburgh fell asleep in the fourth quarter and that has to be concerning. Rashad Mendenhall provides a huge spark and just what the Steelers run game needs.

15. (16) Green Bay Packers—Despite getting beaten they looked good, despite the offensive lines struggles. Aaron Rogers is a warrior. The running game needs to pick it up though.

16. (11) San Diego Chargers—After not realizing they had a game until about two minutes left in the third, in typical Charger fashion, had a great fourth quarter but came up short. With the emergence of the Broncos the Chargers will actually have a race this year so they better wake up soon.

17. (23) Jacksonville Jaguars—After the Cardinals disaster the Jags have come out on fire the last few weeks. Could be a dark horse in the AFC South and David Garrard has played excellent in both games. However the defense and MJD are the key for a successful season.

18. (21) Houston Texans—Another good game for Matt Schaub, and also exercising some demons after the Raiders ruined their possibility for finishing with a winning record for first time in franchise history. Next games against the Cardinals and Bengals should tell us how good the defense is.

19. (14) Dallas Cowboys—What can we say about the Cowboys? The offense can’t score, the running game is non existent and the defense made Kyle Orton look pretty good. Lucky for the Cowboys the Chiefs are up next.

20.  (20) Arizona Cardinals—Can the Cardinals win a home game? Next week against the Texans is a must win and getting pressure on the QB is a must.

21. (24) Miami Dolphins—Housing the Bills 38-10 is just what the Dolphins and Henne needed. Ronnie Brown looked good and so did the defense. After the Colts game the Dolphins deserved this game.

22. (25) Carolina Panthers—Looking to get their season on track, maybe an early bye week will be good for them to get them started.

23. (18) Seattle Seahawks—The Seahawks looked like last years Seahawks as the defense failed to get it done. The Colts got 431 yards of offense. Wallace had an efficient game but the running game really has to get started if the Seahawks want to contend in the West.

24. (19) Buffalo Bills—The Bills looked awful and that Patriots game is still looking more and more like a mirage. Owens ended his games without a catch at one. And the Dolphins ran 24 more plays than the Bills.

25. (26) Detroit Lions—The Lions played like well the Lions. Good in the first half bad in the second. Stafford to Johnson is becoming a routine, but they were both banged up at the end of the game which could be a concern. The running game has to come back if they are wanting to win more games. And the defense has to, well, get in someone’s way, at the very least.

26. (30) Washington Redskins—Get a must win against the Bucs. Zorn is safe for another week. Portis getting more touches has to be a good sign as it will make things easier for Campbell to get the ball to his receivers and Cooley. 

27. (22) Tennessee Titans—In a must win game they come out flat. The Titans could start for 0-6 as the next two opponents (Colts and Patriots) don’t make it any easier. Jeff Fisher has his hands full. 

28. (27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers—They tried so hard to end Zorn’s tenure, but couldn’t quite get it done. Josh Johnson provides some interesting looks for the Bucs offense. I don’t think they will be favored in any game the rest of the year. 

29. (28) Oakland Raiders—The Raiders are, well, the Raiders. They need a new quarterback, a running game, a defense, and some receivers. They battle the Chiefs in the AFC west basement.

30. (30) Kansas City Chiefs—The Chiefs were over-matched, but they continued to fight and play hard. Got some points whenever backup David Carr came up into the game. Larry Johnson getting back into the game is also big for the Chiefs. He can provide life to the offense.

31. (32) Cleveland Browns—The Browns played much better than last week and came up with just a little short of stopping themselves from getting 16 losses. Derek Anderson played decent and Jerome Harrison had a huge day rushing for over 140 yards. Perhaps this will give them a chance for the rest of the season.

32. (31) St. Louis Rams—As soon as they get out of the 32 spot, they want right back. They hardly showed up against the 49ers, but what can you expect with Kyle Boller as QB. The defense allowing a Gore-less Niners 35 points though is inexplicable.