NFC Power Rankings: Week Five

Richard ReschCorrespondent IOctober 15, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 11:  Mario Manningham #82 of the New York Giants celebrates his touchdown against the Oakland Raiders with his teammates on October 11, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

1. Giants (5-0)

They dominated a weak Raiders team and stayed healthy for a change. Eli Manning looked great, and the passing attack is for real. Their game against the Saints could determine the early favorite for NFC home field advantage. (Last Week: 1)

2. Saints (4-0)

They were off this week, but now they face their toughest challenge yet in their battle with the Giants at home in the Superdome. The winner of that game will be next week’s top team. (2)

3. Vikings (5-0)

Beat the worst team in the conference, like they should. We didn’t learn anything new about the Vikings this week, but we already knew they were good. (3)

4. Eagles (3-1)

Like the Giants and Vikings, the Eagles took care of one of the doormats of the NFL in the Bucs. Donovan McNabb’s healthy return gives the Eagles a great passing offense. What to make of Brian Westbrook only getting six carries? (4)

5. Falcons (3-1)

The Falcons absolutely dominated the 49ers in what I thought could be a potential playoff preview. I said last week that Roddy White and Michael Turner needed to break out, and they combined for 307 yards and five touchdowns. And now I’m headed off to Vegas... (6)

6. Bears (3-1)

Coming into the season, I had the Bears on the cusp of the playoffs. After their awful opening game and the loss of Brian Urlacher, I basically wrote them off, but they have been a pleasant surprise. This week’s battle in Atlanta will tell us a lot about this Bears team. (7)

7. 49ers (3-2)

A terrible loss to a good Falcons team has their stock way down. They’re still my pick to win the West, but I don’t have nearly as much confidence now. They didn’t look like the same team that should have beaten the Vikings. (5)

8. Packers (2-2)

After their bye in week five, Green Bay plays host to Detroit in what could be considered a trap game. Obviously the Packers are the better team, but Detroit is not the same pushover it was last year, despite a 1-4 record. (8)

9. Cowboys (3-2)

A win is a win, but I feel no need to move them up after their overtime victory over the terrible Chiefs. (9)

10. Cardinals (2-2)

An impressive goal line stand against the high-powered Texans offense puts them right back in the thick of the NFC West race. (10)

11. Panthers (1-3)

Their win over the Redskins kept their season alive, but the Panthers are going to have to play better if they want to keep themselves afloat for long. (11)

12. Seahawks (2-3)

Impressive victory over a team that really shouldn’t be this bad. The Jaguars may not have a prolific offense, but any time you shut a team out, it’s worth noting. With Matt Hasselbeck healthy, they still have a chance to win a mediocre NFC West division. The Seahawks have won two games so far, and both have been shutouts. (13)

13. Lions (1-4)

They didn’t get a win to show for it, but they actually hung with the defending champs. Clearly better than last year. (12)

14. Redskins (2-3)

The Redskins have now lost to winless teams in two of their last three games. Enough said. (14)

15. Bucs (0-5)

Path- (15)

16. Rams (0-5)

-etic. (16)