NFL Power Rankings, Week 5: Parity Rules
After four weeks of play in 2009, there were five undefeated teams in the NFL. This year, there's only one. And that club has only played three games.
There's a far narrower gap between the Haves and the Have Nots in the league this season, which makes determining the best team in football a very difficult task.
But let's give it a try.
1. (7) Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
The Ravens ascend to the top spot after winning on the road over the team I previously had ranked No. 1. Baltimore has the best pass defense in the league and has defeated a pair of 3-1 teams away from home.
2. (1) Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)
Can we stop now with the talk of not starting Ben Roethlisberger when he returns against Cleveland after the bye week?
3. (8) New York Jets (3-1)
The Jets have put up at least 28 points over the past three weeks while beating every team in their division.
4. (10) New England Patriots (3-1)
New England scored in almost every way possible on Monday night: field goal, kickoff, running, receiving, kick block, and interception return.
5. (15) Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)
The Chiefs have to travel to play an angry Colts team this week. I don't expect KC to remain undefeated for long.
6. (2) Atlanta Falcons (3-1)
Atlanta looked a little shaky in its win over San Francisco, but the Falcons still pulled it out by rallying from a 14-0 deficit.
7. (3) New Orleans Saints (3-1)
The Saints also didn't look so hot in narrowly beating the lowly Panthers. I'm not sure why they decided to run the ball 29 times despite the absence of Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush.
8. (4) Chicago Bears (3-1)
The Bears gave up more sacks in the first half against the Giants (9) than they had in the previous three games combined (8).
9. (5) Green Bay Packers (3-1)
The Packers were yet another 3-1 team barely scraping by against an inferior opponent. They nearly blew a second-half, 14-point lead to the Lions.
10. (13) Houston Texans (3-1)
After turning the ball over three times in a loss to Dallas, Houston played clean football to pick up a nice road win in Oakland, despite missing Andre Johnson.
11. (9) Miami Dolphins (2-2)
After a bye, the Dolphins head to Green Bay, but that might be a good thing for the Dolphins, who are 2-0 on the road and 0-2 at home.
12. (6) Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)
Carson Palmer awoke, hooking up with Terrell Owens 10 times for 222 yards, but two fumbles and eight penalties sent the Bengals to a bad loss in Cleveland.
13. (22) San Diego Chargers (2-2)
The Chargers have the NFL's best offense and defense, but they also lead the AFC with 10 turnovers.
14. (18) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2)
How did Jacksonville beat Indy? David Garrard was 17-for-22 with two touchdowns and no picks, the defense forced two turnovers, and Josh Scobee hit a 59-yard field goal.
15. (14) Indianapolis Colts (2-2)
Many scoffed when I had the Colts ranked 14th last week, but as they showed once again vs. the Jaguars, they can't run the ball and they can't stop the run.
16. (17) New York Giants (2-2)
So the Giants had the third-worst scoring defense in the NFL with Mathias Kiwanuka in the lineup, but with him out with injury, they hold the Bears to three points and pick up 10 sacks. Makes sense.
17. (27) Washington Redskins (2-2)
That had to feel good.
18. (16) Philadelphia Eagles (2-2)
The Eagles have scored 12 points in five quarters with Kevin Kolb under center this season and 83 points in 11 quarters with Michael Vick.
19. (12) Dallas Cowboys (1-2)
Dallas will look to get to .500 at home against Tennessee this week.
20. (19) Denver Broncos (2-2)
Denver has the best pass offense and the worst rush offense in the league.
21. (11) Tennessee Titans (2-2)
The lifespan for a star running back in the NFL is about 12 games.
22. (21) Minnesota Vikings (1-2)
I'm surprised ESPN continued to broadcast football with Brett Favre on a bye.
23. (23) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)
The Bucs probably won't win another game until Oct. 24.
24. (24) Arizona Cardinals (2-2)
Arizona has gone more than 76 minutes without scoring an offensive touchdown.
25. (25) Oakland Raiders (1-3)
The Raiders have the second-worst rush defense in the league.
26. (26) St. Louis Rams (2-2)
After going nearly two years without a home win, the Rams have defended their turf in back-to-back weeks.
27. (20) Seattle Seahawks (2-2)
The Seahawks haven't scored an offensive touchdown in nearly 91 minutes.
28. (31) Cleveland Browns (1-3)
Peyton Hillis is tied for the league lead with four rushing touchdowns.
29. (28) San Francisco 49ers (0-4)
San Fran's offense looked a lot better under its new offensive coordinator and if Kolb starts for Philly Sunday night, I can see the Niners pick up their first win at home against the Eagles.
30. (29) Detroit Lions (0-4)
The Lions can throw the ball, but they can't do anything else.
31. (32) Carolina Panthers (0-4)
The Panthers defense looked good vs. the Saints, but 37 percent of Carolina's offense came on two plays.
32. (30) Buffalo Bills (0-4)
That's four straight weeks of the Bills having the worst offense in the NFL.
Follow me on Twitter at JordanHarrison .
Jordan Schwartz is one of Bleacher Report's New York Yankees and College Basketball Featured Columnists. His book Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com.
Jordan can be reached at email@example.com
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