NFL Power Rankings Week 6: Giants and Falcons Soaring, Cowboys Cowering

Elliott Pohnl@@ElliottPohnl_BRFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2010

NFL Power Rankings Week 6: Giants and Falcons Soaring, Cowboys Cowering

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    HOUSTON - OCTOBER 10:  Hakeem Nicks #88 of the New York Giants is tackled by Glover Quin #29 of the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    NFL Week 6 Power Rankings are here, and there is plenty of movement at the top.

    The Saints looked sloppy in the Week 5 loss to the Cardinals, committing four turnovers and continuing to struggle on offense.

    Meanwhile, the Falcons kept moving on up after pulling away late against the feisty Browns in Cleveland.

    Super Bowl hopefuls Dallas and Green Bay suffered devastating losses and both fell in the NFL power rankings as a result.

    All eyes were on the New Meadowlands Monday with Brett Favre making his return to face the Jets.  After starting slowly thanks in part to a long rain daily, the action finally picked up.

    Favre looked awful in the first half, but threw three second half touchdowns to make things very interesting.

    The Jets put the game away on Dwight Lowery's interception return for a touchdown with just over a minute remaining.

    New York was able to survive with a 22-20 win to cement a spot near the top of the power rankings.

    Here’s a look at the NFL Week 6 Power Rankings.

The Bottom of the Pack

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    ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Ryan Fitzpatrick #14  of the Buffalo Bills readies to pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. Jacksonville won 36-26. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    No. 32 Buffalo Bills: The Bills have allowed the most points in the NFL this season.  Combine that with a horrible offense and you get the worst team in football.

    No. 31 Carolina Panthers: Matt Moore wasn’t the answer and Jimmy Clausen isn’t ready to be the answer.

    No. 30 San Francisco 49ers: Mike Singletary still needs to add some substance to his style as a coach.

    No. 29 Cleveland Browns: Colt McCoy starting Sunday against the Steelers is a recipe for another loss.

    No. 28 Seattle Seahawks: How long will Pete Carroll’s enthusiasm overshadow a glaring lack of talent?

    No. 27 Saint Louis Rams: Losing Mark Clayton for the season will really hurt the Rams.

    No. 26 Detroit Lions: The Lions haven’t looked that good since Barry Sanders was running wild.

    No. 25 Denver Broncos: Kyle Orton is a passing-yardage machine, but the Broncos still can’t run the ball.

    No. 24 Oakland Raiders: The Raiders got a nice boost from Jason Campbell to beat the Chargers for the first time since 2003.

    No. 23 Cincinnati Bengals: Super Bowl contenders just don’t lose to the Browns and Bucs in back-to-back weeks.

    No. 22 Arizona Cardinals: The Max Hall era got off to a great start.  How long will it last?

    No. 21 Jacksonville Jaguars: Don’t look now, but the Jags have a winning record.  Marcedes Lewis has been a revelation for the Jaguars this season.

No. 20: San Diego Chargers

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    OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 10:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers walks off the field after the Chargers fumbled the ball against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 10, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The Chargers just can’t buy a win on the road, regardless of the opponent.

    Another late turnover by Philip Rivers sealed the loss, but Mike Scifres had two punts blocked in the first half to allow the Raiders to take an early 12-0 lead without doing anything on offense.

    San Diego should be able to stay near the top of the AFC West all season long, especially if the special teams unit shows any sort of improvement.

No. 19: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 10:  Quarterback Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gets off a pass as he is pressured by the Cincinnati Bengals defense at Paul Brown Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Josh Freeman looked like a savvy veteran Sunday, connecting with exciting rookie Mike Williams throughout the afternoon to help the Bucs get off to an unlikely 3-1 start.

    A win over the defending Super Bowl Champion Saints in Week 6 might just be enough to bring the faithful back to Raymond James Stadium.

No. 18: Dallas Cowboys

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 10:  Defensive tackle Jason Jones #91 of the Tennessee Titans sacks quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Penalties and turnovers killed the Cowboys Sunday, and Jason Garrett still apparently hates the idea of running the football.

    The Cowboys simply have too much talent to exclude from the top 20 just yet, but the clock is already ticking on their playoff hopes.

No. 17: Minnesota Vikings

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 11:  Brett Favre #4 and Randy Moss #84 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrate after Moss caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Favre in the third quarter against the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 11, 2010 in
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The acquisition of Randy Moss seems to have the Vikings headed in the right direction.

    Time will tell if they have fallen too far behind to make up ground in the NFC North race.

    Frankly, Brett Favre needs to show he can overcome elbow tendinitis and still get the job done.

    He committed two bizarre fumbles and missed on a number of throws against the Jets, including a overthrown pass to a wide-open Percy Harvin on the final drive of the game.

    Favre did throw three touchdowns in the second half, including a beautiful toss to Moss, but is clearly not playing at a high level yet this season.

    The Vikings have some work to do.

No. 16: Tennessee Titans

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 10:  Running back Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans dives over the line to score the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.   The Titan
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The Titans have looked really bad at times this season, but wins over the Giants and the Cowboys are difficult to ignore.

    Tennessee travels to Jacksonville in Week 6 with a chance to cool off a streaking Jaguars’ squad.

No. 15: Philadelphia Eagles

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    SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 10:  Kevin Kolb #4 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs against the San Francisco 49ers during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on October 10, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Kevin Kolb was impressive against the 49ers, and LeSean McCoy overcame his painful rib injury to produce.

    A win over Atlanta in Week 6 would see the Eagles fly up the rankings, even if Michael Vick still isn’t quite ready to return.

No. 14: Miami Dolphins

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    MIAMI - OCTOBER 4: Chad Henne #7 of the Miami Dolphins is pressured by Tully Banta-Cain #95 of the New England Patriots at Sun Life Field on October 4, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    The Dolphins really needed a bye after suffering two bad losses to AFC East rivals.

    Miami’s offense continues to try to run the ball without getting consistent results, and will likely look to pound the rock again in Week 6 against Green Bay.

    Chad Henne shouldn’t have to be Dan Marino in order for the Dolphins to win games this season.

No. 13: Green Bay Packers

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    LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 10:  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is taken to the ground by lineback Brian Orakpo #98 of the Washington Redskins in the fourth quarter at FedExField on October 10, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins w
    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    The NFL has been beset by injuries this season, and no team has taken more hits than the Packers.

    With Aaron Rodgers’ status for Week 6 up in the air, Green Bay is in danger of sliding down the rankings in the weeks ahead.

No. 12: Kansas City Chiefs

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 10: Leonard Pope #45 of the Kansas City Chiefs catches the football from Matt Cassel #7 against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    Todd Haley rolled the dice all afternoon long against the Colts in Week 5, but his aggressive mentality didn’t pay off.

    The Chiefs’ young defense continues to impress this season, but Matt Cassel continues to disappoint and didn’t get much help from his receiving corps in Sunday’s loss.

No. 11: Chicago Bears

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 10: Running back Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears runs with the ball against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
    Geoff Burke/Getty Images

    Mike Martz reluctantly ran the ball Sunday against the Panthers, leading to an explosion by Matt Forte and another win by the Bears.

    Chicago absolutely cannot wait for Jay Cutler to get back on the field after seeing exactly how little Todd Collins has left in the tank.

No. 10: Washington Redskins

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    LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 10:  Donovan McNabb #5 of the Washington Redskins scrambles in the pocket against the Green Bay Packers at FedExField on October 10, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins won the game in overtime 16-13.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Get
    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    The Redskins have now beaten the Packers, Eagles and Cowboys this season.  The loss to the Rams is still difficult to figure out.

    Donovan McNabb doesn’t look healthy and Clinton Portis isn’t healthy, yet the ‘Skins find themselves atop the NFC East.

    It will be interesting to see if the magic continues when the Colts come to town in Week 6.

No. 9: New England Patriots

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    MIAMI - OCTOBER 4: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is sacked by Koa Misi #55 of the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Field on October 4, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Unless you have spent the last week living somewhere in the wilderness with Bear Grylls, you should know the Pats’ have traded away their best deep-threat for a third-round pick.

    Without a reliable running game to depend on, Tom Brady will have to find someone to step up as life after Randy Moss begins.

    Aaron Hernandez and speedster Brandon Tate are the leading candidates.

    New England also made a roster move to help bolster the receiving corps, sending a fourth-round pick to Seattle to reacquire former star Deion Branch from the Seahawks.

No. 8: Houston Texans

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    HOUSTON - OCTOBER 10:  Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans is chased by the New York Giants defense at Reliant Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  The Giants defeated the Texans 34-10.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    The Texans have been awful against the pass all season long, and that glaring weakness was very evident in Sunday’s loss to the Giants.

    Still, the explosive offense is impossible to overlook and should rebound nicely in Week 6 against the Chiefs.

No. 7: New York Giants

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    HOUSTON - OCTOBER 10:  Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks #88 celebrates with Ahmad Bradshaw #44 after scoring on a passs in the second quarter at Reliant Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The Giants not only won in Houston, they did so in very impressive fashion.

    Two straight wins over solid opponents is a great sign for the embattled Tom Coughlin, who couldn’t be happier with Hakeem Nicks after his performance against the Texans.

    The NFC East is likely to go right down to the wire this season.

No. 6: New Orleans Saints

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    GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 10:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints prepares to snap the ball during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeat
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    With a bevy of injuries at running back, the Saints’ offense looked out of sync in Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals.

    New Orleans has gotten strong play from the defense, but needs Pierre Thomas to get healthy in a hurry.

    Winning a pivotal contest against the Buccaneers in Tampa would be enough to restore order in the NFC South.

No. 5: Indianapolis Colts

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 10: Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts drops back to pass against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts defeated the Chiefs 19-9. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Gett
    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    The Colts are really banged up, but still perfectly capable of piling up wins.

    The injury to Joesph Addai is a big concern, especially with Donald Brown still not ready to make an impact.

    Indianapolis travels to Washington to face the surging Redskins Sunday night in what should be a very interesting game.

No. 4: Atlanta Falcons

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    CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 10:  Running back Michael Turner #33 of the Atlanta Falcons runs the ball as he is hit by defensive back Abram Elam #26 of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sulliva
    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    Michael Turner looked great Sunday in the win over the Browns, and the Falcons’ defense has been solid all season.

    If Atlanta manages to win in Philadelphia in Week 6, Matt Ryan and the Falcons will be in a great position in the race for NFC supremacy.

No. 3: New York Jets

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 11:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets reacts as rain falls during the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 11, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Gett
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The Jets defense took advantage of sloppy play by Brett Favre in the Vikings in the first half, and Nick Folk's four field goals and Shonn Greene's late touchdown run were just enough to help New York prevail.

    Mark Sanchez has done a fantastic job of taking care of the ball this season, and the Jets appear to be living up to the hype.

    Rex Ryan's team travels to Denver in Week 6.

No. 2: Pittsburgh Steelers

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    PITTSBURGH - OCTOBER 03:  Lawrence Timmons #94 of the Pittsburgh Steelers wears a pink chin strap and gloves for breast cancer awareness prior to playing the Baltimore Ravens on October 3, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregor
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    The Steelers welcome Ben Roethlisberger back in Week 6 when they host the rival Browns. 

    Pittsburgh’s defense has been one of the biggest stories of the season in the NFL.

    With Roethlisberger back in the mix, Pittsburgh will now be able to do damage on both sides of the ball.

No. 1: Baltimore Ravens

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    BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 10:  Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens scores a touchdown against the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. Players wore pink in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Ravens d
    Larry French/Getty Images

    The Ravens finally got Ray Rice going against the Broncos, and have played well defensively despite being without Ed Reed.

    With Joe Flacco continuing to find chemistry with his new receivers, the Ravens should be a fixture in the AFC race all season long.

    Multiple reports late Monday indicated Reed will return in Week 7 when he is eligible to come off the PUP list, making a great team even better.