J.J. McDermott, NFL Columnist at Fantasy Football Maniaxs
Week five in the NFL was an up and down week for many teams. It appears that the Bills undefeated season was not meant to be and a few surprise upsets including the Dolphins blanking the Chargers but now, I present you with Week Six’s NFL Power Rankings!
32. Rams 0-4-0
With Marc Bulger back at the helm, Steven Jackson and company still feel that they can pull off a few wins this year. With teams like the Redskins, Cowboys, Patriots, and Cardinals on the way, things are not looking to get any easier for the Rams.
31. Lions 0-4-0
Hooray! Matt Millen may be gone but the losing has and will continue in Detroit. The question is will the Lions unload stars like Roy Willams and company to pick up more draft picks for future considerations?
30. Bengals 0-5-0
The Bengals are 0 and 5 but they still have some fight left in them. They surprised the heavily favored Cowboys in week five only to lose the game late in the fourth quarter. It will be interesting to see what Cedric Benson’s role will be on offense, either way; they are still looking to get their first win of 2008.
29. Texans 0-4-0
Talk about the worst team meltdown this season. Sage Rosenfels played terrific until the fourth quarter rolled around. His mistakes led to 17 points and a Colts win on Sunday. Before this, the Texan fans thought they found their new quarterback but they are stuck still searching for their first win.
28. Chiefs 1-4-0
The Chiefs traveled to Carolina in week five and left scurrying for answers. The Chiefs have a young team with plenty of potential for the future. At this rate, will they trade away crybaby, Larry Johnson or even veteran Tony Gonzalez to help fuel their rebuilding process?
27. Raiders 1-3-0
The Raiders should be 3 and 1 or even 2 and 2 but are stuck with a 1 and 3 record as well as a new coach. They get Justin Fargas back this week but that will not help their defensive woos come fourth quarter. Good luck new coach Tom Cable!
26. Browns 1-3-0
Off a well needed bye week, they are stuck with the unfortunate task of playing the undefeated Giants. Derek Anderson faced the Giants in the preseason and ended up with a concussion, will Sunday be round two for him? We are getting closer to the Brady Quinn era with each passing loss for the Browns.
25. Seahawks 1-3-0
With Bobby Engram and Deion Branch back in the lineups in week five, you would expect the Seahawks to be back on their game but think again. Engram had a great showing but Branch was injured already in this first game back! Can Mike Holmgren work his magic in week six and beat his former Packers team?
24. 49ers 2-3-0
Where is the 49er offensive line? Mike Martz offense can only do so much for this team but I really do not know how much longer J.T. O’Sullivan can continue to take a pounding and survive in San Francisco.
23. Packers 2-3-0
Ok, so it is a big drop from last week but with as many injuries that the Packers have on both sides of the ball, things are looking shaky for the Cheeseheads. The real cause for concern is how healthy Aaron Rodgers really is. This week match-up should be a hard fought game for Rodgers and the Packers as they face previous Packer alumni, Mike Holmgren’s Seahawks.
22. Saints 2-3-0
We have been saying it for weeks. The Saints receiving core is struggling without Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey but it really showed in week five’s loss to the Vikings. The offense was on a tear to begin the game only to taper off as the game progressed. The good news being that the Saints defense did a terrific job containing Viking sensation, Adrian Peterson.
21. Vikings 2-3-0
The defense finally flexed its muscles in week five by containing a Saints offense that is full of play-makers. Gus Frerotte has played well at quarterback and has stretched the field for the Vikings when called upon. Thinking long term, who will the Vikings turn to captain their offense?
20. Jaguars 2-3-0
With so many injuries depleting their offensive line, the Jaguars are in real trouble. Without the one two punch of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones Drew pounding the opposition, the Jaguars are not the same offensive threat as last season.
19. Eagles 2-3-0
The Redskins seem to be putting a beating on opposing teams this season, literally. We have come to find out this week that Brian Westbrook has two fractured ribs after last Sunday’s contest. This puts the Eagles in panic mode, how will they fair without or even with a fragile Westbrook the rest of this season?
18. Chargers 2-3-0
After falling behind 15 to nothing against the Raiders in week four, the Chargers were outplayed in week five against the up and coming Dolphins. We thought the Chargers were back but are left waiting for the Bolts’ to finally strike this season.
17. Dolphins 2-2-0
We are sure Bill Parcells and company couldn’t be happier after last week’s win over a tough Chargers squad. Ronnie Brown is back to form and Chad Pennington has played surprisingly well for this team. They should continually be fun to watch this season, especially when they show off the “Wildcat” formation that has worked so well thus far.
16. Colts 2-2-0
This team has had many injuries on both sides of the ball and could very well have started 2008 with a 0 and 4 record but have continued to luck out. Will their luck continue when they play a tough Ravens team this week?
15. Jets 2-2-0
The Jets went into their bye week after a huge win against the Cardinals in which Brett Favre showed us that his age has not slowed him down in week four, throwing for six touchdown passes. The Jets better not cool their jets this week as they face a Bengals team still hungry for their first win.
14. Ravens 2-2-0
They have hung in against the Titans and Steelers to begin the year. If the defense continues to play hard and Joe Flacco matures as the season rolls on, the Ravens could surprise many teams before season’s end.
13. Cardinals 3-2-0
After being beat down by the Jets in week four, the Cardinals took out their aggression against the former undefeated Bills. Week five’s win was a key win for a Cardinals team that now faces tough tasks in the Cowboys and Panthers in the coming weeks.
12. Falcons 3-2-0
The Falcons finally showed they can beat a legitimate team in week five by winning against the Packers at home in Lambeau Field. This young team has been one of the surprises of 2008 and has yielded an NFL capable field general in Matt Ryan and the current NFL leading rusher in Michael Turner. Now they are on to face the Bears, Eagles, and Raiders in the coming weeks to prove that week five’s win was not a fluke.
11. Bears 3-2-0
The Bears have surprisingly found a capable quarterback in Kyle Orton and a future rusher for many years to come in Matt Forte. The offense and defense have played quite well this year and have finally incorporate Devin Hester in more than just special teams. Games against the Falcons and Vikings should make good tests for this up and coming team in weeks six and seven.
10. Buccaneers 3-2-0
Let the quarterback controversy begin! Will it be veteran Jeff Garcia or Brian Griese to captain the Buccaneers? Jon Gruden better figure out his quarterback controversy quick with NFC rival and 4 and 1 Panthers in town for week six.
9. Patriots 3-1-0
It was nice to see Matt Cassel picking up the pace and making use of Randy Moss in week five’s win against the 49ers. Unfortunately for Cassel and the Patriots, they will have much larger tasks with match-ups against the Chargers and Broncos on the way.
8. Bills 4-1-0
The Bills took their first big blow of the season by losing to the Cardinals in week five but the real big blow was the concussion sustained to quarterback Trent Edwards. The Bills do have a legitimate backup in J.P. Losman but Edwards will have two weeks to heal while the Bills have a bye this week.
7. Broncos 4-1-0
The Broncos played hard and came back to win a tough contest against the Buccaneers in week five. The Broncos defense looks to finally be taking shape; they helped contain a decent Buccaneer offense. The defense will need to continue to step up with games against the Jaguars and Patriots on the way.
6. Steelers 4-1-0
In exciting fashion, the Steelers pulled out a win against the Jaguars in week five. This week they are given a well needed bye week to help heal up before heading out to play the Bengals and then take on the Giants and Redskins in weeks eight and nine.
5. Panthers 4-1-0
The Panthers are on the prowl! After an injury plagued season in 2007, the Panthers are back in form for 2008. They play division rival Buccaneers and Saints the next two weeks but have been on fire to start the season. They are the early favorites to win the NFC South.
4. Cowboys 4-1-0
After a wake up call at home in week four, the Cowboys almost let the winless Bengals steal a win in week five. The Cowboys need to snap out of it quick but thankfully the running game was back in last week’s win.
3. Redskins 4-1-0
Jason Campbell is the most improved player on the Redskins squad for 2008. Jim Zorn has really fired up this Redskins team who look to continue their winning ways against the Rams, Browns, and Lions the next three weeks with the possibility to go 7 and 1 to begin the season.
2. Titans 5-0-0
Kerry Collins has earned my respect after his come from behind win in week five. The defense has been something special this year and has allowed Collins and the offense to start the season 5 and 0 and get a well deserved rest this week.
1. Giants 4-0-0
After their bye week, the Giants came back to win 44 to 6 in week five, all without star wide receiver Plaxico Burress. The Giants have continued to play like they did not even win the Super Bowl last season and have continued to maul over the opposition. They are still a force to be reckoned with in 2008.
This is the way the rankings look for right now; tune in next week once again to see how your team fairs!