The NFL landscape has changed dramatically in 2011. Teams like the Lions and Bills have risen to the top after five weeks of play, while hyped-up squads like the Eagles and Falcons have taken a nosedive in the power rankings.
It is still too early to determine division winners and make Super Bowl picks, but there's no longer much doubt as to who the dominant teams are. As we approach Week 6, here are six games that I'd put my money on.
The New York Jets will have to work hard to make the playoffs this season after dropping three straight and falling to third place in the AFC East.
The good news is that they will have an excellent opportunity to get back on the right track when they take on the winless Miami Dolphins at home on Monday Night Football.
Not that Chad Henne gave the Fins a great chance to win this game, but the Jets will feast on Matt Moore and grab a much-needed win.
Pick: Jets, 30-13
If the Bucs allowed 48 points to an offense led by Alex Smith, how many will Drew Brees and Co. put up in Tampa?
The Saints barely escaped the Carolina Panthers, but they are still the second-best team in the NFC, disregarding their record. Tampa Bay better play their best defense or the division may be out of their reach as early as October.
Pick: Saints, 34-20
The certainly showed their stuff against the Texans in Week 5, and they'll do all they can to avoid a let down at home against Cleveland.
The Browns will be fresh off their bye week, but my guess is the extra rest won't matter much in this one.
Pick: Raiders, 28-13
They'll travel north to take on the Patriots, who got a big win against the Jets in Week 5, and the odds are against them. The Pats could very well be 5-0, except for a last-second loss to the rising Bills, and Dallas could easily be 0-4.
With that said, America's Team should be thankful that they'll only be handed their third loss against New England.
Pick: Patriots, 31-17
Expectations for the expansion team aren't very high for 2011, and their chances of taking down the Steelers are slim.
Pittsburgh finally got the big win they need against the Titans, and they'll chalk up another W when the Jags come to town.
Pick: Steelers, 35-10
It's usually a safe bet when the best team in the league hosts the worst team in the league.
The Rams have struggled to come up with a victory in 2011 and any bye week adjustments will be meaningless when they take on the defending world champs at their house.
Steven Jackson won't have a good day against the Pack's stingy rush defense, and count on Aaron Rodgers to light up St. Louis' secondary.
Pick: Packers, 37-10