NFL Power Rankings Week 5: 5 Teams That Could Replace the Packers at No. 1

James Reagan@@James__ReaganCorrespondent IIOctober 7, 2011

For the first four weeks of the NFL season the Green Bay Packers have established themselves as the clear cut best team in the NFL. Basically every Power Rankings column has responded by putting the Packers at the top spot. Counting their Super Bowl run, the Packers have now won 10 straight games, which gives them the current longest winning streak in the NFL. 

Besides the Packers, only the surprising Detroit Lions remain undefeated. Everyone is waiting for a letdown, but it could be awhile for these Packers. Their offense is even better than last years, as they have gotten back several injured players and have very few injuries this year. 

As unstoppable as the Packers are, recent history shows no one goes undefeated. The Packers have done as well as any defending Super Bowl Champion so far, but at some point they figure to screw up and lose a game. Their upcoming schedule will get harder as they have two games against Detroit, a game at San Diego and a game against Tampa Bay.

Once the Packers lose, several teams could be in place to surpass them. There are still 11 teams with only one loss and many of them have serious playoff aspirations. It's early, but five teams in particular look like they could surpass the Packers on the Power Rankings and perhaps be in line for a first round bye.


2. Detroit Lions

 The Packers biggest threat comes from within the same division. The fellow unbeaten Detroit Lions have looked as good as anyone four weeks into the season. No lead is safe against their high-flying offense which has tied an NFL record by coming back from being down by more than 20 points the last two weeks.







Calvin Johnson is making the case that he is the NFL's best receiver with eight touchdowns already which puts him on pace to break the NFL record. Their ferocious defensive line looks like it could get even better now that rookie Nick Fairley is finally getting on the field. And the fact that they have already won three road games bodes very well for a team that might not only be looking at a playoff spot, but possibly a division title and a first round bye.


3. New Orleans Saints 

Since losing to the Packers in Week 1, the Saints have looked unstoppable. They've rolled through lesser opponents in wins against the Chicago Bears and the Jacksonville Jaguars while showing spunk in a comeback win against the Houston Texans. Their offense like always is doing well, however this year their running back by committee approach has led to the NFL's 10th best rushing attack.

At this point, the Saints look like the team to beat in the NFC South, although the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who they play twice in the next five weeks, are right up there with them. It's also too early to count last years NFC South Champion Atlanta Falcons, even with their slow start this year. Despite these tough games, the schedule looks favorable enough for the Saints to have one of their greatest regular season records ever.



5. New England Patriots 

Although their defense is off to an historically bad start this year, the Patriots still look like a very good team. This is because with Tom Brady under center, the Patriots have the top passing offense in the NFL. When you're scoring over 30 points every week, it definitely takes away the pain of giving up 368 yards a game.

The Patriots are headed home this week for another game in their huge rivalry against the New York Jets. In one of those stats that is hard to believe, the Patriots haven't lost at home during the regular season with Brady starting since November 12th 2006, coincidentally against the Jets. When a team is that dominant at home, it's obvious that expectations will be very high for their season.


6. Tennessee Titans 

This one's got to surprise some people. But it's really hard to find a more feel-good story than the 2011 Tennessee Titans. This team was predicted to be last in the AFC South this year but instead they are 3-1 and tied for first in the division.


Matt Hasselbeck has seemingly found the fountain of youth with good numbers in all his games, even with the loss of top target Kenny Britt. Their defense is reborn too with a seventh ranked pass defense. The Titans will likely compete with the Houston Texans for the AFC South lead and if they win, they could very well be this years worst-to-first story. 


8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

 The Bucs aren't winning pretty yet, but at least they're winning. This extremely young team continues to persevere and win games even when it seems like they shouldn't. All three of their wins so far have been by a touchdown or less which could be good or it could be bad.

Right now it seems good. The Buccaneers are tied for first and could be set up for their first NFC South title since 2007. It's a pretty hard schedule, but so far this team has proved to be up for the challenge.



Here's the rest of my power rankings. The number in parentheses indicates last weeks position.


1. Green Bay Packer (1)

2. Detroit Lions (3)

3. New Orleans Saints (4)

4. Buffalo Bills (2)


5. New England Patriots (6)

6. Tennessee Titans (10)

7. Washington Redskins (9)

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12)

9. Baltimore Ravens (11)


10. Houston Texans (16)

11. San Francisco 49ers (13)

12. New York Giants (15)


13. San Diego Chargers (17)

14. Cincinnati Bengals (21)

15. Chicago Bears (19)

16. Oakland Raiders (5) 

17. New York Jets (7)


18. Dallas Cowboys (8)

19. Pittsburgh Steelers (14)

20. Atlanta Falcons (23)

21. Cleveland Browns (18)

22. Denver Broncos (20)

23. Seattle Seahawks (22)

24. Arizona Cardinals (24)

25. Carolina Panthers (25)

26. Jacksonville Jaguars (26)

27. Kansas City Chiefs (28)

28. Philadelphia Eagles (27)

29. Miami Dolphins (30)

30. Indianapolis Colts (31)

31. Minnesota Vikings (29)

32. St. Louis Rams (32)


    Congressman Blasts Jets Owner's Offer to Pay Anthem Fines

    NFL logo

    Congressman Blasts Jets Owner's Offer to Pay Anthem Fines

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report

    With New Policy, NFL Still Doesn’t Get It

    NFL logo

    With New Policy, NFL Still Doesn’t Get It

    Master Tesfatsion
    via Bleacher Report

    Players with Most to Lose in Their Contract Year

    NFL logo

    Players with Most to Lose in Their Contract Year

    Gary Davenport
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Broncos Hire Ex-NBA GM Hinkie

    NFL logo

    Report: Broncos Hire Ex-NBA GM Hinkie

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report