Week 6 Power Rankings: NFC North Rivals Remain at the Top

Torey ZiskaCorrespondent IIOctober 11, 2011

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 09:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers takes the field prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 9, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Week 5 did not shuffle the rankings as much as prior weeks. The Packers and Lions remain undefeated, the Eagles continue to slide and the 49ers crack the top 10 and then some for the first time.

The passing of Al Davis was the biggest headline of the weekend, and the Raiders followed it up with an emotional victory on Sunday.

In Philadelphia, things can’t get much worse now that the Phillies have been bounced from the post season in the first round, and its ‘dream team’ has lost four straight.

Week 6 has some tasty matchups, including Dallas at New England, Houston at Baltimore and the 4-1 49ers traveling to Detroit to face the 5-0 Lions. Here are the Power Rankings as we head into Week 6.


Teams’ previous ranking in ( ).


1.       Green Bay Packers (1): It might be time to pass the torch of best quarterback in the league to Aaron Rodgers. Injuries to the offensive line could cause major problems.

DETROIT - OCTOBER 10: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions drops back to pass during the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on October 10, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Bears 24-13.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images


2.       Detroit Lions (2): Detroit faces two fairly tough tests in the next two weeks against the 49ers and Falcons. With both games at home, the Lions could find themselves at 7-0.


3.       New Orleans Saints (3): The next time New Orleans sees Cam Newton will be too soon. They should consider themselves lucky to have come away with the win.


4.       New England Patriots (4): For the Patriots, beating the Jets is about as sweet as it gets. Sending them to their third straight loss is just icing on the cake.


5.       Baltimore Ravens (5): They’ve allowed 57 points in four games. Twenty-six of those came against the Titans. In other words, the Ravens are looking like a serious Super Bowl threat.


6.       Buffalo Bills (6): Excellent win, even if the Eagles are struggling. Have to wonder if blowing a lead against the Bengals in Week 4 could hurt them in the playoff chase.


7.       San Francisco 49ers (12): San Francisco is starting to run away with this division, and Braylon Edwards hasn’t even had an impact yet.


8.       San Diego Chargers (9): The Chargers have finally avoided a slow start. They better enjoy the bye as they have four tough games to follow, starting with a cross-country trip to face the Jets.


9.       Pittsburgh Steelers (11): Ben Roethlisberger’s performance bordered on heroic. Five touchdown passes working basically on one foot. Thus far though, the Steelers have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the NFL.


10.   Houston Texans (7): Houston didn’t stand a chance. The Raiders weren’t going to be denied the day after their owner passed away. Losing Mario Williams for the season could prove critical though.


11.   New York Giants (8): After looking like a potential division winner, the Giants missed a golden opportunity to take sole possession of first place against the Seahawks.


12.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10): Young teams will play bad games every once in a while. They must have a short memory and rebound this week as they face the division-leading Saints.


13.   Washington Redskins (13): Even when they don’t play, good things happen. Who saw Washington sitting atop the division by themselves after five weeks?


14.   Oakland Raiders (18): An emotional win for the Raiders following the death of their owner. Don’t be surprised if they use it as motivation the rest of the season and give San Diego everything they can handle in the division.


15.   Tennessee Titans (14): So the Titans have work to do against the top-tier teams; luckily for them they don’t play in a tough division.


16.   Cincinnati Bengals (21): Did anyone see the Bengals winning three games all season? They’ve played so well, they have a chance to win six more games. That would give them nine for the season. That two point loss to Denver could prove costly.


17.   New York Jets (15): After three losses, the Jets get a break as they host Miami. They better take care of business because their three games after that are against the Chargers, Bills and Patriots.


18.   Chicago Bears (16): Chicago was the latest to fall victim to the surging Lions. At 2-3, the Bears are likely out of the division race and on the verge of falling out of the Wild Card as well.


19.   Dallas Cowboys (19): The Cowboys play their fourth straight game against a team with a winning record. They need a win, but against the Patriots, it won’t be easy.


20.   Atlanta Falcons (17): Atlanta had won 21 straight home games in which they had the lead at halftime. That streak is now over and has the Falcons searching for answers.


21.   Seattle Seahawks (24): Tarvaris Jackson has played well the last two weeks, but an injury forced him to leave the game and Charlie Whitehurst played extremely well. Even if Jackson is healthy enough to play after the Week 6 bye, it will be interesting to see if there is a quarterback controversy in Seattle.


22.   Cleveland Browns (22): Has the “Madden Curse” struck again? Peyton Hillis missed Week 3 due to strep throat, and there are also rumors he won’t play without a new contract.


23.   Kansas City Chiefs (27): Two straight wins (albeit against winless teams) have the Chiefs resembling their 2010 campaign. After their Week 6 bye, three of their next four games are within the division.


24.   Philadelphia Eagles (20): Philly began the season as my No. 2 team in the rankings. How much further can they drop? Next two games are must-wins at Washington and home against the Cowboys with a bye sandwiched in between.


25.   Jacksonville Jaguars (23): Rough time to be a Jags fan. The schedule is only making things worse. After four straight losses, they have games against the Steelers, Ravens and Texans before their Week 9 bye.


26.   Minnesota Vikings (31): Give Adrian Peterson the rock and look what happens. Two straight division games in a row are their only hope of making noise in the NFC North.


27.   Carolina Panthers (26): One of the better 1-4 teams you will ever see. They just need to learn how to finish.


28.   Denver Broncos (28): The Tim Tebow era appears to finally have arrived. He might be the spark they need, but is he really the long term answer?


29.   Arizona Cardinals (25): Things are going to get worse before they get better. After their Week 6 bye, they must face the Steelers and Ravens.


30.   St. Louis Rams (30): The winless Rams will face the undefeated Packers in Week 6. The only thing St. Louis has going for them is they are ranked 12th against the pass.


31.   Indianapolis Colts (29): I know this team is improving each week with Curtis Painter, but if they don’t beat the Jags in either match-up, the Colts have a shot at going 0-16. Would Indy bring back a healthy Peyton Manning for the final two games to avoid such an embarrassing season?


32.   Miami Dolphins (32): The Dolphins are 0-4 and lost Chad Henne for the season. By being losers, they could end up the ultimate winner come draft time.



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