Week 6 NFL Power Rankings: Vikings, Rams, Colts Continue to Rise

Torey ZiskaCorrespondent IIOctober 9, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 07:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass during the NFL game against the Green Bay Packers at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After five weeks, the Bears and Vikings sit at 4-1 in the NFC North, while the Packers and Lions (both playoff teams last year) are a combined 3-6. And who would have thought it would take five weeks for the Saints to get their first win, and the Cardinals to suffer their first loss?

On Monday Night, the 666th edition of Monday Night Football, Tim Tebow did not perform any God-like miracles to combat the satanic number. However, Mark Sanchez didn’t either and it likely won’t be long until there is officially a quarterback controversy in Jet-land.

Without any further news or notes, here are the latest rankings!

Teams’ previous ranking in ( ).


1.       Houston Texans (1): The Texans remained undefeated with a win on Monday Night Football in what ended up being their toughest game of the season. Wins should be tougher to come by in the next couple of weeks as they host the Packers and Ravens in Weeks 6 and 7, respectively.


2.       Atlanta Falcons (2): Tony Gonzalez is the best tight end in the history of football, and he seems to just get better and better with age. The Falcons continue to show they are determined to make a playoff run this year.


3.       Baltimore Ravens (3): If Joe Flacco wants to be considered one of the best, he has to be more consistent. Completing 13 of 27 passes for 187 yards, no touchdowns and an interception against the Chiefs is not a stat line an elite quarterback would put out there.


4.       San Francisco 49ers (4): The 49ers must not have been happy with their loss in Week 3 to the Vikings, as they have won their two games since then by a combined score of 79-3. That is a sign of a resilient team.


5.       Chicago Bears (7): You have to go back to Week 15 of 2010 to find the last time the Bears scored 40 or more points in a game. They’ve already done it twice this year in just five games. Though the defense is responsible for a handful of touchdowns, the addition of Brandon Marshall has made a world of difference.


6.       New England Patriots (9): I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if the Patriots have a legitimate running game, they can be a scary team. Attention all other NFL teams—the Patriots HAVE a legitimate running game. Once they get everyone back to full health, they might be the team to beat in the AFC yet again.


7.       New York Giants (10): The Giants quickly trailed 14-0 against the Browns, but showed us why they are the defending champs as they outscored the Browns 41-13 after that. Ahmad Bradshaw fueled the G-men with a huge day on the ground, rushing for 200 yards.


8.       Pittsburgh Steelers (11): The Steelers are only 2-2, but they should start clicking on all cylinders in the next couple of weeks with the return of Rashard Mendenhall and some key defensive players.


9.       Minnesota Vikings (14): I thought the Vikings might win four games all year. Turns out, they’ve won four of their first five and have a legitimate chance to win their next four as well. Are the Vikings a legitimate playoff threat in the NFC?


10.   Arizona Cardinals (5): The Cardinals did not look good on Thursday against the Rams. Kevin Kolb was a human punching bag for the St. Louis defensive line. Nonetheless, Arizona will have 10 days to prepare for a Buffalo team that is allowing 450 yards and 35 points per game this season.


11.   Philadelphia Eagles (8): Michael Vick was excellent in the passing game but fumbled three times, losing two of them. Turnovers finally caught up to the Eagles in this one.


12.   Green Bay Packers (6): From Week 16 of 2010 until their playoff loss last year, the Packers went 21-2. So far this year through just five games, the Packers are 2-3. Injuries are once again taking a toll as they lost Cedric Benson for at least eight games, as well as Jermichael Finley and BJ Raji. Not to mention Greg Jennings was inactive prior to the game due to a groin injury.


13.   Seattle Seahawks (16): The Seahawks continue to play impressive defense and be an overall threat in the NFC West.  Will Russell Wilson continue to play well or will the pressure of games in November and December cause him to falter?


14.   San Diego Chargers (12): The Chargers became the first team to suffer a defeat at the hands of the Saints. San Diego led by three heading to the fourth, but the offense was unable to generate any points in the final frame. Nonetheless, the Chargers sit in first place in the weak AFC West as they head into a divisional showdown in Week 6 against the Broncos.


15.   St. Louis Rams (21): In just two weeks, the Rams have moved from No. 31 to No. 15 and are currently above .500 for the first time since 2006. Jeff Fisher has this team believing and in just a matter of years, it appears as if the NFC West has gone from easily the worst division in football to perhaps the most competitive.


16.   Cincinnati Bengals (13): The Bengals missed a great opportunity to be 4-1 as they lost at home to the Miami Dolphins. Cincinnati should, however, get back in the win column next week as they travel to Cleveland.


17.   Dallas Cowboys (17): Dallas is coming off a bye this week as they travel to Baltimore. Dallas’ biggest issue this year has been their running game, where they rank 29th so far this year. They do, however, rank fourth overall in passing yards per game thanks to Tony Romo. They will need Romo more than ever against that Ravens D.


18.   Denver Broncos (15): Not counting Week 2 when Peyton Manning was picked off three times in the first quarter against the Falcons, Manning has thrown 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions this season—including 330 or more yards in his last three games. Unfortunately for Denver fans, the defense has let Manning down, allowing 30 points per game in their three losses.


19.   New York Jets (19): The Jets played surprisingly well against the Texans and would have probably walked away with a win if not for two tipped passes that turned into Houston interceptions.


20.   Indianapolis Colts (29): Whatever message the Colts received at halftime, they heard it loud and clear. They simply looked awful in the first half against Green Bay. In their first three games this year, the Colts scored a total of 16 second half points. In Week 5, they put up 27 points in the second half alone.


21.   Washington Redskins (18): RGIII was knocked out of the game by the Falcons in Week 5, but says he will play in Week 6. Washington will need him if they are going to have any chance against that tough Vikings defense.


22.   New Orleans Saints (27): Congrats to Drew Brees on breaking one of the more impressive records in the NFL. More importantly though, the Saints got their first win and keep their season on life support.


23.   Miami Dolphins (28): It wasn’t pretty, but rookie Ryan Tannehill took care of the football and helped the Dolphins get their second win of the season. Miami simply lacks playmakers on the offensive side of the ball right now to be any kind of threat in the AFC East.


24.   Detroit Lions (24): Coming off a bye, the Lions will travel to Philadelphia in what is almost a must-win game for Detroit. They simply cannot afford to fall to 1-4 in the NFC North.


25.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers (25): I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a team sitting in second place in a division with a record of 1-3, but that’s exactly where the Bucs find themselves. They too are coming off a bye this week and should have had plenty of time to prepare for the Chiefs.


26.   Oakland Raiders (26): The Raiders are also coming off a bye this week and must travel to Atlanta to play the 5-0 Falcons. The Raiders rank 28th against the pass, so it could be another long week as they face Matt Ryan and Co.


27.   Buffalo Bills (20): The Bills have allowed 97 points in their past two games and now must travel across the country to face the Cardinals. Buffalo really needs to get back on track this week if they have any hopes of competing with the Patriots in the division.


28.   Carolina Panthers (23): Cam Newton continues to deal with the sophomore slump. Through five games, Newton has more interceptions (5) than touchdown passes (4). That's not mentioning his passing yards per game has decreased every single week. As a result, the Panthers are 1-4 and seemingly on their way to another miserable season.


29.   Tennessee Titans (22): In five games this year, Chris Johnson has rushed for 24 yards or fewer in four of them. The Titans simply do not have the talent on offense to overcome such a lousy running game.


30.   Kansas City Chiefs (30): I really thought the Chiefs would have a bounce back year, but they are struggling mightily for the second straight year. Brady Quinn will get the start in Week 6 as Matt Cassel is dealing with a concussion.


31.   Jacksonville Jaguars (31): The Jaguars continue to struggle. When Maurice Jones-Drew is unproductive, the Jags have no chance. They actually hung with Chicago through three quarters but allowed 28 fourth quarter points to end in a blowout, 41-3.


32.   Cleveland Browns (32): The Browns are the only team remaining without a win. They could get their first this week as they host the Bengals, but it won’t be an easy task.


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