Another week, another set of power rankings. Where does your team rank…
1. New England Patriots (6-0): With another win in Week 6, the Patriots solidify their spot at number one. Despite playing below-average teams thus far, their defense looks outstanding allowing a total of only 260 yards per game. That paired with arguably the greatest QB/Coach duo makes them extremely dangerous. I don’t see them even being challenged until at least week 9 against an explosive Ravens offense.
2. San Francisco 49ers (5-0): The San Francisco 49ers are the underdog team of the season so far. At the beginning of the year, their odds to win a Superbowl were 40 to 1. Now, they are 8 to 1, and reasonably so. Their defense looks great especially after embarrassing a very good Rams offense, holding them to only one touchdown and 157 yards. Along with their defense, Jimmy Garoppolo is having a great comeback year, after a disappointing injury early last season. He has transformed a sluggish 49ers offense into a winning, playmaking offense in just a short amount of time. With an easy matchup next week against the Redskins, they most likely continue their win streak and look ahead to the hot Carolina Panthers.
3. New Orleans Saints (5-1): Once again, Teddy Bridgewater is proving himself to be a winning QB. However, his time as a starting QB in the NFL could be short-lived as Drew Brees is set to make a return within the next three weeks. Their offense is extremely explosive averaging more than 360 yards and 21 points a game. Their defense, on the other hand, is struggling. They rank 25th among all defenses in yards allowed per game and 27th in points per game. If this team is going to be a Super Bowl caliber team, their defense is going to need to fix itself.
4. Green Bay Packers (5-1): After an impressive win over a good Lions team last week, the Packers look like arguably the most balanced team in the NFC. Their defense looks strong, backing up a powerful offense led by Aaron Rodgers. However, they lack depth on their offense. Besides Davante Adams, Aaron Jones, Jamal Williams, and Jimmy Graham, Aaron Rodgers has no one to throw/share the ball with. If they were to suffer a serious injury to any of these players their team would struggle.
5. Seattle Seahawks (5-1): Russell Wilson looks like the best QB in the NFL this season, and maybe even the front runner for MVP after Mahomes’ recent struggles. The defense looks strong especially with the large impact of offseason signings, Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah. Despite their positive impact on the defense, they have a combined two sacks this season. The Seahawks in total have ten sacks this season, but that number should go up with the return of Jarran Reed, who had 10.5 sacks last season. If they are going to make a run in the playoffs, their defense is going to need to make more big plays along with being consistent.
6. Houston Texans (4-2): The Texans look impressive after a huge upset win over the struggling Chiefs. Despite the win, their team presents some problems. They are completely dependent on the passing game, averaging only 5 yards a carry this season. Their defense is also extremely inconsistent allowing about 380 yards per game. Their offense as well is relying heavily upon big plays as opposed to long, time-consuming drives. In order to have more success, they need to include their All-Pro WR, DeAndre Hopkins and give RB Carlos Hyde a bigger role.
7. Kansas City Chiefs (4-2): After two big losses to the Texans and the Colts, the Chiefs have some reflecting to do. It is evident that the tea can no longer just be carried by Patrick Mahomes. I believe their lack of success comes directly from the lack of success of the run game. They average only 80 rushing yards per game and rush the ball only 20 times a game. It is extremely important that they fix this issue as it will balance out their offense, slow down the game, and allow and already struggling defense to rest.
8. Carolina Panthers (4-2): Kyle Allen may be the breakout story of the year. Originally undrafted and unsigned, Kyle Allen is now 4-0 and looks stronger every week. Along with Kyle Allen, Christian McCaffrey is looking to be this year’s phenom RB. This season he has already accumulated 618 yards rushing along with 305 yards receiving. I think by the end of the season he will have over 1,200 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving, being the first player in history over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving. Despite their strengths on offense, their defense has had some struggles, especially in the passing game. This may sound unreasonable after five interceptions last week against the Bucs, but they have allowed a ton of big plays as seen last week. However, their pass rush looks great with a lead high 27.5 sacks this season. It will be interesting to see if they decide to keep Kyle Allen as the starting QB once Cam Newton returns. My prediction: Cam Newton plays one drive, does nothing, and the next drive we see Kyle Allen again.
9. Dallas Cowboys (3-3): The Cowboys are struggling. They have lost three times in a row, granted two of those losses were two top 5 teams of the league. However, last week’s loss was surprising and raises a lot of questions. Is Jason Garrett’s head coaching job in trouble? Is Zeke worth the money? Are the Cowboys as bad as their record? The answer to all these questions is no. Jason Garrett will remain head coach. However, if they do not make the playoffs it is possible we see a coaching change. Zeke is not worth the money. Yes, he is good, but he is still not producing the numbers they are paying him to produce. He averages just 81 rushing yards a game and 21 receiving yards a game. Finally, they are not as bad as their record. Two of their three losses have come to top 5 teams and even their loss to the Jets is not as bad as it seems as they are a good team that has suffered many injuries. I believe they will bounce back Week 7 against a pretty good but also recently struggling Eagles.
10. Indianapolis Colts (3-2): Coming off a strong win against the Chiefs in Week 5 and a bye week last week, the Colts look to continue their success against a very good Texans team. To win next week, they are going to have to establish the running game again as they did in Week 5.
11. Minnesota Vikings (4-2): After two huge passing weeks, it seems as though the Vikings have converted their team from a running team to a passing team. This strategy has proven successful, however, is extremely risky in that it speeds the tempo of the game, and can result in more turnovers. In addition, it can lead to poor performance on defense. However, the Vikings defense seems up for the challenge as they have only allowed only 30 points combined in the last two weeks.
12. Baltimore Ravens (4-2): Although the Ravens are 4-2, they are going to struggle in the upcoming weeks as they face three top offenses in their next four matchups. This should be interesting as the Ravens defense has struggled, especially after injuries to Jimmy Smith, Tony Jefferson, Tavon Young, and most recently Deshon Elliott. This leaves them with only four safeties, three of which usually are inexperienced. In the next coming weeks, I think they will be very active before the trade deadline. The addition of Marcus Peters, however, may transform the defense. The one-two punch of Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters could be the best in the league, especially with Jimmy Smith and Brandon Carr as DB3 and DB4 options. Despite their defensive struggles, Lamar Jackson and the offense have flourished. Lamar set a record last week being the first NFL QB to rush for over 150 yards and throw for over 200 yards.
13. Buffalo Bills (3-2): After a good win in Week 5 and a bye week, the Bills will look to get a win against a terrible Dolphins team. I predict Josh Allen will have a career day this week, throwing for over 350 yards and 4 touchdowns. They have a seemingly easy schedule as in the next four weeks, three of the four teams they play have a losing record.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3): The Eagles have been an inconsistent team thus far this season, with one of their three wins coming against a good Packers team. However, the have suffered losses to two teams they should have beat (the Lions and the Falcons). Their issue: a lack of a running game and a struggling pass defense. I believe these two are linked as the running game slows down the game and would allow the defense to rest. In order for them to have more success, they are going to need to feed Jordan Howard and rookie Miles Sanders the ball at least 30 times a game combined.
15. Los Angeles Rams (3-3): The Rams have now lost three in a row and seem to be panicking. In my opinion, the reason for these losses is the lack of a run game. Even though they were without Gurley last week, they still only accumulated 109 total rushing yards. Increasing the rushing attempts would take the pressure off Goff and allow the defense to settle in. This is essential to their success and necessary, especially in a tough NFC West division.
16. Detroit Lions (2-2-1): The Lions looked good after a close loss to a very good Packers team. Their run and pass game seems to be very balanced, which is helping Mathew Stafford reduce his turnovers, something he has struggled with in the past. This Lions team may be able to make a run at the playoffs if they can turn these close losses into close wins.
17. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4): Minshew Mania is still alive. Despite two disappointing close losses in the past two weeks, Gardner Minshew II has looked strong, especially accompanied by a consistently strong defense that held the Saints top-five offense to only 13 points last week. It will be interesting to see what they do at the QB position when Nick Foles returns. I think Minshew will sit but as soon as Foles makes a mistake, Minshew will be right back in.
18. Chicago Bears (3-2): After the bye week, The Bear’s defense will look to continue its success. The defense, however, is not their issue. It is the offense. Whether it’s Chase Daniel or Mitchell Trubisky at QB I believe the Bears will continue to struggle unless they can re-establish their running game, especially this week against a very good Saints team.
19. Oakland Raiders (3-2): The Raiders have bounced back well after the loss of Antonio Brown and Vontaze Burfict. Players like Josh Jacobs and Tyrell Williams have shown that the Raiders can win without All-pro players on their offense. This team is the scariest moving forward in the NFL as they are one of the youngest teams. I believe they will continue to surprise and upset some good teams for the rest of the season and maybe even make a run at the playoffs as a wild card.
20. Cleveland Browns (2-4): The Browns seem unable to break their curse. After all the preseason signings and hype surrounding the team, they have been frankly disappointing. They have reaffirmed the worries about their defense, and their offense looks unable to click. Baker Mayfield may be the cause of these struggles. He has thrown 11 interceptions in just six games this season. This team could be good, but in order for them to have success, they need to take care of the ball.
21. Tennessee Titans (2-4): After getting shut out last week, the Titans did not look good at all. The offense struggled against a pretty good Broncos defense and the defense struggled against a not so good broncos offense. This week, they will be tested against a very good Chargers team on paper, who although has struggled recently has the ability and pieces to be good.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4): Despite starting a fourth-string QB, the Steelers were able to pull off their second win of the season. I still do not see this team going anywhere, however, next season if they can get their QB struggles figured out they are going to be a scary team because of their dominant defense.
23. Los Angeles Chargers (2-4): The Chargers are the most disappointing team so far this season. Starting the season as one of the Super bowl Favorites, week by week they have slowly moved down the power rankings and seemingly buried themselves in a hole they might not be able to get out of. Their defense looks terrible, and their offense has been unable to click in recent weeks. Bold prediction: they don’t make the playoffs this season and finish below .500.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4): The Buccaneers need to control their defense. On average, they allow close to 400 total yards and over 30 points a game. Despite, the turnovers, their offense looks extremely explosive. If they can get a hold of their defense, they could be a very good team.
25. Atlanta Falcons (1-5): The Falcons have been disappointing thus far this season. Their defense is awful and for once their offense is unable to carry them. I believe they have the pieces to be good, but their coaching is the cause of their issues. This is a team that should and could be good. It will be interesting to see if the coaching stays the same throughout the year if they continue their struggles.
26. New York Giants (2-4): Daniel Jones still looks impressive despite the loss last week. However, he needs to minimize the turnovers. They should go down next week with the return of Saquon Barkley. This duo could be the best young QB/RB duo in the league by the end of this season.
27. Arizona Cardinals (2-1-3): Kyler Murray and the Cardinals offense looked extremely impressive in their Week 6 win against the Falcons. Murray, now on a two-game win streak, is looking less and less like a rookie every game. However, he may run into some issues if they continue to throw the ball 40 times a game. David Johnson is one of the best RBs in the league, they ought to use him and not as a receiver. I understand Kliff Kingsbury runs a college-style offense that is used to throwing the ball 40 sometimes a game, but this isn’t college, it is the NFL.
28. Denver Broncos (2-4): After another big win against the Titans last week, the question is answered: Joe Flacco is elite. Just kidding. It’s their defense that is elite, allowing 320 yards a game and limiting their last two opponents to a combined score of 13 points. They will be challenged next week against a very good
29. New York Jets (1-4): The Jets win! After getting back Sam Darnold, the Jets offense was revived on Sunday against the Cowboys. The offense and defense looked extremely impressive, however, they still are not a top 25. In order for them to keep winning, they are going to need to establish the running game. It has largely been non-existent this season as Le’veon Bell averages only 3 yards per carry and 42 yards a game.
30. Cincinnati Bengals (0-6): Despite a seemingly close game against the Ravens last week, the Bengals still look awful. They will continue to struggle especially after a likely serious injury to their best cornerback, Dre Kirkpatrick. I do not see them getting a win until week 16 against the Dolphins.
31. Washington Redskins (1-5): The Redskins got a win! However, it does not make them any better in my eyes as it was to the worst team in the league, the Dolphins. Like the Dolphins, the Redskins are in a rebuilding period. It should be interesting to see what they do at the QB position the rest of the year since in their six games this season, they have started 3 different QBs.
32. Miami Dolphins (0-5): The Dolphins soiled their only chance to win a game this season last week against the Redskins. It is evident that they are in a rebuilding period. At least the stadium will be clean for the Super bowl as the stadium is mostly empty week after week.