With five weeks of football in the books, we are beginning to learn a lot more about each and every NFL team. For starters, we’ve known the Chiefs had defensive issues, but now we know they have the worst defense in the league. We knew rookie QBs and head coaches would struggle, but how about the showing from 2nd-year QBs Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow?
After breaking down each team week after week, here are my power rankings for every NFL Team through five weeks of play. My rankings are decided based on a few factors. Not only am I taking into consideration each team’s personnel units, but I am also considering their coach, the games they won, and how poised they are for continued success or demise.
1: Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills, and quarterback Josh Allen, truly emerged last season and their offense came to life with the addition of Stefon Diggs. Before Allen broke out, the Bills relied heavily on their defense and they built a good unit. After losing in the AFC Championship game last season, the Bills knew they had to improve their defense to complement their offense. So far this season Buffalo leads the league defensively in yards per game at 251.8 and leads the league with 11 takeaways. They also lead the league in total points so far. Their Sunday night beatdown of the Chiefs proves that this team is poised for a Super Bowl run.
2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady and Co. showed no mercy in their game vs the Dolphins. They put up 45 points against the Dolphins and while their secondary was banged up, only allowed 17 points. The Bucs have the third-most total yards on offense this season. While their defense still has ways to go, Brady has proven they can still win shootouts and this team is continuing to build on the momentum they put together during their Super Bowl-winning season last year.
3: Los Angeles Chargers
Brandon Staley, the Chargers rookie head coach, should be in the front running for coach of the year this season. The Chargers have had great gameplans every single week this season and the investments this off-season in their offensive line and secondary are paying dividends. Herbert is in the Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson tier of young quarterbacks and he continues to get better. The Chargers have shown no fear when playing other top teams and will be tough to beat all season.
4: Arizona Cardinals
The last of the undefeated teams in the league, the Cardinals are winning with not only a strong offense led by Kyler Murray but also a stout defense. The Cardinals are third in the league in turnovers forced and sixth in team defense. If Kyler stays healthy and Vance Joseph continues to lead a well-coached defense, the Cardinals are looking at a home playoff game this season.
5: Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have looked great on offense, as expected, but their defense has recently shown some cracks. Despite the cracks on defense, the Rams still have the offense to outscore teams - they rank second in passing offense this season. Since they still have Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, the Rams should continue to improve as they gel, and they will be dangerous as the season develops.
6: Cleveland Browns
While the Browns defense had been the story of the season so far, they quickly fell back down to earth this week after losing the Herbert and the Chargers. However, there is no shame in losing to the Chargers, and the Browns offensive showing was impressive. Stefanski is one of the best young coaches in the league, and if Baker continues to be a solid game manager, the Browns will be in every game they play and are a contender in the AFC
7: Baltimore Ravens
An ugly first three quarters bogged down the Ravens on Monday night, but Lamar came to life to help the Ravens win their fourth straight game. Lamar’s ability to stay in the pocket has become unguardable for opposing defenses. He is showing uncanny arm ability and his ground game is still immaculate. The Ravens defense, despite the injuries, is still a strength.
8: Kansas City Chiefs
While they still have all-world Quarterback Patrick Mahomes under center, the Chiefs still have a ton of issues. They are currently in last place in the AFC West and their defense is the worst in the league. While I will never doubt Mahomes and Andy Reid, they have some serious liabilities on one side of the ball. The Chiefs will continue to win games and build momentum, but if they want to make their third straight Super Bowl, they need to improve tremendously on defense.
9: Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott looks healthy as can be, and Dan Quinn has built a competent defensive unit to complement their explosive offense. The Cowboys are legit this season - they have the second-best offense in the league and the 14th best defense. In the lowly NFC East, the Cowboys look poised to win 10 plus games and host at least one playoff game.
10: Green Bay Packers
Though it took a few tries to kick the game-winning field goal against the Bengals last week, the Packers are currently 4-1 and lead the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers looks like the MVP he is and having him under center is a luxury. Their defense is currently the 20th ranked unit in the league and needs to improve to win tough matchups within the tough NFC.
11: Tennessee Titans
While the Titans have one of the worst defenses in the league, King Henry and Ryan Tannehill still have enough firepower to win football games. After an embarrassing loss to the Jets in Week 4, the Titans bounced back and beat up the winless Jaguars. Henry currently leads the league in rushing attempts and his health is paramount for the Titan’s ability to succeed deep in the season.
12: New Orleans Saints
The Saints have had a rollercoaster of a season so far. They will beat up on a team and the next week lay an egg against a lesser opponent. Jameis Winston has done a great job eliminating mistakes and Alvin Kamara looks healthy. The Saint’s defense is still stout, though they could certainly benefit from an additional cornerback.
13: Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are 3-2 and look competent on both sides of the ball. While the Bengal’s defense continues to be underrated, they had a huge test against the Packers last week and stood tall to the task. The Bengals still need to find a better way to protect Joe Burrow. He continues to take shots each game and the Bengals will have no success without their young signal-caller under center. These are not the same old Bengals of the past two decades.
14: Carolina Panthers
After a great three weeks to start the season, Sam Darnold has come back to earth and is looking more like the QB the Jets could not succeed with. The Panthers have a young, ascending defense, but they still have a long way to go to be a truly elite unit. If Darnold can cut down on mistakes, which is a tall task, the Panthers can continue to be a surprise team this season.
15: Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have one of the worst defenses in the NFL and now they will be without star QB Russell Wilson for at least six weeks. While Seattle has done a better job with diversifying their offensive attack, Geno Smith will not be able to lead this team to wins with Russ sidelined. The Seahawks will have a rough time getting back to the top of a stacked NFC West.
16: Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings blew a lead against the Lions and were fortunate that Greg Joseph hit a 52-yard field goal at the buzzer to garner another win. Kirk Cousins has done a great job protecting the ball and the lack of Dalvin Cook has been tough to overcome. The Vikings look to be improved on defense, but I am not sold that they are an NFC playoff team.
17: New England Patriots
Mac Jones has certainly been the best rookie so far with Trevor Lawrence on his tail. The Patriot’s offensive line has been struggling, which is a shock considering how solid they were last year. The Patriot’s defense has been stout, but they lack overall team speed. Mac Jones makes the Patriots a better team than Cam Newton did, but their lack of offensive firepower bogs down the Patriots.
18: Las Vegas Raiders
Jon Gruden has been terminated as the Raiders head coach, and while he had struggled, the Raiders still boasted one of the top offenses in the NFL. Though improved, the Raiders still lack firepower on defense. It will be interesting to see if this team rallies around interim head coach Rich Bisaccia or if the Gruden news spikes a giant downfall for the Raiders.
19: Denver Broncos
The Broncos started this season 3-0 and have quickly lost their last two games. Teddy Bridgewater is certainly an upgrade over Drew Lock, but the issues for the Broncos are based on the injuries to their defense. If Teddy goes down, the Broncos will continue to plummet, but until then, he is a strong enough game manager to keep Denver in their games this season.
20: Philadelphia Eagles
After a slow start against the Panthers, Jalen Hurts and the Eagle’s defense bounced back nicely to win as road underdogs in Carolina. The Eagle’s defensive line continues to be disruptive and they are one of the best units in the NFL. If Jalen Hurts continues to improve, and the offense finds some continuity with running backs Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell, the Eagles can move up this list.
21: Indianapolis Colts
While the Colts may look like a bad football team, they are not a poorly coached football team. Indianapolis squandered a 25-9 lead in the fourth quarter on Monday night against Baltimore. Carson Wentz played his best game as a Colt and kept a relatively clean sheet besides the early fumble, but he is not the answer that Chris Ballard and Frank Reich are looking for.
22: Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben is no longer the same Big Ben, and the Steelers defense is not playing up to their loft standards. Add on their weak offensive line and the Steelers look to be on the verge of their first losing season under Mike Tomlin. Beating Denver must have been nice for this team’s confidence, but the Steelers have a long way to go within their own division let alone the whole AFC.
23: San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers moved up in the Draft to select Trey Lance, and while it was universally known Lance would need time to grow into a true NFL starter, he has been thrown into the fire. While Lance flashes, it will be hard for the 49ers to win. Their defense is playing okay, around the middle of the pack, but it needs to improve tremendously to give the Niners a shot this season.
24: Washington Football Team
Oh, how the tides have turned - the Washington Football Team was supposed to have one of the best defenses in the league, and now they’re second to last. Washington is doing a solid job rushing the passer, as they should, but they cannot cover anyone on the back end. Heinicke is a solid backup, and he makes some plays off-script, but he lacks arm strength and makes too many costly turnovers for this team to succeed.
25: Chicago Bears
Justin Fields has bounced back well after a tough opening outing, and he gives the Bears some much-needed firepower on offense. The Bears' defense has regressed, but it has played better the last two weeks. If this team can rally around Fields, and he can improve every week, the Bears can shoot up this list moving forward.
26: Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons are coming off an easy win in London against the Jets, but they seem to be the same old Falcons. Matt Ryan does not look anything like his former self and the Falcons are still lost defensively. Arthur Smith did a good job of finally getting Kyle Pitts involved on offense and that may be crucial for this team as the season progresses.
27: New York Giants
After coming off a huge win against the Saints in Week Four, the Giants went into Arlington, Texas, and left with injuries to their star running back, starting quarterback, and big-ticket free-agent signing WR. Daniel Jones looks more comfortable this season and their offensive line is playing better, but the Giants still look poised for another top-10 pick in next year’s draft.
28: New York Jets
Rookie quarterbacks always need time to adjust to the speed of the NFL, and Zach Wilson has had the toughest time doing just that. Wilson is a turnover machine and the Jets are not good enough to make up for the frequent errors their young quarterback continues to make. The Jets are solid defensively, but they have ways to go for the team to see continued success week in and week out.
29: Miami Dolphins
One of the earliest disappointing teams this season, the Dolphins won due to a late fumble week one and are winless since. Whether Tua or Jacoby is under center, the Dolphins have not been able to move the ball or provide sufficient protection upfront. The Dolphins were supposed to have an ascending defense, but now they are one of the worst units in the NFL.
30: Detroit Lions
The Lions did a great job coming back against the Vikings and their defense has been relatively impressive so far this season. However, the Lions are still 0-5 and one of the worst teams in football. This team plays hard under Dan Campbell but is certainly looking toward a top-five pick in next year’s draft.
31: Houston Texans
Davis Mills played his best game as an NFL QB against one of the best defensive minds in NFL history. While I’m sure the Patriots still had a hangover from Brady’s return to Foxborough, the Texans still did a good job of making this a game. However, their defense is abysmal and their offense has ways to go with no clear identity.
32: Jacksonville Jaguars
Where to begin with the winless Jaguars. We can start with the obvious - Urban Meyer getting caught with another woman after a loss on the road to the Bengals. We can go on and on about the lack of leadership Meyer has shown since accepting the job in Jacksonville. The Jaguars will be looking for a new coach and a top-two draft pick to build up their young quarterback, who will be a star. It is impossible for Trevor to blossom under these circumstances.
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