Week Six showed some dominant performances from some of the best teams in the NFL. In Week Six, favorites went 8-4 against the spread and straight up in their respective games. After a few beatdowns this week, some teams deserve more respect while others are continuing their downward trend. Let’s break down each team and see where they are in the NFL hierarchy through six weeks.
1: Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 3
It took the Cardinals going 6-0 to convince me, but man, they are legit. Kyler Murray torched the much improved Browns defense for 37 points and the Cardinals defense pitched a shutout in 3 quarters despite missing a few starters. Kyler should be the favorite for the MVP award at this point and Vance Joseph is currently one of the best defensive coordinators in the game.
2: Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 1
The Buffalo Bills dropping a spot has much less to do with their loss to the Titans and more to do with how dominant the Cardinals are. While the Bills are now 4-2, they fell literally one yard short of taking the Titans to at minimum overtime. No one can stop King Henry, but it was still disappointing to see the Bills allow 31 points. The good news is the Bills offense is better than ever and they can win in a variety of ways. The Bills are still the best team in the AFC through six weeks and will almost certainly bounce back.
3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 2
The Bucs went into Philly on Thursday night and took down the Eagles with ease - no surprises here. Unfortunately for the Bucs, they lost Richard Sherman and their already depleted secondary cannot catch a break. Fortunately for the Bucs, their offense is as good as any other team in the league and they are more than capable of winning shootouts. Tom Brady and Co. do not look like they will be slowing down any time soon.
4: Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 7
What the Ravens offense did to the Chargers on Sunday was impressive, but it was also obvious to an extent. The Chargers came into that game with the worst run defense in the NFL, and the Ravens tout one of the best run offenses in history. John Harbaugh knows exactly what his team is, what their strengths are, and how they win. Wink Martindale did a fantastic job pressuring Herbert and mixing up coverages as he usually does, and add on the fact that Lamar Jackson is playing like the best QB in the NFL and the Ravens look like a juggernaut.
5: Los Angeles Rams
Last Week: 5
It seems like the Rams felt the disrespect I gave them last week by ranking them below the Chargers as the best NFL team from LA. The Rams went into MetLife and dominated the Giants from start to finish. While, yes, it is the Giants, the Rams continue to prove week in and week out that they are for real. Matthew Stafford adds a whole new element to this offense, and if the Rams can clean up their defensive woes against more stout opponents, they will be dangerous all season long.
6: Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 8
The Chiefs rising two spots has almost nothing to do with their blowout win against Washington. Washington played that game exactly how you would expect, like one of the worse teams in the NFL. While the Chiefs only allowed 13 points, this was more due to Washington’s ineptness and not the Chiefs’ prowess. Patrick Mahomes has had his worst start to a season in his career, but if his 2nd half awakening on Sunday is indicative of a comeback to MVP form, the Chiefs will continue to rise as long as they can improve their turnover differential.
7: Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 9
The Cowboys took home an OT win on the road in one of the most thrilling games of the weekend. Dak Prescott looks incredible, the Cowboys’ defensive line looks rejuvenated, and their coaching staff is not committing egregious mistakes. If it wasn’t already obvious how important a franchise QB is, look no further than the Dak effect on this team. The Cowboys are going to cruise to the NFC East title with weak competition around them.
8: Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 10
The Packers are a tough evaluation this season. Having Aaron Rodgers sure makes life easy, but the Packers have not beaten any noteworthy team so far this season. Their first real test will be Week 8 against the Cardinals, we will see what this team is truly made of then. In the meantime, the Packers can rejoice about being the clear-cut best team in the mediocre NFC North.
9: Los Angeles Chagers
Last Week: 3
The Chargers falling six spots since last week has more to do with my overhyping of them rather than their actual team ability. Yes, they were dismantled by the Ravens, but I am still bullish on the Herbert/Staley combo. Consider this Staley’s “Welcome to the NFL” moment. His run defense was a problem coming in, and while it was obvious the Ravens were going to try to run all over them, the Chargers could not stop them. Herbert looked like he was seeing ghosts. Despite the lapse, this team is young and ascending, and this loss was more of a wake-up call than a cause for concern.
10: Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 11
The Titans were about six yards away from falling to 3-3 on the season, but their defensive line did a great job of stopping Josh Allen when he only needed one yard. The Titans are another hard team to analyze, as they play down too much worse competition, yet they play the top teams with all their might. Tennessee lost starters Taylor Lewan and Caleb Farley, two huge injuries that can impact their rankings moving forward.
11: Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 6
The Cleveland Browns with no Nick Chubb look like a completely different football team. Add Kareem Hunt going to IR in the mix and I am not sure how easy it will be for the Browns to bounce back. Baker looks like a huge liability with his shoulder injury that leaves his outlook for the remainder of the season in question, and their defense is improved but still not great. The Browns have a great head coach and will beat inferior opponents, but to make some serious noise they need to take down some quality football teams. I’m torn on whether or not they can.
12: New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 12
After their bye week, the Saints are sitting comfortably in the same spot they were in last week. The Saints will face the Russell Wilson-less Seahawks this week and in order to keep this spot, they must win. After each win this season the Saints have suffered a loss. If they continue this trend, their rankings will plummet, but having a bye week before this match is crucial for the Saints in the NFC South race.
13: Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 13
Another week, another win for the Bengals. They are currently in second place in the AFC North and at 4-2, are sitting pretty. Yes, they beat the lowly Lions last week, but the Bengals of old would have played down to an inferior opponent. Like I said last week, and like they prove week in and week out, this is not the Bengals of old, and they are coming for the Browns spot as the 2nd best team in the AFC North. Joe Burrow has been great, but their defense is what has been most legit.
14: Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 16
I don’t know what it is with Mike Zimmer and close games. I don’t think anyone on the planet knows why they can’t play a game that is not a nail-bitter, including Zimmer himself. The Vikings squandered a 28-17 lead and won a close game in overtime in Carolina this weekend. The Vikings do some things really well on offense and defense, but also really poorly late in games. They are definitely the second-best team in the NFC North, but how good is the division? Not very.
15: New England Patriots
Last Week: 17
The Patriots are 2-4, but they are the best 2-4 team in the NFL. Their losses, besides vs the Saints, have all been close games. The Patriots still benefit from having one of the best coaches in the NFL and a reliable defense. Mac Jones is playing like a seasoned vet, and though he still needs to cut down on mistakes, the Patriots are still in a good position to push for an AFC Wild Card appearance.
16: Las Vegas Raiders
Last Week: 18
In his first-ever game as a head coach in the NFL, Rich Bisaccia and his team gave a great performance in a satisfying win. While it will take a few more weeks to determine how the Gruden termination will affect the Raiders locker room, a beatdown of a divisional rival on their home field is a good start. Derek Carr is in command of this offense and his play will determine if the Raiders are good enough for a Wild Card game.
17: Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 14
The Panthers showed great resilience at home this past weekend. They were down 11 points in the fourth quarter and forced overtime with seconds to spare. However, they let up a touchdown on the Viking’s first possession and lost the game. After starting 3-0, the 3-3 Panthers are still a work in progress, but fans should be satisfied with their improvements so far this season, especially on the defensive end.
18: Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 21
While beating down the Texans isn’t cause for celebration, Carson Wentz’s improved play certainly is, even after only going 11-22 on passing attempts. As long as Wentz does not turn over the football, and the Colts keep pounding the rock, they are a tough team to beat. The running game was always going to be their strong suit and all Wentz has to do is not throw games away. The Colt’s defense still has a lot to prove if they want to make the AFC South more competitive.
19: Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 22
The Steelers got to face the Geno Smith-led Seahawks on Monday night and won a much closer game than it should’ve been. Mike Tomlin, season after season, deserves to be in the Coach of the Year conversation. His QB is mediocre, his offensive line is a disaster, and his defense is underperforming, yet the Steelers are 3-3. While they lack the makings of a good team, they certainly are one of the best 'subpar' teams.
20: San Franciso 49ers
Last Week: 23
Despite being on a bye last week, I have the 49ers moving up three spots in my power rankings. This has nothing to do with the 49ers and everything to do with how disappointing some of the other teams around the league have been. Trey Lance may or may not get a chance to prove he is at least close to being a starting-caliber NFL QB on primetime against the Colts. Will we see a coming-out party or more proof he is not NFL ready yet?
21: Denver Broncos
Last Week: 19
Getting embarrassed at home against a divisional rival certainly warrants a drop in power rankings. The Broncos feasted on an easy schedule to improve to 3-0, but are since 0-3 after facing some better competition. The Broncos' defense, their supposed strength, continues to get shredded and their offense is pedestrian at best.
22: Chicago Bears
Last Week: 25
The Bears lost to the Packers by 10 last week, yet they still climbed three spots in this week’s rankings. Yet, this is another example of a bad team moving up due to the other bad teams in the league looking even worse. The good news for the Bears is that they can run the ball, the bad news is their rookie signal-caller got sacked four more times on Sunday. Justin Fields gives the Bears hope, and at 3-3 they are still in any playoff race, but Matt Nagy still needs to do a better job of putting Fields in a position to succeed.
23: Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 15
The Seahawks have the steepest drop of any team in my rankings this week, and it is pretty obvious why they fell eight spots. Russell Wilson is this team. While the Seahawks put up a valiant fight against the Steelers on Sunday night, it is clear that without Russ and his cooking, they are not close to a playoff team. All Geno needs to do is keep games close, and if they can steal a win or two before Russ comes back, maybe they can still sneak into the playoffs.
24: Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 20
In my rankings last week, I noted that in order for Philly to succeed and move up the ranks of the NFL, Jalen Hurts needs to prove he is an NFL-caliber passer. On Thursday night against the Bucs, he proved the doubters correct. Philly still sports a relatively stout defense, but their offense lacks an identity, firepower, and cohesion until Hurts and Sirianni can get it together.
25: Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 26
Another team that moves upward in my rankings after a bye, the Falcons got to watch the Panthers, a divisional rival, fall in overtime. Besides that, the Falcons have very winnable games on their radar and can still make a push in the NFC believe it or not. Are they good enough to actually make the playoffs? I doubt it, but they are currently better than two NFC East teams they have played already that have yet to be named.
26: New York Jets
Last Week: 28
The 1-4 Jets were on the bye last week, and since they weren’t on the field, I almost forgot how incompetent they are on offense. However, I was able to watch Washington and the Giants embarrass themselves, and at least I know the Jets play hard and are solid on defense. They have a tough game against the Patriots in Week 7, so let’s see if the Jets come out swinging after a bye week.
27: Washington Football Team
Last Week: 24
Where to begin with Washington? We can start with the botched impromptu jersey retirement of one of the best players in franchise history who was tragically killed in the prime of his career. Especially since the ceremony was used as a cover-up for the continued bad press they are receiving for terrible workplace culture over the past two decades. Or, we can stick to what happened on the field, which in some respects, was just as bad if not worse. Against the 32nd ranked defense, Washington scored 13 points. Washington themselves boasts the 30th ranked defense, and as of right now the one bright spot on their team is return specialist Deandre Carter. Their defensive line is actually playing well, as it was expected to, but that doesn’t matter if no one can cover on the back end. Disappointing is an understatement, yet when looking at the last two decades of this team, this lack of success is nowhere near shocking.
28: New York Giants
Last Week: 27
The 1-5 New York Football Giants have been incompetent on both sides of the football. Daniel Jones played through injury on Sunday, and, guess what, he stunk it up. Jones threw three interceptions and the Rams did whatever they wanted to on offense. We knew the Giants stunk, but they showed signs of life earlier this season. Now, it’s just a matter of how bad they actually are and whether the Bears can struggle enough to give the G-men 2 top 10 picks in the next draft after giving that pick up for Justin Fields.
29: Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 32
The Jaguars won ugly in London giving Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence their first wins in the NFL. Now the question is how many more games will each of them win in the NFL career? I set Meyer’s line at 1.5 since he will be almost certainly fired at the end of the season. However, Trevor Lawrence is giving me crazy Peyton Manning vibes. After going 3-13 as a rookie, Manning as a sophomore went 13-3. If the Jags find an actual head coach for Trevor, he will have similar success in year two. Watch the tape, he is that good.
30: Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 29
How do you drop from 29 to 30 out of 32 teams in the NFL? That’s easy, you lose to the 32nd ranked team in the league. Tua is not the answer and this team has no fight in it. Their offensive and defensive lines are a disaster and this team is not tough. This is relatively shocking based on their play last season, but man, the Dolphins are as bad as any team in the league.
31: Houston Texans
Last Week: 31
The Texans got blown out in Indianapolis and not a single soul is shocked. The Texans, who have had some decent moments this season, looked as bad as they truly are. Davis Mills, while not terrible for a rookie, threw two picks and this defense can’t cover anyone. The Texans may win one more game all season unless Tyrod Taylor can come back and save the day.
32: Detroit Lions
Last Week: 32
The last winless team in the sport, the Lions got hammered on their home turf against the Bengals. Dan Campbell acts like he knows what he is doing, but, is he really fooling anyone? While I’m sure he does truly care about every man on his roster, his team stinks. Not only does his overall team stink, but in case anyone actually thought Goff was good and it wasn’t all McVay, how do you like Goff now?
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