NFL Power Rankings – Week 5
Published on Tuesday, 10/5/21, at 8:37 p.m. Eastern.
Rankings based on who I would make favored over whom on a neutral field.
1-Buffalo: Since the Week 1 home loss to Pittsburgh, the Bills have won by margins of 35, 22, and 40 points. They get the Chiefs at Arrowhead in Sunday night’s featured game.
2-Green Bay: The Packers have won three in a row both straight up and against the spread going into Sunday’s game at Cincinnati.
3-Tampa Bay: The Bucs will be solid favorites in their next three games. They have a great chance to be 6-1 going into a Halloween showdown at New Orleans.
4-Arizona: Statement win against the Rams in L.A. Another big division game at home vs. the 49ers is on deck. San Francisco rookie QB Trey Lance will most likely be making his first career start on the road.
5-Los Angeles Rams: The ‘over’ is 4-0 for the Rams, who have a short week going into Thursday’s game at Seattle.
6-Kansas City: Chiefs are poised to climb back into the top five if they can get a home win vs. Buffalo.
7-Cleveland: Defense carried the Browns to Sunday’s road win at Minnesota.
8-Dallas: Dak and The Cowgirls haven’t looked this good in years.
9-Baltimore: The Ravens don’t have to play another road game until Nov. 11.
10-Los Angeles Chargers: Derwin James protects the back end of the Bolts’ defense and makes Ed-Reed-like plays like his interception of Derek Carr on MNF. When Joey Bosa and James are healthy, this defense is legit and then some.
11-Seattle: The Seahawks can pull even with the Rams — and temporarily own the head-to-head tiebraker — in the NFC West by beating them at home Sunday.
12-Las Vegas: The Raiders will be in bounce-back mode on a short week when they host the Bears and former Pro-Bowl DE Khalil Mack.
13-New Orleans: The defense couldn’t hold an 11-point lead on the previously-winless Giants with seven minutes remaining. WR Michael Thomas can’t get back soon enough.
14-San Francisco: We’ll see what Trey Lance is made of while Jimmy G is on the shelf, although reports on Tuesday seemed to indicate that his injury isn’t as bad as initially feared and the 49ers haven’t ruled him out for Sunday quite yet.
15-Carolina: The Panthers return home for back-to-back games following their first loss at Dallas. They’re hoping Christian McCaffrey will be back soon.
16-Tennessee: I get the sense that Julio Jones and AJ Brown are going to be ‘questionable’ for a ton of the Titans’ remaining games. Despite that blowout home loss to Arizona and Sunday’s overtime defeat to the previously-winless Jets, they own a one-game lead over both the Texans and the Colts in the AFC South.
17-Cincinnati: The Bengals have extra rest after Thursday’s comeback win over Jacksonville put them at 3-1 ahead of Green Bay’s visit. They’re hoping to get safety Jessie Bates and WR Tee Higgins back against the Packers, but it doesn’t sound good for RB Joe Mixon this week. Mixon is third in the NFL in rushing yards.
18-Denver: QB Teddy Bridgewater is ‘questionable’ this week with a concussion. With rookie CB Pat Surtain II leaving Sunday’s loss to Baltimore, Denver has now seen nine starters leave games and not return in only four games. CB Ronald Darby, WR Jerry Jeudy, LB Josey Jewell and WR KJ Hamler remain on injured reserve.
19-New England: Tough loss to Tampa Bay, but it was clear that Mac Jones is coming along just fine. The Patriots have their QB for the present and the future.
19-Pittsburgh: WR Chase Claypool was sorely missed in Sunday’s loss at Green Bay.
20-Minnesota: The Vikings wasted a helluva performance from its defense in Sunday’s home loss to the Browns.
21-Indianapolis: The Colts are finally in the win column and just one game back of first place in the AFC South.
22-Washington: I have no idea what’s wrong with this defense that’s stacked with talent galore.
23-Atlanta: The defense still can’t protect a lead, and Arthur Smith still doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing. The most concerning thing about Smith to date is his utter ineptitude regarding the use of Kyle Pitts, who has been targeted in the red zone just once (resulting in PI for a first down on a third-and-goal play that resulted in a TD on the next play). In Sunday’s loss to Washington, Smith went for it on fourth and two at crunch time with Calvin Ridley and Pitts on the sidelines. Luckily for Atlanta, it was bailed out by a roughing-the-passer penalty after the fourth-down play predictably failed.
25-New York Giants: The Giants, who are seven-point underdogs this week at Dallas, are 18-3 ATS in their last 21 games as road underdogs.
26-Philadelphia: That Pimpslap the Eagles put on my Falcons in Week 1 seems like a long time ago already.
27-Chicago: The Bears are undefeated at home, but this club is going to lose a bunch of game this year.
28-Miami: Perhaps the NFL’s biggest disappointment to date.
29-Detroit: Turnovers in the red zone killed the Lions in their loss at Soldier Field.
30-Houston: When Tyrod Taylor gets healthy, this team is going to win some games.
31-New York Jets: Zach Wilson and the Jets got their first win and now have a legit shot at another victory vs. Atlanta in London.
32-Jacksonville: Will Oscar get canned before the Jags face the Titans? He might. Oscar has been a next-level D-bag for decades. That presser on Monday was straight out of Oscar’s Playbook. Vintage Meyer with his woe-is-me BS body language with that pouty-ass face. I really don’t know what’s more likely — for him to quit or get fired by lunch on Thurdsay. It could be any minute now.