1. New England Patriots (Last week: 1)
He’s back and it was a scary look for sure. Tom Brady threw for 400 yards and three touchdowns in his return from his four game suspension. Rob Ninkovich is back as well. Now the Pats are at full strength and rolling.
2. Minnesota Vikings (Last week: 2)
We all thought that the Vikings, lead by Sam Bradford and Matt Asiata, would be the last undefeated team this season, right? Well they are and this Minnesota defense might be among the best units we have ever seen.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week: 5)
That meltdown in Philly seems like a distant memory now. Pittsburgh has won two straight by a margin of 74-27. Needless to say the Steelers are back on track.
5. Green Bay Packers (Last week: 7)
Green Bay has to be happy with the final result, but the Packers’ offense still isn’t clicking like it used to. Eddie Lacy hasn’t found his groove and Aaron Rodgers is playing some of the most average football we have ever seen him play.
6. Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 8)
Don’t look now but Atlanta has won four straight and knocked off both of the teams that played in Super Bowl 50. Heading into Seattle will give us a good sense if the Falcons are for real.
7. Denver Broncos (Last week: 3)
So this answers the question about Paxton Lynch being pro-ready. He isn’t. Lynch posted an 11.3 Total QBR in his performance against Atlanta. Denver fans will be happy to have Trevor Seimian back. (Never thought I would write that).
8. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 6)
All good things must end. Philly sustained its first loss of the year against the Lions. Wentz threw his first career interception in crunch time and Ryan Mathews fumbled just before that to give Detroit a chance to take the lead. The Eagles can be good, but these mistakes are troubling.
9. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 13)
After losing to the Giants to open the season, Zeke Elliot and Dak Prescott have lead the Cowboys on a four-game win streak, even after losing Dez Bryant. Don’t look now but Dallas might have found the future of their team.
10. Oakland Raiders (Last week: 11)
The defense has been disappointing, but Derek Carr still finds ways to win games for the Raiders. If San Diego doesn’t botch that hold, this might be a very different story, but Oakland is rolling with a 4-1 record.
11. Baltimore Ravens (Last week: 10)
Failing to beat Washington in the Battle of the Beltway has to leave a sour taste in John Harbaugh’s mouth. Baltimore is average just 18.8 points per game so far, which probably explains why offensive coordinator Marc Trestman was just fired.
12. Washington (Last week: 16)
Even though Washington beat Baltimore, they sit below them in the power rankings. I trust Baltimore going forward much more than I do Washington. Keep in mind that this was exactly how they started last year though. Waiting to see what happens next.
13. Buffalo Bills (Last week: 18)
Rough start, followed by three straight wins over teams that had better records than they did. Beating New England was big, even without Brady. Now a win in LA gets the Bills above .500.
14. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 12)
A week off let’s the Chiefs figure out how exactly they are going to get Jamaal Charles some touches. This backfield in Kansas City can be dangerous when Charles and Stephen Ware play together, we just haven’t really seen it yet.
15. St. Louis Rams (Last week: 14)
Jeff Fisher strikes again. Just when it seemed like the Rams had found their stride, winning three straight, they drop one at home. This team might just be destined to go 8-8 for as long as Fisher is here.
16. Arizona Cardinals (Last week: 19)
Not the start the Arizona thought it would have, but a win over a divisional opponent with Drew Stanton at the helm is a good sign. Carson Palmer should be back this week and David Johnson looks like he is finding his groove.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 9)
Still waiting on the Bengals to look like the playoff team they were a season ago. Vontaze Burfict returned, but the defense still did not look much better. Cincy’s two wins this season are against the Dolphins and Jets, not exactly statement victories.
18. New York Giants (Last week: 17)
The Giants find themselves in the basement of the NFC East through five weeks. Injuries continue to plague New York, but so does the lack of consistency on offense. Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. need to break out of this funk if the Giants hope to make this a successful season.
19. Houston Texans (Last week: 15)
Maybe he wasn’t worth every penny. Minnesota has stifled pretty much everyone, but Brock Osweiler had a terrible outing against the Vikings. He has more interceptions through five games than touchdowns and is completing fewer than 60 percent of his passes. And yet they still lead the AFC South.
20. Detroit Lions (Last week: 26)
Talk about a statement win. Beating the Eagles might not seem that way, but after seeing what Philly can do against Pittsburgh, Detroit held their own and got the victory. Still a lot of work to do but 2-3 is a lot better than 1-4.
21. Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 25)
Coming off a tough loss across the pond to Jacksonville, Indianapolis got a solid win over the Bears. Andrew Luck still hasn’t really found his form, but a win is a win and the Colts are right in the race for the AFC South.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last week: 24)
After beating the Falcons, Tampa seemed to have taken it’s next step. Fast forward a month where the only other victory this team has is against a Cam Newton-less Panthers squad, the optimism for the Bucs has subsided.
23. Carolina Panthers (Last week: 20)
Carolina’s defense showed up on Monday night, but the offense could not do enough without Cam Newton and Johnathan Stewart. Carolina is in danger of being the first team to win 15 games in a season to not win 10 or more the following year.
24. New Orleans Saints (Last week: 23)
A week off for the Saints hopefully gives them a chance to figure out how to play defense. Allowing 32.5 points per game, is not a winning recipe.
25. New York Jets (Last week: 22)
Age and injury plus a tough schedule have shown that the Jets are not a contender in the NFL. The offense disappeared in the second half against Pittsburgh and the secondary continues to get burned by big plays. This zone concept Todd Bowles wants to run is not working.
26. San Diego Chargers (Last week: 29)
If there is a way to lose, the Chargers have done it. San Diego sits at 1-4 with a positive point differential. That is simply unheard of. At some point, you have San Diego is going to pick up a couple of wins.
27. San Francisco 49ers (Last week: 21)
For the second straight year, the 49ers showed up week one on Monday night, only to look terrible in pretty much every game after that. Colin Kaepernick is set to start this week. San Francisco needs a spark from somewhere.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 28)
A week allows Jacksonville to regroup. One win in four games is not an aspiring start, but the one win was in the division and in the AFC South, you never know.
29. Tennessee Titans (Last week: 31)
Marcus Mariota put on a show this week and the Titans actually used their ground game how they wanted to. Yes Miami is terrible, but the Titans are currently second in the AFC South, only a game out of first place.
30. Miami Dolphins (Last week: 27)
The Fins have hit rock bottom. The offense is mediocre and the only win that Adam Gase has this year is over Cleveland. Ryan Tannehill needs to right the ship as soon as possible if he wants to keep his starting job.
31. Chicago Bears (Last week: 30)
Jay Cutler has lost his job. Brian Hoyer is outplaying him for sure. It hasn’t lead to many wins and the injury list continues to grow. John Fox has a lot of work to do before the Bears are a competitive team again.
32. Cleveland Browns (Last week: 32)
Five quarterbacks in five weeks. Only the Browns could pull off something like that. Tennessee might be Cleveland’s best chance to win a game all season. On the bright side, it’s only three weeks until the NBA season starts and the Indians are in the ALCS.