By Conor Perrett
We have a new name at the top spot, as we count down our Week 5 Power Rankings. With fallers and risers across the Top 10, and a new team at the bottom.
Check out our rankings below:
- Buffalo Bills (4-1)
Last Week – 3rd
We have a new contender at the top spot! Philadelphia hasn’t done anything to warrant losing the spot, it’s just the Bills are just a step ahead of everyone. Through five weeks Josh Allen is the MVP leader and he doesn’t look like slowing down, as he threw a 98- yard touchdown less than a minute into Sunday’s blowout win against the Steelers.
Prior to the game the Bills had scored 12 touchdowns with all 12 either being thrown or rushed in by Allen. In Sunday’s win he threw four more touchdowns and until James Cook finally ended that stat when he rushed in for his first NFL touchdown.
Up next: at Kansas City, Sunday 9:25 p.m. BST/GMT
- Philadelphia Eagles (5-0)
Last Week – 1st
Now it feels harsh dropping Philadelphia off that top spot when they still got the job done and kept their undefeated streak alive. In my defence, the offence and defence are still elite and they still remain the top contender out of the NFC. But in no fault of their own, they just lack that scary superstar factor especially on offence. Jalen Hurts is having a career year but the stigma around him going into the year was he might not be the man. Now he has proven to the fan-base through these five weeks that he is indeed, but he’s going to have to do it over a longer stretch to prove people outside the fan-base of his capabilities.
Up next: vs. Dallas, Monday 1:20 a.m. BST/EST
- Kansas City Chiefs (4-1)
Last Week – 2nd
Kansas City took every punch the Raiders could throw at them on Monday night, but it just wasn’t enough to bring ’em to the mat.’ After going down 17-0 early in the second quarter, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce connected for four touchdowns to erase the deficit and eventually out-dueled the Raiders in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs enter their Week 6 matchup with the top-ranked offence in EPA per play. In the highly anticipated rematch with the Bills since the AFC play-offs in January, they’re going to need that, as we can expect 60 minutes of fireworks when Mahomes and Allen clash.
Up next: at vs Buffalo, Sunday 9:25 p.m. BST/GMT
- Baltimore Ravens (3-2)
Last Week – 4th
The top three are in a class of their own, with the Ravens just behind. They have the high-powered offence but lack the consistency on defence like the others do. But in their game last week against the Bengals, they showed us something they haven’t done all year. Staying strong in the fourth quarter and walking out with the win.
Their special teams also deserve some love as Baltimore’s unit is ranked first in DVOA metrics. Future Hall of Fame kicker Justin Tucker has a part to play with that going 4-for-4 in field goal attempts in the team’s 19-17 win over the Bengals. Tucker has now made 61 consecutive kicks in the fourth quarter or overtime.
Up next: at New York Giants, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT
- San Francisco 49ers (3-2)
Last Week – 8th
I mentioned last week that the 49ers have potential to be risers in these power rankings and they continue to do so. The 49ers remind me of the old 2000’s Ravens teams with Ray Lewis: they have a strong defence that could be considered best in the league and they keep the ball safe on offence. It might not be the explosive offence that we thought we were going to get under Trey Lance, but Kyle Shanahan has the team rolling on slowly but surely with Garoppolo at the helm.
In honesty it’s fairly obvious how this team wants to play. They want to win in the trenches. Establish the run game and then hit play actions once that gets working. But if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
Up next: at Atlanta, Sunday 6 p.m BST/GMT
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2)
Last Week – 6th
Nothing has looked pretty for the Buccaneers this season, but the offence is finally showing signs of life. After finishing 31st in EPA per drive (-0.77) after the first three weeks, Tampa Bay ranked sixth in the same statistic in Weeks 4 and 5, respectively. Quarterback Tom Brady is still getting the ball out faster than anyone else and completing a high percentage of his passes, and his receiving corps has stepped up after the catch in a big way.
Buccaneers pass catchers ranked 22nd in total yards after the catch (292) through the first three games, but no other team has totaled more in the last two weeks(383). That’s a good sign for fantasy owners, who were waiting on breakout games from their Bucs’ stars.
Up next: at Pittsburgh, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT
- Dallas Cowboys (4-1)
Last Week – 11th
Quarterback Cooper Rush completed only 10 passes and the offence scored just one touchdown, but their stifling defence was all the Cowboys needed to beat the defending Super Bowl champion Rams last Sunday. Rush only completing 10 passes is not promising and the Cowboys won’t win many games when that happens, but a serious question might need to be asked soon.
The Cowboys and Dak Prescott saga went on for far too long and with Dak looking to return this week or the week after, he will be put straight back into his starting spot. But, and this is a big but, if he doesn’t hit the ground running, should Rush keep the starter spot? Cooper hasn’t set the world alight by all means, but similar to what’s happening over in San Fran with Jimmy G, he’s keeping the ball safe and winning. You can’t ask much more from a back-up than that.
Up next: vs. Philadelphia, Monday 1:20 a.m. BST/EST
- Cincinnati Bengals (2-3)
Last Week – 5th
Now we don’t rank on records here but I know it looks suspicious to rank this two-win Bengals side in the top 10 above 4-1 teams. I just honestly believe this side is on their way to figuring things out. They had a ugly start, but looked on the way up after that until a one-point loss this Sunday to a Top Four side in the league. Their defence is an elite unit and they have too many weapons on offence to not turn things around.
Ja’Marr Chase hasn’t had the impact compared to his breakout year but he’s still the No. 1 receiver every team wants. Zac Taylor just needs to improve his play-calling and start scheming plays for Chase to get him open from these double teams.
Up next: at New Orleans, Sunday 1 p.m. BST/GMT
- Los Angeles Chargers (3-2)
Last Week – 14th
The Chargers defence, which ranks 28th in defensive EPA per play through Week 5, is still a massive concern. When Brandon Staley came in he was defensive coordinator of a Rams’ defence that was No.1 and looked to be the next great defensive mind. Well that hasn’t turned out so far with the Chargers defence pulling them down for the last 18 months
Somehow despite seemingly having broken hips, Justin Herbert is still thriving, ranking sixth in EPA per dropback. Austin Ekeler has taken a big step up when they needed him, scoring five touchdowns in the last two weeks.
Up next: vs. Denver, Tuesday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT
- Minnesota Vikings (4-1)
Last Week – 13th
Minnesota is thriving on offence under first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell and it’s led to them being the new favourites to win the NFC North. The Vikings lead the league in first-down conversion percentage on first down at 29%, and the offence is 10th in EPA per drive, but part of me still isn’t sold on this team.
They have one of the easier schedules in the league whilst in a bad division and I think it’s making them look better than their record suggests. In those four wins, only one has been a staple win, with their loss being real ugly against the only team they’ve played that ranks in the top tier of these rankings.
Up next: at Miami, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT
- New York Giants (4-1)
Last Week – 23rd
Now I have been on record not giving New York the credit they deserve. I’ve praised their efficiency and the determination of this young side, but describe them in a way that labels them lucky and on the down-slide. Well, I’m going to change that as they get a massive 12 place bump this week. Winning in this league isn’t easy and something I do know is 4-1 isn’t a fluke, with all the credit going towards Brian Daboll and his coaching staff.
Daniel Jones who ranks 17th in EPA per dropback is also throwing to one of the most injury-plagued and disappointing receiving corps in the NFL. This defence ranks outside the top half of the league in yards allowed per play, but somehow they are winning. Daboll’s in-game coaching adjustments have been fantastic and most recently shutting out Aaron Rodgers for an entire second half in London.
- Green Bay Packers (3-2)
Last Week – 9th
What happened to the Packers’ explosive plays? Aaron Rodgers’s average time to throw (2.44 seconds) is the fourth-fastest in the NFL, and an NFL-high 62 percent of his passing yards have come after the catch. The Packers are simply getting the ball out too quick on shallow concepts and not testing the field out vertically.
Now when you have a receivers room that Rodgers clearly doesn’t trust, that’s what is going to happen. Unless this changes, it’s not going to turn into a successful offence that will win.
Up next: vs. New York Jets, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT
- Los Angeles Rams (2-3)
Last Week – 10th
The Rams truly are in a hang-over limbo with the offensive line, receiving corps, and Stafford himself have all seemingly taken a massive step backward from their Super Bowl win a year ago. Stafford constantly seems to be under pressure and hasn’t had any success throwing the ball downfield. He’s had just 16 compilations on passes thrown for more than 10 yards.
With a coach-less Panthers team next and then a bye the week after, it gives them two weeks to figure things out. But even with the league’s most aggressive front office, none of these problems are getting fixed overnight.
Up next: vs. Carolina, Sunday 9:05 p.m. BST/GMT
- Miami Dolphins (3-2)
Last Week – 7th
By the second offensive snap of Sunday’s game against the Jets, the Dolphins were down to their third-string QB, rookie Skylar Thompson, after Teddy Bridgewater was removed under the NFL’s new concussion protocol. Thompson completed 19 of 33 passes for 166 yards and threw an interception in his NFL debut.
Running back Raheem Mostert and the Dolphins’ rushing attack helped keep the game close into the fourth quarter, but after Tyreek Hill exited with a foot injury, the offence unsurprisingly ran out of gas in the final 15 minutes of their 40-17 loss to the Jets.
Now with Tua expected to practice this week and if injuries go their way with Hill, then this team is better than stated here. But realistically Miami as it stands are on a two game losing streak and rolling with a third-string rookie QB.
Up next: vs. Minnesota, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT
- Tennessee Titans (3-2)
Last Week – 15th
Derrick Henry is keeping this offence afloat right now, with the recent injury to Treylon Burks doing the team no favours. After a slow start, Henry now has 10 more carries than any other player in the league over the past three weeks, and he ranks fourth in total rushing yards (301) over that span.
Coincidentally, in that span Tannehill ranks fourth in EPA per dropback. It goes to show Henry is still the most important player on this team and if they are to find any success, he’s got to stay healthy.
Up next: Bye
- Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)
Last Week – 12th
Trevor Lawrence could be excused when he had five turnovers in rainy Philadelphia last week, but there’s no excuses for his performance in sunny Florida against the Texans. With two interceptions on the day, maybe it’s not time to panic but Lawrence hasn’t been the can’t miss prospect of the decade, like we all thought he was.
With the mess of his rookie season under Urban Meyer, he can comfortably get let off that. But now he has a Super Bowl-winning head coach who’s got this team, especially on the defensive side playing well. Over the past two weeks Lawrence ranks 27th in EPA drop back and needs to step it up and show the become the player we saw in high school and college.
Up next: at Indianapolis, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT
- Las Vegas Raiders (1-4)
Last Week – 17th
The Raiders have shown flashes of excellence, whether it’s Derek Carr finding Devante Adams, Josh Jacobs ploughing through a defender or Maxx Crosby flying off the edge. Those are the kind of superstar players that teams need in the important moments. Right now though, Josh McDaniels just can’t seem to put a full four quarters together and continue to fall at the final hurdle.
Now, granted the refs have made calls that have affected the outcome of games, but a failed 2-point conversion has come back to hurt Vegas again. If they harbour any hopes of the play-offs, decisions like that need to be ironed out.
Up next: Bye
- New England Patriots (2-3)
Last Week – 24th
The Patriots held out the No. 1 scoring offence to zero points. Yes that offence was the Detroit Lions, but through four weeks there was no denying that they were an explosive offence that was scoring for fun. What will be more hopeful to fans is the 29 points they put up. It’s the first time this season they have finished top-12 in offensive EPA per drive and with Mac Jones to return, a 29-0 win is a nice way to break out an offensive slump.
Up next: at Cleveland, Sunday 6 p.m. GMT/BST
- Arizona Cardinals (2-3)
Last Week – 20th
Even though the Cardinals had a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter against the Eagles, the team is still going through the same struggles week in and week out. Offensively, Kyler Murray and Co. are not creating any explosive plays or moving the ball efficiently on early downs.
When Kliff Kingsbury was named head coach, a high explosive offence is what we thought was coming with him. But right now the Cardinals are far from that, as they sit twiddling their thumbs until Hopkins comes back after Week 8.
Up next: at Seattle, Sunday 9:05 p.m. BST/GMT
- Cleveland Browns (2-3)
Last Week – 19th
Running back Nick Chubb is playing like a man possessed, leading the league in PFF rushing grade (90.7), forced missed tackles (42), total yards after contact (415), and total runs of 10-plus yards (20). Chubb’s efforts combined with the quarterbacking from Jacoby Brissett have Cleveland’s offence surprisingly sixth in EPA per drive.
But like we keep saying every week this defence is holding them back. Through DVOA’s metrics they are ranked 30th. They made a trade for former pro bowl linebacker Deion Jones Sunday night, in the hope of fixing the league’s worst run defences by DVOA.
Up next: vs. New England, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT
- Atlanta Falcons (2-3)
Last Week – 18th
Without Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Pitts, Atlanta didn’t score a point until the start of the fourth quarter against Tampa Bay on Sunday. Marcus Mariota was under pressure on more than 40 percent of his drop-backs, and the offence struggled until the Bucs started playing a bit more conservatively up 21-0 late in the game.
I still like the direction Atlanta is heading, but if Sunday’s game has anything to show of going up against a top defence like Tampa, then they aren’t going to have much more fun when they face San Francisco this weekend.
Up next: vs. San Francisco, 6 p.m. BST/GMT
- New York Jets (3-2)
Last Week – 27th
Since his return in Week 4, Zach Wilson has played well in his sophomore season, but the two stars to this team have been picks from their 2022 rookie class. Breece Hall totaled 197 yards and a touchdown on 20 touches as he starts to become a focal point for this offence.
While on the defensive side, Sauce Gardner got his first interception. According to PFF, Gardner has allowed just 127 total yards and one touchdown on 24 targets through five games.
Up next: at Green Bay, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT
- New Orleans Saints
Last Week – 26th
Every year Tayson Hill has a game where he becomes Superman and can do anything on a football field. Well this week was one of those weeks as Hill rushed for 112 yards and three touchdowns on only nine carries, whilst also throwing a 22-yard touchdown on his only pass attempt. As the Saints wait for Jameis Winston and Micheal Thomas’ return, Hill will continue to be a spokesman for football superheroes.
Up next: vs. Cincinnati, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT
- Seattle Seahawks (2-3)
Last Week – 21st
The Seahawks defence ranks 31st in total points allowed (154) and 32nd in yards per play allowed through five weeks, all while Geno Smith is playing his heart out.
Smith going into the season was viewed as a temporary piece until they drafted their long-term man. Well so far Smith has exceeded any expectations of him as he ranks third among starters in EPA per drop-back and first among QB’s in PFF grade (90.2).
This Hawks defence will keep them near the bottom of the league, but Smith is doing everything he can and then some to keep the team in games every week.
Up next: vs. Arizona, Sunday 9:05 p.m. BST/GMT
- Indianapolis Colts (2-2-1)
Last Week – 25th
The Colts offence has been a complete disaster, as the once dominant Colts running game now ranks 32nd in DVOA. Currently they are also 32nd in EPA per drive and total points scored and things hit an all time low in Thursday Night Football. Matt Ryan has already thrown seven interceptions on the season and fumbled the ball 11 times! Yet somehow they find themselves getting wins. However, Frank Reich is still under immense pressure.
Up next: vs. Jacksonville, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT
- Denver Broncos (2-3)
Last Week – 16th
Both Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett are in the public eye for very bad football reasons right now, and there’s no reason to believe they are getting themselves out of this mess. In an ugly 12-9 loss on TNF, Hackett who himself has been making crucial late game mistakes, seemed to throw his quarterback under the bus in his post-game conference.
The Broncos are in a deep hole that has gotten uglier with every week. Players lashing out on the field to Wilson’s mistakes, while fans endure a boring sluggish team. Denver were meant to have entered their Super Bowl window with the moves they made this off-season, but right now they are the laughing stock of the league with another prime time game awaiting them in Week 6.
Up next: at Los Angeles Chargers, Tuesday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT
- Chicago Bears (2-3)
Last Week – 30th
When kept clean in his pocket Justin Fields ranks second in EPA per drop-back, second to only Patrick Mahomes. It’s a positive sign for the former Ohio State prospect that should have Bears fans excited for his potential future. It just so happens he still has a mess of a offensive line and an incompetent receiver corps right now.
Up next: vs. Washington, Friday 1:15 a.m. BST/GMT
- Detroit Lions (1-4)
Last Week – 22nd
After a performance last week that saw the Lions give up 48 points and then going on scoring 0 points this week, Dan Campbell described the situation as “rock bottom.” The Lions have been a poverty franchise for 70 years. Their lone playoff run came over 30 years ago and since then it’s been a constant rotation of rebuilds. Hope after hope, Lions fans think they’re heading in the right direction only to be left disappointed. In a way, no fans have gone through the miserable times as much as Lions fans.
Last year when Dan Campbell stood at a podium in his induction press conference crying on the stand because of how passionate he was about the team and city, fans lapped it up and believed more than ever. Campbell can sympathize with them because he’s played in Detroit and knows how the fans in the city feel. In his first year he was allowed a pass but with two off-seasons under his belt now, he described it himself. The Detroit Lions are at rock bottom, not even a year and a half into their rebuild. Hopefully they find themselves after the bye-week.
Up next: Bye
- Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4)
Last Week – 28th
Pickett, when up against the Bills, wasn’t nearly as awful as Mitchell Trubisky had been through the first four weeks of the season, which isn’t saying much. But he showed typical rookie growing pains. Against a top defence it was never going to be easy but he finished top-five in passing yards, completed 65% of passes and had an impressive pocket presence during his first start in the NFL. He has another tough match-up on Sunday against the Bucs.
Up next: vs. Tampa Bay, Sunday 6 p.m. BST/GMT
- Houston Texans (1-3-1)
Last Week – 32nd
Rookie running back Dameon Pierce is a lone star on an otherwise bad Texans team, as he outperforms his draft spot. Rushing for 99 yards and a touchdown was okay but the stat hidden was forcing 17 missed tackles, a record in an NFL game, per PFF. He now ranks fifth in NFL rushing yards, helping the Texans take themselves off of the bottom spot in these rankings.
Up next: Bye
- Washington Commanders (1-4)
Last Week – 31st
Carson Wentz right now is tied first for interceptions thrown on a clean drop-back with five. Right now the Commanders problems are not just at the quarterback position as they need to create stability in the offensive line and second and third levels on the defence.
But Wentz is currently doing them no favours and it is getting real ugly when head coach Ron Rivera is taking shots at him during a press conference. They should have an even matchup against the Bears on Thursday Night Football.
Up next: at Chicago, Friday, 1:15 BST/GMT
- Carolina Panthers (1-4)
Last Week – 29th
There we have it, Matt Rhule was the first to fall, as he was fired earlier in the week.
In truth, switching from college coaching to NFL has never been a success, just ask Urban Meyer. Even the great Nick Saben couldn’t figure a way out to get it to work. The Panthers now will enter a rebuild as they potentially trade away key pieces for draft picks and Rhule will find a new coaching job in the college world. There have been rumours of Christian McCaffery going to Buffalo. If that happens, how long until DJ Moore and Brian Burns follow?
Up next: at Los Angeles Rams, Sunday 9:05 p.m. BST/GMT