I'm going to start doing weekly power rankings for the NFL from here on out. I use a formula to determine where a team ranks based on record, who they played, point differentials, offensive numbers, and defensive numbers. I don't believe in the "a team was great last year so we're going to rank them high this year" hype that a low of publications do on power rankings. A lot of people do. The Steelers and Jets, for example, are ranked WAY too high in a lot of power rankings. Anyway, here are the power rankings heading into week 6. Total points are indicated next to the team which is based on the formula I mentioned earlier.
1. Green Bay Packers: 284
Notes: No team is as strong on all sides of the ball as the Packers this year. This team is solid and can easily be a 14-2 or 15-1 team this year. The only thing standing in their way is the fact that they play the Lions twice.
2. Detroit Lions: 283
Notes: Only one point behind the Packers from that number one spot. The Lions always find ways to win games which is a sign of a great team. Some people expect this team to slow down, but don't be surprised to see a 12-4 or 13-3 record from the Lions.
3. Baltimore Ravens: 235
Notes: They just haven't been winning, they have been winning convincingly. 24 point win over Jets, 30 point win over the Rams, and 28 point win over the Steelers. This team should be 5-1 heading into Steelers territory with games against the Texans and Jaguars.
4. New Orleans Saints: 208
Notes: Their only loss came against the best team in the NFL. While they've had close (especially this week against the Panthers) they've been finding ways to win. With what seems to be a subpar division this year in the NFC South, expect the Saints to easily coast to a division title.
5. San Diego Chargers: 199
Notes: They've been playing well against teams that they should be beating and lost against the only good team (Patriots) on their schedule for the first five games. Even though the Jets aren't looking great, a road victory against them would be huge for the Chargers.
6. New England Patriots: 192
Notes: I probably have them ranked the lowest out of any power ranking, but even though they have a superb offense, their defense has a lot of issues.
7. Buffalo Bills: 178
Notes: Not convinced that they are a lock for the playoffs this year (I think they'll end up at 8-8 or 9-7), but they have been playing excellent to start the season. Who would have thought that a win over the Eagles this week wouldn't be that surprising though
8. San Francisco 49ers: 171
Notes: A big surprise this year. It's surprising that any team from the NFC West has a winning record after 5 games, but the 49ers are playing extremely well. An OT loss to the Cowboys prevents this team from being 5-0.
9. Washington Redskins: 165
Notes: Another big surprise this year. I expected this team to be better, but not as good as they have been. It will be tough for them to maintain this type of playing with games left against the Cowboys, Eagles, and Giants.
10. Houston Texans: 160
Notes: The team expected to take the AFC South this year is looking to be on pace to do just that. Even with the Titans tied for first, I expect the Texans to pull away at some point. This team does have their share of problems and can see the whole division looking like the NFC West of last year.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers: 142
Notes: Big win against the Titans, but am I the only who thinks this team is not looking remotely close to the team that made the Super Bowl last year?
12. Cincinnati Bengals: 129
Notes: Never expected the Bengals to be up this far in the rankings (not even in the top 20), but a team that can finish games as strong as the Bengals have is worth taking notice of. A win over the Bills helps this team secure the #12 spot.
13. Tennessee Titans: 112
Notes: Hard to read this team. A big win over Baltimore and a big loss against the Steelers. I think at some point the weaknesses of the team will catch up to them. Expect them to go about 8-8.
14. Dallas Cowboys: 110
Notes: Tony Romo might be up great numbers on paper, but he's been anything but clutch when it matters. This is what prevents him from being a top 5, even top 10 QB. Every game they have played has been decided by 4 points or less with one win being decided in OT.
15. New York Giants: 105
Notes: Another hard to read team. With a reversed call in the Cards game, this team could easily be 2-3. On the other end, if Victor Cruz held onto that ball or even if he dropped it, there would be a good chance the Giants would have scored on that drive (they are known for their ability to drive down the field and score in clutch situations) and be 4-1. This team is facing many injury issues, but should be able to stay competitive throughout the year.
16. Oakland Raiders: 92
Notes: Big win against the Texans on the road. The Raiders are much improved from last year and will either win a wild card spot or be very close to securing one.
17. Cleveland Browns: 50
Notes: A team ranked in the bottom 10 in most power rankings, but unjustly in my opinion. Their two wins came against the Colts and Dolphins (both winless), but I think this will prove themselves in the upcoming weeks.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 43
Notes: Like the Chiefs, this is another solid team from last year who looks terrible this year. The 49ers are a great team, but that lost this week was horrendous.
19. New York Jets: 38
Notes: I am just as surprised as anyone to see this team down at #19 after 5 weeks, but here they are. Next week is a must win against the Dolphins.
20. Philadelphia Eagles: 34
Notes: Another team destined to do great things who has started off the year horribly. At 1-4, I don't think we'll see them make the playoffs, but they'll end the season strong than what their 1-4 record indicates.
21. Carolina Panthers: 15
Notes: So close to being a decent team. Cam Newton looks great. Expect better things to come from the Panthers in the coming years.
22. Atlanta Falcons: 10
Notes: Far from being out of it, but they really haven't been playing well.
23. Minnesota Vikings: 8
Notes: If you watched the Vikings for the first 3 quarters of all their games you'd think they're 4-1 or 3-2. Even though this team falls apart in the last few minutes of the game, they are a lot better than their 1-4 record indicates.
24. Chicago Bears: 3
Notes: The division winners of last year are in a lot of trouble with the Packers and Lions both starting the season 5-0.
25. Seattle Seahawks: 2
Notes: A big win over the Giants although they should have won by a LOT more considering how much they were outplaying them in the first half of the game.
26. Arizona Cardinals: -36
Notes: And now we approach the "negative teams". The team will struggle all season after that Cruz call against the Giants cost them the win.
27. Kansas City Chiefs: -41
Notes: After looking like the clear winner for the worst team in the NFL, the Chiefs win 2 games in a row. A win against the Raiders and Chargers will make the Chiefs all of a sudden back in contention.
28. Denver Broncos: -55
Notes: Its bad news when you switch your starting QB this early in the season. Hopefully Tim Tebow can bring some life into this lowly team.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: -59
Notes: After a narrow victory the first game of the season against the Titans, the Jaguars are looking worse every week. With upcoming games against Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Texans, expect the Jaguars to go 1-7 heading into the bye week.
30. Miami Dolphins: -96
Notes: The best of the winless, which is not saying much.
31. Indianapolis Colts: -129
Notes: I knew this tea was going to be worse without Peyton, but I don't think anyone expected them to be THIS bad.
32. St. Louis Rams: -131
Notes: I guess the Rams got tired of being in a run for the playoffs last year and reverted back to their old ways of the year before.