After five weeks, there are two teams that are head and shoulders above the rest of the NFL.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams are the unquestioned best teams in football right now and they showed it once again in Week 5. Meanwhile, the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints continued their ascent back to the top of the power rankings, while the Cleveland Browns won their second game and find themselves probably much higher than they should be.
With five weeks of action now in the book, here’s how we feel teams rank from No. 1 to No. 32. (For our Week 5 power rankings, click here.)
1. Kansas City Chiefs (5-0; Last week’s rank: 2): Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City’s high-powered offense rolled over one Super Bowl contender in Week 5 (the Jacksonville Jaguars) and now head to Foxboro to try to cement their claim as the AFC’s best team in a battle with the Patriots.
2. Los Angeles Rams (5-0; 1): The Rams eked out a win over the corpse of the Seattle Seahawks in Week 5. Sean McVay’s club likely is the best team in the NFL, but its secondary is banged up and has been shredded in consecutive weeks.
3. New Orleans Saints (4-1; 3): Drew Brees and Sean Payton have the Saints firing on all cylinders following their “Monday Night Football” beatdown of the Washington Redskins. The Saints’ Week 9 tilt with the Rams can’t come soon enough.
4. New England Patriots (3-2; 5): New England responded from its Week 3 flop against the Detroit Lions by pummeling the Miami Dolphins and handling the Indianapolis Colts in back-to-back weeks to set up a marquee matchup with the Chiefs. The return of Julian Edelman and emergence of Josh Gordon has made the Patriots’ offense much more dangerous than it was during the first three weeks of the season.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (4-1; 7): Are the Bengals really a top-five NFL team? Probably not, but Andy Dalton and Co. have taken care of business during the first five weeks. They can take a stranglehold on the AFC North with a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2; 4): Blake Bortles still is the Jaguars’ biggest obstacle and that’s going to be a problem against the NFL’s top teams. Jacksonville’s defense is good enough to take the team back to the playoffs, but if Bortles struggles like he did in Week 5 against the Chiefs, their postseason stay might not last long.
7. Chicago Bears (3-1; 11): All aboard the Midway Express! Chicago’s defense is one of the best in the league and with Matt Nagy opening up the playbook for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky more each week, the Bears are primed to be the surprise team of 2018.
8. Carolina Panthers (3-1; 13): The Panthers needed a 63-yard field goal from Graham Gano to beat the hapless New York Giants. While that’s borderline pathetic, 3-1 is 3-1.
9. Minnesota Vikings (2-2-1; 14): Minnesota exacted a bit of revenge for last year’s NFC Championship Game loss when they beat the Philadephia Eagles 23-21. Kirk Cousins and Co. might not be the Super Bowl contender they were expected to be just yet, but they have time to work out the kinks.
10. Cleveland Browns (2-2-1; 24): Baker Mayfield fever has officially hit NESN.com. The Browns beat a good Baltimore Ravens team in Week 5 and very well could be 4-1 if they weren’t coached by a glorified mannequin.
11. Los Angeles Chargers (3-2; 17): Like the Vikings, the Chargers are more talented than their mediocre record and they showed it by pasting the Oakland Raiders in Week 5. A marquee (yes, you read that right) date with the Browns awaits in Week 6.
12. Tennessee Titans (3-2; 6): If you want to be taken seriously, you can’t lose to the Buffalo Bills. There are rules, Titans.
13. Baltimore Ravens (3-2; 10): The AFC North is going to be a dogfight for the next 12 weeks, but Baltimore will need to clean up its mistakes if it plans to contend for the division crown.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1; 16): There’s a very good chance the Steelers actually aren’t very good, but Pittsburgh pummeling the garbage pile formally known as the Atlanta Falcons in Week 5 didn’t tell us much.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3; 9): No team has repeated as Super Bowl champion since 2004. Coincidentally, that also was the last time a team repeated as NFC East champions. The Eagles have some work to do if they wish to accomplish either this season.
16. Green Bay Packers (2-2-1; 8): You have to feel bad for Aaron Rodgers. The Packers star is mainly throwing to Davante Adams and a bunch of practice squad players due to the number of injuries to his receiving corps. Even when he does enough to get his team a win — as was the case Sunday against the Detroit Lions — Mason Crosby misses four field goals (!) and an extra point in a 31-23 loss. Green Bay just might not be very good.
17. Miami Dolphins (3-2; 12): Frauds.
18. Houston Texas (2-3; 25): Bill O’Brien might end up getting Deshaun Watson killed. If the Texans don’t fire him first, that is.
19. Detroit Lions (2-3; 26): We don’t know what to make of the Lions.
20. Washington Redskins (2-2; 19): Fresh off a Week 4 bye, the ‘Skins got lit up by the Saints in Week 5. Washington still is the default leader in the NFC East, which tells you how much of a dumpster fire that division is.
21. Atlanta Falcons (1-4; 15): Season over.
22. New York Jets (2-3; 29): New York steamrolled the Denver Broncos in Week 5 and a win in Week 6 over the Indianapolis Colts would get them back to .500 and in the hunt for a playoff berth. (We know, that sounds crazy, but it’s true.)
23. Seattle Seahawks (2-3; 20): Give the Seahawks credit: They gave the Rams all they could handle. In the end, they just don’t have the weapons on either side of the ball that they used to.
24. Denver Broncos (2-3; 18): It turns out that rolling the dice on Case Keenum being a serviceable NFL starting quarterback was a bad idea. Who knew?
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2; 21): Tampa didn’t play in Week 5, but Dirk Koetter plans to go back to Jameis Winston in Week 6. Bad idea.
26. Dallas Cowboys (2-3; 23): Update that résumé, Jason Garrett.
27. New York Giants (1-4; 22): Odell Beckham Jr. is a better quarterback than Eli Manning, Sterling Shepard is fighting trash cans and teams are hitting 63-yard game-winning field goals against them. It’s all bad for the G-Men.
28. Indianapolis Colts (1-4; 28): Andrew Luck is back. Unfortunately, the Colts still haven’t put a competent team around him.
29. San Francisco 49ers (1-3; 27): *Cries while looking at a photo of Jimmy Garoppolo.*
30. Buffalo Bills (2-3; 31): The Bills ambushed a listless Titans team in Week 5 to earn their second win of the season, which means they’re only one game behind the Patriots and Dolphins in the AFC East. Remember this when they finish at 2-14.
31. Oakland Raiders (1-4; 30): Man, $100 million really doesn’t buy you what it used to.
32. Arizona Cardinals (1-4; 32): It was coaching malpractice to start Sam Bradford over Josh Rosen to begin the season. The UCLA product didn’t have a great Week 5 (10-for-25, 170 yards and one touchdown), but it was enough to get the Cards their first win.
Thumbnail photo via Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports Images
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