NFL Week 5 Power Rankings: Patriots, Chiefs Remain Unbeaten; Rams Fall

by NESN Staff

October 1, 2019

Week 4 was eventful, to say the least.

Five unbeaten teams fell, while the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, our top two teams, snuck by their toughest tests to date.

The Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers both surprisingly dropped games to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively, but how far did they fall?

Let’s get into our power rankings heading into Week 5.

1. New England Patriots (4-0, last week’s rank: 1): New England’s offense struggled in Buffalo, but its defense was up for the challenge in fighting off the Bills. It was good to see the Patriots get through a tough test on a day where their offensive production was minimal.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0; 2): Similar to New England, Kansas City saw its first real test of the season in Detroit. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs used a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Lions, moving to 4-0 on the season.

3. New Orleans Saints (3-1; 9): New Orleans has done a great job of moving forward without Drew Brees. Sean Payton put together another impressive gameplan to hand Dallas its first loss of the season. Once Brees gets back on the field, the Saints will be even more dangerous than they already are.

4. Dallas Cowboys (3-1; 3): The Cowboys were stifled by New Orleans’ defense on Sunday night, as Dak Prescott was limited to just 223 yards. Dallas’ ground game was a non-factor as well, with an ugly showing in its first real test of the 2019 season. Time will tell where they go from here, but another showing like this next week against Green Bay will send them plummeting down our rankings.

5. Los Angeles Rams (3-1; 4): Week 4 did not go as planned for the Rams. The Buccaneers posted 55 points on L.A. in a shocking trouncing of the reigning NFC champs. We’ll bank on this being an anomaly of sorts and keep them in the top five, but yikes, the Rams’ defense looked anything but sharp.

6. Green Bay Packers (3-1; 5): Aaron Rodgers and Co. were stumped at home by the Eagles on Thursday night. Davante Adams had 10 catches for 180 yards but exited the game late due to turf toe. His health will be a major factor in how successful they are for the remainder of the season.

7. Chicago Bears (3-1; 14): The Bears grabbed a solid divisional win in a defensive slugfest, beating the Minnesota Vikings 16-6 at Soldier Field. Chicago’s defense will be able to pick up the offense’s slack on plenty of occasions this year, but an injury to Mitchell Trubisky certainly creates some question marks.

8. San Francisco 49ers (3-0; 7): The 49ers are still an unknown in our eyes, so with their bye, we’ll allow them to stick around in the top-10 for at least one more week.

9. Detroit Lions (2-1-1; 12): Yes, the Lions suffered their first loss, but it was a productive one. Detroit pushed Kansas City to the brink while keeping Mahomes out of the endzone. If the Lions’ defense keeps this up, they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

10. Seattle Seahawks (3-1; 13): Seattle took care of business against the Arizona Cardinals with a 27-10 win on Sunday. Pete Carroll’s defense did a nice job of containing Kyler Murray, plus Chris Carson showed some true flashes of Seattle’s upside on the ground.

11. Philadelphia Eagles (2-2; 18): We didn’t see this one coming. Philly marched into Lambeau Field and let Jordan Howard lead them to a 34-27 win. Their defense still needs work, but this was a huge win for the Eagles.

12. Minnesota Vikings (2-2; 6): When the run game doesn’t work, Minnesota hits a wall. Such was the case Sunday in Chicago when Kirk Cousins threw 36 times in a 16-6 loss to the Bears. Yes, Chicago’s defense arguably is the best in the NFL, but Minnesota struggled without an effective Dalvin Cook.

13. Baltimore Ravens (2-2; 8): Baltimore’s defense looked terrible against the Browns on Sunday, allowing 531 total yards in a 40-25 loss. If they want to right the ship next week against the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers, adjustments need to be made on defense.

14. Cleveland Browns (2-2; 19): Cleveland was on the other side of that 40-point showing. The Browns needed an offensive wake-up call and delivered in a big way. Time will tell if this kick-starts what should be a solid all-around unit.

15. Los Angeles Chargers (2-2; 16): The Chargers got the job done against the lowly Dolphins, with Austin Ekeler posting another solid showing. Melvin Gordon is expected to be in uniform next week, which will be a nice boost. Now if only Derwin James would magically get healthy.

16. Buffalo Bills (3-1; 11): Well, the Bills finally dropped their first game. It wasn’t all bad, however, as they held Tom Brady to one of his worst showings in quite some time. In fact, the Buffalo defense forced him into posting his worst passer rating in a victory over his 20-year career. Josh Allen did get hurt, if you’re looking for a negative.

17. Carolina Panthers (2-2; 21): Kyle Allen has done a solid job during Cam Newton’s absence, but Carolina’s defense has been the true winner in the Panthers’ two consecutive wins. No matter who’s under center, if the defense keeps this up, the narrative around Ron Rivera’s team will quickly change.

18. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2; 20): Gardner mania continues. Minshew led the Jags to a fourth-quarter comeback win in Denver on Sunday, while Leonard Fournette rushed for an impressive 225 yards. Their never-say-die attitude was reassuring to see on the road.

19. Houston Texans (2-2; 15): Poor Deshaun Watson. The Clemson product was sacked six times Sunday in a 16-10 loss to Carolina. If Houston wants to find success, it must start with the offensive line.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2; 23): We were as shocked as you by Tampa Bay’s 55-point showing in Los Angeles. There wasn’t much defense on either side in this one, but it certainly was nice to see some life out of Jameis Winston, who tossed four touchdowns.

21. Tennessee Titans (2-2; 22): Marcus Mariota looked more at home against the Falcons on Sunday thanks to a good showing from the Titans’ offensive line. If he’s protected, Tennessee can do some damage in the AFC South.

22. Atlanta Falcons (1-3; 17): The Falcons are struggling. They have the talent on paper, but it isn’t translating one bit so far this season.

23. Indianapolis Colts (2-2; 10): Derek Carr and the Raiders made quick work of the Colts’ defense Sunday, which was a really bad look for a unit that has not impressed thus far. Without Andrew Luck, Indy needs its defense. And right now, it’s not getting enough from the defensive line.

24. Oakland Raiders (2-2; 27): For the first time in a few weeks, Oakland looked sharp on offense. Josh Jacobs helped establish some consistency on the ground, helping open up the air attack. A little balance goes a long way.

25. New York Giants (2-2; 24): Another win for Daniel Jones! The Redskins are by no means good, but Jones is 2-0 to begin his NFL career. He’s looked comfortable and composed thus far.

26. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3; 25): Mason Rudolph was efficient in his first win of the year against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night. Yes, it was against a bad defense, but at least Pittsburgh is off the schneid.

27. Denver Broncos (0-4; 26): The Broncos really don’t have much going for them. Their defense showed some signs of life Sunday, but those immediately disappeared as Minshew and the Jaguars came back to hand Denver its fourth straight loss.

28. Arizona Cardinals (0-3-1; 28): David Johnson looked good. That’s all we got here.

29. Cincinnati Bengals (0-4; 30): “Monday Night Football” did not treat the Bengals well. Cincinnati made the Steelers look much improved after a rough first four weeks of the season. No, their defense still hasn’t done a thing to instill any confidence.

30. New York Jets (0-3; 31): A bye week potentially provided more confidence than if the Jets had played. That’s not a good sign.

31. Washington Redskins (0-4; 29): The Redskins made the Giants offense look relatively solid Sunday, which is not easy to do.

32. Miami Dolphins (0-4; 32): The tank rolls on.

Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images
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