For the third straight week, the No. 32 ranked team earned a win the following game. That’s good news for the new No. 32 the San Francisco 49ers, who lost to the last week’s worst team the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona’s win means all 32 teams have at least one win and no one will repeat the Cleveland Browns’ feat in 2017 of going 0-16.
Meanwhile, the Kansas city Chiefs established themselves as the early team to beat in the AFC after dismantling the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-14. The Chiefs also earned themselves the top spot this week’s power rankings in large due to quality of wins. The Los Angeles Rams, the previous week’s top team, struggled against the Seattle Seahawks beating them 33-31. All the presumptions of the team being invincible were lowered some as the Seahawks hung 31 points on the Rams defense a week after they got 31 dropped on them against the Minnesota Vikings.
Although both the Chiefs and Rams are 5-0, it’s a long season and the strength of schedule will be a key factor on how the league shapes later in the season. As for now, here is Week 6’s power rankings:
32. San Francisco 49ers (1-4) – Last Week: 31 ⬇️
A gimpy ankle limited running back Matt Breida to just eight carries and forced quarterback C.J. Beathard to attempt 54 passes along with getting behind early against the Cardinals. That’s not ideal for the 49ers. I felt the makeup of the team would land them a last place finish and that was before the Jimmy Garoppolo’s knee injury. This team now without him is proving to be the worst in 2018.
31. Oakland Raiders (1-4) – LW: 27 ⬇️
After putting up 45 points and getting an overtime win over the Browns, the Raiders went back to the cellar of the NFL after getting hammered by the Chargers. This is certainly a forgettable first year in the Gruden 2.0 project.
30. Arizona Cardinals (1-4) – LW: 32 ⬆️
Arizona is off the snide with its first win. Its defense showed a glimpse of the expectations that followed them into the season. Now let’s see if they can continue to build or was it just because they were playing the woeful 49ers?
29. New York Giants (1-4) – LW: 29 ↔️
Odell Beckham has had enough with Eli Manning and the quarterback’s faults. With Beckham signing his new five-year, $95 million extension in August, it appears Manning’s days are numbered in the Big Apple.
28. Indianapolis Colts (1-4) – LW 23 ⬇️
A new head coach and the return of Andrew Luck hasn’t fixed the issues in Naptown. Luck appears to be a shell of himself this season. With his shoulder issues possibly hindering his game now, he can look to the record-setting Drew Brees for inspiration.
27. Buffalo Bills (2-3) – LW: 31 ⬆
The Bills are leaning on their defense that ranks sixth in yards allowed per game and 10th in passing yards allowed per game. That is why they have two upset wins — Vikings and Titans — on the season and there is hope for the future with a developing defense.
26. Dallas Cowboys (2-3) – LW: 24 ⬇️
So we know head coach Jason Garrett should not be the head coach much longer, right? Quarterback Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense has not progressed since Prescott’s rookie season. And it’s safe to say its regressed from Year 1 to Year 3. Now three-time Super Bowl champion and former franchise quarterback Troy Aikman is critiquing Prescott. Something has to give, and considering owner Jerry Jones and the fan base has an unwavering support of the QB, Garrett’s days has to be numbered.
25. Denver Broncos (2-3) – LW: 19 ⬇️
Case Keenum finally threw more touchdowns than interceptions (2 to 1), however, he struggled again and got sacked four times. His struggles this season makes me wonder how Von Miller, the Broncos’ best player, feels after his off-season campaigning for Kirk Cousins, who ultimately signed with Minnesota. General manager John Elway should be under fire, considering he has whiffed on another quarterback choice of his, but his legacy in Denver may keep him safe for a little while longer.
24. New York Jets (2-3) – LW: 28 ⬆
The defense finally woke up and at the expense of Keenum and the Broncos. It was a delight to see rookie QB Sam Darnold throw more touchdowns than interceptions (3-1).
23. Detroit Lions (2-3) – LW: 25 ⬆️
Let’s see the Lions are 0-3 against Darnold, Garoppolo and Prescott and amazingly are 2-0 against Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Go Figure. They get the bye this week but then face Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins. Judging by the way the season has gone in the Motor City, they may be in store for another letdown.
22. Houston Texans (2-3) – LW: 26 ⬆️
The Texans have moved seven slots in the last two weeks with back-to-back overtime wins. The headlines in both wins were the opposing coaches’ blunders, but lost in it is the execution between quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins by coming up with huge plays on both game-winning drives.
21. Seattle Seahawks (2-3) – LW: 21 ↔️
The Seahawks responded well a week after the Earl Thomas turmoil came to a head. Scoring 31 on the Rams and almost pulling off the win was a win in itself. The Seahawks are no easy win for teams thinking they’re catching them in a rebuild year.
20. Washington Redskins (2-2) – LW: 15 ⬇️
The Redskins’ identity is evidently clear now. They go as far as Adrian Peterson takes them. On Monday night thanks to two huge hits he suffered, he didn’t carry them far at all. As a result, they got blown out again. In two wins Peterson is averaging 108 yards and 4.8 yards per carry. In Washington’s two losses, he is averaging 13 yards per game and 1.7 yards per carry. Ouch.
19. Atlanta Falcons (1-4) – LW: 14 ⬇️
Kinda feel bad for franchise quarterbacks when they have lost seasons for whatever reasons. It’s not obvious yet if 2018 is a lost season for Matt Ryan because the Falcons’ schedule does ease up. They’ve played a brutal slate, opening against four 2017 playoff teams in their first five games. The other game was against the Cincinnati Bengals who are trending in the direction of being a 2018 playoff team. Good news for the banged up Dirty Birds, they get the Buccaneers, Giants, and Redskins in their next three games.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) – LW: 18 ↔️
A bye week didn’t change the Buccaneers standings in the power rankings but they did change quarterbacks. Of course, with the hot start of Ryan Fitzpatrick, there’s even more pressure on Jameis Wintson to perform well as the starter.
17. Miami Dolphins (3-2) – LW: 17 ↔️
The Dolphins suffered their second straight loss and Tannehill looked every so shaky. For a second straight week, he posted the worst Total QBR in the NFL and Miami blew a 17-0 third quarter lead and lost 27-17 to Cincinnati.
16. Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) – LW: 20 ⬆️
The Chargers are 3-0 against teams ranked in KCM Sports power rankings this week 27th or lower. They’re 0-2 against winning teams, those two teams happened to be the Chiefs and Rams the best two teams in the league right now. So the next three weeks — at Browns, vs. Titans, at Seahawks will be a true test of how good this team is.
15. Green Bay Packers (2-2-1) – LW: 11 ⬇️
Is the jig up on the Mike McCarthy-Aaron Rodgers marriage? Rumblings of dissension surfaced just before Week 5, and then the Packers lost to a Lions team it should have beaten. Granted, their franchise-kicker Mason Crosby missed four field goals and an extra point, but still a loss nevertheless.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1) – LW: 16 ⬆️
Just when the reports surface of a return or possible trade of Le’Veon Bell, his replacement James Conner had a breakout game with 110 yards rushing and two touchdowns and 75 yards receiving. Pittsburgh will need that production in the coming weeks, as they face a murderer’s row in the next five games against — at Bengals, vs. Browns, at Ravens, vs Panthers, and at Jaguars.
13. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) – LW: 9 ⬇️
There’s a lot of questions and concerns for the defending Super Bowl champions, especially with all the injuries they have suffered this season. However, keep in mind, the difficulty of schedule early on and the fact despite being 2-3, the favorites to repeat as NFC East division champions are just 0.5 games back of first place.
12. Baltimore Ravens (3-2) – LW: 12 ↔️
The Ravens have to find a way to beat their division rivals. Baltimore has played all three opponents and came out 1-2. Granted all three division games were on the road, and the two losses left more to desire. Just shows how strong the AFC North is this season. Good news is Baltimore gets all three at home in the next cycle.
11 Cleveland Browns (2-2-1) – LW: 22 ⬆️
It’s amazing to consider that the Browns could be, and some will point out should be, 5-0. Every game they’ve played in has been decided by four points or less with three going into overtime. A blocked field goal in OT (Steelers) and a missed call by the referees in OT (Raiders) are the only thing standing in their way of being undefeated right now. That’s a testament to the turnaround in Cleveland that has been sparked by its defense more so than its rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield.
10. Tennessee Titans (3-2) – LW: 4 ⬇️
As good as the Titans can be, it’s a bit worrisome that quarterback Marcus Mariota was held to 129 yards passing Sunday against the Bills. What’s more troublesome is the fact that 129 was his second-largest total of the season and with two other games being worse. Still, the Titans are one of the best 10 teams in the league (for now), but to stay there and get beyond where they were a season ago — AFC Divisional Round — Mariota has to be play like he did against the Eagles two weeks ago.
9. Chicago Bears (3-1) – LW: 13 ⬆️
The Bears are coming off a bye week after their 48-10 drubbing of the Buccaneers in Week 4. Next up for them are the Dolphins and we’ll see if the bye week cooled off the red-hot Bears.
8. Minnesota Vikings (2-2-1) – LW: 10 ⬆
Cousins has been worth every penny the Vikings paid for. In their Week 5 win over the Eagles, Cousins made plays under pressure that helped sustain drives and amassed 300 yards and an NFL-record fourth straight game with at least 30 completions. Then the defense finally showed up to the 2018 season coming away with two huge fumbles, one of which led to Linval Joseph rumbling 64 yards to the end zone for a touchdown. That effort matched with Cousins and the high powered offense, the Vikings could pile up a string of wins real shortly.
7. New England Patriots (3-2) – LW: 8 ⬆️
Before it was Brees, it was Brady who joined the 500 touchdown club. The Patriots still have some glaring weaknesses but they are improving and in an AFC East, regardless on Sunday’s outcome against the Chiefs, the New England is primed for another divisional title.
6. Cincinnati Bengals (4-1) – LW: 6 ↔️
The Bengals defense came alive in the fourth quarter of their win over the Dolphins with a pick-six and a fumble returned for touchdown to spark 27 unanswered points to victory. Cincinnati sits atop the AFC North, but just looking at this week’s power rankings their lead is no lock, as the division is very competitive this year with all four teams currently sitting in the top 14.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) – LW: 2 ⬇️
The Jaguars got a reality check, that nothing is given. They earned their run to the AFC Championship Game a year ago, and they are a marked team this year. Kansas City didn’t lay down for them and they cannot expect teams to, especially contenders. The hope is they’ll bounce back and get on track, but quarterback Blake Bortles has to do better. He cannot throw four interceptions even with the No. 1 ranked defense.
4. New Orleans Saints (4-1) – LW: 7 ⬆
Before Brees joined Brady in the 500 club, he broke the all-time passing record with over 71,000 yards surpassing Peyton Manning. However, the biggest story line of Monday night’s 43-19 win over Washington was the fact the defense showed up and dominated. Additionally, Saints offense rolled with running back Alvin Kamara only having nine offensive touches. After playing the first four games with backfield mate Mark Ingram, who was suspended, last year’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year got a much-needed break and one that will serve him good as the season goes on.
3. Carolina Panthers (3-1) – LW: 5 ⬆️
Carolina got a blessing with Graham Gano’s 63-yard field goal to avoid disaster of losing to the Giants. But, this team is good, really good spearheaded by the league’s best rushing attack, averaging 154 yards on the ground per game.
2. Los Angeles Rams (5-0) – LW: 1 ⬇️
The Rams looked beatable against Seattle, but they managed to win. The league’s best offense is led by quarterback Jared Goff, who leads the NFL in passing yards with 1,727 yards.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) – LW: 3 ⬆️
Patrick Mahomes survived the league’s best defense. He threw two interceptions but managed to connect on a couple of big passes that helped the Chiefs eventually build an insurmountable 23-0 lead.
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