While the Dallas Cowboys have definitely exceeded expectations, few people thought they’d go out on the road and knock off defending Super Bowl champion Seattle. But that’s exactly what the Cowboys did on the strength of DeMarco Murray’s sixth-straight 100-yard rushing game, which is why they climb in our rankings yet again.
1. Denver Broncos (4-1); beat New York Jets 31-17, retains same ranking – Denver went out on the road against a desperate Jets team and grabbed another win behind Julius Thomas’ two touchdown catches.
2. San Diego Chargers (5-1); beat Oakland 31-28, moves up one spot – The Raiders made this more of a contest than most expected; but still, the Chargers are off to a 5-1 start for the first time since 2002.
3. San Francisco 49ers (4-2); beat St. Louis 31-17, moves up one spot – NFL coaches recently voted Colin Kaepernick over Peyton Manning as the QB they least like to face. Kaepernick gets a chance to prove why this week in Denver.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (5-1); beat New York Giants 27-0, moves up one spot – Philadelphia finally played some defense to go along with the offense while LeSean McCoy rushed for a season-high 149 yards.
5. Seattle Seahawks (3-2); lost to Dallas 30-23, drops three spots – Russell Wilson completed less than half of his passes at home, and Seattle heads out on the road for two games. Neither offers anything to cheer about right now.
6. Arizona Cardinals (4-1); beat Washington 30-20, retains same ranking – With Carson Palmer back from a shoulder injury, Arizona has a real shot at keeping their top spot in the dominating NFC West.
7. Indianapolis Colts (4-2); beat Houston 33-28, retains same ranking – Indianapolis welcomes a tough Bengals team that’s coming off a loss and a tie. This will definitely make for an interesting matchup.
8. New England Patriots (3-2); beat Buffalo Bills 37-22, retains same ranking – Even with New England traveling to Buffalo, they never seemed threatened. Of course, Tom Brady’s 92% career-win rate against the Bills instills plenty of confidence.
9. Dallas Cowboys (5-1); beat Seattle 0-23, moves up two spots – Few would have predicted that the Cowboys would become a power running team this season. But with the way that Murray and the offensive line are playing, it makes sense.
10. Green Bay Packers (4-2); beat Miami 27-24, retains same ranking – Aaron Rodgers’ trick play towards the end even got plastered across mainstream news sites. What wasn’t in the headlines, though, is incredible his 15:1 TD-to-INT ratio.
11. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1-1); tied Carolina 37-37, drops two spots – What happened to the outstanding defense that we saw the first three weeks? Traveling to Indianapolis doesn’t seem like a very good place for the defense to find themselves again.
12. Detroit Lions (4-2); beat Minnesota 17-3, retains same ranking – Detroit beat a toothless Vikings squad on the road, but problems remain. Matthew Stafford can’t seem to play without Calvin Johnson and the Lions’ kickers have missed 10 field goals.
14. Chicago Bears (3-3); beat Atlanta 27-13, moves up two spots – Jay Cutler may have a little tunnel vision after targeting only five players against Atlanta. But as his 381 passing yards and 100-yard games by both Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall suggest, it worked!
15. Carolina Panthers (3-2-1); tied Cincinnati 37-37, drops one spot – Coming off of the first tie in franchise history, Carolina rolls into difficult matchups against Green Bay, Seattle, New Orleans and Philadelphia.
16. New Orleans Saints (2-3); bye week, drops one spot – New Orleans looks for their first road win of the season in Detroit this week.
17. Cleveland Browns (3-2); beat Pittsburgh 31-10, moves up five spots – After mounting a huge comeback only to fall short in Week 1, Cleveland hammered the Steelers at home.
18. Miami Dolphins (2-3); lost to Green Bay 27-24, moves up one spot – Miami might have lost, but at least they looked better than just about everybody else who lost this past week.
19. Buffalo Bills (3-3); lost to New England 37-22, drops one spot – The Bills have a good opportunity to bounce back at home against Minnesota this week.
20. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3); bye week, retains same ranking – Kansas City faces a near-impossible situation in San Diego this Sunday.