NFL Power Rankings Week 6, 2016

tom-brady-vs-brownsThe big story this past weekend was Tom Brady’s return from the Deflate-Gate suspension. Any worries about rust or age were quickly dispelled as he passed for 406 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Cleveland Browns. Sure, it was the Browns…but it was still an outstanding game.

See where Brady’s successful return leaves the Patriots in our Week 6 power rankings. Also, check out Week 5 rankings here.

1. New England Patriots (4-1); beat Cleveland Browns 33-13, up 1 spot – With Brady and Rob Gronkowski (109 receiving yards) already picking up where they left off, New England once again sports an elite offense.

2. Minnesota Vikings (5-0); beat Houston 31-13, up 1 spot – Minnesota goes into the bye week as the only undefeated team. Their defense is easily top 5, while Sam Bradford has improved the passing game from last season.

3. Denver Broncos (4-1); lost to Atlanta 23-16, down 1 spot – Paxton Lynch definitely isn’t ready to be a starting NFL QB, which means that the Broncos are hoping more than ever that Trevor Siemian returns for tomorrow’s San Diego game.

sammie-coates4. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1); beat NY Jets 31-13, up 1 spot  – Sammie Coates is emerging as quite a deep threat, tallying 139 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns last game.

5. Seattle Seahawks (3-1); bye week, down 1 spot – The Seahawks return to action this week by hosting the surprising Atlanta Falcons.

6. Green Bay Packers (3-1); beat NY Giants 23-16, same spot – Green Bay didn’t look the sharpest, with Aaron Rodgers throwing two interceptions and being victimized by several drops. But the pass rush picked up the slack and made life hard on Eli Manning.

7. Atlanta Falcons (4-1); beat Denver 23-16, up 1 spot – Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman obliterated the defending champs with a combined 286 yards and 2 touchdowns.

8. Dallas Cowboys (4-1); beat Cincinnati 28-14, down 1 spot – The Cowboys have already matched last season’s win total, and Tony Romo hasn’t even played a regular-season snap yet.

9. Arizona Cardinals (2-3); beat San Francisco 33-21, up 2 spots – Drew Stanton only threw for 124 yards, but his two touchdown passes were a big difference in this win.

10. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2); bye week, same spot – With another week to prepare, we should see a lot more of Jamaal Charles against the Oakland Raiders.

11. Oakland Raiders (4-1); beat San Diego 34-31, up 3 spots – The Raiders are taking advantage of a soft early season schedule. But this game against the Chiefs won’t be easy.

12. Buffalo Bills (3-2); beat LA 30-19, up 4 spots – Buffalo continues to climb after an 0-2 start. LeSean McCoy was the big difference-maker here, rushing for 150 yards.

13. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3); lost to Dallas 28-14, down 1 spot – The talk at the beginning of the season was whether Cincinnati could finally win a playoff game under Marvin Lewis. But they have to make the postseason first.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1); lost to Detroit 24-23, down 1 spot – Carson Wentz finally looked like a rookie as he threw into double coverage and gave Detroit a game-winning interception.

15. Washington Redskins (3-2); beat Baltimore 16-10, up 6 spots – Washington got some unusual help from their 29th-ranked defense and an 85-yard Jamison Crowder punt return to win this game.

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers16. Carolina Panthers (1-4); lost to Tampa Bay 17-14, down 7 spots – Carolina heads on the road to New Orleans this week in a must-win situation…if it’s not already too late.

17. Baltimore Ravens (3-2); lost to Washington 16-10, down 2 spots – Baltimore scored on their opening possession for the first time in 2016. But after this, their offense went flat.

18. Indianapolis Colts (2-3); beat Chicago 29-23, up 2 spots – Even with poor offensive line play, Andrew Luck found ways to throw for 322 yards and two touchdowns. This is the first time ever that the Colts have beaten the Bears in Indy.

19. Houston Texans (3-2); lost to Minnesota 31-13, down 2 spots – After losing 27-0 to New England last week, Houston put up another poor performance in this blowout loss. A late touchdown made the score look a little better than it was.

odell-beckham-jr20. New York Giants (2-3); lost to Green Bay 23-16, down 2 spots – Odell Beckham Jr. had his first TD catch of the year, but beyond this, there was little reason to celebrate for New York.

21. LA Rams (3-2); lost to Buffalo 30-19, down 2 spots – The Rams lost a golden opportunity to take control of the NFC West, losing to Buffalo at home.

22. Detroit Lions (2-3); beat Philadelphia 24-23, up 5 spots – The Eagles hadn’t given up a point in the first quarter prior to this contest. But Matthew Stafford connected with Theo Riddick on two TD passes in the first to jump out to an early lead.

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3); beat Carolina 17-14, up 2 spots – This is quite a win for a Tampa Bay team that was looking doomed for another bad season.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3); bye week, same spot – The Jaguars should have some confidence coming out of the bye week since they beat the Colts two weeks ago. Now they get Chicago, the team that Indianapolis just beat.

25. Tennessee Titans (2-3); beat Miami 30-17, up 5 spots – Tennessee may be a running football team, but it was the Marcus Mariota show as the second-year QB scored 4 total touchdowns.

ryan-tannehill26. Miami Dolphins (1-4); lost to Tennessee 30-17, down 4 spots – The Dolphins offense was so bad that fans were chanting for Ryan Tannehill’s backup Matt Moore, who hasn’t started a game since 2011.

27. New York Jets (1-4); lost to Pittsburgh 31-13, down 4 spots – The Jets defense was dominated in this one, giving up scoring drive after scoring drive to Pittsburgh’s offense.

28. New Orleans Saints (1-3); bye week, same spot – New Orleans comes out of the bye week to face a Carolina Panthers team that must win to save their season.

29. Chicago Bears (1-4); lost to Indianapolis 29-23, down 4 spots – With 322 passing yards and two touchdowns, Brian Hoyer may cause a QB controversy when Jay Cutler returns.

30. San Diego Chargers (1-4); lost to Oakland 34-31, down 1 spot – San Diego just lost their fourth close game of the season, and they’re directing their anger at the laughing kicker, Josh Lambo.

31. San Francisco (1-4); lost to Arizona 33-21, same spot – With four straight losses, the 49ers will now hand the reigns over to Colin Kaepernick.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-5); lost to New England 33-13, same spot – The Cleveland Browns have now played 5 quarterbacks in five games. They’re hoping that number-four, Cody Kessler, can return this week; otherwise we’ll see more Charlie Whitehurst.

2015 NFL Power Rankings Week 6

cincinnati-bengalsThe thrilling overtime game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks had some major implications on our Week 6 power rankings. See where both the Bengals and Seahawks now sit, and check out our Week 5 power rankings here.

1. New England Patriots (4-0); beat Dallas Cowboys 30-6, same spot – The Patriots get an AFC Championship rematch with the Colts this week. Will revenge for the Deflategate debacle be on their minds?

2. Green Bay Packers (5-0); beat St. Louis 24-10, same spot – Aaron Rodgers’ interception-less streak finally ends, but Green Bay has still won 12 straight at Lambeau.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (5-0); beat Seattle Seahawks 27-24 (OT), up 1 spot – After an outstanding comeback victory, Cincinnati remains among the unbeaten. The last time the Bengals were 5-0, they made the 1988 Super Bowl.

4. Denver Broncos (5-0); beat Oakland Raiders 16-10, down 1 spot – The offense and defense both have 3 second-half touchdowns this season.

arizona-cardinals5. Arizona Cardinals (4-1); beat Detroit 42-17, same spot – With a loaded backfield, Carson Palmer, and a great defense, Arizona is easily a Super Bowl contender.

6. Atlanta Falcons (5-0); beat Washington 25-19, same spot – The Falcons have scores 3 defensive touchdowns in the past 2 weeks; prior to this, they had just 3 defensive TDs in their past 29 games.

7. Carolina Panthers (4-0); Bye week, up 1 spot – Undefeated Carolina plays a desperate Seahawks team, whom Cam Newton has never beaten in his career.

8. New York Jets (3-1); bye week, up 1 spot – Winning the turnover battle has been key for the Jets this season. They’ll look to keep it up against the Redskins this week.

9. Seattle Seahawks (2-3); lost to Cincinnati 27-24 (OT), down 2 spots – Seattle started last season 3-3, then went 9-1 down the stretch. Can they do the same in 2015?

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2); beat San Diego 24-20, same spot  – This last-second victory keeps Pittsburgh within striking distance in the AFC North.

tyrod-taylor-bills11. Buffalo Bills (3-2); beat Tennessee 14-13, same spot – With three rushes of 20-plus yards, Tyrod Taylor helped the Bills scrape through this contest.

12. Indianapolis Colts (3-2); beat Houston 27-20, same spot – Matt Hasselbeck helped the team survive two in-division contests; now they get Andrew Luck back in time for the undefeated Patriots.

13. New York Giants (3-2); beat San Francisco 30-27, up 2 spots – The Giants have now won three straight after starting 0-2. Hopefully they don’t lose seven straight like they did last year.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3); beat New Orleans 39-17, up 6 spots  – We finally got a chance to see the Philadelphia rushing attack that was so touted in the preseason.

15. Dallas Cowboys (2-3); lost to New England 30-6, down 1 spot – The Cowboys have all sorts of talent…but unfortunately much of that talent is injured.

16. Kansas City Chiefs (1-4); lost to Chicago 18-17, down 3 spots – After surviving a brutal early season schedule, the Chiefs lose to the Bears and lose Jamaal Charles (ACL) for the rest of the season.

17. Minnesota Vikings (2-2); bye week, up 1 spot – Things could be looking up for the Vikings, as they face four teams in a row with losing records.

18. St. Louis Rams (2-3); lost to Green Bay 24-10, down 2 spots – Todd Gurley now has 305 rushing yards in his first two starts.

philip-rivers19. San Diego Chargers (2-3); lost to Pittsburgh 24-20, down 2 spots – For the second straight week, San Diego’s game went down to the wire…this time resulting in a loss instead of a win.

20. Cleveland Browns (2-3); beat Baltimore 33-30 (OT), up 9 spots – Josh McCown his now the first Browns quarterback ever to throw for 300+ yards in three straight games.

21. Chicago Bears (2-3); beat Kansas City 18-17, up 6 spots – Jay Cutler has now engineered two straight game-winning drives, and largely avoided turnovers this season.

22. Baltimore Ravens (1-4); lost to Cleveland 33-30 (OT), down 3 spots – Baltimore is officially off to their worst start in franchise history; but three of their losses have happened near the end of games.

23. Oakland Raiders (2-3); lost to Denver 16-10, down 2 spots – Derek Carr has struggled mightily over the past two games, sporting a 26.1 QBR in these contests.

24. New Orleans Saints (1-4); lost to Philadelphia 39-17, down 2 spots – If not for a meaningless, last-second touchdown, this game would have been even uglier.

25. Washington Redskins (2-3); lost to Atlanta 25-19, down 2 spots – Washington has led at the start of the fourth quarter in two out of three of their losses.

26. Miami Dolphins (1-3); bye week, same spot – Miami gets Tennessee (1-3) and Houston (1-4) to try and turn things around after the Joe Philbin firing.

matt-stafford27. Detroit Lions (0-5); lost to Arizona 42-17, down 5 spots – Should we take the Matthew Stafford benching as anything serious? Or just preserving him in a blowout loss?

28. Houston Texans (1-4); lost to Indianapolis 27-20, down 3 spots – While the offense might not be great, it must be stressed that the defense has only forced 2 turnovers this season.

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-4); beat Jacksonville 38-31, up 2 spots – Doug Martin has truly made a comeback, with 405 rushing yards thus far; he hasn’t had more than 494 rushing yards in the past two seasons.

30. Tennessee Titans (1-3); lost to Buffalo 14-13, same spot – Tennessee loses yet another close game. They’re actually the only NFL team right now to lose two contests by 3 points or less.

31. San Francisco (1-4); lost to NY Giants 30-27, down 3 spots – The 49ers have lost by a combined 65 points this year – most in the NFL.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3); lost to Tampa Bay 38-31, down 2 spots – The Jags seem to have a pretty prolific passing game, but it’s not translating into wins.

NFL Power Rankings for Week 6 (Oct. 10th, 2014)

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston TexansLast night, the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans played an exciting game at NRG Stadium. Indianapolis jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the first quarter on the strength of the connection between Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton. The latter would finish with 9 catches for 223 yards and a touchdown.

But despite Hilton’s domination, this game would turn out to be much closer than expected. The Texans mounted a rally while Arian Foster ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns. However, it wasn’t enough as the Texans fell just short in this battle by a score of 33-28. See how far Indianapolis rises and Houston falls in our NFL power rankings for Week 6.

1. Denver Broncos (3-1); beat Arizona Cardinals 41-20, retains same ranking – An anticipated matchup between the Broncos and undefeated Cardinals turned into a blowout as Arizona QB Drew Stanton got knocked out early with a concussion. But the real story here was Demaryius Thomas’ 226 receiving yards.

2. Seattle Seahawks (3-1); beat Washington Redskins 27-17, retains same ranking – Seattle won, as predicted, thanks to 122 rushing yards by Russell Wilson, the most by a quarterback in Monday Night Football history.

3. San Diego Chargers (4-1); beat New York Jets 31-0, moves up two spots – People expected the offense to be good again. But nobody expected San Diego’s defense to be so effective.

chiefs-vs-frank-gore4. San Francisco 49ers (3-2); beat Kansas City Chiefs 22-17, moves up two spots – A week after rushing for 119 yards, Frank Gore added another 107 yards against the Chiefs. Gore is getting great blocking from the line, as his 4.8 yards-before-contact numbers suggest.

5. Philadelphia Eagles (4-1); beat St. Louis Rams 34-28, moves up two spots – Philadelphia really got their two-headed rushing attack going with 145 yards on the ground. RT Lane Johnson’s return from suspension had a lot to do with this.

6. Arizona Cardinals (3-1); lost to New England 41-20, drops two spots – We can’t fault the Cardinals too badly for this blowout loss, given that they were playing at Denver and with brutally ineffective Logan Thomas at QB.

7. Indianapolis Colts (3-2); beat Houston Texans 33-28 (Thursday Night), moves up one spot – Andrew Luck still doesn’t have an outstanding supporting cast. But they are definitely good enough to help this team win the AFC South.

8. New England Patriots (2-2); beat Cincinnati Bengals 43-17, moves up four spots – Last week, half the NFL stories were about Tom Brady’s decline. This week, it’s all praise for the 37-year-old quarterback.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1); lost to New England Patriots 43-17, drops six spots – The darlings of many power rankings a week ago, Cincinnati got smashed in New England. The key stat for Cincy: 0-for-7 on third downs.

eddie-lacy-rookie-of-the-year10. Green Bay Packers (3-2); beat Minnesota Vikings 42-10, moves up one spot – Eddie Lacy finally went over 100 yards and he added a couple scores as Green Bay rolled against the Vikings.

11. Dallas Cowboys (4-1); beat Houston Texans 20-17, moves up two spots – DeMarco Murray became just the third running back to rush for over 100 yards in the first five games. His company: Jim Brown and O.J. Simpson.

12. Detroit Lions (3-2); lost to Buffalo Bills 17-14, drops three spots – Detroit is now on to its third kicker of the season, and for good reason because they’re 4-of-12 on field goals.

13. Baltimore Ravens (3-2); lost to Indianapolis Colts 20-13, drops three spots – The offense looked pretty tame until the last quarter while the defense did its best to make this a tough, gritty game.

14. Carolina Panthers (3-2); beat Chicago Bears 31-24, moves up three spots – It’s a good thing that Carolina got this victory because they’re entering the meet of their schedule, beginning with a trip to Cincinnati.

15. New Orleans Saints (2-3); beat Tampa Bay Buccaneers 37-31 (OT), moves up one spot – Predictably, New Orleans won at home again; they’re 2-0 at home and 0-3 on the road.

jay-cutler-bears16. Chicago Bears (2-3); lost to Carolina Panthers 31-24, drops two spots – Chicago started off well but faded down the stretch. Both of Jay Cutler’s interceptions were downfield throws, and he’s completing just 23% of these attempts.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2); beat Jacksonville 17-9, moves up one spot – Pittsburgh seems to be a pretty middling team. A week after losing to Tampa Bay, they won a tight contest against league-worst Jacksonville.

18. Buffalo Bills (3-2); beat Detroit Lions 17-14, drops two spots – After a terrible start by Kyle Orton, he rallied the troops for 17 straight points to win this one.

19. Miami Dolphins (2-2); bye week, retains same ranking – Miami faces a pivotal home game against Green Bay that will go a long way towards determining their AFC East title chances.

20. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2); lost to San Francisco 22-17, drops five spots – After scoring on their first two drives, Kansas City’s offense completely staggered, failing to get a drive of more than six plays going.

21. New York Giants (3-2); beat Atlanta Falcons 30-20, moves up one spot

22. Atlanta Falcons (2-3); lost to New York Giants, drops one spot

23. Cleveland Browns (2-2); beat Tennessee Titans 29-28, moves up four spots

24. Houston Texans (3-2); lost to Indianapolis 33-28 (Thursday Night), retains same ranking

25. St. Louis (1-3); lost to Philadelphia Eagles 34-28, retains same ranking

26. Tennessee Titans (1-4); lost to Cleveland Browns, moves up three spots

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-4); lost to New Orleans Saints 37-31 (OT), moves up three spots

28. New York Jets (1-4); lost to San Diego 31-0, drops two spots

29. Washington Redskins (1-4); lost to Seattle 27-17, moves two spots

30. Minnesota Vikings (2-3); lost to Green Bay 42-10, drops three spots

31. Oakland Raiders (0-4); bye week, retains same ranking

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5); lost to Pittsburgh Steelers 17-9, retains same ranking

NFL Power Rankings for Week 6 (Oct. 9th, 2013)

drew-breesThroughout most of this season, we’ve discussed the surprise Kansas City Chiefs and their emergence as a top-flight team. Well that’s not news anymore, but what is involves how badly the Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons have played to open the year. Most experts tabbed these two teams to win their respective divisions; instead, they’re both plagued with problems and looking like good bets to miss the postseason. So what teams are looking like playoff locks? Take a look in our Week 6 power rankings…

1. Denver Broncos (5-0); beat Dallas 51-48, retains same ranking – For the first time all season, the Broncos were actually challenged. And their defense was battered, until the end, when they finally put pressure on Tony Romo and forced a late-game interception. Peyton Manning was once again flawless; however, the defense looks like the one chink in the armor.

2. New Orleans (5-0); beat Chicago 26-18, moves up one spot – From defense to offense, the Saints might be the NFL’s most complete team. After a down season for himself, Jimmy Graham is back to form and proving to be a superhuman tight end.

3. Seattle Seahawks (4-1); lost to Indianapolis 34-28, drops one spot – The Seahawks dropped a very tough game to a hot Colts team on the road. We certainly don’t think this is any sign of trouble ahead though, and they should still be playing the Saints in the NFC Championship later.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (5-0); beat Tennessee 26-17, moves up one spot – It’s hard to be convinced that Alex Smith is truly capable of taking this team to the Super Bowl – especially when he doesn’t throw downfield too well. But strong defense and Jamaal Charles has been the recipe for an undefeated team and remarkable turnaround so far.

5. San Francisco 49ers (3-2); beat Houston 34-3, moves up one spot

Was this blowout a sign of an improving Niners team or a reeling Texans club? We’re willing to bet it’s somewhere in between. The run game is definitely looking better for San Francisco though, and their defense is tough as usual.

6. New England Patriots (4-1); lost to Cincinnati 13-6, drops two spots – Okay, so that was pretty bad against the Bengals. But credit a Vince Wilfork-less defense for holding Cincinnati to just 13 points on their home field. Also consider that the Patriots have dealt with an insane amount of injuries on offense.

7. Indianapolis Colts (4-1); beat Seattle 34-28, moves up three spots – The Colts have trent-richardson-coltsnow beaten two of the NFC superpowers in the Niners and Seahawks. Andrew Luck put on an impressive display on the road against the league’s best defense. Now, if only Trent Richardson could do something…

8. Green Bay Packers (2-2); beat Detroit 22-9, moves up three spots – Green Bay did an excellent job of bottling up Reggie Bush and taking advantage of a surprise Calvin Johnson scratch. Based on their remaining schedule, get ready for another NFC North title run.

9. Chicago Bears (3-2); lost to New Orleans 26-18, moves down two spots – If there’s one team that can still stand in the way of Green Bay and the NFC North crown, it’s Chicago. They lost to a tough Saints team, but will remain competitive.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (3-2), beat New England 13-6, moves up one spot – Granted, their last victory was at home, against a banged-up team, and only a one-touchdown win at that. But it’s still a victory nonetheless and a very fine defensive performance for the Bengals.

11. Detroit Lions (3-2), lost to Green Bay 22-9, moves down three spots – It turns out that Detroit’s offense needs both Bush and Johnson to function as a solid unit. Green Bay was able to eat both Bush and Matthew Stafford alive without Johnson stretching the defense.

12. Baltimore Ravens (3-2), beat Miami 26-23, moves up one spot – Baltimore played an excellent second half to grab a tough win at Miami. The offense is still filled with question marks, but the defense provides a solid foundation.

13. Miami Dolphins (3-2), lost to Baltimore 26-23, drops four spots – After starting out the year great, Miami has now lost two straight. And one thing that’s really hampering them is how quickly they abandon the run game when yards don’t come easily.

14. Dallas Cowboys (2-3), lost to Denver 51-48, moves up four spots – Dallas and tony-romo-cowboysTony Romo showed more in this one loss than they did in both of their wins. It was a heartbreaker, but the Cowboys will move on and grab some easy wins over their NFC East opponents.

15. Houston Texans (2-3); lost to San Francisco 34-3, drops two spots – Normally the Texans would freefall further after such an ugly loss. But much of the back-half of the league also lost. They should get back to .500 with a below-average St. Louis team coming into town.

16. Cleveland Browns (3-2); beat Buffalo 37-24, moves up five spots – Brian Hoyer hysteria looks to be over as he tore his ACL. Now the keys revert back to Brandon Weeden, who will either drive Cleveland to the playoffs or crash their postseason dreams into a tree.

17. Arizona Cardinals (3-2); beat Carolina 22-6, moves up five spots – Why do teams keep throwing Patrick Peterson’s way? Well probably because he covers opposing number one wideouts; but at the rate he keeps picking off passes, QB’s will think twice and thrice about doing so.

18. Tennessee Titans (3-2); lost to Kansas City 26-17, drops one spot – What this game mainly told us is that Kansas City is a very good team – not that Tennessee is a bad one. Unfortunately, things don’t get any easier for the Titans with Seattle and San Francisco coming up.

19. New York Jets (3-2); beat Atlanta 30-28, moves up four spots – Most people predicted that this would be the game where Atlanta finally got going and started a playoff run. Instead, it was a showcase for rookie Geno Smith to throw three touchdowns and lead a game-winning drive.

20. Atlanta Falcons (1-4); lost to New York Jets 30-28, drops five spots – The Steven Jackson injury was devastating, but most people expected Atlanta to at least remain in the postseason hunt. Now their chances of a turnaround are even more unlikely since Julio Jones may be done for the year.

21. San Diego Chargers (2-3); lost to Oakland 27-17, drops five spots – San Diego gained a lot of hype with how they played earlier in the season. However, this hype has been deflated and they’re looking no better off than when they were under Norv Turner.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3); beat New York Giants 36-21, moves up four spots – Hats off to the Eagles for grabbing a road win and staying in the NFC East race. Michael Vick is unlikely to play, so Nick Foles gets another audition for the starting QB role.

23. Washington Redskins (1-3), bye week, moves up one spot – The Redskins move up by default. Expect them to be moving back down again though after their secondary gets torched by Romo this week.

24. Minnesota Vikings (1-3), bye week, moves up one spot – Bringing Josh Freeman in josh-freeman-minnesota-vikings-1to compete for the quarterback job can only help. Christian Ponder has proven ineffective over and over, while Matt Cassel has failed to do much after being gifted a talented Patriots receiving corp years ago.

25. Carolina Panthers (1-3), lost to Arizona 22-6, drops six spots – Once upon a time, Carolina was coming out of the bye week with a favorable schedule ahead. Then they put just six points up against the Cardinals and looked like NFC South cellar-dwellers.

26. Oakland Raiders (2-3), beat San Diego 27-17, moves up two spots – The Matt Flynn debacle is finally over with following his release, and Terrelle Pryor is firmly entrenched as the QB of the future. He’s now 2-2 as a starter this year.

27. Buffalo Bills (2-3); lost to Cleveland 37-24, drops seven spots – Hats off to Buffalo management for not letting severely outmatched Jeff Tuel out on the field again. However, practice squad hero Thaddeus Lewis doesn’t figure to be much of an upgrade at QB. Don’t expect Buffalo to win too many more games with EJ Manuel out for 6-8 weeks.

28. St. Louis Rams (2-3); beat Jacksonville 34-20, drops one spot – A win over Jacksonville doesn’t get you anywhere these days. Now a win over the Texans this week…that would be showing a little something more.

29. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4); bye week, move up one spot – There are holes on both sides of the ball and the Steelers are going into a rebuilding mode. That process starts with rookie running back Le’Veon Bell .

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4); bye week, move up one spot – This team has actually been competitive in a couple of games this year. Don’t be surprised to see them rack up a few victories over the remainder of the season.

31. New York Giants (0-5); lost to Philadelphia 36-21, drops 3 spots – The Giants lost a very winnable game at home after being outclassed at nearly every position. Now starting running back David Wilson is out for next week’s game at Chicago. Win number one won’t be coming any time soon.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5); lost to St. Louis, retains same ranking – They actually had a lead for once this season and put some points on the board. Unfortunately, it didn’t take Jacksonville long to show their true colors after being blanked 17-0 in the second quarter.