1. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (5-0)
The Eagles fly on. It has to be a good feeling when your team instituted the play that nearly the entire NFL has copied, as ugly a play as it is. But the Eagles should keep running it until someone stops them, if at all possible – and the Eagles obviously will.
2. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (5-0)
What a show the Niners put on against the Cowboys. San Francisco went out an imposed their will for 60 minutes, doing pretty much whatever they wanted to a team who is thought to be a Super Bowl contender. It looks like it’s the 49ers & Eagles, and then everyone else – in the NFC at least.
3. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (4-1)
The Chiefs saw their season flash before their eyes when Kelce went down with a non-contact injury in the 1st half. The good news is that he seems to be fine, as he returned to the game. The Chiefs have been rolling ever since that opening night loss to the Lions.
4. BUFFALO BILLS (3-2)
Not to take anything away from the Jaguars, but I think this was a schedule loss more than anything else. The Bills have had to travel every single week so far this season. This week they had to travel across the pond, where the Jaguars were lying in wait after playing in London last week.
5. MIAMI DOLPHINS (4-1)
De’Von Achane continued the torrid pace that he is on to start the season, and the Dolphins broke the record for most yards through the first 5 weeks. This offense is incredibly fun to watch, and they look to be an AFC title contender. They can go out and put up points instantly, seemingly at will. If the defense gets into a good place, then this team will be a Super Bowl contender, if they aren’t already.
6. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (3-1)
The Seahawks were on a bye this week and will travel to Cincinnati this Sunday to play the Bengals. Will this defense be able to slow down an offense that seemed to have just found its groove?
7. DETROIT LIONS (4-1)
We’re seeing the Lions team that everyone expected after that huge Week 1 win. The Lions are one of the most interesting and fun teams to watch in the NFL – and I’m all for it.
8. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-2)
This was an excellent win for a team that was a dark horse pick to begin the season. It looked like people may have jumped the gun after the loss to the Texans, but since then we’ve seen that the Texans are a competitive team, and now we’ve seen that the Jaguars can hang with some of the league’s best. Also, Calvin Ridley having a breakout game is a good sign.
9. BALTIMORE RAVENS (3-2)
You can always count on a grinding, low-scoring game when the Ravens play the Steelers. It seems like defense and special teams usually determine these outcomes, and Sunday was no different. Early on, it looked like Baltimore would be able to pull away. The Steelers couldn’t get anything going, and the Ravens were moving the ball well. But the offense stalled out, and turnovers and special team’s blunders let this one slip away for the Ravens.
10. CLEVELAND BROWNS (2-2)
The Browns were off on Sunday, giving them an opportunity to watch, and prepare for, the storm that’s coming for them this weekend when they host the 49ers. I’m guessing Cleveland isn’t excited to have to prepare for the team that put a thumping on the Cowboys, but this Browns defense is solid and they will have extra rest and home field advantage working in their favor.
11. CINCINNATI BENGALS (2-3)
The Bengals needed that win, especially coming at a double-digit margin. Perhaps this is the week we look back at as the turning point for this team.
12. DALLAS COWBOYS (3-2)
That was a shocker, but the writing was on the wall. The Cowboys are a great team, but they may have been a little overhyped through their first 4 games when they played some of the worst teams, and QB’s in football. In those games they went 3-1, but benefitted greatly from unforced errors and an outstanding defense. I posed the question last week of whether or not the offense could bail the defense out if/when they struggled, and while it would have taken a miracle to bail the defense out of the 42 points they allowed on Sunday, the offense was nowhere to be found. The 49ers wreaked havoc on the offensive line, forcing short 3 & outs and multiple turnovers. All of that being said, this was only 1 game with a Cowboys roster that was depleted by injuries. They could very well get another chance against San Francisco in the postseason.
13. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (3-1)
The Bucs were off this week and will host the Lions on Sunday. The extra rest will be good for them, as the Lions look like a team beginning a very successful run.
14. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2-2)
The Chargers were off this week, preparing for the Cowboys. They got a good look at how to beat that team, as the Niners just put on a masterclass on how to do that. I think this will be a big game – for both the Cowboys and the Chargers. The Cowboys will need to bounce back, and the Chargers will need to show that they can execute against the NFL’s top teams. They will have everything working for them this week – extra rest, home field, and a how-to manual on defeating Dallas. There is no reason they shouldn’t be prepared for this game.
15. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (3-2)
Things are becoming comical in Pittsburgh. The offense is atrocious. The fans act like this team hasn’t won a game in years. But this team is above .500 and they currently sit atop the AFC North. If TJ Watt wasn’t on this roster the Steelers would be 1-4.
16. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (3-2)
Go ahead and pour it on, Saints. That’s the type of win that can give you some traction.
17. NEW YORK JETS (2-3)
When the Jets lost by 3 to Kansas City, I think a lot of people walked away from that game looking more favorably upon this Jets team. This past Sunday marked a 2nd week of improvement for the Jets, as they earned a double-digit road victory. We won’t see what this team is really capable of until there is an upgrade at QB, but if I’m a Jets fan, I’m feeling good about these past two games.
18. ATLANTA FALCONS (3-2)
The Falcons earned a 2-point victory over a Texans team who had a lot of momentum. This should be a growing year for Atlanta, and at 3-2 they appear to be heading in that direction.
19. LOS ANGELES RAMS (2-3)
I thought the Rams would pull off the upset this week. Nope. They hung with Philly for a while, but the Eagles were just too much for this thin Rams team.
20. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3-2)
Anthony Richardson has been struggling to stay on the field, but no worry, Gardner Minshew will just come out and sling it.
21. TENNESSEE TITANS (2-2)
The turbulent Titans may have finally found some consistency – winning home games and losing road games.
22. WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (2-3)
The Commanders were embarrassed at home on TNF by the Bears. Washington didn’t show up until the 2nd half, but at that point they were already down 27-3. Howell looked alright, but his teammates didn’t give him much help. His defense gave up 40 points to one of the worst teams in football, and his OL allowed Bears’ defenders to tee off on him all night. Howell was sacked 5 times, but to be honest, if he didn’t display such a great ability to escape from the pocket, he probably would have been sacked 10 times. This defense was once one of the better units in football, but Thursday night marked the 4th straight game that they have allowed 33 or more points.
23. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (2-3)
The Raiders got back into the win column on Monday Night Football when they hung on to a 4-point victory over Green Bay. This was a good momentum building win for the Raiders.
24. GREEN BAY PACKERS (2-3)
Jordan Love may be in his 4th season, but he’s going through some growing pains it would seem. He had a frustrating game on the national stage of Monday Night Football against a Raiders team that, to be blunt, isn’t that talented.
25. HOUSTON TEXANS (2-3)
The Texans were cooled off by the Falcons this week. It wasn’t the most shocking result, as both teams are rebuilding, but I would say the Falcons are a bit further along in the process. Still though, the Texans will be fine, and it appears that they have found their QB of the future.
26. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (1-4)
Another 1-score loss. Like I said last week…. Karmic balance. I think we all know this team is better than their record, but we are now 5 weeks through the season; you cannot keep coming out flat and continually making the same mistakes at this level of football. Unlike in college football, there isn’t a wide enough talent gap to overcome sluggish starts and costly turnovers with superior skill. You must execute.
27. ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-4)
The Cardinals were a trendy upset pick this week, but it was bad timing because the Bengals offense finally started to click. Still though, not too discouraging of a loss since expectations for this team are extremely low.
28. NEW YORK GIANTS (1-4)
The Giants are now 1-4, with all 4 losses coming by 15+ points. Not how I expected them to follow up their postseason appearance last year.
29. CHICAGO BEARS (1-4)
It’s official, I’m back on board the Justin Fields train. For now. Fields has caught fire over the past two weeks, throwing for 617 yards and 8 TD’s. His best performance came this past week when he put up 4 TD’s on the Commanders, en route to a 40-20 win, snapping the Bears’ losing streak that dates back to last season. A major part of his recent success has been DJ Moore, who hauled in 8 passes for 230 yards and 3 TD’s in an inspiring performance.
30. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (1-4)
This is such a reactionary league. I saw someone suggest that Belichick should be on the hot seat… I mean come on.
31. CAROLINA PANTHERS (0-5)
I don’t think anyone expected this team to come out and set the league on fire, but that 0-5 record is ugly – as was their performance against the Lions.
32. DENVER BRONCOS (1-4)
The Sean Payton vs Nathaniel Hackett saga has come full circle. Payton was already looking foolish for his comments given the Broncos performance through the first 4 weeks, but now the embarassment and irony of those remarks have reached their climax after Nathaniel Hackett’s play-calling for the Jets’ offense helped hand Payton’s Broncos a 10-point loss… at home. This team is like an SNL skit.