Only one team in the NFL remains undefeated. That team, the Kansas City Chiefs, remain number 1 on my 2017 NFL Week 5 Power Rankings. I also moved up 3 AFC teams. The first NFC team I’ve got on the rankings are the Atlanta Falcons at number 5. What it means is that the balance of power ultimately remains in the AFC even though some NFC teams have shown up and played well the past couple of weeks.
2017 NFL Week 5 Power Rankings
1. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)
The Chiefs’ defense is ranked 26th in yards allowed per game. Opponents are good for 359.5 total yards per game. That’s not a great stat. What is a great stat about the Chiefs’ D is that it only allows 19.2 points per game. When your offense averages over 30 per, and you allow only 19 per, you’re going to win a lot of football games.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)
Pittsburgh finally got the offense going without Big Ben throwing to Antonio Brown. Brown only caught 4 passes for 34 yards in Pitt’s 26 to 9 win over Baltimore.
3. Buffalo Bills (3-1)
Buffalo deserves to be 3 on my power rankings. They’ve gone 3 and 1 straight up and just dominated Atlanta 23 to 17. Buffalo is a solid team in every phase of the game, defense, offense, and special teams.
4. Denver Broncos (3-1)
I’ll put Denver ahead of Atlanta because the Broncos beat a decent rival, the Oakland Raiders, 16 to 10 in NFL Week 4. Denver’s defense did a great job against Oakland’s offense. It must be noted that the Raiders lost QB Derek Carr early in this game, though.
5. Atlanta Falcons (3-1)
Atlanta’s offense isn’t nearly as formidable this season as it was last season. It’s taking time for new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and QB Matt Ryan to get on the same page. WR Julio Jones suffered an injury. He should be okay. If I’m Matty Ice, I’m throwing to Julio at least 20 times in the next game. That will be the best way to get the offense back on track.
6. Green Bay Packers (3-1)
The Packers’ 35 to 14 win over to Chicago was to be expected. Green Bay always dominates the Chicago Bears.
7. Los Angeles Rams (3-1)
The Rams jump into the Top 10 because they beat Dallas 35 to 30 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. L.A. was down to the Cowboys before getting back into the game. The Rams’ defense isn’t amazing. The offense definitely is. What was inspiring is watching RB Todd Gurley not only rush for 121 yards, but also catch 7 passes for 94 yards and a TD.
8. Detroit Lions (3-1)
Detroit’s 14 to 7 win over Minnesota was marred by Minnesota rookie RB Dalvin Cook going down with an ACL tear. The Lions are consistent. That could be good enough for Detroit to win the NFC North Division this season.
9. Carolina Panthers (3-1)
The Panthers are tied with Atlanta atop the deep NFC South after upsetting New England 33 to 30 in Foxboro. Cam Newton was exceptional. Carolina’s Week 5 game at Detroit is huge.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1)
The Eagles proved that they’re a force to reckon with in what’s become a disappointing NFC East Division by beating the L.A. Chargers. Philly QB Carson Wentz has thrown 6 TD passes to 2 picks. Not bad.
11. New England Patriots (2-2)
The Patriots just aren’t the same team from a year ago. The problem is New England’s defense. Opponents rush for 132.8 yards per. If the Pats bring up an extra defender, opponents throw for 324 yards per.
12. Seattle Seahawks (2-2)
I’m not fooled by Seattle’s 46 to 18 win over Indianapolis on Sunday night. 14 of the points were a direct result of Indianapolis’ mistakes on offense. Not only that, Seattle QB Russell Wilson threw 2 interceptions versus one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Now, if Seattle manages to beat the Rams in the L.A. Coliseum by 10 points in Week 5, I’ll be sold.
13. Oakland Raiders (2-2)
QB Derek Carr is only out for a couple of weeks. Oakland deserves some mention as a Top 15 team after only losing by 6 points to Denver in Denver. The defense played much better versus the Broncos than it had a week before against Washington.
14. New Orleans Saints (2-2)
Maybe, the Saints are too high on my power rankings. Maybe, I’m allowing my personal feelings, my fan feelings, to get in the way of logic. Then, I remember that before dominating Miami 20 to 0 in Week 4, the Saints beat up Carolina on the road 34 to 17 in Week 3. It sure looks like the Saints’ defense has come together.
15. Washington Redskins (2-2)
The Redskins played well when losing 20 to 29 to Kansas City in Week 4. Washington might turn out to be the best team in the NFC East with Dallas just not playing up to par and the Giants at 0 and 4.
16. Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
The 30 to 35 loss to the Rams could have been avoided. Ezekiel Elliott was fantastic in the game. For some reason, Dallas insists on turning QB Dak Prescott into Cam Newton. He’s not. He’s a viable starting quarterback in the NFL that shouldn’t have to do too much for Dallas to win games.
17. Houston Texans (2-2)
Rookie QB DeShaun Watson threw 5 TD passes. I’m not sure Watson is this good this early in his career. We’ll learn more when the Texans host the Chiefs on Sunday.
18. Minnesota Vikings (2-2)
It’s difficult for me to drop the Vikings past 18th after their 7 to 14 loss to Detroit. Minnesota must now lean on RB Latavius Murray because RB Dalvin Cook is out likely out for the season. Murray has a surgically repaired ankle. When healthy, he’s a big back that can break a big gain once in a while. I hope Murray works out in Minnesota because I feel bad for Cook, the Vikings, and their fans.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)
Tampa Bay is 2 and 1. But, the Bucs needed a final seconds field goal from Nick Folk to beat the New York Giants. Tampa’s got a ridiculously tough matchup in Week 5 versus the angry New England Patriots.
20. Tennessee Titans (2-2)
The Tennessee Titans might be without Marcus Mariota for a couple of weeks. If Mariota can’t go, Tennessee could be in some trouble. The biggest problem with the Titans is their lack of a real pass rush. The defense was supposed to be much better this season. It isn’t.
21. New York Jets (2-2)
The Jets are, dare I write it, good. The Jets beat Jacksonville 23 to 20 in overtime. The win came on the heels of a 20 to 6 victory over the Miami Dolphins. J-E-T-S is tied in second place, a game behind the Buffalo Bills, with the Patriots in the AFC East Division.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2)
The Jaguars had their chances. Jacksonville is a frustrating bunch. They’re brilliant one week, the 44 to 7 beat down of Baltimore in England was real, and horrible the next. They weren’t horrible versus the New York Jets. They did tie the game in regulation, but when will the Jags become consistent?
23. Arizona Cardinals (2-2)
If not for the brilliant catch by Larry Fitzgerald in overtime, Arizona might have lost to the San Francisco 49’ers. Based on what I’ve seen from San Francisco, Seattle, and Arizona, the L.A. Rams have nothing to worry about in the NFC West.
24. Cincinnati Bengals (1-3)
Sure, Cincinnati got to beat up the Cleveland Browns in Week 4. A wins a win, though. The Bengals got off the schneide. For that, they jump up to 24th in my power rankings.
25. Chicago Bears (1-3)
Losing to the Green Bay Packers by a lot of points is a yearly, foregone, conclusion. Coach John Fox is starting Mitch Trubisky at QB in Week 5. That could help Chicago’s offense get back on track.
26. Baltimore Ravens (2-2)
Sure, I get that Baltimore is 2 and 2. But, I don’t see any heart out of the Ravens. Zero. It’s almost like Baltimore decided to kneel during the National Anthem in England and then never got up. The one saving grace is RB Alex Collins. He once again averaged over 9 yards per carry.
27. Miami Dolphins (1-2)
After the impressive road win versus San Diego in Miami’s first game of the season, the Fins have fallen off the plank. Not even scoring a single point versus the Saints is a huge issue. Yes, the Saints’ defense is improving. It hasn’t improved that much.
28. Indianapolis Colts (1-3)
Good times aren’t looking up for the Colts. Are the Football Gods still angry at Indianapolis because of Deflategate? Maybe. Since Deflategate, the Patriots have won another Super Bowl. Indianapolis? They’ve been one of the worst teams in the NFL.
29. San Francisco 49’ers (0-4)
The feeling going into this season is that San Francisco’s offense might be decent while the defense was going to be terrible. Head coach Kyle Shanahan is a former offensive coordinator. Not so. The 49’ers defense is actually pretty good. The offense isn’t as bad as the 0 and 4 record indicates. SF should soon win a football game.
30. Los Angeles Chargers (0-4)
Until the Bolts win a game at home, I’m just going to write down the attendance at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California, for every Los Angeles Chargers’ home game. NFL Week 4’s attendance was 25, 374.
31. New York Giants (0-4)
It’s inexcusable for a proud franchise like the New York Giants to be 0 and 4. Nobody can blame Eli Manning for the 23 to 25 loss to Tampa Bay. Eli threw 2 TD passes and rushed for another TD.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-4)
I haven’t seen a single change on offense or defense since the near upset over Pittsburgh in Week 1. The Browns lack of focus on either offense or defense is becoming ridiculous. Unless Cleveland changes something, they might go 0 and 16 this season.