Wow! What a weekend of pro football to kickoff Rocktober.
Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos had to hit 50-plus again for a victory, but how strong is the Orange Crush? Jack Del Rio’s defense remains incredibly suspect against the pass.
Elsewhere, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints pushed through the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. And if there’s an offense capable of matching Manning, Brees and co. are that group (see: Super Bowl XLIV).
Then there are the Kansas City Chiefs. Having already gone double past their win total from 2012, K.C. is one dangerous team for any explosive offense. The perfect “Chefs” are deserving of their top five-ranking.
So let’s keep it moving and check out our NFL Power Rankings for Week 6.
1. Denver Broncos 5-0, (last week: 2)
Denver prevailed in its toughest test yet. The downside is that its defense remains vulnerable and the Cowboys – who dropped 48 points on them this week – are the best team in pro football’s weakest division.
2. New Orleans Saints 5-0, (last week: 4)
The Saints are playing incredibly well right now. And winning in Chicago proved that since Drew Brees is now backed by a reliable defense.
3. Indianapolis Colts 4-1, (last week: 9)
Andrew Luck and the Colts clocked wins over the 49ers and Seahawks – arguably the best two NFC squads – in a span of three weeks. Watch out for Indy as 2013 progresses.
4. Kansas City Chiefs 5-0, (last week: 10)
Kansas City’s first real challenge of 2013 came on the road against Tennessee. Well, the Chiefs won in solid fashion and now get three straight home games, each of which are winnable.
5. Seattle Seahawks 4-1, (last week: 1)
Just like 2012, Seattle’s main weakness remains defending the run. And the pass-balanced Colts even slammed the Seahawks for 109 yards on the ground as a team on Sunday.
6. San Francisco 49ers 3-2, (last week: 5)
Huge victory for San Francisco over Houston. However, the 49ers have yet to defeat a team with a winning record this season.
7. New England Patriots 4-1, (last week: 3)
Tough loss on the road in Cincinnati for the Pats. If anything, Tom Brady must build chemistry with his targets quicker to defend the team’s AFC East title.
8. Baltimore Ravens 3-2, (last week: 6)
Baltimore got a nice win over the Dolphins in Miami. Still, facing the Packers and hungry Steelers before the bye week will be telling.
9. Cincinnati Bengals 3-2, (last week: 14)
Not much from Cincy’s offense on Sunday, but enough to get a win. Moving forward, A.J. Green and co. simply need to generate more consistency to complement their outstanding defense.
10. Miami Dolphins 3-2, (last week: 8)
After beginning 3-0 the Dolphins have dropped two straight. Perhaps the bye week came right on cue to stop the slump.
11. Green Bay Packers 2-2, (last week: 15)
Green Bay simply has Detroit’s number. And moving forward, the Packers still have five divisional games to quickly get back in NFC contention.
12. Chicago Bears 3-2, (last week: 11)
Three wins had the Bears looking like they were among the best in pro football. Now Chicago is spiraling downward. Failing to fix this soon will cause another late season flop.
13. Houston Texans 2-3, (last week: 7)
Until Houston fields a better passing game the Texans won’t contend for the AFC title. Period.
14. Tennessee Titans, 3-2, (last week: 12)
You could tell this was a different team with Jake Locker out. How the Titans bounce back will determine their fate in 2013.
15. New York Jets 3-2, (last week: 20)
What a bounce-back victory for the Jets on the road against Atlanta, and especially after getting bulldozed by Tennessee. This team is resilient and will remain in the AFC postseason hunt.
16. Detroit Lions 3-2, (last week: 13)
The defense and running game continue to take a backseat to the dominant aerial assault. Unfortunately for Detroit, balance is needed to build consistency.
17. Cleveland Browns 3-2, (last week: 21)
Let’s welcome Cleveland to the “above .500 club.” How long will it last, though? Well, that depends on its defense since the Browns aren’t good enough to win with offense alone.
18. Buffalo Bills 2-3, (last week: 17)
Buffalo is a tale of two teams. One week the Bills defeat Baltimore, then lose to Cleveland. Although the Browns are clearly better than recent years, the Bills have to figure out their identity on each side of the line to compete in the AFC.
19. Dallas Cowboys 2-3, (last week: 19)
The loss to Denver was not Tony Romo’s fault. Dallas doesn’t have much of a defense. That said, Romo isn’t a late-game playmaker either.
20. Minnesota Vikings 1-3, (last week: 22)
Coming off the early bye week, Minnesota has a legit chance to roll off some wins and get back into the postseason discussion.
21. Arizona Cardinals 3-2, (last week: 25)
Arizona has rebounded quite well after getting thumped by New Orleans. But facing the 49ers, Seahawks and Falcons these next three weeks is basically running the NFC gauntlet.
22. Atlanta Falcons 1-4, (last week: 12)
Atlanta’s four losses have come by a combined 19 points. The Dirty Birds could just as easily be 5-0 by figuring out how to win games and start off strong in the first quarter. Fortunately for the Falcons they get a bye this week to figure things out.
23. St. Louis Rams 2-3, (last week: 24)
Jacksonville was a confidence-building win for St. Louis. This week the Rams hit the road to Houston and face a hungry Texans team. Winning here, though, would propel St. Louis into legitimacy for 2013.
24. Carolina Panthers 1-3, (last week: 20)
Carolina scored more against the now 0-5 Giants (38), than it has in its three losses (36). The Panthers need an offense to help Luke Kuechly and their defense.
25. Oakland Raiders 2-3, (last week: 30)
An impressive and much-needed win for Oakland on Sunday over San Diego. Don’t sleep on the Silver and Black either, because Dennis Allen has a defense that is gaining confidence.
26. San Diego Chargers 2-3, (last week: 18)
And the inconsistency in San Diego continues. After winning over Dallas the Bolts fell on the road in Oakland. Can’t win like that, and especially with the Broncos and Chiefs both sporting 5-0 records.
27. Philadelphia Eagles 2-3, (last week: 26)
Philadelphia is tied for the NFC East lead at 2-3. In addition, Nick Foles saved the game on Sunday and proved he has the talent to lead.
28. Washington Redskins 1-3, (last week: 27)
Despite an 0-3 start, Washington is in prime position to slide back into the NFC East race. Hitting the road to Dallas in Week 6, the Redskins have to win to keep their 2013 playoff hopes alive.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers 0-4, (last week: 28)
Starting 0-4 is obviously not good. On the bright side, Pittsburgh’s early bye came at the right time to potentially resurrect the team. Traveling to face the Jets this week, Pittsburgh has an opportunity to salvage its season midway through October.
30. New York Giants 0-5, (last week: 29)
Turnovers and a lack of defense remain the Giants’ biggest problems. Sadly though, Big Blue has four NFC East games left and the team isn’t completely out of anything just yet.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-4, (last week: 31)
Now that the Josh Freeman era is over, Tampa Bay can focus elsewhere, like figuring out its identity and potentially winning a game.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars 0-5, (last week: 32)
The Jaguars are a 28-point underdog against the Broncos this week. Jacksonville hasn’t scored more than 20 points in a game all season. This could be an ugly one.
Follow John on Twitter @Rozum27