NFL Power Rankings, Week 5: Patriots Surge After Statement Win

SB Nation's NFL power rankings are back for Week 5.

After four weeks of play, just one undefeated team remains: Chiefs.

Most couldn't have imagined that happening but the Steelers and Bears lost last week putting the Chiefs atop the leader board. They're not the top spot in our power rankings at this point, but a win over Indy and/or Houston in the coming weeks could help.

One of the trends that's developing this year, as it does every year, is how well a team's quarterback plays in comparison to how well the team is doing. Look at the final eight teams in our power rankings. I count just two teams that have their unquestioned quarterback of the future on the roster. The teams at the top are dominated by quarterbacks with names like Brady, Brees and Rodgers. It just goes to show how important the quarterback is in the NFL.

Here's the complete list of SB Nation's NFL power rankings for Week 5:

32. Buffalo Bills (0-4)

Last week's rank: 31

Last game: Jets (lost)

SB Nation: Buffalo Rumblings

The Bills earn the new last spot after getting crushed by the Jets on Sunday. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick played a little better with a pair of touchdowns and not throwing a pick but they need to get a lot more production from someplace. Chan Gailey turned Tyler Thigpen into a passable NFL quarterback so you would think he could do the same for someone like Fitzpatrick. There are a lot more questions in Buffalo than answers at this point.

31. Carolina Panthers (0-4)

Last week's rank: 32

Last game: Saints (lost)

SB Nation: Cat Scratch Reader

Give the Panthers credit as they took the world champs to the wire. With DeAngelo Wiliams and Jonathan Stewart, this team shouldn't be this bad. They just need to figure out how to win.

30. Oakland Raiders (1-3)

Last week's rank: 29

Last game: Texans (lost)

SB Nation: Silver And Black Pride

It's a week old but I can't forget that Sebastian Janikowski missed field goal last week. Just think: the Raiders would be 2-2 and n second place in the AFC West. Instead, it looks like they're heading to another double digit loss season.

29. Detroit Lions (0-3)

Last week's rank: 27

Last game: Packers (lost)

SB Nation: Pride Of Detroit

They've now taken the Bears, Eagles and Packers to the wire. This is a solid team that just doesn't have enough pieces in place to finish games out. Don't worry, Lions fans, the future is bright.

28. San Francisco 49ers (0-4)

Last week's rank: 24

Last game: Falcons (lost)

SB Nation: Niners Nation

San Francisco gave that game away to the Falcons. That's too bad because, at 1-3, there's some glimmer of hope remaining for the season. 0-4? Count 'em out. The 49ers are done.

27. Cleveland Browns (1-3)

Last week's rank: 30

Last game: Bengals (won)

SB Nation: Dawgs By Nature

The Browns finally get a win. I do think this team is heading in the right direction -- little things like special teams are solid -- but you can't go very far without a quarterback. That will be the number one goal in the offseason.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)

Last week's rank: 21

Last game: Bye

SB Nation: Bucs Nation

The Bucs, like the Lions, are heading in the right direction. I don't think this is their year but I do think they have the right quarterback so that means the future is looking good in Tampa Bay.

25. Arizona Cardinals (2-2)

Last week's rank: 22

Last game: Chargers (lost)

SB Nation: Revenge Of The Birds

They were embarrassed against the Chargers, 41-10. The Cardinals are the worst 2-2 team in over 40 years if you go by point differential. They're definitely benefiting from a weak schedule.

24. Seattle Seahawks (2-2)

Last week's rank:19

Last game: Rams (lost)

SB Nation: Field Gulls

Getting blown out by the Rams is not a pretty sight. The Seahawks are the least suckiest team in the NFC West, so that counts for something. They'll be battling with the Rams and Cardinals all season. I bet eight wins takes the division.

23. Denver Broncos (2-2)

Last week's rank: 26

Last game: Titans (won)

SB Nation: Mile High Report

Big win for the Broncos against the Titans. Denver tried to give it away toward the end there but held on. By the way, Kyle Orton has the second best four-game start in terms of passing yards in NFL history.

22. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2)

Last week's rank: 25

Last game: Colts (won)

SB Nation: Big Cat Country

Jaguars and Colts games are always close, it seems, and this last one was no different as the Jags eked out the victory. I'm still having trouble getting a handle on what kind of team Jacksonville is. For now, I'll say inconsistent.

21. St. Louis Rams (2-2)

Last week's rank: 28

Last game: Seahawks (won)

SB Nation: Turf Show Times

All of a sudden, saying the words "Rams" and "playoffs" in the sentence aren't so crazy. We're only four games into the season but there's no doubt the Rams are in the NFC West picture at this point. Sam Bradford's having a nice start to his NFL career.

20. Miami Dolphins (2-2)

Last week's rank: 17

Last game: Patriots (lost)

SB Nation: The Phinsider

You can't get blown out at home on Monday Night Football. That's what the Dolphins did on Monday losing 41-14 to the Patriots. They must have used everything they had the week prior against the Jets. Two division losses in a row make it tough for the Dolphins.

19. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)

Last week's rank: 16

Last game: Browns (lost)

SB Nation: Cincy Jungle

Cincinnati is another team I'm having trouble getting a good read on. That offense isn't playing like we thought it would but at least Terrell Owens blew up last week for 222 yards. Maybe that will be enough to stop him (and others) from grumbling about ball distribution.

18. Tennessee Titans (2-2)

Last week's rank: 15

Last game: Broncos (lost)

SB Nation: Music City Miracles

What happened to Chris Johnson's 2,500 yard rushing campaign? He's nowhere near that pace and couldn't do enough to help the Titans beat the Broncos (at home). Tennessee's gotta beat teams like the Broncos if they're going to be contenders in the AFC.

17. Washington Redskins (2-2)

Last week's rank: 23

Last game: Eagles (won)

SB Nation: Hogs Haven

So they can beat the Cowboys and Eagles, two of the best teams in the NFC. But they're blown out by the Rams last week? This is a tough team to gauge but with a quarterback like Donovan McNabb they're probably going to win more games than they lose.

16. New York Giants (2-2)

Last week's rank: 20

Last game: Bears (won)

SB Nation: Big Blue View

The Giants defensive line needs more games like the one on Sunday night when they sacked Bears QB Jay Cutler nine times in the first half. If they can do that more often, this is a very, very dangerous team despite its flaws.

15. San Diego Chargers (2-2)

Last week's rank: 18

Last game: Cardinals (won)

SB Nation: Bolts From The Blue

Is this when the Chargers start their run? They've been starting slow for years but eventually picking things up. The 41-10 victory over the Cardinals suggests their run starts now.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (2-2)

Last week's rank: 11

Last game: Redskins (lost)

SB Nation: Bleeding Green Nation

It was McNabb's return to Philly and the Redskins were jacked up so we'll give them that. It doesn't hurt when your starting quarterback goes down, either. Looks like Michael Vick will be out next week as well so the focus turns to Kevin Kolb again.

13. Dallas Cowboys (1-2)

Last week's rank: 13

Last game: Bye

SB Nation: Blogging The Boys

The Cowboys were knocked back a couple spots because better teams are moving ahead of them. The NFC East looks wide open at this point so the Cowboys will need to go on a nice little run to gain control.

12. Minnesota Vikings (1-2)

Last week's rank: 12

Last game: Bye

SB Nation: Daily Norseman

Maybe the week off helped Old Man Favre. He'll need to get the offense back up and running like it was last year for the Vikings to make a dent in the NFC North.

11. Chicago Bears (3-1)

Last week's rank: 5

Last game: Giants (lost)

SB Nation: Windy City Gridiron

The run had to end sometime as the Bears became the second to last remaining undefeated team in the NFL. They couldn't get it done against the Giants, who harassed Jay Cutler all night. Cutler's got a concussion so he'll be someone that needs to be watched this week. If he's playing, we like the Bears to stay competitive in all their games.

10. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)

Last week's rank: 14

Last game: Bye

SB Nation: Arrowhead Pride

The Chiefs are the NFL's last remaining undefeated team, which sounds crazy to say. They've got one of the toughest stretches in football coming up: at Indy, at Houston.

9. Atlanta Falcons (3-1)

Last week's rank: 10

Last game: 49ers (won)

SB Nation: The Falcoholic

The Falcons are quietly putting together a very good season. You don't hear much about them but that running game is going to be tough to stop.

8. Indianapolis Colts (2-2)

Last week's rank: 2

Last game: Jaguars (lost)

SB Nation: Stampede Blue

The Colts have won 12 games every year since 2003. This time around they'll need yet another big run in the middle of the season to keep that streak alive.

7. Houston Texans (3-1)

Last week's rank: 9

Last game: Raiders (won)

SB Nation: Battle Red Blog

Beating the Raiders is no big deal and they did what they were supposed to do. The Texans will need to sweep all their games against teams like the Raiders to finally find a playoff bid.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)

Last week's rank: 1

Last game: Ravens (lost)

SB Nation: Behind The Steel Curtain

The Steelers did an outstanding job wading their way through the Ben Roethlisberger-less era. He's back now as the Steelers enter a bye. You can't blame the Steelers too much for losing a tight game to the Ravens.

5. Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

Last week's rank: 8

Last game: Steelers (won)

SB Nation: Baltimore Beatdown

This may be too low for the Ravens but we'll let them sweat it out. They beat the Steelers in the final minute of the game and they look like they can play any type of game the opponent wants whether that's airing it out or pounding it out on the ground with a strong defense.

4. Green Bay Packers (3-1)

Last week's rank: 7

Last game: Lions (won)

SB Nation: Acme Packing Company

The Packers shouldn't feel bad about keeping a close game with the Lions as Detroit has done that with a few good teams this year. The Packers are battling the Saints as the best team in the NFC.

3. New York Jets (3-1)

Last week's rank: 6

Last game: Bills (won)

SB Nation: Gang Green Nation

The Jets dominated the Bills every which way on Sunday. That's what they're supposed to do and what they'll need to do in what is looking like a very good AFC East.

2. New Orleans Saints (3-1)

Last week's rank: 3

Last game: Panthers (won)

SB Nation: Canal Street Chronicles

We haven't seen a full offensive explosion with this offense like we did last year. They're still among the NFC elite but we'd like to see some more points being scored if they're going to make a January run.

1. New England Patriots (3-1)

Last week's rank: 4

Last game: Dolphins (won)

SB Nation: Pats Pulpit

Are the Patriots the best team in the NFL? It's hard to argue with their 41-14 stomping of the Dolphins on Monday Night Football. The Patriots enter the bye week comfortably sitting on top of the SB Nation power rankings.

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