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NFL Power Rankings Week 5, 2018: The best (and worst) teams are separating themselves

The Rams, Chiefs, and Jaguars remain at the top of this week’s power rankings.

Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Thursday Night Football gave us an excellent start to Week 4 in a game in which both teams’ quarterbacks threw for more than 400 yards. Rams quarterback Jared Goff passed for 465 yards, five touchdowns, and zero interceptions in an impressive win over the Vikings. That performance has the Rams staying at No. 1 in our power rankings heading into Week 5.

The Chiefs closed out the week against the Broncos with a thriller as well; Kansas City held off the Broncos and came away with a Monday Night Football win to stay undefeated. The Rams and Chiefs are the only two undefeated teams remaining, keeping them in the same position as last week (first and second, respectively) in our power rankings.

The Rams face the Seahawks, Broncos, 49ers, Packers, and Saints in the next few weeks. Who’s going to hand LA its first loss? As for the Chiefs, they have the Jaguars, Patriots, Bengals, and a second meeting with the Broncos on deck.

The Jaguars are also staying put at the No. 3 spot thanks to a relatively easy win over the Jets. Blake Bortles was back in business after a bad week with 388 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, and a 114.8 passer rating.

On the rise

The Saints tallied another win, this time against the lowly Giants. With a lot of the teams in last week’s top 10 losing, the Saints were able to climb the rankings. The same goes for the Patriots after a dominant win over the previously undefeated Dolphins. And without even playing, the Panthers jumped up a few spots, too.

The top of the AFC North is also looking strong as the Bengals notched a win over the Falcons in Atlanta. Andy Dalton came up clutch with only the second Bengals game-winning touchdown pass with less than 10 seconds remaining in franchise history. Elsewhere in the division, the Ravens beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh thanks to a big game from Joe Flacco, John Brown, the Baltimore defense, and four second-half field goals from Justin Tucker.

The Packers put the Bills back in the loss column with a 22-0 win over Buffalo. Aaron Rodgers looks like he’s getting back to full health as he made some nice plays with his arms and legs. But, the Packers quarterback called his team’s offensive output “terrible” despite the win. There’s work to do in Green Bay, but the team is headed in the right direction.

The Bears also looked great last week with not only the defense impressing, but Mitchell Trubisky throwing SIX touchdown passes (and zero interceptions) in the win over the Buccaneers.

On the decline

The Eagles are now 2-2 after a 26-23 overtime loss to the Titans. Carson Wentz actually had very similar numbers to Marcus Mariota as both quarterbacks finished with 99.4 passer ratings. Corey Davis was the difference for Tennessee as the second-year receiver grabbed nine catches for 161 yards and a score. The now 3-1 Titans are certainly looking better than expected one-quarter through the season.

Calling the Falcons defense. Are you there? Matt Ryan is doing all he can to win the Falcons games, but the defense just isn’t giving him any help. Ryan has 10 touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 114.0 passer rating this season. Meanwhile, the Atlanta defense has allowed the fourth most points and yards in the league.

After a shockingly bad loss to the Bears in which Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched, the Buccaneers took a plunge down the rankings. They have a bye week before Jameis Winston starts in Week 6 against the Falcons.

Somewhere in the middle

The Seahawks won, but it wasn’t an impressive win over the Cardinals. In fact, they went zero for 10 on third down. With Earl Thomas now lost to a lower leg fracture, things aren’t looking good in Seattle. That said, the Seahawks are 2-2.

The Steelers are in trouble. So much so that fans are talking about moving on from Mike Tomlin. Oh, and Pittsburgh had a total of 19 rushing yards in their loss to the Ravens. You have to imagine Le’Veon Bell is sitting at home laughing while accepting his role as the “bad guy.”

The Chargers were expected to field an impressive team this year, but they’re staying right where they were last week despite getting a two-point win over the 49ers. Why was it so hard for LA to beat a banged-up San Francisco team that just lost its prized starting quarterback last week? Plus, the 49ers have injuries throughout the roster.

The Colts have the makings of a solid team, but their record is now 1-3. Andrew Luck threw 62 times in the Colts’ overtime loss but his four touchdowns and zero interceptions were not enough to beat the Texans, who got their first win by beating Indianapolis. Both teams are now in the bottom 10.

Cellar dwellers

Power rankings aren’t just about wins and losses, they’re about the direction in which a team is headed. So while the Raiders beat the Browns in overtime, Oakland is really no more impressive today than last week. The Giants, Texans, Raiders, Bills, and Cardinals round out this week’s bottom five teams.

NFL Power Rankings: Week 5

Ranking Team Last Week
Ranking Team Last Week
1 Los Angeles Rams 1
2 Kansas City Chiefs 2
3 Jacksonville Jaguars 3
4 New Orleans Saints 7
5 Carolina Panthers 10
6 Cincinnati Bengals 13
7 Baltimore Ravens 15
8 New England Patriots 12
9 Philadelphia Eagles 4
10 Green Bay Packers 11
11 Chicago Bears 14
12 Minnesota Vikings 6
13 Miami Dolphins 5
14 Tennessee Titans 18
15 Atlanta Falcons 8
16 Denver Broncos 19
17 Washington 17
18 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9
19 Pittsburgh Steelers 16
20 Los Angeles Chargers 20
21 Seattle Seahawks 24
22 Indianapolis Colts 21
23 Cleveland Browns 22
24 Dallas Cowboys 29
25 San Francisco 49ers 25
26 New York Jets 26
27 Detroit Lions 23
28 New York Giants 27
29 Houston Texans 31
30 Oakland Raiders 30
31 Buffalo Bills 28
32 Arizona Cardinals 32