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NFL Power Rankings Week 6, 2018: Top teams dominating while pretenders fall off

The Saints, Bengals, Panthers, and Patriots are on the rise while the Rams and Chiefs have locked down the top two spots in our Week 6 Power Rankings.

NFL: Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Five weeks into the NFL season there are two undefeated teams and no winless teams. It’s the first time since 1990 that every team has a win through Week 5, and while some teams are starting to stand out as legitimate contenders, others are playing well or playing poorly in disguise.

Our Week 5 Power Rankings continue to see a shake up among the teams at the top and middle. Though, the teams at the bottom are largely the same. Let’s take a look at which teams are on the rise, which ones are on the decline and who’s staying put as we head into Week 6 in the NFL.

At the top

The Rams won a close contest against their NFC West foes in Seattle. They remain in the No. 1 spot. At No. 2 is the Chiefs, who beat the Jaguars in a game in which the Kansas City defense finally stepped up. If that continues, the Chiefs are going to be an even scarier team than we thought. The Jaguars fell a bit down the rankings as a result of the loss; it had to happen as Blake Bortles threw four interceptions and lost a fumble.

The Saints jump one spot to No. 3 as Drew Brees dominated against Washington on Monday Night Football. He made history in remarkable fashion as the NFL’s new all-time passing yards leader. The Saints are playing like serious contenders five weeks into the season.

The Bengals are moving into the top five after an impressive come-from-behind victory against the Dolphins. Down 17-0 in the third quarter, Cincinnati stormed back with two defensive touchdowns in the fourth to win the game.

The Patriots are also on the rise after a win over the lowly Colts. It seemed like half of the Indianapolis roster was injured, so it’s hard to read too much into the game. Tom Brady had a 341-yard, three-touchdown, and two-interception performance to help the Patriots to a 38-24 victory.

On the rise

There are still a lot of questions to be answered when it comes to teams like the Dolphins, Titans, Packers, Steelers, and Browns. That allowed for the Chargers to climb up the rankings this week after a 26-10 win over the Raiders. But, beating the Raiders isn’t all that hard to do.

Also on the rise are the Browns, who beat the Ravens in overtime. Cleveland held Baltimore to just nine points, proving Gregg Williams’ defense is no joke. The Browns have the second-most interceptions (8) and second-most forced fumbles (8) in the league.

Elsewhere in the AFC North, the Steelers beat the Falcons with ease and were bumped up a few spots. They’ll have an interesting test against the Bengals on Sunday, though the Steelers have an excellent track record at Paul Brown Stadium. The Steelers have won all six of the last meetings and the last time the Bengals beat the Steelers in Cincinnati was Sept. 16, 2013.

On the decline

The Jaguars, Ravens, Eagles, Dolphins, Titans, and Packers all lost in Week 5 after ranking in the top half of the power rankings last week. At least for the Jaguars, they lost to our No. 2 team. For the Ravens and Packers, it was division-rivalry games that saw them fall. The Dolphins lost to the AFC North-leading Bengals in a fourth-quarter collapse. And for the Titans it was an embarrassing showing against the Bills. The Titans are a confusing team as they’ve been up and down all season and Tennessee now has two games in which they failed to score more than 12 points.

The Broncos are also tumbling down the rankings after a 34-16 loss to the Jets that saw the Denver defense allow Isaiah Crowell to rush for 219 yards and a touchdown. Things aren’t looking good in Denver as fans are questioning both John Elway and second-year head coach Vance Joseph.

The Falcons also took a plunge after another loss that has them safely at the bottom of the NFC South. Matt Ryan is getting sacked left and right, and the Falcons have almost no chance of making the playoffs.

NFL Week 6 Power Rankings

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