Sep 30, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans cheerleader performs against the Tennessee Titans in the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the Titans 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

B&T Power Rankings - Week 5


Welcome to the B&T Power Rankings.  The place where we rank the teams on their record, front office actions, and overall craziness.  Expect some arbitrary explanations, some in-depth analysis, and your fair share of surprises.

The Patriots have a huge day, Ryan Tannehill puts up some serious numbers,

Hate ‘em?  Love ‘em? Agree? Disagree?  Leave it in the comments.

#1 [2] . Houston Texans, 4-0: With the Falcons looking vulnerable against the Carolina Panthers, the Texans move up.  The Texans’ D is much better than Carolina and the offense is far more consistent.  Right now it looks like the Texans can’t be beat.

#2 [1].  Atlanta Falcons, 4-0: Week four was the speed-bump that indicated this team isn’t the best in the league.  The Falcons still came out and won it, good for them!  Matt Ryan may be budging his way into the top five quarterback discussion.

#3 [3]. San Francisco 49ers, 3-1: If this team were still undefeated, it’d be tough to put them as low as #3.  That said, they lost to the Vikings last week but came back to look good in week four.  This team is far more dynamic on offense than would have been anticipated base don 2010.  Jim Harbaugh has his offense making strides.

#4. [4] Baltimore Ravens, 3-1:  It’s important to win the divisional games, even if it is against the Browns.  Joe Flacco continues to look good and it’s nice to see the offense not have to rely so much on Ray Rice taking a beating every down.

#5 [15]. Arizona Cardinals, 4-0: Don’t look now, but the Cardinals are undefeated!  Kevin Kolb is playing like he was worth the money they paid for him and the defense is really, really solid.  A tough schedule and a tough defense makes this jump absolutely justifiable.

#6 [7]. New England Patriots, 2-2:  And then the Patriots showed why they are the dynasty to beat still.  With the Colts rebuilding, the Saints floundering, and the Giants showing they aren’t quite the same as they were last year the Patriots once again stand atop the heap of the 2000s dynasties.  Tom Brady led an offense that put up tons of yardage.  It’s tough to lose when you have two 100 yard receivers and two 100 yard runners.

#7 [5]. New York Giants, 2-2: The Eagles came in and showed the Giants that they aren’t as good as they think they are.  For a team that prides itself on quarterback pressures and strong defense, they failed to make Michael Vick look like the quarterback he has been all season: a turnover machine.

#8 [9]. Chicago Bears, 3-1: Jay Cutler is the man in Chicago right now.  This defense will get a gift playing against the anemic Jaguars offense next week.  Maybe they will sit atop the NFC North by themselves after the game.  Weird to think that four weeks into the season and the Bears are tied with the Vikings for first in the division.  Getting Matt Forte back was big.

#9 [10].  Green Bay Packers, 2-2: Despite winning on Sunday it feels like the Packers are vulnerable.  They will need to be strong in their upcoming game against a hungry Colts squad so they can show that they shouldn’t be ignored in the rapidly crowding NFC North.

#10 [10]. Denver Broncos, 2-2: Finally Peyton Manning looks more and more like himself.  I liked what Willis McGahee put together on the ground and the Broncos made sure to show that they could manhandle a team.  I think they can do it again, but most teams they face aren’t the Raiders.

#11 [12]. Cincinnati Bengals, 3-1: Turns out the depth at corner isn’t as big of an issue as anticipated.  The Bengals put up six sacks and dominated the Jaguars both on offense and defense.  Andy Dalton could be the best quarterback out of last year’s draft class, but he also has the best target in A.J. Green.

#12 [8]. Dallas Cowboys, 2-2: Tony, Tony, Tony…how can you throw five interceptions in a game and expect to win?

#13 [16]. Philadelphia Eagles, 3-1:  Either the Eagles showed that they are a good team or they showed that the Giants aren’t as good as we all thought.  I think it’s a little bit of both.  The Eagles are really making a name for themselves this season, even with usually undesirable quarterback play.  This past week Michael Vick showed why he won the starter spot when he came to Philly.

#14 [19]. San Diego Chargers, 3-1: They were outgained by the Chiefs but came through in the end.  This unit may be the best at winning thus far under Norv Turner.  Ryan Matthews’ fumbling problem should be a concern though.

#15 [21]. Minnesota Vikings, 3-1: Not only is Christian Ponder becoming a very good quarterback, but the defense can come alive when needed too.  Percy Harvin has 30 catches thus far this season and continues to be special.  The supporting cast on this offense could make the Vikes’ push for NFC North dominance for real.

#16 [11]. Pittsburgh Steelers, 1-2: A bye week is helpful in stopping the bleeding after losing to the Raiders.  We’ll see how hot they come out in week five, but I’m not certain this team is as powerful as we thought heading into the season.

#17 [13]. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1-3: The Bucs finally got Vincent Jackson going, but it may be too little too late.  Greg Schiano will make his team competitive every week, but the strong personnel they have just isn’t translating to wins right now.

#18 [14]. Washington Redskins, 2-2It’s been repeated almost continually the last couple weeks, but you have to wonder how much of a beating RGIII can take.  The Redskins will only be as effective as their quarterback, and fortunately for them that’s pretty effective.  Now, what if he isn’t there?  Teach this kid how to slide, someone!

#19 [7]. Detroit Lions, 1-3:  After a return to the playoffs last season, the Lions look like they are back to their usual bottom feeder ways.  The offense just isn’t clicking like it was last year.  It doesn’t help that the defense can’t seem to stop the opposition from scoring.

#20 [18]. Seattle Seahawks, 2-2:  I don’t envy Russell Wilson’s position.  We all forgot that Matt Flynn was on the roster until the Seahawks lost another one (this time to the hapless Rams).  Expect a push for the more explosive and experienced Flynn in Seattle.  I think they should stick with Wilson if they’re serious about how good he is, but I’m not certain Pete Carroll always makes the smartest quarterback decisions.

#21 [24]. St. Louis Rams, 2-2:  In a tough matchup against the Seahawks, the Rams finally stepped up with some good plays.  Jeff Fisher is the right coach for this team and he proved it in week four.  We’ll have to see if they can do it consistently though.

#22 [31]. Miami Dolphins, 1-3: Finally the Dolphins show what they can do!  It’s too bad it came against a Cardinals team that managed to find the win anyway.  Brian Hartline is for real and Ryan Tannehill has used him like the weapon he is, look for more of it all season long.

#23 [22]. Tennessee Titans, 1-3:  Right after Jake Locker shows the world he’s a real quarterback, he ends up on the bench with an injury.  Matt Hasselbeck was very good for the Titans last season, but can the team continue to use older veterans as bandaids over and over (Kerry Collins) for their young quarterbacks?  Good job Chris Johnson and the return of the running game!

#24 [23]. Carolina Panthers, 1-3: Remember that Cam Newton fumble that cost them the game?  Yeah, I thought so.  That one isn’t going to go away quietly.

 #25 [25].  Kansas City Chiefs, 1-3:  The Chiefs lost to the Chargers despite fielding the better offense.  That can’t happen, especially for a team coached by defensive mastermind Romeo Crennel.

#26 [20]. New York Jets, 2-2:  Being shut out is never good.  It’s even worse when your team is supposed to be a Super Bowl contender every year.  Super Bowl contenders don’t get shut out.  The Jets don’t even deserve to be in the conversation for playoff contention despite being 2-2.  There’s still a lot of football to prove me wrong though.

#27 [26]. Buffalo Bills, 2-2: They aren’t that great, but they aren’t that bad.  Ryan Fitzpatrick had a big day, but if he hadn’t tossed four picks it might have been a good day for the team.  This defense has yet to really step up as well.

#28 [28]. New Orleans Saints, 0-4:  The Saints made a competitive game of it against the Packers, but they just aren’t in the same league without Sean Payton calling the plays.  I seriously think they should just let Drew Brees coach the offense until Joe Vitt can come in and do it.  He knows the personnel well enough to balance the play calling a bit more.

#29 [27]. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-3: I love that the Jags keep throwing the ball to Maurice Jones-Drew on dump-offs, it makes it really easy to gain 10+ yards on fourth down.  Oh wait.  Seriously, what’s wrong with this offense?  It’s having issues and it could be the play-calling, personnel, or decision making by QB Blaine Gabbert.  Some fans want to clean house, it may be time or they could try more patience.

#30 [29]. Indianapolis Colts, 1-3: Bye weeks are usually a time for reflection and preparation.  Bye weeks are rarely times for bad things to occur.  With head coach Chuck Pagano out for the foreseeable future battling Leukemia the Colts come out of the bye week far more weakened than when they entered.  It’ll be curious to see how close they play the Packers this week.  They could have a surprise rally around their head coach’s tough situation.

#31 [32]. Oakland Raiders, 1-3: Being manhandled by a division rival is tough.  The road won’t get any easier for the Raiders.

#32 [30]. Cleveland Browns, 0-4: Brandon Weeden isn’t as good as needed.  Teams with no wins deserve to be last in the power rankings.  Right now that’s just the Browns.

 

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