B&T Power Rankings – Week 6


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.

Can the Texans be beaten?  Is there a soul alive that thinks the Browns can even become relevant this season?  Let’s dive into it all.

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

#1 [1] . Houston Texans, 5-0: The Texans are unbeatable right now.  It doesn’t matter how you come at them, they find a way to win.  Right now it’s a matter of how the Texans win each week, not a matter of whether they will or not.

#2 [3]. San Francisco 49ers, 4-1: Losing to the Vikings doesn’t look as bad anymore.  Beating down the opponent isn’t as easy as the 49ers make it look either.  The Niners have put up 79 points the past two games and allowed only 3.  They have the third best scoring offense and the top defense.  They deserve the number two spot.

#3 [2].  Atlanta Falcons, 5-0: For the second week in a row, the Falcons have looked vulnerable.  The team needed 17 fourth quarter points to beat the Redskins.  Mike Smith has a team he could take to the Super Bowl on offense though, and winning the close ones is a mark of the great teams.

#4 [6]. New England Patriots, 3-2:  After some early season bumps, this team is back on track.  You can’t count them out of any game and Bill Belichick won’t let opposing teams key in on the offensive strengths anymore.

#5 [8]. Chicago Bears, 4-1: Until the Bears and Vikings play each other twice, it may be difficult to predict who will win the NFC North.  The Bears look scary good on defense and offense.  It helps that Lovie Smith knows how to coach the team to victory and knows which adjustments to make in order to be victorious.

#6 [4]. Baltimore Ravens, 4-1:  What happened to that beautiful no-huddle offense?  If teams start to figure out Joe Flacco’s new offensive dominance then this team could start losing the close games.  Last season they lost to the Jags in a close game, this year they barely beat the Chiefs 9-6.  Let’s see if they can keep up the offensive production they had earlier in the season.

#7 [7]. New York Giants, 3-2: Putting the hurt on the Browns is nice.  The Giants may give us a roller coaster ride all season, but that’s nothing new to us.  We’ll have to see where they’re at in a few weeks if people expect them to drop out of the top 10.

#8 [5]. Arizona Cardinals, 4-1: Right when the Cardinals stop flying under the radar, they get beat by the Rams.  Kevin Kolb deserves some serious blame.  The defense will keep them in games long enough to be won on offense, but sometimes the opposing offense will just do more than the Cards can.

#9 [15]. Minnesota Vikings, 4-1: It’s time we start talking about the Vikings as a contender.  This team is leaps and bounds better than they were last year.  Christian Ponder is a consistent and threatening quarterback and the defense is difficult to gain ground on.  They beat the Titans, but they made Matt Hasselbeck look much worse than he is.

#10 [16]. Pittsburgh Steelers, 2-2: The bye week did help the Steelers stop the bleeding.  This “old” team can get it done against superior talent.  That is largely due to discipline, experience, and good coaching.  The Steelers shouldn’t be underestimated again.

#11 [9].  Green Bay Packers, 2-3: For a team that is facing surprisingly stiff competition from the Vikings and are in a crowded division, the Packers need to get things right in a hurry.  Losing to the Colts was difficult and will be tough for this team to overcome.  Something seems to be nagging them.  I think it’s mental.  Losing won’t set that right anytime soon.

#12 [10]. Denver Broncos, 2-3: I really thought the Broncos had an opportunity to show that they deserve to be in contention as one of the better teams this season.  They fell flat.  It wasn’t because of Peyton Manning either.

#13 [11]. Cincinnati Bengals, 3-2: The Bengals were expected to win this one, but the Dolphins aerial attack was finally enough to knock out the shallow Bengals’ secondary.  If it comes down to scoring points I usually think the Bengals can do it.  They need to find a way to consistently put up 20+ because there wasn’t a way for them to win with two scoreless quarters against Miami.

#14 [22]. Miami Dolphins, 2-3: I’ve been saying it all year, this team is far more talented than they look.  Taking down the Bengals was a statement by the Dolphins.  They showed they can compete, showed they can win, and showed that they demand respect from other NFL teams.

#15 [21]. St. Louis Rams, 3-2:  The defense of the Rams beat the offense of the Cardinals and the offense was able to squeak by.  Defense wins championships, but as the Rams proved, it helps to have the better offense as well.  Who would have thought we’d say that about the Rams this season?

#16 [12]. Dallas Cowboys, 2-2: This team needs to get hot coming off their bye week.  It’ll be difficult to do against the Ravens though.

#17 [13]. Philadelphia Eagles, 3-2:  The turnover machine that is Michael Vick strikes again!  The Eagles are far too talented to only be 3-2.  They could very easily be much better, yet their key pieces (especially Vick) seem unable to get things done.

#18 [14]. San Diego Chargers, 3-2: Someone had to lose to the Saints eventually.  I just didn’t think it would be the Chargers.  After finally overcoming perennial early-season struggles this team once again lost its way.  Maybe we should change the calendars and make them think it’s actually December so they can start remembering to feed Ryan Matthews.

#19 [20]. Seattle Seahawks, 3-2:  Pete Carroll could be doing something special in his second NFL head coaching stint.  Who would have thought that this team would win three of their first five after they chose to start rookie Russell Wilson over free agent acquisition Matt Flynn.  It looks like it was the right choice.

#20 [18]. Washington Redskins, 2-3RGIII continues to fail to learn that he is worth protecting.  They were in it against the Falcons which is saying something.  Mike Shanahan’s influence is beginning to be felt by this young team I think.

#21 [17]. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1-3: A week off means a week more for Greg Schiano to get his team back on track.  There is a lot of talent on this roster.  It will be curious to see if the talent can translate into a win this week after they have had a week off to buy back into the schemes and goals of their exuberant head coach.

#22 [28]. New Orleans Saints, 1-4:  A win over the Chargers is big for the Saints.  After floundering for the first few weeks they’ve had competitive games this week and last.  They could really use some more offensive production from other players, but relying on Drew Brees isn’t all bad.

#23 [19]. Detroit Lions, 1-3:  The Lions sink during their bye week because of some good performances by other teams and the relative increased value of the Vikings and Bears.  The Lions need a win to show that they can return to the playoffs.  Matt Stafford needs to increase his play and Calvin Johnson needs to get over the Madden Curse and return to form.

#24[30]. Indianapolis Colts, 2-3: WOW.  The Colts deserve a lot of credit for the win over the Packers.  Reggie Wayne’s influence and ability cannot be overstated in the development and success of Andrew Luck.  If this team can continue to rally behind an ailing coach and surging young quarterback, they could get dangerous later.

#25 [24]. Carolina Panthers, 1-4: Cam Newton went from the electrifying game changer in his first year to a second-year quarterback who couldn’t find his way out of a box.  For a team that thought they could win a Super Bowl, they’ve sunk pretty far.

 #26 [25].  Kansas City Chiefs, 1-4:  On a positive note, they kept it competitive. On a negative note, they look like they just don’t have enough to win.

#27 [26]. New York Jets, 2-3:  It’s tough to be beat by the best team in the league.  At least the Jets made it competitive.  That said, it’s obvious they’re scratching the bottom of the barrel in order to win.  It’s only impressive if it works.  It hasn’t.

#28 [27]. Buffalo Bills, 2-3: The Bills’ vaunted defense is far from great.  They desperately need increased defensive play if they hope to compete.  I have faith in Ryan Fitzpatrick’s arm, but it just isn’t enough.

#29 [23]. Tennessee Titans, 1-4:  Before this season I thought it was tough to deny the strength of the Titans roster.  Now I find it hard to believe that this team can be even remotely effective on the football field.  Matt Hasselbeck could have done something more, but it turns out that even he can’t succeed when the offense has no chance at being two-dimensional.

#30 [29]. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-4: The string of games with a touchdown for Blaine Gabbert ended at four this season.  Believe it or not, but this offense was even less productive this week than it has been this season.  The only real positive is that maybe linebacker Daryl Smith gets healthy for next week and wide receiver Justin Blackmon may finally be learning how to use his hands again.

#31 [31]. Oakland Raiders, 1-3: It was the bye week for the Raiders and no team dipped low enough to be considered worse.  This team can capitalize on some talent still, but we aren’t seeing competency come through the coaching staff at this point.

#32 [32]. Cleveland Browns, 0-5: The Browns have shown yet again why they are last in the league.  The coaching isn’t good enough, the talent isn’t good enough, and despite some promise this obviously isn’t their year.