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NFL Week 5 Power Rankings

The Steelers can't win for losing. They stay roughly where their record says they should be - in the bottom five of the league.

Bob Martin-USA TODAY Sports

1. DEN An undefeated season may be a stretch at this point, but damn it -- they're good. The only question is: Can Peyton take them all the way? 4-0
2. SEA The Seahawks only have a few games left on their schedule that may present something of a challenge. Barring some kind of catastrophe, the Seahawks have a playoff bye and their raucous home-field advantage come tournament time 4-0
3. NO If the defense remains even remotely passable, the Saints are in the Lombardi conversation. Their schedule may not allow for a 13-3 kind of season, but once you're in, all that goes out the window anyway. 4-0
4. NE Their offense looks to have survived the loss of Hernandez and Welker, but Vince Wilfork's absence (Achilles - likely done for '13) is going to hurt. Schedule's no cake walk -- they'll be well tested heading into the playoffs. 4-0
5. KC Look at the schedule. The Chiefs will go something like 12-4 or 13-3 and lose in the first round of the playoffs. Because they're the Chiefs. 4-0
6. CHI They barely beat Cincy and Minnesota. This can probably still be a very good team, but there's a lot of room for improvement, as they showed on Sunday against the Lions. 3-1
7. IND Two of their wins came against Jacksonville and Oakland, so the expectations may need to be scaled back a bit. Still, they are running the ball well and the defense has actually been pretty good so far. 3-1
8. HOU Still a good defense and they move the ball well. It's been a weird start for the Texans, but they're still a very skilled team. Relying so much on Matt Schaub is probably not the best recipe for success. They could make a statement next week in San Francisco. 2-2
9. DET That was a big win against the Bears, but is this really a different team than the Lions of the last few years? 3-1
10. MIA It may be hard for them to maintain -- as evidenced by their defensive struggles last night -- but the Dolphins are still looking pretty solid at this point. Tough road ahead, so we'll see who they are soon. 3-1
11. BAL

The champs made excuses for Joe Flacco, and those platitudes may be more true than they seem. Their defense is average and they cannot run the ball (sound familiar?), so Flacco might be their best player right now. Yikes.

12. SF 2 good games and 2 bad for Kaepernick. If the defense doesn't hold up their rather large end of the deal, the Niners could miss the playoffs. 2-2
13. GB Only Denver has scored more points per game. That's probably going to work out for them. 1-2
14. CIN Cleveland's sturdy defense may have surprised the Bengals, but they are probably still the best team in the North. Their head-to-head games with Baltimore will be huge. 2-2
15. ATL Their running game needs to pull their weight, but that may be tough with some pretty stout units on the horizon. This is still a good team. If they can get healthy, they're still among the most talented teams in football. 1-3
16. BUF The Bills have averaged 152 rushing yards a game against some pretty respectable defenses (BAL, NYJ, CAR, & NE). They scored 23 points for the third time this week. Looks like 22's your target, Coach Pettine. 2-2
17. TEN Zero turnovers. Zero. But that may change quickly with the drastic change at QB as Jake Locker hits the shelf. 3-1
18. CAR Much improved defensively and running the ball well through 3 games. Next 4 up: @ARI, @MIN, STL, & @TB. 1-2
19. DAL They've beaten the Giants and Rams. Not exactly awe-inspiring stuff. They play Denver next week. 2-2
20. SD San Diego's defense is among the worst in the league in terms of yardage. And it looks like Dwight Freeney is done for 2013. Their offense is humming along, but the long facile AFC West looks pretty tough this year. 2-2
21. ARI Tough schedule coming up (CAR, @SF, SEA, ATL, HOU), but they barely bested the shipwreck in Tampa. Their numbers against the run seem to have been aided by opponent incompetence, so they still need to prove they're for real defensively. 2-2
22. CLE The defense is for real, but their offense is obviously a huge question mark. Trading Trent Richardson looks like a pretty smart move. They weren't running well with him and they won't run well without him. There's a reason RBs don't get taken in the first round of the draft anymore. 2-2
23. PHI Well their defense just isn't very good, is it? But they average 6.1 YPC and their upcoming schedule (@NYG, @TB, DAL, NYG, @OAK) is pretty soft. They could rip off a few in a row. 1-3
24. WAS Jason Whitlock thinks RGIII and Breaking Bad suck because no one tells them they suck. Which must mean he's a great journalist, because people tell him he sucks all the time. 1-3
25. NYJ Not much separates the teams from 17 to 25, but when Rex Ryan is your coach and you're one injury away from the Matt Simms era, you make a good case for bringing up the rear of that group 2-2
26. MIN The Steelers made Matt Cassell look less like Matt Casell and Adrian Peterson look more like Adrian Peterson. 1-3
27. STL This team doesn't seem to value the running game on either side of the ball (2.6 YPC vs. 4.6 opponents' YPC). Maybe the Kiper/McShay draft strategy isn't working. 1-3
28. OAK Early mocks have the Raiders picking Jadeveon Clowney. Terrelle Pryor is a stopgap, folks, not a building block. The Raiders need to quit building their house upon the sand. 1-3
29. PIT Very serious problems on both sides of the ball. The o-line is too young, the defense is too old, and they still haven't gotten a turnover while giving up 11. Things look pretty bleak in Pittsburgh. The only bright spot: their entire division stumbled out of the gate, so they remain only 2 games out of first despite being one of the worst teams in league through 4 games. 0-4
30. NYG The Giants have the fewest rushing attempts in the league and their defense is giving up 36.5 points per game. Both of those figures could improve if they can find a way to rush the passer like they used to. The Raiders above the Giants and Steelers? Until they can beat someone, yes. 0-4
31. TB Mike Glennon was alright for most of the game against Arizona, but it looks like he's just good enough to put his team in an awkward personnel situation going forward. 0-4
32. JAX If this team improves drastically, they could win 3 games. 0-4

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