Week 5 NFL Power Rankings: Broncos and Saints separating themselves from the pack; Seahawks slip

Dustin Bradford

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Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are on an historic pace. One they cannot possibly maintain over a sixteen game season ... can they? There is little question they are the most dominant team in the league right now and if any poser wants to put the Seattle Seahawks ahead of them this week is a tool.

In fact, the Seahawks had no business winning on the road against the Houston Texans and only lucky and stupidity on the other side of the ball saved the day for them. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints gave their best Denver Broncos imitation against a previously unbeaten team in Prime Time. Plenty enough to move them into the second best team slot this week.

As for the rest of the league? There is a serious drop from the Seahawks to the Patriots, then another massive drop once you get down outside the Elite 8. A few of the better teams in the league are experiencing slow starts, which I expect them to rebound from so don't have a hissy fit if your team is way too low. I'm looking at you Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons fans.

Let's see how things got blown up this week in my NFL Rankings. Check out last week's power rankings here.

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TEAM
INSTANT ANALYSIS
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1

Denver Broncos

Oh. My. God. This team is scary good. I mean, we're talking better than the 49ers of the late 80's good. My biggest fear at this point for the Broncos is when will they lose a game? If this team is still undefeated around Week 10-12, then I'm almost begging for a loss at that point. The worst thing that could happen would be for this team to enter the post season 16-0. I want a championship, not the circus and distractions of an undefeated season being on the line. That said, this offense seems unstoppable right now. I am giddy.

1

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2

New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees is elite. No offense to the venerable Joe Flacco, but that is what an elite quarterback does to a team that has no business being 3-0. The Seahawks are a solid football team, but they struggle to win on the road. The Saints and Broncos? They just annihilate the competition with ease. In fact, it's looking like these two teams might be the better pick come Super Bowl time.

3

3

Seattle Seahawks

Anyone who puts this team above the Broncos in their rankings is showing just how bias they are. The Seahawks are far too shaky on the road to be above the Broncos. Only one team right now is destroying every opponent whether its on the road or at home and it isn't Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Of course, I could be butthurt because I picked the Texans to win that game.

2

4

New England Patriots

I faded the Patriots hard this week and it bit me in the ass. I forget that even though Tom Brady has no weapons at all on offense, he shows up for big games. This team is hitting its stride and I continue to be amazed at how much Brady is getting from this offense with so little in the way of actual talent. Time to give them a little more respect for that.

6

5

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are looking more and more like a contender each week and the Broncos better be taking notes. So far, they are playing like a complete team. High scoring offense, low scoring defense and dynamic special teams. Sound familiar? It should, because the Broncos are relatively in the same realm. It's going to be tough going into Arrowhead in December this year, but good practice in the cold for Peyton's throwing hand.

7

6

Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck and the Colts are rolling right now. As crazy as this sounds, the AFC South is really coming down to them and the Tennessee Titans. The Texans just don't look like a playoff team right now. However, the season is only a quarter over and there is still plenty of time to get things right or wrong for all three of these teams.

11

7

San Francisco 49ers

Apparently it took the 49ers a full week and a half to recover from their shellacking in Seattle. It looked like they were going to have another rough outing last Thursday, but once this team got rolling again it was all over for the Rams. Even though they are only at .500, I once again see these guys as a contender. Colin Kaepernick is going to get hot here soon, you watch.

13

8

Detroit Lions

The Lions looked great in their home win this week and claimed the division lead. I am still mad at these guys for blowing a win in Arizona a few weeks ago, so they have effectively screwed me over two weeks in a row now as I keep picking against them. Next week, I'll probably pick them and I'll get burned. Such is life trying to figure out a team that has very little consistency. There is no denying the Lions can hang with any football team in the league ... except maybe the Broncos.

14

9

Chicago Bears

Well, leave it to Jay Cutler to shine one weak and look like garbage the next. He is the ultimate hype killer for fans. I hope the Bears enjoyed their brief moment in my Top 5. It will be hard for the Bears to miss the playoffs with all that talent, but the ever underachieving Cutler could very well do that before this season is out.

4

10

Miami Dolphins

Whelp, looks like the Dolphins are not quite the team they thought they were. Their record will buoy them for at least another week, but they better bounce back quickly or I'll rank them hard. The Saints just moved into the #2 spot on my rankings and justifiably so as they are the only other team besides the Broncos who are obliterating the competition right now. I would count the Chiefs, but really, who have they played?

8

11

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals fell into the dreaded trap game this week against the Browns and came out with a big black eye. After their emotional win against the Packers last week, they were obviously looking ahead to the Patriots next week and got caught with their pants down. Great teams don't make that mistake, but the Bengals have that immature vibe that certain organizations give off. Maybe they shouldn't be considered the favorites to win that division.

5

12

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rogers and the Packers are better than their record and I suspect they will come out of their Bye week next week to start another winning streak. This team has too many weapons not to finish the season in the playoffs. However, they didn't play this week, so I see no reason to change their position. They have much to prove now.

12

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13

Tennessee Titans

The Titans completely surprised me this year. I will be checking in on Jake Locker's injury and if he is playing this team is definitely a playoff contender. They manhandled the Jets this week. Their one loss to the Texans in overtime may come back to haunt them, unless they can even the series up in their rematch later this season. I was going to bump them up higher, but Locker looks like he'll be out a while which is very bad news for this young upstart.

17

14

San Diego Chargers

Great win for Phillip Rivers at home against a team everyone expected to beat them. The Chargers have severe limitations in talent, but when Rivers is on fire he can will his team to victory. However, as long as Peyton Manning is playing it won't likely translate to any Division Titles. The days of 8-8 winning the AFC West crown are over.

18

15

Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo did what he does best and that's lose. The Cowboys face Denver next week in a showdown in Dallas. The media will be all over it I'm sure, because we all know how great the NFC East is and Dallas in particular. Out of all of the NFC East teams, Dallas could pose the biggest challenge though, so it will be important for the Broncos to remain focused and not full of themselves.

10

16

Atlanta Falcons

If it weren't for the Texans, I'd give the Falcons the "Underachiever of the Year" award so far in 2013. Now they are losing home games! Steven Jackson needs to get healthy, because Matt Ryan is definitely not a quarterback that can carry his team. You know, like a Peyton Manning or a Tom Brady can.

15

17

Houston Texans

Matt Schaub is not doing Gary Kubiak any favors this year with three pick sixes in the first four games and the Texans defense appears to be a shell of what it was last season. The Texans will be exciting to watch, but an 8-8 record sure looks likely in their future.

16

18

Baltimore Ravens

So, $120 million gets you five interceptions and a loss to the Bills? Excuse me while I go laugh for a few minutes. Joe Flacco played quite badly on Sunday, but even so he had the Ravens in position to try to win late. This is a good football team, but not good enough to overcome a slew of mistakes.

9

19

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers had a good game against the woeful Giants before their Bye week, but this team has consistently been inconsistent, so they need to show they can win week in and week out. The Bye week results in nothing new to report and no ranking change for these guys.

19

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20

Buffalo Bills

The Bills look like a just under .500 team. They have the talent to hang with any football team, but lack the consistency to be a major threat for a playoff run this season. Though the Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller combination appears to be the deadliest two-headed monster in the league. Oh and I hate myself for taking Spiller as my keeper in fantasy football.

23

21

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals decided to take most of their game off, then somehow woke up at the very end and took care of business with 13 fourth quarter points. The tide for them turned on a huge interception late in the game that gave them the ball in the red zone. Carson Palmer really needs to find Larry Fitzgerald more often. I mean seriously.

24

22

New York Jets

At 2-1 I was convinced this team was a complete and total fraud. I had them ranked in the 30's in my preseason power rankings, so I wasn't surprised to see them get blown away by a solid football team. The Jets should be a four win football team this season, but so far it looks like I'm going to miss that prediction by a game or two. Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez have now both experienced the dreaded "butt fumble".

20

23

Cleveland Browns

Fire sale! Opps, Winning Streak! Leave it to the players to ruin managements desire to ruin a season. Wait, didn't they make a movie about something like this once? Hollywood must know something about Cleveland the rest of us don't! Yikes, I hope the Browns players don't have a cardboard cutout of Michael Lombardi somewhere taking a piece of clothing off with each win!

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24

Washington Redskins

There is the win I was looking for from the Redskins. Mike Shanahan doesn't lose to Oakland, remember? The irony here is that the 1-3 Redskins are right in the thick of things within the NFL's worst division, the NFC East. I doubt any of those teams would win 6 games in a real division, but oh well. (Yes, this entire comment was a shot at the media bias towards this division. How interesting are the Cowboys now, Colin Cowherd?)

27

25

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings defense is weak, which means the offense actually has to put up some serious points. As ironic as this will sound, Matt Cassel actually gives them a better chance of doing so. I will be curious to see if they immediately go back to Christian Ponder in the coming weeks. I must say, it was nice to see the London crowd so into the game and for the NFL to provide such an exciting finish. Jaguars to London in 2014?

28

26

Philadelphia Eagles

Chip Kelly didn't have to play in the parking lot, but that's only because Peyton Manning and the Broncos ran him out of the stadium. My gut feeling about the Eagles players is that they are on the verge of giving up the season already. Mental toughness isn't their strong suit and one more tough defeat the rug could be completely pulled out from under this team. As bad as I think the Giants are, I think they might just be desperate enough to beat the Eagles next week at home. We'll see...

21

27

St. Louis Rams

I had the Rams as a potential breakthrough team this year, but learning how to win football games when you have a young football team is not easy. They make too many mental errors and seem to be trying too hard to play well. It doesn't help that Sam Bradford never seems quite ready to take that next step, but then again maybe he is fed up too.

22

28

Oakland Raiders

The ceiling for the Raiders was pretty low heading into this season, so seeing how hard they are playing and how competitive they have been is a testiment to the coaching staff there. It may also help that players believe in Terrelle Pryor. Whatever it is, if they finish with just five wins this season it will be a respectable five wins in how they have fought in there other losses on the season.

26

29

Pittsburgh Steelers

When are the Steelers going to win a game? Their offense finally starts to get things rolling and their defense opens up to severe gashing in both the run game and the pass game. If I were Mike Tomlin I'd be about out of patience at this point, in spite of what he may say to the media. Out of all of the winless teams, the Steelers look like they have the most heart right now. They will not remain winless for much longer.

29

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30

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Even with the loss, the Buccaneers have proven they have a stout defensive unit and with Josh Freeman's benching I think this team might finally start to win some football games. I had to bump them up this week by virtue of the Giants looking like the Jaguars again this week. This team has lost several very close games, so it may only be a matter of time before victory comes their way.

31

31

New York Giants

Wow. Eli Manning is going to get killed if this keeps up. I cannot remember seeing a worse offensive line unit ever assembled. Tom Coughlin might be better off cutting the whole lot of them and signing any veteran still left on the street. I think these guys win a game in the next week or two, but it might be the only one they get all year.

30

32

Jacksonville Jaguars

Ladies and gentlemen, the worst football team...ever.

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