J.T. Olson’s Week Six NFL Power Rankings


Five weeks of the NFL season have come and gone. We now have a reasonable sample size from this year to develop opinions on these teams. Even teams from last year who did well and returned most of their roster look entirely different this season. Based on what we’ve seen so far, here are my week six power rankings.

32) Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jags lost convincingly this weekend. It feels like Urban Myers is on a ticking clock and it’s only a matter of time before things really blow up in Jacksonville. 

31) Detroit Lions 

The Lions continue to fight hard and come close to their first win. Sadly, they just can’t seem to get there. Trying hard just doesn’t put points on the board and neither does Jared Goff.

30) New York Jets 

It was not a cheery morning in London for the Jets. The final score had them lose by only a touchdown, but this game never felt close.

29) Houston Texans 

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory; that’s what bad teams do. The Texans squandered a lead against a short handed Patriots team and continued their climb to the bottom.

28) Miami Dolphins 

For a brief moment it felt like the Dolphins were hanging with the Bucs. Then I blinked and it was 45-17 in a crushing loss for Miami at home.

27) New York Giants 

Injuries have begun to hit the Giants. They looked like they might push the Cowboys on Sunday, but faded as key players were lost on offense.

26) Philadelphia Eagles 

The Eagles squeaked out a win vs the Panthers on Sunday. The offense still looked pretty bad and the defense looks lost in the back end at times. They have two wins now and I question how many more they’ll get this season.

25) Atlanta Falcons 

It was a good win for Atlanta this week. Even without their top playmaker Calvin Ridley, they won comfortably over the Jets. Matt Ryan continues to look good despite the Falcons circumstances. 

24) Indianapolis Colts 

For much of their Monday night football the Colts looked to be in full control. Somehow they let their lead slip away and lost to the Ravens in overtime. This felt like a make or break game and the Colts broke.

23) Las Vegas Raiders 

It has been a hard and fast fall for the Raiders. Two weeks ago they were a promising 3-0 team. Now they’ve lost two in a row and just lost their head coach. I’m not sure Las Vegas can bounce back at this point.

22) New England Patriots 

There aren’t many less inspiring teams than the Patriots. They have talent and play in close games. I don’t think they’re good enough to be a playoff threat, but they’re not bad enough to be thinking about the draft yet.

21) Cincinnati Bengals 

Despite the loss, I come away from this game feeling more optimistic about the Bengals. Cincinnati could be trending up sooner than I expected. 

20) Carolina Panthers

The gap between good and bad teams is narrow in the NFL. In the Panthers case, it is Christian McCaffery. Carolina has looked helpless since their star player went down.

19) Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have two good wins over the Bills and Broncos. The offense is inconsistent, but I suppose that’s better than constantly bad.

18) San Francisco 49ers

Beating bad teams and losing to good teams can take you far in the NFL. However, it does little in terms of respect and power rankings. That why the 49ers find themselves here. 

 17) Washington Football Team

The Washington struggles were on full display on Sunday. They threw multiple interceptions and let Jameis Winston gash them for four touchdowns. This is not the same defense we saw last year. 

16) Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings have been competitive in every game this season. Even at 2-3 it feels like they have a lot more left to show and that they could be getting back on track as they prepare to play the Panthers.

15) Seattle Seahawks

The loss of Russell Wilson can’t be overstated. It feels like the Seahawks could drop like a rock without him. Time will tell if they can weather the storm over the next month, but it’s not looking good.

14) Kansas City Chiefs

It’s not the point of panic, but it’s definitely a point of concern in Kansas City. The Chiefs have allowed 29 points or more in every game this year. Even with Patrick Mahomes, you can’t expect to be successful like that.

13) New Orleans Saints

Despite limited playmakers, the Saints find themselves at 3-2 and fresh off a four touchdown game from Jameis Winston. If the defense can keep playing well and Jameis can keep elevating the offense then they should flirt with the playoffs come the end of the season.

12) Denver Broncos

Two losses in a row certainly isn’t what the Broncos imagined after starting 3-0. Subpar offense seems to be catching up with them and water is finding its level. I still think this is a good team, but not a great team.

11) Chicago Bears

The Bears have done well to get back over .500 at 3-2. When things are good the defense has held teams to 17 points or fewer. We will see what this team is made of over the next two weeks when they play the Packers and Bucs.

10) Tennessee Titans

A blowout win is always good, even if it is over the lowly Jags. The Titans have a ton of offensive firepower and can score in multiple ways. The defense needs to play better for them to be a real title contender.

9) Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens have won four games in a row after I essentially wrote them off following a week one loss. It isn’t always pretty, but this team has just found ways to squeak out wins.

8) Cleveland Browns

The Browns played in what might be the best game of the year on Sunday. Unfortunately for them, they were on the losing side of it. We will see if the Chargers exposed a weakness with this team or it was just a one Sunday in October type of loss.

7) Dallas Cowboys 

Aside from their opening loss to the defending champs on a walk off field goal, the Cowboys have cruised through the season so far. The defense looks better than it has in several years and the offense is extremely talented and balanced. That’s a championship type of combination.

6) Green Bay Packers 

It wasn’t a pretty win, but the Packers did improve to 4-1 over the weekend. After a slow start to the year, they have now won four games in a row. The loss of Jarie Alexander is a big one, so we’ll see what this defense looks like moving forward.

5) Los Angeles Chargers 

The Chargers have been very impressive this year. Justin Herbert is a sophomore super star quarterback and the defense has been very good up until this past Sunday. What’s more impressive is that they’ve now beaten perhaps the two best teams in the AFC in Cleveland and Kansas City.

4) Arizona Cardinals 

The offense was surprisingly quiet against the 49ers, but the Cardinals found a way to get it done. This is what good teams do and Arizona is continuing to prove that they belong in the conversation as perhaps the best team in the NFL this year.

3) Buffalo Bills 

No one is playing better football than the Bills right now. They have absolutely dominated their opponents over the last four weeks. I don’t know if they can sustain this type of play, but even if they drop off some then this is one of the best teams in the NFL.

2) Los Angeles Rams 

The Rams beat a good Seahawks team on Thursday night. Granted, the loss of Russell Wilson had a big impact in that game, but Los Angeles has looked like the better team this year regardless.

1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady really is a fine wine. At 44 years old he’s playing the best ball of his career and should be the front runner to be the MVP. Combine that with what might be the best run defense in NFL history and it’s no wonder the Buccaneers are defending NFL world champions.