nfl power rankings week 5
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 has concluded and the Arizona Cardinals are solidifying themselves as one of the top teams in the league.

Ryan Honey

Some may say the Cardinals’ Week 4 win over the Rams was a surprise.

But to be honest, they shouldn’t.

This is a great team with a creative head coach in Kliff Kingsbury and an ever-dynamic quarterback in Kyler Murray. There’s a reason it’s yet to lose a game, and while the 37-20 final score might seem out of the ordinary, Arizona is only putting the rest of the league on high alert.

Watch out for the Cardinals — they will be a team to beat moving forward, and they also find themselves near the top of our latest NFL power rankings.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars ( → )

Another week, another loss.

The Jaguars are at rock bottom following a fourth consecutive defeat to begin the season and remain in the basement of our power rankings.

Urban Meyer needs to figure things out, from a coaching standpoint and, apparently, a personal standpoint…

31. Houston Texans ( ↓ 3 )

The Texans drop to the No. 31 spot following a blowout loss to the Bills. Buffalo ousted Houston by a score of 40-0 and the Texans’ performance was putrid. They gained just 109 total yards and were 1-for-9 on third down.

30. Atlanta Falcons ( ↓ 1 )

Atlanta returned to the loss column Sunday after notching its first win of the year in Week 3. The Falcons dropped a close game to Taylor Heinicke and the Washington Football Team at home by a score of 34-30.

29. Detroit Lions ↓ 2 )

The Lions remain winless and you could argue they hit a new low on Sunday.

Detroit lost to a weak Bears team fielding a rookie quarterback in Justin Fields. The defeat came despite the fact Chicago was just 1-for-8 on third down.

The Lions still sit at the bottom of the NFC North division.

28. New York Jets ( ↑ 3 )

The Jets are finally in the win column after starting the season 0-3.

Gang Green took advantage of a Titans roster missing both Julio Jones and A.J. Brown.

Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson constructed his best performance as a pro, completing 21 of his 34 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns.

27. New York Giants ( ↑ 3 )

It was only a week ago when we wrote how the state of New York football was disastrous.

Thus, we’ll take credit for motivating both MetLife Stadium organizations to notch their first victories of the 2021 season.

The Giants came back from 11 points down to defeat the Saints in overtime. Daniel Jones looked fantastic, throwing for a career-high 402 yards and two touchdowns.

26. Miami Dolphins ( ↓ 4 )

The Dolphins are sinking further and further into the mud following a third consecutive loss. Miami’s lone win this year is still a one-point victory over a Patriots team that’s started 1-3.

This past Sunday, with Tua Tagovailoa still on injured reserve, the Dolphins lost 27-17 to a struggling Colts squad that was previously winless. Thus, they drop four spots.

25. Indianapolis Colts ( → )

The Colts stay right where they are after their aforementioned win over Miami.

I’m still not sold on them — it’s still unclear if Carson Wentz is the true answer at quarterback moving forward. His lack of ability to remain healthy is also a crucial issue.

24. Philadelphia Eagles ( → )

The Eagles also remain in the same spot as last week after losing to Kansas City, which was expected.

Philly has now lost three straight following its Week 1 blowout win over Atlanta. Many changed their opinions on the Eagles after that season-opening victory, but it seems the struggling NFC East squad is coming back down to earth.

23. Chicago Bears ( ↑ 3 )

The Bears at 2-2?

It’s one of those occurrences we didn’t see coming, but here we are.

Chicago defeated Detroit this past Sunday 24-14 and Justin Fields recorded his first win at the professional level. The rookie quarterback threw for 209 yards on 11-of-17 passing.

22. Washington Football Team ( ↑ 1 )

Is Taylor Heinicke somehow the answer at the quarterback position in the nation’s capital?

The inexperienced signal-caller threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns and improved Washington’s record to 2-2 on the year. Taking all that into consideration, we’ll slightly improve the Football Team’s ranking.

21. Pittsburgh Steelers ( ↓ 4 )

As long as Pittsburgh keeps losing, its ranking will keep plummeting.

This is not a good team right now; certainly not one that could keep up with the more talented squads of the league. The Steelers lost to Green Bay 27-17 and were hindered by the below-average play of Ben Roethlisberger, who threw a late-game interception and looks his age more and more every week.

Pittsburgh is now 1-3, which is nowhere near the standard of this historic franchise.

20. New England Patriots ( ↑ 1 )

Moving up on the power rankings after a loss?

Yes, we’ve officially seen it all.

The Patriots were totally outmatched in their Sunday Night Football matchup against the Buccaneers and some dude named Tom Brady (I think he may have used to play in Foxborough but I might have to double-check that).

However, it came right down to the wire, and a go-ahead 56-yard field goal attempt from Nick Folk bounced (or doinked) off the upright. The Bucs eventually won 19-17.

Pats rookie quarterback Mac Jones was great in the loss, throwing for 275 yards and a pair of scores on 31-of-40 passing.

19. New Orleans Saints ( ↓ 5 )

The Saints drop five spots following their overtime loss to the previously winless Giants. The defense couldn’t overpower a weak Big Blue offensive line and inconsistent offensive unit coordinated by Jason Garrett.

New Orleans is now 2-2 on the year.

18. San Francisco 49ers ( → )

The 49ers lost their second consecutive game and are now 2-2, but they remain at No. 18 given the talent of their Week 4 opponent (the Seahawks).

Plus, it was only a one-score game against a Seattle team that employed the superior quarterback in this matchup. San Francisco ultimately lost 28-21.

17. Denver Broncos ( ↓ 1 )

Are the Broncos slowly but surely falling back down to earth?

I won’t completely knock them after one loss, especially since they started 3-0. But you have to take their competition into consideration — their three wins were over the Giants, Jaguars, and Jets, while the one loss was to a talented Ravens team.

And now, Teddy Bridgewater exited the Week 4 loss to Baltimore early and is in the concussion protocol.

With all that said, Denver descends to the No. 17 spot.

16. Tennessee Titans ( ↓ 3 )

The Titans drop to No. 16 following a brutal overtime loss to a once-winless Jets team. Tennessee’s defense allowed rookie quarterback Zach Wilson to have the best game of his NFL career thus far while the offense was just 5-for-19 on third down.

15. Minnesota Vikings ( ↑ 4 )

Yes, another team that climbs up the rankings despite losing in Week 4.

Minnesota isn’t all that horrible. The Vikings are currently 1-3 but have lost by one possession in all three of their defeats. Not to mention, the teams they’ve lost to — Cincinnati, Arizona, and Cleveland — have a combined record of 10-2.

The Vikings also beat the talented Seahawks just last week.

I wouldn’t sleep on Minnesota just yet — when the team rights the wrongs, it should be just fine.

14. Cincinnati Bengals ( ↑ 6 )

The Bengals skyrocket to No. 14 but I won’t put them any higher — two of their three wins have only been by three points. This isn’t a bad team by any measure and I truly believe Joe Burrow is a franchise quarterback when healthy, but Cincy shouldn’t be beating Jacksonville by just a field goal.

The Bengals will surely be tested this Sunday when they face the Packers at home.

13. Carolina Panthers ( ↑ 2 )

Another previously unbeaten team comes up short in Week 4.

The Panthers recorded their inaugural loss of the new season against the Cowboys and their defense failed to step up against a Dak Prescott-led offense.

Carolina allowed just 30 points combined through the first three weeks but let up 36 when facing Dallas.

The Panthers move up a few spots, however, to make room for other teams that descend the rankings.

12.  Las Vegas Raiders ( ↓ 1 )

The Raiders nearly pulled off an impressive comeback against the Chargers on Monday night. They were once down 21-0 but eventually found themselves with the ball down seven.

However, they couldn’t finish out the victory against their division rival — their first loss of the year leads to them dropping to No. 12.

11. Seattle Seahawks ( ↑ 1 )

Are the Seahawks back?

After two consecutive losses (against the Titans and Vikings), the Seahawks pulled off a must-win over the 49ers on Sunday. Russell Wilson recorded three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) in the victory.

10.  Cleveland Browns ( ↓ 2 )

I didn’t want to lower the Browns’ ranking after they won in Week 4, but there are only so many spots on the power rankings I can fill.

But since they’re 3-1 in a tough division, I’ll keep them in the top 10.

Cleveland is coming off a 14-7 win over Minnesota in which Nick Chubb rushed for 100 yards on 21 carries.

9.  Los Angeles Chargers ( ↑ 1 )

The Chargers further ascend the power rankings following a huge Monday Night Football win over the previously unbeaten Raiders.

Los Angeles has potentially solidified itself as the team to beat in the AFC West. It has now defeated Kansas City and Las Vegas in back-to-back weeks.

8. Dallas Cowboys ( ↑ 1 )

As long as Dallas keeps winning, we’ll keep improving its ranking.

On Sunday, the Cowboys notched an impressive victory over a Carolina team that was previously unbeaten. Dak Prescott and America’s Team put up 36 points in the victory and further proved the Cowboys offense isn’t any unit to sleep on.

7. Baltimore Ravens ( → )

The Ravens ended the Broncos’ short-lived bid for an undefeated season by defeating them 23-7 Sunday afternoon.

However, we keep Baltimore right at No. 7.

It wasn’t an entirely impressive victory given Teddy Bridgewater had to leave the game due to a concussion.

6. Green Bay Packers ( → )

Green Bay extended its win streak to three with a victory over Pittsburgh.

This won’t improve the Packers’ ranking though — the Steelers are not a talented football team right now and employ an aging quarterback. Green Bay did what many expected it to do in Week 4.

5. Kansas City Chiefs ( → )

Although Kansas City defeated the Eagles in Week 4, it remains at No. 5 due to some recent losses and the fact it’s not playing to the same level as the upcoming teams on this list…

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ( ↓ 2 )

Following a loss in Week 3 and a below-average performance against an inferior New England team on Sunday, the Tom Brady-led Buccaneers drop to the No. 4 spot after they were atop the rankings to commence the season.

Despite winning this past Sunday, the Bucs may need to put together a few get-back games against Miami, Philadelphia, and Chicago in the coming weeks in order to boost their confidence.

3. Los Angeles Rams ( ↓ 2 )

The Rams were atop the power rankings following their Week 3 win over Tampa Bay.

But one loss has changed that.

Los Angeles dropped its Week 4 game to the division-rival Cardinals. We thus lowered LA’s current ranking in order to make room for the upcoming Week 4 winners…

2. Arizona Cardinals ( ↑ 2 )

We meant what we wrote in this title — the Arizona Cardinals made an absolute statement in its battle between two undefeated teams on Sunday.

The Cardinals outplayed what many would argue was a superior Rams team and exited SoFi Stadium with a 37-20 victory. Arizona is now the lone unbeaten team in the NFC and Kyler Murray remains a legitimate MVP candidate.

The third-year quarterback threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns on 24-of-32 passing while rushing for 39 yards on six carries.

1. Buffalo Bills ( ↑ 2 )

The Bills continue to dominate and have outscored their opponents 118-21 over their last three games. The most recent win came in a 40-0 blowout over Houston.

They’re now 3-1 and arguably the team to beat in the AFC. And taking into consideration the Rams’ Week 4 loss and the Buccaneers’ struggles against the inferior Patriots, we reward Buffalo with the top spot in our latest power rankings.

Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY

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