Season 3 - Week 5 Power Rankings Courtesy of the power rankings committee (of 1). 1. New England Patriots (3-0) – Hasn’t missed a beat after losing Brady AND Gronk. Clearly the early SB favorite out of the AFC. 2. Minnesota Vikings (3-1) – Despite the hiccup against JAX, this team boasts by far the most dominant offensive line in the league and a super-fast defense. As long as their line is healthy, they should continue scoring 30-40 ppg regardless of who’s playing QB or RB. 3. Atlanta Falcons (4-0) – Hot start for the Falcons, and all 4 wins have come against teams who should be in the playoff hunt. 4. Indianapolis Colts (4-0) – Quietly one of only 4 remaining unbeatens. Nice win over AFC power Oakland, but otherwise has had an easy schedule. That’ll change slightly the next two weeks, with Denver & @Houston up next, but their real gauntlet begins in week 11: @SD, @DET, MIN, @JAX, HOU, GB, NE all in the span of 7 weeks. 5. Dallas Cowboys (3-1) – Quality wins against GB and PIT, and a nailbiter loss vs top NFC contender MIN. No Romo, no problem. 6. Cincinnati Bengals (3-0) – Osweiler has thrown for nearly 400 yds/game in their first 3 wins, including an improved CLE team and a red-hot Giants team. 7. New York Giants (3-1) – But for the 3-point loss to Cincy, the Giants have looked dominant. They’ve finished 3rd in the NFC East the past two seasons, but could this year mark their first division title? 8. San Diego Chargers (3-1) – Oakland was the early favorite to take the division with Denver biting at their heels and the Chiefs representing the dark horse wildcard. But it’s been the Chargers with the surprise 3-1 record, with their only loss coming just barely to undefeated ATL. 9. Oakland Raiders (2-1) – A 6-point loss to Indy is nothing to be ashamed of. OAK still has their sights set not just on a division title but on a SB, and this year’s team is stocked with more talent than the prior two seasons when they’ve made it to the AFC title game. 10. San Francisco 49ers (3-1) – Coming off a disappointing 4-12 season, the Niners have stormed out of the gates, most recently with a statement win vs divisional foe and the reigning division champ Seahawks. 11. Buffalo Bills (2-2) – First two games couldn’t have gone much worse for the Bills, but they are back on track: an astounding +75 point differential their past two weeks vs teams who have otherwise played very competitively. Could the early growing pains of a new offense and difficulties with TOs pay big dividends with a fully unleashed EJ Manuel? Given their elite defense, a Bills team with a powerful offense is downright terrifying. 12. Denver Broncos (2-2) – The world is a little less easy without Manning, but rookie QB Broussard has shown flashes. Offense sputtered in Atlanta and the defense was a sieve in New England, but both units have had 3 good games—they just need to happen at the same time. 13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) – Another happy early-season surprise, the Bucs came out with two huge statement wins over Arizona & Carolina before crashing back to Earth with a 3-score loss to the Chiefs. The next 3 weeks are brutal for TB—Falcons twice and Seahawks once. They need to steal a win to keep pace with the competitive NFC playoff race. 14. Detroit Lions (2-2) – With early key injuries to their D & O-lines, an inability by Stafford to get passes off in week 1, and the missed flight on the way to the week 3 matchup with ATL leading to a narrow loss the coaching staff had to watch on TV, the first three weeks saw pretty much everything that could go wrong go wrong for Detroit. And with @MIN up next, they are staring a 2-3 start in their brutal 5-game opening schedule right in the face. 15. Seattle Seahawks (2-2) – After a solid 2-0 start, back to back losses to possible playoff teams have this team asking questions. Improved play by Russell Wilson has helped limit their turnovers, but they need more consistency on—gulp--defense. 16. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) – Like SEA, this is a team with SB aspirations looking to take the leap with a young QB who got off to a hot start. A 2-point loss vs SB hopeful Dallas is one thing, but getting blown out by NYG surely has the coaches preparing extra hard during their week 5 bye. 17. New Orleans Saints (2-2) – Ahh, the quintessential “better than their record” team. Were it not for the rainout in Green Bay with the game nearly in the bag (and which league officials ruled was not far enough into the game to prevent a replay), this team could have been 3-1. With the Mounties & a BYE up next, they have some time to prepare for a tough stretch that sees them facing off against Denver, San Francisco, Oakland, and Tampa Bay in quick succession. 18. Cleveland Browns (2-2) – All aboard the #brownwagon! The committee (of 1) is the lone remaining member after watching them choke away a sure win in week 1 to the AFC SB contender Bengals. Week 5’s matchup with the Jets is a big one to enter their bye week with the franchise’s first winning record in the past 3 seasons. 19. Arizona Cardinals (2-2) – This is the league’s Jekyll & Hyde team. They open with a loss to the suddenly respectable Bucs, then blow out the 3-1 49ers. They crush the Mounties 52-3—and then lose to the Bills 48-3. Up next are the Falcons & Pats. Should one of these heavily-favored opponents be worried? 20. New York Jets (2-2) – Rough way to start the season with the opening loss to the Mounties, but the Jets have gone 2-1 since. This team was 10-6 last season yet just missed the playoffs. They are looking to break through this season, but with NE not missing a beat and BUF back on track, the road is uphill. 21. Houston Texans (2-2) – Great win in week 1 over the Bills, but Mallett has been an INT machine this season and the run-blocking hasn’t been what they expected. If they can shore those things up, this team has the defense to make a run. 22. Green Bay Packers (1-2) – After losing their first 2 games by a total of 7 points to two quality NFC teams, it looked like the Pack would get blown out to start 0-3. Alas, they were delivered a gift due to weather and made the most of it, getting their offense back on track—and this coming after losing star RB Eddie Lacy for a few weeks to a pectoral strain. 23. Washington Redskins (1-3) – With close or respectable losses to three strong opponents, followed by a solid win over the Iggles, this team is tough to peg. Their first 9 games are quite possibly the toughest in the entire league, but after that things clear up some. Still, we’ll find out how good the Skins really are over the next couple of weeks, and they’re going to need to topple some favored opponents over the next 5 weeks to have a shot at the playoffs. 24. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) – After a promising 2014, things were looking up in Jax. Wholesale changes on offense this past offseason gave them an entirely new look—the shocking Bortles trade in favor of discarded Jet Geno Smith, the blockbuster deal for Jamaal Charles. Four games into the new regime, management is pulling the plug. Is this wise? Despite the 1-3 record, they’ve had two solid games and two very bad ones in a brutal 5-game opening schedule (@CIN next week). 25. Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) – All signs pointed to KC rebuilding when they sent Charles packing to Jacksonville, but their deal for a still-elite HoF’er on his last legs in Tom Brady said otherwise. They’ve looked solid if unspectacular through 4 games, but this team is far from out of the playoff hunt: out of their next 7 games, they will only be the heavy underdog in 1 (week 8 vs OAK). 26. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) – Fresh off a 10-6 season and division title, the Eagles have looked inconsistent and turnover-prone. Yet they’ve shown flashes at times and have the talent to turn the season around. But they better get going: week 5 hosting the angry Cowboys still smarting off their loss to the Vikes isn’t yet a true “must-win” game, but it’s big. 27. Carolina Panthers (1-3) – But for the 28-0 road blowout in Tampa Bay, the offense has played well enough to win most weeks. But the defense has to figure out how to stop offenses from getting to 28-30+ points each week. CAR has been as lambasted with injuries as any team in the league—notably key FA acquisition Shane Vereen—but their team is slowly starting to get healthier, if they can just keep their head above water in the meantime. 28. Tennessee Titans (0-3) – Admittedly this has been a tough start for the Titans, but they’ve looked respectable in 2 of their 3 losses heading into the bye. With the Raiders, Lions, Chargers & Colts up next, the road isn’t getting any easier. They will need to steal a win from a favored opponent to prevent an 0-7 start. 29. Chicago Bears (0-4) – There have been definite growing pains after rookie QB Ernest Cole won the starting job in preseason over big FA pickup Ryan Tannehill. But a division game against the Packers would be a great time to get his first win and help damage a division rival’s season. 30. Miami Dolphins (0-4) –Their young RB Donterrius Pendleton is off to a solid start, but he’s getting no help from his QBs. Romo looks like he’s done as a quality starter. Is it time to hand the reigns over to rookie QB Brady Stead, or does management want to let him sit a year to avoid the bumps & bruises of a losing season? 31. Baltimore Ravens (0-3) – Could a rebuild be in order in Baltimore? The roster’s aging, and upcoming games against the Patriots, Bengals & Steelers don’t give much hope for a quick turnaround this year. The 2017 draft will be crucial for the Ravens. 32. Toronto Mounties (1-2) – Well, they aren’t going 0-16.