TLY 1st Quarter (Week 5) Power Rankings 32. TITANS 0-4 It's really hard to win when your starting QB has a rating of 57.8. That's exactly what Jake Locker has accomplished thus far. TE Jared Cook is having a nice year and CJ2k got hurt, but there isn't much excitement on offense. As for the defense...well, lets see: last in Pass/Rush yards allowed, and only 3 TOs through 4 games? The bright spots are Derrick Morgan/Kam Wimbley (7 sacks combined) but this is a young team that isn't ready yet. It's hard to not see this team finish with a top 3 pick. 31. REDSKINS 0-4 The Skins have the worst passing attack in the league. Combine that with a 33% 3rd Down percentage and a below-average defense and that immediately spells trouble. RG3 simply hasn't been a factor on offense, averaging 192 total ypg (172 passing - only 3 TDs); he's also been sacked a league leading 21 times. Year 1 of the RG3 era is in the books. 30. CARDINALS 1-3 The Cards probably have the worst rushing attack in the NFL, averaging only 2.5 yards a carry (good for last and a lot of punting). They're middle-of-the-pack defensively, but have the 2nd-best redzone defense at 61%. The Cards could turn it around if they can fix the running game and cut down on TOs. 29. FALCONS 0-4 Michael Turner is on pace for 1200+ yards & 16 TDs. The 3-headed WR monster in Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Chad Johnson are all on pace for 1000 yard seasons. How could this team be 0-4 after the 1st quarter? Turnovers. Though the defense has been Charmin-soft (1 FF, only 5 sacks) and hasn't produced TOs, Matt Ryan's 14 INTs are killing them. With both NO and TB undefeated thus far, the Falcons look done. 28. BEARS 1-3 After the Week 1 thrashing (and Coach Smith's brief retirement and return), the Bears defense has improved, notably the rush defense. The Bears are OK passing the ball, but Matt Forte has to step up immediately, as the run game has been below Chicago standards. The NFC North looks weaker than expected, so the opportunity is there to turn it around; this team could easily be 3-1 with 3 point losses to the Pack and 'Boys. Execution going forward is key. 27. BROWNS 1-3 Combine one of the worst offenses in the NFL with one of the BEST defenses, and you get the Browns. Seriously, they currently have the best defense in the AFC North, and #3 in the AFC period. Their main problem on D is forcing turnovers: 16 giveaways versus 8 takeaways won't do. If coach Illmatic can find a #1 WR, and figure out the mess at QB, a turnaround is possible. 26. JETS 1-3 The Jets have an average defense so far, but the offense simply hasn't gotten it done. The Sanchize has thrown 12 INTs to only 5 TDs. While Santonio Holmes is on pace for a great year, the rest of the cast has been a non-factor. The TEBOW chants can be heard across the nation...is it time to "UNLEASH!"?? 25. BILLS 1-3 Buffalo isn't a bad team - they have a really good rushing attack and a decent passing attack, and the defense is average. Their problem is, really, they just don't have the talent to consistently matchup. TE Chandler is having a big year though, as is Fred Jackson. 24. RAVENS 1-3 Despite a 1-3 record, the Ravens are one of the better teams in the league. Good passing attack and a top 10 defense, and Ray Rice has stepped up lately running the ball. The Ravens could easily be 3-1 if they pull out the close losses to NE and PHI. Getting Ray Rice more involved in the passing game is key for Baltimore. 23. PANTHERS 1-3 The defense is the main problem for the Panthers. They aren't getting any sacks and teams generally overpower them. Clearly, the offensive side is WAY more talented than the defensive side. The talent is there for a win streak, as I expect TB to fall, but .500 looks likely. 22. SEAHAWKS 2-2 Seattle's offense is bad, it's that simple. The defense has been playing at a high level, although they need to get to the QB more. The offense has just been too conservative thus far. Either Matt Flynn needs to show something, or M. Lynch needs to breakout. 21. DOLPHINS 2-2 The Dolphins have one of the best offenses thus far, which is amazing considering they have a rookie starting. However, Ryan Tannehill has thrown 18 INTs, which has killed them. Reggie Bush already has nearly 700 rushing yards to go with 7 TDs, but given the below average defense, if Tannehill doesn't gain control, the Dolphins could drop quickly... 20. RAMS 2-2 The Rams have the best defense in the league so far, only giving up 262.5 yards a game. DE Chris Long has 9 of the Rams' 18 sacks, and have forced a decent amount of TOs while minimizing their own. The Rams just need to open the offense up more. Steven Jackson only has 1 TD, and while Sam Bradford has a 99.9 rating, the leading receiver has only 11 catches. 19. CHEESEHEADS 1-3 Simply put, the Packers are much better than their 1-3 record indicates. On one hand, Aaron Rodgers is the QB of the 3rd ranked passing offense. On the other hand, he's thrown 17 INTs thus far. The defense has also been outstanding, though they don't force a lot of turnovers. Once Clay Matthews returns, this could be a tough team to deal with, but GB has to cut down on INTs. 18. COWBOYS 2-2 Offensively, the Cowboys must improve the rushing game. Romo is performing so far, but DeMarco Murray has been more Benson-esque thus far (he is contributing in th passing game though). The Cowboys also have a top 5 defense, but only 3 TOs to show for it. The talent is here as usual for a playoff run. But that's been said for a long time now...can they utilize it? 17. GIANTS 2-2 While the Giants have arguable the worst passing attack in the NFL for whatever reason, the run game and defense is playoff-ready. If Coach Gilmore opens up the playbook more for Eli Manning (he's ELIte, isn't he?) this team could already be playoff-ready. 16. VIKINGS 2-2 The Vikings have a top-10 rushing attack, let by Adrian Peterson. He looks to be back in top form and should continue to dominate. They've managed to beat the strong Lions, and only lost to the 49ers and Jags by a combined 10 points. The Vikings could be a team that flies under the radar for the rest of the season if they can hold off the Bears and Pack... 15. EAGLES 3-1 The Eagles have a really good offense, led by Shady McCoy. Mike Vick has an 89 QBR, but could still cut down on INTs a bit. The rushing attack is top-10 in the league. Really, the Eagles need to force more turnovers and they'll be a legit contender. 14. BENGALS 3-1 While the offense is average, the defense is legit. 3rd in the NFL in sacks and a +3 give/take, the Bengals are playing at a high level on defense. The offense is average though. Dalton has an 81.1 rating, but has thrown as many INTs (10) as TDs. The rushing attack is decent as well, with Bernard Scott leading the way. 13. CHIEFS 2-2 The Chiefs have the second-rated defense in the league to go with a potent rushing attack. That's a recipe for contender status. Leading rusher Jamaal Charles is gone for 5 weeks with a Broken Collarbone, but if Peyton Hillis can prove the doubters wrong, the Chiefs have the tools to win the AFC West. 12. COLTS 1-2 Indy has one of the top offenses in the NFL, though it has slowed down considerably. While Andrew Luck looks like a favorite to win Offensive ROY, there just isn't enough talent yet for the Colts to compete. Expect the Colts to fall down the rankings. 11. 49ERS 3-1 At this point, San Francisco is doing just enough to get by. They have the talent on both sides of the ball, but statistically it hasn't shown. Offensively, Kaepernick has been really good, and Randy Moss looks to be a threat again. The main issue though is defense. The 49ers give up too many yards, though they do force turnovers. Though they are 3-1, they could just as easily be coming into QT2 without a win. The defense needs to be addressed going forward. 10. BUCCANEERS 4-0 The Bucs are a surprise at 4-0. They're performing in all phases, and they are young. HB Doug Martin looks like a top ROY candidate. However, I'm not sure they have the talent to sustain. They haven't faced a top team offensively outside of the Panthers, or period - every team faced is below 16 in the power rankings (DAL being the highest at 17). It'll be interesting to see where TB finishes, but I expect them to cool off. 9. RAIDAZ 2-2 This ranking is probably a little higher than they deserve, but the Raiders are still a dangerous team. They scored 40+ points in the first 3 weeks, and Darren McFadden is looking like a beast. However, this team is weak on defense. They force turnovers, and they're decent against the run, but they flat out can't defend the pass. They still have to face 5 of the top 10 pass attacks in the NFL, the undefeated Bucs and Jags, and other talented teams - there are legitimately only 2-3 sure-wins on the schedule. A slide looks imminent if Coach Crash can't stop the pass... 8. BRONCOS 2-2 The Manning hype has this team ranked 7th. Sans the 4th-ranked passing game, they don't run the ball that well and they give up a lot of yardage. They force turnovers though, and E. Dumervil is having a good year so far. If the Broncos can tighten up their defense, they COULD win 10 games. I don't see them overtaking the Chargers in the AFC West, though. 7. CHARGERS 3-1 The Chargers are this high because of their great defense. 6th in yards allowed, 4th in sacks, and 12th in takeways - this defense is legit. The offense can improve, but it doesn't really need to for the Chargers to keep winning. They're on a roll right now, and a 10+ win season looks certain. 6. PATS 3-1 Honestly, I think the Pats are pretenders at this point. They do lead the NFL in TO difference by a wide margin, but they aren't impressive anywhere else. Brady isn't making mistakes, but the receivers, mainly the Gronk, have to step up and make more plays. The rushing game has been nonexistent for NE. Brandon Jacobs has been a failed experiment at HB, averaging only 2.4 yards a carry with only a TD; Danny Woodhead has been much better for them. 10 wins isn't out of the question, but 8 wins seems more likely. 5. JAGUARS 4-0 I'm not sure whether the Jags are contenders or pretenders at this point. MJD has been great so far, but everywhere else has been relatively average, if not just below it. They don't get to the QB much and they're negative in +/-. However, they just manage to win somehow, given they're supposed to be rebuilding. Dont be surprised if the Jags are in the middle of the pack by midseason, though. 4. LIONS 3-1 The Lions have proven to be the most potent offense thus far. With Stafford having a great year, Jahvid Best and Kevin Smith leading the NFL in YPC (8.9 and 8.4, for qualified backs), and Megatron shredding defenses, the Lions have the offense capable of making a deep playoff run. The defense is ok, but good enough. A 12-win season is possible. 3. TEXANS 3-1 This team, as constructed, could potentially win 13+ games. They're that good. Matt Schaub leads the NFL in passing, and the one-two punch of Arian Foster and Ben Tate has been great so far. Pass defense could be an issue, though, but right now the Texans look like legit contenders for the Super Bowl. 2. SAINTS 4-0 The Saints have the tools to be the top team in the NFL, but they need more time to prove it. They've put up numbers both on two of the best defenses and two of the worst. Brees and co. should go into the playoffs with a BYE, but they will be challenged going forward. This looks like the most Superbowl-ready team right now though. 1. STEELERS 3-0 Through only 3 games, the Steelers look like the top team so far. Top passing attack (YPG), #6 in rushing, top 5 defense in the AFC - this team has it all rolling right now. The only true issue is a severe lack of pressure - only 1 (yes, 1) sack so far. They also have yet to be truly tested yet, and Philly will most likely give it to them. If they can sustain this pace though, while actually getting near the QB, they could contend for a title.