2014 NFL Power Rankings - Week 5
Here are my Week 5 NFL power rankings:
1. Cincinnati Bengals - Record: 3-0, Last Update: No. 1
Not only were the Bengals on bye in Week 4, but so were the top four teams in our Week 5 NFL power rankings. While it may have little to do with their on-field success so far this season as one of two remaining unbeaten teams, one of the best stories in the NFL this season has been the support given to Devon Still as his daughter Leah battles cancer. There was some positive news over the bye week as she had a successful surgery.
2. Seattle Seahawks - Record: 2-1, Last Update: No. 2
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3. Denver Broncos - Record: 2-1, Last Update: No. 3
Although Julius Thomas (five) and Demaryius Thomas (one) have a combined six touchdowns to none for Emmanuel Sanders, Sanders has more yards (334) than both combined (301) and he leads the team in catches (25) by a lot — JT is second with 14. Through three games, Montee Ball has rushed for only 165 yards and 3.4 yards per carry and his next three matchups all have stout run defenses — Cardinals, Jets and 49ers, all of whom rank in the top four in the league in rushing defense.
4. Arizona Cardinals - Record: 3-0, Last Update: No. 5
In his stint as the Temple head coach in the 1980's, things did not go well for Bruce Arians. As an NFL head coach, however, he won the AP NFL Coach of the Year award with a 9-3 record as interim head coach during Chuck Pagano's absence. In 19 games as head coach in Arizona, Arians has a 13-6 record (.684) and now has a combined record above 70 percent (22-9, .710).
5. San Diego Chargers - Record: 3-1, Last Update: No. 7
The Chargers have a history starting slow and finishing strong — examples: 5-5 start in 2007 but won their final six games, started 4-8 in 2008 but won their final four games, etc. In Mike McCoy's first year as head coach in 2013, the Bolts started 4-6 (and won five of its final six games) but this year's version is off to a 3-1 start with its only loss being a one-point road loss to the unbeaten Cardinals.
6. Philadelphia Eagles - Record: 3-1, Last Update: No. 4
After three straight 300-yard games, Nick Foles completed less than half of his pass attempts (21 of 43) for just 195 yards. What's most surprising, however, is that LeSean McCoy has only 192 rushing yards — and 2.7 yards per carry — on 70 rush attempts through four games.
7. Indianapolis Colts - Record: 2-2, Last Update: No. 10
Not only does he lead the league in pass attempts (167), but third-year quarterback Andrew Luck leads the NFL in passing yards (1,305) and passing touchowns (13) and four of those touchdowns have been to Ahmad Bradshaw, who has scored in three consecutive games. Luck is on pace to throw for 5,220 yards and 52 scores.
8. Detroit Lions - Record: 3-1, Last Update: No. 14
Through one-quarter of the season, the Lions rank first in the NFL in total defense (267.3 yards allowed per game). The last time the Lions finished a season inside the top 10 in total defense was 1993 (sixth). In fact, they have finished in the top half of the league in total defense only five times from 1994 to 2013.
9. Baltimore Ravens - Record: 3-1, Last Update: No. 15
Through four weeks, only Green Bay's Jordy Nelson (459) and Atlanta's Julio Jones (447) have more receiving yards than Steve Smith Sr. (429). Facing his former team on Sunday, Smith finished with a line of 7/139/2 and now has three 100-yard games this season.
10. Green Bay Packers - Record: 2-2, Last Update: No. 12
He told the fans to "R-E-L-A-X," and now they probably will as Aaron Rodgers carved up the Bears secondary for 22-of-28 passing for 302 yards and four touchdowns. The Packers will host the Vikings on Thursday Night Football with a shot to put together back-to-back impressive offensive showings for the first time this year.
11. San Francisco 49ers - Record: 2-2, Last Update: No. 11
After scoring only three points in the second half over three games, the 49ers managed to score 13 second-half points in their come-from-behind win over the Eagles. Meanwhile, Frank Gore had more yards from scrimmage (174) on Sunday than he had in the first three games combined (151).
12. New England Patriots - Record: 2-2, Last Update: No. 6
Embarrassed on Monday Night Football, the Patriots were beat down 41-14 and the game didn't seem that close. It was the second largest loss in Bill Belichick's tenure as Patriots coach. Through four games, Tom Brady has only 791 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
13. Houston Texans - Record: 3-1, Last Update: No. 16
The good news is that the Texans have already won more games this year than they have all of last year as they set themselves up for a showdown between two 3-1 Texas teams at Jerry's World. There's no better do-it-all talent on defense than J.J. Watt, who had an impressive 80-yard pick-six on a screen in Week 4.
14. Dallas Cowboys - Record: 3-1, Last Update: No. 19
For the majority of the game, the Cowboys defense stifled the high-powered Saints offense on Sunday Night Football although Drew Brees & Co. have typically struggled on the road compared to their home success. (That said, Brees had thrown for 838 yards, seven TDs and no INTs in his previous two games against Dallas.) While the Cowboys defense is still far from a strength, their ball-control ground game led by DeMarco Murray takes the pressure off the defense.
15. Atlanta Falcons - Record: 2-2, Last Update: No. 9
The story is the same for the Falcons — strong at home and not so much on the road. The Falcons are now 2-0 at home and 0-2 on the road as they allowed the Vikings to score 41 points on them in Teddy Bridgewater's starting debut. In addition, Matt Ryan now has five interceptions in two road games this year with none at home. The bad news for the Falcons is that four of their next six games are on the road and one of those two "home" games is in London.
16. Chicago Bears - Record: 2-2, Last Update: No. 8
In four games, the Bears have won two and lost two. Coincidentally (or not-so-coincidentally), Jay Cutler has thrown no interceptions in their two wins and multiple interceptions in their two losses.
-> Continue to Teams 17-32
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