Oct. 11, 2016
Week 6 2016 NFL Power Rankings
For the first time in three weeks, I break down my Week 6 NFL Power Rankings. To no one's surprise, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are in my top-5. Also, we have a new No. 1 after the Denver Broncos lost to the Atlanta Falcons.
10. Oakland Raiders: Another week, another close contest for the Raiders. Sure, Oakland is off to their best start since 2002, and are in first place in the AFC West thanks to the Denver Broncos losing. Currently, Oakland is on a three-game winning streak since that Week 2 loss to the Falcons. Since I'm more of the offensive guru, Derek Carr was sacked three times and got a pick, but Carr threw for 317 yards. Oakland hosts the Kansas City Chiefs, who will come off a bye, but Kansas City has won the last three games in the series.
9. Philadelphia Eagles: They finish their season with two home games against NFC East rivals the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. The downside for the Eagles this week was committing 14 penalties and Ryan Mathews fumbling late in the 4th quarter to secure a Lions victory. In Week 7, they have their first NFC East rival game against the Washington Redskins, which is an important game for the NFC East. Washington may have defeated Baltimore 16-10, but Kirk Cousins was picked off twice in the game. Philly's defense may want to do the same thing.
8. Dallas Cowboys: Dallas sits in first place in the NFC East thanks to Philly having the bye week. They still have to play Philly twice and another set of games against the New York Giants and Washington Redskins. But the biggest surprise for the Cowboys is Dak Prescott, and now we have a QB controversy in Dallas. Jerry Jones is lobbying for Tony Romo to start, but the Dallas fanbase simply wants Prescott as the No. 1 guy. Meanwhile, Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 134 yards with 2 TDs. The only question mark I have is Dez Bryant's health, but at least Dallas is winning. The Cowboys travel to Lambeau Field to square off against the Packers. Elliott will have a tough test, as the Packers boost the second best run defense in the NFL, and their offense will be too much to handle on the defense.
7. Seattle Seahawks: The NFC West is now a competitive division, and this year it's no different. Los Angeles has made things fun, and the Cardinals are threatening to take that top spot. Watch out for this division in the weeks and months, which will give us plenty of Shakespearean drama.
6. Denver Broncos Their nine-game unbeaten run has ended with their first loss of the season and the Raiders taking first place in the AFC West. Not to mention the 2-2 Kansas City Chiefs. It will be a fun and exciting week in the AFC West due to those division rival games. The Broncos get a short rest week, as they face the San Diego Chargers this Thursday night. Series history indicates that the Broncos have won the last five meetings and have a 9-1 record in the last ten games.
5. Atlanta Falcons: Thanks to the fall of the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta has a three-game lead over the defending NFC Champions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the New Orleans Saints. The Falcons sure don't want to collapse like they did last season losing 9 out of the last 13 games. Dan Quinn's mission is for the Falcons to stay focused and play solid football. Why are the Falcons in the top-5 of these rankings? Matt Ryan dominated the best defense in the NFL. Ryan ended his day throwing for 267 yards and a TD. But the Falcons face a tough challenge playing in one of the most difficult stadiums in the NFL at CenturyLink Field against the Seattle Seahawks.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers find themselves atop of the AFC North. They have a one-game lead over the Baltimore Ravens. If the team continues their work in progress on defense, they will be a playoff team. QB Ben Roethlisberger continues his hot start as he threw a number of TDs to Sammie Coates, and Jesse James. Roethlisberger finished his day throwing for 380 yards and four TDs. Since that loss to the Eagles, Pittsburgh has outscored their competition with a scoreline of 74-27. This weekend, the Steelers go on the road to face the 1-4 Miami Dolphins.
3. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers likes to use his "R-E-L-A-X" quote to shut up his haters, and he is exactly doing that after defeating the New York Giants. While the Minnesota Vikings are the kings of the NFC North, Green Bay will continue to compete with them until Week 17.
2. New England Patriots: We all know that the Patriots will be making their eighth straight appearance in the postseason. With Tom Brady under center and the defense playing solid football, the Patriots will continue to be this dangerous team heading into January. Speaking of Brady, Brady threw for 406 yards with three TDS with Martellus Bennett having a big day at the office.The Patriots finished with 501 total yards, 9-of-17 on third downs and controlled the football for almost 35 minutes. This weekend will be the Brady homecoming against the 2-3 Cincinnati Bengals. For a little series history, the Bengals haven't won a game in Foxborough since 1986.
1. Minnesota Vikings: The last team to be undefeated in the NFL needs to be taken seriously. When the season started, nobody had Minnesota going into the postseason after Teddy Bridgewater went down with his injury, and now they're No. 1 in these power rankings because of their defense. That win against the Packers a few weeks ago upped their stock in the NFL. It all started by trading for Sam Bradford, which came with a risk, but he has kept the Vikings in games as well as their defense. Bradford has thrown for a touchdown in his last four games with no picks. That is tied for the second-longest streak in Vikings history, and he is behind Randall Cunningham. Another reason why they're No. 1? They got a running back by committee with Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon with Adrian Peterson out because of injury.