Oct. 15, 2019
NFL Composite Power Rankings: Week 5
Moving day has arrived in the power rankings, as the top is beginning to lose its fluidity while the bottom is settling into a group of 8 or 9 teams that win struggle to get momentum to break out of that morass. Those in the middle can still control their destiny, but will need to overcome a critical flaw to make 2019 more than another nondescript campaign.
The Gridiron Eye takes 5 nationally recognized power rankings (Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk; Dan Hanizus, NFL Media; Nate Davis, USA Today; Pete Prisco, CBS Sports; NFL Nation staff, ESPN) and bases a power ranking on the average of those polls. Also noted will be a spread between the highest and lowest ranking each team receives to show consensus, with narrow spreads to denote agreement and wide spreads to show disagreement. A second integer in parentheses will note change from last week's composite ranking.
1. New England Patriots (-) (1.0 average, 0 spread) The only surprise was the Pats trailed Washington at one point in time, but that was corrected convincingly shortly thereafter. One would be concerned about them fattening up on cupcakes, but the fact the Patriots don't is what makes them the Patriots.
2. New Orleans Saints (+1) (2.2 average, 1 spread) Put Sean Payton as a Coach of the Year candidate. He has used Teddy Bridgewater, a quarterback with a different skill set than the injured Drew Brees, and still getting top line production.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (-1) (4.0 average, 3 spread) The Lions and Colts have figured out how to slow down KC on offense. Now, head coach Andy Reid and QB Patrick Mahomes will need to develop a response to maintain their standing in the AFC.
4. Green Bay Packers (+1) (4.6 average, 1 spread) The Pack took the Cowboys to the woodshed in Dallas, but gave the 'Boys hope as they trimmed the deficit from 28 to 10. If Titletown wants to live up to that moniker, they need to close out games.
5. San Francisco 49ers (+1) (4.8 average, 4 spread) The 49ers stomped a mudhole in the Browns en route in going 4-0. Next up are the Rams in Los Angeles, as the Niners look to gain legitimacy and a measure of revenge by a divisional rival who shredded them in both games last year.
6. Seattle Seahawks (+3) (6.0 average, 7 spread) Right behind the 49ers are the Seahawks, who beat the Rams on Thursday Night. Russell Wilson is rightfully garnering MVP consideration as Seattle remains a player in the NFC top tier.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (+3) (8.2 average, 5 spread) While beating a beat up Jets squad does not exactly earn much respect, getting a little win streak going while getting back in the NFC East lead is something.
8. Buffalo Bills (+3) (8.6 average, 3 spread) The Bills won a tough road battle over the Titans in Nashville. Buffalo could be sneaky good while taking advantage of a top heavy AFC.
9. Dallas Cowboys (-5) (9.4 average, 5 spread) Another week, another quality opponent, another loss. With the Jets next up, the questions about Dallas gorging on cupcakes won't go away anytime real soon.
10. Los Angeles Rams (-3) (9.6 average, 8 spread) The Rams have lost consecutive games for the first time under head coach Sean McVay. Panic alarms will sound if they dump their third straight with the undefeated San Francisco 49ers coming to town.
11. Detroit Lions (+1) (12.2 average, 12 spread) The Lions enjoyed their bye week by sliding up to second in the NFC North thanks to the loss by the Bears. Detroit can re-take the division lead by defeating the Green Bay Packers at legendary Lambeau on Monday Night.
12. Chicago Bears (-4) (12.6 average, 5 spread) The Bears lost in London versus the Raiders. And Chicago will be very beatable as long as their offense suffers from anemia.
13. Baltimore Ravens (+1) (13.0 average, 7 spread) The Ravens defeated long time rival Pittsburgh to overtake the AFC North lead. It would be more impressive if that division wasn't so bad.
14. Minnesota Vikings (+2) (14.2 average, 9 spread) The Giants was just the tonic for a Vikings team who blew a gasket a week prior. We'll see if the fuzzy feels stick around after playing the Eagles.
15. Indianapolis Colts (+7) (14.4 average, 5 spread) Defeating the Chiefs should put the rest of the league on notice that the Colts are for real. Indy could not have entered their bye week on a higher note.
16. Carolina Panthers (+1) (14.8 average, 5 spread) The Panthers are finding their way with Kyle Allen under center and Christian McCaffrey playing at an MVP level. Can they challenge the Saints in the NFC South?
17. Houston Texans (+1) (15.8 average, 7 spread) The Texans hung a 50 burger on the Falcons. They may be more talented than the Colts, but can they play like Indy to gain supremacy in the AFC South?
18. Oakland Raiders (+5) (17.1 average, 8 spread) The Raiders have beat the Colts in Indianapolis and the Bears in London. The second year under Jon Gruden have made strides, and should be interesting to see how far this goes.
19. Los Angeles Chargers (-6) (18.8 average, 3 spread) Welp, injuries and iffy play buried the Bolts in handing the Broncos their first win of 2019. The Chargers have the talent to bounce back, but the execution needs to clean up.
20. Cleveland Browns (-5) (20.2 average, 5 spread) After getting wrecked by the 49ers on Monday Night, the shine has worn off the Browns. Cleveland has played a brutal schedule, but they were purportedly built to face this type of competition, too.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars (-1) (21.2 average, 3 spread) For the first time this year, rookie sensation QB Gardner Minshew did not deliver victory out of the jaws of defeat. But he has been the reason they've been in every game he's started for the Jags.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) (21.2 average, 10 spread) The Bucs respond to their excellent game against the Rams by looking punchless against the Saints. And that is why they are not ready to contend for the NFC South title.
23. Tennessee Titans (-2) (22.0 average, 4 spread) The Titans lost to a Buffalo Bills team that's on the rise. Music City fans are left wondering when their Titans will break their cycle of mediocrity.
24. New York Giants (-) (23.6 average, 3 spread) The Giants, specifically rookie QB Daniel Jones, ran into a determined Minnesota Vikings squad looking to get right at their expense. Such are the problems with a rebuilding franchise.
25. Denver Broncos (+2) (25.6 average, 2 spread) The Broncos picked up their first win of the season over the Chargers, but Denver's woes are far from over.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers (-1) (25.8 average, 3 spread) The Steelers lost their fourth game and second quarterback of the year at the hands of Baltimore. This year is starting to careen out of control for the Steel City Stalwarts.
27. Atlanta Falcons (-1) (26.6 average, 3 spread) The Falcons put up 32 points and still got beat by 21. Hard to believe this was a conference champion three years ago.
28. Arizona Cardinals (+1) (27.8 average, 1 spread) The Cards won their first game this year in Cincinnati. The wins will be few and far between, but the experience will help the team in the long run.
29. Cincinnati Bengals (-1) (29.2 average, 1 spread) The defense is dreadfully porous while the offense cannot get on track. Will Mike Brown blow up the roster, or will he exalt in the savings?
30. New York Jets (-) (30.0 average, 2 spread) The Jets may be horrible, but they have the mitigating factor of injuries to explain some of their struggles. And Sam Darnold is coming back, and not a moment too soon.
31. Washington Redskins (-) (31.0 average, 2 spread) This raging dumpster fire opted to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic by firing head coach Jay Gruden. Pity the poor bastard who takes this job.
32. Miami Dolphins (-) (31.8 average, 1 spread) Good news, Dolphins fans: Miami stands a chance of winning a game. They play the Redskins this coming Sunday.