Gridiron Gentlemen Power Rankings: Week 5
Week 4 was sculpted on the form of kickers, for both better and worse. That being said we did see a few teams true colours as it becomes obvious who’s pretty bad and who could be going 0-16 this year.
Let’s get into it.
32) Houston Texans: It’s a 2 way race for “dumpster fire of the week between this team and the Dolphins, in the end the team with huge QB issues wins out. It feels as though this team has already given up.
31) Miami Dolphins: The other complete mess in the league. Zero discipline has meant that a team with definite talent is struggling to get results. Some of the stories that have come out this week have been comical, but this is a team that has been long overdue an ethos change.
30) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: There were moments where this team looked like they were on the verge of turning a corner, but then this week happened and we realised they are running on the spot. Winston’s learning curve will take time, but I get the feeling when it eventually does happen, he’ll probably be pretty good.
29) Chicago Bears: So they got a win and showed some fight! That earned them a slight rise in the rankings. That and several teams earned a demotion. This team is a lot better with Jay Cutler and Pernell McPhee leading the defence.
28) San Francisco 49ers: With an average defence, this team drops to the bottom 2. The offence simply can’t move the ball and benching Kaepernick might be an option, even if it’s temporary… Yes I know Gabbert’s the backup.
27) Detroit Lions: I feel bad for the Lions. They are once again the only team without a win and really they’re not that bad. I have huge issues with the offence however. The line is terrible, Stafford seems to have forgotten that Golden Tate exists and it feels like they need a change at running back. The defence has been pretty good but the offence is going in circles.
26) Jacksonville Jaguars: this is a better team than last year, I have zero doubts about that however, not being able to close out the Colts is a giant red flag. This team still has a way to go and I’d imagine Gus Bradley doesn’t have that kind of time.
25) Cleveland Browns: The defence, despite adding depth looks about the same as last year, which is a huge issue in a division with the Steelers and Bengals. The Browns have talent, that they just seem to not know how to use.
24) Philadelphia Eagles: The league seems to have the Eagles number. Stop the run. Force the deep Pass. Control time of possession. Beat them when their offence wears down. The Eagles could have got the right personnel for an outdated system. Time moves fast in the NFL.
23) New Orleans Saints: They can stay this high, if they promise me we’ll see THAT Drew Brees again, otherwise they move right back down. I’m still not convinced about them, but they have shown some signs of life.
22) Tennessee Titans: A bye week. This team has shown some sparks, but on occasions slip into their old Titans-y ways. I do expect Mariota to be a rousing success in Tennessee though.
21) Baltimore Ravens: This team’s lack of weapons have kept them out of the top half despite a decent win against the Steelers. Now no Smith and no Campanaro. Yet no doubt Flacco will get the blame…
20) Oakland Raiders: It was a short trip to the top half for Oakland, but a loss to a poor Bears team and an inability to cover any tight ends, in any way has me moving them down.
19) St Louis Rams: This team is tough to get a read on. All I know is Gurley looks like the real deal and that if you can take the game off Foles’ back, he’s just good enough to move the ball. Oh and this defence is very, very good.
18) Washington: St Louis, Washington and Buffalo, all do well if they’re allowed to stick to their game plans. If not then Taylor, Foles and Cousins all collapse. These teams are all good when ahead, but struggle to get back in front if they go behind.
17) Buffalo Bills: I heard a great description on the Ross Tucker Football Podcast, that this team is great against the weaker game planners, but struggles against the smarter football guys. I think that describes it perfectly.
16) Dallas Cowboys: Somehow they’re still relevant, despite missing 5/6 key starters, they’re still relevant
15) Indianapolis Colts: They’ve moved up the list, but this is still a bad team, that will eventually make the playoffs beating up on the bad teams in the AFC South. I do have faith that Andrew Luck will turn the corner and become the player he has shown us he can be.
14) Pittsburgh Steelers: I think this team can win games with Mike Vick, but it might take a bit of time for the offence to all get on the same page. The defence is much better than expected.
13) New York Giants: Speaking of much better than expected, the Giants seem to have hit some form. Despite OBJ being a it of a plonker this week, the Giants masterfully game-planned their way through an embarrassment of the Bills. It’s worth noting that this team has won Super bowls when they’ve been able to get pressure just rushing 4.
12) San Diego Chargers: Probably still a little high on a team that has really struggled with injuries, but Rivers is quietly having a pretty great season. On their day this team can hang with the best.
11) Kansas City Chiefs: poor Chiefs! They’ve had a rough start to the season so far, facing 3, 3-0 teams in a row. There are a few fundamental concerns with this team, particularly in the redzone, but there is definitely still enough talent here to mount a playoff push.
10) New York Jets: The defence are set up to perfectly counteract no huddle offences. The offence has talent in it’s weapons with Ivory, Marshall and Decker all looking in pro bowl form. This team could be pushing for a wild card spot.
9) Minnesota Vikings:If this team doesn’t improve its offensive line in the off-season, i’ll scream. The line is one of very few problems for this team and will no doubt hold this team back this year. The Vikings look great, but they might still be another season away from playoff success.
8) Carolina Panthers: They’re now an ugly 4-0, but 4-0 none the less. The Panthers took 14 weeks too get to 4-0 last year. This team is lacking in weapons but it doesn’t seem to matter, they just seem to find was to win.
7) Seattle Seahawks: This team might still be this high simply on reputation. Their offensive line is a liability for both Wilson and a not entirely fit Marshawn Lynch. The defence however is hitting similar form to the last couple of seasons, with maybe an even better pass rush.
6) Denver Broncos: Manning is playing what is no doubt his last year and might require the leagues best defence to get him through the play offs. Manning’s carried teams nearly his whole career, now it’s time for a team to carry him.
5) Arizona Cardinals: They lost a close game that on any other day they’d probably win. Despite the loss though they still have a league high +75 points differential. I have zero doubts that this team will bounce back from a bad loss.
4) Atlanta Falcons: Number 1 of my ‘favourite teams’ list. They seem to have talent everywhere. The offence has been bolstered by the emergence of Devonta Freeman as a true number one running back. It’s the defence though that has a staggering transformation. Last year they lacked any real depth, this year they have 2nd and 3rd string players coming on and making big players. This team are the most fun unit to watch in the league.
3) Cincinnati Bengals: With every victory I forget more and more about their ‘little playoff performance’ issues. Dalton is currently leading the league in YPA, whilst having 2 running backs that could both have over 1100 yards this season. The offensive line has allowed just 1 sack and the defence has exceptional depth at every position. There is no reason that if they can keep up this current level of performance, that they’ll not be in the AFC Championship… There I said it.
2) New England Patriots: Bye week for the Pats, but really there’s no team that can knock them off the number 2 spot right now. This team look like they’re in 2007 form.
1) Green Bay Packers: This week wasn’t a flashy performance, but it was good to see the defence take control, showing they are definitely not a one player team. That being said, that 1 player is still playing excellently.
No changes at number 1 this week. Maybe a rough game against the Rams might finally topple this unreal looking side. It seems unlikely though.