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NFL power rankings: Week 5

Each week members of The Game Haus will collaborate to determine our NFL Power Rankings. We rate teams from 1-32 and add the points received to give us our final answer.

Our voters: Zac Stone, Ben Hendricks, Joe DiTullio, Victoria Horsley, Michael Packard, Pranay Malempati, Savannah Dean, Jacob Gilbert. Manuel Finale

What a whirlwind took place in week five. First off, congratulations to Drew Brees for setting the NFL record for the most passing yards of all time with a 62-yard touchdown Monday night. Sorry Peyton, but at least he was a good sport about it.

The Rams narrowly escaped their first loss, while the Chiefs dominated the Jaguars to both remain undefeated, while the Cardinals were able to finally put one in the win column. Graham Gano helped the Giants continue their misery with a 63 yard field goal with time expiring.

The battle for pride in Texas fell to Houston in overtime, Andy Dalton and the Bengals defense scored 27 unanswered points to overcome a 17-0 deficit, and Sam Darnold and the Jets demolished a supposedly strong Broncos defense.

Just when you think the league is starting to take shape, something like week 5 happens and shakes up the entire league. Here is how our writers made sense of the crazy week.

1. Los Angeles Rams – 285 (High: 1. Low: 2. LW: 1)

The Rams had their first scare of the season in a two-point victory in Seattle. Cairos Santos missed a potential game-tying PAT to begin the fourth quarter, but later redeemed himself with a game-winning field goal with under five minutes. Even in a close game, the Rams have that feeling that they were never going to lose. Brandin Cooks suffered from a concussion, but the team is hopeful he will be back next week. Sean McVay and his crew are going to be tough to slow down this season.

– Zac Stone

2. Kansas City Chiefs – 282 (High: 1. Low: 2. LW: 2)

Kansas City fans have plenty to cheer for this season. It seems that the Chiefs’
investment in quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, is paying off phenomenally. One of only
two teams still undefeated, the Chiefs just braved its biggest test this past weekend: an
omnivorous Jacksonville Jaguars defense. Mahomes did not put great numbers in that
game. But the Chiefs found their way around and won 30-14. Now as Kansas City looks
for a win on the road against the New England Patriots this Sunday night, the shaky
Chiefs defense will have to play hungrier and sharper than ever before.

– Manuel Finale

(Photo Courtesy: USA Today)


3. New Orleans Saints – 262 (High: 3. Low: 10. LW: 4)

In an emotional game that saw Drew Brees become the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards, the Saints showed they have the offense and defense to win a Super Bowl. With Mark Ingram back, they can take some of the workload off of Alvin Kamara. Their upcoming schedule is brutal with road games against the Ravens, Vikings and Bengals and a home game against the Rams.

– Joe DiTullio

4. Cincinnati Bengals – 254 (High: 4. Low: 6. LW: 5)

The Bengals made a huge comeback against the Dolphins. They were down 14-0 at the half. Andy Dalton threw an interception and the Dolphins blocked a Randy Bullock field goal, but they weren’t going down without a fight. The Bengals rallied back and scored 24 points in the fourth quarter. This team is one to look out for, especially with RB Joe Mixon and WR A.J. Green on Dalton’s side. Cincinnati is 4-1 sitting at the top of the division. If they keep playing the way they do, they could give every other AFC North team a huge run for their money.

– Savannah Dean

5. Carolina Panthers – 242 (High: 4. Low: 11. LW: 9)

A 63-yard field goal as time expired gave the Panthers the win over the Giants. It wasn’t their best performance, but moving to 3-1 after a bye week sets them up well for a division race with the Saints. They boast the number one running game in the league at 154 yards per game, but need to get Cam Newton going through the air, as they rank 25th in the league in passing yards per game.

– Joe DiTullio

6. Jacksonville Jaguars – 232 (High: 5. Low: 11. LW: 3)

In a game that almost half of the country was watching, the Jacksonville Jaguars did little to
convert any outsiders to fans in their 30-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The offense had a
terrible day against one of the league’s worst defenses, having five turnovers by QB Blake
Bortles that resulted in 13 points, the defense gave up big play after big play, and the team was
playing from behind from the get-go. The Jags chances of winning the game were probably
when they turned the ball over on three consecutive drives to end the first half. The Jaguars
travel to Dallas to take on the 2-3 Cowboys.
– Michael Packard

7. New England Patriots – 231 (High: 3. Low: 12. LW: 10)

New England seems like they have really found a winner in running back Sony Michel. He rushed for 98 yards and a touchdown on only 18 carries. It would seem that Michel could be given even more touches in the coming weeks. After all, surely offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels would like to balance out the offense as Brady threw 44 times last week when the Patriots rushed only 20 times. New England is a contender in the AFC once again.

– Jacob Gilbert

8. Chicago Bears – 224 (High: 4. Low: 16. LW: 8)

This week the Bears had a bye week so it’s difficult to judge them much considering how crazy Week 5 was. They could either come out of bye week on fire still or they could hit a slump. We won’t know until next week, but if they’re first four weeks showed us anything, I don’t think they’re going anywhere.
– Victoria Horsley

9. Baltimore Ravens – 201 (High: 8. Low: 14. LW: 7)

The Ravens lost to the Browns in OT, but this season, that is not something to be too upset about. Joe Flacco was unable to throw a touchdown. Flacco and his team accounted for two turnovers and led to a Browns’ field goal. Not to mention their very reliable kicker Justin Tucker has a field goal blocked by Browns CB Denzel Ward. The Ravens have some work to do after this division loss.

– Savannah Dean

10. Minnesota Vikings – 196 (High: 7. Low: 16. LW: 16)

The Vikings beat the reigning Super Bowl champions this week. The Eagles don’t appear to be anywhere near the caliber they were in February, but it still deserves some credit. If the Vikings want to continue winning, Kirk Cousins will have to find more receivers in the end zone. He threw for one touchdown on Sunday, and I think we can all say it would be nice to have more Stefon Diggs action.
– Victoria Horsley

11. Los Angeles Chargers – 195 (High: 7. Low: 16. LW: 14)

After beating their division rivals, Oakland Raiders, 26-10, The San Diego Chargers now
sit second in the AFC West. Quarterback, Philip Rivers, is off to a great start this season,
throwing 13 touchdowns and only two picks. Their defense overall is starting to show
improvements. But having defensive end, Joey Bosa, out with a left-foot injury will have
opponents trying to exploit weaknesses left and right. They will need the next man up to
cover for #99 and cover well. Many call the strength of Los Angeles’ previous wins into
question as well, including Oakland and a Jimmy Garoppolo-less San Francisco 49ers.
Now it’s time for the Chargers to put their foot down.

– Manuel Finale

12. Tennessee Titans – 179 (High: 8. Low: 17. LW: 12)

On a day where the Tennessee Titans could have extended their lead in the AFC South, they
instead fell to the Buffalo Bills 13-12 when Buffalo hit the game-winning field goal as time
expired. While Tennessee’s run game did well (25 carries for 100 yards), QB Marcus Mariota
was held in check, only totaling 139 yards. Tennessee had three turnovers that led to 10 points
for the Bills. It seems that the Titans are having a hard time getting the whole offense on the
same page, and will have a tough match-up next week when they host the 3-2 Baltimore

– Michael Packard

13. Philadelphia Eagles – 170 (High: 4. Low: 26. LW: 6)

The Super Bowl hangover is real. This team is remarkably unhealthy, but the depth of their roster is what got the Eagles to the top of the NFC last year. So where is the disconnect in 2018? Chalk most of this week’s loss up to a hungry Vikings team that needed to prove a lot of things after two bad losses. But the chances were there for Philadelphia. They are going to have to get healthier and tougher if they want to take the crown again.

– Ben Hendricks

14. Pittsburgh Steelers – 168 (High: 11. Low: 18. LW: 19)

At the beginning of the season it seems like not having star running back Le’Veon Bell would be a problem. But it turned out that they have a good RB that actually wants to play the game not just for money. James Connor accounted for 110 yards and two rushing touchdowns, as well as 75 receiving yards. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns. Although the Falcons haven’t truly been the team to beat this season, it seems after this win the Steelers could be making a comeback.

– Savannah Dean

(Photo Courtesy: Wisconsin State Journal)


T15. Green Bay Packers – 166 (High: 7. Low: 18. LW: 11)

I really hate blaming losses on one player, but with Mason Crosby’s four missed field goals and one extra point, they would’ve had 13 more points. They lost by eight. Crosby is an 80% kicker since 2007 though so I don’t think it’s fair to jump on the “release him” train. All around, they definitely could’ve had a better game though. Dropped passes hurt them and the defense couldn’t keep the Lions from scoring 31 points. This team could use a bye week to figure some things out.

– Victoria Horsley

T15. Washington Redskins – 166 (High: 8. Low: 20. LW: 15)

A dreadful performance on both sides of the football during Monday night’s game resulted in an embarrassing loss. Granted, Brees was on a mission to reach two different career milestones. I’m not sure there’s any team in the league who could have beaten the Saints in the Superdome while he was chasing the record for all-time career passing yards and his 500th touchdown. But it shouldn’t have looked like that. Giving up 43 points while only scoring 19 on a shaky (at best) New Orleans defense is a huge problem. It seems like the bye week raised more questions than it answered.

– Ben Hendricks

17. Denver Broncos – 136 (High: 12. Low: 23. LW: 13)

The Denver Broncos have not been able to catch many breaks this season. Now with a
three-game losing streak, including a 34-16 lost to the New York Jets. Denver will now
have to deal with the undefeated Los Angeles Rams this coming Sunday. Not to
mention Case Keenum is not putting up the numbers he did last year as a Minnesota
Viking. Though it’s still early in the season, Denver’s offense will need to step up and
get back into contention. Luckily, young running backs, Royce Freeman and Phillip
Lindsay, can help the Broncos turn their season around.

– Manuel Finale

18. Cleveland Browns – 133 (High: 10. Low: 22. LW: 23)

The Browns have done something they haven’t done in years. Win two games in one season and it’s only Week 5. Their second win of the season came down to a 37-yard field goal by their newly acquired kicker  Greg Joseph. Baker Mayfield accounted for a touchdown but he hit four different receivers for over 60 yards. A come-up cornerback Denzel Ward has been tremendous this season. He was able to jump across the line and block a field goal. This division win was a big one for the Browns. Will they keep winning?

– Savannah Dean

19. Miami Dolphins – 130 (High: 10. Low: 23. LW: 18)

The Miami Dolphins are not the team that they looked to be earlier in the season. A surprise 3-0 team they have shown over the last two weeks that they are not able to hang with the big boys. In back to back weeks, Miami played tough opponents. Against the New England Patriots, they were completely embarrassed in a shutout. This week against the Cincinnati Bengals they played better but still poorly. In a game where everything seemed to go right for Miami in the first half, they just could not hold onto their lead and ended up losing to the Bengals after once possessing a three-score lead.

– Jacob Gilbert

20. Detroit Lions – 120 (High: 14. Low: 27. LW: 24)

This team is one that will make you scratch your head. They beat the Packers and the Patriots, but lost to the Jets and 49ers. The 49ers were still a team with Jimmy G. then, but they were arguably still one of the worst. It seems as though every week we get an entirely new team. With one of the highest paid quarterbacks at the helm, I would think we can expect them to continue on an upward trend.

– Victoria Horsley

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 104 (High: 19. Low: 25. LW: 20)

A bye week gave the Buccaneers a chance to regroup after a rollercoaster start to the season. Fitzpmagic, AKA Ryan Fitzpatrick, is now a backup, while Jameis Winston gets a chance to prove he is worthy of a new deal. With the league’s worst defense in terms of points per game and no running game to speak of, it foreshadows doom for Tampa Bay.

Joe DiTullio

22. Atlanta Falcons – 99 (High: 19. Low: 27. LW: 17)

The Falcons had a must-win game in Pittsburgh and were unable to get the job done. The offense is fine, at 26.6 points per game but the defense ranks second last in the league in points per game and is plagued with injuries. It is hard to see Atlanta turning this around, as they’d have to win a lot of shootouts.

– Joe DiTullio

T23. Dallas Cowboys – 97 (High: 15. Low: 25. LW: 21)

Dallas lost in OT against a bad football team. That does not bode well for the rest of the season. There is talent on this roster, but the pieces are not gelling the way they should be. With this division up for grabs in this young season, the Cowboys should be winning these games. A few more losses and Jason Garrett could be on the hot seat. It may be time to start looking for another quarterback, too.

– Ben Hendricks

T23. Seattle Seahawks – 97 (High: 16. Low: 24. LW: 22)

The Seahawks put up a tough fight against the top team in the league and their division, but came up short. If Russell Wilson could will his team to victory, they would be just one game back from the Rams, instead, they are now three games back. With the Rams playing the way they are, the Seahawks will have to hope for a shot at a wild card team just five weeks into the season.

– Zac Stone

25. Houston Texans – 92 (High: 19. Low: 25. LW: 25)

For the second week in a row, the Houston Texans went to overtime and prevailed on a Kai
Forbath field goal for a 19-16 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The game probably wouldn’t have
gone to overtime, but QB Deshaun Watson was intercepted on the Cowboys side of the field at
the end of the fourth quarter. In a game where the Texans thoroughly outplayed their
opponent, the game was as close as it was because they left points on the field when they
missed a field goal and turned the ball over on downs at the Dallas 1-yard line at the end of the
first half. Houston hosts the hit-or-miss 2-3 Buffalo Bills next week.

– Michael Packard

(Photo Courtesy: Sports Illustrated)


26. New York Jets – 63 (High: 20. Low: 31. LW: 30)

Isaiah Crowell was an absolute machine on Sunday. He racked up over 200 rushing yards and carried the whole New York Jets offense to a win over the once-vaunted Denver defense. Sam Darnold showed signs of progress as well with some beautiful deep passes and the Jets defense was stout all day against the Denver Broncos. Hopefully, this game is a sign of things to come for this New York Jets team.

– Jacob Gilbert

27. Indianapolis Colts – 59 (High: 21. Low: 29. LW: 26)

The box score won’t reflect how distant this game was on Thursday night as the Indianapolis
Colts fell to the New England Patriots 38-24. The Colts defense allowed the Patriots to score on
45% of their drives, forcing the offense to play from a big deficit throughout the whole game.
QB Andrew Luck tried his best to get the Colts back in it (38-59, 365 yards, 3 TD’s, 2 INT’s), but it
wasn’t enough as the Colts never got within 11 points of the Pats. The Colts have now lost three
straight games, but should have an easier match-up next week as the travel to the
Meadowlands when they take on the 2-3 New York Jets.

– Michael Packard

28. Buffalo Bills – 48 (High: 21. Low: 30. LW: 31)

Who are the Buffalo Bills? We have seen the Bills beat the Minnesota Vikings into oblivion. We have seen Buffalo get decimated by the Ravens and Packers. Now they win a gritty game against a 3-1 (at the time) Titans team coming off several strong games. One thing is for sure, even though the Bills have one of the lowest floors of any team. They should not be underestimated.

– Jacob Gilbert

29. New York Giants – 43 (High: 25. Low: 31. LW: 28)

Victory again eluded the Giants as Carolina’s Graham Gano hit a 63-hard field goal to spoil a solid offensive performance. But close is not going to cut it for a fan base that wanted to see a marked improvement over last year’s horrible showing. Things need to be tweaked and tightened on both sides of the ball if the Giants want to leave the cellar.

– Ben Hendricks

30. Oakland Raiders – 31 (High: 27. Low: 31. LW: 27)

To say this has not been Oakland Raiders’ season would be an understatement.
Quarterback Derek Carr has thrown seven touchdowns and eight interceptions this
season. Not to mention their only victory came over a Cleveland Browns team
that scored 42 points on them. This past weekend, Philip Rivers took the Raiders to the cleaners, throwing 22-27 and eclipsing 300 yards and 2 touchdowns. This alone could have beaten Oakland.

– Manuel Finale

31. Arizona Cardinals – 20 (High: 29. Low: 32. LW: 32)

In the battle of the basement in the NFC West, it was the Cardinals who came out on top. Josh Rosen earned his first NFL win, which was the Cardinals first win of 2018 as well. Rosen did not look sharp, however, completing just 10 of 25 passes, but fortunately, the defense played well and forced turnovers. It is going to be a long season in Arizona, but the development of Rosen will be something to watch.

– Zac Stone

32. San Francisco 49ers – 16 (High: 29. Low: 32. LW: 29)

The 49ers came into the season with hopes of dethroning the Rams, but injuries had another thing in mind. With Jimmy Garappolo out, the 49ers were not even able to beat the Cardinals at home. Matt Breida continued to look solid, but is still second on the depth chart behind veteran Alfred Morris. With C.J. Beathard under center for the remainder of the season, San Francisco has a good chance at competing for the number one pick.

– Zac Stone

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