SQ NFL Power Rankings: Week 6

1 (1)

New

New England Patriots

The "Tom Brady Vengeance Tour" is a real thing, and Brady hasn't been shy in bringing headliners Rob Gronkowski and Dion Lewis with him along the way. In a 30-6 romping of the Cowboys in Dallas, Brady threw for 285 yards and two TDs, and is the only starting quarterback in the NFL that has yet to throw an interception. The Patriots head to Indianapolis for Sunday Night Football, and after "DeflateGate," don't expect Bill Bellichick and Co. to take the foot off the gas if New England is ahead late. (Tyrell W)

2 (2)

Green

Green Bay Packers

Well, now we know one thing...Aaron Rodgers is human. Rodgers ended his incredible streak of not throwing an interception at home with 587 pass attempts. The Packers continue to look like the best team in the NFC, but this week it was because of the defense. Green Bay was able to force four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and three sacks en route to a 24-10 victory of the Rams. (Dan R)

3 (4)

Cincinnati

Cincinnati Bengals

As it turns out, Dalton isn't red-haired. It has been determined that his actual hair is stained red from the blood he spilled in the Bengals' improbable comeback last week against the Seahawks. Down 24-7 in what could have been classified as yet another devastating Cincy defeat, Dalton showed the traits expected of a quarterback in his position. With the aiding of the Bengals defense, Dalton led his team to 20 unanswered points. At the start of the fourth quarter, Cincinnati's win probability sat at a lowly 1.4%. Instead, the Bengals are 5-0 and proving to the rest of the NFL how well-balanced this roster is. (Nick C)

4 (3)

Denver

Denver Broncos

With Oakland threatening to pull ahead in the fourth quarter, the Bronco D stepped up & Chris Harris Jr. delivered a crucial pick-six. Peyton Manning has seven INTs and only six TDs thus far. But Denver's D looks good enough to carry this team deep into the playoffs. (Dominic K)

5 (5)

Atlanta

Atlanta Falcons

Scrapping by a pesky Redskins team, the Falcons keep feeding it to Devonta Freeman, who has gone from the "1B" to Tevin Coleman's 1A in the first two games to being second in the league this season in carries with 93, behind only Matt Forte (102). Rather than slowing down, Freeman's YPC has increased every single game this season, from 1.8 in Week 1 to 5.7 last week. (Cory R)

6 (6)

Arizona

Arizona Cardinals

After suffering a setback in Week 4 against the Rams, the Cardinals returned to their "score 40+ points and blow out the opposing team mode," and man-handled the Lions. The funny thing is, the Lions barely had the football and only ran a total of 45 offensive plays. The big difference was the Arizona defense forcing six turnovers. A trip to Pittsburgh will serve as a big test for the Cardinals, especially if Ben Roethlisberger is able to suit up. (Bobby E)

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Carolina

Carolina Panthers

Coming out of their bye, the 4-0 Panthers travel to Seattle to face easily the deadliest of the 10 current 2-3 teams. There was just one touchdown between these two teams when Carolina hosted the Seahawks last year in a defensive-controlled game that yielded a 9-13 loss. The week off did come at the right time for captain of the defense Luke Kuechly though, who will return after missing the past three games. (Cory R)

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Seattle

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle put up an extremely good fight, and really gave the game away to the Cincinnati Bengals. Now it was a well-matched game, but given that the Seahawks were up 24-7 at the half, they should have come out of Cincy with a win. Cincinnati held the football 10 minutes longer and converted on more first downs than Seattle's up and down offense. A home game against the undefeated Panthers will be a good one to keep an eye out for in Week 6. (Bobby E)

9 (9)

Indianapolis

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts have won three straight after a disappointing 0-2 start, but all three came against the pitiful AFC South. Andrew Luck has missed back-to-back games, but 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck has put on somewhat of a show, especially against the Texans when he posted a 107.4 QB rating. Luck is practicing again and will potentially start against the undefeated Patriots. He is 0-4 against them in his career, including playoffs. (Josh C)

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New

New York Giants

After two devastating losses to start the season, the Giants are in sole possession of first place in the NFC East. Eli Manning is on track to set career highs in completion percentage, passing yards, and passing touchdowns and to earn his first division title since 2011. (Austin T)

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Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Steelers

Le'Veon Bell is back to being the most dynamic running back in the NFL, and in his three games this season, he's already Pro Football Focus' second-ranked RB with a rating of 9.6. Michael Vick gutted out a win on the road against a tough San Diego team with Bell providing the walk-off spark to keep Pittsburgh squarely in the AFC North race. Ben Roethlisberger is slowly set to return, and as long as Vick can continue to do just enough to win, the Steelers will be a better team for it. (Nick C)

12 (10)

New

New York Jets

Head coach Todd Bowles finds himself at 3-1, and with the confusing Redskins coming to MetLife Stadium, don't be surprised to see the Jets' defensive line feast on Kirk Cousins. Washington's offensive line is graded as PFF's eighth-worst unit in passing situations, and for New York, the return of DT Sheldon Richardson will provide a much-needed injection of normality. Richardson will be eager to make his presence known, which is not ideal for Cousins. (Tyrell W)

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Minnesota

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings had a week off to prepare for the Jamaal Charles-less Chiefs. With Adrian Peterson having a week to rest his body, I look for the Vikes to run the ball often. If Minnesota can protect Bridgewater and consistently get a push from the offensive line, we may be seeing them move up in the rankings. (Dan R)

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San

San Diego Chargers

The Chargers found a way to lose this heartbreaker, and it may cost the Bolts a playoff berth. Although San Diego generally outplayed Pittsburgh, a pick-six and an 80-yard pass kept the Steelers alive until the end. The Bolts still must improve their D-line and O-line play. On the bright side, the Rivers to Gates connection is as strong as ever. (Dominic K)

15 (16)

Buffalo

Buffalo Bills

The Bills continue to be very up and down, but luckily for Rex Ryan, it's mostly been up. Lighting rod Tyrod Taylor has been a very steady presence as a first-time starter, but an MCL injury has his Week 6 status up in the air. If he is unable to play, EJ Manuel will be thrown into the fire. Manuel, who threw for 348 yards, 4 TDs and a QB rating of 146.9 in the preseason, should be able to ride the ship until Taylor is off the mend. (Tyrell W)

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Philadelphia

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are starting to look scary on offense, especially after their 39-point effort against the Saints. The key is keeping pressure off of Sam Bradford. The Eagle's offensive line is on pace to allow only 22 sacks, a career low for Bradford. That number should stay low if the Eagles hope to keep this momentum going and keep Bradford on the field. (Austin T)

17 (15)

St.

St. Louis Rams

Granted, the Rams lost by 14, but it was another extremely solid effort. Defensively, St. Louis did what no defense had done against Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau Field since December 2012: force an interception. Not only that, but the Rams did it twice. This one was on Nick Foles, as he really struggled against the Packers defense. A home game against the Browns may be exactly what Foles needs to get back on track. (Bobby E)

18 (17)

Dallas

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas is in panic mode. Since Tony Romo broke his collarbone, the Cowboys' offense has generated a measly 18 points per game and the defense is allowing 32 points a game. A big reason for this negative differential is the lack of success on fourth down. Under Weedent, the Cowboys are converting just 25% of their third downs. The Cowboys are hoping now that Matt Cassell can do better and they need it fast. (Austin T)

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Kansas

Kansas City Chiefs

The good: Kansas City's 29th-ranked defense (by DVOA) finally looked good. The bad: The Chiefs blew a 17-3 lead to Chicago at home. The ugly: Jamaal Charles' brutal ACL injury. Kansas City's season is over, and that's a shame. (Dominic K)

20 (22)

Washington

Washington Redskins

Washington may not be good enough to compete for a Super Bowl, but this is a talented team with multiple ways to win. In the loss to Atlanta, Washington relied a tough defense to keep the team in the game. While this team benefited from two field goal misses, Washington held Atlanta's high powered passing attack to its lowest total on the season. If Kirk Cousins can play more consistently, this team will play spoiler all season long. (Austin T)

21 (21)

Oakland

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders lost again, but there were positives nonetheless. First, the defense allowed a season-low 16 points versus Denver, with no offensive TDs for the Broncos. Charles Woodson turned back the clock with two picks on Manning. And the Raiders were seriously only a couple plays from beating Denver. Perhaps the Raiders can finish second in the AFC West? (Dominic K)

22 (19)

Baltimore

Baltimore Ravens

Week-to-week, the Ravens have steadily been free-falling in our rankings, and for good reason. QB Joe Flacco has been failing to close out games, but most surprising, the defense hasn't looked anything like the unit the NFL is accustomed to. Having surrendered the eighth-most yards and eighth-fewest takeaways, Baltimore is hoping to see an improvement in the franchise's identity. But at 1-4, it may be too little too late. (Nick C)

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Cleveland

Cleveland Browns

How about Josh McCown? Though the Ravens have been perhaps the biggest disappointment in the NFL this year, McCown and the Browns went into a scathing atmosphere and showed which team was tougher. TE Gary Barnidge has gone from under-utilized blocker into a 20 catch, 319 yard, and three TD outburst in his last three games. Cleveland's secondary has been good enough to bail out a disappointing defensive line, but nonetheless, the Browns are 2-3, as head coach Mike Pettine's toughness continues to rub off on his team. (Nick C)

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Chicago

Chicago Bears

Without his two best wideouts and a depleted line, Jay Cutler led the Bears to a comeback win in Kansas City. If Cutler can play mistake free football, Chicago's coaching can drastically improve this team in becoming a contender. Chicago's defense has risen to the challenge so far this year giving up 304.6 yards per game, ranking 4th in the NFL. (Dan R)

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Houston

Houston Texans

Houston is 1-4, but has a soft spot in its schedule coming up with games at Jacksonville and Miami, and at home against Tennessee. If the Texans want any chance to contend for the AFC South title, they need to capitalize on this opportunity. Houston still has not scored more than 21 points in a game this season, and its defense has not been strong enough to make its puttering offense viable. That must change going forward, or the Texans will be looking at a top-five draft pick in 2016. (Josh C)

26 (25)

Tennessee

Tennessee Titans

The Titans had that game against Buffalo. They should be 2-2 and half a game out of first in the AFC South. But Tennessee couldn't hold on at the end, and that's got to sting. The Titans have a mixed-bag schedule going forward, playing many teams with sub-.500 records in addition to a couple teams that are currently undefeated. Marcus Mariota is averaging 255 yards, two touchdowns and less than one interception per game as a rookie, which is great. He'll need to keep it up to keep the Titans competitive. (Josh C)

27 (20)

New

New Orleans Saints

The Saints defense is tied for 29th in points allowed per game at 28.6. They've had winning records in four of the last six years, but all those winning season's defenses allowed less than 22 PPG, whereas each of the losing season allowed more than 26. The lack of offensive weapons is getting the headlines, but the defense has similarly been troubled so far this season. (Cory R)

28 (26)

Miami

Miami Dolphins

Heading into their matchup with the Titans fresh off a bye, the Dolphins will quickly show if former head coach Joe Philbin was the organization's kryptonite, or if this team is simply a model of ineptitude. Rated as PFF's 4th-worst offense and 9th-worst defense, Miami has been given the chance to start over with Dan Campbell, a coach whose demeanor is a complete reversal from Philbin. (Tyrell W)

29 (32)

Tampa

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers have got the same number of wins as last year's NFC Champion Seahawks, but they've played only one team with more than one win (Carolina) and they lost. After asking Jameis Winston to throw it 43 times against Carolina, they shielded their rookie signal caller by giving Doug Martin 24 carries to Winston's 19 pass attempts in a long overdue home win against Jacksonville. (Cory R)

30 (31)

San

San Francisco 49ers

Well, at least the 49ers can say they put a bigger effort into Sunday night's game. San Francisco came just short in a heartbreaking loss against the Giants, but to give credit where it's due, Colin Kaepernieck looked a lot better. Kap threw no interceptions and looked more crisp and sharp with the football. Even though making the playoffs this season now seems like a long-shot, the Niners can look to get on track against a struggling Ravens team. (Bobby E)

31 (24)

Detroit

Detroit Lions

The Lions stay winless as Stafford's play earns him a benching. Stafford has thrown eight interceptions in the first five games this year as the defense let up 42 points to Arizona. Detroit seems to be having the most disappointing year out of all 32 teams after a playoff appearance a year ago. (Dan R)

32 (29)

Jacksonville

Jacksonville Jaguars

A disappointing Jags loss has sent them to the bottom of our power rankings this week. Despite Blake Bortles' four-touchdown game, Jacksonville's defense was not able to hold Tampa Bay in check, and it cost them. The run defense was carved up by Doug Martin, allowing 5.1 yards per carry. The Jags cannot allow this kind of gashing again, or else wins could be hard to come by. (Josh C)

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