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NFL Power Rankings through Week 6

A dejected Rex Grossman looks on as his team takes a free for all in our rankings. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Welcome back to the third installment of my weekly NFL Power Rankings! With way too much time on my hands passing for expertise, I rank how each team has performed through six weeks of football.

Take a look to see who is moving up in the world, and who is falling back to reality. I also examine teams’ unclear connections to their mascots and some tangentially related movies. Last week’s ranking is in parentheses.

Without further ado, my Power Rankings of NFL brilliance and N-WTF-L blowhards through Week 6:

32 (32). St. Louis Rams (0-5)

With two weeks to prepare, the Rams mustered three measly points through four quarters. I’m no mathemagician, but I’m pretty sure that adds up to the Rams being the worst team in the league for the third week running.

31 (31). Miami Dolphins (0-5)

I think I’d rather watch Dolphin Tale than this football team, if only to figure out why Morgan Freeman agreed to participate in that film.

30 (30). Indianapolis Colts (0-6)

The 2011 Colts: how movies like Invincible can claim to be based on a true story. (In all seriousness, though, I think the Colts may want to look into hosting open tryouts for the general public.)

29 (29). Arizona Cardinals (1-4)

This would have been the best week of their season (a bye), but somehow they have a win already. Imagine that.

28 (26). Minnesota Vikings (1-5)

Donovan McNabb was benched during the Vikings’ shellacking, making way for rookie Christian Ponder. Which means we’re two or three terrible Ponder performances away from another Brett Favre coming-out-of-retirement press conference.

27 (27). Denver Broncos (1-4)

Tim Tebow gets a chance to learn how to run the offense during the bye week. That’ll be a bummer when his next start doesn’t go well because fans expect him to, you know, understand how to run the offense.

26 (28). Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)

The Jaguars rebounded to play a decent second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they didn’t get the result they wanted. It turns out that no, a leopard cannot change its spots.

25 (25). Seattle Seahawks (2-3)

Seattle is in second place in their division! Unfortunately, they are already two back in the loss column and almost certainly have to win the NFC West to make the playoffs. But still! A silver medal!

24 (24). Kansas City Chiefs (2-3)

Has anyone ever noticed that Kansas City has the same nickname as Washington, only slightly less racist?

23 (21). Cleveland Browns (2-3)

Peyton Hillis was injured after carrying the ball six times for 14 yards and Colt McCoy completed less than 50 percent of his passes (he threw a whopping 45). Oh, and last I checked, the Browns still play in Cleveland.

22 (22). Carolina Panthers (1-5)

After going undefeated at Auburn en route to a national title, Cam Newton now has five losses in the NFL. Now can we stop talking about how difficult it is playing in the SEC? After all, it’s still college football.

21 (9). Washington Redskins (3-2)

Benched after going 9-22 with four interceptions, Rex Grossman is looking less sexy and more T-Rexy. The meteor that led to his extinction? Reality. With untested John Beck as the alternate QB, I am officially out on the Redskins. Hence the rankings freefall.

20 (23). Philadelphia Eagles (2-4)

The Dream Team is back! Oh wait, they needed a Sexy Rexy striptease to win and they’re still just 2-4. At three weeks, I think I’ve officially maxed out on Philly cheesesteak references.

19 (20). Chicago Bears (3-3)

The score by quarter of the Bears’ Sunday night win: 16-0, 26-3, 36-10, 39-10. Devin Hester had two touchdowns, one receiving and one on a 98-yard return. If you do the math correctly, Hester singlehandedly outscored Minnesota.

18 (18). New York Jets (3-3)

The Jets had fewer first downs and total yards than the Dolphins. I’m treating their win over Miami like a bye week.

17 (19). Atlanta Falcons (3-3)

Michael Turner’s effort in the ground game (139 yards and two touchdowns) led the Falcons back to .500 with a fourth quarter comeback in Week 6. Alanis Morissette took note.

16 (11). Houston Texans (3-3)

The new question about the Texans: when are writers going to stop claiming, “This is the year the Texans make the leap!” every single year? From now on, let’s all agree to assume mediocrity until Houston proves otherwise.

15 (14). Dallas Cowboys (2-3)

Just like everyone else who covers the Dallas Cowboys, I’m not sure what to write about when Tony Romo doesn’t, a.) lay the ball down for the opposing team to take in for the winning score, or, b.) use his crutches to vault into the endzone for the game-winning touchdown on fourth and goal as time expires. Is he still dating Jessica Simpson by any chance?

14 (17). Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)

With the top-ranked defense and as many wins as all of last season, I’m almost convinced The Red Rifle is a cool nickname.

13 (13). Tennessee Titans (3-2)

Remember the Titans was a great film. If this team were half as good as that movie, they would be unstoppable. That’s about the best I can do during a team’s bye week.

12 (15). Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2)

Earnest Graham and the Bucs stepped all over the Saints on their way to an important divisional win over a playoff team from last year. This after a humiliating 45-point loss in Week 5. Will the real Buccaneers please stand up?

11 (12). Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)

The Steelers may have won, but they were held scoreless in the second half and barely eeked out a win over a clawless Jaguars team. That Steel Curtain is looking more and more like a Flowery Drape these days.

10 (16). New York Giants (4-2)

Eli Manning may have helped orchestrate another Giants win, but he didn’t throw any touchdown passes and he still remains terrible at doing commercials. Also, how many Toyota’s does Eli have? There are like 10 different commercials of him completing paperwork for a new car. And why is he buying Toyota’s?

9 (6). Buffalo Bills (4-2)

This week the Bills discovered that it’s a lot harder to win when you don’t get handed turnovers in bunches. They also discovered they had no idea why they were called the Buffalo Bills, or why their mascot is a buffalo when they’re called the Bills. Okay, that may have been my own personal realization.

8 (10). Oakland Raiders (4-2)

Sunday’s win came at the cost of losing quarterback Jason Campbell for the rest of the season to a broken collarbone. Now the Raiders traded their 2012 first-round pick (and a condition pick in 2013) for the “retired” Carson Palmer. Good thing they picked up Terrelle Pryor in the supplemental draft!

7 (4). New Orleans Saints (4-2)

Sean Payton became the latest victim of players barreling into a coach’s legs on the sideline at the end of a play, tearing his MCL, breaking his leg and costing the Saints their offensive play caller. At this point, shouldn’t “Reminder: Get out of the way of grappling players” be something that every coach writes down at the top of his play sheet?

6 (2). Detroit Lions (5-1)

After two great comebacks, the Lions finally looked vulnerable in losing to the 49ers, mostly because their coach, Jim Schwartz, revealed himself to be completely insane. I think he was upset that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t follow the celebration “protocol” of an overemphatic fist pump.

5 (8). San Francisco 49ers (5-1)

The 49ers won behind 200 yards rushing, but in an unfortunate turn of events for San Fran, Alex Smith played down to his poop-tential. He aired it out for all of 125 yards passing (at a whopping 3.9 yards-per-attempt) and a 60.0 passer rating. In a fortunate turn of events for me, I can now sleep easy at night knowing Alex Smith still sucks.

4 (5). San Diego Chargers (4-1)

The Chargers already look like a lock to make the playoffs out of the AFC West, but questions still surround this team. Questions like, “What is so electric about San Diego?” and, “Will the unclear origins of their mascot hold them back?”

3 (7). Baltimore Ravens (4-1)

The Ravens defense is looking rejuvenated, top ten against the pass and top five against the run. It’s also possible Ray Lewis is threatening to kill opposing offensive players.

2 (3). New England Patriots (5-1)

Despite the evil Ryan twin Rob’s best efforts, a vintage Tom Brady two-minute drill led a nail-biting Patriots comeback over the Cowboys. Even though it was an ugly win, Tom still looked as dreamy as ever.

1 (1). Green Bay Packers (6-0)

The Packers were shut out in the second half, yet still won by three touchdowns and had almost 400 yards of offense. Somewhere in Wisconsin, a girl adjusts her Cheesehead cap, hoping Aaron Rodgers sends her a late night sext.

About Nick Bohlen - @ndbohlen

Nick is an editor and regular contributor for the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox sections of SoB. (Despite growing up in Vermont, just a short drive from Canada, hockey never really caught on with him.) Follow him on twitter: @ndbohlen

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3 comments for “NFL Power Rankings through Week 6”

  1. I think Carolina should be higher despite only having one win, not much higher but a few spots up. Dallas is not better than teams 16-22. Sure you can always find good things to say about them but they find ways to lose. I want to see th Packers get down big in a game and see how they handle it. The Nfl has more competitive teams this year then they have in along time, no way the defending champs can keep the 0 for the entire season

    Posted by Bobby Doherty | October 18, 2011, 4:26 pm
  2. I wanted to put Carolina higher in the rankings, but their defense is pretty porous and Cam Newton has been shaky recently. I think a lot of people fell in love with Newton after Weeks 1 and 2, and are overlooking what he’s doing these past couple weeks.

    As for Dallas, their defense just held the Patriots to 20 points, so they’re clearly talented. The offense is hit or miss, I’ll admit, but I think they’ve played better and more consistent football over these six weeks than teams 16-22. Houston is who we thought they were, Atlanta has looked out of sorts, the Jets are playing as if they’re taking advice from Plaxico Burress, the Bears offensive line appears to be playing in quick sand, and the ‘Skins are falling apart behind lackluster QB play.

    I agree with what you say about the Packers – no way they stay undefeated, but I could easily see them going 13-3, 14-2, something like that. I’ll be interested to see them play @SD and @DET to see how they do.

    Posted by Nick Bohlen | October 18, 2011, 7:49 pm
  3. Im just anti Dallas just becuase every year i hear about how good they are and that they will make the push this year but it never comes.

    Posted by bobby doherty | October 18, 2011, 10:17 pm

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