NFL Week 5 Power Rankings: Rams remain in top 5 despite loss

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Zack Rhodes

October 4th, 2019

With underdogs going 11-4 in Week 4 and nine of them winning outright, it was a great day for the latter half of the rankings and a forgettable Sunday for several of the marquee teams in the Top 10. If there’s one thing the NFL has done well over the years, it’s establish consistent parity year in and year out, and Week 4 was just another example of how even the vast majority of the teams are in the league and how important it is to consider scheduling situations when handicapping. Let’s get to the rankings.

1. New England Patriots (4-0 SU and 2-2 ATS)

In building the rankings, it’s become clear that it’s the Patriots at No. 1 and then everyone else. New England won ugly on Sunday in Buffalo, but they did it with a big special teams play and a defense that continues to be lights out. Now Belichick is likely to get Colt McCoy and Daniel Jones in back-to-back weeks. Hard to see the Patriots losing in October, which would put them at 8-0, halfway to perfection.

Next up: Washington Redskins

2. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS)

Despite taking their first L against the spread and nearly losing outright in Detroit, the Chiefs move up to No. 2 because the MVP pulled out the win in the end and the Cowboys lost and the Rams are coming off back-to-back losses. Kansas City will have to get better on defense, but as long as they have the MVP dropping dimes and Travis Kelce flipping laterals, they’re going to continue to win a lot of football games.

Next up: Indianapolis Colts

3. Los Angeles Rams (3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS)

Despite consecutive SU losses after their heartbreaker in Seattle last night, the Rams remain at No. 3. However, the drop will begin and the anxiety will start to set in next week if Sean McVay can’t figure out a way to get back on the winning track against San Francisco. Giving up a total of 8 touchdown passes the past two weeks is certainly cause for concern, but let’s not panic over a loss in Seattle that came down to a field goal kick that missed by centimeters.

Next up: San Francisco 49ers

4. New Orleans Saints (3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS)

With so much of the top half struggling, the Saints move into the No. 4 spot after their impressive home win over the Cowboys. Led by a stout defense that stuffed Zeke all night and suffocated Dak and the passing game, New Orleans is showing us what it means to be a true team, bigger than any one man (even if that one man is one of the best to ever do it at the quarterback position). The Saints are on a mission this year.

Next Up: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5. Dallas Cowboys (3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS)

It was a harsh reality check on Sunday night for the Cowboys, as they retreated to looking pedestrian on offense again. However, I think this was a case of the Saints defense showing us they’re indeed for real and Dallas being unready to face the challenge. It will be interesting to see how Ezekiel Elliott and the ‘Boys bounce back this week in a marquee game at home against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

Next up: Green Bay Packers

6. Chicago Bears (3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS)

The Bears D was at their best on Sunday in a dominating performance against the Vikings. It will be fascinating to see how the offense functions now that Mitch Trubisky is out with a shoulder injury. Could Chase Daniel be an upgrade? It’s possible. But the offense needs to continue to run through rookie running back David Montgomery, who seems like he’s due for a breakout performance. Maybe it comes this week in London against the Raiders.

Next up: Oakland Raiders

7. Green Bay Packers (3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS)

Still riding their strong start to the season, the Packers come in at No. 7. But that could change quickly as we’ll see if that start was for real when they travel to Dallas on Sunday to take on a Cowboys team that should be on edge after that disappointing loss to the Saints. Aaron Rodgers in Jerry’s World is always must-see TV and this week is no different in what will be the marquee match-up of the weekend.

Next up: Dallas Cowboys

8. San Francisco 49ers (3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS)

The other cant-miss game will be the undefeated 49ers hosting the soap opera that is the Cleveland Browns on Monday night. It should be fun to watch two talented offenses go toe-to-toe in a game that could feature a ton of fireworks.

Next up: Cleveland Browns

9. Baltimore Ravens (2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS)

After losing a key divisional home game against the Browns, it could be argued the Ravens should be out of the top 10, but this is still a talented bunch with a young quarterback that has a ton of upside. Pittsburgh showed some life this past week against the Bengals, so it will be interesting to see if the Ravens will be able to assert themselves in the division and pick up a key win against the Steelers this weekend.

Next up: Pittsburgh Steelers

10. Indianapolis Colts (2-2 SU and 2-1-1 ATS)

In an uncharacteristic performance on Sunday, the Colts came out lackadaisical against the Raiders at home and ultimately took the loss because of it. However, Frank Reich’s club returns to the familiar role of underdogs as the Colts travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs this Sunday night as 11-point dogs. And even though they’re nursing injuries to several key players, the possible return of star linebacker Darius Leonard could be a big boost.

I’ll look for Indianapolis to bounce back with a determined effort against the Chiefs in a contest where I think they may lean on their talented offensive line and try to control the clock and keep Mr. Mahomes on the sidelines as much as possible.

Next up: Kansas City Chiefs

11. Philadelphia Eagles (2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS)

The Eagles finally put it together last Thursday in an impressive win over the Packers. Now they get a struggling Jets team this week before being tested again next week when they travel to Minnesota and then follow that up with a trip to Dallas.

Next up: New York Jets

12. Minnesota Vikings (2-2 SU and 2-2 ATS)

Speaking of the Vikings, it’s been a rough week with the Stefon Diggs rumors and Adam Thielen just speaking the truth. But I think the fiery Mike Zimmer will use the humiliating loss to Chicago as motivation this week and will have his talented defense ready to give the sky-high Daniel Jones his first official “Welcome to the NFL” moment. I like Minnesota a lot this week against the Giants.

Next up: New York Giants

13. Seattle Seahawks (4-1 SU and 2-3 ATS)

You have to give it up to Russell Wilson. Dude has proven to be tough as nails both physically and mentally, as he’s become a one-man wrecking crew in Seattle. A proven champion, he continues to will his team to wins, which is exactly what he did last night in the Seahawks’ dramatic one-point win over the Rams.

Next up: Cleveland Browns

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2 SU and 3-1 ATS)

The legend just continues to grow, as the Uncle Rico of the NFL continues to get it done both on and off the field. Putting the Jalen Ramsey saga to the side, Gardner Minshew has undoubtedly become one of the more fun storylines of the NFL season so far. Let’s see if the good times continue this week against a Carolina team that’s found some new life in recent weeks.

Next up: Carolina Panthers

15. Tennessee Titans (2-2 SU and 2-2 ATS)

The good version of the Titans showed up on Sunday as they dominated the Falcons from start to finish. In what could set up to be an ugly UNDER game, Tennessee now gets ready to host a Buffalo Bills team that could have Matt Barkley starting at quarterback.

Next up: Buffalo Bills

16. Houston Texans (2-2 SU and 2-2 ATS)

The trio of AFC South teams remain connected in the rankings because I see so little space between them. Despite the loss to Carolina, I still have faith in Deshaun Watson. Now the Falcons come to town this week - yes, that same Falcons team that just lost at home to Tennessee. Based on the rankings, you’d have to expect a similar result, but for some reason, the Texans just don’t inspire a lot of confidence.

Next up: Atlanta Falcons

17. Cleveland Browns (2-2 SU and 2-2 ATS)

The soap opera continues this week as the Browns travel to San Francisco for a marquee match-up on Monday night against the undefeated 49ers. As I wrote for the Niners, it should be a fun game that features two exciting offenses capable of putting on an entertains display of fireworks. I’m getting the popcorn ready now.

Next up: San Francisco 49ers

18. Buffalo Bills (3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS)

Perhaps I could have moved up the Bills a bit more, but they’ve been climbing the rankings for several weeks now. Quarterback questions aside, this Buffalo defense is legit and fun to watch.

Next up: Tennessee Titans

19. Detroit Lions (2-1-1 SU and 3-1 ATS)

Another team that continues to climb up the rankings. I have to be honest, I found myself eating my words about Matt Patricia as the Lions put on that impressive performance against the Chiefs. The offense was particularly good, as Matt Stafford, Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Kerryon Johnson comprise a talented core on that side of the ball.

Next up: Green Bay Packers

20. Los Angeles Chargers (2-2 SU and 1-2-1 ATS)

With the secondary continuing to struggle, the Chargers find themselves on shaky ground despite turning it on in the second half and pulling away from the Dolphins over the weekend. This week they get another struggling team in Denver, who just found out Bradley Chubb will be out for the rest of year due to an ACL injury. The Chargers should be able to take advantage.

Next up: Denver Broncos

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2 SU and 2-2 ATS)

Putting the Bucs’ troubling defense, especially against the pass, to the side, the Bucs pulled off the stunner of the weekend in upsetting the Rams in Los Angeles as +350 underdogs. He still throws incredibly dumb interceptions, but Bruce Arians’ magic is starting to take effect, as Jameis Winston, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are off to monster starts to begin the season.

Next up: New Orleans Saints

22. Carolina Panthers (2-2 SU and 2-2 ATS)

Cam who? Okay, I know the joke’s getting old, but much like Gardner Minshew in Jacksonville, Kyle Allen has been a revelation for Carolina in Cam’s absence. So I guess it only makes sense that the two upstart QBs will face off against each other this weekend.

Next up: Jacksonville Jaguars

23. New York Giants (2-2 SU and 2-2 ATS)

I’m betting the fun comes to an end this week as Daniel Jones finally gets his wake up call against an angry Vikings defense. However, Jones has proven me wrong every step of the way so far. But I think this is the week in which reality sets in a bit and Jones falls back down to earth.

Next up: Minnesota Vikings

24. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS)

As I wrote last week, the Steelers were clearly not giving up on their season when they traded for Minkah Fitzpatrick and that proved to be the case as Pittsburgh dominated Cincinnati on Monday night. Mason Rudolph once again showed he’s capable of steadying the ship, but he may be in for rough waters this week against an angry Ravens team coming off a tough loss to the Browns. It’s always fun with these two teams lock horns.

Next up: Baltimore Ravens

25. Atlanta Falcons (1-3 SU and 1-3 ATS)

Stuck in the land of mediocrity, the Falcons took the biggest drop in the rankings this week, as we can no longer ignore their SU and ATS record. It’s been a demanding start to the season from a scheduling perspective and this talented Atlanta squad will see better days, but right now, it’s tough to trust the Falcons after the Titans mopped the floor with them this past Sunday.

Next up: Houston Texans

26. Oakland Raiders (2-2 SU and 2-2 ATS)

The Raiders snuck up on the Colts and pulled off the surprising upset. However, Oakland won’t sneak up on Khalil Mack this week in London, as I expect a big performance from the Chicago D because of the Mack factor and the likely return of Roquan Smith.

Next up: Chicago Bears

27. Denver Broncos (0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS)

For a team that was already struggling, the loss of Bradley Chubb for the year could send them reeling. There’s a lot of veteran leadership still in that Denver locker room and they will need all of it as the Broncos try and did themselves out of an 0-4 hole that could easily be 2-2.

Next up: Los Angeles Chargers

28. Washington Redskins (0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS)

Talk about a hot seat. Even with the weather cooling, Jay Gruden has no need for seat warmers right now as he continues to bungle his way through the season. Gruden couldn’t help himself and he threw Haskins into the game on Sunday against the Giants and the rookie unsurprisingly struggled. There’s some real talent on this team, but it’s being wasted by a head coach that is increasingly showing he may not be up to the challenge.

Next up: New England Patriots

29. Cincinnati Bengals (0-4 SU and 2-2 ATS)

Unfortunately for the city of Cincinnati, the Bengals are bungling their way through another season. Say what you will about Marvin Lewis (and there’s plenty to be said), the man worked miracles in getting this dysfunctional franchise to the playoffs seven times during his 16-year run as head coach, even if that elusive playoff win always escaped him.

Next up: Arizona Cardinals

30. Arizona Cardinals (0-3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS)

You think Kyler Murray was watching the A’s/Rays Wild Card Game this week and thinking, "Man, what the hell was I thinking? I should have played baseball." I’m sure he feels better when he looks at his bank account, but that thought has to have crossed his mind a time or two as he runs for his life each week and his team continues to lose.

Next up: Cincinnati Bengals

31. New York Jets (0-3 SU and 1-2 ATS)

Clearly, the Jets organization can’t be trusted to tie its own shoes, but hopefully Adam Gase can lay off the smelling salts for a second and actually get a call right for the first time all year and play it safe with Sam Darnold. A lost season isn’t worth losing your franchise quarterback.

Next up: Philadelphia Eagles

32. Miami Dolphins (0-4 SU and 0-4 ATS)

It was actually competitive for much of the first half against the Chargers, but then Miami started missing field goals and turning the ball over and Los Angeles woke up from the early East Coast start time to put the game way. Miami now has the worst point differential through four games since at least 1940. I know I’m not breaking any news here, but this Dolphins team is historically bad.

Next up: Washington Redskins

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