1.) NY Giants (5-0) [no change]
Though he only played the first half, Eli Manning helped the Giants roll again. Next week is the biggest game of the year so far, when they go down to New Orleans.
2.) New Orleans (4-0) [no change]
The Saints were also on a bye this week.
3.) Minnesota (5-0) [no change]
Is it just me, or is Favre the icing on the cake? Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson were great as usual.
4.) Indianapolis (5-0) [no change]
Peyton Manning and the Colts won another game and look to cruise to the AFC South title. Where's the competition?
5.) Denver (5-0) [no change]
Apparently, the Broncos are no fluke. I didn't get the memo until yesterday, though.
6.) Cincinnati (4-1) [+4]
Now leading the AFC North, the Bengals have the look of an elite team.
7.) Philadelphia (3-1) [+2]
Donovan McNabb returned and made an immediate impact, throwing a long TD to Jeremy Maclin.
8.) Chicago (3-1) [no change]
The Bears had a bye in Week 5, and thus stay where they were.
9.) Atlanta (3-1)
Coming off a bye, the Falcons went on the road and knocked San Francisco out. Incredible games by Roddy White and Michael Turner.
10.) Pittsburgh (3-2)
The Steelers make it in by the skin of their teeth, being the dubious last good team this week.
A Look at Week 5:
If Week 5 proved anything (and I'm not sure it did, really), it proved that the middle and bottom of the league are getting full, and the top is sparsely populated at best. There were only a few good matchups; Baltimore's offense failed to show up for the first time this season, and the defense failed them late, something I didn't expect to see. New England went to overtime in Denver and lost as the Broncos continue to prove their worth. If they're not considered an elite team by now, something's wrong. In the AFC West, there are the Broncos and Chargers; the other two teams are perennial bottom-feeders. Still, I think the Wild Card is coming out of the AFC East, even though both of the heavy hitters in that division lost in Week 5; the Jets were on the road in Miami and lost on a TD by Ronnie Brown with :06 left on the clock. Ouch. That was definitely a great game though, and one that I didn't expect. The other good matchup was Atlanta and San Francisco; thanks to Roddy White and Michael Turner, that one turned into a beatdown quickly. Where San Francisco's defense (and offense) went during that game, who knows.
Other than that, the teams at the top delivered beatdowns to weak opponents. Dallas bucked that trend by going to OT in Kansas City, though. Miles Austin had the game of the week with 10 catches and 250 yards. His two TD's were crucial as well.
A further recap of Week 5's best.
Cincinnati (10) @ Baltimore (unranked):
Cincinnati won it late thanks to Carson Palmer and three bad penalties on the Ravens' defense. Good win for Cincinnati and its DC Mike Zimmer.
Oakland (unranked) @ NY Giants (1):
As expected, it was a beatdown of epic proportions. Eli Manning only played the first half and it was over.
Atlanta (unranked) @ San Francisco (7):
That bye really did work wonders for Atlanta. After starting out fast, San Francisco might be fading.
New England (6) @ Denver (5):
Tom Brady is now 7-1 in overtime games. Not too bad.
Indianapolis (4) @ Tennessee (unranked):
Five games, five 300+ yard performances for Peyton Manning. The guy just doesn't quit.
The best games coming up next week.
Baltimore (unranked) @ Minnesota (3):
Defensive struggle? Or will Adrian Peterson run all over Baltimore like Cedric Benson just did?
NY Giants (1) @ New Orleans (2):
Game of the Week, easily. The two best teams in the NFC face off with an early conference lead on the line.
Chicago (8) @ Atlanta (9):
Both teams are looking to prove they're no fluke. Both are trying to keep up with better teams in their own division, too.
Denver (5) @ San Diego (unranked):
If Denver wins, the AFC West race is practically over. If San Diego wins, there's quite a bit of doubt.