NFL Power Rankings: Colts stumble; Texans veering into Giants territory
The Colts get zapped by the Bolts, but don't be surprised if Andrew Luck and Co. rebound by knocking off the Broncos in Week 7. Elsewhere in the AFC South, how low can the Texans go?
How low can the Texans go? How average is the NFC East? Or the AFC North? Will Cleveland ever figure out its QB situation?
Those are just a few of the pressing questions after six weeks of the NFL season, where there are few certainties, other than the unbeaten Broncos and Chiefs at the top of the NFL food chain.
1. Denver Broncos : The Broncos aren't going to always just roll through their opponents. They will get everyone's best effort from here on out and there will be more stress on the Broncos defense.
2. Kansas City Chiefs : Some feel their schedule is why they are undefeated, but they have five common opponents with the Broncos and held those five teams to 83 fewer points.
3. Seattle Seahawks : They keep winning and keep overcoming injuries in the offensive line. Their defense and run game will keep them in every game.
4. New England Patriots : It looks like Tom Brady is finally getting his young receivers up and running. The no-huddle offense was on the shelf until this week when they used it 45 times in the win over New Orleans.
5. New Orleans Saints : The Saints should be 6-0 but couldn't close out the Patriots. Jimmy Graham didn't catch a pass in the loss to New England and that could be a problem going forward if teams put their best corner on him.
6. Indianapolis Colts : A tough loss to the Chargers on the road dropped them to sixth. If they had won that game I had them in the third slot, which is where I expect them to climb back or higher if they beat the Broncos next week.
7. San Francisco 49ers : The injuries and the Aldon Smith problems are an area of concern for the defense. As long as the 49ers keep pounding their run game and keep the pressure off Colin Kaepernick they should continue to win.
8. Green Bay Packers : The Packers won in Baltimore but injuries to the receivers will be a big concern moving forward. Rookie running back Eddie Lacy will help balance up the offense and take pressure off Aaron Rodgers and the offensive line.
9. Detroit Lions : Getting a win over a solid Cleveland team when Calvin Johnson was far from full strength is a good sign for the future.
10. Chicago Bears : It's surprising that the Bears have given up the most points in the NFC North, but the offense is pulling its weight and can be explosive.
11. Cincinnati Bengals : The Bengals take the lead in the AFC North and get a good game from Andy Dalton . They will have to be better on the road in the coming weeks to hold the top spot.
12. Dallas Cowboys :Monte Kiffin did a great job playing all the man-to-man defense on the Redskins receivers and getting after RG3 with so many critical starters missing with injuries. The Cowboys offense needs DeMarco Murray back on the field.
13. Baltimore Ravens : I think the Ravens are better than a .500 team, but right now I can't prove it. Joe Flacco was sacked five times by a Packers team without Clay Mathews.
14. San Diego Chargers : The Chargers are 3-3 with wins over Dallas, Indianapolis and Philadelphia. They have emerging wide receivers in Keenan Allen and Vincent Brown and they ran the ball well against the Colts. The defense has too many injuries to play well every week.
15. Miami Dolphins : The Dolphins were on a bye last week and are trying to figure out how to protect Ryan Tannehill and score more points than the defense gives up.
16. Tennessee Titans : Trying to win in the NFL with a backup quarterback is tough but the Titans will be a tough out for most teams in the league. The 20-13 loss to the Seahawks wasn't a moral victory but an example of how good this team will be against average teams.
17. Cleveland Browns : The Browns really need to figure out their quarterback situation if they want to go forward. It soon could be time for Jason Campbell .
18. Philadelphia Eagles : The Eagles are on a two-game winning streak and Nick Foles can run a version of the Chip Kelly offense. No team in the division is playing great defense, so they may be able to win it.
19. New York Jets : The ups and downs of a team with a rookie quarterback. The Jet defense will keep them in games but usually they will have to win the games with turnovers and scoring.
20. Arizona Cardinals : The Cardinals defense is solid but they turned the ball over four times last week and it led to 16 points which led to a loss. The Cardinals can win a lot of games if they protect the ball.
21. St. Louis Rams : The win over the Texans was perceived more as a breakdown by Houston. But look at the game tape and you see a defense that got after the QB (five sacks) and an offense that is starting to run the ball better.
22. Oakland Raiders : Terrelle Pryor was up against a team that figured out how contain him and sack him 10 times. If Pryor can escape the pocket the Raiders are in for a long season.
23. Carolina Panthers : Cam Newton had the kind of game this past week in Minnesota that is required of him every week if the Panthers want to get on a winning streak. The next three teams they play have losing records.
24. Houston Texans : The biggest mystery team in the NFL. Right now the Texans are heading toward the Giants as the disappointment of 2013.
25. Buffalo Bills : My hats off to the Bills for the effort they delivered with a quarterback from a practice squad last week. When they get EJ Manuel and Stevie Johnson back they will beat teams of the caliber of Cincinnati.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers : The Steelers are a dangerous team with their back to the wall. This week they host the Baltimore Ravens. A win in that game and they have a chance to win their division, and that's how they are thinking.
27. Washington Redskins : Robert Griffin III looked like a rookie QB in the Dallas game. It was great to see he had his speed back but he also looked locked on receivers from the pocket and took three sacks, threw an interception and lost a fumble. That indicates how much work still has to be done to get him back.
28. Atlanta Falcons : Injuries have all but destroyed the Falcons Super Bowl aspirations. Even if everyone was healthy the pass rush and the pass protection are still questions.
29. Minnesota Vikings : No one saw the poor defensive performance against the Panthers coming and it raises questions about the future of everyone in the organization. Sooner or later we will see Josh Freeman under center.
30. New York Giants : The Giants were built on a pass rush and that dimension has disappeared. Jason Pierre-Paul has eight sacks in his last 26 games and Justin Tuck has eight in his last 25 games.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers : Mike Glennon looked better in his second start but not good enough to win. Between the MRSA, cutting Josh Freeman, and the head coach decisions, things may not get better this season.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars : The Jags reminded all of us that they are a team of professionals with pride the way they played in Denver. Jacksonville will win a few games this year now that Justin Blackmon is back in the lineup.
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