By Korbett Koselak
- Minnesota Vikings (2-2-1)
Last Week: 14
Minnesota creeps back into the rankings after knocking off a struggling Eagles team in Philadelphia on Sunday. That win, while only in week five, seemed enormous for the men in purple, avoiding having to dig out of a potential 1-3-1 hole. Things lighten up this weekend for Minnesota, as one-win Arizona comes to town. However, last time we thought the Vikings had it this easy, they were throttled by Buffalo. We’ll see if they learned their lesson this week.
This week: v. Arizona Cardinals
- Tennessee Titans (3-2)
Last Week: 4
C’mon Tennessee. The Titans made me look so good when I ranked them at four prior to them knocking off the defending champion Eagles.
And then… last week happened.
They fell to previously one-win Buffalo 13-12. Tennessee’s defense has proven to be top-flight, but their offense leaves a lot to be desired. They struggled mightily against Jacksonville a few weeks ago, needed multiple fourth-down conversions to beat Philadelphia a week ago, and then did not get into the end zone against Buffalo. It’s almost as if the offense was more effective with MU alum and quarterback Blaine Gabbert under center, but don’t tell Tennessee that. Either way, they’re 3-2 and on top of a jam packed division race.
This Week: v. Baltimore Ravens
- Carolina Panthers (3-1)
Last Week: 12
Sixty-three…. yaaaaads. That’s what separated Graham Gano’s right foot from a Carolina victory as time expired on Sunday.
His career long fell just a yard short of the NFL record for a successful field goal. He dealt the deciding blow to the now 1-4 New York Giants and got his team a big win as they attempt to keep pace with New Orleans. This week Carolina makes the trip north to Washington. It should be a testament to how good this Carolina team really is.
This Week: @ Washington Redskins
- Los Angeles Chargers (3-2)
Last Week: 9
Los Angeles has played one of the most interesting schedules in recent memory. They opened the season playing Kansas City and the Los Angeles Rams, losing both contests. They went on to beat Buffalo, San Francisco, and Oakland- three bottom feeders of the NFL. They have not played a team between four and 28 in any set of power rankings to date. We don’t really know just how good they are. We’ll get a step closer to solving that riddle as they head to Cleveland this week to take on the … checks standings for 57th time… two-win Browns.
This week: @ Cleveland Browns
- Cincinnati Bengals (4-1)
Last Week: 8
If the season ended today, Cincinnati is hosting a playoff game in the Divisional Round. One of the biggest surprise teams of the season, the Bengals are 4-1 and leading a pretty tough division. They have played awfully clutch as well. Two weeks ago, they defeated Atlanta with a last second touchdown and then last week they quickly erased a seventeen point third quarter deficit with two defensive touchdowns against Miami. With a win already under their belt against Baltimore, a win this weekend against Pittsburgh would put them squarely in the driver’s seat in the AFC North.
This week: v. Pittsburgh Steelers
- Chicago Bears (3-1)
Last Week: 7
Coming off their week five bye, Chicago’s offense is looking to build on its first six-touchdown performance since 1986. They head to Miami where their stout defensive line should be able to take advantage of the mangled and oft-injured Miami offensive line. There’s a lot to look for Chicago-wise in South Beach this weekend including how quarterback Mitch Trubisky looks after almost doubling every career statistic in one outing against Tampa Bay. We’ll see if they can keep things rolling and stay in sole-possession of first for the fourth consecutive week.
This week: @ Miami Dolphins
- New Orleans Saints (4-1)
Last Week: 6
Quarterback Drew Brees is now the all-time leading passer in the history of the National Football League. It’s possibly the most prestigious record in the most prestigious organization in North American sports. He cemented his legacy on Monday Night and moved within one touchdown of 500 for his outstanding career. However, the number he cares about is counted in jewelry. 72,103 three passing yards. One ring. He looks to double that number this year, and his 4-1 Saints are off to a good start.
This week: Bye
- Kansas City Chiefs (5-0)
Last Week: 2
I’d bet a steak dinner you expected to see New England here. Nope. I believe Kansas City’s lack of an identity on defense will cost them at some point down the line. They do have a record-setting, best of all-time offense, but no real defense. I expect the term unbeaten to be removed this week in Foxborough, but the Chiefs are still very, very good. OFFENSIVELY.
This week: @ New England Patriots
- New England Patriots (3-2)
Last Week: 3
This is probably the un-teenth number of power rankings you’ve read this week and the first that didn’t include Kansas City in the top two. The Chiefs have thoroughly dominated their competition this year with their only “close call” being a late come-from-behind win in Denver. However, quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots are picking up steam and finding their mid-season groove. This is more of a prediction of future outcomes than of recent ones. I fully expect Tom Brady and co. to defeat the unbeaten Chiefs on Sunday and for that reason, I put the Patriots at two. Things can change.
This week: v. Kansas City Chiefs
- Los Angeles Rams (5-0)
Last Week: 1
The Rams are one of two remaining unbeatens in the NFL and show no signs of slowing down. On Sunday, Seattle threw everything, including the kitchen sink, at Los Angeles and the Rams caught it all- with their eyes closed, left handed. All in all, Seattle looked like a decent team, playing absolutely perfect in their own stadium, but it still wasn’t enough to knock off a Rams team who made a few mistakes. For the fourth consecutive week, the Rams top the rankings, and they should remain on top for weeks to come.
This week: @ Denver Broncos
- Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2)
- Baltimore Ravens (3-2)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1)
- Philadelphia Eagles (2-3)
- Green Bay Packers (2-2-1)
Edited by Garrett Jones | Gcjh23@mail.missouri.edu