Brad Biggs’ NFL power rankings for Week 6 of the 2020 season.
Last week’s ranking in parentheses.
1.Packers 4-0 (2)
The Packers come back refreshed from a week off preparing for Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay. They lead the league in scoring, averaging 38 points per game.
2.Seahawks 5-0 (3)
Russell Wilson worked his late-game magic to pull out a win over the Vikings on Sunday night. He needs to remain at the top of his game for the Seahawks to hunt the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The defense is on pace to allow 7,539 yards. Only one team has surrendered 7,000 yards in a season, the 2012 Saints (7,042).
3.Chiefs 4-1 (1)
The Chiefs’ first loss in nearly a year was costly. Guard Kelechi Osemele went out with tendon tears in both knees, and wide receiver Sammy Watkins was lost to a hamstring injury.
4.Titans 4-0 (6)
A 16-day layoff after a COVID-19 outbreak affecting the roster and staff didn’t slow the Titans. They thoroughly crushed the previously unbeaten Bills 42-16 on Tuesday night, propelling them to their first 4-0 start since 2008, when they won their first 10 games and finished 13-3.
5.Ravens 4-1 (4)
If you’re nitpicking, the offense needs to pick things up. It wasn’t crisp in a 27-3 win over the Bengals. Quarterback Lamar Jackson was 19 of 37 for 180 yards with two short touchdown throws and a pick.
6. Steelers 4-0 (7)
As steady as the Steelers have been under Mike Tomlin and Bill Cowher before him, it’s a little hard to believe they are 4-0 for the first time since 1979, the year Chuck Noll guided the franchise to its fourth Super Bowl title in six seasons.
7. Rams 4-1 (8)
Aaron Donald had a career-high four sacks at Washington, giving him a league-high 7½. He is on track for his third defensive player of the year award in four seasons.
8. Patriots 2-2 (9)
The postponement of the game against the Broncos increases the chance Cam Newton will be available when they tangle Sunday.
9.Bills 4-1 (5)
Tuesday night football did not agree with the Bills. Quarterback Josh Allen was out of sorts and threw two interceptions in a 42-16 loss at Tennessee. They have to rebound quickly after an uncharacteristically sloppy performance as they host the Chiefs on Monday night
10. Saints 3-2 (11)
Drew Brees looked shaky in the first half but delivered in the fourth quarter as the Saints rallied to beat the Chargers in overtime while benefiting from kicker Michael Badgley’s rough night on the bayou.
11.Browns 4-1 (14)
No one wraps up coach of the year honors after five weeks, but Kevin Stefanski is the leader in the clubhouse. It’s the franchise’s first 4-1 start since 1994, when a guy named Bill Belichick was patrolling the sideline in Cleveland.
12. Raiders 3-2 (17)
The Raiders ended a seven-game losing streak in Kansas City as Derek Carr was on fire, connecting on 22 of 31 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns. He also converted two sneaks on fourth down to hand the Chiefs their first loss and send the Raiders into their bye week with momentum.
13. Colts 3-2 (13)
Philip Rivers’ continued struggles are becoming problematic as he threw a pick-six and took a safety in a nine-point loss in Cleveland. Rivers was supposed to be a bridge to the future, but that bridge is looking mighty short.
14. Bears 4-1 (15)
They’ve rallied for three wins when trailing by 13 or more points, adding to coach Matt Nagy’s belief there is something special about this team. The red-zone defense, tops in the league, is indeed special. The offense needs much improvement.
15. Cardinals 3-2 (16)
The Cardinals snapped a two-game slide, as expected, with an easy win over the Jets, but the loss of pass rusher Chandler Jones to a biceps injury is problematic. He’s their most impactful defensive player, and the injury is likely season-ending.
16. Buccaneers 3-2 (10)
Discipline continues to be an issue as penalties plague the Bucs. They’re hoping to get healthy, but they need to play smarter football and, you know, realize what down it is.
17.Panthers 3-2 (19)
The Panthers hit a home run by signing wide receiver Robby Anderson to a two-year, $20 million contract. The ex-Jet is on pace for 1,565 yards and 115 receptions as the Panthers have rolled off three straight wins without running back Christian McCaffrey.
18. Dolphins 2-3 (24)
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns in a complete dismantling of the 49ers. The 43-17 beating would have been much worse had the Dolphins not had to settle for five Jason Sanders field goals.
19. 49ers 2-3 (12)
Jimmy Garoppolo was pulled because his ankle wasn’t right in returning from injury. But the train-wreck 43-17 loss to the Dolphins is troubling. The once-dominant 49ers defense has been porous.
20. Vikings 1-4 (18)
Hard to fault Mike Zimmer for going for it on fourth-and-1 with the lead and less than two minutes to play. The Vikings will fade completely out of contention if they can’t find a way to win close games. They have lost to the Titans and Seahawks by one point.
21. Cowboys 2-3 (20)
Dak Prescott’s magical season came to a crushing end when he suffered a gruesome right ankle injury. Andy Dalton steps in with the Cowboys at the top of the lowly NFC East, whose four teams have combined for an unsightly 4-15-1 record.
22. Chargers 1-4 (22)
Justin Herbert became the first rookie to throw four touchdown passes on “Monday Night Football,” but kicker Michael Badgley doinked a 50-yard field goal at the end of the game off the right upright — after missing an extra point earlier in the game. The Chargers went to overtime and lost.
23. Eagles 1-3-1 (23)
As awful as the Eagles have looked — and the defense was atrocious in a 38-29 loss in Pittsburgh — they are in the thick of the NFC East race. But the Ravens are up next, and that will be a chore.
24.Texans 1-4 (25)
The big-play receiver the Texans figured would replace DeAndre Hopkins stepped up as Brandin Cooks had eight catches for 161 yards and a touchdown in the team’s first win. It came the week after grand poobah Bill O’Brien was fired.
25. Bengals 1-3-1 (21)
The Bengals have to be careful with Joe Burrow. He has been sacked an NFL-high 22 times, including seven in Sunday’s loss to the Ravens. That puts him on pace for 70 sacks, if he’s not disabled first, and that’s David Carr territory. Carr was sacked 76 times as a rookie for the Texans in 2002.
26. Lions 1-3 (27)
Two head coaches have been fired. Does Matt Patricia become No. 3 if the Lions lose in Jacksonville on Sunday. Fox pregame analyst Terry Bradshaw skewered him Sunday, saying: “Patricia in Detroit. Smartest guy in the world. Rocket scientist. Engineer. Can’t coach a lick. Can’t hold a lead when they’re leading by 10 points. He’s got to be gone.”
27. Jaguars 1-4 (26)
After beginning the season with an impressive win over the favored Colts, the Jaguars have entered the dumps. They have lost three consecutive games to previously winless teams, giving the Dolphins, Bengals and now Texans their first wins of the season. It’s only appropriate the lowly Lions are next.
28. Broncos 1-3 (29)
The COVID-19 outbreak on the Patriots forced the Broncos to juggle their schedule as three games were moved, giving Vic Fangio’s team an early bye. While most of the Broncos’ injuries have been season-ending, perhaps the week off will help.
29. Washington 1-4 (28)
Credit to Ron Rivera for pulling the plug on last year’s first-round pick, Dwayne Haskins, when he did. Kyle Allen isn’t the long-term answer at quarterback, but sticking with Haskins wasn’t going to work. The offense totaled only 108 yards in a home loss to the Rams.
30. Falcons 0-5 (30)
Arthur Blank finally did what he should have done a year ago in firing coach Dan Quinn. Perhaps the waiting game doomed GM Thomas Dimitroff as well, as he was also terminated Sunday night after the Falcons fell to 0-5 for the first time since 1997.
31. Giants 0-5 (31)
Both New York teams are 0-5 for the first time ever, but the Giants at least put forth a spirited effort in a 37-34 loss at Dallas, more than doubling their previous season high for points in a game. We could have a Big Apple (does MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., count?) showdown for the No. 1 pick.
32. Jets 0-5 (32)
Le’Veon Bell returned from a hamstring injury to do little in the latest loss to the Cardinals, and the Jets released him Tuesday night. Has there been a bigger free-agent disappointment the last five years?
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