- Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have been on fire this season. They kicked off the year with a dominant victory over New England in Foxborough behind phenomenal performances of rookie running back Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, Alex Smith, and an all-around solid defense. Worries emerged when veteran safety Eric Berry went down with an injury, but the Chiefs have shown resilience piling up five straight wins. This team is ready to take anyone on.
- Philadelphia Eagles
Alshon Jeffery was a wonderful offseason pickup for the Eagles and he has already begun to prove his worth as a reliable target and coverage-drawer for Wentz. The Eagles are coasting at the moment with the potential to solidify their lead and fly higher as the season progresses.Their matchup against Carolina will be a big test this week.
3. Green Bay Packers
The Packers are still packing heat along with their traditional cheeses. Davante Adams made his miraculous return to the field and Aaron Rodgers showed us once again that he is one of the best at leading the two minute offense. A round of applause to backup running back, Adam Jones, who has filled in splendidly during Ty Montgomery’s absence as well.
- Carolina Panthers
It took some time, but the Panthers are once again rocking and rolling behind a solid defense and the impressive athleticism of Cam Newton. With two very impressive road wins in a row (against New England’s high-powered offense and Detroit’s top three rated defense), the Panthers are ready to pounce on their next competitors.
- Atlanta Falcons
I have still yet to be impressed with the Falcons’ offense since their coaching change this past offseason. It’s not that they are bad in any way, but they are definitely not running at the offensive potency that they had last season. This team is still trying to figure out their new identity and adapt their game plan accordingly, but they will continue to score and continue to win games in the meantime.
- New England Patriots
The Patriots have one of the strongest, if not the strongest offense in the league, but coupling that with one of the league’s worst defenses won’t net them the top spot. Their pass defense looked better against the Bucs this past week, but if it returns to its prior form, expect a trade coming in the near future to strengthen the Pats’ D.
- Detroit Lions
Detroit’s defense did ‘Ngata’ show up this past week. All puns aside, Detroit definitely missed the pressure that big man Haloti Ngata brings to the table. Nevertheless, the Lions are still prowling for the top of the division.
- Denver Broncos
The Broncos boast, what is still considered by many, the best defensive unit in the league. Some critics said, “the Broncos were weak against the run.” Then they went on to hold two Pro Bowl running backs in check in Ezekiel Elliott and Marshawn Lynch. Their Trevor Siemian lead offense is consistent enough, while their defense is there to carry them to victory in close contests.
- Seattle Seahawks
Kudos to the Seahawks for being one of the most inconsistent teams in the league so far this season! They lost to the Packers by 8 points in Week 1 and then followed that up with a low-scoring, 3 point win against the bottom-of-the barrel 49ers. How was the second game that close?! The inconsistency continued with a close loss to the Titans, a blowout win over the Colts, and then a tight, low-scoring win over the Rams. This team’s defense has been solid throughout (even losing Cliff Avril to injury), but their offense seems to flip a coin each week to decide if they want to put points on the board. The theme of their bye should be scoring consistently.
- Washington Redskins
I’m impressed. Over the course of the first couple weeks, the synergy between Cousins and his new WRs has definitely improved. More importantly, the Skins defense is playing on-point; holding the Raiders and Chiefs’ high-caliber offenses in check is quite the accomplishment. I’m not convinced that “Fat Rob” is the answer at running back, but the team has time to figure that out down the road.
- Los Angeles Rams
Sean McVay is definitely moving this team forward, but it won’t happen overnight. The defense still looks as proficient as it has in the past couple seasons, but the offense is very much improved system-wise. The organization is building the team around Goff and Gurley and their intention has been evident over the first five weeks of the season. This team should continue to improve.
- Jacksonville Jaguars
Blake Bortles may not be their answer at quarterback, but Leonard Fournette sure is filling in nicely at running back. The Jags also boast the top defensive unit in the league after this past week. If their defense can continue to force turnovers and the offensive line can continue to open holes for Fournette, then this team will continue to tread upward no matter who is behind the center.
- Buffalo Bills
Let’s go, Buff-a-lo! The Bills’ offense still has a lot of work to be done, but their defense is continuing to impress from week-to-week. Buffalo’s receiving corps only gets worse in the absence of Jordan Matthews (more for the cover he draws than anything else), but getting Shady back up to speed will help a bit.
- Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are a completely different team with Ezekiel Elliott and healthy cornerbacks on the field; sadly they haven’t had many games with both yet. A lot of this team’s ranking will depend on how Zeke’s court case/suspension continues to play out. Dak is as solid as ever though.
- New Orleans Saints
The Saints most likely spent the first half of their bye week praying prayers of thanksgiving for the impressive turnaround they displayed in their past two games (wins over Carolina and Miami, respectively). With Drew Brees continuing to find his rhythm abs Willie Snead set to return after their bye, their offense will only get stronger as the season progresses. Their true test will come this week when they face another high-caliber offense in the Detroit Lions.
- Minnesota Vikings
Case Keenum has settled in pretty cleanly in place of an injured Sam Bradford and Jerrod McKinnon isn’t doing too shabby, filling in for IR-listed Dalvin Cook either. With a high mid-tier defense and an offense that seems to continue to put it together in the absence of some of their stars, Minnesota is rounding out a competitive NFC North division.
- Pittsburgh Steelers
The Jags made Big Ben look like Little Ben last week, picking him off 5 times throughout the course of the game. The current theme of this Steelers’ team is “wasted potential.” Pittsburgh has no excuse for the way they are currently performing. Roethlisberger needs to pull it together and lead this team to victory like we have seen him do many, many times before. No one (well maybe Ravens’ fans) wants to see Big Ben retire on a year full of poor performances. This team will recover.
- Houston Texans
I said it back during the draft…Deshaun Watson is made for the NFL and it is only a matter of time before he impresses. He has handily taken lead of the Texans offense and it has seen very, vast improvements during his short tenure. The offense will continue trending upward, but losing JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus for the year will drop their defense low, low, low.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The big question here is, “What happened to the Bucs’ passing game against the Pats’ bottom-dwelling defense?” Did the Pats defense improve that much in a week or were Winston and the Bucs that off? Only time will tell. Bucs’ fans can rejoice regarding the return of Doug Martin and holding the Patriots to a measly 19 points by their standards though.
- Cincinnati Bengals
After looking dead on arrival for the first couple weeks of the season, the Bengals have finally begun to show their first signs of life! IV Stat! With a noteworthy win over Buffalo and their staunch defense, the Bengals will look to continue to roll after their bye this week.
- Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have shown extreme inconsistencies throughout the season so far. One game they dominant through their ground game and tough defense; then another in the air. Then they get annihilated in every statistical category by the Jaguars. This team has experienced many ups and downs, but their schedule softens up a bit over the next few games. This will be a good time for them to experiment and work out their kinks before facing the big dogs…otherwise they’ll be saying “Nevermore” to their playoff chances.
- Tennessee Titans
The Titans with Mariota are a different team completely. This team misses their fearless leader at the helm and it is very evident in the final scores of their recent games as well.
- Oakland Raiders
Coming into the season, the Raiders looked extremely promising. A healthy Derek Carr at QB, an upgrade at running back with the triumphant return of Marshawn Lynch, and a receiving corps that some teams dream they had. Their defense had a few strong points and a number of weak points, but analysts and fans were both confident that their high-powered offense would carry them to victory in shootouts. Well, that was until the Skins shut them down and then Carr got injured this past week in Denver. The team looked stale with EJ Manuel at QB last week, but they may be able to rest easy because Derek Carr is returning from his “2-6 week recovery period” that lasted just over 1 week. Take that as you will.
- New York Jets
The Jets are on a 3 win streak after taking down the Browns this past week. Don’t expect them to continue this unexpected upswing though, as a few 50+ yard runs fewer this team’s record would look very different.
- Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers made an electrifying move to Los Angeles this offseason with thoughts of grandeur on their minds; however, since the move they have only been meant with regret and disappointment. The LA faithful have yet to embrace the team and with the Chargers boasting a 1-4 record, don’t expect the love to come any time soon. They finally pulled out a win last week, but it was against an 0-4 Giants team who lost their top 4 WRs throughout the matchup.
- Chicago Bears
Da Bears can’t seem to find their way out of the forest of loses. They pick up a win against a lackluster Steelers’ team and then turn right back around losing handily to Green Bay and then Minnesota. The switch to Mitch Trubisky seems more like throwing in the towel for this season and preparing for the next.
- Arizona Cardinals
Losing David Johnson was the straw that broke the camel’s (cardinal’s?) back. Johnson was such an elusive playmaker for the Cards on offense in both the rushing and the passing game and it’s evident that they haven’t been able replace him. The offense has been struggling since Week 1 and the defense is good on paper, but gets winded each game from being on the field too long. Acquiring Adrian Peterson from the Saints for a conditional 6th Round draft pick isn’t a bad move, but it also isn’t a move that will vastly improve their current standings.
- Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins look like fish out of water at the moment. They thought they reeled in the big kahuna and the answer to their prayers in Cutler this offseason, but in all reality he is looking more like he’s still enjoying retirement. This team has a lot of work ahead to compete, but lucky for them, they were able to snag a win against a Mariota-less Titan’s team.
- Indianapolis Colts
It seems like the “Suck for Luck” campaign is back in action! Since Luck’s injury, the Colts have only managed to pull out two wins, with both coming in close games against 0-5 teams. They are the best of the worst teams in the NFL.
- New York Giants
Going into this past week, it amazed me that the Giants continued to struggle with scoring this year. Their running game is mediocre at best, but the resources they boasted at WR were some of the best in the league. This team should have been scoring 30 points a game. Progress had been made over the last couple of weeks, but now it is all in the past as the Giants lost their top 4 WRs this past week. Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall, and Dwayne Harris received season-ending injuries, while Sterling Shepard’s ankle injury is still yet to be ruled on. With these injuries, the Giants’ record has been placed on IR for the remainder of the season as well.
- San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers thought they struck gold hiring Kyle Shanahan as their new head coach, but so far that has proven far from the truth. Personally, I credit their atrocious record to their lack of playmakers on offense, as opposed to bad coaching though.
- Cleveland Browns
The Browns need work. This has been the case for years though. Failed draft pick after failed draft pick into season-ending injuries into failed drug tests can only describe the Browns of this past decade. Personally, I think they are beginning to trend upwards, but it’ll be a very slow process.