NFL Power Rankings Week 5: Contenders Become Pretenders

Week 4 saw some shifting in the NFL. The contenders became pretenders and vice versa. We are still seeing that trend of big name injuries and we also saw an unforeseen bye week insert itself into Week 4.

As will happen every Tuesday throughout the season, nine of our contributors — Zach Lyons, Mike HerndonJustin MeloJimmy MorrisRobert GreenlawWes WisleyAustin NelsonJosh Hong, and Justin Graver — have submitted their power rankings, 1 to 32. Below is the aggregate results of those rankings.

Biggest Risers: The Cleveland Browns found their groove even without Nick Chubb, as they decimated the Cowboys and jumped up 5 spots. They’re joined by the Indianapolis Colts who may be… legit?

Biggest Fallers: The love given to the Detroit Lions was not reciprocated while the Texans and Power Rankings darlings, Arizona Cardinals, just keep falling… all three teams fell five spots.

Here’s where we landed with our rankings as we head into Week 5 of the regular season:

To see the full list of everyone’s individual rankings click here.

Highest Rank:1stLowest Rank:1stPreviously:1st
Highest Rank:2ndLowest Rank:3rdPreviously:2nd
Highest Rank:2ndLowest Rank:4thPreviously:3rd
Highest Rank:2ndLowest Rank:4thPreviously:4th
Highest Rank:5thLowest Rank:5thPreviously:5th
Highest Rank:6thLowest Rank:8thPreviously:6th

Zach: Okay, they have a locker room pandemic outbreak… so what? That does not change anything, because the Tennessee Titans roster is still as good as it’s been.

The Titans are still a 3-0 team set to see A.J. Brown and (probably) Adoree Jackson return. Despite contracting BOWEN-19, they’re somehow getting healthier for the bigger games. Sure, in their upcoming matchup they face a really good Bills team. They’re legit.

The Bills usually have the Titans’ number, and they’re rightfully ranked above the Titans in our poll. However, something’s in the air in Nashville (besides coronavirus). This year it feels different.

Highest Rank:6thLowest Rank:8thPreviously:7th
Highest Rank:8thLowest Rank:10thPreviously:9th
Highest Rank:7thLowest Rank:13thPreviously:14th

Josh: It’s time for me to eat crow. I hate admitting this, but the Colts look legit. For three weeks in a row now, they have completely dominated their opponents, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Through four games, the Colts rank 1st in yards allowed and 1st in points allowed.

Now, the Colts haven’t exactly faced offensive juggernauts in the Jaguars, Vikings, Jets, and Bears, but when you can maintain this level of play for three weeks straight, it probably means that the defense is for real.

On the offensive side, Philip Rivers has quietly had a very efficient season. Despite losing two starting receivers to injury in Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell, Rivers has been spreading the ball around effectively. It’s starting to look like that Week 1 loss to the Jaguars was a fluke.

Highest Rank:7thLowest Rank:12thPreviously:10th
Highest Rank:8thLowest Rank:12thPreviously:8th
Highest Rank:9thLowest Rank:13thPreviously:11th
Highest Rank:11thLowest Rank:18thPreviously:13th
Highest Rank:12thLowest Rank:16thPreviously:19th

Austin: Are the Browns… legit? They have the most efficient offense through four weeks. The running game has been the key, but they will now be without Nick Chubb for about six weeks. Odell Beckham Jr. finally looked like the superstar wide receiver he once was and Baker looks like Baker. The Browns have a favorable schedule the rest of the way, but these next two weeks against Indianapolis and Pittsburgh will really give us a feel on if this is the year Cleveland is a playoff contender or not.

Highest Rank:14thLowest Rank:17thPreviously:15th
Highest Rank:15thLowest Rank:18thPreviously:17th
Highest Rank:14thLowest Rank:19thPreviously:12th

Mike: We should have seen this coming.

Traditional doormat franchise? Check.

Exciting second-year QB from Oklahoma? Check.

Flashy trade for a big name receiver? Check.

Poor defense built around one outstanding pass rusher? Check.

Highly suspect offensive line? Check.

The 2020 Cardinals ripped off damn near every plot point from the 2019 Cleveland Browns Experience and the media still fell for it… “Kyler for MVP! Cardinals are going to win the division!”

NOPE. Back-to-back losses to the Lions and Panthers have exposed them for what they are. The Cardinals are the Snakes on a Train to the Browns Snakes on a Plane. They’re a cheap rip off of a bad movie that you’ve already seen.

Highest Rank:14thLowest Rank:20thPreviously:20th
Highest Rank:15thLowest Rank:21stPreviously:16th

Justin Melo: I tried to tell you last week. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I ranked the Bears at No. 16 despite their 3-0 start. Shame on you if you believed in this team. You fool! 

After finally benching Mitch Trubisky last week, backup QB Nick Foles came in and actually played pretty well while leading the team to a comeback victory. He got the start this week and Ooooof, was he ever bad. Believing in Foles in anything other than an Eagles uniform is a fools errand.

That was a pretty good Colts defense on the other side of the ball, but Foles was truly terrible. It was tough to watch.

There is no hope for this offense. None. I feel bad for Bears fans.
I expect them to continue to free fall down these rankings as the weeks pass us by.

Highest Rank:18thLowest Rank:23rdPreviously:24th
Highest Rank:20thLowest Rank:21stPreviously:21st
Highest Rank:18thLowest Rank:24thPreviously:26th

Justin Graver: The Matt Rhule era is off to an excellent start in Carolina. It’s time for us to admit that we may have been too low on this team entering the season. While they struggled in the first couple games, the last two weeks have seen much improvement. The Panthers are 7th in total yards, and Teddy Bridgewater seems to be settling into Joe Brady’s offense with a stellar showing last week against the Cardinals.

The defense may be young, but there is a lot of talent. Brian Burns is making his presence known, and rookies Jeremy Chinn and Yetur Gross-Matos made key plays in last week’s win.

I’m not saying Carolina will compete for the postseason, but I’m not saying they won’t either, with the extra playoff spot and a weak NFC East. Either way, this team is not the bottom-feeder we thought they might be.

Highest Rank:22ndLowest Rank:28thPreviously:18th

Wes: Bill O’Brien has left the building! After leading the Texans to their first 0-4 start since 2008, ownership clearly had enough. In steps Romeo Crennel as interim head coach and will look to lead the winless Texans out of a deep hole left by O’Brien.

Could this move jumpstart the Texans’ season? Having a game changer like DeShaun Watson at QB will always give them a fighter’s chance. It’s just hard to see them having a lot of success with Watson seemingly always running for his life. Granted, the Texans’ schedule saw them facing the Chiefs, Ravens and Steelers, who are a combined 10-1 to start the year. That said, they could not win against a Vikings team that has also struggled in 2020. 

The next two games are against divisional rivals Jacksonville at home and the Titans in Tennessee. The results of those two games will be huge and provide a clearer picture of whether or not their season can be salvaged. With no 1st or 2nd round picks in the 2021 draft, the highest payroll of any team in the NFL and searching for their next head coach and GM, Houston has a massive hole to dig themselves out of.

Highest Rank:22ndLowest Rank:29thPreviously:22nd
Highest Rank:23rdLowest Rank:27thPreviously:28th
Highest Rank:23rdLowest Rank:30thPreviously:29th
Highest Rank:25thLowest Rank:29thPreviously:27th
Highest Rank:24thLowest Rank:29thPreviously:23rd
Highest Rank:25thLowest Rank:30thPreviously:25th
Highest Rank:29thLowest Rank:30thPreviously:30th
Highest Rank:31stLowest Rank:31stPreviously:31st
Highest Rank:32ndLowest Rank:32ndPreviously:32nd

Who is too high? Who is too low? Drop a comment down below!

Have your own power rankings? Click here to go to the forum and put up your own!

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