With week 4 of the NFL season in the books, the power ranks become a little more clear some parts but even more muddled in others. At the top, it's fair to see that we've got 2 clear leaders in Houston & Atlanta. Both are undefeated and both have looked impressive in doing so. But as you'll see in the ranks, I do question the strength of their schedule so far.
From 5 on through about 12, we've got somewhat similar teams that have been mostly winning despite their issues.
From #14 to about #19 you've got mostly teams with talent that haven't played up to it yet. Kind of the opposite of the group above them. Below #20, you can almost just toss those teams in a hat and rank them that way. There's parity at the bottom so far this season.
Here's our week 5 NFL power rankings
1) Texans - Clear #1 right now. However, my main trepidation with the Texans at the moment is the lack of a signature win. They've pounded teams, but they haven't played a real contender yet. They've got Green Bay & Baltimore in weeks 6 & 7. Those will interesting tests.
2) Falcons - At this point you'd have to say that they're the class of the NFC by default.
3) 49ers - Shut out the hapless Jets and actually a loss at Minnesota doesn't look to bad right now.
4) Cardinals - Great defense, opportunistic offense and an undefeated record. You have to buy the Cardinals right now.
5) Eagles - There's been a lot of talk about what the Eagles have done wrong this season, but what about what they've done right? Won 3 games, one against the defending champs and one against arguably the 2nd best team in the AFC. Oh and their one loss came against a still undefeated team on the road.
6) Ravens - Unlike the teams at the very top, the Ravens do have a signature win over New England this season.
7) Packers - The Pack seems to be back on track, but I've still yet to get the impression they're as good as they've been the previous two seasons.
8) Bengals - So far Cincy looks a lot like last season. They beat bad teams and lose to good ones. If you do that consistently though, its often times enough to get you in the postseason.
9) Patriots - Put up a college score on the hapless Bills defense and they do it by running the ball!
10) Vikings - I really like the this Vikings team. I'd say in the NFC, they're the bad team from last year to watch out for.
11) Bears - Is there a less likeable player in the NFL than Jay Cutler right now? Just a miserable guy.
12) Chargers - Ryan Matthews finds a spot on the bench and Jackie Battle gets 2 TDs.
13) Broncos - Peyton Manning was 30-38 for for 338 yards and 3 TDs last week. It's the sharpest he's looked this season.
14) Giants - You're probably sensing a theme here, but talk about a team without a quality win. The Giants beat Tampa & Carolina this season while losing to Philly and Dallas.
15) Steelers - The 1-2 Steelers had the bye week to stew over their loss to Oakland. They're facing a desperate game this week with the Eagles coming to town.
16) Redskins - Not much of a defense left in Washington, but you can at least expect a show from them every week.
17) Seahawks - Is it time for the QB carousel in Seattle to turn once more? Russell Wilson is not getting it done.
18) Cowboys - The only reason I'd say they're less disappointing than the Lions is that I expected less from them in the first place.
19) Rams - With Arizona coming in this Thursday, St Louis has a chance to lay down a marker here.
20) Lions - You'd have to rank the Lions as the most disappointing team in the league right now. They looked like a squad on the way up last season, but have really regressed in 2012.
21) Panthers - They looked more like the 2011 Panthers last week. By that I mean a team that gives a good effort, but loses.
22) Buccaneers - The Bucs were a lot of pundits sexy turnaround pick coming into this year, but so far they don't look the part. Josh Freeman hasn't progressed and their defense is suspect.
23) Dolphins - You have to give Tannehill credit for leading his team back last week, but at the same time you have to knock him for the overtime pick. He's done enough to say the jury is still out.
24) Saints - Its kind of anti-climactic & sad to celebrate Drew Brees breaking the Unitas record on a bad team in the midst of a miserable, scandal ridden season.
25) Bills - To say that the Bills' investment in their defense hasn't paid off would be an understatement.
26) Browns - No wins for the Browns, but they don't look god awful. They've played a tough schedule so far.
27) Colts - Super early bye last week. Best of luck to coach Pagano in his fight against Leukemia.
38) Titans - Chris Johnson is alive!
29) Jets - So that shine from the week 1 win is completely gone and the Jets offense is exactly what it looked like in preseason. Awful.
30) Raiders - Bottom 5 offense & defense. This just isn't a good team.
31) Chiefs - Really a team that just can't get out of its own way. They've got big holes on defense and a decision to make at QB after this season.
32) Jaguars - At 15.5 points and 136 yards per game, we've got the unquestioned worst offense in the NFL.