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NFL Power Rankings: Falcons slip, Philly soars, and a new team at #2

Week 6 is in the books, and there's a few shake ups in the power rankings - the Falcons' first victory seem th



Week 6 is in the books, and there’s a few shake ups in the power rankings – the Falcons’ first victory seem them fall to their lowest ranking since Week 2, while a Monday Night Football victory over the Giants boost the Eagles to their highest ranking of the 2015 season. The Bengals join the Packers and Patriots as the only teams to have been ranked in the top two spots, whilst the Chiefs, after a season high of #10 in Week 2, are now in the bottom five of the rankings.

Check out the rest of the rankings below!   (Panel = Gur Samuel; David Venables; Edd Hodsdon; Toby Durant; Tom Parry-Jones; Charlie Anderson; Pete Hallifax; George Noble)

1. New England Patriots (5-0)

Last week: #1

GS = 1, DV = 1, EH = 1, TD = 1, TPJ = 1, CA = 1, PH = 1, GN = 1

Did not despatch of the Colts with such aplomb on Sunday night as they did in the AFC Championship game en route to the Super Bowl, but didn’t need to break much of a sweat either. (DV)

=2. Cincinnati Bengals (6-0)

Last week: #3

GS = 2, DV = 3, EH = 2, TD = 2, TPJ = 3, CA = 3, PH = 2, GN = 3

The Bengals are legit, no question about it. After overcoming a 17 point deficit last week to beat Seattle, they beat another strong defense this week with a 34-21 win against Buffalo. Both sides of the ball are strong and Cincinnati should finally make a deep playoff run. (EH)

=2. Green Bay Packers (6-0)

Last week: #2

GS = 3, DV = 2, EH = 3, TD = 3, TPJ = 2, CA = 2, PH = 3, GN = 2

Pushed all the way by the San Diego Chargers, the Packers sorely miss a fully fit Eddy Lacy and Randall Cobb. Still, they go into their bye week undefeated and with a chance to get healthy. (DV)

4. Carolina Panthers (5-0)

Last week: #7

GS = 4, DV = 5, EH = 4, TD = 4, TPJ = 5, CA = 7, PH = 4, GN = 4

Cam Newton has transformed an empty offense into a 5-0 record, coming up with an MVP-calibre clutch drive to overcome a nine-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Seahawks in Seattle. With a stout defense backing up Newton, the Panthers are legitimate contenders. (EH)

5. Denver Broncos (6-0)

Last week: #6

GS = 8, DV = 4, EH = 7, TD = 7, TPJ = 4, CA = 5, PH = 5, GN = 6

Tested the whole way by a Cleveland Browns team that wouldn’t accept when it was beaten, and that perhaps should have snuck the win in overtime. Will Manning be replaced by Osweiler sooner rather than later? (DV)

=6. Arizona Cardinals (4-2)

Last week: =#4

GS = 6, DV = 8, EH = 6, TD = 5, TPJ = 7, CA = 4, PH = 8, GN = 8

Have the Cardinals become complacent? A 25-13 loss to a Pittsburgh team led by a third-string quarterback raises some red flags, but the Cardinals are still major NFC contenders. (EH)

=6. New York Jets (4-1)

Last week: #8

GS = 5, DV = 6, EH = 5, TD = 6, TPJ = 6, CA = 9, PH = 6, GN = 9

The Jets look increasingly like a serious contender, a year removed from a disastrous campaign. Both the offense and defense are making plays, and boast the dark horse of the NFL season so far with running back Chris Ivory. (DV)

8. Atlanta Falcons (5-1)

Last week: #6

GS = 7, DV = 7, EH = 8, TD = 8, TPJ = 8, CA = 6, PH = 7, GN = 5

Beaten by a resilient Saints team to hand the Falcons their first loss of the season. Crucially, the have fallen a game behind Carolina in the battle for supremacy in the NFC South. (DV)

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)

Last week: #13

GS = 10, DV = 10, EH = 10, TD = 11, TPJ = 9, CA = 8, PH = 10, GN = 7

A shock win over the Arizona Cardinals sees the Steelers break into the top 10 of our power rankings for the first time since Week 2. Landry Jones did enough in relief of Michael Vick to guide the Steelers to victory, while the Pittsburgh faithful will be ecstatic that Ben Roethlisberger plans to return to practice this week. (GS)

10. Minnesota Vikings (3-2)

Last week: #12

GS = 9, DV = 9, EH = 9, TD = 10, TPJ = 10, CA = 14, PH = 11, GN = 10

In a quiet game for running back Adrian Peterson, the Vikings still managed to grind out a victory. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs looks like the steal of the season, having come in as a fifth round draft pick in 2015. (DV)

11. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3)

Last week: #17

GS = 11, DV = 12, EH = 11, TD = 9, TPJ = 12, CA = 16, PH = 9, GN = 14

After a poor showing to start the season, the Eagles have won three of their last four games and now sit atop the NFC East. The defensive line showed up huge against the Giants on MNF, downing Eli four times and compensating for a shaky back end, while the offense shows that if they can get the run game going, they’re very hard to slow down. They’re still a massively flawed team, but in a weak division, they’re likely to do enough to take the crown. (GS)

12. New York Giants (3-3)

Last week: #9

GS = 12, DV = 14, EH = 13, TD = 12, TPJ = 13, CA = 11, PH = 15, GN = 15

One of the more confusing teams this season, the Giants threw away their first two games in the fourth quarter before winning three straight; that all changed last night, as they never got anything going against the Eagles. The only team left to not have 100 yards rushing offense in a game this season, the Giants are now 1-2 in the division, placing them behind the 8-ball when it comes to the NFC East. (GS)

13. Buffalo Bills (3-3)

Last week: #10

GS = 13, DV = 11, EH = 19, TD = 19, TPJ = 11, CA = 10, PH = 12, GN = 12

The banged up Bills are falling further and further out of contention in both the AFC East. E.J. Manuel replaces the injured Tyrod Taylor and Rex Ryan’s best backs are limping. The Bills need to get healthy and start winning consistently before they’re relegated to a fight for the second wildcard spot in the playoffs. (EH)

14. Seattle Seahakws (2-4)

Last week: #11

GS = 17, DV = 16, EH = 15, TD = 15, TPJ = 14, CA = 13, PH = 14, GN = 11

For the fourth time this season, the Seahawks squandered a fourth quarter lead. The Legion of Boom is in disarray, and the struggle of the offense is well documented. Can, and must, do better. (DV)

15. Indianapolis Colts (3-3)

Last week: #14

GS = 20, DV = 13, EH = 20, TD = 17, TPJ = 15, CA = 12, PH = 13, GN = 13

The Colts look like they can only win against the AFC South this season. They need to start getting some wins outside of their division to get themselves anywhere above fourth seed in the AFC. They may win the division, but it looks like another wild card round exit is on the cards. (EH)

16. San Diego Chargers (2-4)

Last week: #15

GS = 15, DV = 15, EH = 18, TD = 14, TPJ = 16, CA = 15, PH = 16, GN = 16

Gave it their all against an unbeaten Packers side. Philip Rivers is like a fine wine, while playing without much help from his running game and offensive line. (DV)

17. St Louis Rams (2-3)

Last week: #16

GS = 14, DV = 19, EH = 14, TD = 13, TPJ = 17, CA = 19, PH = 18, GN = 19

Falling one spot despite being on a bye week, the Rams have shown that they have the pieces on the roster to be competitive – they just can’t seem to put it together against anyone outside their division. Have the opportunity to still make noise and a tilt at the postseason if they can play with some consistency – something they’ve failed to do so far under Jeff Fisher. (GS)

18. Cleveland Browns (2-4)

Last week: #18

GS = 18, DV = 20, EH = 12, TD = 16, TPJ = 18, CA = 17, PH = 18, GN = 20

Forced the Broncos into overtime before finally succumbing. Having the ball in field goal range in overtime, yet still losing, was so atypically Browns like. (DV)

19. Dallas Cowboys (2-3)

Last week: #20

GS = 16, DV = 17, EH = 30, TD = 23, TPJ = 20, CA = 19, PH = 19, GN = 18

They’re now a game behind both the Eagles and the Giants in the NFC East, they still hold a tiebreaker over both. While Tony Romo is still weeks away from returning, and we’ve yet to see what a Matt Cassel-led Cowboys side can achieve, there are strong indications that Dez Bryant may return in Week 7, which would give this Cowboys offense a timely, much-needed boost. (GS)

20. Oakland Raiders (2-3)

Last week: #19

GS = 19, DV = 18, EH = 21, TD = 18, TPJ = 19, CA = 25, PH = 20, GN = 25

Getting the opportunity to regroup in the bye week, this up-and-down Raiders side looks a far cry from the joke of a franchise that the team has been in recent years. When they return to action in Week 7 against the Chargers, Oakland have the opportunity to make a statement to the rest of the league that they’re finally turning things around. (GS)

21. New Orleans Saints (2-4)

Last week: #29

GS = 21, DV = 23, EH = 17, TD = 21, TPJ = 26, CA = 20, PH = 28, GN = 17

Beating the Falcons gives the Saints their second win in three games. While benefitting from Atlanta’s miscues, it could be a much-needed shot in the arm for this previously flagging franchise. (DV)

22. Washington Redskins (2-4)

Last week: #=21

GS = 26, DV = 24, EH = 24, TD = 24, TPJ = 22, CA = 21, PH = 23, GN = 26

Struggled against the New York Jets, as they turned the ball over too much and couldn’t prevent the Jets through the air and on the ground. Will Jay Gruden turn to Robert Griffin III after the ineffectiveness of Kirk Cousins? (DV)

23. San Francisco 49ers (2-4)

Last week: #28

GS = 24, DV = 25, EH = 25, TD = 20, TPJ = 25, CA = 26, PH = 20, GN = 20

Took the present that was playing the Ravens with both hands, giving Jim Tomsula something over his predecessor with a win over the other Harbaugh. (DV)

24. Miami Dolphins (2-3)

Last week: #30

GS = 25, DV = 21, EH = 16, TD = 26, TPJ = 29, CA = 29, PH = 27, GN = 23

The Dolphins bounced back after firing Joe Philbin with a 38-10 win over Tennessee. The defense piled up six sacks and the whole team played with more fire. Can the Dolphins salvage their season? (EH)

25. Baltimore Ravens (1-5)

Last week: =#21

GS = 27, DV = 30, EH = 26, TD = 27, TPJ = 21, CA = 27, PH = 22, GN = 24

You will struggle to win games when starting players that have been on the team for only a week. Joe Flacco threw the worst interception of his career, but rebounded nicely with only Steve Smith to work with. Bad luck and crippling injuries has brought the Ravens season to an early end. (DV)

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3)

Last week: #26 GS = 23, DV = 22, EH = 28, TD = 25, TPJ = 28, CA = 31, PH = 25, GN = 27

Despite a humiliating loss to open the season and being thoroughly dominated by the Panthers in Week 4, the Bucs have shown that there is life in Tampa Bay, particularly with the re-emergence of Doug Martin and three rookie-of-the-week honours to boot (two for Jameis Winston, one for linebacker Kwon Alexander).  Still, their defense has been a sieve all year, and until that gets fixed, they’re likely to stay in the bottom third of the power rankings through the season. A post-bye matchup against Washington next week might still lift this team to a .500 record. (GS)

27. Chicago Bears (2-4)

Last week: #25

GS = 29, DV = 28, EH = 23, TD = 30, TPJ = 27, CA = 28, PH = 24, GN = 21

Couldn’t beat the Lions despite presented with multiple opportunities. Will feel aggrieved with the Golden Tate touchdown grab that was never a touchdown, but should have come away with the win regardless. (DV)

28. Houston Texans (2-4)

Last week: #31

GS = 22, DV = 26, EH = 27, TD = 29, TPJ = 30, CA = 23, PH = 26, GN = 29

The Texans managed to come away with a battling win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Quarterback Brian Hoyer strung together a nice game for the second time in succession, while DeAndre Hopkins is the number one receiver in the league in terms of balls caught and targets. (DV)

29. Kansas City Chiefs (1-5)

Last week: #24

GS = 30, DV = 31, EH = 32, TD = 22, TPJ = 23, CA = 24, PH = 31, GN = 22

They held the Vikings to a close game on Sunday, but fears that the offense would be anaemic without Jamaal Charles seem fully justified. No matter how good their defense is, it won’t be enough to save the Chiefs from a top 10 draft pick next spring. (GS)

30. Tennessee Titans (1-4)

Last week: #23

GS = 31, DV = 32, EH = 31, TD = 28, TPJ = 24, CA = 22, PH = 30, GN = 30

Marcus Mariota is hurting badly, and will be feeling even sorer after his battering at the hands of the Miami Dolphins. Ken Whisenhunt was out-coached by someone with no prior head coaching experience, a worrying sign for a franchise in need of an injection of fire. (DV)

31. Detroit Lions (1-5)

Last week: #32

GS = 32, DV = 27, EH = 22, TD = 32, TPJ = 32, CA = 32, PH = 29, GN = 31

Beat the Bears was the mantra for the week, and it was mission accomplished after a marathon game. The Golden Tate touchdown catch ruling will live long in the memory, but the Lions will take a win however it comes. (DV)

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)

Last week: #27

GS = 28, DV = 29, EH = 29, TD = 31, TPJ = 31, CA = 30, PH = 32, GN = 32

The Jaguars head into London without a ‘0’ in the win column for the first time. Unfortunately, it’s getting harder to tell when they’ll be able to add a second W. The wheels have all but come off this season for the Jags, and if they can’t surprise Buffalo at Wembley, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Gus Bradley getting the same treatment as Joe Philbin and Dennis Allen have over the past two seasons – returning from the UK to find their office packed up and a pink slip pinned to the door. (GS)


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Gur Samuel

Hi! I'm Gur and I'm RealSport's Editor-in-Chief. I'm also currently the site's tennis editor, and contribute to our NFL, wrestling and Formula 1 coverage as well. I'm also an NFL analyst for CNN International and contributor to SB Nation, and have contributed to, or been interviewed by, various print, broadcast and online media, including the BBC, Mail Online, ABC, NBC, CBS, the Boston Globe, and Yahoo! Sports.

NFL Power Rankings: Falcons slip, Philly soars, and a new team at #2

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