The NFL loves parity, and boy, does it have parity this season.
Five weeks in, 19 of the league’s 32 teams are either 3-2 (eight) or 2-3 (eleven). A 20th team, the Colts, are 2-2-1. First place in four of the eight divisions is occupied by a team with a 3-2 record.
While the 4-1 Bills and 5-0 Eagles held on to the top two spots in The 33rd Team’s weekly power rankings, there was plenty of movement this week.
The biggest winner was the 4-1 Cowboys, who jumped eight spots from 13th to fifth after an impressive 22-10 win over the defending Super Bowl champion Rams. They’ll have an opportunity to jump even further this week when they face the Eagles in a big NFC East clash.
The other big movers this week were the 3-2 Jets and the 1-3-1 Texans, who both moved up four spots. The Jets jumped from 28 to 24 after a 40-17 win over the Dolphins, who were down to their third quarterback. The Texans finally got out of the cellar, moving up from 32 to 28 with an inoffensive 13-6 win over the Jaguars.
The biggest losers this week? Well, the 2-3 Jags dropped from 17 to 22 after losing to the Texans at home.
The Bengals dropped from four to eight after getting beat for the third time this season by a Justin Tucker walk-off field goal in Baltimore. The Rams and Broncos also dropped four spots – the Rams from nine to 13 and the Broncos from 14 to 18 after that inept offensive effort against the Colts last Thursday.
1. Buffalo Bills (4-1)
Last week: W 38-3 vs. Steelers | This week: at 4-1 Chiefs
Good news: Their defense has given up three touchdown passes in five games.
Bad news: The playoffs are still three long months away.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (5-0)
Last week: W 20-17 at Cardinals | This week: vs. 4-1 Cowboys
Good news: They’re 5-0 for only the third time in franchise history.
Bad news: The defense had its worst tackling game since Week 1, but still managed to hold the Cardinals to 17 points.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (4-1)
Last week: W 30-29 vs. Raiders | This week: vs. 4-1 Bills
Good news: Andy Reid’s Chiefs are drawing moustaches on the rest of the NFL.
Bad news: The defense has given up 60 points in the last two games.
4. Baltimore Ravens (3-2)
Last week: W 19-17 vs. Bengals | This week: at 4-1 Giants
Good news: Mark Andrews leads all NFL tight ends in receiving yards (349) and touchdowns (four).
Bad news: While Justin Tucker saved their bacon with a walk-off field goal, the Ravens blew a lead at home for the third time this season. Not a good way to make a living, or a deep playoff run.
5. Dallas Cowboys (4-1)
Last week: W 22-10 at Rams | This week: at 5-0 Eagles
Good news: Dan Quinn’s defense has been dominant, holding opponents to 14.4 points per game. Edge rusher Micah Parsons is tied for the league lead in sacks with six.
Bad news: The offense continues to have problems on third down. It converted just five of 15 third-down opportunities against the Rams and has converted just 30.9% of their third downs in the first five games.
6. Tampa Bay Bucs (4-1)
Last week: W 21-15 vs. Falcons | This week: at 1-4 Steelers
Good news: The defense has held four of its five opponents to 15 points or less.
Bad news: They’ve given up 350 rushing yards to the Chiefs and Falcons the last two weeks.
7. San Francisco 49ers (3-2)
Last week: W 37-15 at Panthers | This week: at 2-3 Falcons
Good news: The Niners have held their first five opponents to a league-best 12.2 points per game.
Bad news: Tight end George Kittle hasn’t been a very big part of the passing game. After missing the first two games with a groin injury, he’s averaging a career-low 9.0 yards per catch and doesn’t have any touchdown grabs.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3)
Last week: L 17-19 at Ravens | This week: at 2-3 Saints
Good news: Joe Burrow’s protection is slowly but surely improving. Sacked 13 times in the first two games, he’s been sacked just five times in the last three.
Bad news: Bengals are underusing Joe Mixon. He had just 14 carries against the Ravens and has had just two 20-carry games so far.
9. Minnesota Vikings (4-1)
Last week: W 29-22 vs. Bears | This week: at 3-2 Dolphins
Good news: Justin Jefferson notched his third 150-plus-yard receiving game Sunday. That’s just one less than he had in his first two NFL seasons.
Bad News: Opposing quarterbacks have a 70.0 completion percentage and 8.2 yards-per-attempt average against the Vikings.
10. L.A. Chargers (3-2)
Last week: W 30-28 at Browns | This week: vs. 2-3 Broncos
Good news: The Chargers rushed for 238 yards against the Browns, including a career-high 173 by Austin Ekeler.
Bad news: The Chargers are 30th in the league in points allowed, giving up 27.2 per game. They gave up 24 and 28 points to Houston and Cleveland the last two weeks.
11. Miami Dolphins (3-2)
Last week: L 17-40 at Jets | This week: vs. 4-1 Vikings
Good news: The Dolphins are hoping (praying?) that concussed QB Tua Tagovailoa will be back in the next week or two.
Bad news: The Dolphins had to play most of the Jets game with their No. 3 QB, untested rookie Skylar Thompson. He turned the ball over twice. The Jets turned both into touchdowns.
12. N.Y. Giants (4-1)
Last week: W 27-22 at Packers | This week: vs. 3-2 Ravens
Good news: The Giants’ defense held Aaron Rodgers and the Packers scoreless in the second half.
Bad news: Daniel Jones’ receiving corps is one of the weakest in the NFL. He averaged eight yards per attempt vs. the Packers, but hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Week 2.
13. L.A. Rams (2-3)
Last week: L 10-22 vs. Cowboys | This week: vs. 1-4 Panthers
Good news: Despite a losing record, they’re only a game behind the first-place 49ers in the NFC West.
Bad news: Protection problems continue to hurt the offense. Matthew Stafford has been sacked 21 times, including 12 times in the last two games.
14. Green Bay Packers (3-2)
Last week: L 22-27 vs. Giants | This week: vs. 3-2 Jets
Good news: Randall Cobb had his most productive game since re-signing with the Packers last year, catching seven passes for 99 yards against the Giants.
Bad news: Without Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers has become a dink-and-dunk quarterback. His 6.9 yards-per-attempt average is the second-lowest of his career.
15. Tennessee Titans (3-2)
Last week: W 21-17 at Commanders | This week: Bye
Good news: The Titans have won three in a row after an 0-2 start.
Bad news: The combined record of the three teams they’ve beaten is 4-10-1.
16. Arizona Cardinals (2-3)
Last week: L 17-20 v. Eagles | This week: at 2-3 Seahawks
Good news: One more week until DeAndre Hopkins gets back from his six-game suspension.
Bad news: Kyler Murray is averaging a pathetic 5.7 yards per attempt.
17. Indianapolis Colts (2-2-1)
Last week: W 12-9 at Broncos | This week: vs. 2-3 Jaguars
Good news: It wasn’t pretty, but the Colts managed to win a game without two of their best players — running back Jonathan Taylor and linebacker Shaquille Leonard.
Bad news: Matt Ryan has been sacked an NFL-high 21 times. At this rate, he’ll be spending Thanksgiving in traction.
18. Denver Broncos (2-3)
Last week: L 9-12 vs. Colts | This week: at 3-2 Chargers
Good news: The defense has held four of its five opponents to 17 points or less.
Bad news: They fired Vic Fangio and hired an offensive genius for this? Russell Wilson was supposed to be the missing link. Instead, he’s got a career-low 82.8 passer rating and the Broncos are 31st in the league in scoring.
19. Atlanta Falcons (2-3)
Last week: L 15-21 at Bucs | This week: vs. 3-2 49ers
Good news: The Falcons are third in the league in rushing (164.6 yards per game). They rushed for 151 yards against the Bucs even though their leading rusher, Cordarrelle Patterson, is on injured reserve with a knee injury.
Bad news: Marcus Mariota has completed just 21 of 44 passes in the last two games.
20. Las Vegas Raiders (1-4)
Last week: L 29-30 at Chiefs | This week: Bye
Good news: The Raiders’ four losses have been by one, two, five and six points.
Bad news: Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller injured his hamstring early in the game and played just six snaps. At least he’ll have the bye week to heal up.
21. Chicago Bears (2-3)
Last week: L 22-29 at Vikings | This week: vs. 1-4 Commanders
Good news: Justin Fields, who had a 50.7 completion percentage in the first four games, completed 15 of 21 passes vs. the Vikings and averaged 9.9 yards per attempt.
Bad news: The Bears have the worst third-down defense in the league (50.7). The Vikings converted 12 of 15 third-down opportunities against them Sunday.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)
Last week: L 6-13 v. Texans | This week: at 2-2-1 Colts
Good news: The defense held Houston to a pair of 50-plus-yard field goals and 248 net yards.
Bad news: In the Jags’ back-to-back losses to the Eagles and Texans, Trevor Lawrence has seven turnovers and a 51.4 completion percentage.
23. New England Patriots (2-3)
Last week: W 29-0 v. Lions | This week: at 2-3 Browns
Good news: Who had Bailey Zappe in the best-performance-by-a-rookie-quarterback-in-2022 pool? Anybody?
Bad news: Before shutting out the Lions, the Patriots had given up 64 points to the Ravens and Packers.
24. New York Jets (3-2)
Last week: W 40-17 v. Dolphins | This week: at 3-2 Packers
Good news: Sunday’s win snapped a streak of 12 straight losses to AFC East opponents.
Bad news: The Dolphins were playing with their third-string quarterback.
25. Cleveland Browns (2-3)
Last week: L 28-20 v. Chargers | This week: vs. 2-3 Patriots
Good news: The Browns’ three losses have been by a combined total of six points.
Bad news: Jacoby Brissett had an inexcusable fourth-quarter, red zone interception that ended up costing the Browns the game.
26. New Orleans Saints (2-3)
Last week: W 39-32 vs. Seahawks | This week: vs. 2-3 Bengals
Good news: The return of Alvin Kamara helped kickstart the Saints’ dormant run game. Kamara and Swiss Army knife Taysom Hill combined for 215 rushing yards against a bad-awful Seahawks’ run defense.
Bad news: Already playing without Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry, the Saints lost their other top wideout, Chris Olave, when he suffered a concussion early in the third quarter.
27. Seattle Seahawks (2-3)
Last week: L 32-39 at Saints | This week: vs. 2-3 Cardinals
Good news: The offense has put up 80 points in the last two games, and Geno Smith – Geno Smith — leads the league in passing.
Bad news: The Seahawks will be without their top running back, Rashaad Penny, for the rest of the season. Penny broke his leg against the Saints. The injury came a week after a 151-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Lions.
28. Houston Texans (1-3-1)
Last week: W 13-6 at Jaguars | This week: Bye
Good news: Their defense has given up just four touchdown passes and has the league’s sixth-best opponent passer rating (73.3).
Bad news: They finally win a game and now have to wait two weeks to play again. The injustice!
29. Detroit Lions (1-4)
Last week: L 0-29 at Patriots | This week: Bye
Good news: You can’t lose to a bye.
Bad news: A road trip to Dallas is waiting for them after they get back from R&R.
30. Washington Commanders (1-4)
Last week: L 17-21 vs. Titans | This week: at 2-3 Bears
Good news: Carson Wentz averaged a season-high 9.4 yards per attempt against the Titans.
Bad news: Commanders have converted just two of seven red zone opportunities into touchdowns in their last three games. They’ve scored a total of 35 points in those three games.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4)
Last week: L 3-38 at Bills |This week: vs. 4-1 Bucs
Good news: Rookie QB Kenny Pickett threw for 327 yards.
Bad news: With their next three opponents being the Bucs, Dolphins and Eagles, a 1-7 start looks like a very real possibility.
32. Carolina Panthers (1-4)
Last week: L 15-37 vs. 49ers | This week: at 2-3 Rams
Good news: Matt Rhule, who was fired Monday, is going to have a slew of college jobs to pick from.
Bad news: Whatever Rhule and the Panthers thought Baker Mayfield was, he’s not.