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NFL Week 5 Power Rankings: Bills Stampede Up to No. 2

Every Tuesday, we’ll provide updated power rankings. The rankings will be driven by who the teams are at the moment. Those stances will be centered on every team’s talent, reliability and current level of success. 

Betting markets will also influence our stances, as will each team’s path to contention within its conference. We’ll also be aware of each team’s looming schedule difficulty.

NFL Week 5 Power Rankings

 1. San Francisco 49ers (4-0)

Previous Rank: No. 1

Last Game: 49ers 35, Cardinals 16

The San Francisco 49ers have won their first four games by a margin of 67 points. They’ve scored at least 30 points in each contest while winning three of them by at least two scores. The 49ers continue to be a championship-caliber team that can win in the air, on the ground or defensively. They get their toughest test to date against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

Next: vs. DAL (SNF), at CLE, at MIN (MNF), vs. CIN

 2. Buffalo Bills (3-1)

Previous Rank: No. 5

Last Game: Bills 48, Dolphins 20

The Buffalo Bills have dismantled three teams in a row, including a potential contender in the Miami Dolphins. Buffalo has an 84-point, league-leading margin of victory this year. If the season ended today, Josh Allen would be the league’s MVP. Allen has a better-supporting cast this season, and the Bills’ defense has been spectacular so far. Right now, Buffalo is the team to beat in the AFC.

Next: vs. JAX (Europe), vs. NYG (SNF), at NE, vs. TB (TNF)

 3. Philadelphia Eagles (4-0)

Previous Rank: No. 2

Last Game: Eagles 34, Commanders 31 OT

The Philadelphia Eagles survived an overtime scare against the rival Washington Commanders. Philadelphia has one of the better rosters in the league, but it has yet to play a complete game. Escaping with a win against Sam Howell’s Commanders is closer to a negative than a positive. Considering that Buffalo destroyed Washington two weeks ago, it’s hard to justify ranking the Eagles ahead of the Bills.

Next: at LAR, at NYJ, vs. MIA, at WASH

 4. Kansas City Chiefs (3-1)

Previous Rank: No. 4

Last Game: Chiefs 23, Jets 20

The Kansas City Chiefs haven’t been overly impressive through their first four games. However, they are the defending champs, and they’ve taken care of business in three of their first four games. The Chiefs’ defense has, in many ways, outplayed their offense so far. As long as Patrick Mahomes is its quarterback, Kansas City will be a factor come playoff time.

Next: at MIN, vs. DEN (TNF), vs. LAC, at DEN

 5. Miami Dolphins (3-1)

Previous Rank: No. 3

Last Game: Bills 48, Dolphins 20

We’ve already seen that the Miami Dolphins offense is capable of historic production. That said, they did not show any of that ceiling in Buffalo last week. Miami’s offense having a down week in Buffalo isn’t a problem. However, we saw that the Dolphins’ defense isn’t ready for the other juggernauts in the league. It’s early enough for that to change, but for now, the Dolphins will go as far as their offense takes them.

Next: vs. NYG, vs. CAR, at PHI (SNF), vs. NE

 6. Dallas Cowboys (3-1)

Previous Rank: No. 6

Last Game: Cowboys 38, Patriots 3

The Dallas Cowboys have won three games by a combined score of 108-13, which looks made up. Dallas also was manhandled by the Cardinals in a bad loss to Arizona. Overall, the defense has effectively won three games while Dak Prescott’s offense has been fine but unspectacular. That’s starting to become the expectation for this talented team. The Cowboys get their biggest test of the season with a trip to San Francisco on Sunday night.

Next: at SF (SNF), at LAC (MNF), BYE, vs. LAR

 7. Detroit Lions (3-1)

Previous Rank: No. 7

Last Game: Lions 34, Packers 20

The Detroit Lions are a tough, physical football team that made a statement against the Green Bay Packers last Thursday night. Detroit was in control of that contest from whistle to whistle. The Lions’ offense has been rock solid, while their defense has played better than most expected. Now they get WR Jameson Williams back from suspension, who gives Detroit the one thing their offense is missing: lid-lifting speed. Detroit is on the shortlist of NFC contenders.

Next: vs. CAR, at TB, at BAL, vs. LV (MNF)

 8. Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

Previous Rank: No. 8

Last Game: Ravens 28, Browns 3

After a disappointing loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3, the Baltimore Ravens bounced back with a dominant win against the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens are 3-1 despite playing through the past several weeks without a handful of their best players. QB Lamar Jackson hasn’t really impressed in Todd Monken’s offense, but Jackson is still a dynamic player who can carry an offense. That’s what he did last week against the Browns.

Next: at PITT, vs. TEN (Europe), vs. DET, at ARZ

9. Seattle Seahawks (3-1)

Previous Rank: No. 12

Last Game: Seahawks 24, Giants 3

The Seattle Seahawks’ defense feasted on New York’s patchwork offensive line on Monday night. That defensive surge is a positive but needs to be taken with a grain of salt, given the Giants’ offensive ineptitude. Offensively, Seattle has the raw materials to be a premium offense. When Geno Smith plays well, that’s exactly what they are. The Seahawks are one of the five primary contenders in the NFC.

Next: BYE, at CIN, vs. ARZ, vs. CLE

10. Los Angeles Chargers (2-2)

Previous Rank: No. 11

Last Game: Chargers 24, Raiders 17

There is a tier drop-off after the Ravens in the eighth spot, as each team from this point on has at least one significant flaw. For the Los Angeles Chargers, Justin Herbert’s offense makes them a team that can beat anyone. Their defense has enough talent to be a real factor, but they have simply not put it all together under Brandon Staley. Los Angeles has the raw materials to beat anyone, but it is equally inconsistent.

Next: BYE, vs. DAL (MNF), at KC, vs. CHI (SNF)

 11. Cleveland Browns (2-2)

Previous Rank: No. 10

Last Game: Ravens 28, Browns 3

QB Deshaun Watson sat out last week’s contest with Baltimore due to a throwing shoulder injury. Without Watson and RB Nick Chubb, the Cleveland Browns’ offense was non-existent. That said, we can’t forget the Browns’ defensive dominance through the first three games. Ideally for Cleveland Watson is able to return to action in Week 6 after the Browns’ bye.

Next: BYE, vs. SF, at IND, at SEA

 12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)

Previous Rank: No. 20

Last Game: Buccaneers 26, Saints 9

Baker Mayfield played his best game of the year against a tough New Orleans Saints team last week. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offense is still volatile, but their defense continues to be rock solid. Given the quarterback issues of the other NFC South teams, the Buccaneers have a real path to winning their division.

Next: BYE, vs. DET, vs. ATL, at BUF (TNF)

 13. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)

Previous Rank: No. 17

Last Game: Jaguars 23, Falcons 7

The Jacksonville Jaguars bounced back in London against the quarterback-less Falcons. Trevor Lawrence’s offense hasn’t peaked, but there’s no reason to hit the panic button, either. Ultimately, the Jaguars will go as far as Lawrence takes them. The Jaguars will stay in London to face the Bills, which gives Jacksonville a unique advantage in this matchup.

Next: vs. BUF (Europe), vs. IND, at NO (TNF), at PITT

 14. Los Angeles Rams (2-2)

Previous Rank: No. 16

Last Game: Rams 29, Colts 23 OT

QB Matthew Stafford and Sean McVay are getting things done with a razor-thin supporting cast on both sides of the ball. That may come to a screeching halt against the Eagles’ loaded roster this week. In general, the Los Angeles Rams are playing at a talent deficit against most opponents.

Next: vs. PHI, vs. ARZ, vs. PITT, at DAL

 15. Green Bay Packers (2-2)

Previous Rank: No. 14

Last Game: Lions 34, Packers 20

The Green Bay Packers, unsurprisingly, have been a bit all over the place through four games. Their talented defense has played well against middling opponents, but we saw the Lions dominate them on the ground last Thursday night.

Green Bay has been without its two best skill position players for most of the first four games. Despite that, Jordan Love’s passing attack hasn’t been a consistent factor, but the Packers had their moments. Ultimately, Green Bay needs to improve on both sides of the ball to be a playoff contender.

Next: at LV (MNF), BYE, at DEN, vs. MIN

16. Houston Texans (2-2)

Previous Rank: No. 27

Last Game: Texans 30, Steelers 6

The Houston Texans have blown out the Jaguars and Steelers in consecutive weeks. C.J. Stroud is putting together historic production for a rookie quarterback. The Texans’ offense is having noteworthy success despite being down four starting offensive linemen.

Houston’s defense has been stingy the past two weeks. That’s a lot of important positives for a young team like this one. Despite their current surge, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the rebuilding Texans took a step back sooner rather than later. However, they’ve played well enough in the last two weeks to take a massive jump in our rankings. Houston has three very beatable opponents over the next four weeks.

Next: at ATL, vs. NO, BYE, at CAR

>> READ: Stroud Is 2023 Draft Classes’ QB1

 17. Tennessee Titans (2-2)

Previous Rank: No. 24

Last Game: Titans 27, Bengals 3

Mike Vrabel’s Tennessee Titans are usually hard to figure out. Last week RB Derrick Henry looked like his old self, while Tennessee’s pass rush dominated Joe Burrow’s offense. The Titans’ offensive line and secondary have been liabilities more times than not this year.

Ryan Tannehill’s passing attack has potential but has yet to hit its stride. A week 5 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts’ beatable secondary could help get that group on track.

Next: at IND, vs. BAL (Europe), BYE, vs. ATL

 18. New Orleans Saints (2-2)

Previous Rank: No. 18

Last Game: Buccaneers 26, Saints 9

QB Derek Carr toughed out a throwing shoulder injury last week against Tampa Bay. Carr was noticeably short on a number of throws, likely due to the injury. Overall, the New Orleans Saints can beat you in the air, on the ground and with their defense. They’ve been a tough out in the first four weeks. Ultimately, Carr is the difference maker for this team, for better or worse.

Next: at NE, at HOU, vs. JAX, at IND

 19. Washington Commanders (2-2)

Previous Rank: No. 23

Last Game: Eagles 34, Commanders 31 OT

The Washington Commanders are a talented but inconsistent football team. Two weeks ago they were obliterated by the Bills, while last week they took the Eagles to overtime. We can count on Washington’s defensive front to consistently make an impact.

Washington football fans are used to inconsistent quarterback play. Sam Howell fits right into that legacy because he pairs an impressive ceiling with a horrifying floor early in his career. His bottom-tier offensive line put consistent quarterback play further out of reach for Washington.

Next: vs. CHI (TNF), at ATL, at NYG, vs. PHI

 20. Indianapolis Colts (2-2)

Previous Rank: No. 21

Last Game: Rams 29, Colts 23 OT

The rebuilding Indianapolis Colts have been a scrappy team that has taken each of their last two opponents to overtime. Anthony Richardson has been better than expected, but he’s already missed more than a game and a half due to a concussion.

If Jonathan Taylor returns, that could help take some of the pressure off Richardson. Everyone in the AFC South is tied for the division lead. We’ll find out who the Colts are over their next two games against the Titans and Jaguars.

Next: vs. TEN, at JAX, vs. CLE, vs. NO

 21. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2)

Previous Rank: No. 9

Last Game: Texans 30, Steelers 6

There are zero positive takeaways from a 24-point loss to the Texans. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ already volatile offense becomes even more unstable with Mitch Trubisky taking over at quarterback. That’s the driving factor behind Pittsburgh’s massive fall in our rankings. The Steelers’ defense has driven much of their success over the years, but they will have to carry this team now.

Next: vs. BAL, BYE, at LAR, vs. JAX

 22. Minnesota Vikings (1-3)

Previous Rank: No. 22

Last Game:  Vikings 21, Panthers 13

The Minnesota Vikings did everything they could to lose to the winless Panthers in Week 4. Kirk Cousins threw a red zone interception that was returned the length of the field for a touchdown. Cousins threw for more than 300 yards in each of the first three games but just 139 in Carolina. With Kansas City on deck, Minnesota’s passing attack gives the Vikings their best shot to win. The question is, which version of this team shows up on Sunday?

Next: vs. KC, at CHI, vs. SF (MNF), at GB

 23. Cincinnati Bengals (1-3)

Previous Rank: No. 13

Last Game: Titans 27, Bengals 3

It wasn’t time to panic when the Browns’ defense dominated the Cincinnati Bengals during a rainy opening day game. Cleveland beat up Cincinnati once last year, as well. There is never any real shame in losing to the Ravens, either. Getting absolutely dominated by the 2023 Titans, on the other hand, is cause for great concern.

Right now, the Bengals aren’t doing anything well. They’ve been to each of the last two AFC Championship games, so there’s still some reason for optimism. But we’ve also reached the point where we need to see some progress to have any real belief in the Bengals.

Next: at ARZ, vs. SEA, BYE, at SF

 24. Atlanta Falcons (2-2)

Previous Rank: No. 19

Last Game: Jaguars 23, Falcons 7

The Atlanta Falcons have a good roster filled with difference-makers at multiple positions. Their primary issue is that Desmond Ridder has been the most limited quarterback in the league this season. Ridder is in just his second year, so there’s some hope that changes. However, with just 13 total points in the past two weeks, that optimism is quickly turning into wishful thinking.

Next: vs. HOU, vs. WASH, at TB, at TEN

 25. New England Patriots (1-3)

Previous Rank: No. 15

Last Game: Cowboys 38, Patriots 3

It’s not a major surprise that the New England Patriots lost in Dallas. What’s shocking is the game was effectively over within the first 20 minutes. Bailey Zappe came on to relieve Mac Jones with over a quarter left to play. That suggests Jones’ job security isn’t safe. What’s worse is Edge Matthew Judon and rookie CB Christian Gonzalez will miss time. New England entered the year with a volatile offense, but it is in trouble if its defense takes a step back.

Next: vs. NO, at LV, vs. BUF, at MIA

 26. Arizona Cardinals (1-3)

Previous Rank: No. 26

Last Game: 49ers 35, Cardinals 16

The Arizona Cardinals gave the 49ers a tougher game than the final score would indicate. Arizona has been a tough, physical football team that may play with more effort than anyone else. Up next, the overachieving Cardinals host the league’s most disappointing team, the Bengals. A few weeks ago, an Arizona victory would have seemed nearly impossible in this matchup. That’s no longer the case. 

Next: vs. CIN, at LAR, at SEA, vs. BAL

27. New York Jets (1-3)

Previous Rank: No. 28

Last Game: Chiefs 23, Jets 20

In front of Taylor Swift and the rest of the world, the New York Jets gave the Chiefs all they could handle on Sunday night. The defense made things difficult for Mahomes and company, which isn’t a major surprise.

Zach Wilson playing reasonably well, however, was unexpected. Wilson was by no means great against the Chiefs, but if he can even be mildly consistent, the Jets can beat teams like Denver.

Next: at DEN, vs. PHI, BYE, at NYG

28. Las Vegas Raiders (1-3)

Previous Rank: No. 29

Last Game: Chargers 24, Raiders 17

The Las Vegas Raiders may have left Los Angeles with their second win if Jimmy Garoppolo played on Sunday. WR Davante Adams and Edge Maxx Crosby have been tremendous so far, but the rest of the Raiders have been inconsistent. Las Vegas gets three winnable games in the next three weeks.

Next: vs. GB (MNF), vs. NE, at CHI, at DET (MNF)

29. Denver Broncos (1-3)

Previous Rank: No. 31

Last Game: Broncos 31, Bears 28

The Denver Broncos were gifted their first victory in Chicago. Russell Wilson has been better than he was last season, but he’s still not consistently playing at a high level. Denver’s defense has been shockingly ineffective this year. If their pass defense does not improve soon, it’s easy to see the Broncos ending up with a top-five draft pick.

Next: vs. NYJ, at KC (TNF), vs. GB, vs. KC

30. New York Giants (1-3)

Previous Rank: No. 25

Last Game: Seahawks 24, Giants 3

The New York Giants were again embarrassed on national television, this time by the Seahawks. New York’s injury-ravaged offensive line is the most ineffective group in recent memory. Outside of their second-half surge against the Cardinals, the Giants’ offense has scored 15 points in three and a half games.

The Giants head to Miami and then Buffalo in the next two weeks to face two of the best teams in the league. It would be shocking if New York isn’t 1-5 heading into Week 7.

Next: at MIA, at BUF, vs. WASH, vs. NYJ

31. Carolina Panthers (0-4)

Previous Rank: No. 30

Last Game: Vikings 21, Panthers 13

There have been few positives for the Carolina Panthers so far this season. QB Bryce Young’s already missed a game, and he’s been outplayed by both Stroud and Richardson. The Panthers’ schedule lightens up after their Week 7 bye, so there is a realistic path to improvement in the second half of the season.

Next: vs. DET, at MIA, BYE, vs. HOU

 32. Chicago Bears (0-4)

Previous Rank: No. 32

Last Game: Broncos 31, Bears 28

The Chicago Bears outplayed the Broncos last Sunday, but a few bad decisions cost them their first win of the season. Chicago hasn’t won a game since Oct. 24, 2022. If the Bears extend that streak Thursday night, we could see major changes in Chicago.

Next: at Wash (TNF), vs. MIN, vs. LV, at LAC (SNF)

Ryan is the associate director of fantasy and betting at The 33rd Team. Ryan has been covering NFL betting markets for five years. Follow Ryan @RyanReynoldsNFL on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook