In looking over the 32 teams in the NFL, it’s easy to pick which teams are good and which teams are lackluster, but trying to sort through them and put exact numbers for how they’d rank if this were a college style system with strength of schedule and margin of victory taken into account?  Not as easy.  Yet again I’ve put together my list, and as you look it over, feel encouraged to respond with your comments on how you might see things differently.  I’ll certainly take it into account when I’m putting these rankings together a week from now.  I certainly don’t expect everyone to agree with all 32 of my rankings, and I’m not foolish enough to think that what I’ve listed here is perfect.  It’s my best attempt at sorting through the teams given a modest level of analysis.  If you have any questions on how I did my analysis, feel free to pose those questions as comments as well.

Here they are, the NFL Power Rankings as I see it, starting with the bottom.

32 – Buffalo Bills (0-5) No Change from Week 5 Rank

A week 5 loss to Jacksonville at home is not an encouraging sign.  While it’s not a good sign to see that they traded Marshawn Lynch to Seattle, with the worst Points Allowed Average, their offense might not be the problem.

31 – Carolina Panthers (0-5) No Change from Week 5 Rank

Although they came close to winning IN New Orleans against the Saints, the Panthers are back on the losing track with a big loss to Chicago in Week 5… in Carolina.  So uninspiring.  They almost dropped to last place, but I like the strength of schedule a little better than what Buffalo has gone through.

30 – Cleveland Browns (1-4) Dropped 3 from Week 5 Rank

Though they got a win at home against Cincinnati in Week 4, they followed that up with an understandable loss in Ohio to the Falcons (one of the top teams in the NFL).  That said, I still don’t like them as much as some other teams who you might be able to make a case to rank them ahead of, and now that they swapped backup running backs with Philadelphia, I tend to think that Football Karma might strike them down – as Jerome Harrison was a huge help to them at the end of last season, and he has been underutilized this year.

29 – San Francisco 49ers (0-5) No Change from Week 5 Rank

True, the 49’ers are without a win thus far, but they’ve had close games as of late, including a near loss in a long road trip out to play the Falcons in Atlanta, and then Week 5 was a loss to Philly by a narrow margin.  I still believe in Mike Singletary as a coach… though I’m not 100% sure why…  Ask me again in two weeks.

28 – Seattle Seahawks (2-2) Dropped 6 from Week 5 Rank

Sure, the Seahawks didn’t play in Week 5, but their Week 4 blow-out loss to St Louis looks even worse when you consider that St Louis got a blow out victory over a usually tough Detroit Lions.  Their wins are still not inspiring, with the 49’ers staying without a win and San Diego not showing well against Oakland in Week 5.

27 – Dallas Cowboys (1-3) Dropped 1 from Week 5 Rank

I get the feeling that Dallas is going to get up into the Top 20 (possibly the top half of the league) by the time the second half of the season starts, but a loss to Tennessee in Week 5 isn’t going to help them jump up any spots.  It was a close game late, but that only helps a little bit.  Their win over Houston is hurt by the Texans getting blown out by the Giants.  I will certainly be looking to see how Dallas rebounds this week.

26 – Oakland Raiders (2-3) Climbed 2 from Week 5 Rank

I can’t remember the statistic, but this was the first time the Raiders had beaten San Diego in a while… or they somehow managed to add a win to an otherwise lonely recent history between the two squads.  Regardless, Oakland needs to really step it up on defense.  Their offense actually doesn’t seem to be the problem this year, which is something of a switch from the past couple seasons.

25 – St. Louis Rams (2-3) Dropped 7 from Week 5 Rank

A blow-out loss to the Lions?  Really?  The Lions?  That’s just shameful.  To not even get a touchdown?  Give me a break… This was really disappointing, as I thought the Rams were starting to gain some traction with wins over Washington and Seattle.

24 – Detroit Lions (1-4) Climbed 6 from Week 5 Rank

I’m sure to get some feedback on this one, but hear me out.  Yes, the Lions only have 1 win, and they’re ranked ahead of some 2 win teams, but they played extremely tough on the road against all three of their divisional opponents in games they were slated to lose anyway, and were it not for one call at the end of the game, they would’ve had a win over top-10 ranked Chicago, and they only lost to top-10 ranked Green Bay by 2 – both of those games on the road.  In Week 5 they got a blow out victory over St Louis, and I really think this team is on the rise.

23 – Minnesota Vikings (1-3) Climbed 1 from Week 5 Rank

A very close game against one of the top teams in the NFL on Monday Night when Brett Favre is distracted by off-field issues he’s being investigated for?  Combine that with a strengthened Lions team that the Vikings already have a win over and that’s why Minnesota climbs one spot.  Their defense is Top 10 in the league.

22 – San Diego Chargers (2-3) Dropped 9 from Week 5 Rank

A loss to the Oakland Raiders?  That’s no good.  Still not impressed by their losses, nor their win over Jacksonville.  They are undefeated at home, though, and if that continues, I’ll certainly take it into account.

21 – Miami Dolphins (2-2) No Change from Week 5 Rank

True, they didn’t play Week 5, but they don’t lose any ground in the rankings because the Jets and New England still continue to look good.  If they don’t prove they can win at home (where they’re currently still laying a goose-egg), they’re going to drop.  That’s not a good sign in my opinion.

20 – Denver Broncos (2-3) Dropped 1 from Week 5 Rank

A loss in Baltimore doesn’t bother me, which is why they only drop one spot.  The win at Tennessee still looks good on their resume, and the loss at Jacksonville doesn’t look as terrible anymore.

19 – Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) Dropped 3 from Week 5 Rank

A close loss at home to Tampa Bay is frustrating, as I’m really having trouble deciding exactly where the Bengals fit.  I really like their win against Baltimore, and while the loss at New England doesn’t really bother me that much, the win against Carolina still isn’t impressive – at all.

18 – Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) Climbed 2 from Week 5 Rank

Winning in Buffalo isn’t such a big deal at this point in the season, their win over Denver isn’t gaining much strength as the Broncos continue to slide, and the win over Indy was on a last second field goal from nearly 60 yards.  The Jaguars are going to need to show something soon to indicate whether they’re for real or not.

17 – Houston Texans (3-2) Dropped 7 from Week 5 Rank

I’m tending to think that the Texans are either pretenders or bi-polar.  The win against Indy was a great way to start the season. While personally frustrating, they did get a win over the Redskins… after having fallen to a huge deficit late in the game.  The loss to Dallas isn’t impressive, neither is a recent win in Oakland, and the huge loss to the Giants in Week 5 just gives me further reason to think that the Texans need Andre Johnson healthy so they can show what they’re really made of.

16 – Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) Climbed 1 from Week 5 Rank

Going to the West Coast isn’t an easy thing to do, so I suppose the fact that they only beat the winless 49’ers by 3 points is understandable… but it’s still the winless 49’ers.

15 – New Orleans Saints (3-2) Dropped 7 from Week 5 Rank

I realize the Saints probably out-played the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5, but they still lost by 10.  If the outcome were closer than that, I’d likely give the Saints some credit… but I won’t.  Especially with a 2 point win over the Panthers on their resume, a game which should’ve been won by a much wider margin – especially as the game was played in Louisianna.

14 – Arizona Cardinals (3-2) Climbed 11 from Week 5 Rank

Regardless of how the game was won, the Cardinals did get the victory over the Saints to follow up a huge loss to the Chargers the week before.  I’m still alright with their earlier season loss to Atlanta.  Something in my gut tells me that they’re going to take an equally large plunge sometime before Week 10, unless Max Hall proves to be the second coming of Steve Young.

13 – Washington Redskins (3-2) Climbed 10 from Week 5 Rank

The win over the Green Bay Packers was huge.  I honestly don’t know anyone who thought it could happen, but now the Redskins have three really big NFC wins.  If only they could’ve sustained their lead over the Texans…  A tough task comes up this weekend as the Colts come to town, and if that ends in a victory for Washington, they’re certainly ending up in the Top 10.  Even with a loss, they might not drop out of the top half of the league.

12 – New York Giants (3-2) Climbed 3 from Week 5 Rank

Though the win over Carolina early in the season doesn’t mean much to me, the recent win over Chicago and then the trouncing of the Texans in Houston made an impression.

11 – Tennessee Titans (3-2) Climbed 3 from Week 5 Rank

They could’ve looked better against Dallas in Week 5, but they did get a victory.  I don’t like their recent loss to Denver, but their only other loss was to Pittsburgh, so I tend to think that was just an example of the Broncos playing above their heads (or playing below their talent in other outcomes).  The next couple weeks are critical for the Titans.

10 – Indianapolis Colts (3-2) Climbed 1 from Week 5 Rank

Their only two losses continue to be against divisional opponents in away games, so I don’t have a huge problem with that.  I do like the strong victory over the Chiefs in Week 5… and while I wanted to rank them above Kansas City, I can’t just yet.  Indy’s offense seems a little 1 dimensional at this point.

9 – Chicago Bears (4-1) No Change from Week 5 Rank

This record is so close to being 2-3 (Lions / Packers games) that they would’ve likely been out of the Top 10 if they hadn’t had a huge margin of victory in Week 5.  Granted it’s only Carolina, so I’ll be on the watch to see what the Bears do in the coming weeks, as I’m really not sold on them at this point.

8 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) Climbed 4 from Week 5 Rank

A close win on the road against a team (Bengals) that I think has some talent?  It still doesn’t totally validate the Bucs, but it’s sure better than wins over Cleveland and Carolina.  Until they lose to someone who isn’t a top tier team, I’m not going to hold it against them that their one loss was to the Steelers.

7 – Kansas City Chiefs (3-1) Dropped 2 from Week 5 Rank

As the last of the unbeatens have now fallen, it’s up to Kansas City to have a good showing against a top opponent to prove that their 3-0 record to start the season wasn’t a function of having played San Diego, Cleveland and San Francisco.  I don’t hold it against anyone to lose against the Colts in Indianapolis.

6 – Green Bay Packers (3-2) Climbed 1 from Week 5 Rank

Despite the loss to the Washington Redskins, I still view the Green Bay Packers as one of the top teams in the NFC.  They should’ve had a win over the Chicago Bears, and they got a win in Philly.  If the Packers slide at all in their next couple games, they could easily find themselves out of the Top 10, regardless of the fact that Aaron Rodgers might not play in those games.  They could definitely use another signature win on their resume, but for now I still like the fact that their offense AND defense are both Top 10 in the league.

5 – New England Patriots (3-1) Climbed 1 from Week 5 Rank

Addition by subtraction with Randy Moss?  I don’t think so, but Brandon Tate has shown to be a huge playmaker thus far, and he’ll certainly get more touches with Moss now in Minnesota.  Their bye week serves them well at this point, and they move up the rankings with other teams dropping down.

4 – Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) Dropped 2 from Week 5 Rank

The bye week will certainly help Roethlisberger get back on track with his wide receivers and ensure he has a firm grasp on the offensive scheme and that he shakes any of the temporary rust on his legs.  It didn’t help them in the rankings, however, although they’re still a Top 5 team without a doubt… especially given that they’ve accomplished a good start to the season even without Big Ben – their only loss coming to Baltimore (albeit in Pennsylvania) by 3 points.

3 – Atlanta Falcons (4-1) No Change from Week 5 Rank

A road win always helps a team, even if the opponent is just the lowly Cleveland Browns.  They’ve got a Top 5 defense and a Top 10 offense, and analysts are certainly claiming that the Falcons look to be for real this season.

2 – New York Jets (4-1) Climbed 2 from Week 5 Rank

Though it took them a while to do anything other than just kick field goals on Monday Night, they looked good against the hapless Vikings, regardless of Randy Moss being on the field.  I could easily see the Jets slip down a bit once the Steelers get back on track, but for now they hold onto the penultimate spot.

1 – Baltimore Ravens (4-1) No Change from Week 5 Rank

How could this spot go to anyone other than the Ravens?  Their only loss was an away game against a divisional opponent, and they’ve got signature road wins against two Top 5 teams (Jets and Steelers).  Once the offense gets clicking, the Ravens could seem unstoppable.