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2018 SQ NFL Power Rankings: Week 5

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Will wins by two AFC North players be enough for either to crack the top five?

A pair of AFC North rivals have started off the season hot, and with wins this week against quality opponents, both have shot up our rankings. The Baltimore Ravens went on the road and handled the Steelers in prime time and the Cincinnati Bengals traveled to Atlanta to pull off some late game magic against the Falcons. Both teams missed the playoffs last year, but through four weeks this season both look poised to make a run. Find out where they and your favorite team rank below.


   Ranking (Change)

1 (-)

Los Angeles Rams (4-0)

Los Angeles Rams (4-0)

The Rams further cemented themselves as the league’s most complete team in Week 4, putting on an incredible aerial display while blowing up the opposing offensive line over and over. Both Jared Goff and Todd Gurley are legit MVP candidates, and Los Angeles is the only NFC team that has fully handled its business through four weeks. Anything short of a Super Bowl appearance would be a letdown at this point, but with Sean McVay leading the way, it feels more and more likely the Rams will get there. (Nick Cardozo)

2 (-)

Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)

Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)

Another week, another huge performance for the sensational Pat Mahomes, who has been the NFL’s best player through the season’s first quarter. Pulling off a double-digit road comeback against a divisional opponent was only the second most impressive accomplishment for Mahomes on Monday night, as he broke the NFL record for passing yards from outside of the pocket (192). Kansas City’s defensive woes may not matter if the offense keeps rolling, but a date with the Jaguars will be the greatest challenge yet. (Nick Cardozo)

3 (+1)

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-1)

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-1)

Though the Leonard Fournette injury news isn’t ideal, the Jaguars are in good shape and have shown they can move the ball just fine without him. The team faces a test against the Chiefs this week but can claim AFC supremacy with a win. Thus far, Jacksonville has allowed the fewest passing yards and touchdowns in the league, giving the team a better chance to slow down Pat Mahomes than just about anyone. (Nick Cardozo)

4 (+1)

New Orleans Saints (3-1)

New Orleans Saints (3-1)

The Saints’ 33-18 victory over the Giants on Sunday was the antithesis of their Week 3 shootout against the Falcons, as Drew Brees didn’t register a touchdown after accounting for five against Atlanta. The gunslinger rarely fails to find pay dirt, but it was Alvin Kamara who stole the show in this one, just a week before partner-in-crime Mark Ingram’s return. The running back makes New Orleans all the more dangerous, and with the defense finally turning in a solid performance, they are starting to resemble the true contender most thought they’d be. (Kyle Trapp)

5 (+2)

New England Patriots (2-2)

New England Patriots (2-2)

New England finally showed what we can expect from them the rest of the season, beating Miami 38-7. The Patriots’ best receiver, Julian Edelman, returns this week and will pull defenses away from TE Rob Gronkowski. The Pats had a rough September by their standards, but consider this: Over the past 10 years, New England is 28-12 (70%) in the first four weeks of the season, but 86-22 (80%) afterwards. (Hunter Bonge)

6 (-3)

Philadelphia Eagles (2-2)

Philadelphia Eagles (2-2)

The Eagles dropped to 2-2 after a heartbreaking overtime loss in Tennessee. Is it time to panic in Philly? No. Should fans be concerned? Yes. The secondary hasn’t played that poorly since Bradley Fletcher was running around back there and the receivers were plagued with drops. Luckily for the Eagles, they have a top five quarterback behind center in Wentz. As long as he’s on the field, the Eagles should have a chance to win every game they play. (Matt Fowler)

7 (+6)

Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

As said last week, the Ravens matchup against the Steelers was a good barometer for their overall ability as a team, and they passed the test with flying colors. Pittsburgh came into the contest averaging over 29 points per game, and the stout Baltimore D held them to just a pair of first half touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, Joe Flacco turned in another efficient performance, connecting with 11 different players en route to 363 yards and two scores. It’s early, but the AFC North race has the makings of a wild one, and the Ravens certainly look the part of a contender. (Kyle Trapp)

8 (+7)

Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)

Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)

I laughed at my roommate before the season when he claimed the Bengals would win the AFC North over the powerhouse Pittsburgh Steelers and up-and-coming Baltimore Ravens. I think I owe him an apology. The Bengals put the league on notice this week by stealing a win in Atlanta to improve to 3-1 on the season. With the Steelers looking like the hot mess of the league and a Week 2 win over the Ravens already secured, the Bengals are in great position to prove me terribly wrong. (Matt Fowler)

9 (-1)

Carolina Panthers (2-1)

Carolina Panthers (2-1)

The Panthers were off in Week 4, and they watched from their couches as the Falcons lost another heartbreaker and the Buccaneers continued to lose their early-season luster. They have a good chance to get another leg up on their division mates when they host the Giants on Sunday. (Kyle Trapp)

10 (-1)

Green Bay Packers (2-1-1)

Green Bay Packers (2-1-1)

Green Bay got back on track with a dominant win over the Buffalo Bills. While the opponent was not too strong, after the Bills laid down the hammer against the Vikings and the Packers came out flat against Washington, no result could be taken for certain in that matchup. Green Bay now finds themselves at 2-1-1 and should be very encouraged going forward. Their secondary rebounded big time against Buffalo. While they won’t get to play Josh Allen every week, if their DBs can play well enough, Rodgers should carry them through most games. (Adrian Nelson)

11 (-5)

Minnesota Vikings (1-2-1)

Minnesota Vikings (1-2-1)

Needing a win following a disappointing tie to Green Bay and an unbelievable, upset loss to the Bills, Kirk Cousins and company were unable to stage a fourth-quarter comeback against NFC juggernaut Los Angeles Rams. Although he played a near-flawless game, having passed for 422 yards and three touchdowns, Cousins showed flashes of why Washington was reluctant to resign him for so much money. Upon getting a chance to tie the game and force overtime with one last drive (2:20 on the clock), the ex-Redskin was strip-sacked, essentially sealing the loss for the Vikings. After an impressive Week 1 win over Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers, Minnesota is now 0-2-1 in their last three games. For a team that has high Super Bowl hopes this season, they’ll surely need to right the ship, and quickly. (Ryan Grube)

12 (+6)

Chicago Bears (3-1)

Chicago Bears (3-1)

For the first time in a long time, the Bears dominated on both sides of the ball on Sunday. Second-year QB Mitchell Trubisky is completing 70% of his passes ,and Khalil Mack has five sacks with four forced fumbles in just four games, making his case for not only Defensive Player of the Year, but also MVP. (Hunter Bonge)

13 (+7)

Tennessee Titans (3-1)

Tennessee Titans (3-1)

Surprising, the Titans find themselves at 3-1 after big wins in back-to-back weeks over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles. Those are really good teams. With those wins Tennessee proves that it belongs in the conversation of teams that could make a run later in the year. The issue with them as always will be how far can Marcus Mariota take them. If he can progress and avoid plateauing as many young players do, then the Titans have the talent as a team to make a push for the division crown. (Adrian Nelson)

14 (-4)

Atlanta Falcons (1-3)

Atlanta Falcons (1-3)

The Falcons offense looks like they are among the best in the league. Calvin Ridley’s addition to this offense has helped solve their red zone issues from a year ago. However, injuries have created a defense that cannot stop anyone. The losses of Deion Jones and Keanu Neal among others will ultimately cost the Falcons the ability to compete at a Super Bowl level. (Max Vukelich)

15 (-3)

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2-1)

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2-1)

The 1-2-1 Steelers find themselves in an unfamiliar spot: tied for last place in the AFC North. QB Ben Roethlisberger is on track for 20 interceptions this season, and the Le’Veon Bell saga continues. Pittsburgh has a long road ahead, with five playoff teams from last year remaining on their schedule. (Hunter Bonge)

16 (-)

Los Angeles Chargers (2-2)

Los Angeles Chargers (2-2)

The Chargers only losses came to the only two undefeated teams left in the NFL. They weren’t nearly as impressive as the could’ve been in their victory over the Jimmy G-less 49ers, but being able to sneak out of a game where you didn’t play well with a win is the ultimate sign of a good team. With Oakland coming to town this week, the Chargers have a chance to get above 500 in their quest for a playoff berth. (Max Vukelich)

17 (-6)

Miami Dolphins (3-1)

Miami Dolphins (3-1)

Well, it was an impressive start, but the Dolphins’ three-game winning streak came to an end in Week 4, as they fell victims to a restored Tom Brady and company. Miami got flat-out dominated in every aspect of the game on Sunday. They couldn’t generate any offense, as Ryan Tannehill completed just 11-20 passes for 100 yards and an interception, while Miami’s defense allowed rookie Sony Michel to eclipse 100 rushing yards for the first time in his career. Not to mention, their secondary was picked apart by Brady to the tune of 274 passing yards and three touchdowns—just an all-around bad day for a Dolphins team whom not many expected to be atop the AFC East through the first four weeks of the season. They’ll attempt to get the ball rolling again when they take on Andy Dalton and the red-hot Bengals in Week 5. (Ryan Grube)

18 (-1)

Washington Redskins (2-1)

Washington Redskins (2-1)

After a bye and a loss by their divisional rivals the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington finds themselves atop the NFC East. In all likelihood, this won’t last for long, as they have a tough Monday Night matchup coming up on the road against the New Orleans Saints. The Skins have looked like a different team from week to week, and even half to half. If they can become more consistent, then they will be a team to reckon with over the course of the season. (Adrian Nelson)

19 (-)

Denver Broncos (2-2)

Denver Broncos (2-2)

If it weren’t for a Case Keenum overthrow, the Broncos would be sitting pretty after knocking off the undefeated Chiefs. Regardless of the outcome, the Broncos played a good game. It took some Mahomes Magic for the Chiefs and an unlucky overthrow by Keenum for Kansas City to steal the game in Denver. The Broncos should feel confident traveling to New York this week. (Matt Fowler)

20 (-6)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2)

Tampa Bay have come crashing back to Earth after seemingly riding out the entire Fitzmagic cycle in only four weeks. They enter their bye this week and have announced that Jameis Winston will be their starting quarterback. However, Dirk Koetter has also said that he’ll be on a leash. Any team that has invested in a QB number-one overall and is considering benching them for 35 year old journey man has no QB at all. For Bucs fans sakes, I hope Jameis proves this season that they should either lock him up or let him go, because living in limbo is not a good go forward plan. (Adrian Nelson)

21 (-)

Seattle Seahawks (2-2)

Seattle Seahawks (2-2)

The Seahawks were without running back Chris Carson for their inter-divisional matchup against the Cardinals, but that didn’t stop them from doubling down on the run-first gameplan they successfully established in Week 3. Mike Davis unexpectedly served as the bell-cow, rumbling for 101 yards on 21 carries and a pair of touchdowns, and the fourth-year pro was a big reason why Seattle was able to pull out a 20-17 victory. They are by no means a flashy team, and the Earl Thomas injury certainly stings, but the Seahawks have seemingly found their identity. (Kyle Trapp)

22 (+1)

Dallas Cowboys (2-2)

Dallas Cowboys (2-2)

For now, it appears the Dallas offense has signs of life. Dak Prescott eclipsed 250 passing yards for the first time in seven games, and Ezekiel Elliott racked up a career-high 240 total yards. Scott Linehan’s playcalling creativity seems to vary wildly from week to week, but maybe he’s finally catching up with the rest of the NFL. Dallas needs to continue to feed Zeke as much as possible and hope the pass rush can stay at a high level going forward. (Nick Cardozo)

23 (-1)

Cleveland Browns (1-2-1)

Cleveland Browns (1-2-1)

Don’t let the fact that Cleveland lost to 0-3 Oakland fool you. The Browns took the game to overtime and put up 42 points on the road against a team starved for a win. There are plenty of wins left on the Browns’ schedule this season. (Hunter Bonge)

24 (+1)

Indianapolis Colts (1-3)

Indianapolis Colts (1-3)

Did anyone ever question Andrew Luck’s shoulder? Because I know I sure didn’t. Luck lit up the Texans’ defense in an overtime loss, throwing for 464 yards and four touchdowns. Although a loss, the Colts offense looked good against an above-average pass rush. As Luck continues to shake the rust and hopefully stay on the field, that offense should put up numbers. (Matt Fowler)

25 (-1)

Detroit Lions (1-3)

Detroit Lions (1-3)

Man, that one had to sting for Lions’ fans. Fresh off a stunning 26-10 victory over New England, Detroit—having come back from down 10—squandered a one-point lead with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter en route to a gut-wrenching 26-24 loss to Dallas. The Lions’ front seven was consistently gouged by Ezekiel Elliott, who racked up 240 scrimmage yards (152 rushing and 88 receiving). Moreover, their secondary was surprisingly picked apart by Dak Prescott, who amassed 200 passing yards for the first time this season. It’s not time to write this team off just yet, especially because it now appears that they’ve found a serviceable running back in Kerryon Johnson. However, future matchups against the Packers (twice), Vikings (twice), Bears (twice), and Rams could quickly push Detroit out of the playoff picture. (Ryan Grube)

26 (+3)

Houston Texans (1-3)

Houston Texans (1-3)

Thanks in large part to Frank Reich’s questionable decision to go for it on fourth down in overtime, the Texans were finally able to snap a nine-game losing streak dating back to last season. While the victory wasn’t especially pretty, there were some positive takeaways. Deshaun Watson had arguably his best game of the year, throwing for 375 yards with three total scores. J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney wreaked havoc on Andrew Luck, sacking the quarterback two times each. But while the stars showed out, barely escaping Indianapolis with a win shows this team still has plenty of holes. (Kyle Trapp)

27 (-)

New York Giants (1-3)

New York Giants (1-3)

The Giants offense has been a huge disappointment this season. Although Eli Manning hasn’t been great, it’s the offensive line that’s the real problem. They haven’t given Barkley consistent holes to run through, and Manning has been sacked the fifth most times in the NFL. In order for the Giants to reach their potential, they need to solve their offensive line woes. (Max Vukelich)

28 (-2)

San Francisco 49ers (1-3)

San Francisco 49ers (1-3)

Despite losing their franchise quarterback a week ago, the Niners showed that they have no quit in them. This shouldn’t come as a shock, as they lost five straight games by three points or less last year before going on a run with Jimmy G. Kyle Shanahan will have his guys ready to play each week, but the issue is that they just aren’t very talented on that team; this new regime is still trying to build up stock of players. Expectations for this team are low for the remainder of the year, but they could surprise every now and then. (Adrian Nelson)

29 (-1)

New York Jets (1-3)

New York Jets (1-3)

After a commanding, dominant 48-17 victory over Detroit in their season opener, the Jets have been unable to generate any momentum, having dropped three straight. Granted, two of those losses came at the hands of the Dolphins and Jaguars, whom are both 3-1. However, rookie Sam Darnold has not displayed the effectiveness we saw from him in Week 1, where he completed 16-of-21 (76%) passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Since then, although averaging 223.3 passing yards per game, Darnold has completed a measly 54% of his passes, while posting a touchdown-to-interception-ratio of 2/4. Not impressive. Should the Jets have hope of making any noise in what appears to be a weaker AFC East division than in years past, they’ll need their rookie signal-caller to be more efficient under center. (Ryan Grube)

30 (+1)

Oakland Raiders (1-3)

Oakland Raiders (1-3)

Jon Gruden’s Raiders finally got into the win column against the Browns on Sunday. However, with their lack of pass rush, they are going to have a problem winning enough games to remain in the playoff race. They should be focusing on scouting the next Khalil Mack to fill the void of the original. (Max Vukelich)

31 (-1)

Buffalo Bills (1-3)

Buffalo Bills (1-3)

The Buffalo Bills’ hype train, fresh off a shocking 27-6 upset over Minnesota, came to a screeching halt on Sunday, as Josh Allen and company were unable to scratch a point against a rather-mediocre Packers’ defense. Despite several second-half opportunities to produce points thanks, in part, to a couple Green Bay turnovers, Allen simply could not get anything going. The rookie gunslinger out of Wyoming completed a measly 48% (16/33) of his passes for 151 yards and two interceptions. Meanwhile, as a team, the Bills only ran the ball 16 times—including just five for LeSean McCoy—for 58 yards. If this team wants to accumulate more wins to salvage what’s shaping out to be a disappointing, potential first-overall-pick-esque season, they have to get their star running back more involved in the offense. (Ryan Grube)

32 (-)

Arizona Cardinals (0-4)

Arizona Cardinals (0-4)

The Cardinals’ offense is averaging a putrid 9.25 points per game this season, a trend that is expected to continue throughout the season. The focus for Arizona and the organization should be on the development of rookie quarterback Josh Rosen. After finally benching Bradford, Rosen showed some flashes against a decent Seahawks defense. The Cardinals should be optimistic for their future, but not for this season. (Matt Fowler)

Edited by Jazmyn Brown.

SQuiz
When was the last year both the Ravens and Bengals made the playoffs?
Created 10/2/18
  1. 2016
  2. 2014
  3. 2011
  4. 2008

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