Published 12:40 PM EDT Oct 9, 2018
NFL power rankings, post-Week 5 edition:
1. Rams (1): Their next three opponents have combined for five wins, so Greatest Show On Surf poised to ride this undefeated start for quite some time.
2. Chiefs (2): Their next three opponents have combined for nine wins, so this KC Masterpiece will be challenged to ride this undefeated wave much longer.
3. Saints (3): Drew Brees' record night overshadowed the return of Mark Ingram, who was clearly ready to reclaim his spot in the highly productive "Two Dat" backfield.
4. Patriots (5): Last time they hosted K.C., New England's banner-raising '17 opener, they were upset by Alex Smith and Co. What does Mahomes have in store?
5. Chargers (6): Puzzling. Their losses are to perfect Rams and Chiefs. Yet three wins over teams with 4-11 aggregate ledger have hardly been impressive.
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6. Panthers (7): Good news? Julius Peppers six sacks from passing Kevin Greene for third place on all-time list. Bad news? That sentence nearly 10 months old.
7. Bengals (8): May have been better for Vontaze Burfict to be suspended six games given Cincinnati has lost five in a row to Pittsburgh with LB in lineup.
8. Jaguars (4): Dr. Blake has an impressive 818 passing yards over the past two games, though Mr. Bortles' six turnovers more than offset his better half.
9. Bears (14): In weird scheduling quirk, they'll play next four games against AFC East. Feels like first-place Chicago should go 3-1 during this stretch.
10. Ravens (9): Just us, or are these Lamar Jackson packages little more than a nuisance to Joe Flacco and unnecessary risk to future of the franchise?
11. Steelers (16): Through five games last season, Le'Veon Bell had 515 yards from scrimmage. Through five games this year, James Conner has 581.
12. Vikings (17): Clear solution to trigger league's second-worst run game is giving 329-pound Linval Joseph, who averages 64 yards per "carry," some work.
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13. Browns (24): Finally, a "streak" they don't want to break. Cleveland could extend run of consecutive wins at home over Chargers to three this Sunday.
14. Redskins (10): They hadn't played in 15 days, and it showed Monday in New Orleans, where they got embarrassed. Still, 2-2 good enough for first place in NFC East.
15. Packers (11): Aaron Rodgers lone player with longer active tenure in Green Bay than Mason Crosby. Talk of cutting kicker after a bad day pretty silly.
16. Dolphins (18): How much is offense struggling? Miami has more TDs on kick returns (both by Jakeem Grant) than on ground (one by Kenyan Drake in Week 2).
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17. Titans (12): Together, Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis are managing just 3.3 yards per carry. Maybe this offense's real issues aren't actually at receiver, folks.
18. Buccaneers (19): Jameis Winston will be back in saddle, taking NFL's top passing offense to Atlanta. Note: Winston has lost nine of 10 while in saddle.
19. Eagles (13): Team suffering from Super Bowl hangover and in dire straits at RB is also type that might wager Le'Veon Bell rental would provide spark.
20. Texans (26): A team seemingly on its deathbed just two weeks ago is suddenly a game out of first in what appears to be an eminently winnable division.
21. Falcons (15): They don't have to travel until November, so if they're going to make season-salvaging run, it's time to take care of business at home.
22. Jets (29): They churned out remarkable 323 rushing yards Sunday. Over first four weeks? They had just 352 yards – total – from the ground troops.
23. Lions (23): Prior to the Crosby fiasco in Sunday's win, Detroit hadn't been beneficiary of an opponent's missed kick in any of its other four games.
24. Broncos (20): Case Keenum's interception total while playing for Minnesota – 7. Case Keenum's interception total while playing for Denver – 7.
25. Seahawks (21): WR David Moore hails from East Central and now makes plays in Pacific Northwest. You guessed it ... excellent change-of-direction skills.
26. Cowboys (22): Imagine the handwringing had Jason Garrett gone for it fourth-and-1, and his terrible offense let him down. Same difference? Oh, right.
27. Colts (28): Andrew Luck and his rebuilt sidearm have 18 more pass attempts than any other QB this year. But his 6.1 yards per throw rank 32nd in league.
28. Bills (31): How has Josh Allen led Buffalo to two wins? No quarterback has been sacked more (19), and none has a worse passer rating (60.4).
29. Giants (25): Wherever did an impressionable young player like Sterling Shepard get the idea that such boorish sideline antics were acceptable? Oh, right.
30. Raiders (27): We'd like to see Marshawn Lynch dress up as member of The Queen's Guard and maybe raid a pub for some fish and chips this week.
31. Cardinals (32): Still hard to believe a team with David Johnson would rank last in total yards and rushing yards per game at this stage.
32. 49ers (30): Bravo to the NFL for implementing a scheduling provision that allows it to flex games earlier in the schedule ... otherwise you would've seen Niners in prime time four of next five weeks. [Note: A previous version of this capsule did not reflect the league's updated scheduling policy. USA TODAY regrets the error.]
(Previous rank in parentheses)
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