CBP POWER RANKINGS WEEK 5:
1. Kansas City Chiefs 5-0: This is about the easiest one to pick. For the first time in a long time, you can say that the Chiefs offense is explosive! Andy Reid is a genius, Alex Smith is playing like an MVP, and Kareem Hunt looks unstoppable. They are the best team in football right now.
2. Green Bay Packers 4-1: Surprise surprise... An Aaron Rodgers team is at the top of the power rankings. It hardly matters who is on the field for Rodgers, he makes plays no matter what. The Cowboys left him too much time on the clock and Rodgers did was Rodgers does... win. The packers are one of the front runners for NFC champs.
3. Philadelphia Eagles 4-1: I dont get very many predictions right, but the Eagles were my sleeper team in the offseason. Wentz looks like the real deal, and the defense is playing really well. In a division where anyone can win, the Eagles are starting to run away with it. The eagles will look to improve their record in my favorite game of the week, PHI vs. CAR.
4. Carolina Panthers 4-1: The Panthers are enjoying a nice bounce back season this year. Cam Newton seems to be finding his groove and the defense is still playing lights out. The combination of a healthy and accurate Cam Newton can be scary for opposing defenses.
5. Atlanta Falcons 3-1: Coming off their bye week, the falcons have only lost to the Bills at home. A potent offense and young defense will always keep the falcons competitive. They will look to improve to 4 wins against a lowly dolphins team.
6. New England Patriots 3-2: Uh oh... are the Patriots starting to actually look like the Patriots? Tom Brady is defying every age restriction, but that defense is still awful. It will be tough for the Patriots to win consistently if they keep giving up the yardage and point totals that they are giving up now. Anything is possible with Tom "I wear Uggs" Brady and Bill "cutoff hoodie" Belichick though.
7. Denver Broncos 3-1: The Denver Broncos defense is simply incredible. They are the best defense by most metrics. The question will be if the offense can produce enough points for the Broncos to make a serious playoff run. Siemien has cooled off from his blistering start, but if he can play well, the Broncos should be playoff bound.
8. Seattle Seahawks 3-2: The Seahawks are benefitting from a subpar division. The Rams look improved this year, but no one is convinced that it will last the entire year. The Seahawks are still the team to beat in the division, but Seattle will need improved offensive line play to compete for a Superbowl this year. Russell Wilson can only scramble so much before something bad is going to happen. Protect Russell!!
9. Los Angeles Rams 3-2: One of the major surprises of the entire year. Jared Goff looks like a completely different player than his rookie year, Gurley looks almost identical to his rookie year if not better, and Sean McVay looks like an offensive genius and a really good coach. They are one dropped pass away from beating the Seahawks and taking over control of the division. I still think the Seahawks are the team to beat in the division... but it is a lot closer than anyone thought it would be going into this season.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers 3-2: Drama, drama, drama... Have we ever seen so much drama from an NFL team with a hall of fame quarterback, hall of fame WR, a top 3 RB, veterans on defense, and a veteran coach? The steelers still have 3 wins, but the whooping they took from the JAGS at home does not instill confidence. They are still the favorites in the division due to the simple fact that the division is awful.
11. Detroit Lions 3-2: The Lions got off to a really hot start, but have cooled down in recent weeks. A tight loss to the falcons and another 4th quarter comeback that came up short to the Panthers has them looking up to the Packers in the division. The defense is still playing relatively well, but the running game is still struggling. We all knew that the Packers were going to win the division, which leaves the Lions open for a wildcard berth which i still think they can do. 10 wins is not out of the question, but they are going to need to start better in games than they did this past weekend.
12. Jacksonville Jaguars 3-2: Another big surprise this year. A big boost to the Jags record already is that they have the easiest schedule in the NFL. The defense has looked really good, the run game has been on point, and Bortles looks like a semi-competent QB. Very few people thought that the Jags would make the playoffs this year. They could make the playoffs and even... WIN THE DIVISION!
13. Dallas Cowboys 2-3: The highest rated team with a record under 500. The Cowboys are a good team... I think. They still have Dak, Dez, and Zeke. The problem has been on the defensive side of things. Lawrence has been a DPOY candidate, but beyond him, they have not been able to get to the QB. A bye could not have come at a better time for the Cowboys to heal up and regroup.
14. Washington Redskins 2-2: I personally think that the Redskins are a really good all around team. Losses against the Eagles and Chiefs are nothing to be shamed about. Cousins has looked like a franchise quarterback and although the Redskins dont have one single runner as their bell cow. They rank 7th in rushing right now. I believe the Redskins will be a playoff team.
15. Baltimore Ravens 3-2: The Ravens desperately needed a win after two ugly losses to the Jags and Steelers. They played the Derek Carr-less Raiders, but a win is a win. The offense has looked really sluggish at times and The passing game has been awful. The Ravens will need to be more effective through the air if they want to sniff the playoffs.
16. Buffalo Bills 3-2: Yet another big surprise this season. Buffalo's defense has been nothing short of amazing, allowing a league low 14.8 points per game. The Passing game has been awful, but then again, Buffalo has always been a run first offense. But with no Sammy Watkins or Robert Woods and injuries to Charles Clay and Jordan Mathews, the passing game could get even worse. The Bills who lead the division right now are going to need some serious help in the passing game if they want to stay atop the division.
17. Oakland Raiders 2-3: This one is pretty simple. No Derek Carr = limited to no success. Not to mention that they play in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. Once Carr comes back, the Raiders will start winning again. But will they be able to keep their head above water until he returns?
18. Minnesota Vikings 3-2: The NFC north was not picked to be one of the more competitive divisions. It has been very competitive and entertaining so far. It is one of only two divisions with three teams with a winning record (Ya, my research is pretty good). The vikings have had quite an up and down season so far. They looked phenomenal in week 1, then Bradford goes down and hope goes out the window (like Sam Bradford was never gonna get hurt again...). Keenum has been a nice replacement and has the Vikings still hopeful that the playoffs are in their future.
19. Houston Texans 2-3: Records of teams with starting rookie QB's rarely look great. But like i have said before, i like the trajectory that this team is on. I liked it more when JJ Watt was on the field, but the Texans proved last year that the defense can carry them to wins even without the manliest man on the planet playing defensive end.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-2: Tampa Bay seems to be that team that has a lot of young talent, but cant quite put all the pieces together. Winston has looked better at times, and then regresses backwards. Getting the muscle hamster back to pound the rock should help the offense move the chains and score more points. I am just not sold that the Bucs are a good enough team to taste the playoffs this year.
21. New Orleans Saints 2-2: What happened to the defense??? Weeks 1 and 2 defense looked like Pirates rookie Barry Bonds. Weeks 3 and 4, the defense looked like the end of Barry's career for the Giants. They were the worst defense through the first two weeks... they were weak and couldn't stop anyone. Now they look bulked up and are starting to smash people. Im not sure which one to believe... but i do believe in Drew "I'm awesome" Brees. If the defense can play similar to the last two weeks, they could be fighting for a wildcard berth.
22. Tennessee Titans 2-3: The Titans are in a similar situation as the Raiders. Their franchise quarterback is injured and they have to rely upon Matt "Do you remember 2008" Cassel. They are only a game back of the division leading Jags, and i think if Mariota is able to suit up soon, they are still the favorites to win the division. Come back MARCUS!
23. Arizona Cardinals 2-3: The Cards sit at 2-3 and there is not much hope in the desert. With no DJ, the run game has looked awful which has affected the entire team. They traded for Adrian Peterson earlier this week in hopes of improving the running game. I am optimistic that the run game will improve, but AP has not shown that he can be even a small resemblance of his old self yet. I do not see the Cards in the playoffs this year.
24. Cincinnati Bengals 2-3: The Bengals start to the season was worse than Mark Madsen's dancing (Lakers 2002 championship parade... do yourself a favor and watch it). But back to back wins gives the Bengals a small hope for the playoffs. The offense has picked up and the defense is still playing at an all pro level. They get ready for an important division matchup against the Steelers in week 6.
25. New York Jets 3-2: I could not have been more wrong about the Jets. Oh... I still think they are a bad team, but i wasn't sure they were going to win more than 2 or 3 games. The defensive line still cant get any pressure on the QB, they are the 25th ranked passing offense, and the team is only averaging 18 PPG. Besides the beating they put on the lowly Dolphins, they have two field goal wins over the Jags and Bills. I see this fairy tale coming to an end very soon. They better not win too many more games, or else they are going to play themselves out of a top QB in the upcoming draft.
26. Miami Dolphins 2-2: The dolphins rank near the bottom in every single offensive category. Adam Gase is the Jay Cutler Whisperer they say... uh, i dont think so. Cutler looks like he should still be in the booth calling games. They squeaked out a couple of low scoring games to get two victories... but if the offense doesn't pick it up, this team is going to get blow out of the division,
27. Indianopolis Colts 2-3: Andrew Luck is really smart, he went to Stanford. I also think that he is so smart he is figuring out ways to be unhealthy so that he can avoid playing on this team. The team is bad as a whole. More than anything though... the defense is atrocious. They are allowing almost 32 PPG, good for dead last in the NFL.
28. Los Angeles Chargers 1-4: When someone says, "you just Charger-ed that"... its probably not a good thing. This team will find anyway and every way to shoot themselves in the foot. The running game has been weak and the defense has not been great. They are going to need a miraculous push in one of the NFL's best divisions to make a playoff spot.
29. Chicago Bears 1-4: The bright spot for the Bears is Mitch T. He kept them in the game against the Vikings and looks heads and shoulders better than Mike "Im glad i got paid" Glennon did. The wins may not come this year, but long term growth towards the future is the name of the game for Chi town.
30. San Francisco 49ers 0-5: Lets look at some positives. The Niners will probably have a different QB next year... Thats it. Thats all. Brian Hoyer deserves a participation trophy. Thanks Brian for being the stop gap for the organization. Hopefully you had fun for a year. At this point though... why not put in CJ Beathard? Good ol' CJB is really athletic and isn't gonna cost you any wins (obviously).
31. New York Giants 0-5: Welcome to your new home Mr. Rosen. If I could highlight one of the predictions i got right in the offseason, it was that the Giants would be BAD! I guess i was right. There literally is no silver lining and no young pieces to look forward to. Ben Mcadoo might be finished after just two seasons. Reset button.
32. Cleveland Browns 0-5: Ahhh yes... the Browns down at the bottom of the list. Something that we are somewhat accustomed to. Here are the positives. The Cavs won a championship and Lebron is still in town (for now), The Indians are awesome, and Johnny Manziel is not on your team. Thats it Cleveland. Sorry your team sucks.