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Week Five power rankings

Steve Smith, Roman Harper

Carolina Panthers’ Steve Smith (89) is hit by New Orleans Saints’ Roman Harper (41) after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)


1. Packers (No. 1; 5-0): Brett Favre was surprised it took the Packers so long to come back from a 14-0 deficit.

2. Saints (No. 2; 4-1): Who does Roman Harper think he is, Ken Lucas?

3. Lions (No. 3; 5-0): Calvin Johnson had only one touchdown reception last night, which will cause him to drop out of Cris Carter’s top five.

4. Bills (No. 10; 4-1): Leave it to a guy from Harvard to perfectly execute a dummy play.

5. Patriots (No. 5; 4-1): Leave it to a team from near Harvard to make the Jets look like a bunch of dummies.

6. Ravens (No. 4; 3-1): With John Harbaugh’s brother’s team at 4-1, Packers-Lions isn’t the only must-see game on Thanksgiving.

7. 49ers (No. 12; 4-1): The worst division in football is producing one of the best teams in the conference.

8. Chargers (No. 7; 4-1): A bunch of bad teams have landed in the portion of the schedule when the Chargers traditionally play badly.

9. Raiders (No. 15; 3-2): With Sebastian Janikowski and Darrius Heyward-Bey and Michael Huff showing up big for the Raiders the day after Al Davis died, perhaps it’s time to give JaMarcus Russell a second chance.

10. Texans (No. 6; 3-2): Fortunately for the Texans, everyone in the division lost.

11. Steelers (No. 11; 3-2): If Ben Roethlisberger can throw five touchdown passes with a sprained left foot, maybe they should amputate the right one.

12. Redskins (No. 17; 3-1): A year after Mike Vick’s night to remember at FedEx Field, he’s returning with a won-loss record to forget.

13. Giants (No. 9; 3-2): The presence of copious amounts of pink at MetLife Stadium was followed by heavy consumption of copious amounts of a certain pink liquid by Tom Coughlin after the game.

14. Bengals (No. 21; 3-2): Somewhere, Carson Palmer is sitting on the floor of a room, turning a lamp on and off repeatedly.

15. Buccaneers (No. 8; 3-2): Instead of wearing the throwback creamsicles against the Niners, the Bucs opted to play like those teams instead.

16. Titans (No. 14; 3-2): Instead of asking “when” Chris Johnson will become Chris Johnson again, maybe we should be asking “if”?

17. Bears (No. 13; 2-3): Lovie Smith’s seat gradually is getting warmer.

18. Falcons (No. 16; 2-3): Why even bother making the playoffs if this year’s rematch with the Packers would be played at Lambeau Field?

19. Cowboys (No. 19; 2-2): The late-game misfortunes of Houston’s quarterback has resulted in a nickname based on the Cowboys’ signal-caller: Schromo.

20. Jets (No. 18; 2-3): What happens when a team premised on confidence suddenly has none?

21. Panthers (No. 20; 1-4): This team should change its nickname to the Horseshoes or the Hand Grenades.

22. Seahawks (No. 27; 2-3): That injury to Tarvaris Jackson could jeopardize Pete Carroll’s shot at getting Andrew Luck.

23. Eagles (No. 22; 1-4): Until Andy Reid has real fear of getting fired, this team will underachieve.

24. Browns (No. 24; 2-2): Peyton Hillis should have simply said he had a staph infection. No one would have doubted that.

25. Chiefs (No. 28; 2-3): By bouncing back after two horrendous losses to open the season, the Chiefs remind me a little of the ’89 Steelers. Which reminds me that I am freaking old.

26. Vikings (No. 29; 1-4): Sometimes, football is as simple as allowing superior players to display their superiority.

27. Broncos (No. 26; 1-4): The decision to start Tim Tebow could be the first tangible evidence of a “Suck of Luck” campaign.

28. Cardinals (No. 23; 1-4): Well, at least Kevin Kolb’s new team is doing as well as his old team.

29. Jaguars (No. 25; 1-4): As a new incentive to move tickets in Jacksonville, the league will televise the home games only if there isn’t a sellout.

30. Colts (No. 30; 0-5): If the Colts get to 0-14, will Bill Polian rest his starters?

31. Rams (No. 31; 0-4): With two weeks to prepare for the Packers, maybe the Rams can pull off the upset. (Yes, I managed to type that while at all times maintaining a straight face.)

32. Dolphins (No. 32; 0-4): If you ain’t playin’, you ain’t losin’.