NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs & Rams remain undefeated
Week 5 NFL rankings
1. Los Angeles Rams (5-0) - Last week: 1.
Fentress says: The Rams looked vulnerable for the first time this season in their 33-31 win at Seattle in which they were fortunate to escape with a victory. But that’s what great teams do, find a way to win tough games on the road in hostile environments, which describes CenturyLink field. The Rams will face a similar situation this weekend at Denver (2-3) with WRs Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks dealing with concussions.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) - Last week: 2
Fentress says QB Pat Mahomes II didn’t throw a touchdown pass but threw two interceptions in the team’s win over Jacksonville yet KC won 30-14 because the defense played its best game of the season. One red flag is that the team committed a whopping 11 penalties. Still, KC remains undefeated and appears to be the class of the AFC. Let’s see how KC does this week at No. 9 New England.
3. Carolina Panthers (3-1) - Last week: 4.
Fentress says: That Carolina needed a 63-yard field goal from Graham Gano to defeat the lowly New York Giants, 33-31, at home is a red flag. Another one is that the one once tough Panthers’ defense surrendered 432 yards to the Giants. Carolina could get a boost from the return of linebacker Thomas Davis, who completed his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (4-1) - Last week: 5.
Fentress says: The Bengals needed two defensive touchdowns to defeat Miami, 27-17 on Sunday, but that shows that this team can find multiple ways to win. At this point, the Bengals can no longer be overlooked. They are legitimate and sit atop the AFC North Division.
5. New Orleans Saints (4-1) - Last week: 8.
Fentress says: RB Mark Ingram returned from his four-game PED suspension to score two rushing touchdowns in a 43-19 thumping of Washington on a night when QB Drew Brees became the NFL’s all-time passing yardage leader. New Orleans has a week off before a rough stretch against Baltimore, Minnesota, the Rams, Bengals, and Philadelphia. Yikes!
6. Chicago Bears (3-1) - Last week: 10.
Fentress says: The Bears move up three spots simply because their only loss was a meltdown against the Packers and they haven’t looked pitiful in any game, unlike Jacksonville, New England. and Baltimore. The Bears return to action at struggling Miami, which has “trap” written all over it.
7. Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) - Last week: 18.
Fentress says: Why such a dramatic jump into the top 10. Well, the Chargers have three so-so wins over Buffalo, San Francisco and Oakland, but they also have the best two losses possible, to the Rams and Kansas City. So, let’s see if they can capitalize with upcoming games at Cleveland and then home against Tennessee.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) - Last week: 3.
Fentress says: Will someone please explain what the heck is up with QB Blake Bortles. Great against New England, Bad at Tennessee, great against the New York Jets, then bad at Kansas City. Is this a road game thing or is he simply allergic to greatness. At some point the defensive players are going to issue a Code Red on the quarterback.
9. New England Patriots (3-2) - Last week: 8.
Fentress says: New England probably should be ahead of Jacksonville but the Jaguars did crush the Patriots and that loss at Detroit remains perplexing. That said, if New England gets production out of troubled WR Josh Gordon, who scored a TD in his Patriots debut, this team is once again going to be a force to be reckoned with once again.
10. Baltimore Ravens (3-2) - Last week: 7.
Fentress says: Very disappointing showing in a 12-9 overtime loss at Cleveland. A win over the Browns would have made the upcoming stretch of games less frightening. Baltimore is set to face Tennessee, New Orleans, Carolina, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. All winnable and losable at the same time.
11. Minnesota Vikings (2-2-1) - Last week: 20.
Fentress says: This is another by-default upgrade. The Vikings have made up for losing to Buffalo at home by playing a tough game against the Rams and then getting a strong win at Philadelphia. Plus, 11 through 20 are all interchangeable at this point.
12. Tennessee Titans (3-2) - Last week: 11.
Fentress says: The receivers are a mess but QB Marcus Mariota can’t let the team lose at Buffalo after two huge wins over Jacksonville and Philadelphia. RB Derrick Henry is off to a slow start, averaging 3.4 yards per carry. That’s not helping Mariota’s cause.
13. Miami Dolphins (3-2) - Last week: 13.
Fentress says: Miami’s best win came against the Titans after Mariota left the game.
14. Green Bay Packers (2-2-1) - Last week: 9.
Fentress says: The Packers are 0-2 on the road and play four of the next six away from Lambeau Field.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1) - Last week: 22.
Fentress says: Huge win over Atlanta saved the season. For now. Bengals are next.
16. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) - Last week: 12.
Fentress says: Has lost three games by a total of 11 points.
17. Cleveland Browns (2-2-1) - Last week: 23.
Fentress says: Baker Mayfield is already the franchise’s best QB since Bernie Kosar.
18. Denver Broncos (2-3) - Last week: 15.
Fentress says: Denver has now lost three consecutive games with the Rams visiting Mile High on Sunday.
19. Seattle Seahawks (2-3) - Last week: 18.
Fentress says: Seattle has solved the offensive line program. Now, that defense…
20. Detroit Lions (2-3) - Last week: 24.
Fentress says: Recovered three fumbles against the Packers.
21. Houston Texans (2-3) - Last week: 25.
Fentress says: Can get back to .500 with win over visiting Buffalo.
22. Washington (2-2) - Last week: 17.
Fentress says: Washington remains in first place in the NFC East.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) - Last week: 16.
Fentress says: QB Jameis Winston returns to face desperate Atlanta.
24. Buffalo Bills (2-3) - Last week: 29.
Fentress says: Wins over Minnesota and Tennessee came courtesy of a strong defense.
25. Dallas Cowboys (2-3) - Last week: 19.
Fentress says: Coach Jason Garrett catching heat for punting during overtime in loss to Houston.
26. New York Jets (2-3) - Last week: 31.
Fentress says: Both wins came with QB Sam Darnold passing for exactly 198 yards.
27. Atlanta Falcons (1-4) - Last week: 21.
Fentress says: This team was in the Super Bowl two seasons ago. Now, this.
28. New York Giants (1-4) - Last week: 30.
Fentress says: The last thing the Giants need is WR Odell Beckham questioning QB Eli Manning.
29. Indianapolis Colts (1-4) - Last week: 27.
Fentress says: Colts have a chance to recover with upcoming games against the Jets, Buffalo an Oakland.
30. Oakland Raiders (1-4) - Last week: 26.
Fentress says: Despite issues, the Raiders could be a threat to Seattle.
31. Arizona Cardinals (1-4) - Last week: 32.
Fentress says: Won at San Francisco despite getting grossly outplayed in every way other than turnovers.
32. San Francisco 49ers (1-4).
Last week: 28.
Fentress says: It’s going to be a long season by the bay.