Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Tim Weaver

NFL Power Rankings Week 6: Bengals and Jags jump, Patriots hit bottom

A king has his reign, and then he dies. The same can be said for dynasties in the NFL, where we are witnessing the collapse of the longest run of success in the history of the league. Ever since Tom Brady decided to take his talents to Tampa the Patriots have been on the decline. After this past week’s slate of games there’s a strong case to make that New England is now the worst team in the league.

Before we get into the rankings themselves, let’s break down the major takeaways and name the biggest winners and losers from this past week.

Buy Seahawks Tickets

The Patriots are officially over

Technically the Pats have a better record than the winless Panthers, but at least Carolina has managed to avoid getting outscored by a total of 72-3 over the last two games. In fact, aside from an unimpressive five-point win over the Jets, this team has had exactly nothing to celebrate. As such, we’ve decided to put them at No. 32 in these rankings, down six spots from Week 5.

The Jaguars and Bengals are so back

The best game we saw on Sunday was the early tilt in London between Jacksonville and Buffalo. Trevor Lawrence and Calvin Ridley pulled off some remarkable plays when it mattered most, but the Jaguars defense was the real star here – at times their razor sharp cover 1/3 looks seeming suspiciously a lot like the 2013 Seahawks. We have given Jacksonville a significant boost this week, pushing them from No. 12 up to No. 6.

The biggest winner of the week though happens to be Seattle’s next opponent. The Bengals beat the Cardinals on Sunday, which is no big deal. however, more importantly they got Joe Burrow back in form after he struggled playing through a calf injury the first month of the season. And so, Cincinnati is up 10 spots from our last rankings.

Bills, Ravens, Commanders, Packers drop

It’s no shame losing to Jacksonville the way they did, but the Bills lost more than just a game in London. They also lost one of their most critical defensive pieces in linebacker Matt Milano, who’s probably out for the rest of the regular season with a broken leg. Defensive tackle DaQuan Jones also suffered a serious injury to his pec, likely meaning these Bills are down two defensive starters for the foreseeable future. So, we dropped them from second place all the way down to No. 8.

Speaking of shame, what the Ravens did against the Steelers this week was one of the most pathetic self-inflicted losses in recent years. Thanks to a flurry of mistakes – including 784 drops – Baltimore lost to a Pittsburgh team that might have the literal worst offense in modern NFL history. So, they have dropped five spots from seventh to No. 12.

At least Baltimore didn’t lose to the Raiders, which is about as big a red flag as it gets in this league right now. The Packers only managed to put up 13 points against Vegas in last night’s loss and Jordan Love has looked awful the last two games. And so Green Bay suffered the largest drop of the week, falling seven spots.

Idle Seahawks in the same spot

As for Seattle, last week we had them at No. 9. With no game there was no reason to move them from that spot. The same applies to the Buccaneers and the Browns, occupying the two spots directly below them.

Lions ascend into the top 3

Perhaps the strangest thing you’ll see on this list is just how high the Lions have climbed. Beating the 2023 Panthers at home is nothing special, but the way that they’re playing on both sides of the ball makes them a very clear Super Bowl contender. We have Detroit ranked No. 3 in the league, which may represent a high point not reached since 1957.

At the top, the 49ers are looking pretty fricking good right now, as Pete Carroll told the media after yesterday’s practice at the VMAC. The Niners dominated the Cowboys on Sunday night, bringing their point differential for the year up to +99. Put it another way, on average they are beating their opponents by about three touchdowns.

The good news is if the Seahawks can manage to beat them when they meet later on this season they’ll have a strong case to make for being the best team in the business. Until somebody takes them down San Francisco isn’t going anywhere from the No. 1 spot, though.

Here’s how we see all 32 teams stacking up going into Week 6…

New England Patriots (1-4) - Last week: 26

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers (0-5) - Last week: 32

Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

New York Giants (1-4) - Last week: 25


Arizona Cardinals (1-4) - Last week: 29

Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Las Vegas Raiders (2-3) - Last week: 30

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans (1-4) - Last week: 27

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Broncos (1-4) - Last week: 28

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears (1-4) - Last week: 31

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Titans (2-3) - Last week: 22

Bob Scheer-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Commanders (2-3) - Last week: 17

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings (1-4) - Last week: 20

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers (2-3) - Last week: 14

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets (2-3) - Last week: 24

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) - Last week: 19

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Indianapolis Colts (3-2) - Last week: 21

Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Atlanta Falcons (3-2) - Last week: 18

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints (3-2) - Last week: 16

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Chargers (2-2) - Last week: 15

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams (2-3) - Last week: 13

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) - Last week: 23

Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Baltimore Ravens (3-2) - Last week: 7

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns (2-2) - Last week: 11

Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) - Last week: 10

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Seahawks (3-1) - Last week: 9

(Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

Buffalo Bills (3-2) - Last week: 2

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys (3-2) - Last week: 4

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) - Last week: 12

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins (4-1) - Last week: 8


Kansas City Chiefs (4-1) - Last week: 5

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions (4-1) - Last week: 6

Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Philadelphia Eagles (5-0) - Last week: 3

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers (5-0) - Last week: 1

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.