Week 5 of the 2013 NFL season showed the Denver Broncos have weaknesses, while the New Orleans Saints continue to be incredibly balanced and the Kansas City Chiefs still very strong on defense, staying strong at the top of the power rankings.
The biggest risers this week have to be the Indianapolis Colts, who are one very close loss to the Miami Dolphins away from being perfect as well, while the San Francisco 49ers should also find themselves on an upward trend if they keep limiting the amount of nonsense Colin Kaepernick can do with the ball.
1. Denver Broncos, 5-0: The Broncos met their toughest match up to this point in the Dallas Cowboys, as Peyton Manning threw his first interception of the season. Still, the Broncos are leading the NFL in every offensive category, and the same goes for Manning when it comes to quarterback statistics.
2. New Orleans Saints, 5-0: This isn’t a defense that completely shuts down opponents, but they’re ranked 4th in the NFL when it comes to limiting teams from gaining on them, while Drew Brees focusing on Jimmy Graham and Darren Sporles manages to keep the offense a bit longer on the field than before.
3. Kansas City Chiefs, 5-0: The Chiefs keep shutting down opponents, beating the Tennessee Titans 26-17, enjoying the best pass-rush tandem in the nation with Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, but Alex Smith is starting to make mistakes.
4. Indianapolis Colts, 4-1: Keep racking up wins against impressive teams, this time beating the Seahawks 34-28, as Andrew Luck keeps looking better than any other of his second-year counterparts, especially when playing against them.
5. Seattle Seahawks, 4-1: The loss to the Colts exposed a problem for Seattle, which is Russell Wilson having some moments of struggling this season, especially on the road. He’s completing only 58.3% of his passes, and sometimes seems to be relying too much on his defense to rescue him.
6. New England Patriots, 4-1: Not as bad as before when they’re facing the pass, but the formula that has always worked, which means shaking up Tom Brady early and watch play bad still works.
7. San Francisco 49ers, 3-2: The Niners have found the way to get back to winning: not giving the ball to Colin Kaepernick to throw or run, attempting only 39 passes over the last two games, both wins for the Niners.
8. Green Bay Packers, 2-2: With Eddie Lacy running for 99 yards and Randall Cobb going for 72 on only two carries, it’s no surprise that Aaron Rodgers didn’t have to look exceptional as the Packers went back to their winning ways.
9. Cincinnati Bengals, 3-2: Despite Andy Dalton looking awful most of the time, The Bengals have a top 10 defense with one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, which is good enough to keep them within touching distance of anyone.
10. Detroit Lions, 3-2: With Calvin Johnson not playing, the Lions don’t stand a chance, especially in Lambeau.
11. Baltimore Ravens, 3-2: If the Ravens have finally found their running game again, going for 133 yards against the Dolphins, then we’ll start seeing what they paid Joe Flacco so much money for.
12. Chicago Bears, 3-2: The injuries to their front line have turned the defense from an opportunistic one into a bad one, while Jay Cutler and his offense continue to go through growing pains under Marc Trestman.
13. Miami Dolphins, 3-2: It’s impossible to win when your running game gets 22 yards on 11 carries, worsening their season average to 69.6 per game
14. Tennessee Titans, 3-2: Even with the awful Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Titans have one of the best defenses in the NFL, and would have been ranked higher if it wasn’t for one big mistake by the officials, overprotecting a quarterback that didn’t need any.
15. Arizona Cardinals, 3-2: One of the more surprising .500 teams so far, but their defense is very hard to run against (allowing only 79 yards per game), which means almost an automatic loss for the pass-struggling Carolina Panthers.
16. Cleveland Browns, 3-2: Brian Hoyer won’t be their savior this season, but it might be that Brandon Weeden isn’t so bad after all.
17. New York Jets, 3-2: Geno Smith has finally had a no-interceptions game, but the lack of offensive talent on this team won’t enable them to keep winning, even with some luck, for much longer.
18. Dallas Cowboys, 2-3: Someone said there are no moral victories, but if Tony Romo takes the first 59 minutes of his performance against the Broncos, the Cowboys are going to overcome another late interception and loss.
19. Houston Texans, 2-3: Their defense is a lot better than recent scores have shown, but unless someone shakes Matt Schaub from whatever it is that’s causing him to drown, the Texans won’t finish among the top two in their division.
20. San Diego Chargers, 2-3: Rise and fall upon the day Philip Rivers is having, and when he throws three interceptions, there’s no real chance of winning.
21. Oakland Raiders, 2-3: Terrelle Pryor is back, but it looks like he doesn’t mind that teams are focusing on stopping him from running. His 8th in the NFL in passer rating and sixth in completion percentage.
22. Philadelphia Eagles, 2-3: Their only two wins came against division rivals with terrible defenses, but there’s plenty of promise to this Chip Kelly team, which has no problem switching from Michael Vick to Nick Foles without losing much.
23. Buffalo Bills, 2-3: The parade of quarterbacks in Buffalo continues, as Thad Lewis is next in line to fill in for an injury. If the Bills can keep on running for 150-160 yards or more, this or that at quarterback won’t really matter from winning the games they’re supposed to.
24. St. Louis Rams, 2-3: Even the Jags scored 20 points against the Rams, they won’t find a team so easy to score against on most weeks in the NFL.
25. Minnesota Vikings, 1-3: Josh Freeman won’t start in their next game, but he’s an obvious improvement to Christian Ponder, as long as he doesn’t try and take over for Adrian Peterson and actually tries to play according to his own limitations.
26. Atlanta Falcons, 1-4: The amount of bad or unlucky decisions Mike Smith has been taking this season has been alarming, but a team with so much talent on offense, despite their offensive line and defense issues, can’t keep on losing games this close.
27. Carolina Panthers, 1-3: The Panthers can’t put the ball in the air, but they have to find a way and make their running game a little less predictable.
28. Washington Redskins, 1-3: With the worst defense in the NFL, even the NFC East looks too difficult for them to conquer.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers, 0-4: Not playing gives them a chance to work on some of their issues, but except replacing players, their offensive line isn’t going to get much better.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 0-4: Greg Schiano now has all the pressure coming to him, and he needs Mike Glennon to not mess it up for him, because the Bucs aren’t planning to go through with another quarterback change.
31. New York Giants, 0-5: Lucky the Jags exist in the world.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars, 0-5: Just might be the worst team in NFL history.