NFL Power Rankings Week 5: Cardinals shock, Cowboys dominate, and the Steelers falter

The NFL power rankings are fluid, and there was a good amount of shuffling for Week 5. Did your favorite team rise or fall this week?

The NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 5 certainly look different than expected. The Arizona Cardinals silenced the non-believers in their rout of the Los Angeles Rams, who had previously graced the top of the rankings. There were a few upsets in Week 4, and a few teams looked so dominant they had to jump up in the rankings. With nearly a quarter of the season complete, we’re starting to get a feel for what most of these teams can look forward to the rest of the year.

NFL Power Rankings Week 5 | Tier 5

It’s onto the NFL Draft for these teams. Some of them are on scheduled rebuilds, while others seem to be struggling with their direction.

32) Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence finally looked the first overall pick that we felt was one of the best quarterback prospects since Andrew Luck. He had a pretty clean game overall, and he looked comfortable spreading the ball around to 10 different receivers.

This was also the first time he completed more passes than expected for a game, finishing with a +9% CPOE. The Jaguars ran the ball well, too, but they couldn’t quite overcome their deficiencies to squeak out a win.

We can give Urban Meyer a ton of flack for what he’s done over the course of his coaching career. But what we saw pop up on social media Saturday night shouldn’t matter to anybody outside of his immediate family.

The world should stick to football on this one. And Meyer has struggled in that area so far.

31) Detroit Lions

The Lions could have very easily defeated the Bears in Week 4, but they were terrible on third down (4-of-11), atrocious in the red zone (1 touchdown in 5 trips), and missing in action in goal-to-go situations (1-of-4). Jared Goff isn’t their future, and they have to know that. Unfortunately, the 2022 draft class hasn’t helped us feel good about the future of Lions quarterbacking, either.

Head coach Dan Campbell has to spend this season building a culture and helping his young defensive players progress. The Lions are in a multi-year rebuild. They just need fans and the front office to buy into that future — because the now is ugly.

30) Houston Texans

This Texans team might be the worst in the NFL, but they beat the Jaguars in Week 1, so it seems unfair to rank them any lower. But until Tyrod Taylor returns, Houston has no options at quarterback.

Buffalo’s defense has excellent players at all three levels, and we knew this game could get ugly. But Houston rookie signal-caller Davis Mills looked like Ben DiNucci or Nathan Peterman out there today. It’s a tough time to be a Texans fan, but we expected this team to struggle in 2021.

Remember, they only managed four wins with their previous quarterback playing mind-numbingly good football. Don’t expect any more victories for Houston in 2021 — unless Taylor can come back and carry them past the Jaguars again.

29) Atlanta Falcons

I could not possibly feel worse for a fanbase than I do for Atlanta’s following. Sure, there are worse teams in the NFL. However, nobody is better at going out and losing games in an excruciating fashion than the Falcons.

The Falcons’ futility dates back to the Super Bowl loss to the Patriots, but this is a city curse. The Atlanta Braves had arguably the most dominant run in baseball history from 1991-2005 but could only manage one World Series victory.

In the past few seasons, we’ve seen some truly embarrassing losses in Atlanta. I’m not sure what will break the curse, but I hope that it happens soon.

28) New York Jets

After three straight weeks of disappointing performance after disappointing performance, the New York Jets showed some life for head coach Robert Saleh, beating an injury-depleted Tennesee Titans team in overtime.

But the win isn’t the most important development from this game. It’s nice to get a “W,” but seeing Zach Wilson tread water for the first time in his rookie season was the most important event from Sunday.

Just three days after Trevor Lawrence had his best game as a pro, Wilson had his own. He’s still struggling to complete passes at a higher rate than expected, but on Sunday, he pushed the ball downfield and made enough throws to win the game for the Jets.

In the end, Saleh got his first Gatorade bath as a head coach.

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