The Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs remain undefeated, and they each have clear claim to being the best team in their respective conferences as a result. Things are also beginning to come into focus in terms of who will pose the biggest threats to both clubs moving forward, but things get a little murky the further you move down the charts.
Let’s take a look at where we see all 32 teams stacking up after five weeks of the NFL regular season.
1. Los Angeles Rams, 5-0
Last week rank: 1
The Rams had their first real test in the form of the Seattle Seahawks, but the team was able to escape the Pacific Northwest with a victory. Both Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp were lost to concussions during the game, so the Rams potent receiving corps could look vastly different for this week’s tilt against the Denver Broncos.
2. Kansas City Chiefs, 5-0
Last week rank: 2
Anticipation was high heading into Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, as the game amounted to the stiffest test to date for the high-powered Chiefs offense. The team passed with flying colors in a 30-14 victory that wasn’t as close as the score suggests. Another stiff test looms on Sunday Night Football against the New England Patriots.
3. New Orleans Saints, 4-1
Last week rank: 4
The Saints looked shaky the first two weeks of the season, but they have clearly established themselves as a top contender in the NFC since that point. They’re outscoring opponents by a margin of 180-140, and also just dropped 43 points on the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. That’s a solid way to go into a bye week.
4. New England Patriots, 3-2
Last week rank: 5
The Patriots will have had some extra time to prepare for the Chiefs, as they were tasked with playing on Thursday Night in Week 5. A convincing victory over the Indianapolis Colts could be a sign that the Patriots are finally rounding into form. Extra time to prepare for a young QB is a positive for New England, but Patrick Mahomes has passed every test so far with flying colors.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars, 3-2
Last week rank: 3
While there are plenty of fingers to be pointed for Sunday’s disappointing loss to the Chiefs, it’s pretty tough not to have a large one wagging in the direction of Blake Bortles. Four picks in hostile territory against a high-powered opponent is not a recipe for success.
6. Cincinnati Bengals, 4-1
Last week rank: 6
At one point on Sunday, the Bengals were down 17-0 to the Miami Dolphins. That makes the fact that they walked out with a 27-17 victory all the more impressive. The Bengals look to be a serious threat to win the AFC North, and they have a chance to drive that point home this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
7. Chicago Bears, 3-1
Last week rank: 10
Could the Bears really be the best team in the NFC North? We can’t say for certain just yet, but they’re doing a great impression of a division winner. Keep an eye on Chicago, especially if their division mates continue to deliver erratic efforts.
8. Carolina Panthers, 3-1
Last week rank: 12
The Panthers were up 27-16 over the New York Giants when the script suddenly flipped. The Giants stormed back and were up 31-30, but Graham Gano nailed a 63-yard field goal as time expired to give the hosts a hard fought victory.
9. Minnesota Vikings, 2-2-1
Last week rank: 15
The Vikings played their finest game of the season in taking down the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. They’re a big home favorite over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, but the team folded up like tents in a similar spot against the Buffalo Bills earlier this season.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers, 2-2-1
Last week rank: 16
The Steelers desperately needed a win this week, and they got one in convincing fashion over the Atlanta Falcons. A trip to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals is up next, and we’ll have some additional perspective on the balance of power in the AFC North when the final whistle blows.
11. Baltimore Ravens, 3-2
Last week rank: 9
Heading into the game against the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens were thought to be the best team in the division. After a loss in overtime, the Ravens are just one of four teams in what looks to be a pretty open divisional race.
12. Green Bay Packers, 2-2-1
Last week rank: 7
The reliable Mason Crosby had himself a day on Sunday, and the Packers can certainly point the finger at him as the reason for a disappointing loss to the Detroit Lions. That said, there are several other kinks for the club to work out as it prepares for a Monday Night affair with the San Francisco 49ers.
13. Philadelphia Eagles, 2-3
Last week rank: 11
Five weeks into the regular season, and the defending Super Bowl champs look like anything but a playoff team. Jay Ajayi has been lost for the season with an ACL injury, another body blow for an offense that just can’t seem to get its mojo back.
14. Los Angeles Chargers, 3-2
Last week rank: 14
The Chargers dominated the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, so perhaps that’s a sign that the squad is going to be playing up to its potential from here on out. We’ll have a clear answer on that when we see which team shows up in Cleveland for a date with the improved Browns.
15. Tennessee Titans, 3-2
Last week rank: 8
The Titans were flying high after a victory over the Eagles in Week 4, but they came crashing back to earth with a loud thud against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. They face off with the Ravens this week, another squad whose effort in Week 5 left a lot to be desired.
16. Miami Dolphins, 3-2
Last week rank: 13
The Dolphins opened up Sunday’s game looking like the team that rocketed to a 3-0 start, but they finished up looking like the squad that has lost its last two in a row. A tough game against a rested Bears team is up next.
17. Washington Redskins, 2-2
Last week rank: 17
The Saints took the Redskins out to the woodshed in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football. It’s not the end of the world with what looks to be a down year for the NFC East as a whole. However, immediately righting the ship with a bounce back win against the Panthers seems imperative.
18. Cleveland Browns, 2-2-1
Last week rank: 23
Another bounce or three, and the Browns could legitimately be undefeated. While we can paint that narrative for a number of other teams as well, it’s particularly impressive when we’re talking about a squad that was 1-31 over the previous two seasons.
19. Seattle Seahawks, 2-3
Last week rank: 18
The Seahawks gave the Rams their biggest test to date, and that’s further confirmation that head coach Pete Carroll is treating this as anything but a transition year. A role of spoiler throughout the year is a given, and an outside shot at a wild card is not out of the question.
20. Detroit Lions, 2-3
Last week rank: 25
The Lions head into their bye on a high note after knocking off the Packers. There’s talent to be found on both sides of the ball in the Motor City, but the coaching staff needs to prioritize consistency during the bye.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2-2
Last week rank: 20
The Buccaneers are coming out of their bye with Jameis Winston at the helm to face off with an Atlanta Falcons team that has been desperately hunting for a win. We can consider the rest of the season a lengthy audition for Winston to prove he’s the long term solution, and it’ll be interesting to see how he responds.
22. Houston Texans, 2-3
Last week rank: 24
The Texans have won two in a row, and they are back in the conversation for the division crown or a wild card spot as a result. The Jaguars and Titans have their own issues to tend to, and Houston has a great chance to get to .500 when the Buffalo Bills head to town this week.
23. Denver Broncos, 2-3
Last week rank: 19
A road trip to the east coast after a home loss on Monday Night Football didn’t look to be an enviable spot for the Broncos to be in, but laying an egg was a little on the surprising side. The New York Jets dominated the visitors, who now head back home to take on the Rams.
24. Atlanta Falcons, 1-4
Last week rank: 21
All of the Falcons prior losses were of the close variety, but we can’t say the same about Sunday’s result. The Steelers held the Falcons in check while having their way on offense. The Buccaneers stand between the Falcons and either its second victory or fifth loss of the 2018 season.
25. Dallas Cowboys, 2-3
Last week rank: 22
If Ezekiel Elliott is held in check, the same can be said about the Cowboys offense. Opponents across the league already had a sneaky suspicion about that, but the point was driven home by the Texans on Sunday Night Football.
26. New York Jets, 2-3
Last week rank: 30
The Jets are in the running for most erratic team in the league. The team’s two victories were very impressive, but that’s mitigated by listless performances in three losses. We’ll see which team shows up against the Colts on Sunday.
27. Indianapolis Colts, 1-4
Last week rank: 27
Speaking of the Colts, they have had plenty of time to lick their wounds since being curb stomped by the Patriots last Thursday Night. Perhaps the extra rest will inspire a more complete effort to bring the club’s three-game losing streak to a halt.
28. Buffalo Bills, 2-3
Last week rank: 31
When the short list of erratic clubs is discussed, the Bills are front and center. One week after being shut out by the Packers, the Bills showed up to play against a Titans squad that came in flying high. The Bills look to be one of those clubs that will confuse prognosticators all season.
29. New York Giants, 1-4
Last week rank: 26
The Giants showed a lot of fight in coming back against the Panthers, but we shouldn’t allow that to mask obvious problems with the team. A series of blown tackles in the first half is a clear sign of a defense that’s not playing up to its capabilities. The offense showed life in the second half, but was that a sign of things to come or just a mirage from an embarrassed team?
30. San Francisco 49ers, 1-4
Last week rank: 29
The 49ers have dropped three in a row as injuries have let the air out of the balloon of what looked to be a promising season. The schedule isn’t getting any easier, as road game with the Packers is followed up with a home tilt against the Rams.
31. Oakland Raiders, 1-4
Last week rank: 28
A week after earning its first victory of the season over the Browns, the Raiders were resoundingly defeated by the Chargers. A trip to London to face the Seahawks is up next, but that doesn’t sound like a good elixir for a squad that’s afflicted with inconsistency.
32. Arizona Cardinals, 1-4
Last week rank: 32
The Cardinals scored their first victory of the season, but let’s not have that mask the fact that it’s going to be a long season in the desert. That said, the club deserves credit for delivering three consecutive competitive efforts after opening up the season with a pair of duds.