Ranking the NFL: Week 5

The Titans picked up another win this weekend to stand as the NFL's only 5-0 team. Is their record enough to earn them a spot atop this week's rankings? Adam Beilman breaks down every team inside...

A wacky season got even crazier this week. Teams that were supposed to go about business as usual, including the Chargers and Colts, continue to struggle against supposed bottom feeders. Meanwhile, several divisions are led by unlikely contenders, including the AFC South (Titans), NFC East (Redskins), NFC West (Cardinals), and NFC South (Panthers), NFC North (Bears), and yes, the AFC East, which the Bills hold onto a one game lead in.

1 – New York Giants (4-0)

No Plaxico Burress, no problem. It'll be interesting to see what they'll be able to do against the dominant teams in their division.

2 – Tennessee Titans (5-0) )

Kerry Collins defines game management. Stupid penalties almost killed them, but questionable officiating saved them. They remain unbeaten, albeit barely.

3 – Dallas Cowboys (4-1) )

All hell would have broken loose had they fallen to the Bengals. The T.O. saga blows over, for now anyway.

4 - Washington Redskins (4-1) )

Coach Zorn has this team believing they can take anyone after two huge divisional wins on the road.

5 - Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1)

They can't protect their QB and they're on their third string RB, yet they find ways to win. Credit to the defense and coach Tomlin.

6 - Denver Broncos (4-1)

They proved they could win without scoring 35 points. Sunday's slugfest gives them a big lead in the AFC West.

7 - Carolina Panthers (4-1)

This team is very comparable to the Super Bowl XXXVIII squad. They're just as good a story as they were then.

8 - Buffalo Bills (4-1)

They were making a habit of only playing in the second half. Sunday, they didn't even do that. They were deflated when Edwards went down.

9 - New England Patriots (3-1)

They'll have to work for every win this season, and they proved they're willing to do it Sunday in San Fran. Consider the Randy Ratio implemented.

10 - Chicago Bears (3-2)

This just in: Kyle Orton is legitimate. After predictions of futility, their offense has showed up to several games in a row. They've taken charge of the division.

11 - Arizona Cardinals (3-2)

They put together a great gameplan to protect Kurt Warner and to control the ball. It should be a new formula for success, as long as the defense can hold up.

12 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2)

They'll need to settle their QB situation quickly to keep pace in the suddenly competitive NFC South.

13 – Philadelphia Eagles (2-3)

They are left with a huge uphill climb in the NFC East. They aren't playing badly, their opponents are earning wins against this tough defense.

14 - San Diego Chargers (2-3)

Another embarrassing effort for this very talented offense means even less time for coach Norv Turner to right this sinking ship.

15 - Atlanta Falcons (3-2)

Matt Ryan looked like the present and future of this franchise, he went out and won at Lambeau.

16 - Green Bay Packers (2-3)

Their defense sorely missed CB Al Harris and SS Atari Bigby, as they were schooled by rookie QB Matt Ryan.

17 - Baltimore Ravens (2-2)

They played well enough to win on Sunday, they just didn't. 10 points is hopefully the exception and not the rule to the offense's output.

18 - Indianapolis Colts (2-2)

They didn't deserve to come out of Houston with a win, someone was smuggling horseshoes on the field.

19 - Minnesota Vikings (2-3)

Nobody is doubting the decision to bench Tavaris Jackson now. Adrian Peterson was shut down, but Frerotte and the defense stepped up big on Monday Night.

20 - New York Jets (2-2)

The offense is salivating to get on the field and continue it's pre-bye production.

21 - New Orleans Saints (2-3)

They did everything BUT win a Monday Night thriller. It is difficult to win when a "fuzzy" Gus Frerotte tears your secondary apart, after all.

22 - Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)

Every game has come down to the wire, decided by one score. They're on the brink; are they climbing, or falling off the edge?

23 - Miami Dolphins (2-2)

Sure their offense is gimmicky, but hey, it works, and it's the first thing that has in years for Miami.

24 - San Francisco 49ers (2-3)

The offense can score in bunches, and the defense is opportunistic. They aren't that far off in the NFC Worst.

25 - Seattle Seahawks (1-3)

Their problems are clearly more complex than a banged up WR corps; they had Deion Branch and Bobby Engram and still got thumped by the G-men.

26 - Cleveland Browns (1-3)

Have to think Brady Quinn got some significant reps during the bye.

27 - Kansas City Chiefs (1-4)

These were the Chefs we know and love. Key stat: Larry Johnson: 7 carries, 2 yards.

28 - Cincinnati Bengals (0-5)

They kept it close against an NFC powerhouse again. Maybe they aren't that bad. All other indications say otherwise, though.

29 – Houston Texans (0-4)

You really have to try to surrender a 3 score lead in 4 minutes, but the Texans managed to do it. QB Sage Rosenfels is the goat of the week.

30 – Oakland Raiders (1-3)

Will they give up on the season, or rally behind interim coach Tom Cable?

31 - St. Louis Rams (0-4)

See above, replace "Tom Cable" with "Jim Haslett."

32 - Detroit Lions (0-4)

One of the least professional teams in any professional sports leagues continues their futility.

ambeilma@syr.edu


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