Week Five Power Poll

It was another crazy week in the NFL where teams like the Saints, Broncos and Rams were upset by lesser opponents. The San Diego Chargers snapped the Patriots' 12-game winning streak dating back to last year. Meanwhile, the Dolphins were the Chiefs' latest victim against their offensive juggernaut. Call them the show on grass.

But the shakeup at the top of this week's poll is minimal despite all of these events affecting the balance of the league to some degree:


  1. Oakland (4-0): Okay, so my mouth is officially in my foot right about now. The Raiders are good, real good. Scoring 52 points against any defense is a feat to be awed by. But the Raiders are officially stepping into the "black hole" part of their schedule. Next up is a meeting against Drew Bledosoe's high flying Bills, whose offense is right up there with Kansas City. Then they'll face the staggering Rams, up and coming Chargers, Chiefs, 49ers, Broncos and Patriots. If the old geezers get through that stretch fairly unscathed, they will be Super Bowl bound.


  1. San Diego (4-0): Is anybody really that surprised that the Chargers are this good? Marty Schottenheimer wins everywhere he goes. His teams always run the ball extremely well, play good defense and are usually mistake free. The formula of success used by Schottenheimer is time tested, dating back to the 50's. And yes Daniel Snyder, you can win with this blue print.


  1. New England (3-1): It's tough to knock the champs down too many spots after last week's loss to the Chargers in San Diego. Even in a loss, they looked pretty darn good. But there is certainly a chink in the Pats' run defense, which has gotten hammered by Priest Holmes and LaDanian Thomlinson the past two weeks. The Pats lack size up front and both the Chiefs and Chargers took advantage of New England's speed at linebacker, cutting back against the grain on most attempts. Up next: Ricky Williams, who's a pretty good player himself.  


  1. Philadelphia: (3-1): Andy Reid is really whipping out his offense, isn't he? In their first four games, the Eagles have scored a total of 140 points. Donovan McNabb is clearly a more comfortable pocket quarterback this season. You throw in his incredible improvisational skills, and there is no one better in the league at his position right now. But the big difference seems to be Reid's ruthless play calling. While the coach is known for being aggressive, he has teams spinning, trying to figure out what plays he'll call next.


  1. Tampa Bay: (3-1): The Buccaneers' defense is back. Sapp looks more motivated than ever to put any question marks about his effort to rest. Derrick Brooks is the best weakside linebacker in football and makes plays all the time. Ronde Barber is the same way at cornerback, while John Lynch is still a man to be feared over the middle. I haven't begun to talk about the play of Simeon Rice, Anthony McFarland and Shelton Quarles, but you get the picture.


  1. Miami (3-1): The Dolphins' defense looked flat last week and the offense proved that without a lead, they will wilt. Fielder simply cannot be counted on to win games by himself. So b

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