Before you sharpen your pitchforks, a short note on how we’ve come to rank the teams as we have: all NFLTR writers have compiled their own NFL power rankings, which we’ve compiled and averaged in the list below. We hope you enjoy the fruits of our labor, and feel free to agree, disagree, or roast us in the comments below.
#1) Denver Broncos
Sunday’s game didn’t end up being the blowout that many expected. Manning shockingly put together his worst game of the season against a Jaguars unit has been considered to be one of the worst in the league. Still, there were positives for the Broncos. Peyton Manning now has 22 passing touchdowns this season, which is the most by any quarterback in NFL history through six games. Denver has scored has 265 points so far this season, which is also the most by any team through six games in NFL history. Denver has won 17 straight regular-season games dating back to last season, which ties for the 4th-longest streak in NFL history. Clear-cut No. 1 team in the league.
#2) Seattle Seahawks ( 1)
This looked like the perfect game for them to rebound from their Week 5 loss to the Colts, but the game was surprisingly much closer than I would have expected. The Seahawks fumbled five times and had a field blocked and returned for a 77-yard touchdown. Russell Wilson continued his efficient quarterback play, which included 23 of 31 passing for 257 yards and no interceptions. Wilson also contributed 61 yards rushing. Seattle’s ability to run the ball had a big impact on the game, which led to over six minute advantage in time of possession. They get the Cardinals and Rams on the road in back-to-back weeks.
#3) New Orleans Saints (1)
Saints had one of the harder tasks of any NFL team in Week 6. Going on the road to beat the Patriots is easier said than done, although Drew Brees has never lost to them in his NFL career before Sunday. In fact, Drew Brees completed less than half his passes in a game for just the third time since signing with the Saints back in 2006. New England deserves a lot of credit as they have been the only team to take Jimmy Graham out of the game. In fact, of the five passes have been thrown to Jimmy Graham, only one was caught and that was by Patriots DB Kyle Arrington. NO has another tough matchup ahead of them in Week 7 when they take on the Seahawks.
#4) New England Patriots ( 4)
The Patriots didn’t look all to great during the fourth quarter until their final game-winning drive. Tom Brady‘s game-winning drive covered 70 yards, which is crazy when you consider that their previous four drives amounted to: -2 yards, 15 yards, 4 yards and 0 yards. Bill Belichick passed Chuck Noll for fifth on the all-time wins list behind only Don Shula, George Halas, Tom Landry and Curly Lambeau. Meanwhile, Brady’s 342 career touchdown passes puts him in a tie with Fran Tarkenton for the fourth all time. They get the Jets in Week 7.
#5) Kansas City Chiefs (1)
Just a dominate performance from one of the best defenses in the league. If only they could get something out of their passing game and Dwayne Bowe. Jamaal Charles has a least 100 yards and TD in every game. KC now has 29 sacks on the season, which is incredible when you consider that they had 27 sacks all of last year. The Chiefs join the 1956 Lions as the only teams in NFL history to start 6-0 the season after having the league’s worst record. KC gets a reeling Texans team in Week 7.
#6) San Francisco 49ers ( 1)
Wins are really that matters, but it’s just surprising that opposing teams have been able to hang around much longer in games against the 49ers this season. The good news is that Vernon Davis has really played quite well in recent weeks. On Sunday, he set a career high in receiving yards at halftime. SF is also getting healthier as the team expects to have a number of players including WR Mario Manningham, DE Quinton Dial, DE Tank Carradine, and CB Eric Wright back in the near future. They travel to TEN and JAX in back-to-back weeks.
#7) Green Bay Packers
Losing Randall Cobb, James Jones and Nick Perry is probably the biggest take away from their win over the Ravens, but I really think this was an impressive performance by the Packers. GBs defense and running game really shined against a quality opponent on the road. There are also positive signs for them moving forward as the Packers have now had three different 100-yard rushers in their last four games after having none in their previous 44 games. GB is home against the Browns.
#8) Detroit Lions ( 5)
Joe Fauria has more receiving TD’s than Calvin Johnson this season. As crazy as that is, Fauria played a hell of game tallying three touchdowns against a respectable Browns defense. The Lions are still waiting for one of their receivers not named Calvin to step up and secure their No. 2 receiver spot. The Lions dropped a number of passes this season, which is highlighted by the fact that Reggie Bush is fourth in the NFL in drops. The Lions will have a solid test in Week 7 when they take on the Bengals at home.
#9) Indianapolis Colts (4)
The Colts had three drops heading into Monday Night’s game against the Chargers. Indy would finish the game with five drops. Congratulations to Reggie Wayne on joining a very exclusive club of nine players in NFL history with 1,000 career receptions.
#10) Dallas Cowboys
Dallas walked away from Sunday night’s game with a win, despite being out gained in both passing and rushing yards, as well as losing the time of possession battle. In fact, the Cowboys ran only eight plays in the entire third quarter. Dwayne Harris deserved a game ball after returning a punt for an 86-yard touchdown. Good teams find ways to win these kind of games and that’s exactly what DAL was able to do. They will be on the road for back-to-back road games against the Eagles and Lions.
#11) Chicago Bears
The Bears got their fourth win of the season on Thursday, but it’s hardly encouraging to see Brandon Jacobs run all over your defense like that. While Jacobs looked pretty good overall, there’s really no excuse for allowing him to get the second and third levels of the defense without being touched. Clearly, injuries have hurt their interior defensive line, but numerous teams are also dealing with mounting injuries. Chicago was able to get Brandon Marshall involved in their game plan, which usually a pretty good way of walking away with a win. CHI gets a WAS team in Week 7 who is on the uptick, and pretty good at running the ball. We’ll have to see if they’re capable of stopping Alfred Morris next weekend.
#12) Cincinnati Bengals (3)
The Bengals have quality wins over the Packers and Patriots this year, but it appears as though they’re incapable of dominating teams. Thad Lewis played better than almost anyone expected to him to, but it’s a bit of a letdown that they needed overtime to beat a guy who was on the practice squad last week. The good news is that the Bengals defense hasn’t allowed a 300-yard passer in 20 consecutive games. It’s just hard to not wonder how good they could be with improved quarterback play.
#13) Miami Dolphins ( 1)
The Dolphins are coming off of a bye, which is probably a good things given that they had dropped back-to-back games. Pro Bowl DE Cameron Wake and CB Dimitri Patterson have already returned to practice this week, which is good news for an underrated defensive unit. Miami will be up against a Bills team who could be starting either undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel or a banged up Thad Lewis in Week 7. There’s probably not a better time to play the Bills, so this is a good opportunity for them to get an always valuable division win.
#14) Baltimore Ravens ( 2)
The Ravens can’t get any push up front whatsoever. Ray Rice was either tackled for a loss or no gain on close to half of his carries Sunday. Torrey Smith was a non-factor and Joe Flacco did not look like a guy who was worth his contract. At least they were able to disrupt the Packers passing attack to some degree. The Ravens will now have an opportunity to take the lead in the AFC North with three straight games against division foes.
#15) San Diego Chargers ( 6)
The Chargers deserve a lot of credit for dominating the time of possession against the Colts. SD finally got their first interception of the year to close out an impressive performance. The RB combination of Ryan Matthews and Danny Woodhead actually looked great throughout the game. As did rookie WR Keenan Allen, who has quickly become, arguably, the Chargers best receiver. SD is No. 3 passing offense and get the Jaguars in Week 7.
#16) Philadelphia Eagles ( 4)
Nick Foles looked fantastic in his start against the Bucs, which amounted to 22-31 for 296 yards passing and three touchdowns. The Eagles became just the second team in NFL history to accumulate at least 1,500 passing and 1,050 rushing yards in their first six games. DeSean Jackson contributed his first career multiple TD game. PHI pass defense remains a big issue, as they rank No. 31 in league. Still, the Eagles are tied for the division lead with DAL, who they’ll be up against next Sunday.
#17) Tennessee Titans (1)
The Titans have already announced that Ryan Fitzpatrick will get another start in Week 7 against the 49ers. This is the end of an extremely tough three-game stretch and there’s talk that Jake Locker could return after their bye in Week 9. If they lose Sunday, it will be really tough for them finish the year with a winning record, as they would almost certainly need a win in one of their two games against the Colts and/or the Broncos.
#18) Atlanta Falcons (3)
The Falcons are on the ropes already this season. They’re 1-4 and have lost a number of starters for the season. A division loss to the 0-6 Buccaneers would almost ensure them a top-ten pick in next year’s draft. Atlanta’s remaining schedule includes road games against the Packers and 49ers, as well as tough home matchups against the Seahawks and Saints. Assuming they drop all four of those games, ATL would to win the rest of their games to finish 8-8. It’s just surprising to see the team with the best record in NFC last season be in this kind of position just a year later.
#19) Carolina Panthers ( 5)
The Panthers win was their second solid victory of the season. Cam Newton now has three career games with at least three passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdowns in his first three years in the NFL. If Newton’s able keep their offense playing at this level, their solid defense is good enough to keep them competitive. Carolina’s defense held Adrian Peterson to a season-low 62 yards, which is Peterson’s lowest total since the second game last season. The Panthers will get the Rams in Week 7.
#20) Arizona Cardinals (2)
The Cardinals have played four games this season and has lost three of them. Carson Palmer got off to horrible start, but was able to respond keep the Cardinals in a one-possession game until a little over six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Despite dealing with a hamstring injury, Larry Fitzgerald was able to chip in 75-yard touchdown. ARI has another tough matchup ahead of them in Week 7 as they take on the SEA, but after that, they’ll get two teams on the downswing in ATL and HOU followed by JAX.
#21) New York Jets (2)
The Jets continued their up and down play this season by dropping a game to the winless Steelers just one week after walking out of ATL win a big road win. Rookie QB Geno Smith tossed another two interceptions, which bring his total to 10 this season. New York lost RB Mike Goodson for the season and Bilal Powell is currently banged up, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of Chris Ivory against the Patriots next weekend. The Jets next three games are pretty tough: NE, @CIN and NO.
#22) Buffalo Bills ( 3)
Bills rookie LB Kiko Alonso had a staggering 22 tackles against the Bengals in Week 6. This kid has to be clear-cut favorite for defensive rookie of the year at this point in season. In fact, the Bills deserve a lot of credit for their entire 2013 rookie class. E.J. Manuel looks like a pretty good player and Buffalo has already seen what WRs Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin can do. Unfortunately, they lost Sunday’s game to the Bengals in overtime, despite starting Thad Lewis, who actually looked pretty good. Buffalo has said that there is chance Lewis could start again in Week 7, depending on how things go this week with injury. Matt Flynn was signed on Monday.
#23) St. Louis Rams ( 4)
Heading into this game, I expected the Texans to set the tone by attacking the Rams’ poor run-defense with Arian Foster, and although Foster had a very good game, St Louis just manhandled them. At one point the Rams managed to score two touchdowns in just six seconds. Rams were out gained by over 200 yards and still won the game by 25 points. Even more surprising was the fact that the Rams scored 38 points and ran only 41 offensive plays. St Louis really needed this kind of win, as the Packers did last year. It appears as though all you need to do to turn your season around is travel to Houston to play the Texans. The Rams get the Panthers next weekend.
#24) Cleveland Browns (2)
Brandon Weeden contributed one of the worst interceptions thrown in NFL history, but it’s not like the Browns really have a better option at quarterback right now. The Lions made a point to exploit Browns LB Craig Robertson and Cleveland had no answer for Jeff Fauria in the red zone. They’ll be on the road in Week 7, but the good news for them is they get an injury riddled Packers team to deal with, so this game could be a pretty close contest if CLE can keep Aaron Rodgers in check. Of course, that’s easier said than done.
#25) Houston Texans (8)
Matt Schaub has clearly been bad this season, but it’s clear T.J. Yates is not going to be a solution to their current issues. Yates managed to improve the Texans proud record of games with a pick-six alive to five. By the way, the NFL record for most pick-sixes allowed in a single season is eight by the 2004 Dolphins. Since the Texans began collapse against the Seahawks in the second-half of Week 4, opponents have outscored the Texans 92 to 16. 2012 Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt didn’t have a single tackle against the Rams.
#26) Pittsburgh Steelers ( 3)
The Steelers finally generated their first turnovers of the season and managed to win their first game of the season. Coincidence? I think not. More went into this win than just the two turnovers they produced. PIT allowed their fewest points in a road game since 2008, according to ESPN Stats & Information. They also out gained the Jets and won the time of possession battle by over 11 minutes. The Steelers are good enough to win a few games this season, but are a far cry from the perennial contenders they’ve been in the past few years.
#27) Oakland Raiders (4)
Terrelle Pryor was sacked a staggering 10 times against the Chiefs, and while their offensive line is clearly to blame for a majority of them, Pryor was not getting rid of the ball in a timely fashion. Somehow, Oakland had a fourth & 48 and only punted the ball 46 yards. The Raiders defense has been much better than expected this season. They currently rank No. 15 in pass defense and are No. 9 against the run. Add in the fact that they are No. 9 in rushing offense, and it’s not surprising that this team can compete if they can keep Pryor upright. OAK gets Steelers and the Giants in the next two weeks.
#28) Washington Redskins
RGIII did look much better on Sunday night. WAS out gained the Cowboys in both passing and rushing yards, and also won the time of possession battle and still lost. Normally that’s the recipe to winning a game on the road, but special team’s lapses and turnovers were enough for the Cowboys to walk out of this game with a win. WAS now sits at 1-4 and will have a tough matchup in the Chicago Bears next weekend.
#29) Minnesota Vikings (1)
What a disaster of performance from the Vikings. Clearly, Matt Cassel is not their solution at QB, and all indications are that Christian Ponder will not be given to prevent Josh Freeman from becoming their starter. CAR showed no respect for their ability to throw the ball beyond 15 yards, which led to Adrian Peterson’s worst game of the season. The Vikings will travel to New York to play the winless Giants on Monday Night in battle of futility.
#30) New York Giants ( 1)
Eli Manning has 15 turnovers on the season. Their two starting running backs are currently out with injuries. Hakeem Nicks is dropping passes on regular basis and throwing to Rueben Randle either produces a big play or pick-six. One positive note; recently acquired ILB Jon Beason played pretty well in his debut. They still lost, but they somehow had a shot to win it in the fourth quarter before a well timed INT. The Giants get the Vikings on Monday, so they this could be their first win of the season.
#31) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1)
As a number of people have pointed out online, the Buccaneers traded their No. 13 overall pick for Darrelle Revis, who was coming off of a serious knee injury, signed him to a ridiculous six-year deal worth $96M and for some reason refuse to play him man-to-man coverage where he excels. Bucs are 1-10 in their last 11 games dating back to last season. Despite being 0-5, they catch the Falcons at a pretty vulnerable point, so there’s actually a chance their first win could come in Week 7.
#32) Jacksonville Jaguars
The Broncos didn’t punt a single time against the Cowboys, but against the Jaguars they punted three times? The Jaguars were somehow only down by two points with seven minutes remaining the fourth quarter. They did however manage to beat a record point spread. Not sure what that’s worth when you are 1-10 in their last 11 games dating back to last season. The Jaguars continue their quest to not end up 0-16 next week in San Diego.