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2014 NFL Power Rankings After Week 6
A new name atop the Power Rankings
1. San Diego Chargers (5-1) - The Chargers were pushed to the limit by the Oakland Raiders in week six, but they have played the best football overall in the NFL so far this season. Phillip Rivers is currently on pace to take home his first NFL MVP award as he continued his spectacular play on Sunday. A week seven matchup with the Chiefs will give the Chargers the opportunity to solidify their spot atop the rankings with a win.
2. Denver Broncos (4-1) - The Broncos continued their strong season by scoring more than 30 points each of the past two weeks against two of the better defenses in the NFL. Peyton Manning is not on pace to match his record breaking season last year, but he could pass Brett Favre as the all time NFL leader in touchdown passes by the next game. A matchup with the 49ers in week seven is another tough test for the Broncos early on this season.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) - After nearly blowing a large lead against the Rams in week five, the Eagles came to play in week six, which allowed them to accomplish the rare feat of shutting out a quality NFL opponent in the Giants. After getting outscored by their defense and special teams through five weeks of the season, the Eagles offense got back on track with 27 points against the Giants in week six. The Eagles head into their bye week for week seven, and hope to have Darren Sproles healthy when they return to action in week eight.
4. Dallas Cowboys (5-1) - The Cowboys are off to a fantastic start with very little difference so far between each of the top five teams in the rankings. DeMarco Murray and Tony Romo have led the Cowboys offense to greatness recently with Murray gaining over 100 yards in each of the first six games played. The Cowboys defense has also surprised as their coaching staff has convinced them to keep a fundamental approach that includes great gang tackling. The Cowboys week seven matchup with the Giants will be their first huge division rivalry game this season.
5. Arizona Cardinals (4-1) - The Arizona Cardinals got back to their winning ways when Carson Palmer returned against the Redskins. The Cardinals defense had been torched the week before by Peyton Manning and the Broncos, even though they intercepted two passes. Overall the Cardinals play through six weeks of the season has been impressive, and they will look to continue that in their matchup with the Oakland Raiders in week seven.
6. Seattle Seahawks (3-2) - The Seahawks are finding that it is not easy to defend a title in the NFL, as they fell for the second time in five games in a home game against the Cowboys on Sunday. The loss to the Cowboys showed that the Seahawks can be beaten at home, even though it took one of the best teams in the NFL to do it. So far Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch have carried the Seahawks offense as expected, and they will need to continue to do so against a tough Rams defensive front in week seven.
7. San Francisco 49ers (4-2) - The 49ers continued their strong start to the season with a big come from behind victory on the road in prime time against the Rams. So far the 49ers have had a tough schedule, and they have been able to hand losses to two teams that are currently 5-1 this season. A huge road matchup against the Broncos in week seven, will be another tough test for the 49ers as they look to establish themselves once again among the NFC's elite.
8. Indianapolis Colts (4-2) - After starting the season 0-2, the Colts have now won four in a row led by an MVP caliber performance from quarterback Andrew Luck. The Colts road win against the Texans, proved that the Colts will once again be the favorite to win the AFC South in 2014. A week seven matchup with the Bengals will give the Colts another opportunity to make an early statement in the AFC.
9. Baltimore Ravens (4-2) - After a tough road loss against the Colts, the Ravens bounced back in a big way by taking care of business against the Buccaneers. This win was enough to vault the Ravens to the top of the standings in the AFC North for the first time this season, and if Joe Flacco is able to build on his performance from Sunday, they should be there to stay. A week seven matchup with the Falcons will provide the Ravens defense with a significant test, as they try to slow down Matt Ryan and the high powered Falcon offense.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1-1) - After starting the season 3-0, the Bengals have not earned a victory in each of the past two weeks. A blowout on the road against the Patriots was followed by a bounce back effort that was enough to gain a tie in their game against the Panthers on Sunday. Mohammed Sanu filled in admirably for the injured AJ Green on Sunday, but the Bengals will need a better effort in order to gain a victory against the Colts in week seven.
11. Detroit Lions (4-2) - After losing a tough ballgame against the Bills in week five, the Lions bounced back with a big win against the division rival Vikings in week six. So far their record has them in first place in the NFC North, but they are tied with the Packers who they beat earlier in the season. A week seven matchup at home against the Saints will give the Lions the opportunity to gain momentum in their quest for a division title.
12. Green Bay Packers (4-2) - A blowout win in week five against the Vikings, followed by a close come from behind victory against the Dolphins on Sunday, has the Packers rolling right now. Aaron Rodgers has played better football lately, and he will need to continue to do so in week seven with a tough home game against the Panthers.
13. New England Patriots (4-2) - The Patriots have won two games in a row to move on top in the AFC East. Wins against the Bengals and Bills have the Patriots back on track as they head into week seven. A tough division rivalry matchup with the Jets could be a test for the Patriots, but with a win they will likely have ended the Jets chances to compete for a playoff spot.
14. Carolina Panthers (3-2-1) - A win against the Bears and a tie against the Bengals have the Panthers back on track as the top team in the NFC South. If they are able to continue their strong play, they could be headed to their second straight division title. A tough matchup in Green Bay for week seven will be an excellent test as the Panthers hope to achieve their goals for the 2014 season.
15. Houston Texans (3-3) - The Texans have lost two straight games against the Cowboys and Colts in close hard fought battles. The Texans defense continues to play good football, even though some good offensive teams were able to put up points against them. Ryan Fitzpatrick's limitations have been very apparent recently, but Arian Foster has worked hard to carry the offensive load. The Texans will look to get back on track when they visit the Steelers in week seven.
16. New York Giants (3-3) - After winning three games in a row, the Giants stumbled badly in their Sunday night matchup in Philadelphia, where they were shut out. Eli Manning will now have to play the rest of the season without Victor Cruz to throw to, but emerging star Odell Beckham Jr. should help to pick up the slack. The Giants get a chance to redeem themselves in week seven with a game against the division rival Cowboys.
17. Chicago Bears (3-3) - The Bears up and down season continued on Sunday with a win on the road against the Atlanta Falcons. Jay Cutler's huge game led his team to victory in a matchup of two NFC wildcard hopefuls. The Bears return home to face the Dolphins at Soldier Field in week seven.
18. Buffalo Bills (3-3) - The Bills dropped a huge division rivalry matchup with the Patriots on Sunday to fall off the pace necessary to take the division title. Failure to protect their quarterback played a huge role in the Bills offense being slowed. The defense did not play very well which allowed Tom Brady and the Patriots offense to have a huge day. The Bills will look to bounce back in a home matchup with the Vikings in week seven.
19. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3) - After suffering a tough loss to the 49ers in week five, the Chiefs had their bye week in week six. They return from the bye week with a matchup against the first place Chargers, and they have their work cut out for them if they hope to earn a victory.
20. New Orleans Saints (2-3) - After earning their second win of the season against the Buccaneers in week five, the Saints had their bye week in week six. A tough matchup on the road against the Lions could put the Saints in a bad spot after six games. Drew Brees will need to have a good game in week seven for the Saints to get back in the playoff hunt.
21. Cleveland Browns (3-2) - After a bye week in week five, the Browns came out in week six with a huge performance at home against the division rival Steelers. Once again they ran the ball at will against their division rival, and quarterback Brian Hoyer was able to create some big plays through the air. A week seven matchup against the Jaguars could put the Browns in position to make a run at first place in the AFC North.
22. Miami Dolphins (2-3) - The Dolphins returned from their bye week in week six to suffer a late game loss against the Packers. Some late game heroics by Aaron Rodgers sent the Dolphins home with a loss after playing a great game. A week seven matchup against the Bears is where the Dolphins will look to bounce back.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3) - After a close win in Jacksonville, the Steelers were throttled on the road in Cleveland for their week six results. The Steelers have plenty of questions marks just about everywhere right now, as they are a team struggling to find their identity. It does not get easier since they have to host the Texans in week seven.
24. Atlanta Falcons (2-4) - The Falcons were badly outplayed in their week six matchup against the Bears as they returned home from a loss on the road against the Giants. Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense will look to bounce back in week seven as they go on the road to face the Ravens in Baltimore.
25. Minnesota Vikings (2-4) - Teddy Bridgewater did not play in the Vikings blowout loss against the Packers, and when he returned for the Vikings week six matchup with the Lions, he did not play well. The Vikings have a chance to bounce back when they go on the road to face the Buffalo Bills in week seven.
26. Tennessee Titans (2-4) - The Titans earned their second win of the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars in week six which included a well played game by their defense. After suffering a heart breaking loss against the Browns in week five, Charlie Whitehurst and the offense bounced back in week six. The Titans have a chance to earn their third win of the season in their week seven matchup with the Redskins.
27. St. Louis Rams (1-4) - After coming off their bye week, the Rams have lost two games in a row to two very good teams in the Eagles and 49ers. It continues to be a tough road through the schedule with Sam Bradford out, but Austin Davis has played well at the quarterback position. A home game against the Seahawks in week seven is another brutal matchup on the Rams schedule.
28. New York Jets (1-5) - After a win against the Raiders in week one, the Jets have hit the toughest portion of their schedule recently and have not won a game since week one. Inconsistency at quarterback has been a storyline for the Jets season. It does not get any easier, with a Thursday night matchup against the first place Patriots in week seven.
29. Washington Redskins (1-5) - After a great game in his first start of the season, Kirk Cousins has become mistake prone in the Redskins recent losses. Another tough loss on Sunday left the Redskins with their only win being against the Jaguars this season. The Redskins could earn their second win of the season in a week seven matchup against the Titans.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-5) - After earning their first win of the season against the Steelers, the last two weeks have not been kind to Tampa Bay. Suffering a blowout against the Ravens in week six has the Bucs looking for answers. They head into their bye week at just the right time in week seven, where they will look to regroup.
31. Oakland Raiders (0-5) - The Raiders gave it a good fight in week six against the Chargers after coming off their bye week. Rookie quarterback Derek Carr had the best game of his young career so far, but it was not enough for the Raiders to earn their first win. A week seven matchup against the Cardinals, makes it unlikely for the Raiders to earn their first win in the coming week.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6) - A well played game by rookie quarterback Blake Bortles was not enough for the Jaguars to earn their first win of the season against the Titans. The Jaguars will have another chance to try to earn a win, in their week seven matchup against the Browns, but the Browns have been playing great football lately.