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Matt Tabeek's Wildly Important NFL Power Rankings: Saints, Bolts move up; Eagles, Falcons drop

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What's the main takeaway five weeks into the 2018 season? Aside from the Rams and Chiefs being the only undefeated teams remaining, only 12 of the 32 teams have records above .500 – and half of those teams are currently 3-2. So, if you’re team didn’t get off to the start you were hoping for, worry not. This thing is wide open, folks.

MORE POWER RANKINGS

  • Previous weeks: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Even at 1-4, the Falcons are far from done. Atlanta has a chance to get back into the win column on Sunday and improve to 2-1 in the NFC South if it can knock off the Buccaneers (2-2). That’ll be a nice first step in the all-important dash for December. For now, though, the Red and Black are sitting at No. 25 in my Wildly Important NFL Power Rankings. Check out my rankings heading into Week 6 below:

Table inside Article
RANK TEAM TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS (Oct. 2)
1 Rams (5-0) Good teams win the close games on the road against division rivals. The Rams are good. 1
2 Chiefs (5-0) Patrick Mahomes proved he’s human with two picks, but the Chiefs still whipped the Jags. 2
3 Saints (4-1) They clobbered the Redskins on national TV and Drew Brees put a giant exclamation mark on it. 4
4 Bengals (4-1) I’ve been saying they’re good and they proved it by rallying from 17 points down to beat Miami. 6
5 Patriots (3-2) Tom Brady tosses three touchdowns as they put away the Colts … and look who’s back in first place. 8
6 Bears (3-1) BYE WEEK. Next: Road game at Dolphins 7
7 Panthers (3-1) They needed a 63-yard field goal to escape the Giants, but they all count the same in the end. 9
8 Vikings (2-2-1) Tough, impressive road win vs. the Eagles. Vikings fans wishing it could’ve happened back in January. 10
9 Jaguars (3-2) Repeat after me: The Jags will go as Blake Bortles goes. It wasn’t pretty vs. the Chiefs. 3
10 Packers (2-2-1) Aaron Rodgers passed for 442 yards and 3 touchdowns but couldn’t dig ’em out of a 24-point hole. 5
11 Chargers (3-2) The Chargers are a very good team. Only two losses are two the Rams and Chiefs, and they’re, uh, decent. 17
12 Steelers (2-2-1) The Steelers put it all together against the Falcons – offense, defense, special teams – and look like they’re back on track. 19
13 Ravens (3-2) Still not sure what to make of their three-field goal outing against the Browns. 13
14 Eagles (2-3) They battled back against the Vikings late, but losing Jay Ajayi for the year is going to hurt them worse. 12
15 Titans (3-2) Every game they’ve played this year has been a one-score game. Could easily be 5-0 or 0-5. Instead they’re 3-2. 11
16 Dolphins (3-2) So much for that 3-0 start, eh? Dropped their second in a row and now face the Bears defense. Good luck. 14
17 Browns (2-2-1) They’re another team that’s been in a bunch of close games so far. This much we know: They’re no joke anymore. Watch out. 22
18 Redskins (2-2) There was no way they were going to spoil Drew Brees’ big night. Still, they’re sitting atop the NFC East. Weird division. 15
19 Seahawks (2-3) Squandered a chance to make a statement vs. the Rams and stay in the division race but missed out. 16
20 Buccaneers (2-2) BYE WEEK. Next: Road game vs. the Falcons. 20
21 Texans (2-3) They won the so-called Battle of Texas but they’d better do a better job of protecting Deshaun Watson or he won’t survive. 27
22 Cowboys (2-3) How do you not go for it on fourth-and-short in overtime with that offensive line and Zeke Elliott? Wow. Ask Sean McVay what he’d do. 18
23 Lions (2-3) Every time you think this team is outmatched they show up. That’s a good sign. They just need to be more consistent now. 24
24 Broncos (2-3) I wasn’t buying the Broncos early on … and I’m definitely not now. Ugly loss to the Jets. Not a good look. 23
25 Falcons (1-4) Kept things close until things unraveled late in the third quarter vs. Steelers. Facing a must-win game vs. division rival Bucs next. 21
26 Jets (2-3) Snapped a three-game skid and Isaiah Crowell had a huge day running the ball. That’ll help the rookie QB quite a bit. 29
27 Bills (2-3) This team is a head-scratcher. Josh Allen only throws for 82 yards and a pick – and they win. OK. 31
28 Giants (1-4) Heartbreaking loss for the Giants, but even at 1-4 they’re still not out of it in the wacky NFC East. 25
29 Raiders (1-4) The defense struggled in a division loss to the Bolts. At 1-4 they’re off to London to take on the Seahawks. 26
30 Colts (1-4) Andrew Luck can only do so much. They’ve dropped three straight and have to face an up-and-coming Jets team next. 28
31 Cardinals (1-4) Finally. The Cardinals capitalized on five takeaways to notch their first win of the season and Steve Wilks’ first as head coach. 32
32 49ers (1-4) The 49ers are now 1-12 over the past two seasons without Jimmy Garoppolo as starting quarterback. 30

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