The conclusion of Week 5 brings the NFL season to its first quarter mark. Well, technically a little over a quarter because of the now 17 game schedule. But you’re not here for math. You’re here for the rankings! So let’s get to it.
1. Arizona Cardinals 5-0
Previous Ranking- 3
The Cardinals remain undefeated after a close win over the Niners at home. Whereas their offense has been the major factor to their start, their defense won this game. The Arizona D stopped Trey Lance and the Niners four times on fourth down and picked off the rookie QB once. This win showed that the Cardinals can win even when their top five offense isn’t humming.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-1
Previous ranking- 1
The Bucs easily handled the Dolphins at home in a 45-17 blowout. Tom Brady threw for over 400 yards and five touchdowns before giving way to backup Blaine Gabbert last in the game. It’s already Brady’s second five touchdown performance of the season and the third time he’s had at least four. Tampa still struggles with penalties however, totaling six in this game and still ranking second in the NFL. Also, Brady is currently wearing a glove on an injured throwing hand and was limited in practice on Tuesday.
3. Buffalo Bills 4-1
Previous Ranking- 6
The Bills showcased why they might be the most complete team in the NFL with a 38-20 beat down of the Chiefs on the road. Josh Allen threw for 315 yards and 3 TDs on just 15/26 passing for over 12 yards per attempt. The Bills led 24-13 at halftime despite Allen only completing seven passes. The Buffalo defense forced four turnovers, including three from Patrick Mahomes. Micah Hyde returned one of Mahomes’ two interceptions for his first career pick-six. They thoroughly avenged last year’s AFC championship loss and sent the Chiefs reeling.
4. Los Angeles Chargers 4-1
Previous Ranking- 5
The Chargers out-scored the Browns in a wild 47-42 shootout with Austin Ekeler scoring the game winning touchdown with 1:31 left in the game. Ekeler had 3 total TDs with 119 yards on 22 offensive touches. Justin Herbert had one of his best games to date, throwing for 398 yards and four touchdowns. Herbert is fourth among QBs in yards and tied for third in touchdowns. He and Kyler Murray of the Cardinals are young QBs who are early MVP candidates.
5. Baltimore Ravens 4-1
Previous ranking- 4
The Ravens barely outlasted the Colts in overtime thanks to a missed field goal as time expired and a Lamar Jackson TD pass to Marquise Brown. Jackson had one of the best games of his young career. He threw for four touchdowns and 442 yards, both a career high, on 37/43 passing. Jackson also added 62 of Baltimore’s 86 rushing yards on 14 carries. On defense however, the Ravens allowed 513 total yards and a 400 yard passing day to Carson Wentz. They have allowed the fifth most yards through the air this season.
6. Los Angeles Rams 4-1
Previous ranking- 7
The Rams won on the road against a divisional opponent in Seattle 26-17 on a short week. The L.A. defense held Russell Wilson before taking advantage of backup Geno Smith after Wilson left with a ruptured finger tendon in his throwing hand. Both Seattle QBs threw an interception and were held to under 200 yards each. They totaled just 262 yards and two touchdowns on 21/33 passing. Meanwhile for the Rams, Matt Stafford threw for 365 yards with a touchdown and an interception and Robert Woods hauled in 12 catches for 150 yards.
7. Dallas Cowboys 4-1
Previous ranking- 9
The Cowboys easily handled the Giants 44-20 at home to extend their lead in the NFC East. Ezekiel Elliott totaled 110 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries and Dak Prescott threw for three scores and 302 yards. Dallas is just one yard per game behind Baltimore for the best in the league and just two points behind Buffalo for the most points in the league. Through five games, the Cowboys’ offense has 439 yards per game and scored 170 points. They are one yard behind Baltimore for the league lead in the former and two points behind Buffalo in the latter.
8. Green Bay Packers 4-1
Previous ranking- 10
Mason Crosby redeemed himself after three missed field goals to drill the game winner in overtime for a 25-22 victory. This game saw three total missed field goals in the final two and a half minutes of regulation and two more in overtime. Offensively, Aaron Jones totaled 103 yards on the ground in just 17 carries and Aaron Rodgers threw for three touchdowns and 344 yards with an interception. The Packer defense sacked Joe Burrow three times and picked him off twice but still allowed the Cincinnati QB to throw for 281 yards and two touchdowns.
9. Cleveland Browns 3-2
Previous ranking- 8
The good news for the Browns is that they scored 42 points and totaled 531 yards against a good defense. The bad news is that they gave up 47 points and therefore lost the game. Their offense played a fantastic game, with Nick Chubb rushing for 161 yards and a touchdown and Baker Mayfield throwing three scores with 305 yards. David Njoku caught 7 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown in the best game of his career. They didn’t even turn the ball over once. But in the end, their defense simply could not stop the Chargers who went a perfect 4-4 in the red zone.
10. Kansas City Chiefs 2-3
Previous ranking- 2
The Chiefs took a beating at home to drop below .500 for the first time in the Patrick Mahomes era. In fact, it’s the first time they’ve lost more than one game through Week 5 in that same span. Mahomes has already matched his season interception total from all of last season at six through just five games. More importantly, Kansas City has major issues on defense as they have now surrendered the most points in the league and are second in yards allowed and yards per game.
Fell off- None
Honorable mentions- New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans