NFL power rankings: Cowboys, Giants, Jets make big jumps; Packers, Dolphins dive for Week 6

By | October 10, 2022

The Eagles still don’t have a loss leading the tricky NFC East going into Week 6 of the 2022 NFL season, but they’re not the only surprising team in green. The Jets are suddenly above .500 in the AFC, which may be the much bigger shocker.

Speaking of New York teams, the other one in blue, the Giants, took down another verdant team, the Packers, to validate their impressive start. The Cowboys also continue to carry the banner for the NFC East with a four-game winning streak.

While a few of the strongest Super Bowl contenders flexed, several members of the muddled middle experienced ups and downs in Week 5. There also was a shakeup with a new team falling to rock bottom.

Here’s a complete look at the league’s current pecking order, from No. 1 through No. 32:

IYER: Why the NFC East is the NFL’s new best division

NFL power rankings Week 6


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1. Philadelphia Eagles 5-0 (previous ranking: 1)

Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ offense cooled off a little in Arizona with a few situational mistakes but their defense did plenty to contain Kyler Murray from having enough response. They avoided looking ahead to the first Cowboys showdown next Sunday night.

2. Buffalo Bills 4-1 (2)

The Bills have unleashed the full fury of Josh Allen without worrying about forcing a weak traditional running game and to make sure any defensive injuries don’t allow an opponent to think they have a chance keeping up with Allen. He got red-hot again at the right time for the epic playoff matchup with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.

MORE: Allen goes dominant full MVP mode with amazing stats vs. Steelers

3. Kansas City Chiefs 3-1 (3)

Mahomes and the Chiefs fired up more impressive versatile offense against the Buccaneers in Week 5 and should be ready to shred the Raiders’ defense again ahead of their latest monumental high-scoring matchup with the Bills.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-2 (6)

The Buccaneers treated the Falcons as a simple get-well game after two consecutive losses with plenty of Tom Brady and Leonard Fournette, but they need to be careful about their defense having late leaks. They should continue to fix more things in favorable spots against the Steelers and Panthers in the next two games.

5. San Francisco 49ers 3-2 (7)

The 49ers’ defense continues to flex and they have their power running game rolling to set up the pass well with Jimmy Garoppolo in familiar fashion. San Francisco’s depth and talent is manifesting toward a potential dominant finish. The team just needs to hope Nick Bosa is OK, though.

Cooper Rush

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6. Dallas Cowboys 4-1 (9)

How about that Cooper Rush? The Cowboys’ supersub QB has leaned on all the playmakers around him and the burden has been lessened with the Cowboys’ defense dominating and creating offense of its own. Mike McCarthy has done a bang-up coaching job with Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn calling all the right shots.

7. New York Giants 4-1 (13)

The Giants were dispatching some weak opponents early, including the Titans, Panthers and Bears. But they then they came back to smack the Packers with great second-half offense and defense. Rookie coach Brian Daboll has this team playing for real as a NFC East title contender.

8. Minnesota Vikings 4-1 (8)

The Vikings don’t get a lot of style points as they tend to win some games ugly, either offensively or defensively. Their early resume, however, of having only lost to the undefeated Eagles, is still impressive with Kevin O’Connell’s processes leading to strong first-place results. 

9. Baltimore Ravens 3-2 (10)

The Ravens were finally able to finish a game well in the fourth quarter at home and made great defensive adjustments to thwart the Bengals in a key early division game. First place is theirs and Lamar Jackson continues to keep himself in the MVP conversation.

10. Los Angeles Chargers 3-2 (16)

Austin Ekeler has been the catalyst they need to spark a shorthanded passing game around Justin Herbert with elite, explosive running. The defense needs that big break, too, with key missing pieces Joey Bosa and Kenneth Murray.


11. Green Bay Packers 3-2 (4)

The Packers had more defensive breakdowns against another limited offense and this time it cost them against the Giants. They can’t afford that with Aaron Rodgers still finding his way with his receivers and the running game a little out of sync.

12. Miami Dolphins 3-2 (5)

The Dolphins’ offense has gone from breakout with Tua Tagovailoa to hampered with rookie Skylar Thompson in a hurry. Their defense isn’t capable of holding up in that scenario and the Jets exposed that with a variety of plays featuring a similar creative attack.

13. Tennessee Titans 3-2 (18)

The Titans have dug themselves out of a 0-2 hole to be right with the Colts in the two-team AFC South race again. Derrick Henry is bringing the usual offensive hammer and Mike Vrabel has adjusted to get the most out of the defense without Harold Landry.

14. Cincinnati Bengals 2-3 (11)

The Bengals are still sorting out some offensive issues for Joe Burrow as teams are taking away Ja’Marr Chase, which is easier when Tee Higgins is hurting. They are managing well early and are set up to roll in the next month with an easier schedule.

15. Los Angeles Rams 2-3 (12)

The Rams continue to be an offensive mess with Matthew Stafford passing like a turnover machine as just about everything depends on Cooper Kupp. Aaron Donald and the defense can’t hold up if they’re always on the field being comprised.


16. New York Jets 3-2 (22)

The Jets are becoming a sneaky feel-good story with Robert Saleh seeing his team’s major wholesale changes around Zach Wilson and the defense paying off. The reward was ending a win drought in AFC East plays, taking full advantage of the Dolphins’ misfortune.

17. New England Patriots 2-3 (21)

Bailey Zappe didn’t change much at quarterback without Mac Jones as the rookie looked sharp in the run-heavy offense. But how about that defense going old school with young players to throw down a shutout? That’s a big development toward perhaps another surprise wild-card run.

MORE: Zappe draws comparisons to Jones in first start

18. Indianapolis Colts 2-2-1 (26)

The Colts played ugly offense around Matt Ryan minus Jonathan Taylor, but credit Frank Reich’s team for getting off the mat and grinding to victory with a lot of defense and Ryan saving his best for last. They are on track to battle for the weak AFC South as expected.

19. Denver Broncos 2-3 (14)

What was that? The Broncos got into a defensive-minded field-goal fest and didn’t get the one key play they needed from Russell Wilson in either regulation or overtime at home against the Colts. Now the injuries are piling up to further hamper Nathaniel Hackett’s team on both sides of the ball.

20. Arizona Cardinals 2-3 (19)

The Cardinals are trying to rev up offensively with Murray and Kliff Kingsbury, but it’s been hard to get into a consistent flow with some injuries and no DeAndre Hopkins. They need Nuk badly for another playoff run. 

MORE: Why Kyler Murray spiked the ball on third down vs. Eagles

Kyler Murray

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21. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-3 (15)

The Jaguars are still learning how to win and play clean offense with Trevor Lawrence, evidenced by how they continued to struggle against the Texans at home. Their defense remains a strong backbone but they can’t afford to make critical mistakes with a small margin of error.

22. Cleveland Browns 2-3 (17)

The Browns will keep trying to let Nick Chubb carrying their run-heavy offense but with a regression causing major defensive holes against both the run and pass, they are not positioned well to finish and win shootouts with Jacoby Brissett.

23. New Orleans Saints 2-3 (28)

The Saints went marching all over the Seahawks’ weak run defense with plenty of not-so-secret rushing and passing weapon Taysom Hill as the entire offense rediscovered its true necessary identity under Dennis Allen.

MORE: Inside Taysom Hill’s monster numbers in Week 5

24. Las Vegas Raiders 1-3 (20)

The Raiders’ defense has been as bad as expected behind Maxx Crosby and won’t fare well against the Chiefs’ offense once again. Derek Carr needs to raise his game big-time now to save their playoff aspirations.

25. Atlanta Falcons 2-3 (23)

The Falcons have been fighting hard to stay competitive in every game with Arthur Smith but they just don’t have enough offensively when injury-riddled around Marcus Mariota to compensate for their glaring defensive holes.

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26. Seattle Seahawks 2-3 (24)

The Seahawks continue to be an offensive bright spot with Geno Smith operating with talented wide receivers and they might get better now featuring rookie Ken Walker at running back. But the defense, as expected, has become an absolute sieve for Pete Carroll, which will hold back any playoff chances.

MORE: Rashaad Penny fractures tibia vs. Saints

27. Chicago Bears 2-3 (25)

The Bears’ offense keeps showing a little more life with Justin Fields, David Montgomery and Darnell Mooney with each passing week of run-heavy game plans. But they need to keep pushing for firepower because the defense is too weak all-around.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers 1-4 (27)

The Steelers’ defense was bound to be overwhelmed against Allen and the pass-happy Bills, leading to some frustration and tension around the Kenny Pickett-led offense. Without T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh is a far cry from the team that upset Cincinnati in Week 1 and is fortunate to have that one win.

IYER: What’s wrong with Steelers? Mike Tomlin, Matt Canada feel the heat

29. Houston Texans 1-3-1 (32)

The Texans showed some defensive grit for Lovie Smith and have realized they can ride rookie running back Dameon Pierce for big things when needed. Credit them for playing hard and continuing to own the Jaguars.

30. Detroit Lions 1-4 (29)

What was that? The hottest high-scoring offense in the league failed to score a point against Bill Belichick’s Patriots defense on the road. When that happens, it further exposes a defense that cannot stop anything.

MORE: Lions set record for fourth-down futility in New England

Carson Wentz (left) and Ron Rivera (right)

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31. Washington Commanders 1-4 (30)

Will the Commanders bench Carson Wentz? He keeps making some big plays that say no, but he also lets them down in critical situations that say yes. He’s still their best option, because the much bigger problem is their defense.

32. Carolina Panthers 1-4 (31)

The Panthers showed a little more offensive life against a tough 49ers defense but this time they wilted against the run and Baker Mayfield made another game-changing mistake. The clock is ticking faster for Matt Rhule.

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