NFL power rankings: Undefeated Eagles soar to No. 1; Chiefs, Cowboys also rise as Broncos, Steelers fade for Week 5

By | October 3, 2022

The NFL has only one undefeated team left after the first month of the 222 season. Congratulations to the Eagles for getting through almost a quarter of the schedule at 4-0. Their reward is ascending to the top of the latest Sporting News power rankings.

Philadelphia has emerged as one of the teams to beat in NFC on the road to Super Bowl 57. A returning playoff team from 2021, the Eagles are right up there with the Packers, Buccaneers, Rams and 49ers on the short list of conference title contenders. But the Eagles still have only a one-game lead in the East over the reigning division champion Cowboys.

Here’s looking at Philadelphia’s ascension to the top spot and how every team follows, from No. 2 through No. 32 going into Week 5:

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NFL power rankings Week 5

1. Philadelphia Eagles 4-0 (previous ranking: 3)

The Eagles went down into a 14-0 hole against the Jaguars at home but casually erased with sticking with the run in bad weather and Jalen Hurts being in full command of their offense. The defense also was up to cooling off a hot young QB.

2. Buffalo Bills 3-1 (2)

The Bills took a while to get their passing game going in rainy Baltimore before Josh Allen decided to take over with his arm and legs, pushing himself back into the MVP lead. The shorthanded pass defense also overachieved again.

MORE: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs look better than ever in Bucs beatdown

3. Kansas City Chiefs 3-1 (6)

The Chiefs’ offense came out refocused after the Colts stumble to dismantle a strong Buccaneers defense with their very diverse passing and rushing playbook. Patrick Mahomes keeps getting better with his remixed weapons and Andy Reid’s updated more balanced philosophy.

4. Green Bay Packers 3-1 (4)

The Packers have found the right combination of receivers already to boost Aaron Rodgers and the running game is always a reliable. The defense proved to be still vulnerable against the run against the Patriots, but they’re back to being a complete contender.

5. Miami Dolphins 3-1 (1)

The Dolphins’ defense came down to earn against the passing of the Bengals and their offense took a tough setback of seeing Tua Tagovailoa going down. They will need to recover fast against the upstart Jets.

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-2 (5)

The Buccaneers have had a brutal early schedule as they sort through offensive and defensive issues as Tom Brady saw Rodgers and Mahomes enjoy team victories. Their schedule will open up to roll through the weak NFC South again.

7. Los Angeles Rams 2-1 (7)

The Rams haven’t played their best passing offense yet away from Cooper Kupp and their pass defense has struggled away from Jalen Ramsey. They can fix all of that with a first-place worthy performance in San Francisco.

8. Minnesota Vikings 3-1 (10)

The Vikings figured out how to get Justin Jefferson going like he exploded in Week 1 and their defense took advantage of a shorthanded Saints offense. They’re still a work in progress so they should be thrilled with the early record.


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9. Dallas Cowboys 3-1 (11)

Cooper Rush keeps playing well with all their weapons in a great passing system and their defense keeps bringing it with pass rush and coverage. They were built better than expected to thrive without Dak Prescott.

10. Baltimore Ravens 2-2 (8)

The Ravens’ defense rose to the occasion as much as possible against Josh Allen, but they again made some little mistakes to blow a lead against the Bills, much like Week 2 vs. the Dolphins. Lamar Jackson is still carrying much of the team but it was good to see more of a healthy J.K. Dobbins.

MORE: How Ravens’ fourth-quarter meltdown doomed Baltimore in loss to Bills

11. Cincinnati Bengals 2-2 (13)

The Bengals have figured out more things around Joe Burrow regarding his pass protection and they’re back to making critical sacks and takeaways playing off their elite young passer. They’re right back in the mix to take the AFC North.

12. San Francisco 49ers 1-2 (12)

The 49ers are getting about what they expected from their stout all-around defense and have their traditional running game rolling, but Jimmy Garoppolo needs to get more from the receiving weapons, starting Monday vs. the Rams. 

13. New York Giants 3-1 (16)

The Giants are still not impressing anyone offensively with victories over limited opponents, but their defense has been solid and they are getting timely big rushes from Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones.

14. Denver Broncos 2-2 (9)

The Broncos found more a lot more offense with Russell Wilson just as their run defense let them down and they lost Javonte Williams and Randy Gregory to knee injuries. They need to find complementary consistency, stat, with Nathaniel Hackett.

15. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-2 (14)

The Jaguars hung in there offensively and defensively with Trevor Lawrence and the rest of their well-coached young talent under Doug Pederson, but they couldn’t find enough a footing in the rain to pull off the upset in Philadelphia. They are still a promising division contender.

16. Los Angeles Chargers 2-2 (17)

The Chargers took advantage of their get-well game to get Austin Ekeler going to take pressure off Justin Herbert and the injury-riddled defense. They can keep that formula to get above .500 against the Browns next week.


17. Cleveland Browns 2-2 (15)

The Browns found their ground game again with Nick Chubb dominating in Atlanta, but Jacoby Brissett hit a wall and the defense become a sieve against the run without Myles Garrett. The latter may be a carryover issue for multiple games.

18. Tennessee Titans 2-2 (20)

The Titans are rediscovering their physical identities up front with Derrick Henry churning and the defense starting to play up to playmaking expectations. They are right back into the AFC South race after starting 0-2.

19. Arizona Cardinals 2-2 (22)

The Cardinals got more comfortable with Kyler Murray in a tough defensive matchup on the road and their defense also was inspired by an emotional J.J. Watt. They’re back to being in the NFC playoff mix again.

20. Las Vegas Raiders 1-3 (27)

The Raiders got off the mat by taking the game out of the hands out of Derek Carr with a big needed rushing effort against the Broncos. The defense still remains big-play dependent to save face.

Derek Carr 1-10 getty-ftr

21. New England Patriots 1-3 (23)

The Patriots went into Green Bay with a solid run-heavy game plan and typical caretaker-y play from the quarterback, only it was Bailey Zappe vs. Mac Jones or Brian Hoyer. Unfortunately, even with key defensive playmakers, there’s not enough on that side for Bill Belichick.

22. New York Jets 2-2 (28)

Zach Wilson, Breece Hall and the rest of their young players and newcomers in the offense are paying dividends for Matt LaFleur. They are also seeing some returns from Robert Saleh’s multiple improvements on defense, especially in the secondary.

23. Atlanta Falcons 2-2 (29)

The Falcons are an impressive team in terms of grinding through and staying in games with a diverse offense that can toggle well between heavy run and needed pass. The defense is still bending, but has proved it doesn’t always need to break.

24. Seattle Seahawks 2-2 (31)

The Seahawks are overachieving offensively with Geno Smith spreading the ball efficiently and now getting more big-play pop again from Rashaad Penny in the running game. They will need to keep it up given awful defense.

Geno Smith

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25. Chicago Bears 2-2 (19)

The Bears got more things going offensively around Justin Fields in New York, but the points still weren’t there, wasting another strong effort by the defense. Fields needs to do a lot more to prove he’s a trusted young franchise passer.

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

What was that? The Colts are seeing Matt Ryan play better, but their blocking is off and now a slumping Jonathan Taylor is injured. Even more disappointing than all that is the defense, given Shaquille Leonard not being able to contribute.

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27. Pittsburgh Steelers 1-3 (21)

The Steelers saw enough of their offense with Mitchell Trubisky and had to make the change to rookie Kenny Pickett, especially with their defense not shutting down things as usual. They are facing a near must-win at Buffalo, likely with the rookie QB in Week 5

28. New Orleans Saints 1-3 (24)

The Saints held their own offensively without Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara in London, but their defense has suddenly developed critical holes under Dennis Allen. They are probably headed to drafting a true franchise QB in 2023.


29. Detroit Lions 1-3 (25)

The Lions have proved they can score with anyone, even when Jared Goff is down several weapons. The offensive line is a sturdy backbone for protecting Goff and opening holes for Jamaal Williams and others. Unfortunately, the defense can’t do much of anything around Aidan Hutchinson.

30. Washington Commanders 1-3 (26)

The Commanders are struggling up front offensively and have nothing reliable on the back end defensively. There’s too much pressure on Carson Wentz to come through and he’s wilting against good defenses.

31. Carolina Panthers 1-3 (30)

The Panthers are an absolute lackluster offensive mess with Baker Mayfield, wasting the efforts of what has proved to be a big-play and sometimes shutdown defense. The clock is ticking faster for Matt Rhule.

32. Houston Texans 0-3-1 (32)

The Texans got a little more life out of Davis Mills and the passing game, sparked by rookie of the year candidate running back Dameon Pierce. Lovie Smith’s defense is just overmatched every week, especially against the run.

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