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Tom Brady returns to the lineup for the New England Patriots in week 5 against the Cleveland Browns

Tom Brady returns to the lineup for the New England Patriots in week 5 against the Cleveland Browns

There was a lot of movement in this week’s installment of my NFL power rankings.

The Panthers and Cardinals continue to underperform and the Vikings and Raiders continue to impress. Brady is back for the Pats, and a rookie could start under center for the defending champion Denver Broncos.

Who hold’s the all-important number 1 spot?

32. Cleveland Browns (0-4) Last Week – 31 

The Browns are the only team without a win in the NFL. They have been in games but have been unable to close out with a victory. They will have to deal with the return of the prodigal son, Tom Brady, in a tough matchup in Cleveland.

31. Chicago Bears (1-3) Last Week – 32 ↑

The Bears actually looked fairly decent last week with Hoyer in at QB. He doesn’t have the talent that Cutler has, but you can always count on him playing with passion.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) Last Week – 28 

Jameis Winston continues to be a turnover machine which is never a good formula to win games. Unless he can get back on track and throw touchdowns instead of interceptions, this team will continue to tumble.

29. San Francisco 49ers (1-3) Last Week – 29 ↔

This team played fairly well against a good Cowboys team. Ultimately they were outmatched, but I can’t move them up or down after a very competitive outing. If they can beat a struggling Cardinals team this week, I will have no choice but to move them up.

28. San Diego Chargers (1-3) Last Week – 27 

I the game was only 58 minutes, this team could be 4-0. Unfortunately, it’s not and so the Chargers are 1-3. Until the Chargers can learn to close games out, they will continue to be a bottom dweller.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) Last Week – 30 ↑

The Jaguars seem to be a better team in London than they are in Jacksonville. The offense was able to find a little bit of a rhythm, but we will see if they can find any consistency in week 5.

26. Miami Dolphins (1-3) Last Week – 25 

The offense struggled again this week only putting up 7 points against the Bengals. An injury prone Arian Foster will keep opposing defenses game planning to stop Ryan Tannehill and Ryan Tannehill only.

25. Tennessee Titans (1-3) Last Week – 23 

Hung with the Texans all game but ultimately couldn’t get the job done. Like Winston, Marcus Mariota has struggled in his second season with consistency. He will have to play better if Titans want to improve moving forward.

24. Detroit Lions (1-3) Last Week – 22 

The Lions regressed mightily this week losing to the lowly Bears. The offense only put up 14 points and demonstrated that they do not have a run game to speak of. They will need to find an answer in the backfield before the season is lost.

23. New Orleans Saints (1-3) Last Week – 26 ↑

The Saints got a much-needed win in San Diego after another come from behind win for Drew Brees. The defense still gave up 34 points but showed some resiliency when it mattered most.

22. Indianapolis Colts (1-3) Last Week – 20 

You can’t put too much stock in a loss administered across the pond. Different time zone, long travel time, and a completely different playing environment. However, one team won and one team lost. The Colts found themselves on the losing end.

21. New York Jets (1-3) Last Week – 14 

Every coach will tell you it is very hard to win when you lose the turnover battle. The Jets have done this back to back weeks with the very poor play from their QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who has thrown 9 INTs during the stretch. The murmur grows in New York, Geno…Geno…Geno…

20. Buffalo Bills (2-2) Last Week – 21 ↑

Sexy Rexy talked the talked and he walked the walk on Sunday against the Patriots. The Bills rushing attack got going early, and the defense shutout the Patriots offense. If the Bills handle LA this week, and Cleveland shocks New England, Buffalo would own first place in the AFC East.

19. Arizona Cardinals (1-3) Last Week – 10 

Not much to say here. Underwhelmingly underperformed this season. Carson Palmer is not the same quarterback from last year thus far. They take on San Francisco on Thursday night for the battle for the bottom.

18. New York Giants (2-2) Last Week – 17 

OBJ needs to stop whining and just play the game. If it was easy to play in the NFL then everyone would do it. Great players want the target to be on their back every week, and OBJ seems to condemn it. If his attitude continues, I expect Cruz and Shepard to get more involved, leaving Beckham Jr. to become more of a distraction.

17. Los Angeles Rams (3-1) Last Week – 24 ↑

I can’t deny what the Rams have done since dropping their opener against the 49ers. They have won two division games against two teams expected to fight for Super Bowl contention. Case Keenum has done enough not to lose games, and the defense is the real deal. If Todd Gurley can get anything going then this team can be a legit contender.

16. Washington Redskins (2-2) Last Week – 19 ↑

Looked solid in week 4, however, it was against the Cleveland Browns. Kirk Cousins is looking more comfortable and Jordan Reed is proving to be the top tight end in the entire league, yes, including Gronk.

15. Carolina Panthers (1-3) Last Week – 9 

I couldn’t keep a 1-3 Panthers team in the top 10 any longer. The defense has been anything but dominant, and the offense continues to make too many mistakes. One asset that makes Cam Newton such a great player is his at times “arrogant” demeanor. It’s never good to be arrogant before entering the end zone as Cam was dished a blow that put him in the concussion protocol and has his start in week 5 looking cloudy.

14. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2) Last Week – 8 

What happened to the Chiefs in week 4? As good as they looked in week 3 against the Jets is as bad as they looked against the Steelers. They lost on all sides of the ball and will have a lot to correct as they enter the bye week.

13. Dallas Cowboys (3-1) Last Week – 18 ↑

I haven’t been very high on the Cowboys all season but they continue to win behind a rookie quarterback and a rookie running back. The competition has not been stout but they face a much stiffer opponent this week in the Cincinnati Bengals. The Cowboys secondary will have their hands full with A.J. Green.

12. Houston Texans (3-1) Last Week – 15 ↑

The Texans rebounded nicely from their week 3 debacle with a win over the Titans. The defense took a huge blow with the loss of J.J. Watt, however, they should still be a top tier unit. QB Brock Osweiler continues to make poor decisions throwing 2 more interceptions, which is an area of concern.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) Last Week – 11 

The defense looked like the Bengals defense that we have become accustomed to, stifling the Dolphins offense. Adam Jones was torn apart the previous week against the Broncos but looked dominant again in the secondary against Miami.

10. Baltimore Ravens (3-1) Last Week – 12 ↑

It’s always strange moving a team up after a loss, however, I move the Ravens up two spots for how they played against the Raiders. Started off very sluggish but was able to get things going in the 2nd half. The ageless wonder, Steve Smith Sr., is having a very solid year so far.

9. Oakland Raiders (3-1) Last Week – 13 ↑

The Raiders won their 3rd road game of the season in a hostile environment in Baltimore. Coach Del Rio’s squad continues to find a way to win and looks like they are having a ton of fun in the process. Derek Carr is emerging as not only the top QB taken in his class but one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. Exciting times for Raiders’ fans.

8. Atlanta Falcons (3-1) Last Week – 16 ↑

De Ja Vu of the greatest show on turf? The offense is clicking on all cylinders right now, and Julio Jones is putting up Madden numbers. The defense has played formidable but will need to continue to improve if they want to hang on to the top spot in the NFC South. We will get a taste of how good this offense truly is as they travel to Denver in week 5.

7. Seattle Seahawks (3-1) Last Week – 7 

The Seahawks defense is still the Seahawks defense and was able to essentially shut down the Jets offense. Christine Michael has emerged as a very capable running back, and Pete Carroll was even able to get a touchdown out of newly acquired C.J. Spiller.

6. Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) Last Week – 6 

The Philadelphia Eagles had a week 4 bye and face Detroit in week 5.

5. Green Bay Packers (3-0) Last Week – 5 

The Green Bay Packers had a week 4 bye and face the New York Giants in week 5.

4. New England Patriots (3-1) Last Week – 2 

Great system or not, you can’t be expected to win every game when you are out-manned. An opening play touchdown was called back due to a penalty, and the offense could get nothing going after that. Tom Brady returns in the most highly anticipated game the Cleveland Browns have ever been apart of.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) Last Week – 4 ↑

“They are who we thought they were!” Ben Roethlisberger tossed 5 touchdown passes and Le’Veon Bell looked like the most dominant running back in the game in his return from suspension. Highest ceiling in the league.

2. Minnesota Vikings (4-0) Last Week – 3 ↑

This Vikings defense is on pace to do some remarkable things. Sam Bradford does not have MVP numbers but he should certainly be in the conversation for what he has been able to do in such a short amount of time learning the offense. One key to the offense’s success, Bradford has thrown zero interceptions so far this season.

1. Denver Broncos (4-0) Last Week – 1 

Trevor Siemian goes down, Paxton Lynch comes in, and the offense doesn’t skip a beat. Kubiak has created a formula in Denver that gives his quarterback a great opportunity for success. Von Miller is off to an MVP-caliber season and the defense as a whole may be even better than it was last season. They lead the league with 17 sacks and have held all four opponents to under 200 passing yards and under 20 points. Over the last seven games (including playoffs) the Broncos defense has held opposing QBs to a combined passer rating of 63.9 and a 3:8 touchdown-to-interception ratio. They will try to continue that success against Matt Ryan this Sunday.

Ryan Dyrud

Author Ryan Dyrud

Founder and CEO of SportsAlDente.com. Grew up in Denver with a passion for all sports and an emphasis on the NFL. Moved to Los Angeles where I graduated from Long Beach State with a degree in Leisure Services (Yes the Van Wilder degree). My opinions are my own, but they should be yours too.

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