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Chiefs, Browns make room for Cowboys, Chargers climbs


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The Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns both faced some stiff competition in Week 5 in the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers, respectively.

At the end of the day, a loss is still a loss. In falling short, those two made room for a couple of teams to climb a little higher in the top-10 of our latest power ranking poll heading into Week 6.

Amongst the teams to watch that moved up: the Dallas Cowboys and both Los Angeles teams.

With that, here is Touchdown Wire’s power rankings heading into Week 6:

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5)

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Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer. (AP Photo/Emilee Chinn)

Last week: 31

The Jaguars have now lost 20 times in a row and there’s no end in sight after a 37-19 loss to the Titans. After such a benchmark, simply hanging tough with an opponent no longer gets you any credit. Win a game.

Jacksonville coach Urban Meyer isn’t making matters better off the field, either.

31. Houston Texans (1-4)

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Texans quarterback Davis Mills Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 32

The Texans surprisingly held tough as home underdogs against the Patriots. In the end, the Pats pulled off the comeback and hopefully for Houston, this team will take what happened as a learning experience. QB Davis Mills did have some promising signs, including 300-plus yards in the air. Enough to get the Texans out of the basement in this poll, at least.

30. Detroit Lions (0-5)

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Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph (1) kicks a 55-yard field goal . (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

Last week: 30

The Lions hung tough, we’ll give ’em that.

But another game-winning field goal against them came in Week 5 vs. the Vikings in the final seconds. Detroit head coach Dan Campbell is pulling at our heartstrings with the way he teared up after the game. How can we knock a coach down our rankings such emotion? Not that No. 30 is all that good…

29. New York Jets (1-4)

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Jets quarterback Zach Wilson Credit: Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin via USA TODAY NETWORK

Last week: 29

A sloppy game with a slow start for the Jets put them behind the eight-ball early vs. the Falcons in London. New York clawed back in it with some positive rushing, but QB Zach Wilson has to show up to play much earlier in games. Less penalties and defending a tight end could help, too.

28. New York Giants (1-4)

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Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 27

We already had the Giants ranked pretty low and they keep scooting in the wrong direction. Blown out by the Cowboys 44-20, the true focus here involves running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and quarterback Daniel Jones. Both were hurt in Week 5 and Jones’ injury after taking a shot to the head was scary to see.

27. Miami Dolphins (1-4)

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Tampa wide receiver Mike Evans (13) catches the ball over Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones (24) Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 24

Bucs quarterback Tom Brady has played in the NFL since… the beginning of time, essentially. The Dolphins were supposed to be able to lean on their defense and instead Brady had maybe the best game throwing the ball in his career and put up 45 points. The Dolphins will hope QB Tua Tagovailoa returning provides some spark because… what else can they hope for at this point?

26. Atlanta Falcons (2-3)

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Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) talks with tight end Kyle Pitts Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 28

The Falcons got exactly what they had hoped for out of Kyle Pitts in Week 5. He dominated the Jets and they had no answer for him. But let’s not get too carried away with Atlanta. The Jets did crawl back into this one a bit, after all.

25. Washington Football Team (2-3)

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Saints wide receiver Marquez Callaway Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 21

After some recent heroics, Washington Taylor Heinicke showed in Week 5 against the Saints why he has been a backup thus far in his career. The QB had his toughest game, but the carpet continues to get pulled out from underneath the Football Team’s defense. The Hail Mary was a tough look.

24. Minnesota Vikings (2-3)

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Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins Credit: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 22

The Vikings found a way to get the job done late against the Lions. However, Minnesota could’ve put things away sooner than they did. It was a near collapse avoided against a winless team. Settling for four field goals didn’t help.

23. Indianapolis Colts (1-4)

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Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 19

The Colts came out to play against the Ravens and didn’t over complicate things. Their complementary approach and opportunistic defense worked… until this team fell flat on their faces. Baltimore wanted it more in the end and Indy should be reeling after that 31-25 OT loss.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3)

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Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 25

The Eagles defense helped Philly hang around tough all day with the Panthers and in the end, the offense put up just enough points in a poor game from the Carolina offense. Darius Slay’s couple of interceptions came in handy, as did their blocked punt.

21. Chicago Bears (3-2)

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Bears quarterback Justin Fields Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 26

Finally a truly convincing win by the Bears despite head coach Matt Nagy’s handling of QB Justin Fields. The rookie wasn’t asked to do much against the Raiders, but Chicago took advantage of the distraction-riddled team as of late and showed their defense is still amongst the best.

20. Denver Broncos (3-2)

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Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Last week: 17

The Broncos hung tough with the Steelers, even making things interesting late in the 27-19 final. But a leaky defense was exposed against a pretty poor offense and let’s face facts, what some said about the Broncos has held true: Against half-decent competition, Denver hasn’t looked good.

19. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3)

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Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 23

The Steelers defense held up and the offense did enough to beat the Broncos to defend their own turf. But even Ben Roethlisberger knows he has a long way to go to truly silence his critics. Potentially making matters worse there is JuJu Smith-Schuster’s season-ending injury. For now, the Steelers are still afloat and hopefully Najee Harris can build some momentum.

18. New England Patriots (2-3)

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Patriots quarterback Mac Jones Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 20

There seemed to be a bit of a post-Tom Brady reunion hangover for the Patriots in Houston. Credit to the Texans for the scare, but extra credit to the Patriots for coming back, 25-22. Rookie QB Mac Jones doesn’t do much that’s sexy, but he gets the job done. Such wins are good early-career building blocks for him.

17. Carolina Panthers (3-2)

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Eagles middle linebacker T.J. Edwards (57) blocks a punt by Carolina Panthers punter Joseph Charlton Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 16

Miscues killed the Panthers against the Eagles. Quarterback Sam Darnold couldn’t carry the load and Carolina can’t get Christian McCaffery back soon enough to take pressure off of him. Other mental mistakes like a late blocked punt also sank the Panthers.

16. New Orleans Saints (3-2)

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Saints quarterback Jameis Winston Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 18

QB Jameis Winston had four touchdowns against Washington in a 33-22 win that included Alvin Kamara having an electric game. He was a dual-threat weapon that we’ve come to know and the New Orleans defense showed up, too. CB Marshon Lattimore has six passes defended.

15. Cincinnati Bengals (3-2)

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Bengals kicker Evan McPherson (2) Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 15

An absolutely wild affair between the Bengals and Packers and their kickers. Missed kick after missed kick… but considering that, the Bengals were right there with the Pack. The Bengals should still be in solid standing as long as QB Joe Burrow is healthy.

14. Las Vegas Raiders (3-2)

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Raiders head coach Jon Gruden Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 12

The Raiders were upset 20-9 against the Bears in Week 5. With everything involving former head coach Jon Gruden since the game ended? Makes Sunday already seem like a lifetime ago for the Silver and Black.

13. San Francisco 49ers (2-3)

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Oct 10, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt (99) tackles San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance Credit: Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers had some good and some bad from rookie QB Trey Lance in his first start. Expected considering some injuries the Niners had, including tight end George Kittle. But there was plenty of solid play from their defense, while holding a potent Cardinals offense in a 17-10 final score.

12. Seattle Seahawks (2-3)

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Seattle Seahawks backup quarterback Geno Smith. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

Last week: 11

The Seahawks had a nice push from Geno Smith late under center when quarterback Russell Wilson went down with a finger injury. Now they’re going to be stuck with Smith for the extended future and this could become a rocky road for Seattle in 2021.

11. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3)

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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Last week: 10

The Chiefs had a bit of a humbling loss to the Bills on Sunday Night Football. They’ve struggled out of the gate, but there’s certainly some context to be found. There’s reason to believe they’re going to move back up power rankings considering the three teams they’ve lost to (Ravens, Chargers) are all amongst the best. But unless KC fixes some leaky defense, they won’t climb back to Super Bowl contender area.

10. Tennessee Titans (3-2)

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Derrick Henry, of the Tennessee Titans

Last week: 14

Derrick Henry looks very good… still. The Titans let their lead back roll. Sure it was only the Jags, but 159 yards and three touchdowns on the ground is impressive no matter how you slice it. The Titans are another team that could stand to use some improved defense was the year rolls on (& improved health).

9. Cleveland Browns (3-2)

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Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield ( Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 5

Unfortunately for the Browns, there was a lot of winning for the teams ahead of them in our power ranking. But a tumble doesn’t come unwarranted. Losing to the Chargers can happen, that’s a good team. But a 47-42 loss allowing almost 500 yards to the Bolts with that Browns defense? That shouldn’t have happened.

8. Los Angeles Chargers (4-1)

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Chargers running back Austin Ekeler Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 9

While the Browns did put up 42, the final score still fell the Chargers’ way in this one and the Bolts’ defense did get that last stop when it mattered most. QB Justin Herbert is ascending to the levels of the league’s best. He was just short of 400 yards with five touchdowns.

7. Los Angeles Rams (4-1)

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Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford . (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

Last week: 8

Roberts Woods had an impressive 12 catch, 150-yard outing on Thursday for the Rams. That displayed that their offense continues to only get stronger, even with quarterback Matthew Stafford having an injured finger.

Speaking of which, the Seahawks did keep this one a bit closer than some would have thought considering Wilson went down with an injury of his own and Smith came in.

6. Baltimore Ravens (4-1)

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Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 6

The Ravens had a ferocious comeback against the Colts to round out Week 5. Quarterback Lamar Jackson led the way for the Ravens’ 22 unanswered points in the overtime win.

Jackson had 442 passing yards, in total. But the Ravens got a little bit of help from Indy’s sloppy play and miscues and it’s hard to put them above anyone in the top-five here just yet.

5. Dallas Cowboys (4-1)

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Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 7

The Cowboys are officially rolling. The Giants aren’t exactly the toughest of opponents, but they were buried in this one. What more can you say about a 515 yard effort on from an offense?

4. Green Bay Packers (4-1)

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Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby 21. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Last week: 4

Sometimes you’ve just got to survive, and the Packers did just that. The Bengals proved to be a difficult matchup, and kicker Mason Crosby didn’t help matters. But having 25 points to the Bengals’ 22 is the end is all that matters.

QB Aaron Rodgers and the offense has to keep their strong pace going with a couple of DBs dinged up on Green Bay’s defense.

3. Arizona Cardinals (5-0)

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Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt (99) Credit: Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 3

The Cardinals are amongst the best teams in the NFL. At this point, it’s just splitting hairs. All three of these teams in hour top-three ranking are Super Bowl caliber.

The Cardinals offense had a bit slower outing than usual, but it turned into an opportunity for the defense to step up… and they certainly did.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1)

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Buccaneers quarterback Tom Bradyy Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last week: 2

How do we knock down the Buccaneers after, not only a blowout win… but after Tom Brady’s ridiculous statistics? The Dolphins were completely lit up by him. Maybe he felt some grudges for some losses to Miami back in his AFC East days.

1. Buffalo Bills (4-1)

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Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) . (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Last week: 1

The Bills, for now, signaled a changing of the guard in the AFC. There’s a long season left, but there’s little doubt who the best team in the conference is after their beating up of the Chiefs.

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