Week 6 was another wild week of NFL action. While great teams have risen and fallen this week, a familiar face as recaptured a place atop the AFC. Here are where the teams stand six weeks into the NFL season:
1. Los Angeles Rams (6-0; won 23-20 vs DEN) (- No change from last week)
The Rams are still rolling but they showed a few weaknesses this week. Jared Goff had an off-day and the Broncos played their way back into the game down the stretch. 208 yards on the ground from Todd Gurley was enough to keep them perfect on the season.
2. New England Patriots (4-2; won 43-40 vs KC) (+5)
Some things will never change. The Patriots outlasted the Chiefs offense in a barn burner on “Sunday Night Football.” Only a few weeks ago, the dynasty looked all but over after they lost to the Lions on Sunday night. Tom Brady and the Patriots silenced everyone once again by rolling over the Dolphins and knocking off a Chiefs team that looked unbeatable to this point. The Patriots are back.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (5-1; lost 43-40 vs NE) (-1)
They were going to come back down to earth eventually and they managed to look good doing it. The Chiefs’ terrible defense was always going to be their downfall and it cost them on Sunday night. Patrick Mahomes wasn’t at his best, but it didn’t matter as they put up 40 points anyways. A loss in Foxborough is nothing to be ashamed of, though, and it’s hard to dock this team much after the loss.
4. New Orleans Saints (4-1; BYE) (-1)
New Orleans took a week off to celebrate Drew Brees breaking the all-time passing yards record.
5. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2; won 38-14 vs CLE) (+4)
While the Rams have dominated all the headlines this season, their brothers in the City of Angels have quietly been great as well. The Chargers only losses have come against the Chiefs and Rams this season. Los Angeles dominated the Browns this week and the defense is finding its stride. Philip Rivers is an MVP candidate. They have a legitimate shot at the AFC West this season.
6. Baltimore Ravens (4-2; won 21-0 vs TEN) (+2)
Baltimore’s defense suffocated Marcus Mariota on Sunday and sacked him 11 times to tie the franchise record. The offense looked shaky again after a rough performance against the Browns last week, but if the defense keeps playing like this (and they definitely can) then this team is a real threat.
7. Minnesota Vikings (3-2-1; won 27-17 vs ARI) (-1)
It wasn’t the prettiest game but at least they didn’t lose. Latavius Murray had an amazing day with 155 yards and a touchdown as he single handedly rolled over the Cardinals defense. Minnesota has now won two straight and are right back at the forefront of the NFC North race.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1; won 28-21 vs CIN) (+5)
Pittsburgh snatched a victory from their division rivals with a last-second touchdown. The offense kept on rolling after a 41-point performance a week ago. James Conner is back on track as well, and the Steelers are finally looking like the contenders we thought they would be.
9. Green Bay Packers (3-2-1; won 33-30 vs SF) (+1)
Aaron Rodgers did it again. The Packers defense had a shockingly bad game and couldn’t handle receiver Marquise Goodwin. Rodgers managed to keep the Packers in the game the entire way, though, and led the team to scoring 10 points in the final two minutes to avoid a Monday night upset.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2; lost 28-21 vs PIT) (-6)
Cincinnati came back to earth this week and were handed their customary loss at home to the Steelers. It was a heartbreaker that they were involved in until the very end, but the loss gives Pittsburgh—and more importantly, the Ravens—more breathing room in the AFC North.
11. Miami Dolphins (4-2; won 31-28 vs CHI) (+5)
Brock Osweiler got the start this week as Ryan Tannehill was a late scratch with a shoulder injury. The oft-maligned quarterback wasn’t great, but he did just enough to get the ball into the hands of the Dolphins’ play makers to let them run wild. Albert Wilson had a huge day with 155 yards that included two long touchdown runs. Miami got out of their losing funk and have gotten their season back on track just in time for a matchup with the Lions.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3; won 34-13 vs NYG) (+2)
The Eagles laid the hammer on their division rivals. Carson Wentz and the offense didn’t miss a beat without Jay Ajayi. The secondary was able to handle the Giants myriad of receiving talent for the most part (Eli Manning playing terribly helped). It didn’t prove much but beating a division rival on the road in a short week is huge for a team that was reeling.
13. Chicago Bears (3-2; lost 31-28 vs MIA) (-2)
The Bears lost a mess of a game in Miami this week. Their elite defense had a shocking game as the Dolphins rolled all over them. No one could tackle, and the front seven couldn’t generate much pressure up front. This game is probably an outlier, but the Bears will be kicking themselves for losing a winnable game in a tight race for the NFC North.
14. Washington (3-2; won 23-17 vs CAR) (+4)
Washington’s defense had a huge bounce-back game after they were embarrassed by the Saints on “Monday Night Football” a week ago. They shut down a strong Panthers run game and did enough to hold Cam Newton in check. Alex Smith bounced back from a horrid game as well. This team has been up and down all year so expect them to get smashed by the Cowboys next weekend.
15. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3; lost 40-7 vs DAL) (-10)
Jacksonville is in a tailspin. It was easy to write off last week’s lost against the Chiefs but allowing 40 points to an anemic Cowboys offense in unacceptable. AJ Bouye—who was the NFL’s best corner in 2017—was worked by Cole Beasley in the slot all game. The Jags offense was horrendous once again, but this loss falls on the defense that was supposed to be good enough to take this team back to the AFC Championship.
16. Dallas Cowboys (3-3; won 40-7 vs JAX) (+4)
Dallas’ defense stonewalled Blake Bortles and the Jags offense. While the offense’s performance wasn’t as pretty as the score would indicate, putting up 40 on a defense who is still regarded as one of the best around is huge for their confidence going forward. Cole Beasley had a great day after being terrible for over a year. The NFC East still hasn’t taken shape and Dallas is right in the mix of things.
17. Seattle Seahawks (3-3; won 27-3 vs OAK) (+2)
The Seahawks dominated the Raiders on foreign soil this week. Chris Carson had another great game running the ball with 59 yards. Beating the Raiders isn’t much to brag about but a team that started 0-2 has now won three of the last four to get back to .500.
18. Tennessee Titans (3-3; lost 21-0 vs BAL) (-6)
Tennessee’s offense has a problem. Marcus Mariota has struggled immensely this year and hasn’t been able to move the ball at all. The offensive line provided no resistance to the Ravens front seven and the huge investments they have made into the receiving corps has not paid off. The Titans still have talent and the AFC South is still wide open, but they may be in danger if they don’t right the ship soon.
19. Carolina Panthers (3-2; lost 23-17 vs WAS) (-4)
Carolina’s rushing offense couldn’t penetrate Washington’s offensive line and the Panthers were shut down for much of the day. Cam Newton got them back into the game late, but Carolina needs to do more to support their quarterback.
20. Cleveland Browns (2-3-1; lost 38-14 vs LAC) (-3)
Baker Mayfield is still clearly learning how to run an NFL offense. The rookie was hit or miss all day, and his offensive line didn’t give him much help, allowing five sacks. Nothing really stood out as positive as the Chargers controlled this game from start to finish.
21. Detroit Lions (2-3; BYE) (+1)
Detroit was on a bye this week, but a match up with a scary Dolphins team looms.
22. Atlanta Falcons (2-4; won 34-29 vs TB) (-1)
Atlanta finally got back in the win column after sneaking away with a sloppy win against the Bucs. Matt Ryan is still playing well but the defense has no idea what it is doing. It’s hard not to declare this a lost season for them.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3; lost 34-29 vs ATL) (-)
This team is super-bad but they are really fun to watch. The Bucs should have beaten the Falcons but two miscues on the final drive cost them a momentum-shifting win against a division rival. They are a feast-or-famine team on offense and the defense is one of the worst of the modern era.
24. Houston Texans (3-3; won 20-13 vs BUF) (-)
Houston has quietly won three straight after starting the year 0-3. None of the wins have been very impressive, though. They beat the Colts after a blunder on fourth down in overtime, beat the Cowboys after a blunder on fourth down in overtime and beat the Bills after Nathan Peterman basically handed them the game. Three wins are three wins, though, and they have somehow grabbed the top spot in the AFC South.
25. New York Jets (3-3; won 42-34 vs IND) (+2)
Sam Darnold had a huge game in Week 6 as the Jets rolled over the Colts. The rookie threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns. New York’s defense had a big day as well, intercepting Andrew Luck three times, recovering a fumble and even scoring a touchdown themselves. It was a complete performance from a young team that looked like they were on a down swing.
26. Denver Broncos (2-4; lost 23-20 vs LAR) (-1)
While the score looks generous, the Broncos were hammered by the Rams last weekend. Case Keenum left the game injured and backup quarterback Chad Kelly immediately had the crowd’s support. Keenum returned to the game, but this team may be better off going forward with Kelly under center.
29. Indianapolis Colts (1-5; lost 42-34 vs NYJ) (-1)
The Colts defense is banged up and has been having troubles the past two weeks. After allowing 42 points against the Jets, they have now given up more than 37 points two weeks running. The offense is still bad outside of Andrew Luck but at least Marlon Mack is back in the lineup.
28. Buffalo Bills (2-4; lost 20-13 vs HOU) (-2)
The Bills defense did enough to win this game. Then Josh Allen got injured and had to be replaced by Nathan Peterman. They lost.
29. Arizona Cardinals (1-5; lost 27-17 vs MIN) (-)
The Cardinals were surprisingly involved in this game until the second half. This entire team is a mess that needs overhaul, though. Josh Rosen is great, Christian Kirk has been good in his rookie year as well, but that’s really all the offense has. David Johnson is barely getting the ball anymore, and without him in 2016 form, there is no way for this team to even think about winning games.
30. San Francisco 49ers (1-5; lost 33-30 vs GB) (+1)
There are no moral victories in the NFL, but the 49ers came close this week. C.J. Beathard looked great under center. Marquise Goodwin went off and scorched the Packers defense. The 49ers offense couldn’t hold back Aaron Rodgers, though, and the 49ers let a season-defining upset slip through their fingers.
31. New York Giants (1-5; lost 34-13 vs PHI) (-1)
There is no bigger indictment of David Gettleman mismanaging the Giants’ second overall pick than his rookie running back having an incredible day and still losing by 21 at home.
32. Oakland Raiders (1-5; lost 27-3 vs SEA) (-)
Derek Carr is emotionally broken. There is nothing I can say about this team that speaks louder than these.