NFL Power Rankings: Week 5 (2021)

Oct 5, 2021 - 5:35 PM

It’s been four weeks, and favorites have still yet to come out of any of them profitable. Like Week 3, underdogs finished 8-8 in Week 4, bringing their overall season record to 37-27-0 (57.8%)

We’ve got a big shake-up at the top of the power rankings, a new number one and number two team, and some squads towards the back end of the table who finally notched their first win of the year. This year perhaps more than any other in recent memory, the race to reach the Super Bowl is absolutely wide open. So who’s got the early leg up?

Let’s dive into the Week 5 power rankings and find out.

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NFL Power Rankings Week 5

Big Movers

Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson has never lost three straight regular-season games, and he kept his streak alive with a huge road win against the division-rival 49ers. Had Seattle lost, given how difficult the NFC West is, their season would have effectively been over. But instead, they’ve leapfrogged San Francisco and sit just a game back of the Rams.

Cincinnati Bengals
There are so many bad football teams this year, but I honestly don't think the Bengals are one of them. Zac Taylor is still not a great coach - for some reason he insists on banging his head against a wall with plays that don’t work until he’s left without a choice - but the Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase connection is legitimate and the defense has been surprisingly solid.

Indianapolis Colts
Seahawks, Rams, Titans. That’s how Indianapolis started the season. Not easy, but they finally found a way to put together a win against a struggling Miami team. The AFC South is really terrible, so they’re still very much alive despite being 1-3. Falling to 0-4, however, would have been the final nail in the coffin.

Random Musings

Buffalo Bills
As I wrote above, I’m throwing Week 1 out. The Bills have absolutely dominated each of the past three weeks, capped off with a 40-0 drubbing of the lowly Texans. If this game wasn’t in a monsoon, it could have been 80-0. Buffalo’s offense we know can score with the best, but if this defense is back and for real like it was two years ago, watch out.

Arizona Cardinals
What a start to the year for the Cardinals. Kyler Murray is the frontrunner to win the MVP, the offense has scored 30-plus in every game this season, and after a middle-of-the-road strength of schedule through the first three games, Arizona just notched a statement win over the team who topped my power rankings last week. Don’t look now, but the Cardinals lead the NFC West.

New York Jets
Good for the Jets, good for Robert Saleh, and good for Zach Wilson. It doesn’t matter that the Titans were missing pretty much everyone except Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry. The Jets needed to get off the mat after averaging 6.6 points per game through the first three weeks. Zach Wilson looked much better in the second half than he has all season, and while this team is still ticketed for a top 10 pick, Jets fans can finally exhale.

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Mike Wagenman is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @mjwags23.

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