Five Up Five Down: The 5 Best and 5 Worst NFL Teams Week Six is where we rank the five best and five worst teams in the NFL. Anybody can rank the best teams. It takes real skill to sort through the mess that is the bottom of the league.
Is it week six already? What did we learn from Week 5? The Titans aren’t as good as their record said they were. The Rams were a bit lucky. Don’t ever fully trust a kicker, even if he’s been great for a decade. Patrick Mahomes II is human. The roughing the passer rule is as confusing as ever, ask Eagles’ fans this week.
5 UP: The 5 Best 5 Worst NFL Teams Week Six
1. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (5-0) Last Week: 2nd
We found out that Patrick Mahomes II is human after he threw two interceptions. He still threw for over 300 yards and ran for a TD against arguably the best defense in the world. The Chiefs dominated the Jaguars 30-14, and due to a superior performance are the number one team in 5 Up. Patrick Mahomes II (1,513 Yards, 14 Touchdowns, 2 INT 112.7 QBR) is the most exciting player to watch in the NFL.
The Chiefs defense which has struggled a lot this year (ranked 32nd coming into the Jags game) played well vs. Jacksonville. They created turnovers including four interceptions. The challenges keep coming for KC. They travel to Foxboro to battle Tom Brady and the (3-2) Patriots on Sunday Night. Mahomes vs. Brady match-up is by far the best story heading into week six. Chiefs lead the all-time series 18-14-3 but are three and a half point underdogs against New England.
2. LOS ANGELES RAMS (5-0) Last Week: 1st
The Rams were lucky to win in Seattle, and the defense is now a significant concern. The Seahawks were running up, down, and all around the Rams defense. It’s quite apparent that if Donald and Suh are not getting the pressure, the Rams defense is quite average at best, hence why they are number 2 this week. Wade Phillips is very capable of fixing the defense. He knows that to win the Super Bowl, his defense must play better. Todd Gurley saved the Rams’ bacon with three touchdowns to negate Goff’s two interceptions.
The Rams will continue to be the Traveling Wilburys in the midst of a three-game road trip. Next, they head to Denver to take on the (2-3) Broncos. Rams are a touchdown favorite and have an 8-5 series lead against Denver. I get why you Rams fans may not like LA being knocked off the top spot, but it might only last a week so calm down!
3. CINCINNATI BENGALS (4-1) Last Week: Unranked
You don’t want to believe in the Bungles but you must! Does anything make you think of Halloween more than those helmets? We know when the playoffs come around they will turn into David Price and lose, but for now, they are playing some excellent football. They spotted Miami a 17-point lead and then crushed them by scoring the next 27 straight points. The Bengals got Joe Mixon back, and he had a big game along with A.J. Green who was a dominant force once again (6 catches for 112 yards).
The defense made it happen, scoring twice and making life very uncomfortable for Ryan Tannehill. The Bengals will welcome the (2-2-1) Pittsburgh Steelers to town in an AFC North showdown. Unfortunately for the Bengals, the Steelers have a .632 winning percentage in the series (60-35) including a six-game winning streak vs. Cincy.
4.NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (4-1) Last Week: 5th
Congrats to Drew Brees in becoming the all-time passing leader. New Orleans put on an offensive show against the Redskins. Mark Ingram II enjoyed a big return which now makes the Saints backfield lethal. The Saints will enjoy the Bye Week and get ready for a tough road game against the (3-2) Baltimore Ravens. New Orleans schedule is brutal coming up with three of the next four crucial games are on the road against (@Ravens, @Vikings, Rams, @Bengals). We will learn a lot about the Saints Super Bowl chances in the next month. Drew Brees when its all said and done would like to be on the top 10 quarterbacks list. Can the Saints remain in the five best NFL teams when they get back from enjoying a week off?
5. CHICAGO BEARS (3-1) Last Week: 4th
Bears enjoyed the Bye Week but moved down our 5 Up and 5 Down weekly rankings. Is this 3-1 record a fluke or is this sustainable? Mitch Trubisky had a career day throwing for six touchdowns and the Bears receiving core (Robinson, White (amazing at blocking), Gabriel, and Miller) is improving right before our eyes. The Bears need to improve their run blocking and running back play. Neither Howard or Cohen have been consistent. A good running game is a needed for a young QB that is still developing and needs to improve. I like how Matt Nagy’s team plays very aggressive offensively, similar to Sean McVay.
The biggest monster of the midway is Khalil Mack. He is the first player since Robert Mathis (2005) to record a sack and force a fumble in four straight games. It’s incredible to watch the rest of the defense pick up its energy level and try to emulate the play of the defensive MVP of the league right now. The Bears will travel to South Beach to take on the (3-2) Dolphins. Miami leads the series (8-4) with the most famous win being in 1985 when the Dolphins broke up the Bears perfect season.
Closing in the top 5 this week:
Carolina Panthers (3-1), Baltimore Ravens (3-2), LA Chargers (3-2), New England Patriots (3-2), Miami Dolphins (3-2)
5 DOWN: The 5 Best 5 Worst NFL Teams Week Six
28. ATLANTA FALCONS (1-4) Last Week: Unranked
We have had some surprises this year, but nothing is as shocking as the Atlanta Falcons 1-4 record. Many people believed they could be the first team to play for the Super Bowl at their home stadium. The Falcons are skidding out of control! You could blame injuries for Atlanta’s struggles, but it’s the defense that is letting this team down. They have allowed an NFL worst 163 points (32.6 points per game). Offensively, they are getting minimal production from the running game (89.2 yards a game 26th in NFL). Matt Ryan is Matt Ryan (1,601 Yards 11 TD’s 2 INTS 110.9 QBR). He is a stat stuffer but often falters in late game situations. This team can turn around the season about, but the offense can’t be expected to score 34 points every week.
It should be a shootout this Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium against the (2-2-1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If you have fantasy players on these teams, you are thrilled. Atlanta is 3 and a half points favorites in this NFC South showdown. They lead the all-time series (25-24). If Atlanta loses this weekend, the vultures will be circling the carcass of the Falcons.
29. N.Y. GIANTS (1-4) Last Week: Unranked
The Giants had a win against the Panthers in Carolina in their grasp until a 63 yard Graham Gano field goal plunged them into the five down category. New York is a talented team that made solid offseason moves, but it’s not paying off right now. Pat Shurmur’s team has major locker room disruptions going on. Odell Beckham Jr. and other players have been critical of Eli Manning and the offense. In a strange twist of fate, maybe OBJ’s interview will pull the team together.
The offense with Barkley, Beckham Jr., Manning, and Shepard should put up more points, but if the defense doesn’t stop anyone, they will continue to lose. Getting their defense to play up to their talent level will be the biggest challenge moving forward for Big Blue. The Giants will host the Eagles (2-3), who are having all kinds of problems on the offensive line on a short week. The Giants lead the all-time series 86-84-2, but Philly has won the last three games and will be 3 point favorites on the road.
30. ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-4) Last Week: 32nd
Well, finally a win! It was on the road as well. Josh Rosen has given the Cardinals a boost at the quarterback position. He didn’t play great against the 49ers (40% completion ratio), but he didn’t turn the ball over. Running back David Johnson finally made fantasy owners happy with two TD’s against the Niners, but he ran for just 55 yards. He will have to be more productive against Minnesota this Sunday if Arizona wants to pull off the upset. Their defense played strong again, but they were aided by facing C.J. Beatherd and not Jimmy G. Congrats Cards fans, you are no longer in the dreaded #32 spot. The team you beat last week now occupies that spot.
The Cardinals travel to Minnesota to face the (2-2-1) Vikings who are 10.5 point favorites. Hey, Buffalo went up to Minny with a rookie quarterback and blew out Minnesota so who knows. The Vikings lead the series between the two clubs winning 16 – 11.
31. OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-4) Last Week: 30th
The Raiders are working their way to being the worst team in the NFL. Lousy defense and turnovers in the red zone are a recipe to failure and the bottom of the Five Up Five Down rankings. Carr, Cooper, Lynch, and Gruden are named brands and should have the Silver and Black in a much better position. In addition to poor play offensively, the defense is playing terrible as well. Derek Carr continues to throw the worst interceptions in the NFL which should alarm the Raiders front office. Jon Gruden is a quarterback guy, so the ugly play out of #4 is puzzling.
The Raiders will welcome former division rivals Seattle Seahawks (2-3) in town. Oakland leads the all-time series 29-25 and is currently a 1 point favorite at home.
32. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (1-4) Last Week: Unranked
The 49ers are a team ravaged by injury. They are number 32 more because of injuries than anything else. It would take over 300 words to add all the players who are out for this team. But Kyle Shanahan and company must find a way to tape it together because excuses don’t win games. When C.J. Beathard is your starting QB (career 2,000 Yards, 8 TD’s 10 INTs, 78 QBR), you are not expected to do much of anything. Paging Tony Romo, Mr. Romo or how about Mr. Kaepernick?
Next up for the 49ers is the (2-2-1) Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The 49ers defense will have to figure out a way to stop Aaron Rodgers and that multi-faceted offense. Green Bay leads the all-time series (35-30-1) and are massive nine and a half point favorites over the injury-riddled Niners. I pray for you 49er fans. The football gods have been too cruel to a team that was expected to be much improved. Five Up Five Down: The 5 Best 5 Worst NFL Teams Week Six will have me rooting for the 49ers to get out of the five worst as the Bills did.
Teams that are Knocking on futilities door:
Buffalo Bills (2-3), Denver Broncos (2-3), Detroit Lions (2-3), N.Y. Jets (2-3), Indianapolis Colts (1-4).
Come back next Thursday for Five Up Five Down, The five best NFL Teams and the five worst NFL Teams for Week 7.