The Kansas City Chiefs have supplanted the now defeated New Orleans Saints as the #2 team in the week 6 edition of iSportsweb’s NFL Power Rankings. It’s as surprising as it sounds for a team that won all of two games last year.
Leading the way is quarterback Alex Smith (exiled from San Francisco in favor of Steve Young 2.0, aka Colin Kaepernick) and RB Jamaal Charles (yes, you read that correctly). Charles is ranked sixth overall in rushing yards through six weeks with 475, and is tied for second in rushing touchdowns with 5. He is having one of the quietest good seasons by a RB in recent memory. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that, should he stay healthy, keep on his current statistical pace, and the Chiefs keep winning, Charles could be a dark horse MVP candidate. He won’t win it - Manning already has that wrapped up, but he should get some mention.
Smith on the other hand, doesn’t have quite the eye popping stats you would expect from the starting QB of a 6-0 team. He ranks just 21st in pass yards (1,330), 17th in touchdown passes (7), 29th in completion percentage (56.5) and 22nd in the QB ratings (79.8). He also has a lack of reliable pass catchers, which don’t help his numbers to be sure. But despite all that, Alex Smith and the Chiefs just keep winning. In that respect, they are starting to remind me a lot of the 2000 Baltimore Ravens who won Super Bowl XXXV with a stifling defense and a quarterback in Trent Dilfer who could manage a game without making huge plays, but also without making huge mistakes.
There’s a real possibility both the Chiefs and the #1 Denver Broncos remain undefeated until their first match-up of the season, on November 17th at Denver. Regardless, this is going to be one of the best division races in a long, long time. The AFC West has suddenly become the NFL Best as far as divisions are concerned.
1. Denver Broncos (Last week: 1)
Yes, they’ve struggled their past two games (against the Cowboys and the Jaguars), but they’ve still won. And I still feel they are a better team than Kansas City, so they stay #1 for now.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 3)
Raise your hand if you honestly thought the Chiefs would be undefeated at this point in the season. If you raised your hand, you’re a bold faced liar.
3. Seattle Seahawks (Last week: 5)
Beating the Titans by a touchdown isn’t exaclty awe inspiring, but two teams ahead of them (the Saints and Colts) both lost, so the get here by default.
4. New Orleans Saints (Last week: 2)
The Saints aren’t the first victims of Tom Brady magic. But losing that game with 5 seconds to go HAS to hurt.
5. New England Patriots (Last week: 10)
The Pats have held things together waiting on Gronk to come back and help the offense. Ten bucks says he’s back next week against the Jets.
6. San Francisco 49ers (Last week: 8)
Remember when we wondered what was wrong with the 49ers offense after scoring a total of 10 points in losses to Seattle and Indy? Since then, all they’ve managed to do is average 34 points per game durting a three game win streak.
7. Green Bay Packers (Last week: 6)
They played an ugly game in Baltimore but came ahead. Even with a win, it wasn’t good enough to move up or keep their previous spot.
8. Detroit Lions (Last week: 7)
Just like the Packers, it’s not like the Lions did anything wrong, per se. It’s just that other teams played better, so they got knocked down a spot.
9. Chicago Bears (Last week: 9)
They should have done so much more against the Giants offensively, and the defense allowed Brandon Jacobs to look like Adrian Peterson. That has to be a concern.
10. Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 4)
That was as ugly a performance as I’ve seen from the Colts since the blow-out loss to New England last year. They did absolutely everything possible to lose that game to the Chargers.
11. Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 11)
When you only win by 3 points against a team that is starting a practice squad player at QB, it’s time to reassess your situation.
12. Miami Dolphins (Last week: 12)
Bye week. The Dolphins look to end their two game losing streak against Buffalo on Sunday.
13. San Diego Chargers (Last week: 19)
The Chargers did to the Colts what the Colts have wanted to do all season: Run the ball and stop the run. Keenan Allen was also impressive.
14. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 17)
The ‘Boys probably shouldn’t be this high based on the teams they’ve actually beaten but I have a hard time putting any of the teams under them up here instead.
15. Tennessee Titans (Last week: 13)
I never thought I’d say Titans fans probably can’t wait for Jake Locker to come back.
16. Baltimore Ravens (Last week: 15)
A team this consistently inconsistent won’t make the playoffs, let alone defend the Super Bowl championship.
17. Arizona Cardinals (Last week: 16)
The rumblings for replacing Carson Palmer with Drew Stanton are getting louder by the week. Palmer only has seven TDs versus eleven picks in six games.
18. Cleveland Browns (Last week: 14)
It seems with Brandon Weeden comes bad losses, doesn’t it?
19. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 20)
Yes, they are 3-3. But those 3 wins are against teams that are a combined 1-14. That kind of record doesn’t get a whole lot of play with me.
20. St. Louis Rams (Last week: 26)
They completely beat down the Texans, but most of that action came from the defense against back-up QB T.J. Yates.
21. Houston Texans (Last week: 18)
To those Houston fans that cheered Matt Schuab’s injury: You disgust me. No matter how bad a guy is playing, it’s never a good thing to see them get hurt.
22. Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 22)
The bad got worse when Julio Jones went out for the season. Mike Smith may be coaching elsewhere next season.
23. New York Jets (Last week: 21)
I give them a modicum of respect and what happens? Geno Smith completes barely more than 50% of his passes with two picks and no scores. Maybe the Jets are who I thought they were at the start of the season.
24. Carolina Panthers (Last week: 28)
Which Cam Newton will we see this week? Last week’s version, or the version we saw against the Arizona Cardinals?
25. Oakland Raiders (Last week: 25)
Heading into their bye-week this week, Oakland has to decently happy with Terrelle Pryor thus far. Their record? Not so much.
26. Washington Redskins (Last week: 24)
The ‘Skins are in desperate need of a win. It likely won’t happen against da Bears this week.
27. Minnesota Vikings (Last week: 23)
They are officially starting Josh Freeman against the Giants. There probably couldn’t be a better team to get him acclimated against.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week: 30)
OK, so you beat the Jets. That don’t impress me much.
29. Buffalo Bills (Last week: 27)
Thad Lewis had a decent showing against the Bengals. Can he duplicate that against Dolphins?
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last week: 29)
Well Bucs fans, on the bright side your team isn’t any worse now than they were with Freeman at QB.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 32)
I’m giving them a bit of credit for hanging in with Denver for an entire half and beating the historic point spread put on that game. But I fully expect them to take back the 32nd spot soon.
32. New York Giants (Last week: 31)
Holy crap does this team suck.
Biggest Riser: San Diego, St. Louis (+6)
Biggest Faller: Indianapolis (-6)
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