Who sits atop — and at the bot­tom — of the league en­ter­ing this week’s matchups?

Through Week 5

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - WEEK 6 -

1. Los An­ge­les Rams (5-0) | Last week’s rank: 1 Sean McVay con­tin­ues to press all the right coach­ing but­tons. 2. Kan­sas City Chiefs (5-0) | Last week’s rank: 2 Pa­trick Ma­homes fi­nally threw an in­ter­cep­tion this sea­son (and then an­other) but the Chiefs of­fense just kept go­ing against Jack­sonville’s cel­e­brated de­fense. 3. New Or­leans Saints (4-1) | Last week’s rank: 4

It only felt like about 70,000 of Drew Brees’s pass­ing yards came Mon­day night. His record-break­ing evening in­cluded a big per­for­mance against the Red­skins that showed the Saints are promi­nently among the very few le­git­i­mate NFC chal­lengers to the Rams. 4. Carolina Pan­thers (3-1) | Last week’s rank: 5

The Pan­thers were aided by plenty of good for­tune in the clos­ing mo­ments against the Gi­ants. 5. Cincin­nati Ben­gals (4-1) | Last week’s rank: 6

Is it time to be­gin trust­ing this Ben­gals team? Even just a lit­tle bit? 6. New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots (3-2) | Last week’s rank: 8 Re­mem­ber when the Pa­tri­ots were fac­ing an early-sea­son cri­sis? That’s so two weeks ago. 7. Jack­sonville Jaguars (3-2) | Last week’s rank: 3 The bad ver­sion of QB Blake Bor­tles was on dis­play in Sun­day’s de­feat at Kan­sas City. 8. Chicago Bears (3-1) | Last week’s rank: 9

The Bears emerge from their bye week in first place in the NFC North. They haven’t lost since the sea­son opener in Green Bay. And any­one who thinks it’s not pos­si­ble that they’ll out­last the Pack­ers and Vik­ings in the di­vi­sion race hasn’t been watch­ing closely enough. 9. Min­nesota Vik­ings (2-2-1) | Last week’s rank: 13

The Vik­ings didn’t play all that well Sun­day in Philly but got a few breaks on the Lin­val Joseph TD and the key rough­ing-the-passer call against the Ea­gles’ Michael Ben­nett. Maybe the vic­tory will get the Vik­ings go­ing. 10. Los An­ge­les Charg­ers (3-2) | Last week’s rank: 16 The sec­ond-best NFL team in L.A. is not half-bad. 11. Pitts­burgh Steel­ers (2-2-1) | Last week’s rank: 20 The Steel­ers had a great of­fen­sive day against the Fal­cons even with­out still-ab­sent RB Le’Veon Bell. 12. Philadel­phia Ea­gles (2-3) | Last week’s rank: 12

The de­fend­ing champs are strug­gling on of­fense; they haven’t scored more than 23 points in a game this sea­son.

13. Cleve­land Browns (2-2-1) | Last week’s rank: 25 Such a lofty rank­ing for the Browns? The Browns? Sure, why not? This is a com­pe­tent, com­pet­i­tive team with Baker May­field at QB. 14. Bal­ti­more Ravens (3-2) | Last week’s rank: 7 Go­ing to Cleve­land and get­ting a win is not au­to­matic any longer. The Ravens found that out the dif­fi­cult way.

15. Detroit Lions (2-3) | Last week’s rank: 27

The Lions are show­ing signs of com­pe­tence hav­ing won twice in three games af­ter their 0-2 be­gin­ning. 16. Green Bay Pack­ers (2-2-1) | Last week’s rank: 10 Ma­son Crosby is highly re­spected within the Pack­ers or­ga­ni­za­tion. Not too many kick­ers could keep their jobs af­ter the sort of game that Crosby had Sun­day in Detroit, with four missed FGs and a missed ex­tra point. 17. Wash­ing­ton Red­skins (2-2) | Last week’s rank: 14 The Red­skins had no an­swers Mon­day night for Drew Brees and the Saints. 18. Mi­ami Dol­phins (3-2) | Last week’s rank: 15

The prom­ise of that 3-0 start has dis­si­pated quickly with losses to the Pa­tri­ots and Ben­gals. It doesn’t get much eas­ier with the Bears up next, al­though the game is in Mi­ami.

19. Hous­ton Tex­ans (2-3) | Last week’s rank: 23 QB De­shaun Wat­son ab­sorbed some jar­ring hits from Cow­boys de­fend­ers Sun­day night. But he and WR De­An­dre Hop­kins got it done in OTt. 20. Buf­falo Bills (2-3) | Last week’s rank: 28

This looked like the NFL’s worst team through two games. The fact that the Bills have re­grouped to win two games says plenty about the coach­ing prow­ess of Sean McDer­mott. 21. Tampa Bay Buc­ca­neers (2-2) | Last week’s rank: 21 The Bucs re­turn from their bye week with Jameis Win­ston back as the start­ing QB. But Sun­day’s game in At­lanta comes against a Fal­cons team that’s seem­ingly over­due for a win.

22. Ten­nessee Ti­tans (3-2) | Last week’s rank: 11

Few ex­pected the Ti­tans to get off to a 3-1 start. But los­ing to the Bills? That shouldn’t hap­pen to a con­tender.

23. Seat­tle Sea­hawks (2-3) | Last week’s rank: 17

The Sea­hawks played the Rams tough and had their chances. But the bot­tom line is, be­ing the sec­ond-best team in the NFC West won’t mean much this sea­son.

24. Dal­las Cow­boys (2-3) | Last week’s rank: 18 Coach Ja­son Gar­rett was ques­tioned by owner Jerry Jones for his de­ci­sion to punt rather than take a fourth-down gamble in OT dur­ing Sun­day night’s loss at Hous­ton.

25. New York Jets (2-3) | Last week’s rank: 30

It was a great Sun­day for rookie QBs. Sam Darnold did his part with a three-TD, one-in­ter­cep­tion per­for­mance in the tri­umph over the Bron­cos at the Mead­ow­lands.

26. Den­ver Bron­cos (2-3) | Last week’s rank: 19

The sea­son seems to be slip­ping away from the Bron­cos af­ter three straight losses. 27. Ari­zona Car­di­nals (1-4) | Last week’s rank: 32

It wasn’t a big game for rookie QB Josh Rosen, but he and the Car­di­nals got into the win col­umn. 28. At­lanta Fal­cons (1-4) | Last week’s rank: 22 Matt Ryan con­tin­ues to put up good num­bers and the Fal­cons con­tinue to lose. Get­ting back into the di­vi­sion race al­ready is be­gin­ning to look far-fetched.

29. Oak­land Raiders (1-4) | Last week’s rank: 24 This is sim­ply not go­ing well for Jon Gru­den. 30. New York Gi­ants (1-4) | Last week’s rank: 26

It’s not that any of what WR Odell Beck­ham Jr. said to ESPN was wrong. It wasn’t. But the fact that he chose to come out and say what he said af­ter the Gi­ants gave him a con­tract that made him the NFL’s high­est-paid WR was equal parts provoca­tive and puz­zling. 31. In­di­anapo­lis Colts (1-4) | Last week’s rank: 29 An­other year of QB An­drew Luck’s prime is slip­ping away. 32. San Fran­cisco 49ers (1-4) | Last week’s rank: 31 The count­down to next sea­son has be­gun.

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