Through the first few weeks of the NFL season, it’s easy to mistake bad teams for teams that are struggling out of the gate.
Three preseason favourites, the Colts, Seahawks, and Ravens, all opened 0-2. The Colts are the only one who has rallied back to a winning record, and yet with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback it’s hard to believe they’d beat the 1-4 Ravens in Baltimore. But the Ravens are still 1-4. So is it time we forget about them?
And what about the Seahawks, who are 2-3 but still feel like one of the best teams in football? Are they struggling out of the gate, or are they just not very good this year?
Now that every team has 4-5 games under their belt, things should start to get clearer going forward. There’s not much more time left to chalk losses up to a slow start.
Here are your Week 6 Power Rankings.
Week 6 opponent: at Indianapolis Colts
Week 5 MVP: Tom Brady, who threw for 270 yards against the Cowboys, including 2 TDs and no interceptions. He also scored his first rushing TD in almost 3 years.
One thing to know: Don't expect the Pats to take their foot off the gas at any point Sunday against the Colts. This one's personal.
Week 6 opponent: vs. San Diego Chargers
Week 5 MVP: Green Bay's defence. On a day that saw two Aaron Rodgers interceptions in Lambeau Field (his first picks in Green Bay since December 2012), the defence helped out by intercepting Nick Foles four times and sacking him three more.
One thing to know: Because of Rodgers, the Packers defence seems to be flying under the radar. The 16.2 points they are giving up per game is 3rd best in the league.
Week 6 opponent: at Buffalo Bills
Week 5 MVP: Andy Dalton led the Bengals back from a 17-point 4th quarter deficit against the Seahawks to force overtime. In OT, he drove the team down the field to set up the game-winning field goal.
One thing to know: The Bengals showed that they are the real deal, beating one of the NFL's best teams. For this team, what really matters is winning in January.
Week 6 opponent: at Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 5 MVP: Chris Johnson. The veteran running back had his best game of the season, rushing for 103 yards on 11 carries. He has nearly 300 rushing yards in the past 3 games.
One thing to know: Teams are avoiding Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson like the plague. He's being targeted less often than ever in his career.
Week 6 opponent: at Cleveland Browns
Week 5 MVP: Chris Harris ran an interception back 74 yards for a touchdown to seal the win for the Broncos.
One thing to know: Peyton Manning has struggled on 3rd downs this season. He's completing fewer than 50% of his passes and thrown 4 interceptions on 3rd downs this year.
Week 6 opponent: at New Orleans Saints
Week 5 MVP: Robert Alford's overtime pick-6 kept Atlanta's perfect season alive on Sunday.
One thing to know: Julio Jones is questionable to play Thursday against the Saints. Will the Falcons even need him?
Week 6 opponent: at Seattle Seahawks
Week 5 MVP: Nobody (or everybody) -- they had a bye!
One thing to know: Luke Kuechly has cleared concussion protocol and will play on Sunday against the Seahawks.
Week 6 opponent: vs. Arizona Cardinals
Week 5 MVP: Le'Veon Bell, who scored the game-winning touchdown as time expired on Monday night.
One thing to know: Vick hasn't been terrific, but he's done enough as the starter in Pittsburgh. The question is: can this team make the playoffs with him?
Week 6 opponent: vs. Washington Redskins
Week 5 MVP: Nobody -- they had a bye!
One thing to know: The Jets get Sheldon Richardson back this weekend, bolstering an already dominant defensive line.
Week 6 opponent: at Philadelphia Eagles
Week 5 MVP: Larry Donnell. The tight end made a David Tyree-esque catch with under a minute left in the 4th quarter to secure the Giants' third-straight win.
One thing to know: The Giants still don't know when Victor Cruz will make his 2015 debut as he battles his calf injury.
Week 6 opponent: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Week 5 MVP: Tyrod Taylor. The quarterback put the team on his back, throwing for a touch down, running for another one, and even catching a pass near the end zone. He rallied the Bills back from a 10-point deficit to beat the Titans.
One thing to know: Injuries are hurting Rex Ryan's squad, and they're in for a tough test on Sunday when the undefeated Bengals come to town.
Week 6 opponent: vs. New England Patriots
Week 5 MVP: How about Matt Hasselbeck! The 40-year-old is 2-0 as the Colts' starter.
One thing to know: Andrew Luck is back at practice this week, but as we've seen over the past two weeks, that doesn't necessarily mean anything in Indy.
Week 6 opponent: BYE
Week 5 MVP: Todd Gurley. The rookie put on a workmanlike performance, running for 159 yards on 30 carries.
One thing to know: The Rams certainly had their chances against the Packers on Sunday. Two missed field goals and an interception in the end zone from Nick Foles negated the defence's solid performance against Aaron Rodgers.
Week 6 opponent: vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Week 5 MVP: Nobody -- they had a bye!
One thing to know: The Vikings are making Xavier Rhode practice with boxing gloves to help him stop conceding so many penalties.
Week 6 opponent: at Green Bay Packers
Week 5 MVP: Antonio Gates had 92 yard and two scores in his return from suspension.
One thing to know: Monday night's game against the Steelers illuminated why the Chargers are likely to move to Los Angeles. Despite being in San Diego, the vast majority of fans were rooting for the Steelers.
Week 6 opponent: at New York Jets
Week 5 MVP: Ryan Kerrigan, who sacked Matt Ryan twice.
One thing to know: Kirk Cousins threw multiple interceptions on Sunday for the ninth time as starter in Washington. In those games, Washington is 0-9.
Week 6 opponent: vs. New York Giants
Week 5 MVP: Fletcher Cox forced two fumbles off Drew Brees sacks for the Eagles.
One thing to know: The Eagles offence finally got going on Sunday, racking up 39 points against the Saints. They could have scored even more, as Sam Bradford was picked off twice in the end zone.
Week 6 opponent: BYE
Week 5 MVP: Rolando McClain, who sacked Tom Brady and had two tackles for a loss.
One thing to know: Brandon Weeden lost his 11th consecutive game as a starter. Is it time for Matt Cassel?
Week 6 opponent: vs. Denver Broncos
Week 5 MVP: Josh McCown threw for 457 yards against the Ravens, a team record.
One thing to know: The Browns had lost 13 of 14 previous meetings to Baltimore, but found a way to climb themselves out of a 10-point hole, force OT, and win with a field goal.
Week 6 opponent: BYE
Week 5 MVP: Charles Woodson picked off Peyton Manning twice on Sunday. It was the first time in Woodson's career he'd ever intercepted his 1998 draft classmate.
One thing to know: The Raiders averaged just 2.9 yards per carry in their last two games, both losses. They will use the bye week to address that problem.
Week 6 opponent: at San Francisco 49ers
Week 5 MVP: Justin Forsett, who picked up 170 total yards in the team's loss to Cleveland.
One thing to know: The record doesn't reflect how close so many of the Ravens' losses have been, but at a certain point you need to win the close ones to make the playoffs. This team is on pace to have the worst defence in franchise history, giving up 27.4 points per game.
Week 6 opponent: at Minnesota Vikings
Week 5 MVP: Rakim Wilson, who collected a Jay Cutler fumble in the end zone to give the Chiefs an early touchdown. Otherwise it was a bleak showing from Andy Reid's team.
One thing to know: Jamaal Charles tore his ACL against the Bears. It's the second ACL-tear of his career, and a crushing blow to the Chiefs, who were already struggling offensively without their best player.
Week 6 opponent: vs. Atlanta Falcons
Week 5 MVP: Willie Snead led all Saints receivers with 141 yards.
One thing to know: Drew Brees turned the ball over four times, and head coach Sean Payton is already being linked to the Dolphins and Colts for the off-season. There's not a lot to like if you're a Saints fan.
Week 6 opponent: at Detroit Lions
Week 5 MVP: Jay Cutler led two touchdown drives in the final minutes of the 4th quarter to give the Bears their second win in two weeks.
One thing to know: Shockingly, the Bears could claw their way back to .500 next week against the 0-5 Lions.
Week 6 opponent: at Tennessee Titans
Week 4 MVP: Nobody -- they had a bye!
One thing to know: Interim coach Dan Campbell is doing whatever he can do get the Dolphins on track. This week he switched players lockers around.
Week 6 opponent: vs. Miami Dolphins
Week 5 MVP: The defence, who sacked Tyrod Taylor 4 times and forced a fumble.
One thing to know: The Titans blew their second double-digit lead at home on Sunday.
Week 6 opponent: vs. Chicago Bears
Week 5 MVP: We'll give it to Dan Orlovsky, just because he wasn't quite as horrible as Matt Stafford.
One thing to know: Stafford threw 3 interceptions against Arizona and was benched in the 3rd quarter for Orlovsky. Detroit turned the ball over 6 times in total against the Cardinals. They could finally get on the board next week against the Bears.
Week 6 opponent: vs. Baltimore Ravens
Week 5 MVP: Colin Kaepernick looked like his old self against the Giants, throwing 2 TDs on 262 yards and putting the 49ers ahead with less than 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter.
One thing to know: The 49ers let Sunday's game against the Giants slip through their fingers, and have now lost 4 in a row.
Week 6 opponent: BYE
Week 5 MVP: Doug Martin, who rushed for 123 yards and 2 TDs. He's looked good this season.
One thing to know: With their win on Sunday, the Bucs ended an 11-game home losing streak.
Week 6 opponent: vs. Houston Texans
Week 5 MVP: Allen Hurns had 116 yards on just 5 catches.
One thing to know: Blake Bortles was sacked six times on Sunday, and the Jaguars announced afterwards that he had a shoulder injury.
Week 6 opponent: at Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 5 MVP: DeAndre Hopkins continues to be a lone bright spot in the otherwise awful Texans season. The wide receiver logged 169 yards on 11 catches, which is especially impressive considering he's got Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer as his quarterbacks.
One thing to know: Thursday's loss to 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck, who was also 'literally on his death bed', says it all about this season.
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