NFL power rankings 2014, Week 6: Cowboys continue climb with 4-1 start

While Denver and Seattle remain at the top, the surging Cowboys are nearing their neighborhood.

While some teams such as the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks remain at the top of the power rankings, preseason afterthoughts like the Dallas Cowboys have come to the forefront. Tony Romo appears recovered from a back injury that knocked him out near the end of 2013, while the defense that many assumed would be the team’s Achilles heal has performed admirably en route to a 4-1 start. This despite losing star middle linebacker Sean Lee before the season even began. Replacement Rolando McClain has returned from his self-imposed early retirement and provided surprisingly competent play.

On the other side, the Cincinnati Bengals fell one spot this week as the result of their deflating loss to the struggling New England Patriots. The Bengals’ defense, chiefly responsible for the team’s undefeated start, fell apart at Gillette Stadium, surrendering 36 points while their special teams allowed another seven via fumble return. Unlike in past years, Andy Dalton actually performed well, which is part of the reason the Bengals haven’t dropped further.

While a road loss for the New York Jets may not have been unexpected, getting shut out by the San Diego Chargers certainly qualifies. The Jets failed to cross midfield until late in the second half, and when they did it was the result of a San Diego penalty. Geno Smith looked thoroughly out of sorts, completing just a third of his passes for an average of 2.3 yards. He was replaced late by Michael Vick, who wasn’t much better. The 14-year veteran completed less than half of his attempts, averaging a slightly better 2.5 yards per pass. Philip Rivers tore apart the New York defense, continuing what might be the quarterback’s first MVP campaign.

The Green Bay Packers put together their second consecutive strong performance and are moving closer to the top of the rankings. So dominant was Green Bay’s offense that the team sat Aaron Rodgers before he could reach the 200-yard mark. Running back Eddie Lacy finally found his rhythm, topping 100 yards for the first time this season. The Teddy Bridgewater-less Minnesota Vikings were dead in the water by halftime.

Here’s a full look at how the sports media outlets ranked the teams after Week 5:

Rk. Team Record SB Nation ESPN NFL.com Football Outsiders Average
1 Seattle Seahawks 3-1 1
2 Denver Broncos 3-1 2
3 San Diego Chargers 3-1 3
4 Cincinnati Bengals 3-1 4
5 Arizona Cardinals 3-1 5
6 San Francisco 49ers 3-2 6
7 Dallas Cowboys 4-1 7
8 Philadelphia Eagles 4-1 8
9 Green Bay Packers 3-2 9
10 Indianapolis Colts 3-2 10
11 Baltimore Ravens 3-2 11
12 Pittsburgh Steelers 3-2 12
13 New England Patriots 3-2 13
14 New York Giants 3-2 14
15 Detroit Lions 3-2 15
16 Carolina Panthers 3-2 16
17 Buffalo Bills 3-2 17
18 Houston Texans 3-2 18
19 Kansas City Chiefs 2-3 19
20 Chicago Bears 2-3 20
21 Cleveland Browns 2-2 21
22 New Orleans Saints 2-3 22
23 Atlanta Falcons 2-3 23
24 Miami Dolphins 2-2 24
25 Minnesota Vikings 2-3 25
26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-3 26
27 New York Jets 1-3 27
28 Washington 1-3 28
29 St. Louis Rams 1-3 29
30 Tennessee Titans 1-3 30
31 Oakland Raiders 0-4 31
32 Jacksonville Jaguars 0-4 32

The four polls we use:

We use four different rankings to compile our weekly average. The idea behind that is to try to get a wider sense of where all 32 teams are being valued with three weeks of play in the books. Our power rankings sources are from our in-house rankingsESPN.com and NFL.com. We also factor in the DVOA rankings from Football Outsiders to add an objective statistical measurement to the formula.

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