Week 6 NFL Power Rankings: Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets Flying High

October 12th, 2010 – by Bryan Cross

Five weeks through the 2010 NFL Season and there are no longer any unbeaten teams following the Indianapolis Colts victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs entered the game as the surprise last undefeated team, and couldn’t muster enough offense to get by the Colts despite a valiant effort defensively.

Looking at this week’s power rankings there are some changes at the top, with several teams in top-10 from Week five dropping games (New Orleans, Green Bay, Kansas City, Houston). Additionally, the Cowboys are now 1-4 and the Vikings each 1-3 on the year, as hardly anyone predicted this type of start for either of two of the preseason favorites to compete for the NFC.

Games are not won on paper however, and neither Minnesota of Dallas have got it done on the field. The same cannot be said for the Baltimore Ravens or the New York Jets, as each continue to win, with the Ravens continuing to hold down the top spot in the Sixth Week of the 2010 NFL Power Rankings.

#1 – Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens defeated the Denver Broncos this past weekend 31-17, and moved to 4-1 on the year. Both offensively and defensively no team in the NFL is playing more complete football. Running back Ray Rice finally got it going with over 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns against the Broncos. Ray Lewis and the Raven defense continue to make big plays, and there are little signs that point to Baltimore going on the decline anytime soon. They get a tough match up in Week six in New England however, with the Patriots coming off of a bye week. NFL betting odds have the Patriots installed as a three-point favorite at home. Also, look for Ed Reed to come back in week 7 when he’s eligible to return from the PUP list.

#2 – Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons took to the road this past Sunday and got a 20-10 win over Cleveland, despite a slow start to the first half. Running back Michael Turner rushed for 140 yards, while quarterback Matt Ryan was not overly impressive. The play of the game was by Falcon defensive lineman Kroy Biermann, who stamped his claim for interception of the week when he deflected a pass in the air, dove to catch it, and then ran it back 40 yards for the touchdown that sealed the victory for now 4-1 Atlanta. The week 6 NFL schedule shows the Falcons traveling to Philadelphia this week to take on the Eagles in a potential match up with former quarterback Michael Vick… if he can come back from injury. The lines for this game are currently off, and will probably hinge on the playing status of Vick.

#3 – New York Jets

The Jets have reeled off four-straight wins since the opening night loss to Baltimore on Monday Night Football, and have been rolling. Monday night against Minnesota it was a battle against the Vikings and the weather, but a late interception returned for a touchdown ensured that the home crowd would go home satisfied. The game ball might have to go to place kicker Nick Folk, who knocked through five field goals for the Jets on the night in the sloppy conditions. New york visits Denver this week, with the betting lines currently off.

#4 – Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a week off, as they get ready for the return of starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger this week. Roethlisberger has served his four-game suspension for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Code and will get the start against Cleveland at home. The Steelers went 3-1 in Roethlisberger’s absence, as the defense has been dominant, led by safety Troy Polamalu. Now, head coach Mike Tomlin hopes that Roethlisberger’s return will only continue the positive start through five weeks. The Steelers are set as a two-touchdown favorite on Bodog Sportsbook to defeat the Browns at home.

#5 – New England Patriots

Like the team above, the Patriots also had a Bye in Week 5. The Patriots will take the field against Baltimore on Sunday without receiver Randy Moss, who was traded to the Vikings. New England went out and signed former receiver Deion Branch, who was a Super Bowl MVP for them in the past. Branch will come in and try and fill part of the large void left by Moss, and the organization is hoping that the chemistry that-was between the receiver and quarterback Tom Brady will reappear. The Patriots get the Ravens at home and are installed as a three-point home favorite on USA Online Sportsbooks.

#6 – Indianapolis Colts

Even at 3-2, the Indianapolis Colts are one of the better football teams in the NFL. The Colts knocked off undefeated Kansas City on Sunday, despite an underwhelming performance by quarterback Peyton Manning and the offense. Manning seemed out-of-sync with his receivers, missing on several passes that normally are completed. It doesn’t happen often though and defenses should not get used to that. The Colts face Washington this week, and are set as a three-point favorite on the road according to the NFL Week 6 Betting Lines.

#7 – New Orleans Saints

One thing is for sure, the Saints are not the team that they were last year scoring 30-plus points per game. The loss against Arizona was not expected, but New Orleans is still of top-10 caliber. Every team in the NFL has at least one loss, and even though the Saints have two, they are better than most. Quarterback Drew Brees and the offense will get things rolling, they just have to limit the mistakes that has plagued them through the first five weeks. The Saints get a critical NFC South division match up with Tampa Bay on Sunday, with the Saints set as a five-point favorite.

#8 – New York Giants

The New York Giants have dominated their last two opponents en route to run away victories. Sunday’s 34-10 thrashing of Houston was the latest in the revamped Giants morale after the team seemed to be soul searching not three weeks prior. New weeks breed new opportunities though, and the Giants have taken advantage of those. New York gets Detroit this week, and betting lines have the Giants as 10.5-point favorite at home.

#9 – Chicago Bears

Aside from the offensive line fiasco a couple of weeks ago against the Giants, the Chicago Bears haven’t look half bad. In fact, their 4-1 record would indicate that they are among the top-tier in the 2010 NFL Season, which is why they get the nod into the top-10. Some still can’t get over how bad they look against the Giants however. This week it can be overlooked. The Bears defeated Carolina 23-6 this past Sunday and will face Seattle at home this week where they are set as a touchdown favorite.

#10 – Green Bay Packers

The Packers have not yet lived up to the huge expectations that were set before them this season, but both sides of the ball have elite talent. Linebacker Clay Matthews is playing as well as anyone on defense. Injuries to quarterback Aaron Rodgers and rookie tight end Jermichael Finley are the latest in the line of Packers to join the NFL Injury Report. Green Bay has been plagued with injuries this season, and none has been more apparent than losing Ryan Grant in week one. Still, Green Bay is good, and have the potential to be really good. The Packers get the Dolphins at home this week, where the betting line for this one is currently off. Once Rodgers status becomes more clear, odds should be posted.

11. Washington Redskins

12. Tennessee Titans

13. Houston Texans

14. Kansas City Chiefs

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

16. Philadelphia Eagles

17. Miami Dolphins

18. San Diego Chargers

19. Minnesota Vikings

20. Cincinnati Bengals

21. Jacksonville Jaguars

22. Arizona Cardinals

23. Denver Broncos

24. Dallas Cowboys

25. Oakland Raiders

26. Seattle Seahawks

27. Detroit Lions

28. St. Louis Rams

29. San Francisco 49ers

30. Cleveland Browns

31. Carolina Panthers

32. Buffalo Bills

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