• Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

2022-23 NFL Power Rankings: Week 5

BySean Clark

Oct 6, 2022

While true revenge comes in the postseason, it is always satisfying to get revenge for a previous failure over the course of a long 17-game season. This past weekend during Week 4 of the NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers got revenge for previous postseason elimination at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams respectively. Patrick Mahomes dazzled with backyard football trickery and led an efficient performance in Kansas City’s 41-31 win at Tampa Bay while the 49ers defense beat up the Rams offense in their 24-9 win on Monday.

Here are my top 10 NFL teams heading into Week 5, the last week before the bye weeks begin.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)

Previous Ranking: N/A

Well, well, well. Look who crawled back into the rankings after a disappointing start to the season.

The defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals have found their footing with a two-game winning streak following brutal losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys. After defeating the New York Jets 27-12, the Bengals took on the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. Cincinnati pulled away to beat the Dolphins 27-15 after Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was knocked out with a concussion. Tee Higgins balled out after returning from a concussion of his own with 124 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions. The Bengals will be tested on Sunday Night Football as they prepare from their first of two battles with the Baltimore Ravens.

9. Baltimore Ravens (2-2)

Previous Ranking: 7

Speaking of the Ravens, they are going to be very frustrated when facing the Bengals after blowing another double-digit lead against a AFC East foe (first four games were against that entire division). Against the Buffalo Bills, the Ravens blew a 20-3 lead, only for the offense to be shut out in the second half, throw an interception in the endzone and let Josh Allen work his magic. The Bills won 23-20 on a last-second Tyler Bass field goal, leading the Ravens to their second home defeat of the season despite trailing for only 14 seconds this entire season. Baltimore has shown they can compete with the best but struggle to close the deal with questionable decision making and woeful secondary play. They need to bounce back on Sunday against Cincinnati if they are to prove they are contenders in the AFC.

8. Minnesota Vikings (3-1)

Previous Ranking: 10

As is typical when the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints face off, chaos reigned supreme in a back-and-forth affair during the first London game of the 2022-23 NFL season. Justin Jefferson re-emerged after being shut down by Darius Slay and Jeff Okudah in their last two games by cooking Marshon Lattimore for 147 yards on 10 receptions. Kicker Greg Joseph made five field goals and the Saints game-tying field goal attempt double-doinked off the uprights, allowing the Vikings to escape with a 28-25 victory. Minnesota remains atop the NFC North and will attempt to sweep their three divisional home games on Sunday as they host the 2-2 Chicago Bears.

7. Dallas Cowboys (3-1)

Previous Ranking: N/A

This is not a team I ever expected to have in my rankings this season, especially after Week 1 when Dak Prescott suffered a hand injury that would sideline him for a few weeks.

Alas, the last three weeks have been Cooper Rush season in Dallas as the backup QB has stepped in admirably to lead the Cowboys to a three-game winning streak. He is now 4-0 as a starting QB in the NFL and on Sunday, he tossed two scores against the Washington Commanders in the 25-10 win. The pass rushing unit has become of the best in the NFL with the team being tied with the 49ers for the second most sacks in the NFL (15). Dallas hopes to continue this momentum as they head to Los Angeles for a showdown with the Rams on Sunday, a team with a depleted offensive line.

6. Miami Dolphins (3-1)

Previous Ranking: 3

While Tua Tagovailoa will be out for the time being, that’s not a justification to bury the Dolphins just yet. Teddy Bridgewater is one of the best backup QBs in the NFL and should be able to guide the Dolphins offense to success. In 2.5 quarters, a mostly unprepared Bridgewater threw for 193 yards a touchdown to keep the Dolphins in the game, including this bomb to Tyreek Hill.

Miami still has enough talent on the roster to keep winning without Tua (please get well and the Dolphins need to fire their entire training staff). They’ll have a chance to do so on Sunday as they will face the New York Jets, who are 2-2 after winning at Pittsburgh last Sunday.

5. San Francisco 49ers (2-2)

Previous Ranking: N/A

The first three weeks to the season were rough for the San Francisco 49ers. They lost an ugly game at Chicago, lost their long-term QB project Trey Lance for the season and put up a stinker of a performance on offense in a 11-10 loss at Denver. Luckily, facing the Rams, who beat them in last season’s NFC Championship game, was just what the doctor ordered to get the season back on track. The ferocious pass rush terrorized Matthew Stafford for seven sacks and Deebo Samuel showed why he is one of the best players in the NFL with a highlight-reel touchdown in the second quarter.

With Jimmy Garoppolo back in rhythm with the offense, the 49ers look to get above .500 for the first time this season as they face the struggling Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Charlotte.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2)

Previous Ranking: 5

I get that Tampa Bay lost two games at home in a row, but they came in games where the entire receiving corp was injured and Patrick Mahomes put on an other-worldly display of talent. Seriously, look at this play and tell me how you stop this.

Tom Brady had the support of three measly rushing yards, yet still threw for 385 yards and three touchdowns, showing that he is still in top form despite being 45-years old and going through a divorce. The defense is not going to get shredded like that again the rest of the season and will take control of the division, starting with a game on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, who remain winless against Brady.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (3-1)

Previous Ranking: 4

As mentioned above, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense put on a dazzling display against an elite Buccaneers display, clearly focused on getting payback not only for the loss in Super Bowl 55, but also the brutal 20-17 loss at Indianapolis last week. On top of the incredible plays Mahomes made, the Chiefs rushed for 189 yards as a team, which will make them even tougher to stop if that trend continues going forward. Andy Reid and the Chiefs are rolling once again and maintain supremacy in the AFC West. They can further assert this on Monday Night Football as they welcome the Las Vegas Raiders to town.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (4-0)

Previous Ranking: 2

The Philadelphia Eagles are the last unbeaten team in the NFL, a fact that got tested on Sunday as the Jacksonville Jaguars, led by former Philly coach Doug Pederson, jumped out to a 14-0 lead.

However, the Eagles showed resolve and toughness in the pouring rain as Philly used the running game and defense to rally. Miles Sanders exploded for one of his best career games with 134 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries, contributing to a 210-yard rushing performance by the Eagles offense. The defense sacked Trevor Lawrence four times and forced four fumbles in the comeback 29-21 win. Philly is 4-0 and will hit the road once again, where they will face the Arizona Cardinals in the desert. The Eagles have not won at Arizona since 2001, five years before State Farm Stadium opened.

1. Buffalo Bills (3-1)

Previous Ranking: 1

Even with an explosive offense and a superstar QB, sometimes you have to win ugly.

That is exactly what the Bills accomplished on Sunday as they rallied from a 20-3 deficit at Baltimore to win 23-20. In rainy conditions, the Bills used screens and Josh Allen tough runs to push their offense into scoring positions. Defensively, a healthier unit had a fantastic goal-line stand in the fourth quarter, intercepting Lamar Jackson in the endzone after an eight-minute drive by the Ravens. This led to the game-winning field goal drive on the proceeding drive. The Bills are continuing to get key players back as on Sunday, they will face the Steelers, who will be starting rookie QB Kenny Pickett for the first time in his NFL career.