Every Tuesday during the NFL season, Colin puts out his Herd Hierarchy NFL power rankings, and there’s plenty of movement after Week 5.
This week, the Lions and Bills drop out; the Falcons sneak back in; and Cam and the Panthers skyrocket up the board after back-to-back impressive wins.
Here are his Top 10 teams after Week 5:
10. Seattle Seahawks – Seattle’s o-line has been a mess, and only Carson Palmer has been pressured more than Russell Wilson, but they still have the league’s top rated red zone defense, and are holding opposing quarterbacks to the lowest passing rating in the NFC. Elite QB, coach and defense gets them in at 10.
9. Atlanta Falcons – Colin still has his doubts about Atlanta and has said they would pull back from their dominant Super Bowl form of last year. So far, Matt Ryan has thrown 5 picks through 5 weeks. He didn’t throw his fifth pick until Week 10 last year. Devonta Freeman is tied for the league lead in rushing touchdowns, but Atlanta is 28th in turnover differential. Atlanta’s good not great.
8. Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys have averaged 424 yards per game over their last two, but have 5 giveaways in those games and lost both. Colin doesn’t love their receiving corps, but likes that they are getting to opposing quarterbacks. They’re 3rd in the NFL in QB pressures and Demarcus Lawrence leads the NFL in sacks. Even though they’ve dropped a couple in a row, Colin still likes their key ingredients of quarterback, o-line, running game and coaching. He’s still a buyer on the ‘Boys long term.
7. L.A. Rams –They lead the NFL in plays of 20 or more yards, and have made more trips to the red zone than any team in the NFL. Todd Gurley is 1 of 2 players with 100+ Touches this season, averaging 5 yards per touch. They have a solid o-line, plus QB play, the best d-lineman, punter, and kicker in the league. They can outscore teams, or grind it out. Colin thinks the Rams are the real deal.
6. Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers leads the NFL with 13 passing touchdowns, and Green Bay is scoring touchdowns on almost 80% of their red zone trips, which leads the NFL. They still can’t run the ball, have an inconsistent pass rush, and Colin doesn’t like their secondary, but they still come in at 6 because Rodgers is ridiculous.
5. New England Patriots – New England’s defense has been terrible. They’re allowing the most yards per play, and most points per drive in the NFL. They don’t have a pass rush and their secondary has looked lost for most of the year, but they lead the NFL in passing offense, total offense, and Tom Brady has completed more passes over 20 yards than any quarterback in the league. This all adds up to the Patriots having to win a lot of shootouts. It’ll probably be good enough to make the playoffs, but Colin doesn’t see them in the Super Bowl.
4. Denver Broncos – They’re the only team in the NFL ranked in the Top 3 in rush offense and rush defense, and are allowing the 2nd fewest yards per play in the NFL. Trevor Siemian has been outstanding at home (103.3 passer rating), but will have to better on the road (58.2 passer rating). Colin loves their defense, overall personnel, and thinks if they can clean up their offensive line play and get better play from Siemian away from home, they have a shot to make the Super Bowl.
3. Carolina Panthers – Colin has been critical of Cam Newton and Carolina, but they impressed him in their win against Detroit on Sunday, and have been averaging 400+ yards per game in their last two games. In his last 2, Cam has completed 77% of his passes, with 6 TD’s, 1 INT, and a passer rating of 137.2. Defensively, they lead the NFC in sacks with 17. They were physically dominated Detroit, and their offense has cut down on deep, low percentage throws. Colin thought it was one of the most impressive performances by any team all year, so he moves them way up this week.
2. Philadelphia Eagles – Colin picked the Eagles to win the NFC East to start the year, and five weeks into the season he’s feeling great about that pick. Carson Wentz leads the NFL in yards per pass on 3rd Down (11.04) and has the 2nd best 3rd down passer rating (137.8) in the league. Philly leads the NFL in time of possession (35 min/game), and they’ve found a running game with LeGarrette Blount, who’s averaging 7 yards per rush in his last 3. They also have the best defensive line and offensive line combo in the NFL. Colin may be the most hated man in Philly, but he’s been showing the Eagles love all year.
- Kansas City Chiefs – They lead the NFL in yards per play and points per drive with the most creative and dynamic offensive scheme in the league. Alex Smith has 11 touchdowns without throwing a pick through 5 weeks, and K.C only has 1 giveaway as a team. Rookie Kareem Hunt is the first running back since Adrian Peterson to have 100+ scrimmage yards in his first 5 NFL games. They have the best roster depth in the league, and don’t have a glaring weakness. Chiefs come in at 1 again.