Every Tuesday during the NFL season, Colin puts out his Herd Hierarchy NFL power rankings, and there’s plenty of movement after Week 6.
This week, the Steelers and Vikings move back into the Top 10; the Saints make their first appearance of the year; the Packers and the Cowboys drop out; and there’s a new #1.
Here are his Top 10 teams after Week 6:
10. Los Angeles Rams – The Rams won on the road in Jacksonville, but Colin still drops them in the ranking because they’ve become inconsistent on 3rd downs and in the red zone.
They still lead the NFL in Scoring Offense (29.8 ppg), are 4-0 when scoring 21 or more points – 0-2 with 20 or fewer – and have 7 different defensive players with multiple sacks (most in the NFL). Jared Goff has struggled his last 2 games, completing just 48.5% of his passes for barely 6 yards/pass with 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions and a passer rating of 60.4. The Rams as strong a 10th ranked team as Colin has had in his rankings. He wouldn’t be surprised to see them move up as the season progresses.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers sneak back into the hierarchy a week after their disastrous loss to the Jags. Colin isn’t as high on Pittsburgh as some, but they have the 2nd most sacks in the NFL (20), and have averaged 397.0 YPG over their last 3 games after averaging just 302.3 YPG over their 1st 3. They’re starting to lean on Le’veon Bell, who’s had 2 games of 30+ carries and 150+ rushing in two of his last 3.
Colin still doesn’t like the drama, and that they look like a different team on the road, but good enough for 9.
8. Minnesota Vikings – Minnesota can’t catch a break with injuries, but they’re defense has been overwhelming. They’re the only team ranked in the Top 5 in 3rd down defense (25.0%, 1st) and red zone defense (37.5%, 4th). They’re also the only team in the NFC ranked in the Top 5 in scoring defense (17.2, 5th) and total defense (295.5, 5th).
With Dalvin Cook out for the year, they’ve still been able to run the ball with Jerick McKinnon, who’s averaged 21.5 touches, and 122.5 ypg, to go along with 3 TD’s since Week 5. Colin loves the roster and thinks they’ll still be a playoff team with Case Keenum, despite all their injuries.
7. Denver Broncos – The Broncos drop down after getting manhandled by a struggling Giants team on Sunday Night. Denver’s defense is allowing the 2nd fewest yards per play in the NFL, but they’ve lost both games when they’ve allowed more than 21 points. Trevor Siemian has limitations, hasn’t played well on the road, and isn’t going to win any shootouts.
In their 3 wins, Broncos average 35.7 rushes per game and 153.7 ypg. In their 2 losses, 20 rushes per game and 78.5 ypg. Denver is solid but still has offensive limitations.
6. Carolina Panthers – Colin still likes the Panthers at 6, even though Cam Newton hasn’t played well at home, where he’s 1-2 with a 59.1 completion %, 1 touchdown, 6 interceptions, and a 55.6 passer rating. Away from home he’s 3-0 and completing 71.3% of his passes with 8 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and a 122.9 passer rating.
The Panthers defense also hasn’t intercepted a pass in 4 games while allowing 10 passing touchdowns and an opposing quarterback passer rating of 111.1. They’re also allowing 29 points per game in that span. Even if Cam is inconsistent, Colin still likes the Panthers.
5. New Orleans Saints – The Saints make their first appearance of the year at 5 after winning three in a row. The New Orleans defense has been a joke in years past, but they’ve got 9 takeaways in their last 3 games, and allowing less than 5 yards a play during that stretch.
They’ve also committed to the run, averaging 30.6 rushing attempts, 142.7 yards pergame,with 3 touchdowns during the streak. Drew Brees can still get it done, and finally it looks like he has some help.
4. New England Patriots – The Patriots 4 different players with 20+ catches and 300+ receiving yards is the most in the NFL, and last week was the first week since Week 17, last year, that Tom Brady wasn’t sacked.
Despite having allowed at least 400 yards in all 6 games, and becoming the only team in NFL history to allow a 300-yard passer in their first 6 games, the Patriots have allowed less than 20 points in each of their last 2. Belichick will coach up the defense as the season progresses, but they still don’t have a pass rush. Still good enough for 6.
3. Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks have forced 7 Turnovers over their last 2 games (2-0 in those games), and have the best red zone Defense (23.1%) in the NFL. Russell Wilson has been running for his life – only Carson Palmer has taken more hits this year – but he’s completing 50% of his passes when pressured.
Colin still loves Wilson, Pete Carroll and their organizational structure. They always play fast and physical.
2. Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs drop out of the top spot after several weeks following a disappointing loss to the Steelers, where many of the flaws some said had disappeared, reappeared. They’re still 2nd in total offense (387.0 ypg), and 4th in rushing offense (134.8 ypg). Alex Smith is first in completion percentage (72.9), and third in passing yards per game (272.8). Star rookie Kareem Hunt leads the league in rushing yards (630), and scrimmage yards per game (147.5).
The Chiefs have the best overall roster in the NFL, but can Smith get it done when the weather gets cold and the playoffs start? Colin will believe it when he sees sit.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Colin picked them to win the NFC East, and the Eagles look better than even he expected. They’re the only team in NFL ranking in the Top 5 in rushing offense and defense, and lead the league in rushing defense (65.7 ypg) and 3rd down offense. Offensively, they lead the NFL in time of possession, 3rd down conversion percentage (50.6%), and Carson Wentz’s 13 passing touchdowns are tied for second most in the NFL.
Colin thinks Wentz has superstar potential, and he loves the Eagles up front on both sides of the ball. The Eagles are for real and grab the top spot.