Week 5 NFL Power Rankings: Thanksgiving Looks Appetizing

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 02: Running back Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans stretches between possessions during a football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Reliant Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

SB Nation Houston's weekly NFL power rankings.

After four weeks, I think the storyline, besides quarterback play and big comebacks, has to be that the good teams keep winning and the bad teams keep losing. There are some 2-2 teams, but it feels like there’s a pretty clean line in the sand about who is on top of the always-important rankings of power and who has many questions to answer before the season becomes a lost cause.

As always, and by always I mean three weeks, I look at record first with a nod to head-to-head meetings and who is winning more impressively. In other words, 3-1 is better than 2-2. Always. You what your record says you are.

1. Green Bay Packers (4-0) – Aaron Rodgers is playing quarterback on a whole different level than everyone else. Even if you have questions about the Green Bay defense, who can stop Rodgers and his merry band of receivers?

2. Detroit Lions (4-0) - Will there be any better environment next week than Monday Night Football's return to Detroit?

3. New Orleans Saints (3-1) – I never thought I’d say this, but Gregg Williams’ defense is going to get quite the test from young Cam Newton’s travelling bomb show.

4. Baltimore Ravens (3-1) – The defense carries them to the fourth spot. The offense, specifically the passing game, has tons of questions after Sunday’s struggles.

5. New England Patriots (3-1) – Fantasy advice: Rob Gronkowski will have a big bounceback game on Sunday. I’d bet on it.

6. Houston Texans (3-1) – Interesting fact: Arian Foster has rushed for 125+ yards in 6 of his last 18 games. That’s impressive.

7. Buffalo Bills (3-1) - Was Sunday's game (their third straight game decided on the last drive) a sign of things to come or a bump in the road?

8. New York Giants (3-1) – The Giants are probably the quietest 3-1 team in the league, but Tom Coughlin probably enjoys that kind of anonymity in New York for once.

9. San Diego Chargers (3-1) – Bad news for the AFC: It’s October and the Chargers are 3-1. Traditionally, this is when the Chargers begin to hit their stride.  

10. Tennessee Titans (3-1) – Has their defense shutdown anyone of note? No. Does it matter? Not with the schedule they have. There are no apologies in winning.  

11. San Francisco49ers (3-1) – Hats off to Jim Harbaugh for getting this team to 3-1. They haven’t looked great, but Alex Smith showed, once again, that he plays best in a hurry-up spread offense that the Niners had to move to when Philly went up big.

12. Washington Redskins (3-1) – Every win for Washington is another step in the direction for proving Rex Grossman right. He should thank the defense though as they have looked great.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) – LeGarrette Blount doesn’t get enough credit for being a brutish, physical runner. The man is hard to bring down and is what makes Tampa’s offense, in my mind.

14. Chicago Bears (2-2) – Matt Forte doesn’t get enough credit for being the kind of offensive weapon he is. Forte’s averaging 158.5 yards per game from scrimmage. That’s kind of good.  

15. Oakland Raiders (2-2) – Allowing 6.1 yards per carry to New England is not a good sign when Arian Foster’s on the on-deck circle.

16. New York Jets (2-2) – Could it get worse for Rex Ryan’s boys after Sunday’s embarrassment? A loss to New England would really send the media into a panicstorm.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) – This team’s problem (in the trenches) really can’t be fixed mid-season.  

18. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) – For now, the Bengals are surprises. No one thought they’d be this good, this early. There’s a bright future in Cincinnati.

19. Atlanta Falcons (2-2) – 28 points to Seattle? Really?

20. Dallas Cowboys (2-2) – I could put all the blame on Tony Romo or I could put it on Rob Ryan for angering Calvin Johnson with his comments and not being able to cover him in the red zone.

21. Cleveland Browns (2-2) – They’re only a game back of Baltimore, but Sunday’s game doesn’t inspire confidence...especially since their defense is supposed to be streets ahead of their offense.  

22. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) – Michael Vick seemed angry after Sunday’s game, but that was a career game for him. The problem seems to lie on the defensive side where all that talent isn’t gelling right.

23. Carolina Panthers (1-3) – Even though their defense has been struggling, color me interested to see the chess match between Cam Newton and Gregg Williams.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) – I wonder how this team would be doing with David Garrard as quarterback.

25. Denver Broncos (1-3) – A beatdown in Wisconsin kind of erase those good feelings, but former Minnesota Gopher Eric Decker has been fantastic so far.

26. Arizona Cardinals (1-3) – Three weeks, three close losses by four points or less. Arizona has to find four points fast or San Francisco will run away with the division.

27. Seattle Seahawks (1-3) – If you’re Seattle, you have to hope Sunday’s game was a good momentum starter. You have to hope because otherwise it’ll be a long season.

28. Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) - The win was nice, but has Todd Haley's act gotten old?

29. Indianapolis Colts (0-4) – Curtis Painter-to-Pierre Garcon can give the offense a fighting chance. Injuries along the trenched will not.

30. St. Louis Rams (0-4) – Did not see this coming at all.

31. Minnesota Vikings (0-4) – They finally didn’t blow a lead in the second half, but Kansas City pretty much had control of the game. Is it time to Ponder about the future?

32. Miami Dolphins (0-4) – Going back to last season, Miami’s lost seven straight. If any team needs to get Lucky, it's this one. 

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