We are what used to be a quarter of the way through the season for all 32 NFL teams, but in the land of 17 games in a regular season the math is a bit more awkward.
Each squad has played four games to this point which means we have a relatively solid idea as to who they are and who they are not. Thankfully the Dallas Cowboys look like contenders, but what about the rest of the league?
Welcome to our Week 5 edition of power rankings where we tell you how each team is stacking up and also how the rest of the national media is viewing America’s Team at the moment.
You can visit our rankings from last week right here. Let’s begin.
1 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 3)
We have a new number one. The Cardinals look like the most well-rounded team in the NFL right now. Kyler Murray would win MVP if the season ended today. That is one Cowboys game that looks like it will be very difficult.
2 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 2)
They won, but they haven’t shown a high level of authority in a few weeks. There is no doubt that they are still elite, but they need to re-find themselves.
3 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 4)
Is this the best defense in the NFL? It seems like it.
4 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 1)
It is certainly troublesome that they got pushed around by one of their division rivals.
5 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 6)
They are the highest-ranked 2-2 team, but their résumé speaks for itself. Seeing how they fare on Sunday night against Buffalo will be very interesting.
6 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 7)
Speaking of! The Bills have been able to play a few tomato cans lately in Miami, Washington, and Houston. You can only play who is on your schedule, but a game against the Chiefs is the perfect opportunity to say they are for real.
7 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 8)
Inching closer and closer to the top, the Cowboys appear to be extremely well-rounded. They should get to the bye with a 5-1 record and are so far doing all of the things that they “should be” doing which is encouraging.
8 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 9)
They flirted with making Monday night a little bit interesting, but at the end of the day they are 3-1, 2-0 in division, and have a game up on the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. It might finally be happening for the Chargers.
9 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 10)
Time will tell just how back they really are, but as of now they look like one of the top teams in the NFC.
10 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 5)
Monday night was not encouraging, but it shouldn’t be overreacted to. The Raiders are still a solid squad and should bounce back against Denver this week.
11 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 12)
Nobody grinds out wins like the Ravens do and thankfully because of them people are starting to see that the Broncos may not exactly have been a tried and true undefeated team. Baltimore can win a number of ways.
12 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 16)
The win on Sunday was impressive, but this is still a team that has blown some leads late. Up next is a Rams game on a short week that will seriously impact the NFC West.
13 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 14)
The Panthers may have lost, but I don’t think any of us here believe that they are not a good football team. They should make the playoffs this year.
14 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 13)
Will Trey Lance save their offense? In theory it makes sense, but we need to see it first.
15 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 19)
Their 3-1 record doesn’t feel as strong as others’, but they are certainly in the mix as far as playoff teams are going to be concerned. All hail Joe Burrow.
16 - Denver Broncos (LW: 17)
The descent has begun.
17 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 15)
Just when you think you can believe in a team they go on out and lose to the New York Giants.
18 - New England Patriots (LW: 21)
Mac Jones really impressed on Sunday night and the Patriots are clearly headed in the right direction overall. But who they are this season is likely not too great of a squad.
19 - Chicago Bears (LW: 26)
I’ve long been a believer in Justin Fields so it was nice to see the Bears win under his guidance, however, Matt Nagy might be the most dysfunctional head coach in the NFL right now. This is going to continue to be a rocky ride.
20 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 11)
They lost to the Jets. TO THE JETS.
21 - Washington Football Team (LW: 23)
A win is a win and the Football Team managed to get it done in Atlanta. Could they be the second-best team in the division?
22 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 18)
They seem better than a 1-3 record would indicate, but at this point the season is starting to get away from them. Detroit this week should be a win, but then they are at Carolina before their bye and host the Cowboys after that.
23 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 28)
There is no player in the NFL that makes watching football feel as painful as Carson Wentz does.
24 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 20)
Oftentimes teams make the mistake of just trying to pick up where they left off year to year. The Steelers clearly did this in 2021 and are now paying the consequences. Big Ben looks like he doesn’t have any idea what is going on.
25 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 22)
At a certain point all of the tanking and draft picks have to yield results. It is fair to say that Miami is down their starting quarterback, but they are at the point in their process where they need some substance.
26 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 24)
There is hardly any shame in losing to the Chiefs, but the Eagles are in some hot water right now. Nick Sirianni got shy on a fourth down early in the game that could have set the tone in the right way and backed down from the challenge. Oh well!
27 - New York Giants (LW: 30)
For the first time since Week 9 of 2015 all three New York teams (including the Giants and Jets) won. But there won’t be any streak for the Giants given who they visit this week.
28 - New York Jets (LW: 32)
It was good to see Robert Saleh’s squad get a win, but it feels like it is going to be a rarity this season for them.
29 - Detroit Lions (LW: 25)
Early this season the Lions had some performances that made you feel like they weren’t the worst team in the NFL. This was not one of those.
30 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 27)
It turns out Dan Quinn wasn’t the only problem there.
31 - Houston Texans (LW: 29)
They are starting to turn into who many thought they would be.
32 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 31)
A predictable disaster under Urban Meyer.
Updated to reflect rankings from around the internet.
NFL.com: 6 (LW: 14)
People are starting to pay attention.
The explosive Cowboys offense has garnered much of the headlines in the early going, but the biggest breakout star is playing on the other side of the ball. Cornerback Trevon Diggs is up to five interceptions on the season after two Sam Darnold picks helped produce 10 Dallas points in a 36-28 win over the Panthers at Jerrah World. The 23-year-old became the first Cowboy since the merger to record an interception in each of the first four games of a season. Carolina got back into the game in the fourth quarter — a portion of the game Diggs watched from the sideline with what the team termed “tightness in his back.” The young playmaker’s presence on the field has quickly become essential.
ESPN: 8 (LW: 14)
A big jump from the worldwide leader. They also named a biggest surprise for each team.
Biggest surprise: Defensive takeaways
Why it’s a surprise: The Cowboys have 10 takeaways in four games, which is second in the league and the best in the NFC. How did this happen? They did not record their 10th takeaway a year ago until the 11th game of the season. It helps that Trevon Diggs is having a breakout season with five interceptions in the first four games. The last Cowboy cornerback to have five interceptions in a season was Terence Newman in 2010. The defense still has some faults, but if it can continue to get takeaways, that will give an offense that is rolling more possessions. Right now, the Cowboys have a perfect feel for complementary football. — Todd Archer
USA Today: 5 (LW: 8)
The top five!
QB Dak Prescott received copious credit last year for carrying this team early. He’s getting it again now, even though Dallas’ three-game win streak has largely been built on opportunistic defense (NFC-high 10 takeaways) and a ground game that’s produced at least 150 yards in three successive weeks for the first time in four years.
Yahoo: 7 (LW: 15)
Everybody is high on the Cowboys. There is even an admission of guilt here!
Yeah, it’s time to move the Cowboys way up after being a little stubborn on them. Young players like Trevon Diggs and Micah Parsons have made a big difference to the defense. I have no idea how you slow down the offense when Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard are running it this well. This is a really good team.
CBS Sports: 8 (LW: 16)
Quite the jump.
After losing their opener on the road, they have really come on strong. The biggest surprise is how well the defense is playing for coordinator Dan Quinn.
Sports Illustrated: 10 (LW: 13)
The lowest ranking of the bunch.
When Dallas hung with the defending champion Bucs in the season opener, we were, fairly so, wary of calling the loss a moral victory. But since then, the Cowboys have proved they’re a team worthy of our praise. And unlike last year, when Dak Prescott was putting up massive passing numbers before his season-ending injury because he had to, this is a pretty balanced team that put together another convincing win against the previously undefeated Panthers.
Sporting News: 8 (LW: 13)
Number eight is a popular spot this week.
The Cowboys are feeling it with Dak Prescott. He’s locked into the offense and getting plenty of help from Ezekiel Elliott. The defense still has its share of holes but Trevon Diggs and Micah Parsons continue to be game-changers.