Week 6 NFL Power Rankings: Chicken Little Edition

This is my "I wish we had traded Beason for Hakeem Nicks like the rumors said" face. - Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another crazy week of NFL football in the books. See where the Panthers rank after another soul-crushing defeat, this one to the less-than-stellar Arizona Cardinals...

The last two weeks have destroyed my promising start in the CSR Bloggers Pick 'Em rankings, and I just can't seem to get a handle on who the contenders and pretenders are in the very even middle of the pack. One thing I know for sure, though, is that after feeding us a two-week helping of false hope the Panthers are clearly not even in the conversation.

This week Oakland headlines the top risers with a nice win over division rival San Diego, jumping 7 spots. San Francisco, Cincinnati and Baltimore all followed closely with 6 spot jumps.

Houston and San Diego each dropped 9 spots, Houston by way of a Sunday night beatdown by the Niners and San Diego by taking their medicine from the aforementioned Raiders. Buffalo and Atlanta dropped 6 spots, respectively, narrowly edging the Panthers' 5 spot fall. Lets not kid ourselves though. The Panthers only fell 5 because the cellar iss full and there isn't any deeper to go at the moment.

Without further ado, on to the rankings!

RANK TEAM COMMENT PREV TREND
1 Denver Broncos You can just tell this team believes, because even role-players are looking like superstars right now. They know they are part of something special, and I am going to call it right now: Peyton Manning is going to break every meaningful single-season passing record in the books this year, barring some catastrophic injury of course. 1 SAME
5-0
2 New Orleans Saints The Saints are for real. I can't say this enough: It is amazing to see what a difference a great coach can make to a mediocre team. This team does not look significantly different than last year's squad, except for the man prowling the sidelines. (And standout rookie Kenny Vaccaro of course) 3 UP
5-0
3 Kansas City Chiefs The Chiefs are firing on all cylinders right now. Beating up on the Titans without their starting quarterback isn't all that impressive in itself, but you can't argue with 5-0. 5 UP
5-0
4 Indianapolis Colts I really thought about leapfrogging the Chiefs and putting the Colts in the third spot. Coach Pagano said it best after the game: "This is the most resilient team that I've ever been around." I put my money on Russell Wilson to win this duel and Andrew Luck once again just showed that you should never bet against him. 6 UP
4-1
5 Seattle Seahawks This game lived up to its billing with the Russellness and friends coming up just short in a shootout against another great team. I am not dropping them too far because the 'Hawks will rebound next week against the Fitzpatrick-led Titans. I still believe the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC runs through Seattle. 2 DOWN
4-1
6 San Francisco 49ers The 49ers have been blown out by both of the two teams listed directly above them. They have responded by utterly destroying the Rams and Texans in subsequent weeks. Next week they face off against the Cardinals defense that made us look silly yesterday. It should be a great NFC West matchup. 12 UP
3-2
7 New England Patriots It is hard to fault the Patriots too much for losing a close defensive showdown in heavy rain against a very talented defensive team in Cincinnati. I don't know how they are doing it, but this defense is still looking very stout even after losing Vince Wilfork for the season. Next week's matchup will pit two future first-ballot Hall of Famers against each other in Brady and Brees. The result should answer a lot of questions about both teams. 4 DOWN
4-1
8 Cincinnati Bengals I know, I know, the Bengals just beat the Patriots, so they should be higher, right? Not until Andy Dalton gets his head on right and they show some consistency. The rain yesterday played to the Bengals strengths and the Patriots paid the price, but make no mistake: Brady will take his team farther than Dalton will. Period. 14 UP
3-2
9 Green Bay Packers Ok, so the Packers beat the Lions at Lambeau Field without Megatron in the game. Big whoop. It is a testament to the parity in this league that the Pack is this high, because they are not the dominant force you would normally expect out of a top-10 team. 13 UP
2-2
10 Detroit Lions I had to drop them due to the loss, but they get a mulligan due to playing without Calvin Johnson (who is also my star player in fantasy football *shakes fist*). The injury isn't serious, and I expect Detroit to bounce back next week against Cleveland. 7 DOWN
3-2
11 Baltimore Ravens Nice, gritty win against a surprisingly good Dolphins team. I don't know what to make of the Ravens right now, but I believe they will hang out around this area of the rankings for the majority of the season. They are a talented, well coached team with holes at key positions. 17 UP
3-2
12 Chicago Bears Hooray! I no longer have to give the Bears a top-10 grade! All is right in the world again (you know, except for the atrociousness that is the Carolina Panthers). Da Bears didn't play awful, but were just outplayed by one of the best QBs to ever suit up, so no shame in that, but still... Also: Jeffrey, Alshon. Look him up. 8 DOWN
3-2
13 Miami Dolphins They played the Ravens down to the wire, and are still a very good team. Now they get a week to rest up before the Bills come to town in two weeks. I think they'll bounce back. 9 DOWN
3-2
14 Tennessee Titans Look, Jake Locker is no Drew Brees or Peyton Manning, but he's also no Ryan Fitzpatrick. This offense was just looking to get in synch before Locker's injury and now they are a completely different team. The next two weeks are brutal heading into Seattle next week and then facing San Fran at home before taking their bye. Hopefully Locker will return after the bye and right the ship, as this is a very talented young team. 11 DOWN
3-2
15 Cleveland Browns Brandon Weeden made the most of his second chance, leading the Browns to an unlikely third-straight win. I don't know what Chud is doing up in Cleveland, but its admittedly a lot better looking than what Rivera is doing down here in Carolina. 20 UP
3-2
16 Dallas Cowboys How do you move up two spots by losing? By being the only team to give the untouchable Broncos a scare so far this season. Tony Romo looked fantastic until that late pick, and this was one of the greatest games I have watched in a long time. One man's humble opinion: the Cowboys can phone it in the rest of the season and still win their terrible division and a playoff berth. 18 UP
2-3
17 Arizona Cardinals We'll see where this team stands next week. They've won two straight, but those two were against the awful Bucs and the Santa Claus of the NFL AKA the Carolina Panthers. Oddly enough, veteran and former Pro-Bowler Carson Palmer is the Cards' player showing the least consistency, but if he could regain even a semblance of his poise from his first 5 years in the league this could be a VERY good team. 23 UP
3-2
18 New York Jets Alright now, don't get excited. Geno isn't breaking out just yet. This team is going to go up and down all season, and that's a fact, Jack. 22 UP
3-2
19 Houston Texans I remember as a kid watching a very good Atlanta Braves closer catch the yips. His name was Mark Wohlers, and he went from being able to throw a 101 mph heater to not being able to throw a baseball in the ocean, overnight. He never got his control back and washed out of the majors. Couldn't help but think of that when I watched Matt Schaub this weekend. 10 DOWN
2-3
20 Oakland Raiders I'm going to go ahead and say it. Terrelle Pryor is looking really good so far. He is learning, adapting, and playing very efficient football right now. Denver and Kansas City look to have the AFC West on lockdown, but I could see Oakland playing spoiler for a few playoff hopefulls as the season progresses. 27 UP
2-3
21 St. Louis Rams I'm not getting any warm and fuzzies from these guys beating the Jaguars, as that is basically a gimme game at this point. It'll be interesting to see how their matchup against the reeling Texans goes this weekend in Houston, as both of these teams have fallen far short of high expectations so far this season. 24 UP
2-3
22 Buffalo Bills Losing E.J. Manuel hurts, but the next four games are going to hurt more. The other New York team faces the Bengals at home, followed by two straight road games at Miami and New Orleans, then come back home to face the Chiefs. A promising season could get quickly derailed over that stretch with Jeff Tuel at the helm. 16 DOWN
2-3
23 Philadelphia Eagles I think the loss of Vick could be a blessing in disguise for the Eagles. Nick Foles could develop into a very good quarterback, and looked sharp last week, albeit against a terrible Giants team. 25 UP
2-3
24 San Diego Chargers There's the Philip Rivers we know and love. Tons of yards, great completion percentage, three INTs. Have I told you guys not to trust number 17 yet? I can't remember. 15 DOWN
2-3
25 Atlanta Falcons If I can take any solace from this season, it is that the Falcons are as terrible if not worse than the Panthers. Losing Julio Jones for the year is a bad break for everyone but me, as I have Roddy White AND Tony Gonzalez on my fantasy team and I foresee Matt Ryan and the Tweety Birds playing catchup a LOT. 19 DOWN
1-4
26 Carolina Panthers We're bad, and if you refuse to see it I don't know what else to say. One good note: at this pace, we should be in a position to draft a real difference maker on O-line or at wide receiver in April. 21 DOWN
1-3
27 Washington Redskins Oakland won, so the 'Skins move down over their bye week. Is anyone else wondering if all this hooplah about the team name is now coming up to take attention off of how bad they are? I know the name has been a sensitive issue for a long time, but it just seems like the talk is reaching a fever pitch right when "The Anointed One" begins struggling. 26 DOWN
1-3
28 Minnesota Vikings On paper, the Vikings have just gotten better. Freeman may be no superstar, but I still expect him to be starting sooner rather than later. If nothing else, he has to make defenses respect the pass more than Ponder does, which should open things up for Adrian Peterson. 28 SAME
1-3
29 Pittsburgh Steelers Hopefully Mike Tomlin used the extra week to try to sort out those O-line woes. Here's where he proves he deserves the respect he gets around the league. This is the first real period of adversity he has faced since taking over for Bill Cowher following the 2006 season. 29 SAME
0-4
30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers I'm beginning to wonder if Roger Goodell didn't commission the Bucs to play the NFL's version of Shameless's "Gallagher" family to boost ratings for the beleaguered franchise. Their level of dysfunction is rapidly accelerating to ludicrous speed. 31 UP
0-4
31 New York Giants The good news for the Giants? The Jags need a QB, so even if the G-Men end up with the second pick in the draft they will probably be able to grab Clowney. Let the "Pound me for Clowney" campaign begin! 30 DOWN
0-5
32 Jacksonville Jaguars Last week I asked if it was too soon to start talking about 0-16. The Jaguars answer? A resounding "NO!" 32 SAME
0-5
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