We're a full week into the second quarter of the 2011 NFL season and week five is complete. The Detroit Lions won Monday night in a rather ugly affair, but it was enough to join the Green Bay Packers as one of only two undefeated teams in the league. The 1972 Miami Dolphins get to wait at least one more week before uncorking the champagne. Hopefully the 49ers can contribute to the cause.
The three biggest wins this past week belong to the Buffalo Bills, the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers. The Bills took down the dream/nightmare team, the Philadelphia Eagles 31-24. They made no move in this ranking because I did not elect to drop them after last week's tough loss in Cincinnati. That was due in part to other teams losing around them, but also due to the fact that I still felt they were likely for really. The win over Philly reaffirmed that belief.
The Bay Area had a big day on Sunday with the Oakland Raiders "Winning one for Al" as they won a day after their legendary owner passed away. More importantly for 2011, it was a key road win over the Houston Texans. The Raiders remain in the thick of the AFC playoff picture, and inspired play in the coming weeks could make them a serious wildcard the rest of the season. Talent has to execute, but with a "cause" of sorts to play for now, they are a very intriguing team. I've got them higher than many people, but there's something about this team in which I really believe.
The San Francisco 49ers had the biggest win this week in terms of deficit as they demolished the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48-3. They are just behind the Pittsburgh Steelers as biggest movers of the week. You can debate the value of the wins in comparison to each other, but both the 49ers and Steelers showed something this week. The 49ers have another big test this week as they travel to Detroit to face the Lions. We could learn a whole lot more about this team in six days.
The bottom of the rankings don't see a whole lot of change. The Rams and Dolphins were both on bye as they look to regroup and figure out what comes next. The Colts managed to find a way to lose to the Chiefs and secured the bottom spot in their continuing bid for the number one draft pick. Last week's cellar-dwellar, the Minnesota Vikings, came up with a dominant victory over the Arizona Cardinals. It's not so much that they're any good, but a big margin of victory counts for something.
1. (1) Green Bay Packers (5-0)
2. (2) Detroit Lions (5-0)
3. (3) New England Patriots (4-1)
4. (4) New Orleans Saints (4-1)
5. (5) Buffalo Bills (4-1)
6. (7) Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
7. (10) San Diego Chargers (4-1)
8. (11) Oakland Raiders (3-2)
9. (12) Washington Redskins (3-1)
10. (16) San Francisco 49ers (4-1)
11. (6) Houston Texans (3-2)
12. (15) Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
13. (13) Atlanta Falcons (2-3)
14. (8) New York Giants (3-2)
15. (14) Tennessee Titans (3-2)
16. (9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2)
17. (25) Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2)
18. (17) Chicago Bears (2-3)
19. (23) Cincinnati Bengals (3-2)
20. (19) Cleveland Browns (2-2)
21. (20) New York Jets (2-3)
22. (22) Carolina Panthers (1-4)
23. (28) Seattle Seahawks (2-3)
24. (18) Philadelphia Eagles (1-4)
25. (24) Denver Broncos (1-4)
26. (21) Arizona Cardinals (1-4)
27. (27) Kansas City Chiefs (2-3)
28. (26) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4)
29. (32) Minnesota Vikings (1-4)
30. (29) Miami Dolphins (0-4)
31. (30) St. Louis Rams (0-4)
32. (31) Indianapolis Colts (0-5)