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NFL Power Rankings 2015: Week 5

Welcome to the 5th installment of your Canal Street Chronicles Power Rankings! With one quarter of the NFL season done already, the excuses are running out.

Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the 5th installment of your Canal Street Chronicles Power Rankings! With one quarter of the NFL season done already (time flies when you're 1-3, huh), the excuses are running out.  While there is still plenty of time for some teams to change their destiny, I think we are starting to get a good idea of what to expect out of most.

32. Houston Texans (1-3, Previously #29) - The curse of the Hard Knocks?  Nah, just a really bad football team.  They were down 41-0 against Atlanta, before three garbage time TDs.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3, Previously #28) - The Blake Bortles experiment still has time to work out, but it hasn't been all that encouraging, so far.  They couldn't even beat a Matt Hasselbeck led Indianapolis Colts, their upcoming games against Tampa Bay and Houston could be a battle for the #1 pick.

30. Chicago Bears (1-3, Previously #32) - Bad teams occasionally win home games over good teams, it happens.  Jay Cutler occasionally plays like a top 10 NFL quarterback, it also happens.  Those things don't happen consistently, though.

29. New Orleans Saints (1-3, Previously #31) - That win doesn't mean much, but it did feel nice.  Drew Brees was accurate and breaking records, and the defense (sans penalties) played about as good as you could hope.  Next up a trip to Philly to take on the 1-3 Eagles.

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3, Previously #30) - Lost to Carolina at home to fall to 1-3.  The win against the Saints looks more like a fluke with each passing week.  A home game followed up by a bye week may be just what the doctor ordered.

27. Tennessee Titans (1-2, Previously #27) - Tennessee stays chillin' at #27 on their early bye.

26. San Francisco 49ers (1-3, Previously #26) - With each passing week, their offense looks more and more pathetic.  They've had a tough schedule early, but they haven't even been able to make their losses competitive.  A tough schedule and a bad team will have the 49ers picking early in the 2016 draft.

25. Indianapolis Colts (2-2, Previously #22) - They played without Luck... at least the QB.  Luck was on their side, however, that their opponents this week happened to be the Jacksonville Jaguars.  An ugly game between two bad teams, with the most talented man in the stadium watching from the sidelines.  The Colts will probably win their division, but it won't be because they are a good football team.  Their two wins are by a total of 5 points to two of the worst teams in the NFL, nothing to get too excited about.

24. Cleveland Browns (1-3, Previously #25) - Hung in there with a talented, but under-performing San Diego team.  I'd be surprised if they end up winning more than 5 games.  While McCown has looked and played the better of the two, the team's only win came in Johnny Manziel's only 2015 start.

23. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3, Previously #20) - And the Eagles keep falling.  A week after picking up their first win, the Eagles stumble against Washington.  Sam Bradford has been "OK" from a starting QB standpoint, but a horrible disappointment from preseason expectations.  DeMarco Murray has been MIA since leaving Dallas, averaging 1.6 yards on 29 carries.

22. Washington Potatoes (2-2, Previously #23) - Washington is now 2-0 in games where Kirk Cousins didn't throw an interception.  The bad news, Kirk Cousins isn't about to stop throwing interceptions.  Washington is still in the thick of things in the NFC East, with the Cowboys falling in the absence of Romo and Bryant, and the Giants getting off to a slow start.

21. Miami Dolphins (1-3, Previously #21) - Bye, bye Philbin.  The Dolphins become the first team to can their coach.  What an under-performing bunch.  They have at least a top 15 team on paper, and that's being very cautious, no way should they be playing this poorly.  The coaching change won't do much to save this season, but at least they shook things up.

20. Detroit Lions (0-4, Previously #24) - At San Diego, At Minnesota, vs Denver, and at Seattle... I wish I could say "don't worry Detroit fans, the schedule gets easier from here!" but up next they play host to the 3-1 Arizona Cardinals.  The brutal schedule may bury the Lions before they even have a chance to get started.  While they've looked far from "great," they are nowhere near being the worst team in the NFL, like their record suggests.  What hurts even worse, they should be 1-3.

19. Dallas Cowboys (2-2, Previously #15) - They are 0-2 in games without Tony Romo, but they were right in there in both of them.  They still have a ton of talent, unfortunately, none of it is at the quarterback position.  Brandon Weedon hasn't been able to get things done, maybe it's time for Matt Cassel to get a shot.  This team doesn't need a great QB to win, they just need a threat.

18. Kansas City Chiefs (1-3, Previously #12) - Alex Smith continues to prove why he's the Alex Smith of the NFL... even Peter Dinklage would hit his head on that ceiling.

17. Oakland Raiders (2-2, Previously #18) - Lost a tough road game to the Chicago Bears, that has to sting.  They ran into the above average version of Jay Cutler and came out on the losing end.  Teams lose games they shouldn't, I still think this Raiders team is pretty decent.

16. St. Louis Rams (2-2, Previously #19) - They're 2-0 in the tough NFC West with wins over the two favorites (vs Seattle and at Arizona).  They've also lost to Pittsburgh and at Washington, in two ugly games.  In his first NFL game, Todd Gurley already has more than 2/3rds of the total rushing yardage that Melvin Gordon has through 4.  The entirely too early knee-jerk reaction says that the Rams made the right call on that one.

15. Seattle Seahawks (2-2, Previously #9) - They managed to pick up the second win of the year, thanks to the questionable decision to disregard NFL rules by the officiating crew.  The offense has looked bad this year.  The o-line is struggling without Max Unger, and the guy they traded him for (Jimmy Graham) has yet to be utilized properly.  On the other hand, the defense still looks good, especially with Kam Chancellor back in the mix.  Oh, their two wins come over teams that are a combined 1-7 (and the team with the win was using their back up QB).

14. San Diego Chargers (2-2, Previously #13) - If the identity this team was going for was "middle of the pack, week after week!" then they've nailed it.  I was pretty high on the Chargers in the preseason, but they've been remarkably unremarkable.

13. Carolina Panthers (4-0, Previously #17) - They keeping beating bad teams, but they do keep beating them.  I'm not sold on this Panthers team, but they've done what's been asked of them, which is more than what most teams have been able to accomplish this season.

12. Baltimore Ravens (1-3, Previously #16) - Yet another nail-biter, but this time they came away on the happy side.  After a tough 4 game stretch to start things off, it gets a little easier the next two weeks against Cleveland, and at San Fran, respectively.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2, Previously #8) - If they had a kicker, they would've won.  If Mike Vick could've completed that short pass, they would've won.  They came away with the loss to a solid Ravens team, and while they can't feel good about that, at least they were able to be in the position to win in their first game without Ben Roethlisberger.

10. Buffalo Bills (2-2, Previously #5) - The offense stumbled last week, as the Bills pick up their second loss of the season.  The losses are to the Patriots and Giants, so it's hard to put too much into that.... then again, their wins are against Indianapolis and Miami.  If the offense gets back to how they played the first three weeks, this is still a very dangerous team.

9. New York Giants (2-2, Previously #14) - Five points and competent coaching decisions away from being 4-0.  Still, they are tied for first in their division, and the Cowboys look like they might be struggling until Romo and/or Bryant get back in the lineup.  They've played well the past two weeks, and at some point, you have to expect Victor Cruz to play a game.

8. Minnesota Vikings (2-2, Previously #11) - No shame in losing by 3 in Denver.  Since the inexplicable week 1 loss to the 49ers, the Vikings have shown that they are a very solid football team.  Still, it'd feel a lot better going into the early bye at 3-1, than 2-2.

7. New York Jets (3-1, Previously #10) - With Chris Ivory back in the line up, the Jets put another one in the win column.  They're off to a really hot start, and have to be happy heading into the bye week sitting at 3-1 and 2nd in the AFC East.  It's still kind of hard to tell if the Jets are good, or if they are just the beneficiaries of a somewhat easier schedule.

6. Arizona Cardinals (3-1, Previously # 4) - The wheels aren't falling off the Arizona bandwagon just yet, but they did hit a bump in the road, dropping a 24-22 home loss to the Rams.  They weren't going to go 16-0, and one close loss to a divisional rival isn't too concerning at this point.  I'm still high on the Arizona Cardinals (among other things).

5. Atlanta Falcons (4-0, Previously #7) - They were up 41-0 in the fourth quarter and won 48-21 against the Houston Texans.  They've looked like the best team in the NFC South and are one of three undefeated teams left in the NFC.  The offense is absolutely explosive, and the defense has stepped up from last year.

4. Cincinnati Bengals (4-0, Previously #6) - Cincinnati is now 4-0 against pretty decent competition, and in a large part thanks to quarterback Andy Dalton.  Now that Arizona took a slight stumble, prepare for everybody to jump aboard the Cinci-Train!

3. Denver Broncos (4-0, Previously #3) - Another game down to the wire for Denver, and another win.  While they haven't always looked like the juggernaut many expected, they keep getting things done when it matters.

2. New England (3-0, Previously #2) -  Seeing as Tom Brady didn't get hurt during the bye week, the Pats stand firm at #2.

1. Green Bay Packers (4-0, Previously #1) - Green Bay keeps winning.  Aaron Rodgers may not have lit up the box-score this past week, but he didn't need to, as the defense clamped down for the win.

You know I'm wrong, now tell me why!