Each week of the NFL season, The Baltimore Sun will rank all 32 NFL teams. The rankings will take into account not just weekly performance, but how well each team measures up as Super Bowl contenders, regardless of win-loss record.
Here are the rankings after Week 5:
Super Bowl favorites
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1; No. 1 last week)
2. Buffalo Bills (4-1; No. 3)
The Bucs just keep rolling. They piled up 558 total yards, converted eight of 11 third-down opportunities and committed zero turnovers in a 45-17 win over the Dolphins on Sunday. Tom Brady threw another five touchdown passes, pushing his league-leading total to 15 in five games. Pro Football Focus, ESPN’s Football Power Index, FiveThirtyEight and Football Outsiders all list Buffalo at the top of their power rankings, but the defending champions haven’t slipped enough to concede the top spot in these rankings just yet.
Those Bills are making a strong push, however. Josh Allen looks like a Most Valuable Player candidate again, throwing for 315 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 59 yards and a score to power a 38-20 win over the Chiefs on Sunday night. Even more encouraging is the play of the Bills’ young defenders, with rookies Greg Rousseau (5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception) and Boogie Basham (3 tackles, 0.5 sacks) providing some juice off the edge. Coach Sean McDermott proved he can beat Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes on the road. That’s a big step for a team looking to get over the hump in the AFC.
The top contenders
3. Arizona Cardinals (5-0; No. 4)
4. Baltimore Ravens (4-1; No. 5)