NFL Power Rankings: Week 5
For the second week in a row, the biggest upwards mover in our NFL power ratings was a team from Florida.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers moved all the way from number 17 in nERD to 4th, thanks to their 25-23 win over the New York Giants. (For the uninitiated, nERD measures how many points a team would be expected to win by against an average team on a neutral field. To learn more about nERD, visit our glossary.)
While the final scoring margin was only 2 points, Tampa Bay outgained the Giants by 55 yards and more critically, by 2.1 yards per play. Thanks in part to some big plays through the air, the Buccaneers had an average gain of 7.0, compared to 4.9 for the Giants.
As was the case with Jacksonville -- which moved up to number three last week but fell to 11th this week after losing to the Jets -- Tampa Bay may not stay in the top-5 all year. Regardless, they are off to a good start and seem to be trending in the right direction, largely on the strength of an offense that is tied for the league lead in opponent-adjusted Net Expected Points per play.
Led by Jameis Winston, the Bucs rank 3rd in passing NEP per drop back, while also ranking 5th in NEP per rush. They are 10th in NEP allowed per play.
They also have a narrow lead in terms of NEP per play differential over our new number one team, the 4-0 Kansas City Chiefs.
With just about a quarter of the season in the books (only the Bucs and Dolphins have yet to play their fourth game), here is how the rest of the teams in the league stand.