NFL

2020 NFL Power Rankings: Week 6

It was a dark day for Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys; the Atlanta Falcons are cleaning house; and Tuesday night football gave us the stiff arm from hell (and the infinite gifs and memes along with it).

Let’s see how this week’s action shook up our rankings.

Risers and Fallers

The San Francisco 49ers dropped 10 spots in our rankings to settle in at 19th. That fall is the largest of any team this year and surpassed the 49ers’ eight-spot drop after Week 4.

Jimmy Garoppolo threw two interceptions on only 17 attempts (and completed a meager seven passes) and posted a passer rating of 15.7 -- yikes. He was replaced at halftime by C.J. Beathard, who didn’t fare much better with a 44% bad throw rate during his half of poor quarterbacking.

If you’re not into passer ratings, Garoppolo and Beathard produced Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back clips of -0.64 and -0.3, respectively. Yikes, again.

Ryan Fitzpatrick carried the Miami Dolphins in their blowout win over the 49ers and came away with a nearly perfect passer rating of 154.5. With a 10.7% touchdown rate, he was just shy of a perfect passer rating (requiring a 12% touchdown rate).

Fitzpatrick also led Week 5 quarterbacks in Passing NEP per drop back at 0.79 (Las Vegas Raiders' Derek Carr was a distant second with 0.55). His superb performance vaulted the Dolphins up eight spots and boosted the team's nERD rating by a league-high 3.8 points in Week 5.

Here are our NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 6:

Teams Ranked 32nd to 23rd

Rank Team nERD Record Playoff
Odds
Rank
Change
Off. NEP
Rank
Def. NEP
Rank
32 New York Jets -12.08 0-5 0.00% 0 32 31
31 New York Giants -7.71 0-5 2.50% -2 31 19
30 Jacksonville Jaguars -7.7 1-4 0.30% 0 19 32
29 Cincinnati Bengals -7.17 1-3-1 1.00% 2 29 20
28 Philadelphia Eagles -5.16 1-3-1 31.30% -4 26 29
27 Detroit Lions -4.34 1-3 8.90% 1 22 22
26 Atlanta Falcons -3.57 0-5 1.30% -1 23 26
25 Washington Football Team -3.18 1-4 23.10% 2 28 5
24 Denver Broncos -3.1 1-3 4.60% -1 30 10
23 Houston Texans -2.54 1-4 8.30% 3 17 27


Congratulations to the New York Jets -- they’re the first team to have a zero percent chance of making the playoffs, according to numberFire’s model. While the Jets can’t slide any spots in our rankings, their 20-point loss to the Arizona Cardinals dropped their nERD rating by 4.19 points to -12.1 (the largest drop of any team in Week 5).

The Le'Veon Bell experiment in New York ended this week when the team released Bell, who produced a -0.27 Rushing NEP per carry this season (the fifth worst for running backs with 15 or more carries). Although Bell didn't seem too broken up about it.


Sitting at 26th in our rankings, the Falcons finally fired both their head coach and general manager. They are a bad team, and there are a lot of negative stats I could post, but I’ll go positive here: they are our highest-ranked winless team! Ok, moving on...

Teams Ranked 22nd to 13th

Rank Team nERD Record Playoff
Odds
Rank
Change
Off. NEP
Rank
Def. NEP
Rank
22 Arizona Cardinals -2.2 3-2 21.60% -5 15 25
21 Chicago Bears -1.88 4-1 43.70% 0 24 13
20 Dallas Cowboys -1.04 2-3 50.20% -4 10 30
19 San Francisco 49ers -0.74 2-3 15.70% -10 25 18
18 Carolina Panthers -0.17 3-2 38.90% 2 8 14
17 Las Vegas Raiders 0.22 3-2 41.60% 2 7 21
16 Los Angeles Chargers 0.39 1-4 17.10% -1 21 6
15 Cleveland Browns 0.65 4-1 67.20% 3 2 28
14 Miami Dolphins 1.08 2-3 26.80% 8 12 8
13 Indianapolis Colts 1.25 3-2 41.00% -5 27 4


Despite missing Christian McCaffrey for the last three games (and at least one more) the Carolina Panthers are now 18th in our rankings. From Week 3 through Week 5, the Panthers are second in the league in offense, per our schedule-adjusted numbers. Trailing only Patrick Mahomes’ total Passing NEP of 49.3 in that span, Teddy Bridgewater ranked second at 41.8 Passing NEP from Week 3 to Week 5.

So, if the Panthers are second in offense over the last three weeks, who’s first? That would be our 15th-ranked team, the Cleveland Browns.

The Browns were able to put up some points against the Indianapolis Colts’ stingy defense. They will face another tough test this week when they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers rank fourth in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play but only 28th on the passing side.

This matchup has the smallest gap in the nERD ratings with a difference of only 0.62 points. The Steelers are favored by 3.0 points on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Teams Ranked 12th to 1st

Rank Team nERD Record Playoff
Odds
Rank
Change
Off. NEP
Rank
Def. NEP
Rank
12 Pittsburgh Steelers 1.27 4-0 79.30% 1 14 15
11 New Orleans Saints 1.72 3-2 76.80% -4 9 23
10 Buffalo Bills 1.92 4-1 65.70% 0 3 24
9 Minnesota Vikings 2.08 1-4 33.40% 5 13 12
8 Seattle Seahawks 2.96 5-0 97.10% 3 5 17
7 Tennessee Titans 3.18 4-0 84.80% 5 11 11
6 Green Bay Packers 3.58 4-0 94.60% -1 4 16
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4.77 3-2 74.30% -2 18 3
4 Los Angeles Rams 4.94 4-1 86.80% 2 6 7
3 New England Patriots 5.07 2-2 72.10% 1 20 2
2 Kansas City Chiefs 8.06 4-1 95.20% -1 1 9
1 Baltimore Ravens 8.98 4-1 95.00% 1 16 1


The Tennessee Titans beat the Buffalo Bills rather decisively on Tuesday night. I try and find interesting stats and such each week for this article, but when there’s a stiff arm like the one Derrick Henry delivered to Josh Norman -- what else is there to say?

In case you didn’t see it, here ya go:


The Baltimore Ravens are once again at the top of our rankings. Wins over the Washington Football Team and the Cincinnati Bengals were just what Baltimore needed to get back on track.

While the Ravens’ next opponent in the Philadelphia Eagles put up a fight against the Steelers, the nERD rating gap between these Baltimore and Philadelphia is the largest in Week 6 (14.1 points), so this could get ugly. FanDuel Sportsbook has the Ravens as 7.0-point road favorites.