Week 6 NFL Power Rankings: Vikings, Patriots take over the top

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Being the only team to go unbeaten through five weeks gets the Vikings some league-wide distinction, as well as a perch atop this week's ESPN NFL Power Rankings. The Patriots' Week 5 win and 4-1 record convinced ESPN's power panel (a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities) to move New England up to No. 2.

Methodology note: These rankings reflect who voters think would win in head-to-head matchups. Higher-ranked teams would more often be favored against lower-ranked teams. Coming off a win doesn't guarantee a jump, and coming off a loss doesn't guarantee a fall.

Check out the rest of the league and where each team ranks.

Previous rankings: Week 5 | Week 4 | Week 3 | Week 2 | Week 1 | Preseason

ESPN Stats & Information contributed the following information, which this week focuses on the head coaches for each team.

1. Minnesota Vikings

2016 record: 5-0
Week 5 ranking: 5

Is there any doubt Mike Zimmer is the league's front-runner for Coach of the Year right now? He lost his starting quarterback before the season started, yet has the Vikings unbeaten heading into a bye thanks to a defense that is allowing the fewest points per game. The Vikings ranked last in PPG allowed in 2013, the season before Zimmer arrived in Minneapolis.

2. New England Patriots

2016 record: 4-1
Week 5 ranking: 4

Coach Bill Belichick went 3-1 without Tom Brady this season, so now that the duo is reunited, the rest of the NFL should watch out. Belichick and Brady are 173-51 overall (.772) since joining forces, and 5-1 against the Bengals, their Week 6 opponent.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

2016 record: 4-1
Week 5 ranking: 3

At 4-1, Mike Tomlin's Steelers seem poised for another 10-win season, and a game against the struggling Dolphins could net them win No. 5. If the Steelers do get to 10 wins, it will be the first time they have won 10 in three straight seasons since 1994-97.

4. Denver Broncos

2016 record: 4-1
Week 5 ranking: 1

We wish Gary Kubiak the best in his recovery after being hospitalized with a "complex migraine condition." Though he'll be watching Thursday night's game from home, he should rest easy: The Broncos have won eight of their past nine against the Chargers.

5. Seattle Seahawks

2016 record: 3-1
Week 5 ranking: 2

The Seahawks are 3-1 and have allowed the third-fewest points per game, so Pete Carroll's team is sitting pretty. However, Falcons QB Matt Ryan has given Carroll's defenses trouble in the past. The Seahawks are 1-3 (including playoffs) against Atlanta under Carroll, allowing 26.0 points per game.

6. Atlanta Falcons

2016 record: 4-1
Week 5 ranking: 8

The Falcons fell apart after a 5-0 start last season, but Dan Quinn's 2016 squad seems poised for bigger and better things after defeating the defending champs in Denver in Week 5. A win in Seattle against Quinn's former team this week would further solidify the Falcons' claim as a top team.

7. Dallas Cowboys

2016 record: 4-1
Week 5 ranking: 11

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones says Tony Romo is still the Cowboys' No. 1 quarterback. We wonder whether coach Jason Garrett feels the same way. Dak Prescott trails only Tom Brady for most attempts to start a career without an interception, according to Elias Sports Bureau research.

8. Cincinnati Bengals

2016 record: 2-3
Week 5 ranking: 10

Marvin Lewis' Bengals are off to their worst five-game start since 2010, the season before QB Andy Dalton joined the team and the last time the Bengals missed the playoffs. The good news is if it continues, Lewis can't lose another playoff game (he's 0-7 in his career).

9. Green Bay Packers

2016 record: 3-1
Week 5 ranking: 6

The Packers and Mike McCarthy have stuck with defensive coordinator Dom Capers through thick and thin, and the decision is paying off this season. The Packers have allowed only 171 rushing yards all season, but they face their toughest test this week against the NFL's leading rushing team: the Cowboys.

10. Arizona Cardinals

2016 record: 2-3
Week 5 ranking: 17

One more loss and Bruce Arians' Cardinals would surpass their loss total from 2015. Arians likely doesn't want that loss to come against his former defensive coordinator (Todd Bowles) when the Cardinals host the Jets on Monday night.

11. Philadelphia Eagles

2016 record: 3-1
Week 5 ranking: 7

Both Doug Pederson and QB Carson Wentz took their first career losses this past week, but a one-point road loss is nothing to stress over. A loss this week at the Redskins, however, won't help in their pursuit of the Cowboys in the NFC East.

12. Oakland Raiders

2016 record: 4-1
Week 5 ranking: 9

Jack Del Rio's Raiders are kind of defying logic right now. They've allowed the most yards and the sixth-most points this season, yet they sit at 4-1 overall. The Raiders are 10-6 in games decided by eight or fewer points the past two seasons. Are they bound to regress with those defensive numbers?

13. Carolina Panthers

2016 record: 1-4
Week 5 ranking: 15

Why so high at 1-4? Because voters think with a healthy Cam they'd still beat many below them, and Cam could be back soon. But it's been a rough start. According to Elias Sports, they are the first team to start 1-4 or worse after appearing in the Super Bowl since ... the 2004 Panthers (who started 1-4).

14. Baltimore Ravens

2016 record: 3-2
Week 5 ranking: 14

The Ravens have fired offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. The last time John Harbaugh fired an O-coordinator midseason, things worked out well. Harbaugh made a switch at offensive coordinator in 2012 and the Ravens went on to win the Super Bowl. Baltimore tests out its new offense at the Giants on Sunday.

15. Kansas City Chiefs

2016 record: 2-2
Week 5 ranking: 18

Andy Reid's playcalling has always been a topic of discussion, and it should remain so this season. The Chiefs and Jaguars have dropped back to pass at the highest rate (both 70.9 percent) this season. Does Reid really want QB Alex Smith to get into a shootout with Derek Carr this week?

16. Buffalo Bills

2016 record: 3-2
Week 5 ranking: 20

Since coach Rex Ryan and the Bills made the switch at offensive coordinator, the team is 3-0 and averaging a whopping 178 rushing yards per game on 5.9 yards per rush. The move seemed unnecessary, but give Rex's crew credit: It has worked so far.

17. New York Giants

2016 record: 2-3
Week 5 ranking: 12

The Ben McAdoo era got off to a roaring start after the Giants won their first two games. But a three-game skid during which QB Eli Manning has thrown two touchdowns to three interceptions has the G-Men sitting last in the NFC East. Can they climb out of the hole against the visiting Ravens on Sunday?

18. Houston Texans

2016 record: 3-2
Week 5 ranking: 13

Do the offensive struggles fall on the offensive-minded Bill O'Brien or quarterback Brock Osweiler? We'll know soon enough as Houston hosts Indianapolis in Week 6, and the Texans aren't going to win if they can't get more than 15 combined touches for Lamar Miller, DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V.

19. Los Angeles Rams

2016 record: 3-2
Week 5 ranking: 16

Don't blow this, Jeff! At 3-2, the Rams can give themselves a little cushion from Jeff Fisher's dreaded .500 mark. A trip to Detroit stands in the way of a 4-2 start (best for a Fisher team since the 2010 Titans) or another 3-3 start (Fisher started 3-3 in four of his past five seasons).

20. Detroit Lions

2016 record: 2-3
Week 5 ranking: 25

All five Lions games this season have been decided by a touchdown or less, but the team sits at 2-3. The Lions were 6-1 in such games in Jim Caldwell's first season, and 4-4 last season. The Lions face the 3-2 Rams in Detroit this week.

21. Indianapolis Colts

2016 record: 2-3
Week 5 ranking: 26

As a former defensive coordinator, Chuck Pagano can't be thrilled with the performance of his team's defense. According to ESPN's Football Power Index, the Colts' defensive efficiency is second worst in the NFL this season. If they can't slow a struggling Texans offense on Sunday night, they'll notch loss No. 4.

22. Washington Redskins

2016 record: 3-2
Week 5 ranking: 19

Jay Gruden has rallied the Redskins to three straight wins following an 0-2 start. Can Washington push it to four straight in a home game against Philadelphia? Gruden's teams have won three straight against the Eagles.

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2016 record: 2-3
Week 5 ranking: 29

Dirk Koetter probably breathed a sigh of relief after Roberto Aguayo drilled the winning field goal Monday night against the Panthers. Had Aguayo missed (he failed on two field goal attempts earlier in the game), it would have made the 2016 second-round draft pick look bad for Koetter and the franchise.

24. San Diego Chargers

2016 record: 1-4
Week 5 ranking: 22

The Chargers keep finding ways to lose under Mike McCoy, dropping 11 of their past 12 games, all of which were decided by a touchdown or less. McCoy's Chargers have allowed an NFL-worst 103 points in the second half/overtime this season (39 points in the first half).

25. New Orleans Saints

2016 record: 1-3
Week 5 ranking: 24

The Saints are coming off their first victory of the season, but there's no guarantee they'll win at home this week. Sean Payton has gone 4-11 in his past 15 home games as head coach, and 1-5 in his past six division home games.

26. Tennessee Titans

2016 record: 2-3
Week 5 ranking: 27

Mike Mularkey is 20-42 (.323) in his career as a head coach, but he's 2-3 this season. Why is this significant? He hasn't won more than two games in a season as a head coach since 2005, when his Bills went 5-11. A home game against the Browns is as good a chance as any to get that magical third win.

27. New York Jets

2016 record: 1-4
Week 5 ranking: 21

Former defensive back Todd Bowles must hate what's happening to the Jets' secondary. The average passing touchdown against the Jets has gone for 31.5 yards this season, which includes five scores of 40 or more yards. Bowles is hoping they can fix those problems before playing at Arizona (his former team as a defensive coordinator) on Monday Night Football.

28. Chicago Bears

2016 record: 1-4
Week 5 ranking: 28

John Fox has a decision to make between Jay Cutler and Brian Hoyer, but at this point, is it that much of a decision? Hoyer has the Bears' only win this season, and he has thrown 140 attempts without an interception.

29. Miami Dolphins

2016 record: 1-4
Week 5 ranking: 30

Adam Gase was supposed to be the "quarterback whisperer," but Ryan Tannehill's Total QBR (37.1) is the worst it has ever been. If it doesn't improve against the mighty Steelers, Gase might be whispering to Matt Moore, who last started a game in 2011.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars

2016 record: 1-3
Week 5 ranking: 23

Gus Bradley survived the trip to London, but with a 13-39 career record in Jacksonville, his days always seem to be numbered. The Jags head to Chicago in Week 6, and a loss to the reeling Bears would keep the Jags in the AFC cellar.

31. San Francisco 49ers

2016 record: 1-4
Week 5 ranking: 31

Is it time for Chip Kelly to make a quarterback change? Kelly has the 49ers moving at the fastest pace in the NFL, which might make the more mobile Colin Kaepernick a better fit than Blaine Gabbert, who currently leads all quarterbacks in rush attempts (39).

32. Cleveland Browns

2016 record: 0-5
Week 5 ranking: 32

Believe it or not, Hue Jackson is the first head coach to start his Browns career 0-5 since Chris Palmer during the Browns' return to the NFL in 1999. The Titans provide a chance to snap that losing streak Sunday.