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Power Rankings: Jets, Giants on the rise; Saints, Bengals slip

Football player Mark Sanchez attends Columbia Pictures' and

Football player Mark Sanchez attends Columbia Pictures' and The Cinema Society's screening of "The Social Network" at the School of Visual Arts Theater in Manhattan. (Sept. 29, 2010) Photo Credit: Getty Images

 The Jets keep inching close to the top of the heap in the NFL, and suddenly the Giants are on the way up, too, cracking the top 10 in this week's Power Rankings.

And with Baltimore traveling to New England this week for a huge game against the Patriots, there could be a New York flavor at the tippy-top of the heap by this time next week.

Here's a look at where we stand after Week 5:

(Ranking, team, record, last week’s ranking)

1. Ravens (4-1) (1): Resounding home win over Broncos show Ravens’ offense continues to flourish after somewhat sluggish start.

2. Jets (4-1) (3): That’s four straight wins for the Jets, who hold off Brett Favre’s second half comeback and nose ahead of the idle Patriots in the AFC East.

3, Steelers (3-1) (2): Ben Roethlisberger is back and makes his 2010 debut at home against the Browns. We’ll see if the defense can bail him out the way it did the first four games.

4, Patriots (3-1) (5): Pats will be rested and ready to take on Ravens in huge AFC game, their first of the post-Randy Moss era.

5. Giants (3-2) (11): A hotter team in the NFC than the Giants right now? Don’t think so. Two convincing wins over two potent offenses in Bears and Texans.

6. Falcons (4-1) (10): Falcons still not playing exceptionally well on offense, but they’re grinding out wins to take the early lead in the NFC South.

7. Colts (3-2) (8): Peyton Manning not at his best against Chiefs’ resurgent defense, but does just enough in 19-9 win.

8. Packers (3-2) (6): Injury problems mounting for the Packers, who might be without Aaron Rodgers (concussion) and Clay Matthews (hamstring) this week. 

9. Saints (3-2) (4): Super Bowl hangover? Sure looks that way, as Saints fall to lowly Cardinals on the road.

10. Texans (3-2) (7): Giants make mincemeat out of Texans’ high-powered offense, as Arian Foster and Matt Schaub are silenced at home.

11. Bears (4-1) (12): Nice bounce-back for Bears, who get off the mat against Giants and beat the Panthers on the road behind backup Todd Collins. Looks like Jay Cutler returns this week.

12. Chiefs (3-1) (9): Still plenty of questions on offense – especially the passing game – but you’ve got to like Kansas City’s defense, which does about as well as can be expected on the road against Peyton.

13. Titans (3-2) (18): Down one week, up the next. Titans rebound from loss the previous week to Denver and beat the reeling Cowboys on the road. Titans have yet to win two straight. On the road in Jacksonville on Monday night.

14. Redskins (3-2) (14): Resilient Redskins hold off Packers in OT to keep pace in what has turned into a wide open NFC East.

15. Eagles (3-2) (20): Kevin Kolb capably fills in for Michael Vick as Eagles beat Niners on the road. Interesting to see what Eagles do with Vick, although he might not be physically ready to face his former Falcons team this week in Philly.

16. Broncos (2-3) (15): Broncos outclassed by Ravens, now look to bounce back at home against the Jets. But defense will be without LB Robert Ayers and SS Brian Dawkins.

17. Cowboys (1-3) (16): It’s almost crisis time in Big D, where the Cowboys’ defense collapses against Tennessee, and Tony Romo throws three picks in a huge spot.

18. Dolphins (2-2) (17): Long two weeks for Dolphins, who were humiliated at home by the Patriots heading into the bye week. They might catch a break this week against Green Bay, though. Looks like Matt Flynn gets the nod for the Packers in place of the injured Aaron Rodgers.

19. Bengals (2-3) (13): What’s wrong with Carson Palmer? He throws three more picks against the Bucs in an upset loss at home.

20. Chargers (2-3) (19): Undisciplined Chargers lose a stunner on the road against Oakland, snapping a 13-game winning streak against their AFC West foes.

21. Vikings (1-3) (21): Brett Favre makes a less-than-triumphant return to the New York/New Jersey area. Amid allegations of improper behavior with a female Jets employee two years ago, he can’t finish off second-half comeback against his former team.

22. Cardinals (3-2) (30): Max Hall gets his first career win, but it’s the Cardinals defense that comes to the rescue with three interceptions and Kerry Rhodes’ fumble return for touchdown against the Saints.

23. Jaguars (3-2) (22): Jags still a less-than-impressive team, but Jack Del Rio has somehow coaxed enough wins out of them to keep pace in the AFC South.

24. Buccaneers (3-1) (25): Hard to believe the Bucs have already won as many games after a month as they did all last season. Josh Freeman gets it done on the road against the Bengals.

25. Raiders (2-3) (27): Finally, the Raiders beat the Chargers, as Tyvon Branch’s fourth-quarter fumble return for touchdown seals it.

26. Lions (1-4) (28): Lions finally get on the board with a resounding home win over the Rams. Tougher sledding this week, though. At the resurgent Giants and that sack-happy defense.

27. Seahawks (2-2) (24): Off a pre-bye loss to the Rams, the Seahawks return to action in Chicago. Could be a long day for Pete Carroll’s troops.

28. Rams (2-3) (23): So much for all the confidence built up from the previous week’s win over the Seahawks. Rams blown out in Detroit.

29. Browns (1-4) (26): Browns can’t contain Michael Turner, who churns out 140 rushing yards in 20-10 home loss.

30. 49ers (0-5) (29): Not even six games in, and already Mike Singletary is getting a vote of confidence?

31. Panthers (0-5) (31): No wins, and no Steve Smith. Could things be any worse in Carolina?

32. Bills (0-5) (32): Bills show signs of life in first half against Jags, then lose their way in 36-26 loss.

This week’s games:

Dolphins at Packers
Browns at Steelers
Lions at Giants
Seahawks at Bears
Saints at Buccaneers
Falcons at Eagles
Chiefs at Texans
Ravens at Patriots
Chargers at Rams
Jets at Broncos
Raiders at 49ers
Cowboys at Vikings
Colts at Redskins
Titans at Jaguars

Byes: Cardinals, Bills, Panthers, Bengals


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