NFL Week 6 Power Rankings 2022 – 1-32 poll, playoff chances – ESPN

Marcus Spears breaks down the Giants’ strong start to the season. (1:25)
Welcome to Week 6 of the NFL regular season.
Our power panel — a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities — evaluated how teams are stacking up through five weeks.
This week, our rankings saw the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers vault into the top 10, while the struggling Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins fell out. After disappointing losses to opponents in the AFC South, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos took a decent slide down the rankings. And the New York Jets rose to the top half of this list for the first time since … it’s been a while.
In addition to these updated rankings, we checked in with NFL Nation reporters across the league and asked them to identify each team’s biggest obstacle to making the playoffs. We paired the responses with each team’s projected playoff chances and with its chances of winning its division, as powered by ESPN’s Football Power Index.
Let’s get to it.

Jump to a team:
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LV | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF
SEA | TB | TEN | WSH


Week 5 ranking: 1
Chance to make the playoffs: 99.0%
Chance to win their division: 87.8%
The Chiefs need to improve their defense in the red zone. They were allowing a touchdown on 80% of their opponents’ trips inside the 20 — worst in the league — heading into Monday night’s game against the Raiders. This flaw was already costly in the loss to the Colts, when an inability to force a field goal on Indy’s first and last possessions was the difference in the game. To ensure the Chiefs make the playoffs, this needs to be fixed. — Adam Teicher

Week 5 ranking: 2
Chance to make the playoffs: 99.1%
Chance to win their division: 90.9%
It’s difficult to imagine a scenario that involves this team not making the postseason, but one area that the offense has struggled with is establishing the running game outside of quarterback Josh Allen. Much of that is due to the blocking up front (65.3% run block win rate, ranked 32nd), especially at guard. Only one running back has rushed for a touchdown (James Cook vs. Steelers), and Allen has led the team in rushing for four of the five games — the second quarterback to do so, joining Lamar Jackson (2021). The Bills’ offense is already operating at a high level led by Allen, an early MVP candidate, but getting the running backs going consistently would elevate Buffalo’s potential and could help prevent injury to Allen. — Alaina Getzenberg

Week 5 ranking: 3
Chance to make the playoffs: 99.6%
Chance to win their division: 72.0%
As the only remaining undefeated team, the Eagles are in good shape, but the recent rash of injuries to their offensive front is worth monitoring. Tackle Jordan Mailata (right shoulder), center Jason Kelce (left ankle), and guards Landon Dickerson (leg) and Isaac Seumalo (ankle) are all banged up to varying degrees heading into Sunday’s divisional game against the 4-1 Cowboys. None of the injuries appears long term at this point, but the Eagles will need it to stay that way to keep their dynamic offense humming. — Tim McManus

Week 5 ranking: 7
Chance to make the playoffs: 76.9%
Chance to win their division: 34.9%
The Vikings already have an excellent chance to make the playoffs thanks to their hot start. But they’ve needed to overcome a late fourth-quarter deficit in each of their past three games, and that pattern probably isn’t sustainable over time. Although it’s an excellent sign that the Vikings had the confidence and leadership to surge back into the lead in each instance, they’ll need to produce some steadier performances in the second half to ensure they are playing with a lead and not leaving it up to the other team to take advantage. — Kevin Seifert

Week 5 ranking: 11
Chance to make the playoffs: 96.3%
Chance to win their division: 26.5%
Can the offense put up more points? The defense has carried the day so far this season, especially in Dak Prescott‘s absence, but the Cowboys have not scored more than 25 points in a game yet this season. There will come a time when they have to win a game with the score in the 30s. Do the Cowboys have enough weapons to win a high-scoring showdown even after Prescott returns to the starting lineup? They have a formula for success right now with their defense controlling the tempo of the game and the offense doing just enough. At some point the offense will have to do more to keep up to ensure a playoff spot. — Todd Archer

Week 5 ranking: 12
Chance to make the playoffs: 80.0%
Chance to win their division: 68.6%
Injuries threaten the 49ers’ playoff hopes. This has been a common refrain for the Niners in recent years, with a wide range of results. In 2019, they were fortunate enough that most of their injuries weren’t season-ending, and so far, that has been the case again this year. But the 49ers are walking a fine line and have dug deep into their depth already. If they can manage to weather the storm, they should be able to stay in the mix to win the NFC West into December and January. — Nick Wagoner

Week 5 ranking: 9
Chance to make the playoffs: 85.2%
Chance to win their division: 66.3%
Outside of tight end Mark Andrews, there is no reliable target for Lamar Jackson in the passing game — which could turn into an issue. Baltimore’s wide receivers have combined for 542 yards receiving, the second fewest in the league. Rashod Bateman, who was expected to become the No. 1 wide receiver, has struggled to stay healthy and is dealing with a left foot injury. It will be a challenge to move the ball through the air with few people to throw it to. Of the Ravens’ next 12 games, eight are against defenses that rank in the top half of the NFL against the pass. This poses a challenge to securing a playoff spot. — Jamison Hensley

Week 5 ranking: 4
Chance to make the playoffs: 91.0%
Chance to win their division: 64.7%
Neither Matt LaFleur nor defensive coordinator Joe Barry is playing to the Packers’ strengths right now. LaFleur, the offensive playcaller, and Aaron Rodgers, who has the RPO freedom at the line of scrimmage, have skewed away from the run when it should be one of Green Bay’s strengths with backs like Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. And Barry, with the talent he has on defense, should be able to hold a two-touchdown lead like the Packers had Sunday against a Giants team that was missing its top three receivers. If the Packers address these areas, they might not have to worry about whether they will be in the playoffs. — Rob Demovsky

Week 5 ranking: 8
Chance to make the playoffs: 96.5%
Chance to win their division: 93.8%
A completely remade interior offensive line, multiple injuries to the wide receiving corps, a defensive backfield that’s getting banged up and no Rob Gronkowski have created a lot of challenges for Tom Brady & Co. The Bucs just haven’t looked in sync. They shouldn’t have an issue winning the NFC South, as it looks like a weak division this year, but their lack of continuity with so many new pieces might keep them from advancing deep into the playoffs. — Jenna Laine

Week 5 ranking: 13
Chance to make the playoffs: 79.0%
Chance to win their division: 10.9%
The Chargers have suffered several significant injuries to key players. Left tackle Rashawn Slater (biceps) was placed on injured reserve, so the Bolts have turned to rookie sixth-round pick Jamaree Salyer at the spot. On the edge, Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa were supposed to form one of the top pass-rushing duos, but Bosa is on injured reserve indefinitely (groin), so a committee of guys is stepping in — including second-year pro Chris Rumph II and veteran Kyle Van Noy. And finally, receiver Keenan Allen has been dealing with a hamstring injury since Week 1, he has missed four consecutive games and there’s a cloud of uncertainty as to when he’ll return. How young players perform while filling in at key spots will be crucial to making a playoff run. — Lindsey Thiry
The Fantasy Focus crew breaks down how Austin Ekeler’s performance places him ahead of Saquon Barkley and Nick Chubb.

Week 5 ranking: 14
Chance to make the playoffs: 53.4%
Chance to win their division: 1.5%
Surprise, surprise. The NFC East is the best division in the NFL right now with the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants having a combined 13-2 record. That is pretty much the Giants’ only imposing obstacle on the road to the playoffs. They still have three games remaining against the Eagles and Cowboys, and two against the Commanders. If the Giants can do well within the division (they were 1-5 in 2021, and are already 0-1 this season), they could very well make the playoffs. — Jordan Raanan

Week 5 ranking: 5
Chance to make the playoffs: 61.0%
Chance to win their division: 7.1%
The health of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who remains in concussion protocol after being briefly hospitalized in Week 4, is paramount. There is no timetable for his return, at least not one that the Dolphins have shared publicly, and their first game without him was a bust. Teddy Bridgewater was ruled out after a single snap Sunday and was also placed in concussion protocol. Rookie Skylar Thompson then had a rough debut in a 40-17 loss to the Jets. Miami’s schedule for the next two months is easy enough to get it back atop the AFC — with Tagovailoa under center. That confidence wanes with anyone else. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Week 5 ranking: 6
Chance to make the playoffs: 18.6%
Chance to win their division: 8.0%
Los Angeles has to fix its offensive line. The Rams have wins against the Cardinals and Falcons this season but are 0-3 against the strong teams they’ve played: Buffalo, San Francisco and Dallas. The Rams have allowed 19 sacks in those three defeats — that definitely stands out. The offensive line is a clear issue, hindering the Rams’ ability to make plays down the field. Until that’s fixed, Matthew Stafford is going to continue taking a pounding and their ability to make the playoffs is questionable. — Sarah Barshop

Week 5 ranking: 10
Chance to make the playoffs: 49.3%
Chance to win their division: 17.6%
The Bengals’ offense right now is easily stifled. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has watched the Bengals through five games. Opposing defenses have eliminated Cincinnati’s ability to find explosive plays down the field and the Bengals are trying to find the solution. Last year, Cincinnati led the NFL in yards per attempt. This season, the Bengals are just 18th, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Teams have neutralized the Bengals’ deep passing attack and are forcing quarterback Joe Burrow to work methodically down the field. While the coaching staff has been happy with some of the results, the team isn’t scoring nearly enough points to truly trouble its opponents or ensure that it will make the playoffs. — Ben Baby

Week 5 ranking: 16
Chance to make the playoffs: 35.4%
Chance to win their division: 29.8%
The second-half struggles remain a problem for the Titans despite a three-game win streak. Through five games, Tennessee has been outscored 71-14 in the second half, and has scored in the second half in only two of the five. With the tough part of their schedule coming up, including games against the Chiefs, Packers and Eagles, the Titans will need to figure out how to play complementary football in the second half. The offense has to minimize the three-and-outs to help keep the defense from being on the field too much, while the defense has to limit momentum-generating explosive plays. If both units can do that the rest of the season, then the Titans have a chance of winning their division and making the playoffs. — Turron Davenport
The Fantasy Football crew raves about Derrick Henry’s stellar performance in Week 5 vs. the Commanders.

Week 5 ranking: 23
Chance to make the playoffs: 25.6%
Chance to win their division: 1.5%
The Jets need high-level quarterback play. To be fair, Zach Wilson is 2-0 since returning from his knee injury and has put together five good quarters in a row, but he has yet to demonstrate that he can carry the team for a full game. He still doesn’t have a 300-yard passing game or a three-touchdown-pass game in his career. The Jets are built to be balanced on offense, reducing the burden on the quarterback, but there will be games in which they need Wilson to bail them out. Can he do it? — Rich Cimini

Week 5 ranking: 24
Chance to make the playoffs: 11.1%
Chance to win their division: 1.8%
The Saints have been their own worst enemy this season, committing turnovers at inopportune times (they are last in the league in turnover differential) and have had key penalties set them back. The Saints aren’t good enough right now to overcome these mistakes, and with injuries to key players like Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas, Chris Olave and others popping up, they need to be as perfect as they can be on offense in order to have a chance at making the playoffs. — Katherine Terrell

Week 5 ranking: 18
Chance to make the playoffs: 35.6%
Chance to win their division: 16.0%
The combination of being without starting QB Deshaun Watson for another six games (suspension) and an underachieving defense with one of the league’s toughest remaining schedules might tone down postseason hopes. The Browns squandered an opportunity to pad wins during the first month of the season facing QBs Baker Mayfield, Joe Flacco, Mitch Trubisky and Marcus Mariota. Now, a beleaguered Cleveland defense has to find a way to survive against Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen and Tom Brady until Watson’s return in Week 13. By then, Cleveland’s playoff hopes could be barely flickering, if not extinguished completely. — Jake Trotter

Week 5 ranking: 27
Chance to make the playoffs: 12.7%
Chance to win their division: 0.5%
The Patriots are minus-2 in turnover differential, which is rare territory for them. This season they have 10 turnovers in five games. And it wasn’t a coincidence that the Patriots won the turnover battle Sunday against the Lions and played their best overall game of the season. This will be the first key to New England potentially getting itself in the playoff hunt in an increasingly tougher AFC East — learning how not to lose before it can win. — Mike Reiss

Week 5 ranking: 20
Chance to make the playoffs: 4.7%
Chance to win their division: 1.6%
The Seahawks are in the throes of another terrible defensive start. They’re dead last in yards allowed per play and 31st in points allowed per game, including a combined 84 over the past two weeks. The Seahawks have needed every bit of brilliant play that Geno Smith has given them to escape with two narrow victories over the first five games. The only reason for hope that they can turn things around is that they’ve done so after similarly poor starts in each of the past two seasons. But there aren’t any obvious signs another turnaround is coming. — Brady Henderson

Week 5 ranking: 19
Chance to make the playoffs: 42.3%
Chance to win their division: 21.8%
The Cardinals are currently in the midst of an eight-game home losing streak dating back to Week 8 of the 2021 season. It’s the longest active home losing streak in the NFL. If the Cardinals can’t start winning at home soon, then winning enough games to make the postseason probably won’t be possible. — Josh Weinfuss

Week 5 ranking: 15
Chance to make the playoffs: 51.6%
Chance to win their division: 46.1%
Everything you need this week:
&#8226 Full schedule » | Standings »
&#8226 Depth charts for every team »
&#8226 Transactions » | Injuries »
&#8226 Football Power Index rankings »
More NFL coverage »
Right now, the play of their quarterback might be holding the Jaguars back from taking control of the AFC South. Trevor Lawrence has turned the ball over seven times in the past two games — both were losses. Another major issue for Jacksonville is that the run defense has fallen apart. The Jaguars have given up 326 yards in the past two games, which is nearly twice as much as they gave up in the first three games combined (165). The team might be able to overcome one of these issues, but can the Jaguars overcome both to make the playoffs? — Michael DiRocco

Week 5 ranking: 17
Chance to make the playoffs: 4.6%
Chance to win their division: 0.2%
There might be no bigger obstacle right now to the Broncos’ playoff chances than their offense. The team has surrendered only six touchdowns on defense over five games and still finds itself 2-3. That’s because of a mishmash of penalties, missed opportunities and poor decisions on offense. The Broncos have scored just six touchdowns, a combined five points in the third quarter, 36 points in three home games and are ranked last in red zone offense. Oh, and they just lost a game last Thursday to the only team that has scored fewer points than they have, the Colts. — Jeff Legwold

Week 5 ranking: 21
Chance to make the playoffs: 21.7%
Chance to win their division: 3.8%
The Falcons are one of three teams completing less than 60% of their passes — only Carolina and Chicago are worse — and Marcus Mariota has seven fumbles in five games. There are times Mariota has made elite-level plays, and he has done well running — seventh in the NFL in rushing yards — but there have been critical miscues in almost every game this season. The Falcons are in the middle of the pack in the NFC, so quarterback play needs to improve to make a playoff run. — Michael Rothstein

Week 5 ranking: 26
Chance to make the playoffs: 25.3%
Chance to win their division: 20.8%
It’s becoming a tired storyline, but it remains true: The Colts’ stunningly poor offensive line performance is undermining everything good about the team. The Colts are currently 31st in pass block win rate and 26th in run block win rate. Even setting aside the struggles of Matt Ryan, it’s difficult to assess anything about the offense when the offensive line isn’t functional. Meanwhile, the Colts’ defense is getting better and the team’s unproven pass-catchers are starting to step up. On top of that, the AFC South is, well, the AFC South. But will it matter if the line doesn’t get stabilized? — Stephen Holder

Week 5 ranking: 22
Chance to make the playoffs: 31.8%
Chance to win their division: 1.2%
The Raiders’ start would not exactly be a recipe for postseason success. Not saying it’s impossible, but only one team since 2000 began a season 0-3, as the Raiders did this year, and rallied to make the playoffs. Now, the AFC West might not be the beast we all thought it was in the preseason, but we still have 12 weeks to go to figure it all out. And divisional games like Monday night matter. Paul Gutierrez

Week 5 ranking: 28
Chance to make the playoffs: 1.6%
Chance to win their division: 0.2%
The Bears are in the beginning stages of a rebuild. The roster is their biggest obstacle to making the playoffs, and frankly, Chicago is nowhere near ready to think about life in the playoffs. That’s never been a realistic expectation for the 2022 season. Marginal improvement that can carry over week to week — like the second-half performance Justin Fields strung together against Minnesota en route to single-game highs in completion percentage and passer rating — is the focal point for a team with a QB in the developmental stage of his career without the adequate talent around him to take the team to the next level. — Courtney Cronin

Week 5 ranking: 32
Chance to make the playoffs: 4.1%
Chance to win their division: 3.4%
The Texans’ offense is holding the team back from being a legitimate playoff contender. The defense ranks 13th overall, holding teams to 19 points per game, but the offense is averaging 17 points, ranking 27th overall. And much of the scoring woes start with quarterback play. Davis Mills ranks 30th in QBR (31.8), and a large portion of his struggles centers around throwing the ball over 10 yards. He’s completing only 44% of his passes over 10 yards according to Next Gen Stats, which ranks 21st among starting quarterbacks. — DJ Bien-Aime
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Week 5 ranking: 29
Chance to make the playoffs: 0.5%
Chance to win their division: 0.1%
No phase of the Steelers’ game is playing well through the first five games, but the most impactful obstacle is the lack of pass rush. In T.J. Watt‘s absence, the Steelers have recorded only three sacks in four games and have posted two games without a single sack. Without a dependable pass rush, the Steelers’ secondary is stressed, and teams are able to put up big numbers. Meanwhile, the offense lacks an identity and can’t keep up in a high-scoring game. Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes are bleak. — Brooke Pryor

Week 5 ranking: 25
Chance to make the playoffs: 0.7%
Chance to win their division: 0.1%
Let’s be real: From a talent perspective, this team doesn’t have a lot of game-changing players on defense. And through four weeks, the Lions accomplished something that no other team in league history had done since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger when they led the NFL in points per game while ranking last in points per game allowed. That’s a problem! Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn says they struggle with consistency and defending the red zone. Also, Glenn feels the interior defense has been solid, but the Lions are now focusing on improving the perimeter defense — mainly in the secondary. There’s a lot of work to be done and the coaches are taking accountability, but securing a postseason spot (for the first time since 2016) is far in the distance. — Eric Woodyard

Week 5 ranking: 30
Chance to make the playoffs: 3.6%
Chance to win their division: 0.1%
Washington has enough issues — its offensive line remains a problem, and injuries have left it with no margin for error. But the Commanders struggle to get out of their own way — they’ve committed a combined 20 penalties in the past two weeks. It has left them already three games out of third place in the NFC East. They lack defensive playmakers and have just one forced turnover in five games. Their playcalling and game plans have been suspect at times, and they take too long to adjust. There’s enough talent to contend for the playoffs, but if they want to diagnose their issues, everyone in the organization just needs to hold up a mirror. — John Keim
Week 5 ranking: 31
Chance to make the playoffs: 2.1%
Chance to win their division: 0.7%
Not to oversimplify, but the Panthers have lost 11 of their past 12 games and are 11-27 since 2020 — that’s a big reason coach Matt Rhule was fired Monday. Baker Mayfield‘s NFL-worst Total QBR (16.5) is the second worst since ESPN began tracking the stat in 2006, and the Panthers own a third-down conversion rate that is an NFL-worst 24.1. This is a team in flux, so to suggest a playoff appearance seems a bit far-fetched. — David Newton

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