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Unbiased NFL Power Ratings: Week 5 Edition

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The landscape of the NFL can change rapidly. One week you're upsetting the defending Super Bowl champions in their place and the next week you find yourself down 14 points at home. That's where the "unbiased" rankings come in. It's my job to cut through all the emotion and knee-jerk reactions and find out which teams are truly the elite and which ones are more pretender than contender.

We use a simple system. You get five points for a win. You also get five points for each game a defeated opponent wins. No points for a loss because life is tough. I'm trying to prepare you.

Week 5 NFL Power Rankings by FalconsTroy

This week I divided the teams up into tiers. Remember, these are not predictive rankings. They simply measure what a team has done this season. No preconceived notions. If you perform on the field, you move up.

  • Tier I: Championship Contender
  • Tier II: Playoff Potential
  • Tier III: Still A Lot To Prove
  • Tier IV: Time To Put Up Or Shut Up
  • Tier V: Focusing On The 2011 Draft

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The Baltimore Ravens move up five spots after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers and are now tied for first with ... the Steelers. The Atlanta Falcons moved down one spot to make room for the Ravens but they are still in the top tier.

The Miami Dolphins were the biggest losers this week dropping 10 spots after their loss to the New England Patriots on Monday Night. The biggest movers were the Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Rams and New York Giants who all delivered big wins against over-.500 teams.

Atlanta is tied for third with the Houston Texans and New York Jets. Every game played makes the Falcons even more impressive. Right now, they are the best team in the NFC ahead of the Chicago Bears and ... wait for it ... the St. Louis Rams. I know, it's laughable but look at what they've done on the field. They are more impressive than the New Orleans Saints who despite having three wins have beaten only one opponent with a win this season.

The Falcons don't face a team in the top two tiers until they play host to the Ravens on Nov. 11. I'll try to control my homerism, but is 7-1 heading into that Thursday Night NFL Network game really a stretch? Looking at the rankings, I don't see why not.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.