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My 2022 NFL Power Index Week 5

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Rich has a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Penn State. WE ARE!!!

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2022 Week 5 NFL Power Index

If you didn't watch a lot of football there's one thing that was made abundantly clear in the NFL this weekend. Nobody knows what a roughing the passer penalty is or what it looks like. What I do know is that there were two of those penalties called on plays in which roughing the passer absolutely did not occur. For the pics or it didn't happen crew, well, you have to delve a bit deeper for the visual proof. I can't just give it all away in the header.

1. Buffalo Bills (4-1) ~ So, I was away this weekend and didn't get to watch as much of the NFL as I typically like to on a regular Sunday. That said, this play did make me, and my dad, yell when we saw it happen in real time. Now if only I was enjoying a pizza from The Boiler Room right now like I was when that play happened. (Last Week's Ranking 1)

2. Philadelphia Eagles (5-0) ~ They held on when Arizona's kicker pushed the game-tying field goal wide right, but a win is a win. Philly remains the lone undefeated team in the NFL. While that's great and all, if they fall to Dallas Sunday night, not only will they be knocked from the ranks of the undefeated, but they'll be knocked out of first place in the NFC East. (LWR 2)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (4-1) ~ There can be a lot said about Monday night's game, but I'll just let this do the talking. (LWR 3)

4. Minnesota Vikings (4-1) ~ Three straight wins have the Vikings alone atop the NFC North. Three straight one score wins. You could look at that as they are a team that can be beaten any given Sunday. You could also look at that as they are a team that knows they can win on any given Sunday. (LWR 5)

5. Baltimore Ravens (3-2) ~ Justin Tucker booted yet another game-winning field goal in Sunday night's game against Cincinnati. He is now 18-for-18 in his career on field goals within the final minute of regulation or overtime. There's a lot of talk about which quarterback is the goat. I think it's safe to say Tucker is the goat kicker. I just hope PETA doesn't get mad at me for that one. (LWR 9)

6. Dallas Cowboys (4-1) ~ Through five games Dallas' defense has given up 19, 17, 16, 10 and 10 points. That's elite production and this team presumably gets better once Dak Prescott returns to the lineup. Could that be in time for Sunday night's game against my Eagles? (LWR 11)

7. Miami Dolphins (3-2) ~ I'm sticking them here because I believe Tua Tagovailoa will be cleared to return to the lineup Sunday. With him under center, and healthy, the Dolphins are a legit threat to Buffalo in the AFC East. Without him, and without backup Teddy Bridgewater, well, then they may be looking at a top five draft selection. (LWR 4)

8. Green Bay Packers (3-2) ~ There's a lot of talk about where free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will sign and play this year. I can't think of a better spot than Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers has yet to find a replacement for Davante Adams and Beckham can immediately fill that number one receiver position. He would join a team that has Super Bowl aspirations and get to play with a premiere quarterback. Seems like a win-win. (LWR 6)

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2) ~ In the lede I mentioned there were some terrible roughing the passer penalties called this past weekend. One benefitted the Bucs when Tom Brady was taken down on this play. The other benefitted the Las Vegas Raiders when Derek Carr was taken down on this play. Which one do you think was worse? (LWR 8)

10. Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) ~ Keenan Allen hasn't played since the season opener due to a hamstring injury, but he made his voice heard during Sunday's game. Allen tweeted "WTF are we doing" in response to the Chargers decision to go for it on fourth down, in their own territory, late in the game. They failed to convert, but held on to get the win when Cleveland missed a field goal. Can't help but wonder if that means Allen is displeased with the team as a whole or vice versa. (LWR 12)

11. San Francisco 49ers (3-2) ~ We saw earlier what Dallas' defense has allowed this season. Let's compare that to San Fran who, through five games, has surrendered 19, 7, 11, 9 and 15 points. That is also elite production while working with a backup quarterback. Dallas will get theirs back, but I think the 49ers will be just fine with Jimmy G running the show. (LWR 13)

12. New York Giants (4-1) ~ New York scored 27 points with five straight scoring drives to end the game and complete the comeback across the pond. They are off to their best start since going 5-0 in 2009 and they've successfully matched last season's win total. Are the G-Men back? (LWR 15)

13. Los Angeles Rams (2-3) ~ Matthew Stafford has just one touchdown pass in his last three games. He's thrown more interceptions (7) than touchdowns (5) for the season. They may be the Super Bowl champs, but right now they aren't even the best team that plays in L.A. (LWR 7)

14. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) ~ While the offense isn't making explosive plays as often as they were last year, the team isn't as bad as their record indicates. They've lost three games by a total of eight points. I believe they'll be just fine. (LWR 10)

15. Tennessee Titans (3-2) ~ Three straight wins have the Titans atop the AFC South as they enter their bye week. The more important stat there is that we have reached the point of the season with bye weeks. Better make sure Derrick Henry is out of your lineup this weekend and then not again the rest of the season. (LWR 19)

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16. New Orleans Saints (2-3) ~ Taysom Hill, listed as a tight end, currently leads the Saints in rushing yards (228). He accounted for four touchdowns Sunday as he ran it in three times and also threw a 22-yard strike for another. The Saints seem to be a better team whenever he is on the field regardless of position. (LWR 20)

17. Cleveland Browns (2-3) ~ Nick Chubb leads the NFL in rushing yards (593) and touchdowns (7). It's almost a shame he plays for a such a mediocore team. (LWR 16)

18. Arizona Cardinals (2-3) ~ Eight straight home losses for the Cardinals. That's the longest active streak in the NFL. That streak could have been stopped at seven if it weren't for plays like these. (LWR 18)

19. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3) ~ Nine straight losses for the Jags against the Houston Texans. The last three of which did not include Deshaun Watson suiting up for Houston. No excuse. I knew I ranked them too high last week. It even felt wrong. (LWR 14)

20. Denver Broncos (2-3) ~ They've scored 75 points across their first five games. That's an average of 15 points per game. That's just not going to get it done in today's NFL. I get there are going to be growing pains with a rookie head coach, but Russell Wilson has been to two Super Bowls. There hasn't been a single point this season where he has looked that part. Is it too early to say he's cooked? (LWR 17)

21. Indianapolis Colts (2-2-1) ~ Russ isn't the only veteran quarterback struggling on a new team. Matt Ryan is currently leading the league's worst offense at 13.8 points per game. More likely this is the end of the road for him than it is for Russ. (LWR 21)

22. New England Patriots (2-3) ~ They hosted the highest scoring offense the NFL had to offer and blanked them. Clearly it was because they went with their throwback uniforms. (LWR 25)

23. Seattle Seahawks (2-3) ~ This week's pop quiz: Who is the highest rated quarterback in the league? That would be Geno Smith and his 113.1 which is higher than Mahomes' 110.5. I really hope you got that one right. I mean, I asked it in the recap for Seattle. It wouldn't make sense if it wasn't Seattle's quarterback. (LWR 23)

24. New York Jets (3-2) ~ The Jets picked up their first division win since Week 17 of the 2019 season. They did it in style too, by hanging 40 on the Dolphins. Both the Jets and Giants have winning records. (LWR 29)

25. Las Vegas Raiders (1-4) ~ Davante Adams shoved a man who was working Monday night's broadcast and that is the bigger takeaway than the end result of the game. The man has filed a suit against Adams. Could Adams be facing a fine from the league and perhaps a suspension? (LWR 22)

26. Atlanta Falcons (2-3) ~ Marcus Mariota has been OK in Atlanta. The former number two overall pick has been given another chance to be the starter, but with mixed results. I wonder if we will see the team hand the reigns to Desmond Ridder whom Atlanta drafted in the third round this year. At some point they have to play for the future and Ridder should be a focal point of that future. (LWR 26)

27. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4) ~ Speaking of quarterbacks of the future, Kenny Pickett made his first start for the Steelers and, well, it was a blowout. Pickett, who played college ball at Pittsburgh, did throw for 327 yards in the loss. It was Pittsburgh's four loss in a row which is their longest losing streak since 2013. (LWR 24)

28. Detroit Lions (1-4) ~ Their high-flying offense came down to Earth with a thud in New England. Now, the Lions will head into their bye week after their worst game of the season. (LWR 27)

29. Chicago Bears (2-3) ~ For the first time all season Justin Fields threw for more than 175 yards. For the first time since week one, Fields threw a touchdown pass. What is it about Ohio State quarterbacks when they get to the NFL? It never seems to work. (LWR 28)

30. Houston Texans (1-3-1) ~ There will not be a winless team this season! Pop the champagne! (LWR 32)

31. Washington Commanders (1-4) ~ Is Carson Wentz the answer in Washington? Just listen to his coach. (LWR 30)

32. Carolina Panthers (1-4) ~ Head Coach Matt Rhule has been fired. Quarterback Baker Mayfield is expected to miss a few weeks. Will running back Christian McCaffrey be on the trading block this year? (LWR 31)

And that is that. That's all I've got this week. You're now free to go about the rest of your day. Or night. Whatever it may be. If you want more of me, leave a comment below or follow me on social media via the link in my bio.

© 2022 Rich

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