NFL Week 5 Power Rankings: San Francisco 49ers move to No. 1, Detroit Lions continue to climb

2T02M3K Oct 1, 2023; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) during the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi?s Stadium. (Stan Szeto/Image of Sport/Sipa USA)

Biggest riser: Jacksonville Jaguars (up three spots since Week 4)

Biggest faller: New Orleans Saints (down five spots since Week 4)

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Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes


You can find a statistical review of Week 4 here.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

NFL Week 5 Power Rankings

  1. San Francisco 49ers (up 1)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (down 1)
  3. Buffalo Bills (no change)
  4. Miami Dolphins (no change)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (no change)
  6. Philadelphia Eagles (no change)
  7. Baltimore Ravens (no change)
  8. Detroit Lions (up 2)
  9. Jacksonville Jaguars (up 3)
  10. Los Angeles Chargers (up 1)
  11. Cleveland Browns (down 3)
  12. Cincinnati Bengals (down 3)
  13. Seattle Seahawks (no change)
  14. Minnesota Vikings (up 2)
  15. Green Bay Packers (no change)
  16. New York Jets (up 1)
  17. Washington Commanders (up 1)
  18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (up 1)
  19. New Orleans Saints (down 5)
  20. New York Giants (no change)
  21. Tennessee Titans (up 1)
  22. Los Angeles Rams (up 1)
  23. Atlanta Falcons (down 2)
  24. Indianapolis Colts (up 1)
  25. New England Patriots (down 1)
  26. Denver Broncos (up 2)
  27. Pittsburgh Steelers (down 1)
  28. Houston Texans (up 1)
  29. Las Vegas Raiders (down 2)
  30. Arizona Cardinals (up 1)
  31. Carolina Panthers (down 1)
  32. Chicago Bears (no change)

The Lions convincingly beat the Packers on Thursday Night Football, earning their second-best offensive grade (77.1) and their best defensive grade (78.8) in a game this season. Green Bay's offense, on the other hand, recorded its lowest expected points added per play figure this season (-0.21).

After putting up 70 points last week, the Dolphins suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of the Bills. Only two undefeated teams remain: the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers. Through Week 4, they rank sixth and second in offensive grade and 11th and first in defensive grade, respectively.


Biggest Riser: Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars have endured a somewhat tumultuous start to the season but beat the Falcons handily in London in Week 4. While Trevor Lawrence‘s raw numbers aren't all that impressive, he ranks second in PFF passing grade and is tied for second in big-time throws, suggesting the Jaguars will remain among the game's best. On defense, the team is led by a terrific cornerback duo in Tyson Campbell and Darious Williams, who have graded out as the 16th- and fourth-best cornerbacks, respectively, through Week 4.

Biggest Faller: New Orleans Saints

Despite the Saints being the odds-on favorite to win the NFC South in the preseason, it has been rough sailing for the team so far, reaching a low point following their 26-9 Week 4 loss to the Buccaneers. Derek Carr seems to be playing hurt, compounding an already tough start in which he ranks 28th out of 34 qualifying quarterbacks in PFF grade. And despite three Saints wide receivers ranking in the top 40 in PFF grade, the team's offense has thrown to open receivers at the third-lowest rate in the NFL.

WAR Lost to Injuries

Injuries to Micah Parsons (third in WAR among edge defenders) and Zack Martin (fifth in WAR among guards) for the Cowboys do not appear to be serious but have put the team at the top of this graphic.

The Cleveland Browns‘ defense has been firing on all cylinders this season, ranking fourth in PFF grade (77.2) and allowing the lowest EPA per play figure (-0.31). Myles Garrett (0.59 WAR) injured his foot against the Ravens in Week 4 but may have time to recover during Cleveland's Week 5 bye.

Tre’Davious White is out for the rest of the 2023 season after tearing his Achilles. The Bills' defense ranks fifth in EPA per play allowed (-0.17) so far this season and places second in sacks (17), although someone will need to step up to replace White.


Late-Down Decision-Making

The Giants went for a fourth down on their first drive against the Seahawks but were unsuccessful. Despite this, they have been successful on fourth downs this season, either gaining a new set of downs or scoring on two-thirds of their plays. No team has gone for it on fourth down more than the Giants.

The Dolphins punted three times and went for it three times on fourth down this week. Tua Tagovailoa was sacked on two of those tries.


Game Finishers

The Texans put together an impressive second half to finish off the Steelers in Week 4. They had the highest EPA per play in the second half this week (1.04).

Despite letting the Commanders come back to tie the game in Week 4, the Eagles scored points on four of their five second-half drives.

The Browns have largely leaned on their defense to keep them in games this season. Their EPA per play figure on offense in the second half has been negative each week through Week 4.


The Trenches

The Eagles' offensive and defensive lines continue to perform well. Their offensive line has allowed only two sacks, and Jason Kelce is responsible for only two pressures through Week 4. The Vikings' offensive line also played well this week, grading out as the top unit in run blocking (85.3) and helping the offense rack up 135 rushing yards, the most they’ve tallied in a game this season.

The Dolphins' and Giants' offensive lines were among the worst in the league this past week. Miami's Isaiah Wynn and Terron Armstead were defeated on more than 40% of their run-blocking snaps. The Giants' line allowed four sacks, with guard Ben Bredeson finishing as one of the lowest-graded offensive linemen of Week 4 (42.3). He was defeated on 36.4% of his run-blocking snaps.

The Patriots offensive line struggled against the Cowboys, allowing the highest pressure rate this week (51.6%).

Defensive Success

Miami’s defense struggled against the Bills in Week 4, ranking 26th in team defense grade and 31st in EPA allowed per play. The Bills defense held up well, allowing 6.9 yards per play to an offense that had generated 8.2 yards per play over the first three weeks.

The Lions field one of the top defenses in the league. Through four weeks, they rank 10th in team defensive grade and ninth in EPA per play allowed. Aidan Hutchinson has been excellent to start the year and leads the league in pressures with 27.

The Seahawks defense has also performed well. They racked up 11 sacks, five more than any other defense this week. Rookie Devon Witherspoon accounted for two of those sacks and earned the third-highest PFF grade among cornerbacks.

Perfectly Covering Plays

The 49ers take over the top spot in terms of facing the lowest percentage of perfectly covered plays on offense. In Week 4, the Niners had a 66% overall success rate and an 80% dropback success rate, both 100th-percentile outcomes in a single game.

Despite a bad defensive performance against the Ravens, the Browns defense is still the best in the league at perfectly covering plays on defense.

The Patriots rank fifth at forcing broken coverage on offense, yet Mac Jones has put on some very sub-par performances this year, which is a cause for concern.

Sustaining Drives on Offense

The first-time offensive coordinators in Arizona and Houston have done an incredible job of sustaining drives. The Cardinals rank second in this metric with Joshua Dobbs at QB and Marquise Brown as his WR1, an impressive feat, especially considering the Cardinals have already played the Cowboys and 49ers.

Bobby Slowik has also been very impressive in Houston and played a major role in C.J. Stroud’s early-season development. He is part of the reason why Stroud is the favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year in the betting markets.

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