NFL Week 6 Power Rankings: San Francisco 49ers remain on top, Philadelphia Eagles crack the top 3

2T0RJ8D San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) passes against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

• Biggest riser: Indianapolis Colts (up four spots since Week 5)

• Biggest faller: New York Giants (down nine spots since Week 5)

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Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes


You can find a statistical review of Week 5 here.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

NFL Week 6 Power Rankings

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

The Patriots are struggling. They earned just a 52.3 team passing grade and generated the fewest expected points added (EPA) per play (-0.72) on offense in Week 5. They were successful on only 17.6% of their plays, the lowest rate in the league.

The Bears generated a league-leading 0.27 EPA per play on offense in Week 5, with the offense also ranking first in receiving yards after the catch per reception (10.4). Wide receiver D.J. Moore put up a 92.8 receiving grade, the best mark of his season, thanks to a massive three-touchdown and 230-yard game.

The Commanders called 55 consecutive pass plays from early in the second quarter until the end of the game — a PFF record — racking up a league-high 378 passing yards in the process. However, it still wasn't enough to save themselves from falling to the Bears at home. 

We're also reaching the part of the season when injuries start to pile up. Players such as Justin Jefferson, De’Von Achane  and Travis Kelce are now dealing with injuries, so we hope these players and their teams bounce back quickly.

Biggest Riser: Indianapolis Colts

Despite losing quarterback Anthony Richardson mid-game again, the Colts got another win to improve to 3-2. The offensive line looks much improved, with all starters ranking in the top 25% at their respective positions in PFF grade.

While the injury to Richardson certainly hurts, Gardner Minshew is one of the game's better backups and has posted PFF grades near the 70s in his limited time paired with now-head coach Shane Steichen.

Biggest Faller: New York Giants

It has been tough sledding for the Giants, who are riding a three-game losing streak heading into Week 6. The offensive line has been a train wreck — no lineman has graded above 52.0, and the starting tackles currently rank second- and third-worst at the position. 

The result is that Daniel Jones has been sacked 31 times, and the Giants are generating the second-fewest EPA per play on offense. Entering Week 6, they have a 10% chance of picking first overall in the 2024 NFL Draft and a 48% chance of picking in the top five. 

WAR Lost to Injuries

Note: At the time this graphic was created, De’Von Achane and Tyreek Hill were listed as active.

 Von Miller played only 20 snaps against the Jaguars, but he is back from injury nonetheless. Miller has graded above 85.0 in nine of his 11 seasons as a pro and is quite easily one of the best pass-rushers in modern NFL history. Look for him to make an impact with Matt Milano and DaQuan Jones likely out for the rest of the season.

As if Minnesota's season couldn't get any worse, Justin Jefferson suffered a hamstring injury in Week 5 and has since been placed on the injured reserve. The team now needs rookie Jordan Addison (65.1 PFF grade), K.J. Osborn (51.6) and Brandon Powell (70.0 on 28 snaps) to step up in a big way.

The Vikings face the 49ers in two weeks, a tough matchup even with the star pass-catcher in the lineup. According to PFF Greenline, they have had the fourth-hardest schedule to date, but they have the 15th-hardest schedule the rest of the way.

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Dolphins offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn (-0.05 WAR) suffered a neck injury against the Giants in Week 5. While he has not performed well this season, grading negatively on more than 28% of his snaps, the Dolphins are thin along the offensive line. On top of that, Miami also lost De'Von Achane to a knee injury. His backups, Raheem Mostert and Salvon Ahmed, should be able to carry his workload in a scheme that is extraordinarily favorable to the position.

The Cardinals' leading rusher, James Conner, left last week's game with a knee injury. The team's backups have not done much so far this season, with quarterback Joshua Dobbs coming behind Conner in rushing yards.

Name Team Snaps touch % i5 touch % 2MIN touch % Rush Att. Y/Att. Yco/Att. 1D/TD% Early-down % Routes Adj. target % aDOT Routes from slot YPRR Pass-block %
James Conner Cardinals 179 42.5 66.7 25.0 68 5.4 3.51 23.5 55.9 71 11.4 -2.0 3 0.42 26.7
Emari Demercado Cardinals 88 22.7 50.0 15.8 14 3.4 3.00 14.3 10.2 53 13.1 3.3 5 0.75 23.3
Keaontay Ingram Cardinals 22 59.1 0.0 0.0 12 1.3 1.58 0.0 10.2 6 14.3 -4.0 1 1.33 30.0

Click here to see player usage and performance for all 32 teams ahead of Week 6.

Late-Down Decision-Making

The graphic above shows how teams have fared in terms of EPA per play when they go for it on fourth downs. Ironically, the Buccaneers have gone for it the least of any team but have been incredibly successful when they have gone for it. 

The Vikings were aggressive on fourth downs in Week 5, going for it five times. On the year, they’re third in the league in EPA per play on fourth downs at 1.52. 

The Raiders' win against the Packers was not due to their aggressiveness on fourth down. They punted four times and kicked three field goals, two of which were unsuccessful.

Game Finishers

Note: This graphic includes overtime.

It’s been difficult for teams to stop the 49ers and the Eagles at any time in the game, as you can see above. On top of that, the Eagles defense does not allow their opponents to score often. Through five weeks, 68.6% of their opponents' drives have ended in no points.

The Patriots offense is reaching a decades-long low point. Belichick's squad ranks last in the league in EPA per play in both the first and second half. 

This week, the Colts led the league in second-half EPA per play (0.35) against the Titans. As they continue to increase RB Jonathan Taylor’s reps, look for him to make a significant impact. Indy hasn't been very successful at converting drives, but last week, the team finished sixth in successful drive rate at 50%.

The Trenches

The Saints move up in this metric after an excellent performance against the Patriots on both sides of the ball. Center Erik McCoy was the highest-graded offensive lineman this week (94.4), while the Saints defensive line finished top-five in pressures (16), pressure rate (39.4%) and pass-rush grade (79.6).

Although the Cowboys offensive line usually protects the quarterback well, they struggled this week, allowing pressure on 56.7% of their passing snaps. They posted the worst pass-blocking grade of their season as a result (28.3).

Defensive Success

The Dolphins defense has not been otherwordly this season, but it was successful against the Giants in Week 5. They allowed -0.113 EPA per play, the seventh-best mark in the league. Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins earned a season-best 92.0 pass-rush grade and won one-third of his reps. 

Aidan Hutchinson continues to perform at a high level and earned a career-best 94.1 overall grade in Week 5. The rest of the Lions pass rush as a whole is fairly average, however, as the unit ranks 19th in pass-rush grade through Week 5.

Although the Broncos defense has struggled this season, they have a few bright spots. Alex Singleton posted a 79.9 run-defense grade this week, fifth among linebackers. Defensive end Zach Allen earned an 80.8 pass-rush grade that ranked sixth.

Perfectly Covering Plays

Kyle Shanahan’s offense is moving further away from the pack when it comes to forcing broken coverage on offense.

After a hot start, Mike McDaniel’s offense has cooled down a little bit, but he is still one of the best play-callers in terms of scheming open players, and it helps to have the dynamic duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

On the other end of the spectrum, Matt Canada and Eric Bienemy’s offenses haven’t been that good at forcing coverage mistakes, with both ranking at the bottom of the league in this metric.

Sustaining Drives on Offense

The Rams took the throne from the Bills as the top team at avoiding three-and-outs so far this season. They were able to get past that first series pretty consistently against the Eagles but stalled after that due to bad pass protection from the offensive line.

The Cardinals also fell closer to the league average this week after finishing in second place in this metric in Week 4.

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