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NFL power rankings Week 5: Chiefs continue to lead the way after beating shorthanded Patriots

Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes after Monday night's rescheduled game, won by Kansas City. (Charlie Riedel/AP)
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Each week during the NFL season, The Washington Post’s Mark Maske ranks the 32 teams. This week, the Kansas City Chiefs keep the top spot after beating the New England Patriots in Monday night’s rescheduled game. The top five remains unchanged, but the Buffalo Bills move ahead of the idle Tennessee Titans for the No. 6 spot. The Indianapolis Colts reach the top 10, and the Cleveland Browns are up to 13th. The Carolina Panthers take a six-spot jump to 15th. The New York Jets remain at the bottom.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) | Last week’s rank: 1

That wasn’t the Chiefs at their best Monday night. But they did enough, and now they’ve beaten the Ravens and Patriots on consecutive Mondays. The win over the Patriots began a stretch of three games in 11 days for the defending champs.

2. Seattle Seahawks (4-0) | Last week’s rank: 2

Only two touchdown passes and a passer rating of 112.4 on Sunday? What’s wrong with Russell Wilson?

3. Baltimore Ravens (3-1) | Last week’s rank: 3

The Ravens had no trouble Sunday as they rebounded from the loss to the Chiefs with a routine victory at Washington. With the Bengals and Eagles up next, the Ravens should be 5-1 entering their newly scheduled Week 7 bye. Then they will have extra time to prepare for their rescheduled Week 8 meeting with the Steelers.

4. Green Bay Packers (4-0) | Last week’s rank: 4

Aaron Rodgers had another big night, and the Packers had little difficulty Monday night against the Falcons. They and the Seahawks are clearly the NFC’s top teams a quarter of the way through the season.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) | Last week’s rank: 5

The postponement of Sunday’s game against the Titans leaves the Steelers scheduled to play 13 straight weeks to finish the regular season. Coach Mike Tomlin dismissed that issue. But it is one of the unkind consequences of an NFL season that, by necessity, is about keeping people healthy and actually having a season rather than about competitive fairness.

6. Buffalo Bills (4-0) | Last week’s rank: 7

The Bills got a scare Sunday with QB Josh Allen’s injury to his left (non-throwing) shoulder. But he returned without missing a play, and the victory in Las Vegas continued the Bills’ impressive start.

7. Tennessee Titans (3-0) | Last week’s rank: 6

If the Titans’ outbreak abates, they would return to the field Sunday against the Bills. It’s next to impossible to try to figure out how the recent novel coronavirus-related events will affect Tennessee’s play.

Titans have no new positive coronavirus tests for first time in a week

8. Los Angeles Rams (3-1) | Last week’s rank: 9

The Rams held on against the winless Giants to stay within a game of Seattle in the NFC West. But CB Jalen Ramsey could face disciplinary action by the league after his postgame fight with the Giants’ Golden Tate.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) | Last week’s rank: 10

Tom Brady’s five touchdown passes Sunday were a major sign that things are coming together for him and the Buccaneers’ offense. But he continues his recent habit of being plagued by one really terrible throw per game, with his second pick-six this season and fourth in his past six games dating back to last season.

Tom Brady throws five touchdowns in win, Dak Prescott’s big game wasted in NFL Week 4

10. Indianapolis Colts (3-1) | Last week’s rank: 15

Whenever Philip Rivers throws no interceptions, as he did in Sunday’s triumph in Chicago, the Colts are going to be a tough team to beat.

11. New England Patriots (2-2) | Last week’s rank: 8

Even in a season in which no one should expect competitive fairness, it was particularly demanding for the Patriots to travel to Kansas City on game day to face the mighty Chiefs without Cam Newton in the lineup.

Patriots’ longest day ends with QB switch, officiating controversy and a loss to Chiefs

12. New Orleans Saints (2-2) | Last week’s rank: 13

The Saints endured their coronavirus scare, with the initially positive result for fullback Michael Burton that came back negative when the test was rerun. Then they overcame a 14-0 deficit with 35 straight points to win Sunday in Detroit. New Orleans now can hope for the return of star WR Michael Thomas to the lineup.

13. Cleveland Browns (3-1) | Last week’s rank: 16

Odell Beckham Jr. played like a star, and the Browns were next to unstoppable in Sunday’s exciting win at Dallas. These are good times so the Browns, and the fans should enjoy them. But the knee injury suffered by RB Nick Chubb dampened the mood.

14. Chicago Bears (3-1) | Last week’s rank: 12

The Chicago offense sputtered Sunday in QB Nick Foles’s first start. The switch from Mitchell Trubisky to Foles was the right move. But the Bears need Foles to play better than he did in the loss to the Colts.

15. Carolina Panthers (2-2) | Last week’s rank: 21

Coach Matt Rhule deserves credit for pulling things together, with consecutive wins following an 0-2 start, in a trying season with conditions that are particularly challenging for a team starting from scratch with a new coach and a new quarterback.

16. Arizona Cardinals (2-2) | Last week’s rank: 14

Trust the Cardinals at your own peril. Their promising 2-0 start has been followed by losses to the Lions and Panthers. At least the Jets are up next.

17. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2-1) | Last week’s rank: 28

The Eagles went from winless when Sunday evening began to residing in first place in the NFC East by night’s end. What a division. But QB Carson Wentz was better in the victory over the 49ers, and the Eagles received unlikely contributions from unsung players such as LB Alex Singleton and former practice squad WR Travis Fulgham.

How awful is the NFC East? The Eagles’ first win put them in first place.

18. San Francisco 49ers (2-2) | Last week’s rank: 11

Nick Mullens’s mistakes led to Sunday night’s loss to the Eagles and his benching in favor of C.J. Beathard. But the Niners clearly need Jimmy Garoppolo back in the lineup. If he steadies the offense, there is enough talent to win despite the other injuries.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (2-2) | Last week’s rank: 17

The Raiders are creating plenty of issues for themselves with a series of fines imposed by the league for violations of coronavirus protocols. The 2-0 start, meanwhile, has given way to consecutive losses, and the Chiefs are up next on the schedule.

20. Minnesota Vikings (1-3) | Last week’s rank: 24

The Vikings are in the win column after their victory in Houston, which was not secured until a late instant-replay ruling in Minnesota’s favor. But there’s a long way to go for the Vikings to climb back into the playoff-contending mix.

21. Denver Broncos (1-3) | Last week’s rank: 25

Second-year QB Brett Rypien’s performance Thursday night was wildly uneven, but it produced a victory over the Jets. It was only the Jets, sure, but the victories have been tough to come by for the Broncos during Vic Fangio’s coaching tenure.

Vic Fangio told Broncos to skip handshake after chippy ending to win over Adam Gase and Jets

22. Cincinnati Bengals (1-2-1) | Last week’s rank: 29

Joe Burrow already had begun to show that he can succeed in the NFL. He demonstrated Sunday that he actually can get the Bengals to win a game. If only they could play the Jaguars every week.

23. Detroit Lions (1-3) | Last week’s rank: 18

Matt Patricia said “there was a lot of work to do” when he arrived to take over as coach. The Lions went 9-7 in 2017 in Jim Caldwell’s final season as coach before he was fired. They have since gone 10-25-1 under Patricia. They’ve lost 12 of their past 13 games. It’s Patricia’s successor who’s really going to have a lot of work to do.

24. Dallas Cowboys (1-3) | Last week’s rank: 19

The defense is about as bad as it gets, and the losses keep coming for the Cowboys despite QB Dak Prescott’s ceaseless production. All is not lost, if only because the Cowboys reside in the dreadful NFC East.

25. Miami Dolphins (1-3) | Last week’s rank: 20

It’s just about time to get Tua Tagovailoa warming up in the bullpen. It’s okay to keep Tagovailoa’s NFL development on hold if you’re winning games with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB. It’s not okay to take that approach and play like this. Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert are showing they can play in this league. Tagovailoa’s chance needs to come relatively soon.

26. Los Angeles Chargers (1-3) | Last week’s rank: 23

Rookie QB Justin Herbert remains productive, but the Chargers haven’t won with him as the fill-in starter for Tyrod Taylor. Clearly it’s Taylor’s team and his starting job when he returns. But Herbert’s play is persuasive that he will be a more-than-capable starter when his time arrives for good.

27. Houston Texans (0-4) | Last week’s rank: 22

Monday’s firing of Bill O’Brien was surprising in its timing. But O’Brien the general manager had let down O’Brien the coach with some questionable roster moves. The 0-3 start could be explained away. The losses, after all, were to the Chiefs, Ravens and Steelers. The 0-4 start? That was not so easily dismissed, with the latest defeat coming to the previously winless Vikings.

Bill O’Brien accumulated all the power with the Texans, and it cost him his job

28. Washington Football Team (1-3) | Last week’s rank: 26

The team simply isn’t very good. But Ron Rivera’s determination and perseverance as he coaches through his cancer treatments should be inspiring to all.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) | Last week’s rank: 27

That season-opening victory over the Colts is becoming a distant memory. Will it end up being the highlight of the Jaguars’ season?

30. Atlanta Falcons (0-4) | Last week’s rank: 30

It keeps getting worse for the Falcons, and it feels increasingly inevitable that major changes are in store. The speculation continues to intensify about Coach Dan Quinn’s job security.

31. New York Giants (0-4) | Last week’s rank: 31

The Giants made it interesting Sunday in Los Angeles against the Rams. But it wasn’t good enough — again. And the postgame fight between Golden Tate and the Rams’ Jalen Ramsey brought the wrong kind of attention.

32. New York Jets (0-4) | Last week’s rank: 32

Adam Gase was left defensively answering questions about his job status Thursday night after being snubbed by Denver’s Vic Fangio on the usual postgame handshake between coaches. It’s always possible that things could get worse for the Jets. But there’s little room left at this point for them to get that much worse.

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