Week 5 NFL Power Rankings, Presented by GMC
Everyone has their own set of NFL power rankings, but not all of them take computer-driven, algorithmically-derived approaches that look at underlying data to figure out true team strength.
But numberFire's power rankings do just that.
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Using our nERD metric, which indicates the expected point differential against an average opponent on a neutral field, here is how our model ranks and rates all 32 teams.
numberFire's NFL Power Rankings
The highest climber in the power rankings this week were the Dallas Cowboys, who moved from 14th to 6th in the nERD rankings after a rating shift from +0.98 to +3.36. Dallas is on the verge of getting franchise passer Dak Prescott back and has a lot of winnable games on the schedule remaining. Next week, they face the Los Angeles Rams (13th in nERD) and then the Philadelphia Eagles (3rd) on the road but then host the Detroit Lions (29th) and Chicago Bears (26th). In total, they have seven games remaining against teams 20th or worse in nERD. Winning all seven would get them to 10 wins, so it tracks that their playoff odds are still 69.1% despite the Eagles' 4-0 record ahead of them in the division.
The Cincinnati Bengals definitely bounced back but were already a strong team by nERD even if their record was poor to start the year. After two three-point losses to start the 2022 season, the Bengals picked up consecutive double-digit wins and -- after a matchup with the Baltimore Ravens (11th) this week -- they get six straight against teams 20th or worse in nERD. Expect a huge surge in their playoff odds and Super Bowl expectations if they start to click and take advantage of these opportunities.
We saw the Los Angeles Chargers scale their way into the top 10 this week after a nERD increase of 2.23 points. Their division odds, given a 2-2 record, are only 14.9%, yet they're still a more-likely-than-not playoff team (55.0%). They're set up to reel off some wins in upcoming weeks: only the Denver Broncos (15th) are a top-half team by nERD among their next four opponents.
Speaking of the Broncos, their rank plummeted from 5th to 15th after a nine-point loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 4. Denver's got a one-point loss, a one-point win, and a seven-point win otherwise. Beating the 32nd-ranked Houston Texans by just seven points and then having coinflips elsewhere isn't going to lead to a strong nERD score. The average 2-2 team has a 43.8% chance to make the playoffs. Denver's playoff odds are just 32.6%.