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2016 NFL power rankings, Week 6: 49ers continue slipping, Vikings surging

We break down some of the notable teams around the NFL in our latest power rankings.

Week 5 is officially a wrap, which means it is time to move on to Week 6 NFL power rankings. The past week started with the San Francisco 49ers dropping to 1-4 with an ugly loss to the Arizona Cardinals, and closed with an ugly Monday Night Football affair between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Roberto Aguayo kicked a 38-yard field goal as time expired, after missing a 46-yard attempt earlier in the game. The Bucs improve to 2-3, while the Panthers dropped to 1-4.

The 49ers are tumbling. They have lost four straight with a mix of inconsistent play from the quarterback, wide receivers, and defense as a whole. They have two more games before their Week 8 bye, traveling to face a surging Buffalo Bills team, and then hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I could see a split there, but the 49ers have a lot to figure out, whether they roll out Colin Kaepernick or not.

We are five weeks into the 2016 NFL season, and with the power rankings come questions about several teams. There are still numerous questions about the Oakland Raiders. They are 4-1, coming off a big home divisional win over the San Diego Chargers. However, they have a point differential of +5, which is the lowest amount for any team with a positive differential. They’re winning games with great offensive work, but that defense is brutal. Can they keep it up?

The Minnesota Vikings improved to 5-0 with an easy win over the Houston Texans. They travel to face the 3-1 Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6 with Philly coming off their first loss, to the Detroit Lions. The Vikings defense is playing great, and Sam Bradford is playing great football. In four starts, he is completing 70.4 percent of his passes, and has thrown for 990 yards and six touchdowns, with no interceptions. Will he stay healthy?

On the other end of things, will the Panthers figure things out? They clearly missed Cam Newton, but they have also been missing running back Jonathan Stewart in a big way. He could be back in Week 6 from his hamstring injury. Getting both back should help, but they have a lot of work in front of them. The Bucs loss is a bad one, but with Derek Anderson out there, it was not entirely shocking. And losing to the Falcons and Vikings are not looking like bad losses at this point. Their next three games are at the Saints, home against the Cardinals, and at the Rams. All three are winnable, but who knows what to make of them for the time being.

On to the Week 6 NFL power rankings!

Rank Team LW
1 New England Patriots (4-1) 2
2 Minnesota Vikings (5-0) 3
3 Green Bay Packers (3-1) 6
4 Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) 7
5 Atlanta Falcons (4-1) 12
6 Oakland Raiders (4-1) 8
7 Denver Broncos (4-1) 1
8 Dallas Cowboys (4-1) 10
9 Seattle Seahawks (3-1) 5
10 Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) 4
11 Buffalo Bills (3-2) 20
12 Washington (3-2) 19
13 Houston Texans (3-2) 9
14 Kansas City Chiefs (2-2) 14
15 Baltimore Ravens (3-2) 11
16 Los Angeles Rams (3-2) 13
17 Arizona Cardinals (2-3) 18
18 Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) 15
19 New York Giants (2-3) 16
20 Tennessee Titans (2-3) 22
21 Detroit Lions (2-3) 24
22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) 23
23 Carolina Panthers (1-4) 17
24 Indianapolis Colts (2-3) 26
25 Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) 25
26 New York Jets (1-4) 21
27 San Diego Chargers (1-4) 29
28 Chicago Bears (1-4) 30
29 San Francisco 49ers (1-4) 27
30 New Orleans Saints (1-3) 28
31 Miami Dolphins (1-4) 31
32 Cleveland Browns (0-5) 32