There is some separation going on in the NFL, and a big part of it is at the bottom of the league. Now that the season is chugging along, each Monday, we’ll be taking a look at NFL rankings from a couple perspectives.
The first will be the NFL Draft perspective. The San Francisco 49ers are 1-4 heading into Week 6 Monday Night Football, and I think most of us are not holding out hope for a playoff berth. I am not rooting for the team to lose, but there are certain benefits that can come with losing. For now at least, it is worth seeing how certain other teams are performing in case the 49ers find themselves in a lengthy losing streak.
The second will be the playoff perspective. The 49ers aren’t going to be playing in January, but most of us will still be paying attention to whomever is left over. So, we’ll include a section in here looking at what the playoff picture looks like, including any notable shakeups.
2019 NFL Draft order
The 49ers and Packers wrap up Week 6, but we already have a handle on where things stand around San Francisco. Four teams entered the week with the same 1-4 record as the 49ers, and all four teams lost on Sunday. The New York Giants opened the week getting thumped 34-13 by the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football. On Sunday, the Oakland Raiders traveled to London to lose 27-3 to the Seattle Seahawks, the Arizona Cardinals lost 27-17 to the Minnesota Vikings, and the Indianapolis Colts lost 42-34 to the New York Jets.
If the 49ers lose on Monday, they drop into a five-way tie for the worst record. If they win, they will move into a tie with the Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, and Denver Broncos at 2-4. There’s a long way to go in this season, but the bottom third of the league is working to separate itself.
1. New York Giants (1-5 — .483)
2. Indianapolis Colts (1-5 — .484)
3. Arizona Cardinals (1-5 — .533)
4. Oakland Raiders (1-5 — .547)
5. San Francisco 49ers (1-4 — .500)
2019 NFL playoffs
Sunday Night Football brought a fitting conclusion to the day. The New England Patriots won a wild one over the Kansas City Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes connected with Tyreek Hill on a 14-yard touchdown to tie the Patriots at 40 with 3:03 to go. That gave Tom Brady and the Patriots too much time, as they drove down and won it on a Stephen Gostkowski field goal as time expired. That capped a 30-point fourth quarter! The Patriots improved to 4-2 and remain tied with the Miami Dolphins atop the AFC East, while the Chiefs dropped to 5-1 and are a game ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC West.
The other big win in the AFC saw the Pittsburgh Steelers get a huge road win over the Cincinnati Bengals to improve to 3-2-1. Cincinnati dropped to 4-2 and is now tied with the Baltimore Ravens atop the AFC North following Baltimore’s win over Tennessee. The AFC South is a log jam with Tennessee sitting at 3-3 and tied with Houston and Jacksonville.
One team quietly working its way into the AFC playoff picture is the New York Jets. The Jets beat the Colts 42-34 to improve to 3-3 and join a mess of teams a game back of the two wild card berths. The Jets have wins at Detroit and at home against Denver and Indianapolis. Their three losses are home against Miami, and at Cleveland and Jacksonville. This week they host Minnesota in a game that should offer some clarity as to whether or not New York is a contender or not.
In the NFC, Washington got the biggest win in Week 6. They beat the Carolina Panthers to improve to 3-2, and remain a half game up on the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. Meanwhile, Carolina dropped to a game back of New Orleans in the AFC South. The Atlanta Falcons got a must-needed win over Tampa Bay to improve to 2-4. They remain in last place in the AFC North, but a loss to the Bucs would have been a huge blow to the injury-plagued team.
We’ll be back with a full rundown of the NFC West on Tuesday, but in the meantime, the Rams won in Denver to improve to 6-0. Seattle beat Oakland in London to maintain pace and sit three games back in the division. The Seahawks have a bye next week while the Rams travel to Santa Clara to face the 49ers.
NFC playoff picture
1. Los Angeles Rams (6-0)
2. New Orleans Saints (4-1)
3. Washington (3-2)
4. Chicago Bears (3-2)
5. Carolina Panthers (3-2)
6. Minnesota Vikings (3-2-1)
AFC playoff picture
1. Kansas City Chiefs (5-1)
2. New England Patriots (4-2)
3. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)
4. Tennessee Titans (3-3)
5. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)
6. Baltimore Ravens (4-2)