The Californian

Colts help break up Bay Area bottom dwellers

Tonight's matchup between KC and NE features two of top three team in rankings

Cameron McKeon, Sports Editor

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WARNING: The following content may contain elements that are not suitable for Bay Area football fans.
After another exciting week of football, both ends of the power rankings feature new teams. A couple of legendary quarterbacks etched themselves deeper into the record books in week 5, while the new QBs on the block all led their teams to victory.

And  Raider Coach Jon Gruden  has led his team straight into the Oakland Coliseum dirt at No. 32: 

32. Oakland Raiders (-6)
No, I didn’t do this out of spite. The Raiders are arguably the worst team in football right now. There isn’t much to say about their 26-10 loss to the Chargers, except that your interceptions-thrown leader through five weeks is Derek Carr.

31. Indianapolis Colts (-2)
Three losses in a row and a 1-4 record doesn’t bode well for the Colts. Andrew Luck threw the ball nearly 60 times in their 38-24 loss to the Patriots, an absurd total. Eric Ebron had a nice day with over a 100 yards receiving and a couple of touchdowns, but it’s painfully obvious how mediocre Indianapolis is.

30. San Francisco 49ers
(-2) Yikes. The ‘Niners lost to the miserable Cardinals and share the bottom three with the other Bay Area team. This season has become a complete disaster for San Francisco, losing both their starting running back and quarterback for the year while falling to 1-4 in the process.

29. Arizona Cardinals (+3)
Nobody is going 0-16 this season! The Cardinals put up 28 points despite Josh Rosen only completing 10 of 25 passes. Defensive delivery was the key to Arizona’s success, who came up on the short end of the stick on most offensive categories. They head to Minnesota next week, a lofty task for the rookie quarterback.

28. New York Giants (-4)
It’s a shame the Giants have multiple offensive superstars but their lackluster quarterback and offensive line can’t take advantage of it. The best part about Eli Manning at this point of his career is his facial expressions. He seems to sport a new and improved one every week.

27. New York Jets (+3)
Over 200 rushing yards for Isaiah Crowell equaled a multiple score win for the Jets. I doubt anybody would’ve predicted either of these events coming to fruition. Three of 10 Sam Darnold completions found the end zone, with Robby Anderson catching two of them.

26. Buffalo Bills (+5)
It’s genuinely surprising that the Bills are 2-3 at this point. Fans should be content with this despite the losing record. Buffalo slipped past the Titans on a game-winning field goal from Stephen Hauschka in a 13-12 victory. The win overshadows Josh Allen’s less-than-impressive stat line of 82 yards and no touchdowns and a pick.

25. Denver Broncos (-3)
A bad loss for the Broncos is their third straight after a perfect 2-0 start. Case Keenum played well under center, but the defense was dismal for Denver against a pedestrian Jets offense that put up huge numbers. To give up 200 yards to a single running back is bad, but add to that the fact it was Isaiah Crowell. But wait, there’s more! They gave up 99 rushing yards on top of that to Bilal Powell.

24. Atlanta Falcons (-8)
An injured defense is equivalent to no defense for the Falcons. Exhibit A: Three straight games with at least 37 points given up. The offense is probably top-10 in the NFL, but that means nothing without a defense.

23. Washington Redskins
(-7) If anything, the Redskins made the Saints look like Super Bowl favorites on Monday Night. Again, Washington is impossible to read, but we may have seen their true colors following the 43-19 loss. The running game was abandoned early on, and when that happens, it usually means bad news for the ‘Skins.

22. Dallas Cowboys (-2)
It’s hard to be a winning when there’s only one playmaker on offense. Dallas has averaged less than seven first-half points this year, and there has been a total of two touchdowns caught by Cowboys WRs.

21. MIami Dolphins (-3)
The past couple weeks are a better representation of the 2018 Miami Dolphins and what we should expect more of this year. Miami’s offense absolutely fell apart in the second half of their 27-17 loss to the Bengals. The 30th ranked offense will have their hands full with the 2nd best defense at home against Chicago this week.

20. Cleveland Browns (+7)
In all seriousness, the Browns 2-2-1 record could easily be 5-0 right now. It may sound silly, but make a couple more kicks, and it’s a completely different story. Despite only 12 points on the scoreboard, Baker Mayfield tossed for 342 yards and Cleveland came away with the divisional victory over the Ravens.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(-) It was a bye week for the Bucs. They play in Atlanta this week with Jameis “crab legs” Winston getting his first start of the season.

18. Seattle Seahawks (+5)
It may have been a loss in the books, but in many ways, the Seahawks 33-31 loss to the Rams can be seen as a mental win. The offense was nothing short of spectacular considering the opponent, and Seattle held the lead for the majority of the way. For a while it seemed as if the Seahawks would spoil Los Angeles’s perfect record, but the defense couldn’t hold in the fourth quarter.

17. Detroit Lions (+8)
Credit must be given where credit is due. The run game has been the X-factor in the Lions’ wins, as LaGarrette Blount punched in the rock twice last week and Kerryon Johnson provided the necessary spark to pull of a 31-23 upset of the Packers.

16. Tennessee Titans (-3)
So what should we think, Taylor Lewan? Apparently the Titans are slept on, and after their 13-12 loss to the Bills, I say keep sleeping. Since we’re on the topic, it would be nice to see Derrick Henry wake up. He is being severely affected by the arrival of Dion Lewis, and the former Heisman winner is yet to crack 60 rushing yards in a game so far this year.

15. Houston Texans (+6)
Besides getting stopped numerous times within 5 yards of the end zone, it was a good offensive and defensive showing for the Texans in their 19-16 win over the Cowboys. Two consecutive wins bring Houston back into the playoff conversation after a very rough start to the season.

14. Baltimore Ravens (-6)
Stifled by the Browns defense, the Ravens failed to record a touchdown in the 12-9 loss. It was a rough go for Joe Flacco and Co., keeping Justin Tucker busy. You can’t rely on your kicker to continually be the MVP of your offense, and Baltimore must learn this one way or another.

13. Philadelphia Eagles
(-3) It’s truly been a rough go of things for the Eagles to begin the 2018 season, and many question the legitimacy of this squad, which fell under .500 with a 23-21 loss to the Vikings. But the defending Super Bowl champs seemed to return to last season’s form with a rout of the Giants on Thursday night. The schedule doesn’t get easier from over the next few weeks either, featuring matchups against the Jags and Panthers.

12. Green Bay Packers (-3)
One of the more surprising losses this week was the Packers 31-21 flop to Detroit. Kicker Mason Crosby missed a total of five kicks that ultimately led to the Packers demise. The loss to the Lions puts Green Bay at 2-2-1, a disappointing record for the highly anticipated squad. Aaron Rodgers can’t do absolutely everything. In addition to Crosby, the defense didn’t exactly do their job.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers
(+4) The Steelers blew out the Falcons behind a pair of touchdowns from both James Conner and Antonio Brown. It must be awfully nice to lose a star running back just to find that the one behind him is nearly as productive. Pittsburgh took complete advantage of the Falcons depleted defense.

10. Los Angeles Chargers
(+4) The Chargers pulled away from the Raiders early, swiping a couple wins from the Bay Area teams two weeks in a row. RB Austin Ekeler has surprisingly emerged as a big offensive threat for Los Angeles, making this team a more complete, dynamic squad.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars
(-6) Even the stellar Jaguars defense couldn’t stop the Chiefs and the offense was turnover-happy in the 30-14 loss. Blake Bortles had a very Bortles-like performance, tossing four interceptions to go with only one touchdown on 61 pass attempts.

8. Cincinnati Bengals (+4)
The Bengals keep proving critics wrong and climbing up the rankings, defeating the Dolphins 27-17 last Sunday. Those 27 points were unanswered, overcoming a 17-0 deficit. Two defensive touchdowns contributed to the 24 point fourth quarter for the Bengals.

7. Chicago Bears (-)
It was a bye week for the Bears. They play in Miami this week, looking to improve to 4-1.

6. Minnesota Vikings (+5)
A crucial win over the Eagles proved to many that the Vikings are still a top-notch team, with Adam Thielen accumulating over 100 yards in each of the first five games. The consensus game of the week lived up to the hype, but the most entertaining part was watching 323-pound Linval Joseph recover a fumble and chug 64 yards for the touchdown.

5. Carolina Panthers (+1)
The game was over. The Panthers were going to lose to the miserable Giants. Then Graham Gano enters to attempt a 63-yard field goal that most gave up on before he even lined it up. Well, the veteran kicker absolutely drilled the long boot and the Panthers got their third win in four games.

4. New Orleans Saints (+1)
Drew Brees became the NFL’s passing leader in the 43-19 demolition of the Redskins on Monday Night Football. The electric return of Mark Ingram slowed Alvin Kamara’s roll. Ingram ran for a pair of TDs while Brees was nearly perfect on his record-setting night.

3. New England Patriots
(+1) How hilarious is it that Tom Brady’s 500th TD went to Josh Gordon, the most deserving receiver to catch such a historic throw (…not). This Patriots squad has an aspect to their offense that has never been so noticeable: a running game. Sony Michel had another productive game out the backfield as New England picked up another win on Thursday night. Tonight’s matchup against the Chiefs should be fun.

2. Los Angeles Rams (-1)
The Rams had their first taste of adversity in a come-from-behind win in Seattle. The defense wasn’t their usual selves, giving up 31 points, but the dynamic offense stepped up late. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods combined to catch 11 passes for 182 yards, and Todd Gurley found the end zone three more times to bring his touchdown total to nine on the season.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (+1)
With a big win over a supposed powerhouse team, the Chiefs deservedly overtake the top spot in the power rankings. You know Kansas City is legit when Patrick Mahomes has an off-day yet the offense still scores 30 points against arguably the best defense in the NFL.

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Colts help break up Bay Area bottom dwellers