The NFL edition of “A Tale of Two Cities” would tell the story of a new football haven and a decade-long wasteland.
On one coast is Los Angeles, which didn’t field an NFL team from 1995-2015 but now is home to two of the six best teams in the league. Super Bowl LVI is set for SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles in February 2022 and there is reason to think that either the Rams or the Chargers — or both! — will be playing for a championship.
On the other coast is New York, which is home to the two teams tied for the fewest wins (19) since the start of the 2017 season. The Jets haven’t been to the playoffs since 2010. The Giants have played one playoff game since winning Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012. Both teams are 1-4 again and continuing a tradition of keeping fans home before Halloween.
Here is The Post’s NFL power rankings for Week 6:
1. Arizona Cardinals, 5-0 (Last week: 1)
Who would’ve picked the Cardinals as the last undefeated team? They are 5-0 for the first time since 1974. Win No. 5 was different, though. The NFL’s highest-scoring offense — averaging 35 points per game coming into the week — was stifled by the 49ers, but the defense picked up the slack with a crazy four fourth-down stops.
2. Los Angeles Rams, 4-1 (2)
Not all finger injuries are created equal. While the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson could miss two months with his finger injury, the Rams’ Matthew Stafford threw for 365 yards against Seattle despite his finger pain. DeSean Jackson showed he has something left in the tank — a scary proposition when added to Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4-1 (3)
The geriatric Buccaneers steamrolled the Dolphins as 44-year-old Tom Brady had his first career game of more than 400 yards plus five touchdown passes, and 33-year-old Antonio Brown scored twice and became the fastest player ever to reach 900 career receptions. The only thing missing was 32-year-old Rob Gronkowski.
4. Buffalo Bills, 4-1 (5)
It was easy to see coming and yet hard to believe at the same time: Desperate to prove they could beat the bully Chiefs — in Kansas City, no less — the surging Bills rolled behind Josh Allen’s four total touchdowns and inspired hurdling run. A standard Cover 2 defense cut out some of the big-play strikes that killed the Bills in the AFC Championship game.
5. Green Bay Packers, 4-1 (4)
Maybe the 25-22 win says more about the credibility of the improving Bengals than it does about the Packers. Mason Crosby missed three field goals in the fourth quarter and overtime before drilling a walk-off 49-yarder. Davante Adams topped 200 yards receiving for the first time in his career.
6. Los Angeles Chargers, 4-1 (7)
The Chargers always find ways to lose games like their 47-42 shootout against the Browns, featuring eight lead changes and one tie. Except they didn’t this time because of Justin Herbert (398 passing yards, four touchdowns) and Austin Ekeler (three fourth-quarter touchdowns). Let’s declare the new AFC West favorites.
7. Baltimore Ravens, 4-1 (9)
Ravens-Colts felt like a possible playoff preview when the season started, but the Ravens’ 19-point comeback Monday epitomized two teams heading in opposite directions. The Ravens’ streak of consecutive 100-yard rushing games is over at 43 straight games — after all that fuss about extending it on the cheap a week ago. The Ravens are not on the road again until Nov. 11.
8. Dallas Cowboys, 4-1 (11)
What a difference Dak Prescott makes. One year ago, the NFC East was a historically bad division. It looks poor again except for the Cowboys, who have a healthy Prescott to ride to an easy playoff berth. A defense that lives and dies with the takeaway is a risky way to survive but better than last year’s alternative.>
Good riddance, Jon Gruden
9. Cleveland Browns, 3-2 (6)
The sign of a good team is complementary football. The Browns can’t find it. After the offense slept through a three-game winning streak, Baker Mayfield threw for 305 in a 531-yard offensive performance … but the defense didn’t show up. Big-play breakdowns happened at all levels.
10. Kansas City Chiefs, 2-3 (10)
The two-time defending AFC champions do not deserve a top-10 spot. No team does. So, the Chiefs get the benefit of the doubt. The defense is woeful and Patrick Mahomes has thrown as many interceptions this year as either of the last two seasons. Only one of those issues is fixable, so it’s back to winning shootouts.
11. New Orleans Saints (19)
12. Chicago Bears, 3-2 (20)
13. Cincinnati Bengals, 3-2 (15)
14. Tennessee Titans, 3-2 (17)
15. San Francisco 49ers, 2-3 (13)
16. Seattle Seahawks, 2-3 (12)
17. Las Vegas Raiders, 3-2 (8)
18. Carolina Panthers, 3-2 (14)
19. Pittsburgh Steelers, 2-3 (25)
20. Minnesota Vikings, 2-3 (21)
21. Philadelphia Eagles, 2-3 (23)
22. Denver Broncos (16)
23. New England Patriots, 2-3 (22)
24. Washington Football Team, 2-3 (18)
25. Indianapolis Colts, 1-4 (24)
26. Atlanta Falcons, 2-3 (27)
27. Miami Dolphins, 1-4, (26)
28. New York Giants, 1-4 (28)
The Giants played the second half of their blowout loss to the Cowboys without their quarterback, running back, three of their top four receivers and three of the five season-opening offensive linemen. And the schedule gets more difficult with the Rams, Panthers, Chiefs and Raiders on deck before the bye.
29. Houston Texans, 1-4 (30)
30. New York Jets, 1-4 (29)
The Jets are averaging 2.6 points per game in the first half. It’s not just four points fewer than any other team. It’s unconscionably low. Unlike a week ago against the Titans, a second-half awakening (17 points) wasn’t enough against the Falcons in London. Good effort by the defense until a stop was really needed.
Source : https://nypost.com/2021/10/12/nfl-power-rankings-for-week-6-we-love-la/1536