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2021 NFL power rankings heading into Week 6

We use point differential against the spread to see where the value lies in our Week 6 NFL power rankings.

Quarterback Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills looks to pass against the Houston Texans in the fourth quarter at Highmark Stadium on October 03, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

The NFL wrapped up an absolutely wild Week 5 that saw a record number of missed extra points, the Seahawks lose Russell Wilson for upwards of 6-8 weeks due to a finger injury, a host of upsets, and the Lions losing a heart-breaking 19-17 game on a deep field goal for the second time in three weeks. And that MNF game was a wild and fitting cap on the case.

Now that Week 5 is a wrap, it’s time for some power rankings. We could just subjectively rank out the teams based on a feeling, but we’re trying something a little different. Below we’ve ranked the teams based on spread differential. We took the pre-game point spread at DraftKings Sportsbook and added in the point differential from the game. For example, the Bears closed as 5-point underdog against the Raiders and won the game by 11 points. For the Bears spread differential, we added 11 to +5. For the Raiders spread differential, we added -11 to -5.

Point differential is a helpful tool for figuring out the best and worst teams. However, point spread can offer a little more context to how good or bad teams might be. The top of the rankings includes most of the really good teams and the bottom includes most of the really bad teams. The Chiefs are an interesting one, ranked 30th in point spread differential. They’re clearly not the third worst team in the league, but they are really struggling and not playing to perception.

The Saints might be the most interesting team in our top ten. They benefited big time from their 38-3 win over Green Bay, so it might take some time before we really understand what their deal is. Since that win, they have wins over New England and Washington and losses to Carolina and the Giants. This a team that is going to be all over the place, which is about right for a team starting Jameis Winston at quarterback.

NFL Power Rankings ahead of Week 6

2021 NFL power rankings, Week 6

Rk Team Record Spread differential Point differential LW
Rk Team Record Spread differential Point differential LW
1 Buffalo Bills 4-1 +76.5 +108 1
2 Dallas Cowboys 4-1 +50.5 +53 3
3 Arizona Cardinals 5-0 +49.5 +62 2
4 New Orleans Saints 3-2 +29.5 +36 6
5 Los Angeles Chargers 4-1 +26.0 +26 5
6 Carolina Panthers 3-2 +21.0 +28 4
7 Cincinnati Bengals 3-2 +16.5 +14 7
8 Cleveland Browns 3-2 +14.0 +28 8
9 Philadelphia Eagles 2-3 +10.0 -9 13
10 Los Angeles Rams 4-1 +8.5 +25 14
11 Denver Broncos 3-2 +7.0 +26 9
12 Baltimore Ravens 4-1 +6.5 +19 12
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-1 +5.5 +45 22
14 Detroit Lions 0-5 +1.5 -40 19
15 Minnesota Vikings 2-3 +0.5 +4 11
16 Indianapolis Colts 1-4 +0.5 -20 15
17 Chicago Bears 3-2 -0.5 -16 24
18 Houston Texans 1-4 -2.0 -52 20
19 Las Vegas Raiders 3-2 -6.0 -7 10
20 New England Patriots 2-3 -9.0 +4 17
21 Tennessee Titans 3-2 -9.5 +2 29
22 Pittsburgh Steelers 2-3 -12.5 -18 27
23 Seattle Seahawks 2-3 -13.0 -6 18
24 San Francisco 49ers 2-3 -14.0 -2 21
25 New York Giants 1-4 -18.5 -36 16
26 Green Bay Packers 4-1 -23.5 -2 30
27 New York Jets 1-4 -26.0 -54 26
28 Washington 2-3 -29.5 -32 25
29 Atlanta Falcons 2-3 -32.0 -43 31
30 Kansas City Chiefs 2-3 -33.5 -9 23
31 Jacksonville Jaguars 0-5 -37.5 -59 28
32 Miami Dolphins 1-4 -56.5 -75 32

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