Posted: Wed October 16, 2013 11:37AM; Updated: Wed October 16, 2013 9:40PM
Chris Burke
Chris Burke>NFL POWER RANKINGS

NFL Power Rankings Week 6

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The Rams' 25-point win over the Texans was their largest margin of victory on the road since 2001.
The Rams' 25-point win over the Texans was their largest margin of victory on the road since 2001.
Eric Gay/AP

Is it too early to start talking playoffs? The correct answer is "Yes, definitely," but we're going to do it anyway.

And there is a potential situation developing for whichever division champ finishes with the worst record in the AFC. As things stand now, that team will have to host the AFC West runner-up -- heading into Week 7, the projected playoff matchup would pit (of course) No. 4 Indianapolis against No. 5 Denver.

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In that scenario, with the Chiefs winning the West and claiming one of the conference's byes, the Broncos would stand as arguably one of the best teams to ever have to play in the wild-card round. It goes without saying that there is a lot of football to be played between now and then, but getting the No. 3 seed in the AFC may wind up being just as important as claiming a first-round bye.

All of that will work itself out in time. Here's where the teams stand with Week 7 approaching:

What's wrong with these playoff teams?
Source: SI
The MMQB's Peter King puts on his stethoscope to help diagnose what's ailing struggling 2012 playoffs teams the Ravens, Redskins and Falcons.
NFL Power Rankings
1Denver Broncos
Last Week: 1
Cause for panic? Not yet. But the Broncos have lost more fumbles (eight) than any team in the league, and they've put the ball on the deck 13 times in all. Even with Peyton Manning limiting his interceptions to two so far, those butterfingers have the Broncos breaking even in turnover differential.
 
2Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 3
In 1999, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans combined for 27 wins atop the old AFC Central division -- 14 by Jacksonville and 13 by Tennessee. No first- and second-place finishers in the same division have matched that win total during a single season since. The Broncos and Chiefs, sitting on 12 victories for the moment, might be ready to challenge.
 
3New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 2
Darren Sproles finds himself on pace for 2,082 all-purpose yards this season, which would mark the fifth year in his career he's topped 2K. His 15,012 career all-purpose yards is the 30th-best total in league history, and he could pass the career marks of Allen Rossum (15,024) and Jerome Bettis (15,111) in Week 8.
 
4Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 5
While playing for Wisconsin in 2009, Chris Maragos executed a fake field goal at Ohio State, pulling the snap and racing into the end zone. No such luck Sunday. Maragos was pressed into holder duty, only to fumble the snap, leading to a Tennessee touchdown.
 
5San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 6
The 49ers are 4-0 when scoring more than 30 points this season. They're 0-2 when they are held to fewer than 10.
 
6New England Patriots
Last Week: 7
What would the butterfly effect have been if Kenbrell Thompkins had not caught Tom Brady's TD pass to beat the Saints? Would David Ortiz still have homered later that night, capping what columnist Dan Shaughnessy offered as "What might be the most exciting day in Boston sports history"? Would Tom Brady still have worn that sweater he knitted himself? The world will never know.
 
7Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 8
The Packers were down to two active and healthy wide receivers in Sunday's second half against Baltimore. Aaron Rodgers still managed to connect with both of them for big gains -- a 43-yarder to Jarrett Boykin to set up a Mason Crosby field goal, and a 64-yard TD to Jordy Nelson.
 
8Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 9
Did you see the video of a son giving his choked-up dad tickets to a Bengals game? It's terrific, with the only downside being that the Bengals have become so consistently competitive that we can't even make a joke about the dad crying at their expense.
 
9Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 4
Indianapolis got caught in the game-before-a-big-game trap Monday night in San Diego. It might be a regretful slumber, if the Colts cannot knock off Peyton Manning's Broncos before embarking (after a bye) on a stretch of three road games in four weeks.
 
10Chicago Bears
Last Week: 11
Considering that the Bears are tied for the league lead in takeaways with 17, they're giving up a lot of points. One hundred and sixty-one, to be exact, or 67 more than the Seahawks -- who also have forced 17 turnovers.
 
11Detroit Lions
Last Week: 12
When Calvin Johnson is out of the lineup or on the sideline, the Lions' receiving corps challenges the Patriots in the "Who Are These Guys?" department. Their two big weapons on Sunday in Cleveland: Kris Durham, signed off the street last December; and TE Joseph Fauria, an undrafted rookie.
 
12Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 16
Can the Cowboys offense survive without RB DeMarco Murray? The stats don't paint a promising picture. Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner are averaging 2.5 yards per carry (58 yards on 23 attempts). That's 1.5 yards lower than Tony Romo's current clip.
 
13Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 13
The Dolphins were on their bye last week, meaning their run game was just as productive as it normally is.
 
14St. Louis Rams
Last Week: 21
The Rams' 25-point win Sunday was their largest margin of victory away from home since a 35-6 pummeling of the Falcons in 2001. Oh, by the way, that was ex-Ram London Fletcher's fourth season, in case you've forgotten how long he has been around.
 
15Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 10
That Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce are struggling is old hat but ... are we going to talk at some point about how ghastly Joe Flacco's stats are through six games? His QB rating is more than two points lower than Matt Schaub's.
 
16San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 24
The Chargers are a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in whatever they use to keep Ryan Mathews from falling apart for another week. If they somehow traverse this next set of games -- four of five on the road wrapped around a bye -- there could be a playoff push forthcoming.
 
17Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 15
So Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to start against Kansas City, Seattle, San Francisco and St. Louis, then Jake Locker gets to make his triumphant return against Jacksonville? Hardly seems fair to Fitz.
 
18Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 26
Man, if people argued that Kirk Cousins was worth a first-round pick in hypothetical trades, how sky high must Nick Foles' value be? Of course, the Eagles are not going to deal him considering he might have just given Michael Vick the ol' Wally Pipp treatment.
 
19New York Jets
Last Week: 14
Who took Sunday's Patriots rally past New Orleans harder: Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan? Or his brother, Jets head coach Rex Ryan, whose team fell two games back in the AFC East on Tom Brady's latest heroics?
 
20Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 17
I realize that part of the argument behind trading Trent Richardson was that Rob Chudzinski thinks RBs are interchangeable, but ... this is ridiculous: Chris Ogbonnaya was targeted on 12 passes in Sunday's loss to Detroit. Twelve! He had 24 catches all of last season.
 
21Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 28
The Panthers may as well change their logo to a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde mash-up or Two-Face from Batman, because they're quite possibly the most schizophrenic team in the league. Up next: a home game versus St. Louis, which Carolina will either win by double digits or lose by 50.
 
22Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 19
More Andre Ellington, please. He totaled 92 yards and a TD on just 12 touches Sunday, compared to 42 yards on 11 touches from Rashard Mendenhall. It's high time Ellington pulled a playing time coup in that rotation.
 
23Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 25
The bye week probably came at just the right time for the reeling Falcons. Of course, the week off is nothing compared to the boost they may get from playing Tampa Bay twice in the next five weeks.
 
24Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 23
Not going to win many games allowing 10 sacks. That's just two shy of the NFL's single-game record, last hit by the Giants in 2007, when they dropped Philly's Donovan McNabb a dozen times.
 
25Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 29
It took three tries, but WR Antonio Brown finally completed his first career pass -- a 15-yarder to Felix Jones on a trick play Sunday. Last season, Brown was 0-for-2, with an interception against the Ravens.
 
26Washington Redskins
Last Week: 22
The biggest issue for RGIII right now may be the lack of home-run plays coming from the Washington passing attack. Griffin is 22nd in yards per attempt (6.9) and according to Pro Football Focus has completed just 4-of-20 attempts longer than 20 yards.
 
27Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 27
Keenan Allen has earned increased attention in San Diego, thanks to a stellar performance Monday night. Don't overlook Buffalo's own second-round WR pick, Robert Woods. The USC product is leading the Bills in receiving yards with 274 and is tied for the team lead in receiving TDs at two.
 
28Houston Texans
Last Week: 18
Let's see here ... the Texans' reeling offense against a Kansas City defense that leads the league in turnovers and has scored in four of its team's six games. What could go wrong?
 
29Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 20
The Vikings fans who were chanting for Josh Freeman last Sunday might be ignoring another massive problem: Minnesota's defense stinks right now. No team in the NFL has allowed more touchdown passes -- and the Vikings have played one less game than 24 other teams because of an early bye.
 
30Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 30
Another loss (at home, no less). Another MRSA issue in the locker room. Can't remember what's next, but it is either a swarm of locusts, frogs flying from the sky or two months of home games being blacked out on TV.
 
31New York Giants
Last Week: 31
At least Brandon Jacobs looked decent in his first start as the Giants' No. 1 back this season. Sadly for him, there's still that new NFL rule that requires all Giants running backs to suffer an injury every 20 carries.
 
32Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 32
Is Justin Blackmon's 163 yards-per-game average since returning from suspension sustainable? Probably not. If he does keep it up for 10 more outings, though, he'll finish with 1,956 yards -- eight shy of Calvin Johnson's record.
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