AFC West: 2013 NFL Week 6 Power Rankings

Power Rankings: No. 20 Chargers

October, 8, 2013
10/08/13
2:00
PM ET
A weekly examination of the Chargers’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason ranking: 23 | Last Week: 17 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The San Diego Chargers dropped three spots to No. 20 in this week’s rankings after losing on the road to Oakland. At 2-3, the Chargers take on one of the hottest teams in the league this week in 4-1 Indianapolis, led by the most talented young quarterback in the NFL in Andrew Luck.

For the Chargers to have a chance to get back to .500, the defense has to play better. San Diego has allowed 25.8 points a contest (No. 19 in the league) and 406 total yards a game (No. 27 in the NFL).

San Diego’s defense is giving up a league-worst 6.51 yards per play, and allowing teams to convert nearly 41 percent of the time on third down, No. 24 in the NFL.

The Chargers face one of the most balanced offenses in the league in Indianapolis. The Colts can pound teams running the ball, averaging 142 rushing yards a contest. But with Luck, Indianapolis also can beat you down the field for big plays in the play-action game.
A weekly examination of the Raiders’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 29 | Last Week: 28 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

Sunday night's victory over the Chargers was as complete a team victory as this franchise has seen in a while. The offense jumped San Diego with a long bomb for a touchdown on its first snap, the defense pitched a first-half shutout, special teams blocked a field goal and Oakland won the takeaway battle 5-0. That performance moved the Raiders to No. 24 in ESPN.com's Power Rankings. “I’m proud of those guys in that locker room,” coach Dennis Allen said. “Our backs were up against the wall a little bit and they came out fighting and they came out swinging and we were able to get it done.”

There’s also some clarity at quarterback as Oakland parted ways with $6.5 million QB Matt Flynn and is going all-in with Terrelle Pryor under center. Still, injuries are beginning to creep up on the Raiders as they prepare to take on the No. 3 Kansas City Chiefs. The Raiders have won six straight at Arrowhead Stadium and imagine the bump Oakland would get, not only in our rankings, but in locker room morale heading into its bye week, if the Raiders were able to make it seven in a row in Kansas City.
A weekly examination of the Chiefs' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 19 | Last Week: 5 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

As one of three unbeaten teams remaining, the Kansas City Chiefs deserve nothing worse at this point than their No. 3 spot in this week’s ESPN Power Rankings.

Do they belong higher? Not higher than the No. 1 Denver Broncos, who have outscored their opponents by 91 points in five games.

But higher than the No. 2 New Orleans Saints? Maybe. The Saints built their spotless record by winning three times at home and twice on the road. The Chiefs have won three road games and have a greater point differential in their wins (plus-70) than do the Saints (plus-61).

The Saints, though, have faced a more difficult schedule, at least when it comes to the record of their opponents. New Orleans’ opponents are 10-14 while those of the Chiefs are 7-18.

There’s that, plus the fact the Saints have a win over a team in the top 10 of ESPN.com’s Power Rankings. Last week, the Saints beat the No. 10 Bears in Chicago. Kansas City’s best win, according to the Power Rankings, came against No. 14 Tennessee.

So for now, the Chiefs are right where they belong.

Power Rankings: No. 1 Denver Broncos

October, 8, 2013
10/08/13
2:00
PM ET
A weekly examination of the Broncos’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 3 | Last week: 1 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

After becoming just the fourth team in league history to score at least 50 points in back-to-back games, the Denver Broncos held down the top spot in ESPN.com’s Power Rankings with a 51-48 victory in Dallas.

Sure, the Broncos surrendered 506 yards passing to Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. And yes, three defensive starters left the game with injuries -- defensive end Robert Ayers (left shoulder), cornerback Chris Harris (concussion) and linebacker Wesley Woodyard (neck) -- putting them down five defensive players, with Von Miller and the injured Champ Bailey included. But the Broncos' offense just keeps barreling down the tracks.

Their 230 points are the most after five games in league history, quarterback Peyton Manning has 20 touchdown passes, also most in league history after five games, and the Broncos have won 16 regular-season games in a row.

But with the offensively challenged Jaguars on the docket this week, coach John Fox is having none of it. When asked about the potential for overconfidence he said, “One thing I learned is when you fall asleep at the wheel, you wreck."

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