NFC West: 2013 NFL Week 6 Power Rankings

A weekly examination of the Rams' ESPN Power Ranking:

Preseason: 15 | Last Week: 26 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Rams' 34-20 victory against Jacksonville allows them to move back in the right direction in more than just the NFC West standings as they also move up a spot in this week's Power Rankings.

Based on the voting of the six-member panel, the Rams actually came close to jumping three spots up to No. 23. No voter ranked them lower than 25, and Ashley Fox, Mike Sando and Jamison Hensley had them at 23. Alas, they came up just a few points behind Buffalo and Oakland to move up even further.

In looking at how the Rams have actually performed, even in a win on Sunday, it's hard to place them any better than where they sit, and I wonder if perhaps they shouldn't be lower. But the teams that rank lower than the Rams (Carolina, Washington, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, the New York Giants and Jacksonville) have been more consistently awful than St. Louis.

For this week, No. 25 seems about right. But when the Rams play at Houston on Sunday, we'll get a better sense of whether they've truly made progress since their 35-11 loss to San Francisco in Week 4.
A weekly examination of the 49ers' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason ranking: 3 | Last Week: 8 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The San Francisco 49ers continue to get respect by the voting panel.

The 49ers are the highest-ranked 3-2 team in the league. They are not ranked above any 5-0 or 4-1 teams, but they shouldn’t be.

I have no problem with San Francisco being the top-ranked 3-2 team. The 49ers have outscored their last two opponents by a total of 69-14 after stumbling to Seattle and Indianapolis.

The 49ers are not perfect, particularly on offense. But there have been a ton of injuries and this team’s deep, deep 53-man roster is showing. That’s why the 49ers will likely be a major player come January when they should be much healthier. So the strong ranking now is valid.
A weekly examination of the Seahawks' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 1 | Last Week: 2 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Seattle Seahawks lost their top spot in the Power Rankings to the Denver Broncos last week. And Seattle lost its top spot in the NFC to the New Orleans Saints this week.

The Seahawks are coming off their first loss of the season, a 34-28 setback to the host Indianapolis Colts, who beat Seattle at its own game by controlling the fourth quarter.

Seattle had outscored its opponents 44-7 in the final quarter of the first four games, but the Colts dominated the fourth quarter, outscoring the Seahawks 11-0 to earn a come-from-behind victory.

Seattle had pulled out two come-from-behind wins in its first two road games this season, but three in a row was too much to ask.

Game-changing plays, something the Seahawks take pride in, went against them this time. A blocked field goal became a 10-point swing for the Colts when Delano Howell ran back the block for a 61-yard TD in the first quarter. And the Seattle secondary had a rare blown coverage when Andrew Luck found T.Y. Hilton wide open for a 73-yard TD.

However, going 1-1 in back-to-back road games at Houston and Indianapolis is something most fans would have accepted before the season started.
A weekly examination of the Cardinals' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 26 | Last week: 19 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

Even when things change, everything stays the same for the Arizona Cardinals. Despite unveiling what is essentially a revamped defense with linebacker Daryl Washington in the lineup, the Cardinals remained at No. 19 in Week 6 of ESPN.com's Power Rankings. Arizona showed its defense is not only formidable but a force. It sacked Cam Newton seven times, intercepted him three times and shut him down on the ground in the second half, not giving up a single yard.

But for as good as the defense was, the offense wasn't, especially in the first half. It was able to find a rhythm after halftime, which, while promising, still leaves people wondering why it can't put together drives earlier. There were a few good signs. The offense drove 85 yards in the third quarter, which resulted in a touchdown. After Antoine Cason returned a fumble to the Carolina 9, the Cards were able to capitalize on the short field with a touchdown pass to Jim Dray. Those plays showed the offense is capable of producing, but it needs to start sooner.

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