The No. 1 spot in the NFL Power Rankings has turned into a hot potato.
The Bucs gave it to the Rams, who passed it to the Cardinals, who tossed it to the Bills -- who gave it back to the Cardinals after a stunning Monday night setback against the Titans.
Speaking of Tennessee, The Derrick Henry Show has landed the Titans back in the top 10 ... with the Bengals right behind them. Yes, the Bengals.
Ooh, this football is good. I'm enjoying all the football.
Watch the NFL Power Rankings show with Dan and Matt "Money" Smith every Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET on NFL Network.
NOTE: Up/down arrows reflect movement from the Week 6 Power Rankings.
Previous rank: No. 2
Kliff Kingsbury's positive COVID-19 test kept him from the sidelines on Sunday, but the view from the couch had to be sweet. With the rest of the Arizona coaching staff pitching in to cover for their absent head coach, the Cardinals went to Cleveland and beat up on the Browns in a decisive 37-14 win. This was a quintessential team victory: Arizona piled up five sacks and forced Baker Mayfield into three turnovers, while Kyler Murray threw four touchdown passes, two of them to DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals are 6-0 for the first time since 1974 and have shown they can beat their opponents in numerous ways. None of this feels like a fluke.
Previous rank: No. 1
Sean McDermott might receive criticism for his decision to go for it on fourth-and-1 rather than kick the chip-shot field goal late in the closing seconds against the Titans, but he won’t deserve it. The coaches who matter in today’s NFL eschew conservative decision-making in favor of trust in their best players. On Monday night, with the game hanging in the balance, McDermott put his faith in Josh Allen to secure the win. The disastrous outcome -- Buffalo’s offensive line was compromised by Titans bodies and Allen lost his footing short of the marker -- is unfortunate, but the Bills likely went to the locker room knowing that’s a game they win nine out of 10 times.
Previous rank: No. 3
The Bucs toyed with the Eagles on Thursday night. Playing their third game in 12 days, they built a 28-7 lead through three quarters and held Philadelphia's offense to 99 yards to that point. When the Eagles made things interesting with a fourth-quarter score, Tom Brady coolly jogged back on the field and removed any drama from the proceedings with a 27-yard completion to Antonio Brown on third-and-7 from near midfield with less than four minutes to play. Game over. A slew of injuries aside, the Bucs are off to a very strong start in their title defense.
Previous rank: No. 4
Dak Prescott would not be denied. He helped keep the Cowboys in business with a clutch 24-yard completion to CeeDee Lamb in the final seconds of regulation, then connected with Lamb again on the 35-yard touchdown in overtime to seal a 35-29 win over the Patriots in Foxborough. Prescott limped to the locker room with a strained calf that will get plenty of treatment during Dallas' bye week. Prior to the heroics from Prescott and Lamb, Trevon Diggs continued the incredible start to his season with his seventh interception, a pick-six of Mac Jones late in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys are a big-play team.
Previous rank: No. 7
On Sunday, Lamar Jackson threw for just 167 yards with two interceptions and only managed 51 yards on the ground. Typically, this type of output means bad news for the Ravens. Typically. In Week 6, Baltimore humbled the AFC West-leading Chargers in all phases in a 34-6 win. The Ravens blew out one of football's hottest teams with a balanced ground attack that wasn't overly reliant on their quarterback: Baltimore rushed for 187 yards on 38 carries, with Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray and Le'Veon Bell all reaching pay dirt. The defense did the rest, holding the high-scoring Chargers to 26 rushing yards while limiting L.A. to a 4-for-16 success rate on third and fourth downs. The Ravens are thriving as they enter a surprisingly consequential Week 7 matchup against the Bengals.
Previous rank: No. 6
Don't let the long hair, laconic demeanor and Hawaiian summers fool you: Aaron Rodgers remains a gnarly competitor with a Jordan-like ability to find motivation that will raise his play. We saw that on Sunday at Soldier Field, when the reigning MVP iced the game with a touchdown scramble, then delivered a pointed message to Bears fans jeering him from the end-zone section. "All my f---ing life, I own you," Rodgers shouted. "I still own you. I still own you." His 22-5 record against the Bears stands as the third-best winning percentage (.815) by a QB against a single opponent since 1950, among those with a minimum of 25 starts, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Previous rank: No. 8
Not enough is being made of Cooper Kupp's fantastic season. The fifth-year wide receiver quickly established himself as an important part of L.A.'s attack after coming into the league as a third-round pick out of Eastern Washington in 2017, but Kupp has made the leap from difference-making starter to superstar in his first season with Matthew Stafford. Kupp went off for nine catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns in a blowout win over the Giants, which led to a mind-boggling stat getting passed around Twitter on Sunday night. In the last 35 years, only two players have had 600-plus yards and at least seven touchdowns through six weeks: Randy Moss ... and Cooper Kupp. Whoa.
Previous rank: No. 5
Every team has a bad day. The Chargers hope it doesn't get worse than Sunday's humbling 34-6 loss to the Ravens in which Brandon Staley's team was manhandled on offense, defense and special teams. Justin Herbert was virtually unstoppable in Week 5's shootout win over the Browns, but the Ravens' blitz-heavy scheme kept the second-year star uncomfortable and led to an uncharacteristically inaccurate performance. Even the Chargers' celebrated aggressiveness backfired in this one: Herbert threw a pair of incompletions on two fourth-and-short attempts in Chargers territory, with both turnovers leading to Baltimore points. It's not how they wanted to hit their bye, but the Bolts should still feel optimistic about what's to come.
Previous rank: No. 10
For two quarters on Sunday, the Chiefs looked as lost as ever. The turnover epidemic was only intensifying, with three in the first half -- including perhaps the ugliest single play in Patrick Mahomes' career. They were clearly pressing, but they didn't panic. Kansas City came out of the tunnel and dominated, shutting out Washington on defense, while Mahomes authored the cleanest half of the season, completing 19 of his 24 attempts for 175 yards and two touchdowns without a turnover, ultimately producing a 31-13 win. A comfortable blowout was just what this team needed, but the Chiefs know they must put together complete games to truly turn their season around.
Previous rank: No. 12
The Titans might not be perfect, but they’re battle-tested and completely unafraid of the moment. On Monday night, Mike Vrabel’s team went toe-to-toe with the Bills and never blinked: Derrick Henry rushed for 143 yards and three touchdowns before the defense sent the sold-out crowd in Nashville into hysterics with a goal-line stand that will go down in franchise lore. Ryan Tannehill made his share of money throws down the stretch, but Tennessee doesn’t sniff victory without another ferocious performance by The Big Dog -- who just might be the greatest running back of his generation. Said Vrabel after the win: "We feel like we can beat anybody in the league.”
Previous rank: No. 13
For years, it was the Bengals who were the dreadful team that seemingly existed to serve as a soft landing spot in the schedule for contenders. It was almost jarring to watch a game in which Cincinnati was on the other side of that dynamic; Zac Taylor's team went into Ford Field and outclassed the Lions in a 34-11 win. Joe Burrow tied a career high with three touchdown passes and once again electrified the Bengals' attack with deep strikes to rookie sensation Ja'Marr Chase. Every elite offense has its own version of the Big 3. The Bengals' trio of Burrow, Chase and running back Joe Mixon offers enough firepower to overwhelm the opposition. Week 7 brings a huge measuring-stick game against the Ravens.
Previous rank: No. 11
In the wake of a Week 6 bye, it feels like a good time for a check-in: How are we feeling about the Jameis Winston Experiment? Statistically, the veteran quarterback has been solid, throwing for nearly 900 yards with 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions during the Saints' 3-2 start. Of course, a closer study of the game tape reveals hints that the Winston of New Orleans is the same Winston who ran himself out of Tampa Bay. His usage -- topping 23 pass attempts in just one game so far -- tells you Sean Payton is loath to give his QB too much responsibility. We're a hard HOLD on this one.
Previous rank: No. 9
It's tough to find any positives to take out of Sunday. The Browns weren't particularly competitive in the 37-14 loss; the team's last flicker of relevance came on a gorgeous Hail Mary heave by Baker Mayfield on the final play of the first half. It was all downhill from there for Mayfield, who accounted for three turnovers and aggravated his left shoulder injury enough to put his Thursday night availability against the Broncos in question. Cleveland also lost running back Kareem Hunt, who is expected to be sidelined 4-6 weeks by a calf injury. A disappointing .500 team through six weeks, the Browns are beat up and in danger of falling out of the AFC North race.
Previous rank: No. 15
The Vikings have no idea how to play a normal game. For the second straight week, Mike Zimmer's team blew a two-score lead in the final minutes against an inferior opponent, and for the second straight week, Minnesota managed to survive an epic near-collapse. Greg Joseph set off a celebration with a long field goal in Week 5; on Sunday, it was Kirk Cousins' 27-yard dime to K.J. Osborn to seal a 34-28 overtime win over the Panthers. The Vikings are strange. They feel like a team that can beat anyone ... or lose to anyone. As such, 3-3 feels about right heading into their bye. Minnesota is inconsistent, maddening ... and intriguing.
Previous rank: No. 18
Coming off the week from hell, Las Vegas had every excuse to pull a no-show on Sunday at Mile High. Instead, the Raiders delivered their most impressive all-around performance of the season in a 34-24 whooping of the Broncos. Interim coach Rich Bisaccia had the team ready on both sides of the ball: The Vegas defensive line battered Teddy Bridgewater all day, while Derek Carr continued to make sweet music with Henry Ruggs and his underrated collection of playmakers. After the game, Carr made a point to give credit to offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who pushed all the right buttons in his first game as play-caller in place of Jon Gruden. "I thought (Olson) crushed it," Carr said.
Previous rank: No. 16
There are no words to properly describe how important T.J. Watt is to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is the team’s best and most impactful player, and his ability to raise his game in the most crucial of moments makes him one of the greats. We saw that again on Sunday night, a 23-20 overtime win over the Seahawks that featured a dominant Watt performance capped by the Geno Smith strip-sack that set up the game-winning field goal by Chris Boswell. A closer study of the play reveals its brilliance: Watt was playing the run, reacted to Smith’s play-action, fought through several blockers and drilled Smith just as the quarterback thought he had escaped the pocket. Watt is what happens when elite talent meets max effort.
Previous rank: No. 17
The bye came at an ideal time for the Niners, who stumbled into their off week on a three-game losing streak. The offense needs to achieve consistency, and San Francisco could find it by addressing two big issues: 1) Who is the quarterback going forward? 2) Who can stay healthy and serve as a catalyst in the running game? First-round pick Trey Lance is a player who can be a solution to both those questions, but he's dealing with a knee issue and doesn't appear to have earned Kyle Shanahan's trust just yet. It might be time for the coach to make a leap of faith.
Previous rank: No. 24
The Colts buried the pain of Week 5's Monday night collapse and took out their aggression on the poor Texans, who were pummeled in Indy's 31-3 win at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts rode to victory on impact performances by their best players. Carson Wentz played within himself and connected on downfield throws like he was on the 2017 Eagles. Jonathan Taylor continued his recent rampage with a monster outing that included two touchdowns and an 83-yard run. Then there's linebacker Darius Leonard, who was a menace to Davis Mills and the Texans all afternoon, causing fumbles, snagging interceptions and wreaking havoc for four quarters. Playing the Texans can make anyone look good, but the Colts look like a team on the rise.
Previous rank: No. 14
The Panthers appear to have a Sam Darnold problem. Darnold showed promise during Carolina's 3-0 start, but the absence of Christian McCaffrey has coincided with an extended stretch of rough play by the fourth-year QB. Darnold deserves credit for leading the Panthers to 11 unanswered points to force overtime in Sunday's loss to the Vikings, but he was deeply ineffective before those final two drives. Darnold threw an interception, lost a fumble and didn't cross 100 yards passing until the 6:30 mark of the fourth quarter. On Monday, Matt Rhule acknowledged Darnold needed to be better and declared the Panthers' days as an air-it-out offense are over. "We're going to redefine who we are," he said. "That's the only way we can win." Yikes.
Previous rank: No. 19
The Broncos' 3-0 start was built on the backs of some of the worst teams in football. Three weeks later, Denver is 3-3 and looking like the definition of average. Sunday's loss was the most troubling yet, as a Raiders team awash in turmoil shut out the outside noise and outclassed the Broncos in every phase of the game. Some garbage-time production from Teddy Bridgewater couldn't cover up another inefficient offensive performance that included three interceptions, five sacks and too many missed opportunities. The defense struggled, as well, giving up big-play strikes to Derek Carr while rarely getting hands on the Raiders QB. Said safety Justin Simmons: "Simply put, we got our butts whooped."
Previous rank: No. 22
The Patriots gave the Cowboys all they could handle, but it still wasn't enough to keep New England from suffering its fourth consecutive loss at Gillette Stadium. Mac Jones (again impressive) put the Pats in position for a dramatic win with a 75-yard touchdown strike to Kendrick Bourne late in the fourth quarter, but the defense surrendered a game-tying field goal with 20 seconds to play in regulation, then allowed CeeDee Lamb to get behind the secondary on the game-ending 35-yard touchdown in overtime. "We went toe-to-toe with them for 60 minutes," Bill Belichick said. "They just made a few more plays than we did." This is an organization not accustomed to moral victories.
Previous rank: No. 21
The Seahawks needed Geno Smith to do something special in a virtual must-win scenario in Week 6. Everything about that sentence is absurd, and perhaps it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that Geno wasn’t the guy to save a season. Smith’s overtime fumble on a T.J. Watt strip-sack -- the second Smith turnover in as many weeks with the game hanging in the balance -- was the difference in a crushing 23-20 loss to the Steelers at Heinz Field. Geno's game-ending INT against the Rams in Week 5 could be explained away by a receiver who slipped, but Sunday’s fumble was the product of a backup quarterback failing to feel the best player on the field closing hard to his right. Calamity ensues.
Previous rank: No. 23
Not enough offense. It's been a common lament around the Bears for -- well, pretty much forever, it feels like. And it was the easiest way to explain another loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Chicago actually got out of the gates quickly with a Justin Fields-led scoring drive to start the game, but the Bill Lazor attack went cold after that. When a Darnell Mooney touchdown catch pulled the Bears within a field goal in the fourth quarter, Rodgers marched the Packers 75 yards on seven plays for the clinching touchdown -- capped with a viral moment that left Bears fans praying the rocky Rodgers/Packers marriage disintegrates in totality after this season.
Jalen Hurts continues to fill up the fantasy stat sheet, but the jury remains very much out on whether the second-year QB should be a permanent fixture for the Eagles under center. Perfunctory cosmetic scores aside, Hurts struggled to lead the offense for much of Thursday night’s 28-22 loss to the Bucs. The Eagles' attack -- which abandoned the running game against Tampa Bay’s top-ranked rushing D -- put the team in a deep hole in a first-half performance that featured four three-and-outs and one interception. The problem -- and this is more on rookie coach Nick Sirianni than on his young QB -- is that Philadelphia is far too dependent on Hurts on a weekly basis. It’s time to find some balance.
Previous rank: No. 25
Kyle Pitts enjoyed his long-awaited breakout game in Week 5 against the Jets -- now comes the time for Arthur Smith to get his rookie tight end sensation humming at the same time as Atlanta’s already established receiving star. Through four games (he missed the Falcons' fifth game due to a personal issue), Calvin Ridley has turned 42 targets into just 27 catches for 255 yards and one touchdown. With Julio Jones gone, the Falcons' offense needs Ridley to play at the elite level he established in 2020. Pitts’ rise can only help Ridley get his season into gear.
Previous rank: No. 26
Things started beautifully on the afternoon Sean Taylor’s No. 21 was retired at FedExField: Washington’s defense stepped up and forced three first-half turnovers, including two Patrick Mahomes interceptions. Taylor Heinicke had a pretty touchdown connection to Ricky Seals-Jones, and the Football Team took a lead into the tunnel after two quarters. It all went to hell from there: Washington’s offense was shut out in the second half, while Mahomes recalibrated himself and guided the Chiefs to a blowout win. Washington entered the season as a defending division champion with a path to improvement. Instead, the Football Team feels like a conference also-ran by mid-October.
Previous rank: No. 27
The injury-depleted Giants needed to play a nearly perfect game to beat a superior Rams team on Sunday. Instead, Big Blue had two costly turnovers deep in its own territory during a nightmare second quarter that featured 28 unanswered points by the visitors. By the end of the game, an unsightly 38-11 loss, Daniel Jones had fumbled twice (losing one) and thrown three interceptions. Jones’ supporting cast is compromised at the moment -- practice squad call-up Dante Pettis was targeted 11 times! -- but the QB’s failure to protect the ball is worrisome after a promising start to the season in that department. The Giants are 1-5 for the second straight year with a difficult schedule ahead.
Previous rank: No. 32
The Jaguars badly needed something good to happen to their season. Thanks to a kicker who was signed to the practice squad late last month, Jacksonville snapped a 20-game losing skid and hit the bye with some much-needed optimism. The hero was Matthew Wright, whose 53-yard field goal as time expired gave the Jags a 23-20 victory over the Dolphins in London. It was the performance of a lifetime for Wright, who drilled a 54-yarder to tie the game earlier in the fourth quarter. "I think he was telling me he was like a software engineer like a month and a half ago," Trevor Lawrence said. "... Just crazy, you can't even make it up."
Previous rank: No. 28
The Dolphins had what many considered a layup in Week 6: A trip to London and a matchup against a winless Jaguars team that appeared rudderless under Urban Meyer. And despite a successful return to action for Tua Tagovailoa, Miami coughed up a double-digit lead, made some dreadful in-game management decisions and somehow were left to watch the Jaguars celebrate a walk-off win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. A season that started with so much promise now seems nearly lost. "I'm not doing a good enough job," coach Brian Flores said in his postgame press conference. "Not playing consistently enough. Not coaching well enough. Not playing well enough. ... Consistent ball -- first half, a little bit in the second half, but we're just not putting it together. That starts with me."
Previous rank: No. 31
The Jets had multiple issues to work out during their bye week, but none is bigger than their immense problem with slow starts on offense. New York is five games into the season and has managed a single touchdown in the first half. Last week in London, Matt Ryan and the Falcons had piled up 14 first downs before Zach Wilson and the Jets managed one. This ongoing struggle is putting too much stress on a defense that has appeared gassed by the fourth quarter. Robert Saleh hired Mike LaFleur, in part, because the first-year offensive coordinator runs a Kyle Shanahan offense that's supposed to be friendly to young QBs. Can it be friendlier?
Previous rank: No. 29
Jared Goff isn’t the only reason why the Lions are the last winless team in the NFL, but the veteran quarterback obviously left his head coach wanting in the aftermath of a 34-11 loss to the Bengals. “I will say this ... I feel like he needs to step up more than he has,” Dan Campbell said. “I think he needs to help us. Just like everybody else.” Campbell’s long pause during that reply seemed to last forever -- the coach was obviously trying to measure his words, knowing any criticism of a starting QB will be amplified. Goff felt like something of a sacrificial lamb when the Lions traded for him ... and that’s exactly how it’s playing out.
Previous rank: No. 30
The Texans have lost five straight, they were outscored 71-3 in their last two road games, and generally look like the worst team in football. We knew David Culley had a challenging job ahead of him when he was named head coach, but this is starting to feel like an impossible test now that the season has taken shape and you see how thoroughly Houston is outmanned on a weekly basis. Having a third-round rookie taking every snap only amplifies the challenge that faces the coaching staff, but the idea of turning back to veteran Tyrod Taylor once he returns from his hamstring injury -- which could be very soon -- feels counterintuitive for a team playing for tomorrow. Where will the next win come from?