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The CHARGED Elite: Week Six

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

The Packers are the only unbeaten as San Francisco knocks off Detroit and climbs into the top five.

The CHARGED Elite: Week Six

No intro this week, just the meat and potatoes.  Here is the CHARGED Elite after week six of the NFL.

1. Green Bay Packers  (6-0, Last Week 1) -The Packers are, without contest, the best team in football right now.  Aaron Rodgers and his arsenal of receivers have yet to be contained this season.  Coupled with the Lions loss, Green Bay is now the last remaining unbeaten team.  The champagne is now officially on ice for the '72 Miami Dolphins.

2. New England Patriots  (5-1, Last Week 2) - Was there any doubt that Tom Brady wasn't going to lead the Patriots down the field for at least a field goal after Dallas had to settle for three?  Dallas made New England sweat it out, but Brady was a surgeon on that final drive, picking apart the Cowboys defense and then delivering the dagger with that touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez.

3. Baltimore Ravens  (4-1, Last Week 5) - Baltimore looked sharp after its bye week and didn't mess around with the now reeling Houston Texans.  Joe Flacco threw better, Ray Rice continued to do work in the backfield, and the defense held Houston to 93 yards rushing.  This is three straight wins for the Ravens, and with games against the Jaguars and Cardinals coming up, they could easily be 5-1 heading into a big showdown with Pittsburgh.

4. San Francisco 49ers  (5-1, Last week 7) - It's a shame that most of the news coming out of this game is the skirmish between Lions' coach Jim Schwartz and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, because those two teams played great games.  San Francisco's pass rush is legit.  They sacked Matt Stafford five times and got to him ten more times for QB hits.  It's going to be a bloodbath once this team takes on the rest of the NFC West.    

5. Detroit Lions  (5-1, Last Week 3) - Well, that Thanksgiving showdown with Green Bay just lost all of its luster.  No one's going to watch that game now.  It was a nice ride for the Lions, but they weren't going undefeated this season.  Not with two games looming against the Packers.  How Detroit responds from this loss will tell us a lot about the mettle of this young team.  And they should get rid of Calvin Johnson, he didn't score a touchdown on Sunday.  

6. New Orleans Saints  (4-2, Last Week 4) - Drew Brees actually looked human on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneer.  He got his yards, but the Buccaneers defense coaxed him into three interceptions, including the late one to Tenard Jackson that sealed the loss.  I'm not worried about the Saints yet, but Brees is starting to get loose with the ball. He tied with Tom Brady and Michael Vick for the second-most interceptions with eight.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers  (4-2, Last Week 11) - Pittsburgh let Jacksonville hang around for far too long, and they also were held scoreless in the second half.  But two straight huge games by Pittsburgh running backs.  Rashard Mendenhall bounced back for his best game of the season and even with that patchwork offensive line, Pittsburgh has its ground game back.

8. San Diego Chargers  (4-1, Last Week 10) - San Diego enjoyed its bye this week, and it may be set to receive good news on star tight end Antonio Gates.  He practiced for the first time in over a month yesterday, and Philip Rivers would love to have him back.  His replacement, Randy McMichael, has filled in admirably.  But he's no Antonio Gates.

9. New York Giants  (4-2, Last Week 14) - While Ahmad Bradshaw, Eli Manning and Corey Webster are deserving of praise, Mathias Kiwanuka deserves some props as well.  He blew up several Fred Jackson runs on short-yardage situations while playing both outside linebacker and defensive end.  He also had a big sack of Ryan Fitzpatrick in the second quarter, the first of two sacks that pushed Buffalo out of field goal range.  Kiwanuka played a great game on Sunday.

10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers  (4-2, Last Week 16) - End the manhunt, Josh Freeman has been returned safely to the Buccaneers.  Freeman needed a strong performance against New Orleans, especially with lead back LeGarrette Blount out.  The young QB stepped up, throwing for over 300 yards and two touchdowns while not making many mistakes.  That's the Freeman we are used to seeing.

11. Buffalo Bills  (4-2, Last Week 6) - The Bills couldn't force a single turnover against the Giants on Sunday.  That was the first time the Bills had lost the turnover battle all season long.  The Bills are at their best when they get other teams to make mistakes.  They weren't able to do that against New York, and the Giants had plenty of scoring opportunities because of it.

12. Oakland Raiders  (4-2, Last Week 12) - The only touchdown pass the Raiders had on Sunday was thrown by punter Shane Lechler.  He connected with tight end Kevin Boss on a fake punt for the 35-yard score.  With the trade for Carson Palmer, head coach Hue Jackson is hoping to get more consistency from his QB's so Darren McFadden doesn't face stacked lines the rest of the year.

13. Chicago Bears  (3-3, Last Week 15) - When will teams learn not to kick Devin Hester the ball?  The Bears can't believe it still happens.  Well, it was the Minnesota Vikings, who haven't learned to use Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin effectively so far this season.  But Hester did it all on Sunday, taking a kick to the house and catching a 48-yard touchdown pass from Jay Cutler in their 39-10 drubbing of Minnesota.

14. Tennessee Titans (3-2, Last Week 13) - Tennessee gets knocked back one for resting on their laurels this week.  They face the reeling Houston Texans next week in what is a great opportunity for the Titans.  Two weeks ago this looked like Houston's division to lose.  Now the Titans can put Houston a game under .500 and make a statement in the AFC South.  

15. New York Jets  (3-3, Last Week 18) - A win's a win, and the bumbling Jets will take anything that they can get.  They were lucky the Dolphins are incompetent around the goal line, because if Miami had applied any pressure at all by scoring, who knows what happens.  But the Jets defense really stepped up the pressure in the second half and the offense moved the ball better as well.  I'm not ready to say the Jets are back just yet. 

16. Houston Texans  (3-3, Last Week 9) - Houston is in a very dangerous spot right now.  Losing to the Raiders two weeks ago was a killer, and they couldn't step up for Baltimore on Sunday.  If they don't come out with all their remaining guns blazing against the Titans and really give a spirited effort, Gary Kubiak and his coaching staff are doing something wrong.

17. Atlanta Falcons  (3-3, Last Week 20) - Atlanta went to the well with Michael Turner time and time again on Sunday, and it worked out great.  Turner beat up the Panthers with 27 carries for 139 yards and two scores.  Matt Ryan managed the game, and they were able to wear down the Panthers en route to a 17-0 fourth quarter.  I still want to see Ryan put the team on his back in a big game.

18. Philadelphia Eagles  (2-4, Last Week 23) - If I were an Eagles fan, I would be troubled by the this: Philadelphia intercepted Rex Grossman four times, won the possession battle 38:08 to 21:52, and got LeSean McCoy 30 touches for 139 total yards and a score, and they STILL only beat the Redskins by seven points.  It seems like Philly is on the right track, but they aren't there yet.

19. Cincinnati Bengals  (4-2, Last Week 19) - I was very wrong in my preseason assessment of the Bengals, but I don't think I was alone there.  What Cincinnati has done this year is amazing.  I don't think anyone in their right mind would have predicted that after six weeks, Cincinnati would be 4-2 and a half game out of first place.  And they kept their run going by netting two first round picks for Carson Palmer.  What an amazing year for the Bengals so far. 

20. Dallas Cowboys  (2-3, Last Week 13) - Fellow CHARGED writer Jake Langbecker tweeted after Dallas' latest loss that the Cowboys have led in the final five minutes of every game this season.  They have lost three of them.  The Cowboys' lack of a running game has hurt them immensely this year.  They can't control possession late in games.  Now with Felix Jones set to miss action, tons of pressure will be placed on Tony Romo.  

21. Washington Redskins  (3-2, Last Week 8) - Rex Grossman was bound to bite Washington sooner or later.  He was terrible against the Eagles on Sunday.  Do the Redskins deserve to drop this far?  Probably not.  But without stable quarterback play and a spotty running game, I think the Redskins might have reached their peak already this year.

22. Seattle Seahawks  (2-3, Last Week 21) - Seattle had a bye week, and it was another week for Charlie Whitehurst to prepare himself should he have to start.  Whitehurst has only started two games in his young career and both came last season.  One was a 41-7 loss to the Giants, and the other was a 16-6 win over the Rams.  He did look much improved when he came in last week, but there is still a lot to learn about Whitehurst.

23. Carolina Panthers  (1-5, Last Week 22) - Carolina is doing everything short of winning games this year.  They've gone up against a brutal schedule that doesn't let up a ton during the second half.  If nothing else, these close contests will give Cam Newton great experience late in games that he can learn from, similar to the Bills and all of their close losses last year.

24. Kansas City Chiefs  (2-3, Last Week 24) - Kansas City rode a two-game winning streak into the bye and look to pick up where they left off against the Raiders this Sunday.  The bye hasn't been kind to teams yet this year.  The only team to win after its by week has been the Baltimore Ravens

25. Minnesota Vikings  (1-5, Last Week 24) - Many people tweeted during the McNabb's performance that they couldn't tell whether they were watching Sunday Night Football or AMC's "The Walking Dead."  I'm pretty sure I saw McNabb scuttle across the deserted Atlanta freeway during the season premiere.  Christian Ponder finally took the field for the Vikings on Sunday, and it looks like he's going to stay there now that Minnesota sits five games out already. 

26. Cleveland Browns (2-3, Last Week 26) - Peyton Hillis might miss more time with a hamstring injury, which is unfortunate for the Browns and for Hillis.  Cleveland could use Hillis on the field, and Hillis could use the playing time for leverage in his ongoing contract negotiations.   

27. Denver Broncos  (1-4, Last Week 27) - What do the Broncos do after they name Tim Tebow the starting quarterback?  They trade away their best receiver, Brandon Lloyd.  Sounds logical, right?  Maybe they figured the connection could not do better than the amazing one-handed catch that occurred last week.

28. Arizona Cardinals  (1-4, Last Week 28) - Arizona gets a date with a Pittsburgh Steelers team that is playing extremely well right now.  With San Francisco jumping out to such a hot start, they don't have much time left to get things going. 

29. Jacksonville Jaguars  (1-5, Last Week 30) - Another week, another loss for the Jaguars.  Not a terrible loss though.  They hung with the Steelers and made it interesting.  Blaine Gabbert has now gone two straight weeks without an interception.  Baby steps for the Jaguars.

30. Miami Dolphins  (0-5, Last Week 31) - The Dolphins are probably kicking themselves after their Monday night performance.  Three goal line opportunities in the first half resulted in just six points for them and an interception returned for a touchdown by Darrelle Revis.  They could have won that game and shut up a lot of loud Jets fans in the process.

31. St. Louis Rams  (0-5, Last Week 26) - Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels gets receiver Brandon Lloyd back, but how much can he really help the Rams?  Sam Bradford has gotten beaten up this year and the defense hasn't been able to stop anybody yet this season.

32. Indianapolis Colts  (0-6, Last Week 32) - Guess who is actually playing a pretty good quarterback?  Curtis Painter.  In his limited action, he has posted a QB rating of 93.0, better than Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick, Jay Cutler, and Phillip Rivers.  Just saying.

Agree?  Disagree?  Let us know what you think in the comment section, and make sure you check out next week's updated rankings of the CHARGED Elite.

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