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NFL Power Rankings, Week 6: Philadelphia Eagles fly up to No. 2

Week 6 Power Rankings are in ...

Yet, before we get to today's football, I would like to pay respect to great football from the past.

Y.A. Tittle passed away Monday at the age of 90. With the pace of our current news cycle, that story will be long forgotten by the time you read this. It's unfortunate. Tittle was an outstanding quarterback in an era when the position was slowly morphing into an iconic spot in sports. While Tittle wasn't the greatest quarterback of all time, he was considered the top player under center three separate times as a first-team All-Pro. If he wasn't the premier quarterback, Tittle was always a mere step behind Otto Graham in the 1950s or Johnny Unitas in the early '60s. After starring for the 49ers, he was dealt to a defense-first Giants squad looking for offense. And did Tittle ever provide it. In his first three seasons, he tossed a robust 86 touchdowns in 40 games. Big Blue made the NFL title game every one of those years.

Now, we're in the midst of the Major League Baseball postseason, and I've always noticed what a wonderful job baseball does in honoring its history. Tittle was the equivalent of a Stan Musial or Al Kaline or Greg Maddux. He also played 17 seasons when no quarterback to that point had played that long, and deserves all the pomp and circumstance that an Aaron Rodgers receives today.

Love this, Charley. That's a 1963 Topps football card. I have his 1958 Topps with the 49ers.

Alrighty, let's get back to modern-day ball.

I thought it was "Folgers in your cup."

Yep, the Eagles are climbing. They are as high as I can ever remember putting them since starting the Power Rankings seven seasons ago. Is Philly too high? What about the Packers? Patriots? You tell me: @HarrisonNFL is the place.

Let the dissension commence!

PROGRAMMING NOTE: For more in-depth analysis on the updated league pecking order, tune in to NFL Network every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. ET for the "NFL Power Rankings" show. Want to add YOUR voice? Call (888) 553-7436 and leave a message with your opinion, and your comments could be played on the air.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The lineup below reflects changes from our Week 5 Power Rankings.

If we were conducting MVP voting right now, my ballot would be topped by Alex Smith. While his passing numbers look wonderful, and he sure isn't turning the ball over, what really sticks out is how effectively he's running. Smith curtailed taking off out of the pocket last year. He's more effective when he uses his legs, and when you see low-angle replays of a Smith scamper, you can tell this guy still runs close to a 4.6. Sunday night's performance was par for the 2017 course, despite the fact his offensive line is banged up. Defensively, everyone has already forgotten that Eric Berry is out for the season. (A great credit to his teammates, considering how impactful Berry is on the field of play.) Just wait until Dee Ford and Tamba Hali are both healthy and available. Kansas City is the top team in the league.

Even Eagles fans are a bit skeptical of Philly being this high. At least that's the feedback I received from last week's Power Rankings. After grounding the birds -- the other birds -- Carson Wentz and Co. remain alone atop the NFC East. About the only thing that didn't come to fruition in the Eagles' most impressive win of the season was the huge outing predicted by fantasy types for Corey Clement, who was mostly a non-factor. While Wentz's four touchdown passes led the highlights, the ground game very quietly racked up 122 yards.

So happy for Davante Adams, who suffered a concussion on a scary hit just 10 days before logging the game-winning catch on Sunday. While the Fox broadcast gushed over Aaron Rodgers -- which was deserved -- his receiver made a leaping, twisting grab to bring the Cowboys to their knees. And, as chronicled by colleague Michael Silver, it was Adams' suggestion to go right back to the same route, after Rodgers nearly threw an interception on it the previous play. Which brings us to another point: Adams' effort before the game-winning catch was as important -- when he did everything in his power to stop Jourdan Lewis from picking off Rodgers' errant pass. How may wideouts don't do that, especially on back-shoulder throws that inadvertently drift too far inside? By the way, Aaron Jones looks reeaaal nice, Clark.

Getting back to good health was the main objective for this 3-1 outfit in the bye week. That's the position all organizations want to be in during the bye week: sitting pretty in the standings, with time off to heal some bumps and bruises. The injuries at wide receiver certainly cost Atlanta down the stretch against the Bills. While some made a stink about Matt Ryan's protection (or his holding the ball too long), how do you unload when your receivers have negative-six inches of separation -- which is to say, none? Right. Next up: Dolphins.

After creating a ruckus with some crude social commentary off the field, Cam Newton delivered some inspired play on it. The QB simply overwhelmed the Lions in the Motor City, passing for 355 yards and three touchdowns in Carolina's 27-24 win. The key throw? Third-and-8 with the two-minute warning approaching and the Lions out of timeouts. Newton fired the ball into Kelvin Benjamin on a slant, in front of the corner and before the safety could close. Accurate, with zip and, most importantly, clutch. I thought his apology was on point, too.

Bit of a dip for the Lions, who fought back ferociously against the Panthers. The issue for Detroit: By the time the offense got going in the fourth quarter, the margin for error was nil. Take, for example, when Matthew Stafford had the team in Carolina territory with around 13 minutes to go in the game. Then the Lions failed to recognize a simple blitz, and Shaq Thompson sacked Stafford. The negative play ultimately stalled the drive, which meant Jim Caldwell's group had an even steeper hill to climb with just minutes to go. The third-and-8 completion to Kelvin Benjamin? The coup de grace.

It was a bye week for the Broncos. Call it an opportunity for the coaching staff to get the passing game going again, as Trevor Siemian had slowed down after a torrid start to the season. The ground game picked up much of the slack in a Week 4 win over the Raiders, and Siemian surely doesn't need to air it out a la 2013 Peyton Manning. But against the Giants' defensive line this coming Sunday night, the running lanes might be a bit narrower. Then again, the G-Men kind of suck right now.

So much for pushing the panic button (over and over again). I'm not sure if you noticed, but the Patriots played this little thing called "defense" last Thursday night in Tampa, shutting down the home team's offense for most of the game. What a relief for defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who must've been embarrassed/stressed/pissed about his unit's showing thus far. Not Thursday. That's why he got the bro hug from the hoodie after the game. Good stuff.

Another team that was off last week -- and, like the Falcons, coming off a loss. Usually going on bye (Do teams "go" on bye? Endure a bye?) after a loss kinda blows, but in the Redskins' case ... Dude, they so needed a week off. Washington lost, oh, about 58 defensive players at one point or another in the Monday night loss to the Chiefs. And with that aerodynamic 49ers pass offense coming to town, they need ... Well, maybe not.

If you watched Seahawks-Rams on Sunday, you got a rapid education in how red-zone defense determines the outcome of games as much as quarterback play, turnovers or any of the other football factors you hear about ad nauseam. Seattle's defense consistently tightened the screws when it counted, even if that side of the ball isn't as dominant as it once was for the 'Hawks. Sheldon Richardson sure has been in the right place at the right time. As the 26-year-old defensive tackle improves with his new team, and the weather gets colder, Pete Carroll's defense should help propel Seattle higher in the top 10. Sure would be nice if Thomas Rawls could stay healthy and carry the football, say, 25 times. Eddie Lacy might eat away at some of his workload, though. We'll all find out together.

Jared Goff's improvement certainly deserves mention among the early-season storylines. Too often on Sunday, though, the sophomore signal caller could've afforded to take a cue from the sixth-year vet across the way. Russell Wilson has made a living of knowing when to extend plays and when to throw the ball away. Goff still needs to show more pocket awareness. Take the Earl Thomas interception, where Goff tried to lob the ball over his offensive lineman (who was getting moved backward into the QB) and over the middle. Move to the side, step back, etc. -- don't force a ball over the middle with poor trajectory at that stage of the game. On another front, Wade Phillips' defense continues to get a wee bit better week by week. Just an observation.

Close call in Cincy, but indicative of the Bills' season. The outcome was completely contingent on the performance of the offense. As surprisingly well as Buffalo has fared thus far, Tyrod Taylor and Co. must be able to put together a drive when necessary. On Sunday, Buffalo was down 20-16 with 3:33 remaining and 75 yards to paydirt. Here's the three-play progression: sack, none-yard gain, interception. The total offensive output? 221 yards. I don't care if Sean McDermott is trotting out a defense with Bruce Smith, Cornelius Bennett, Fred Smerlas and Mark Kelso -- it won't make a darn bit of difference when the passing game can't even put 200 yards on the board.

While being careful not to get all hot dogs and apple pie about the Jaguars, it's hard not to be impressed with the three-touchdown win over the Steelers -- in Pittsburgh. Center stage for Jacksonville: turnovers, like always. Except, we're not talking turnovers from the Jags' quarterback, and it's damn refreshing. Doug Marrone's secondary balled out, picking five Ben Roethlisberger throws, two of which went to the house. Defensive coordinator Todd Wash deserves much credit here. The Jags entered last weekend with the No. 2 pass defense in the NFL, but it was easy to think that was a byproduct of the QBs Jacksonville faced over the first four weeks of the season (Tom Savage/ Deshaun Watson, Marcus Mariota (who throws less than many quarterbacks), Joe Flacco and Josh McCown). Not so on Sunday.

The most herky-jerky team in pro football kept up its antics Sunday at Heinz Field. Not sure if Ben Roethlisberger feels sorry for himself, was being melodramatic, really is losing it, feels older or merely wants to set the bar low so the attention pours in when he picks up his game. But let's just say his postgame commentary -- "Maybe I don't have it anymore" -- was odd. It's very, very rare for a team to overcome five interceptions from its quarterback. I remember a time Tony Romo threw five in Buffalo on a Monday night, and the Cowboys managed to win. But with two of Roethlisberger's picks turning into instant points, the rest of the team had no chance.

The Saints had a bye, and the break probably couldn't have come at a more annoying time. New Orleans was playing fast, particularly on the side of the ball that doesn't feature Drew Brees. What a momentum-killer for defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. His boys allowed a scant 13 points over the last two games combined. The Lions come to town this week. What kind of pride will Sean Payton's team show at home? The Saints didn't play well in their digs in Week 2. This should be a fun matchup.

By the time Deshaun Watson sprinted for that two-point conversion with no time remaining on Sunday night, didn't you kind of lose track of the fact the Texans lost? What an odd duck of a football game. Watson chucked multiple deep balls on the way to a five-touchdown performance, yet the Chiefs were in total control. Still, the rookie QB played loose and played to win -- until the bitter end. Incredibly entertaining. Incredibly depressing: Seeing the end of J.J. Watt's season. There's a man who deserves better. Whitney Mercilus, too.

Can't move this team up. Not after that performance. While Minnesota's a decent squad and will be in the wild-card race, the Vikings probably had no business winning Monday night. Mike Zimmer's group was repeatedly rescued by close calls. The most questionable one: That holding penalty on the Jordan Howard touchdown that wasn't. That said, I love the Vikes' defensive personnel. Solid from stem to stern. Dig seeing a 39-year-old corner ballin'. Glad to see Case Keenum get credit, too. He plays hard and deserves to be out there.

The Cowboys need John Wetteland. Better yet, give 'em Jeff Russell, man. They can't close games out. Yes, Ezekiel Elliott and the ground attack seemed to do precisely that against the Packers on Sunday -- but Dak Prescott's score to give the Cowboys a three-point lead came with over a minute left. Between that much clock and a timeout in his hip pocket, Aaron Rodgers had all he needed. Because Dallas doesn't have closers on defense. This is where first-round pick Taco Charlton (no sacks) was supposed to help. At least David Irving (two sacks) was back out there creating pressure. Rough loss.

Aside: In 1992, Russell was traded by the Rangers with Ruben Sierra and Bobby Witt to the A's for Jose Canseco. That deal helped exactly no one. No one other than maybe eight people reading this who remember that turd of a trade.

Maybe if Jameis Winston had gotten a bit more air on that back-shoulder throw at the end ... or if Cameron Brate had held on to a couple of throws ... or if Tampa had run the football more in the fourth quarter ... who knows? Took a chunk of grief on "The Power Rankings Show" for having the Bucs at 18. Consistency has been an issue for Tampa, and four games into their 2017 season, it still is.

The Titans once looked like the frontrunners in the AFC South. Now, they're a 2-3 team that just lost to one of the worst outfits in football and is still waiting for its starting quarterback to come back. So how did Matt Cassel fare in Marcus Mariota's stead? Awesomely, if you like watching 30-plus dropbacks net a grand total of 119 yards. Hashtag get excited. The encouraging sign, if there was one from the 16-10 loss, was the relatively strong performance from Dick LeBeau's defense against Jay Cutler and Co. Then again, Miami's offense has been cruddy against pretty much everybody.

Back in the win column for the Ravens. Back to somewhat normal play from Joe Flacco, who stunk up the joint the prior couple of weeks. Flacco's 19-of-26, 222-yard performance was a viable showing for a team that didn't need much.

 **A)** Baltimore ran the football consistently in this contest, putting up 143 yards. 
 **B)** The defense stifled the EJ Manuel-led Raider offense all day. Oakland's passing game did nada sans 
 Derek Carr. Baltimore safety 
 Eric Weddle, for his part, looked relieved after the game. 
 All he could think about was ice cream. What a weird dude. A very cool, weird dude. 

The first full installment of the EJ Manuel experiment didn't reveal much. Manuel didn't make any colossal mistakes -- no interceptions, no fumbles, didn't get hurt holding the ball too long -- but he didn't produce much, either. Oakland only totaled 137 net yards passing, while 17 points wasn't enough to beat even the offensively-challenged Ravens. Once again, the running game couldn't carry the load, either. You could see the look of concern in Jack Del Rio, who normally has as easy a demeanor as any head coach in pro football.

The Bengals have quietly won two in a row. What if they had held on at Lambeau in Week 3? Ever since getting embarrassed on opening Sunday and looking awful on offense versus the Texans in front of a national audience in Week 2, Cincinnati has played quality football. The meat in this taco, though, is at wide receiver. A.J. Green has been dominant over the last three games, posting 22 catches, 363 yards and three touchdowns. Those are Tecmo Super Bowl numbers. #EddieBrown

By now, you've heard that nobody expected the Jets to win three games this season, much less start 3-2. How are they doing it? Well, the schedule has been somewhat generous the last three weeks. Then you think about it and realize Todd Bowles' group beat the Jags, who blew the doors off the Steelers this weekend. They also beat the Dolphins, who were in the playoffs last year. The other main factors are Josh McCown, who has been steady if not dominant, and the defense tightening up on its side of the field. The Jets' defense is No. 1 in the league at preventing teams from scoring points once inside their 30 (only 64 percent of the time).

If you're a Bears fan, you have permission to throw down a bottle of Wild Turkey and rip your Randy Moss and Tommy Kramer football cards to shreds. Good grief. Of the three key penalties -- the hold on the Jordan Howard non-touchdown, the OPI to Terence Newman's facemask and the holding call on Leonard Floyd -- only the pass interference looked legit. The first one -- the Markus Wheaton "hold" -- is commonly referred to as "blocking" in today's NFL. You can't call back touchdowns on that stuff. The Floyd penalty was quite ticky-tacky. Mitch Trubisky will learn to throw the ball away.

The Dolphins got another W on the board, although not without controversy arising at the game's most important position. Adam Gase looked visibly perturbed at a quarterback question in postgame news conference. Can't imagine why ... Jay Cutler came into the Titans game averaging a poor 5.8 yards per attempt -- and he made up for it by hovering around 3.5 on Sunday. He threw for 92 yards. Total. The offensive line needs to do a better job keeping him clean, too. (Of course, that position group suddenly has issues on and off the field.) Thankfully, the defense gave Matt Cassel nothing in the second half while rendering the vaunted Titans run game effectively punchless (20 carries, 69 yards.) Next up: Matt Moore, er, at Atlanta.

Finally. Prior to Sunday, the Chargers had been in every game this season, but were dealt a rotten hand each time. In New York, Lady Luck finally came to the side of Philip Rivers and Co. Rivers wasn't forced to be perfect to win, which must loosen a bit of the stranglehold that pressure has placed on the organizational front man. The veteran QB missed on over half his throws (he also chucked three touchdowns). The Giants lost their top three wide receivers during the game, including Odell Beckham Jr. Most relevant: Everyone contributed to the win. Joey Bosa got to Eli Manning twice. Melvin Ingram, too. Melvin Gordon rushed for 100 yards and caught two of Rivers' scoring tosses. Hunter Henry grabbed a 25-yard scoring heave. Keenan Allen got hot in the second half after getting shut out in the first. Darius Philon posted five tackles and a sack. Everybody.

Watching Bruce Arians' team get pasted doesn't quite register. Not sure what Cardinals fans would like to see written here. Hope? This isn't a very good football team right now, at least not in the sense of playing together. When Carson Palmer is playing well, his offensive line isn't. When Palmer's off, look out -- the ball might hit you. The pass rush was decent, until Markus Golden went down in Week 4. But none of that matters with Carson Wentz throwing four touchdowns on the secondary. All of this points to how much the absence of a top running back can hurt the offense and defense. Arizona's time of possession Sunday? 24:13. No bueno.

 *(**UPDATE:** On Tuesday, the Cardinals made a trade with the Saints for veteran RB Adrian Peterson.)* 

More and more, people around the league are taking note of Jacoby Brissett. At first, his signing was considered a desperation move by a Colts team unsure of when the starter would be back. Then, after a few weeks of surprising Brissett efforts, league observers felt Indy had found a nice backup to Andrew Luck. Now, or at some point in the future, an organization might look at Brissett as a potential starting option. Sure, Brissett made a boneheaded mistake in the red zone in overtime of Sunday's win, trying to loft the ball over a linebacker in a tight space. Didn't work and nearly cost the Colts the game. He's also 23 years old. When I was 23, I had an equalizer in my car and wore vests with T-shirts. So keep that in mind when being hard on Brissett.

Down Sterling Shepard. Down Brandon Marshall. Down Dwayne Harris. Then the Giants lost Odell Beckham Jr. while needing to make a fourth-quarter drive to win. Yeaaaaaah, not really where Eli Manning wanted to be in terms of game situation on Sunday. Fans are already calling for Big Blue to move on at QB. Not even Phil Simms or a 28-year-old Eli Manning would've easily pulled a game-winning drive out of a hat while playing without almost every WR on the depth chart. Manning didn't play well. This season hasn't been his finest. But calm down.

Kyle Shanahan can't buy a win. Much like Skeletor, who seemed to always best He-Man for 20 minutes of each episode, then found a way to lose because He-Man had the power, of course. Brian Hoyer isn't doing his head coach any favors. He looks incapable one minute, then he gets into a zone, then he misses receivers on throws late. Hoyer wasn't off by much in the OT loss to the Colts, throwing for 353 yards, yet he couldn't produce diddley squat for almost three quarters. At some point, he and the Niners will put a whole game together.

Maybe it's time to sit down DeShone Kizer. Another rough outing for the rookie versus the Jets was followed by a not-any-smoother postgame press conference. Kevin Hogan kept the Browns afloat Sunday with a few on-point throws and a nice assist from Duke Johnson on a screen pass gone wild. Hogan has earned the right to play more. He might have even delivered a win, had that goal-to-go sequence gone differently in the final quarter. On another note: Kasen Williams and David Njoku made some redonkulous catches Sunday. Holy cow.

Follow Elliot Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonNFL.

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