We are five weeks into the 2011 season, and already we are starting to separate the pretenders from the contenders for the coveted first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. We had a somewhat volatile week in which some teams really put themselves behind the 8-ball by winning, and some new challengers for the throne emerged.
Which team tops this week's rankings? You are just moments away from finding out. Or you could skip straight to No. 1 right now, but where is the fun in that?
And without further ado ...
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (1-4)
A bad week for the Vikings, who could have really solidified their stranglehold on the top spot. Instead they won rather convincingly against the lifeless Cardinals. You have to lose to teams like that if you want to remain in the race. Thankfully, playing in the brutal NFC North keeps them in the running for now. But this team cannot afford another win. Up next: at Chicago
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-4)
The Jaguars slipped up in the first game of the season by beating Tennessee, but since then they have really put in their time to be in the hunt for the top pick. The Jaguars have only scored 59 points this season -- the lowest point total for any team that has played five games. Up next: at Pittsburgh
ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-4)
The Cardinals are another team that has put together a rather impressive four-game losing streak, but they jump up the board with an impressive loss at previously No. 1 Minnesota in Week 5. The Cardinals are clearly one to watch. Hopefully the bye week won't ruin this team's lack of momentum. Up next: Bye
ST. LOUIS (0-4)
St. Louis managed to move up in the rankings without having to go on the field. That is impressive. What is interesting to note here is that St. Louis has been outscored by 67 points this season and has already gone 0-3 at home to start the season. A date at the defending champions figures to keep this club in the mix. Up next: at Green Bay
MIAMI DOLPHINS (0-4)
The Dolphins remain at No. 2 for the second consecutive week. There are whispers that Miami could trade for Kyle Orton, which could prove to be disastrous for the team as they would figure to be more competitive and accidentally win a few games that could take them out of the race. Up next: at New York Jets
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (0-5)
The Colts were living on the edge this week but managed to find a way to blow a 24-7 lead for a come-from-ahead loss that springboards this team into the pole position for the first pick in the draft. Can you imagine that, the Colts in a position to draft a successor to Peyton Manning? But Curtis Painter is making them dangerously competitive, so maybe they should reinsert Kerry Collins into the lineup. Or at least see what Jim Sorgi is up to. Up next: at Cincinnati