2021 NFL power rankings, Week 5: New York gets its first wins

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ATLANTA, GEORGIA – OCTOBER 03: Taylor Heinicke #4 and Terry McLaurin #17 of the Washington Football Team react after McLaurin scored a touchdown reception against the Atlanta Falcons in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 03, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)


Minnesota Vikings 1-3

Last week: L, 14-7 vs CLE
Last rank: 22nd

Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota offense had not been the problem in the early stages of 2021. But after averaging a brisk 29.0 points per game in their first three contests, Mike Zimmer’s team was limited to a single touchdown and just 255 total yards.

The Vikings sacked Browns’ quarterback Baker Mayfield three times. Zimmer’s defensive unit was pushed around by the Cleveland offensive front to the tune of 184 yards on the ground on 38 carries.


Washington Football Team 2-2

Last week: W, 34-30 at ATL
Last rank: 26th

Ron Rivera’s team was on the road for the second straight week and hoped to avoid the debacle that was a 22-point loss at Buffalo. It proved to be quite the shootout and quarterback Taylor Heinicke more than held his own vs. veteran Matt Ryan.

The Washington signal-caller threw for 290 yards and three scores. Down 30-28 late in the fourth quarter, he connected with running back J.D. McKissic for a 30-yard touchdown with 33 seconds to play.


Indianapolis Colts 1-3

Last week: W, 27-17 at MIA
Last rank: 28th

Frank Reich’s winless club headed to South Florida without All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson (via NFL.com’s Michael Baca) and in search of their first win of the season. But the Colts’ ground attack still rolled up 139 yards – 103 and a touchdown by second-year running back Jonathan Taylor.

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis defense held the Dolphins to 35 yards rushing and 203 total yards. And former Colts’ quarterback Jacoby Brissett was sacked three times.

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