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Monday, Oct 15, 2018
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Ira Kaufman's Week 5 NFL power rankings

Each week a group of 11 members of the media — including Tribune NFL writer Ira Kaufman — rank the 32 NFL teams in what is known as the AP Pro32 Power Rankings. Here is Kaufman's ballot and comments (with the panel consensus in parentheses):

1. Denver - Tampa Bay scored 44 points in September. The Broncos averaged 45. (Consensus No. 1: Same)

2. Seattle - Road tested and confident beyond belief. (Consensus No. 2: Seattle)

3. New Orleans - They could clinch the NFC South crown by Thanksgiving. (Consensus No. 3: Same)

4. New England - Nobody is playing better defense than Aqib Talib. (Consensus No. 4: Same)

5. Kansas City - Don't look now, Broncos, but Kansas City is on your tail. (Consensus No. 5: Same)

6. Indianapolis - Andrew Luck takes on Seattle's opportunistic secondary. (Consensus No. 6: Same)

7. San Francisco - After some September struggles, the 49ers will be just fine. (Consensus No. 7: Same)

8. Green Bay - The Packers have had a week off to fix that leaky defense. (Consensus No. 8: Detroit)

9. Miami - No shame in losing to Drew Brees and company in the Superdome. (Consensus No. 9: Chicago)

10. Detroit - A healthy Reggie Bush in the backfield means trouble for defensive coordinators. (Consensus No. 10: Miami)

11. Chicago - The Bears will rebound with some takeaways against New Orleans at home. (Consensus No. 11: Green Bay)

12. Houston - Fourth in offense, first in defense and third in the AFC South. (Consensus No. 12: Same)

13. Cincinnati - Too erratic at the moment to be considered a serious Super Bowl contender. (Consensus No. 13: Tennessee)

14. San Diego - Philip Rivers is off to one heck of a start. (Consensus No. 14: Same)

15. Dallas - Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2 defense is struggling against the pass. (Consensus No. 15: Cincinnati)

16. Tennessee - Formula for success: zero turnovers through four weeks. (Consensus No. 16: Baltimore)

17. Baltimore - This ground game is going nowhere. (Consensus No. 17: Dallas)

18. Atlanta - Letting John Abraham leave is one thing. Not replacing him is quite another. (Consensus No. 18: Same)

19. Carolina - If Cam Newton can get on a roll, look out. (Consensus No. 19: Cleveland)

20. Cleveland - Like the Panthers, a stout defense is carrying a plodding attack. (Consensus No. 20: Buffalo)

21. Minnesota - Perhaps they rediscovered their passing game in jolly London. (Consensus No. 21: Carolina)

22. Buffalo - This prolific running attack can wear you down in a hurry. (Consensus No. 22: Arizona)

23. Arizona - They play a little defense out in the desert, especially against the rush. (Consensus No. 23: N.Y. Jets)

24. N.Y. Jets - On a pace to turn the ball over 48 times. (Consensus No. 24: Washington)

25. Washington - A reason to believe before the bye week. (Consensus No. 25: Minnesota)

26. Philadelphia - This defense could be the perfect tonic for the punchless Giants. (Consensus No. 26: Same)

27. St. Louis - Facing Jacksonville should restore some lost confidence. (Consensus No. 27: Same)

28. Oakland - It's already about draft positioning in the East Bay. (Consensus No. 28: Oakland and Pittsburgh)

29. Tampa Bay - What happened to the NFL's No. 9 attack in 2012?

30. Pittsburgh - Mike Tomlin will keep the faith and usher in a rebuilding plan. (Consensus No. 30: N.Y. Giants)

31. N.Y. Giants - Brush fires are starting to break out in the swamps of Jersey. (Consensus No. 31: Tampa Bay)

32. Jacksonville - Average losing margin? Try 24.5 points per game. (Consensus No. 32: Same)

Voting panel: Chris Collinsworth, NBC Sports; Tony Dungy, NBC Sports; Herman Edwards, ESPN; Bob Glauber, Newsday; Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News; Clark Judge, CBSSports.com; Ira Kaufman, The Tampa Tribune; Pat Kirwan, SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com; John Lynch, Fox Sports; Alex Marvez, Foxsports.com; Charean Williams, Forth Worth Star Telegram

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