Wait, the NFL season is already one-quarter of the way complete? Noooooo! I feel like it was just yesterday that I was keeping my fingers crossed that the NFL lockout would end and we would get back to football. Now, it feels like the season is going by too fast. But I digress. Week 5 of the season is here and it is full of interesting match-ups on the schedule, including a few interesting intra-division rivalries.
The top game in our power rankings for this week, which could have been predicted before the season started, is the Jets vs. Patriots game in Foxboro, MA. The Jets knocked the Pats out of the playoffs last season, embarrassing the heavily favored Patriots 28-21. Quarterback Tom Brady made no secret that the game haunted him in the offseason but said this week that he would not use that loss to fuel his motivation for this week. Yeah, right.
Other great divisional games this week include Bears-Lions, Saints-Panthers and Chargers-Broncos. Here are the rest of the NFL Game Power Rankings for Week 5:
1. New England Patriots vs. New York Jets
Average Ticket Price: $327.72
The trash-talking in this rivalry seems to have been coming from only the Jets side for the past few seasons, and it always starts with Jets head coach Rex Ryan. He recently told reporters that this game is a match-up of "Hall of Fame" coaches, speaking of himself and Pats coach Bill Belichick, who has three Super Bowl rings to Rex's zero. Ryan may want to work on his 25th ranked offense before enshrining himself into the HOF.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titans
Average Ticket Price: $203.99
The Steelers' 2-2 record is misleading because they have been one of the most disappointing teams in the league. Aside from the 24-0 drubbing they gave the awful Seahawks, the Steelers have gotten dominated by the Ravens and Texans, while barely escaping the winless Colts. Things won't be any easier this Sunday when the 3-1 Titans come to Heinz Field.
3. Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears
Average Ticket Price: $153.94
The Detroit Lions have gone from sleeper team to outright contender in 2011. The team is now 4-0 for the first time since 1980, and they are looking like a team of destiny. The Lions have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL and they should have an opportunity to get to Bears QB Jay Cutler this weekend, who has already been sacked 15 times this season.
4. New York Giants vs. Seattle Seahawks
Average Ticket Price: $140.57
The Giants have battled through injuries this season and find themselves at 3-1. Playing at home this week, the Giants defense should feast on the inexperience of Seahawks QB Tavaris Jackson.
5. Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers
Average Ticket Price: $134.67
You can probably still hear the echo of all the Broncos fans calling for Tim Tebow to get some playing time over Kyle Orton, who has not looked impressive this year. Some fans in Denver have even taken it upon themselves to put up a billboard for the cause.
6. Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers
Average Ticket Price: $110.97
Green Bay absolutely demolished the Falcons in last season's playoffs, winning 48-21 in Atlanta. The Packers visit Atlanta this week and will look to maintain their perfect record.
7. Buffalo Bills vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Average Ticket Price: $108.95
This game is a battle between the league's most surprising team vs. the league's most disappointing. The Bills have played extremely well in 2011 including a win over the Patriots in Week 3, while the Eagles are 1-3, causing Michael Vick to say that the Eagles are no longer a "Dream Team."
8. Houston Texans vs. Oakland Raiders
Average Ticket Price: $92.60
Now that RB Arian Foster has returned from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the first three weeks of the season, the Texans look like the favorite to win the AFC North. This could be a big week for Foster, who faces a Raiders defense that has given up the 4th most rushing yards in the NFL this season.
9. Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Average Ticket Price: $91.33
No matter who the Colts put at QB this season, they continue to find ways to lose. After going 0-3 with Kerry Collins behind center, the Colts turned to Curtis Painter last week. Despite throwing for 281 yards and 2 TDs, Painter only completed 43 percent of his passes and didn't make the big completions when it counted.
10. Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints
Average Ticket Price: $89.99
If you are looking for a game where there are going to be a ton of points scored, this is definitely the game. The Saints and Panthers rank at numbers two and three respectively in passing yards, which means this game will be won based on their quarterbacks.
11. Minnesota Vikings vs. Arizona Cardinals
Average Ticket Price: $62.73
The Vikings have lost all four of their games by a combined 19 points and really could have won every one of them. This may be the week they get in the win column against the 1-3 Cardinals.
12. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Average Ticket Price: $54.93
As we have noted before, the Jaguars have struggled to sell tickets all year and this will not be the game where it gets any easier. This game lacks any star power except for Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who has been great this year, rushing for 391 yards so far.
13. San Francisco 49ers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Average Ticket Price: $44.43
First-year head coach Jim Harbaugh has proved that a great coaching staff can turn a team around quickly. The 49ers were in disarray last year under Mike Singletary but now look like a real playoff contender in the weak NFC West division.
Come back next Thursday for the Week 6 rankings!
Rankings are based on the average price of tickets sold on the TicketNetwork Exchange as of 10/6/2011 10:15 a.m. EST.