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Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) hurdles Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L'Jarius Sneed (38) during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The purpose of this weekly exercise is to do the heavy work for you, Dear Reader. We watch the games and pore over the stats to identify the elite teams and determine who’s the very best of the 32 franchises so you don’t have to.

However this week, our NFL Power Rankings balloting produced two No. 1 teams with the Cardinals and the Bills receiving the same amount of ranking points.

No one likes ties, but these co-No. 1s are definitely deserving.

All Kliff Kingsbury’s Cardinals have done is produce the franchise’s first 5-0 start since 1974. Kyler Murray continues to perform at an MVP level while getting the support from a trusted Arizona defense that ranks third in total takeaways. And let’s not forget that the Cardinals thoroughly outplayed a then-unbeaten Rams squad in Week 4 at SoFi Stadium in a 37-20 trouncing.

All Sean McDermott’s Bills have done is destroy everything in their path since stumbling against the Steelers in Week 1. Any doubts about Buffalo’s dominating win streak coming against weak opponents were put to rest on Sunday night in Kansas City, where MVP candidate Josh Allen and the league’s top-ranked defense made Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs look completely ordinary in a lopsided rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game.

It’s early, of course. Tough challenges remain for both teams — Arizona takes on the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday — but maybe they’ll end up finishing atop their respective conferences. That way, they can decide who’s the better team in what would be a very entertaining Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in February.

On to the rankings ...

The Top 10

1t. Arizona Cardinals (5-0, Last week: 1): The defense went 4-for-5 in stopping the 49ers on fourth down on Sunday.

1t. Buffalo Bills (4-1, Last week: 3): Josh Allen is the new front-runner for league MVP, according to the oddsmakers.

3. Los Angeles Rams (4-1, Last week: 4): This picture is worth a thousand words on how tough it is to block Aaron Donald.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1, Last week: 2): The champs dominated the Battle of Florida and still fell two spots. Tom Brady fatigue, anyone?

5. Los Angeles Chargers (4-1, Last week: 5): Hollywood has a new rising star in second-year QB Justin Herbert.

6. Dallas Cowboys (4-1, Last week: 9): The #FeedZeke crowd is quite happy now with the NFL’s No. 2 rushing attack.

7. Green Bay Packers (4-1, Last week: 6): Mason Crosby shouldn’t need four chances to kick a winning field goal, but the offense shouldn’t be struggling this bad to score touchdowns either.

8. Baltimore Ravens (4-1, Last week: 7t): Lamar Jackson joined the MVP conversation with an incredible Monday night performance.

9. Cleveland Browns (3-2, Last week: Not ranked): They’ve now lost close road games to the Chiefs and Chargers.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (3-2, Last week: NR): Listen to Aaron Rodgers’ advice, Joe Burrow.

DROPPED OUT: Kansas City Chiefs (2-3, Last week: 7t), Las Vegas Raiders (3-2, Last week: 10).

Week 6 rankings
Week 6 rankings

The Bottom Five

We nearly had a new entrant, but the Texans just edged out the 1-4 Dolphins, who definitely have bottom-five credentials with the 31st-ranked offense in yards gained and 30th-ranked defense in yards allowed. Luckily for Miami, it faces the winless Jaguars in this week’s Battle of Florida in London.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5, Last week: 32): Another head coach’s controversy momentarily took the spotlight away from Urban Meyer.

31. New York Jets (1-4, Last week: 29): Did you even know the Jets played in London early Sunday?

30. Detroit Lions (0-5, Last week: 30): They’re the first team in NFL history to lose twice in one season on a last-play field goal of 50 yards or more.

29. New York Giants (1-4, Last week: Not ranked): Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones just can’t stay healthy.

28. Houston Texans (1-4, Last week: 31): At least Davis Mills’ remarkable bounce-back game is reason for optimism.

MOVING UP: Atlanta Falcons (2-3, Last week: 28).

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