There are a vast number of things that can be taken away from Week 5 of the NFL season. For example, the Indianapolis Colts rallying around their head coach, who is receiving treatment after being diagnosed with leukemia, proved that emotion can push you forward, and propel you to things many people thought were impossible, like beating Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
The New Orleans Saints, apparently, only needed to have their head coach in the building to prove that they can still win games, and have an extremely potent offense. Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons showed once again why they may not be the most comforting team to watch, but when it all boils down to wins and losses, they are the class of the NFC. The Chicago Bears are continuing a push to once again have their names on the upper echelon defensively in the league, while the Minnesota Vikings are trying to prove that they belong on that same level, as a whole.
Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers are one of the scariest teams to face now, especially if their offense can play half as good as they did against Buffalo, and, of course, the Houston Texans beat the New York Jets, prompting Twitter to blow up into a Tim Tebow frenzy. All things considered, Week 5 had some very heartwarming (see Chuck Pagano), unsettling (see Eric Winston vs. the Fans), and somewhat predictable (see Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning) story lines. How did this week's action affect the NFL MVP Power Rankings? Let's take a look.
#5. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts (Last Week:Unranked) (1,208 passing yards, 8 total TD, 5 INT) - Even if it's just for one week, Andrew Luck deserves to be on this list. He's taken over the offense for a team that won just two games last season, and matched that win total through 4 games. He's led the Colts to wins over the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. Even if the stats, and the wins over two high quality teams doesn't justify Luck being on this list, leading his team to win while their head coach was hospitalized down the street from the stadium does.
#4. Percy Harvin, WR, Minnesota Vikings (Last Week:Unranked) (38 receptions, 407 yards, 3 total TD) - Mr. Everything for the Vikings offense, Harvin has scored 3 different ways this season. He opened the scoring Sunday with a gritty 4-yard rush, and then scored later on a very nifty 10-yard swing pass. Harvin also has one return touchdown, taking the opening kickoff against the Detroit Lions 105 yards. If Harvin can continue to stay healthy, something he has struggled with throughout his career, he could finally end up with his first career 1,000 yard receiving season.
#3. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots (Last Week: 3) (1,450 passing yards, 10 total TD, 1 INT) - Any time you have a game that features two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks going against each other, the hype surrounding that game will be pretty incredible. When those two quarterbacks are named Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, incredible becomes astronomical. The game absolutely lived up to the hype, with Brady eventually getting the better of Manning again. The reemergence of Wes Welker in the passing game, and the slight semblance of an actual running game in Foxborough will only add fuel to the fire that is a Brady-led offense.
#2. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (Last Week: 1) (1,507 passing yards, 14 total TD, 3 INT) - Matt Ryan did nothing to make himself fall in these rankings. He went into FedEx field, on an awful day weather-wise, and threw for 345 yards, leading his team to victory again. He threw one interception, that if Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan didn't make an All-Pro play on, would have been an incomplete pass. He spread the ball around to 8 different receivers, and hit tight end Tony Gonzalez thirteen times, and wideout Julio Jones ten times. So why, you ask, is Matt Ryan now second on this list?
#1. J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans (Last Week: 2, tied with teammate Arian Foster) (8.5 sacks, 8 pass deflections) - This man is the reason. Can the argument be made that teammate Arian Foster should still be on this list with him? Absolutely, and in fact, yes, he probably should. However, Watt is having an incredible start to this season, and deserves to be recognized for it. On Monday night, with the Jets offense facing a critical 3rd down with just under seven minutes to play, Watt slipped through the offensive line to record his only sack of the game, and knocking the Jets out of field goal range. When the Jets got the ball back with just four seconds on the clock, Watt deflected Mark Sanchez's pass over the middle, conserving the victory for the undefeated Texans. After the game, cameras caught Watt telling a teammate, "You can't try to throw it over my head." Well, J.J., sir, today, there is one less person trying to put anything over you.