(Previous Rank; Previous Result; Rank Change)
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
(No. 1; W, 13-10 vs. Ten; No Change)
It wasn’t pretty, but they outlasted the Titans on opening night to remain No. 1.
2. New England Patriots
(No. 2; W, 25-24 vs. Buf; No Change)
Not the second best team in the league right now, but they stay because they just barely edged the lowly Bills.
3. New York Giants
(No. 3; W, 23-17 vs. Was; No Change)
Eli Manning completed 20 of 29 passes for 256 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Solid effort in the division win.
4. Indianapolis Colts
(No. 5; W, 14-12 vs. Jac; Up 1)
Just barely hung on against their divisional foe. Solid game from Reggie Wayne with 10 catches, 162 yards and a touchdown.
5. Philadelphia Eagles
(No. 6; W, 38-10 vs. Car; Up 1)
Romped the Panthers and as long as McNabb doesn’t miss too much time, they should continue to roll.
6. Tennessee Titans
(No. 4; L, 13-10 vs. Ind; Down 2)
Played quite well in their loss on the road against the defending champions. Nothing to be ashamed about. They should be up near the top all season long.
7. Minnesota Vikings
(No. 8; W, 34-20 vs. Cle; Up 1)
Started slowly but eventually rolled against a bad Browns team.
8. San Diego Chargers
(No. 9; W, 24-20; Up 1)
Allowed the Raiders to hang around for awhile, but hung on for the Monday night win.
9. Baltimore Ravens
(No. 10; W, 38-24 vs. KC; Up 1)
Did not play the lights out defense we’re accustomed to seeing and let the Chiefs put up 24 points, but their offense looked good posting 38.
10. Carolina Panthers
(No. 7; L, 38-10 vs. Phi; Down 3)
Were dismantled by a much better Eagles team and Jake Delhomme picked up where he left off last postseason as a turnover machine.
11. Atlanta Falcons
(No. 12; W, 19-7 vs. Mia; Up 1)
Won a very uninteresting game between two surprising teams last year.
12. New Orleans Saints
(No. 15; W, 45-27; Up 3)
They have to play better defense, but their offense picked up right where it left off last season.
13. Green Bay Packers
(No. 14; W, 21-15 vs. Chi; Up 1)
Not the offensive juggernaut that so many experts claimed them to be, but their 3-4 defense looks pretty good.
14. Dallas Cowboys
(No. 16; W, 34-21 vs. TB; Up 2)
Offense looks pretty good without Terrell Owens. Roy Williams finally might emerge as the player the Cowboys thought he’d be when they traded for him last year.
15. Arizona Cardinals
(No. 11; L, 20-16 vs. SF; Down 4)
Lost to a rebuilding 49ers team. Let the Super Bowl runner-up curse live on.
16. Chicago Bears
(No. 13; L, 21-15 vs. GB; Down 3)
Not a good start for Cutler, who threw a career-high 4 INTs and the Bears lost Urlacher for the season.
17. Seattle Seahawks
(No. 19; W, 28-0 vs. STL; Up 2)
It’s hard to tell how good they can be because the Rams are still a bad football team, but a shutout is always good news.
18. Miami Dolphins
(No. 17; L, 19-7 vs. Atl; Down 1)
Did not look so good against Atlanta, but it was a tough road game to begin the season.
19. New York Jets
(No. 23; W, 24-7 vs. Hou; Up 4)
Very impressive first outing for rookie Mark Sanchez and coach Rex Ryan.
20. San Francisco 49ers
(No. 24; W, 20-16 vs. Ari; Up 4)
Good looking win for Mike Singletary’s group against the defending NFC Champions on the road.
21. Houston Texans
(No. 18; L, 24-7 vs. NYJ; Down 3)
Looked awful and not like a team ready to compete for the division title or a playoff spot.
22. Washington Redskins
(No. 20; L, 23-17 vs. NYG; Down 2)
Kept it close against a good Giants team while on the road, but couldn’t pull off the upset.
23. Buffalo Bills
(No. 21; L, 25-24 vs. NE; Down 2)
Nothing to be ashamed about against the New England Patriots except fumbling the football to give Tom Brady’s group a lucky win.
24. Denver Broncos
(No. 26; W, 12-7 vs. Cin; Up 2)
Kyle Orton’s counting his blessings after a freak play wound up giving the Broncos a fortunate win that they did not earn.
25. Cincinnati Bengals
(No. 22; L, 12-7 vs. Den; Down 3)
Barely outplayed the Broncos but a game lasts 60 minutes and the Broncos had one lucky play to steal the victory.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars
(No. 25; L, 14-12 vs. Ind; Down 1)
Played tough against the Colts but couldn’t complete a comeback victory attempt.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(No. 27; L, 34-21; No Change)
Buccaneers kept the game close against the Cowboys early but couldn’t stop their strong offense.
28. Kansas City Chiefs
(No. 28; L, 38-24; No Change)
This offense again looks like a young, playmaking unit but their defense needs a lot of work.
29. Cleveland Browns
(No. 29; L, 34-20 vs. Min; No Change)
I give them credit for keeping the Vikings in check in the first half but bad teams are eventually exposed.
30. St. Louis Rams
(No. 30; L, 28-0; No Change)
A lot of work still remains before the Rams can become a respectable team.
31. Oakland Raiders
(No. 31; L, 24-20 vs. SD; No Change)
I give them a lot of credit for playing tight against the Chargers but in the end, San Diego was just too much to handle.
32. Detroit Lions
(No. 32; L, 45-27 vs. NO; No Change)
27 points isn’t too bad against a normal opponent, but they were facing the most explosive offense in the league. Tough luck.
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