(Previous Rank; Previous Result; Rank Change)
1. Indianapolis Colts
(No. 2; Bye; Up 1)
The Colts had a bye week but moved into the top spot by virtue of the Giants losing big to the Saints. The Colts should roll this week against the No. 32 team, the Rams.
2. Minnesota Vikings
(No. 3; W, 33-31 vs. Bal; Up 1)
It was a tale of two halves for the Vikings against the Ravens. In the first half, they looked unbeatable. In the second, they were very average. They have a tough test against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
3. New Orleans Saints
(No. 4; W, 48-27 vs. NYG; Up 1)
Maybe the toughest team in the league right now, but I’d like to seem them playing outdoors in the elements before I make that judgment.
4. New York Giants
(No. 1; L, 48-27 vs. NO; Down 3)
Didn’t have much competition the first few games of the season and looked out of place when their first real test came up. I’ll be interested to see how they bounce back after the loss to the Saints.
5. New England Patriots
(No. 6; W, 59-0 vs. Ten; Up 1)
Simply impressive outing against the Titans in the snow. Tom Brady had a record second quarter and the Patriots look like they’re still on top despite a shaky performance against the Broncos.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
(No. 8; W, 27-14 vs. Cle; Up 2)
Rolled over the Browns this week but have their toughest challenge to date when the Vikings come to town.
7. Atlanta Falcons
(No. 9; W, 21-14 vs. Chi; Up 2)
Didn’t play well, but lucky for them, neither did the Bears. This team will be one of the contenders in the NFC all season.
8. Denver Broncos
(No. 11; W, 34-23 vs. SD; Up 3)
Look like a legitimate team after winning a divisional road game in prime time. Top defense in the league according to points allowed and a steady offense.
9. Baltimore Ravens
(No. 7; L, 33-31 vs. Min; Down 2)
If it weren’t for a slow start, they might have put away the Vikings. Then again, they did have the lead late but gave up a Favre-led drive and also missed a game-winning field goal attempt.
10. Philadelphia Eagles
(No. 5; L, 13-9 vs. Oak; Down 5)
How can a team lose to the Raiders and only score 9 points in the process? They really should be lower, but I’m being generous.
11. Green Bay Packers
(No. 15; W, 26-0 vs. Det; Up 4)
Pummeled the Lions at home. They still have offensive line troubles which could hurt their playoff aspirations.
12. San Diego Chargers
(No. 10; L, 34-23 vs. Den; Down 2)
Gave up two special teams touchdowns and couldn’t stop the Broncos’ offense. Probably will be up and down all season.
13. Chicago Bears
(No. 12; L, 21-14 vs. Atl; Down 1)
Second loss of the season came while turning the ball over and failing on all three phases. I’d like to see them lose games when they play well and the other team plays better; not when they play poorly.
14. Cincinnati Bengals
(No. 13; L, 28-17 vs. Hou; Down 1)
Not a good outing for Cedric Benson and the Bengals’ run game. They face a tougher Bears run defense this week but should be able to pass the ball.
15. Arizona Cardinals
(No. 17; W, 27-3 vs. Sea; Up 2)
Cruised to a divisional victory over the Seahawks on the road. They’re trying to overtake the 49ers in the NFC West.
16. Dallas Cowboys
(No. 16; Bye; No Change)
For their sake, hopefully they learned how to play better defense during the bye week.
17. New York Jets
(No. 14; L, 16-13 vs. Buf; Down 3)
The Jets have dropped three in a row and hit their low point by losing to the lowly Bills.
18. Miami Dolphins
(No. 18; Bye; No Change)
Went into the bye week last week after a big Monday night victory over the Jets. Now they can start making a run in the AFC East, but have to get past a tough Saints team first.
19. Carolina Panthers
(No. 19; W, 28-21 vs. TB; No Change)
Just barely survived the Buccaneers. I think this team’s window as presently constructed is all but closed.
20. San Francisco 49ers
(No. 20; Bye; No Change)
Bye week came at a good time for them after being destroyed by the Falcons the previous week. Currently tied with the Cardinals and have a tough road game against the Texans this week.
21. Houston Texans
(No. 21; W, 28-17 vs. Cin; No Change)
Not exactly a playoff contender in my eyes unless they can start winning consistently. They completely embody a .500 team with the way they play erratically.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars
(No. 23; W, 23-20 vs. Stl; Up 1)
Head into the bye week after surviving the Rams. Not much to be excited about with this group.
23. Seattle Seahawks
(No. 22; L, 27-3 vs. Ari; Down 1)
A week after dismantling the Jaguars with a shutout, they nearly get shut out by division rival Arizona. They head to the bye with a bad taste in their mouths.
24. Buffalo Bills
(No. 27; W, 16-13 vs. NYJ; Up 3)
Somehow managed to knock off the Jets in overtime after picking off 5 Mark Sanchez passes.
25. Oakland Raiders
(No. 30; W, 13-9 vs. Phi; Up 5)
I don’t know how they did it, but they upset the Eagles by controlling the line of scrimmage and thanks to JaMarcus Russell’s 224-yard passing day.
26. Kansas City Chiefs
(No. 31; W, 14-6 vs. Was; Up 5)
Picked up their first victory of the season over a bad Redskins team. All field goals in that game.
27. Washington Redskins
(No. 24; L, 14-6 vs. KC; Down 3)
It could be soon or it could wait until the end of the season, but one thing for sure is that Jim Zorn’s days as head coach are numbered.
28. Tennessee Titans
(No. 25; L, 59-0 vs. NE; Down 3)
And thus, the collapse of the Titans is complete. Sure, they’ll lose a few more games this season, but a 59-0 drubbing in which they completely laid down and took a beating in the snowy cold weather was about as low as the Titans can get.
29. Cleveland Browns
(No. 26; L, 27-14 vs. Pit; Down 3)
Just a bad football team. I’ll give them credit for scoring 14 points against the Steelers in Pittsburgh, but they’re no good.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(No. 28; L, 28-21 vs. Car; Down 2)
They won’t go winless. They’re staying competitive, but they went from one of the oldest teams in the league to one of the youngest in one off-season and are in total rebuilding mode.
31. Detroit Lions
(No. 29; L, 26-0 vs. GB; Down 2)
I was a little surprised that they got shut out by the Packers considering how well they’ve played — comparatively, of course — all season. They’re still a below average football team but they’ll bounce back and perhaps pick up another win or two.
32. St. Louis Rams
(No. 32; L, 23-20 vs. Jac; No Change)
They played tough against a bad Jaguars team and nearly won, but they’ve got problems that’ll need time to rectify.