(Previous Rank; Previous Result; Rank Change)
1. Indianapolis Colts
(No. 1; W, 42-6 vs. Stl; No Change)
Continue to cruise with little to no resistance. San Francisco and Houston should be minor speed bumps over the next two weeks, but the real test is in Week 10 against the Patriots.
2. New Orleans Saints
(No. 3; W, 46-34 vs. Mia; Up 1)
Can the Falcons bump them off this week? It’s in New Orleans and Atlanta doesn’t have a good defense, so I don’t think so.
3. New England Patriots
(No. 5; W, 35-7 vs. TB; Up 2)
Made short work of the Buccaneers in London. Have a bye week to get ready for Miami.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
(No. 6; W, 27-17 vs. Min; Up 2)
Showed the rest of the NFL how to stop the mighty Vikings. Put pressure on the old man Favre and keep containment against the speedster Peterson.
5. Minnesota Vikings
(No. 2; L, 27-17 vs. Pit; Down 3)
They’re not immortal; they can be beaten. But it’s awfully difficult to stop both Favre and Peterson. The Steelers proved it can be done, but how often it will happen is the question.
6. New York Giants
(No. 4; L, 24-17 vs. Ari; Down 2)
Have now dropped two straight and look nothing like they did at the beginning of the season.
7. Atlanta Falcons
(No. 7; L, 37-21 vs. Dal; No Change)
Couldn’t handle the Cowboy’s passing attack and now head into New Orleans to face perhaps the league’s best aerial assault.
8. Denver Broncos
(No. 8; Bye; No Change)
Bye week to collect themselves and try to keep their perfect season going.
9. Baltimore Ravens
(No. 9; Bye; No Change)
After starting off the season hot and then dropping three straight, the bye week came at a good time for the Ravens. They had two weeks to prepare for the undefeated Broncos.
10. Philadelphia Eagles
(No. 10; W, 27-17 vs. Was; No Change)
Well, it was good to see that they wouldn’t lose to bad teams in consecutive weeks. They took care of the Redskins in short order.
11. Green Bay Packers
(No. 11; W, 31-3 vs. Cle; No Change)
Handled the Browns easily. It’s scary to think how good Aaron Rodgers could be if he could remain upright more often instead of lying on his back.
12. San Diego Chargers
(No. 12; W, 37-7 vs. KC; No Change)
Punished a Chiefs team that was riding high off a victory. They have to keep pace with the Broncos in the West by continuing to pick up wins.
13. Cincinnati Bengals
(No. 14; W, 45-10 vs. Chi; Up 1)
Looked unstoppable on offense, but I can’t figure out if it’s more a product of facing a bad Bears defense or if the Bengals are really that good.
14. Arizona Cardinals
(No. 15; W, 24-17 vs. NYG; Up 1)
Went into New York and upset the Giants. Big victory for a team trying to maintain their hold on the NFC West and remain competitors in the conference.
15. Dallas Cowboys
(No. 16; W, 37-21 vs. Atl; Up 1)
After their bye week, they came out and lit up a bad Falcons defense like a Christmas tree.
16. New York Jets
(No. 17; W, 38-0 vs. Oak; Up 1)
The Jets turned around a losing streak and hammered the Raiders on the road. Mark Sanchez still appears to have hit a rookie wall at this early stage of the season.
17. Chicago Bears
(No. 13; L, 45-10 vs. Cin; Down 4)
None of the three phases of the Bears played well against the Bengals, but it’s kind of hard to judge the offense when they’re trying to play catch-up all game.
18. Miami Dolphins
(No. 18; L, 46-34 vs. NO; No Change)
Had the Saints right where they wanted them with a big first-half lead, but let it slip away. Gimmick offense isn’t always effective, is it?
19. Houston Texans
(No. 21; W, 24-21 vs. SF; Up 2)
Schaub and the Texans’ passing attack are still clicking. They survived a second-half surge by the 49ers.
20. Carolina Panthers
(No. 19; L, 20-9 vs. Buf; Down 1)
If they can’t even beat the Bills at home, they have a serious problem.
21. San Francisco 49ers
(No. 20; L, 24-21 vs. Hou; Down 1)
Made a change to Alex Smith at quarterback and looked much better in the second half against the Texans. Still have offensive problems, but might be a little better now.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars
(No. 22; Bye; No Change)
Bye week should have helped them figure some things out.
23. Seattle Seahawks
(No. 23; Bye; No Change)
It’s always hard to go into the bye week after a bad loss. Now they have a tough road game against Dallas.
24. Buffalo Bills
(No. 24; W, 20-9 vs. Car; No Change)
Picked up a second consecutive upset victory. Could they be gaining some momentum?
25. Oakland Raiders
(No. 25; L, 38-0 vs. NYJ; No Change)
After upsetting the Eagles, they get trounced, 38-0, by the Jets. Major inconsistencies.
26. Kansas City Chiefs
(No. 26; L, 37-7 vs. SD; No Change)
Didn’t have enough firepower to keep up with division rival San Diego.
27. Washington Redskins
(No. 27; L, 27-17 vs. Phi; No Change)
Couldn’t keep up with the visiting Eagles on Monday night.
28. Tennessee Titans
(No. 28; Bye; No Change)
Perhaps the bye week was able to give them time to right the ship.
29. Cleveland Browns
(No. 29; L, 31-3 vs. GB; No Change)
Terrible team with no quarterback, no head coach, and no direction.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(No. 30; L, 35-7 vs. NE; No Change)
Still a work in progress and may not see any progression under current head coach Raheem Morris.
31. Detroit Lions
(No. 31; Bye; No Change)
A bye week and then a home game against a bad Rams team. What more could they ask for?
32. St. Louis Rams
(No. 32; L, 42-6 vs. Ind; No Change)
They have a shot to pick up their first victory of the season against a rebuilding Lions team, but it won’t be easy.