Another week is in the books and we’re starting to get a better idea of this crazy NFL season. The Falcons and Texans stayed undefeated and proved worthy of our top two spots. We’ve learned that the Chicago Bears defense is back and that New England is capable of having a balanced offense. The NFC West is better than many thought and the NFC North is almost the exact opposite of where it was at this time last year. Both the western divisions are wide open and both of the southern ones are a closed case. This is the time of year when we actually begin to have an idea of where teams stand.
1. Atlanta Falcons (5-0)
Last Week: 1 (-)
The Falcons have proven capable of blowing teams out but more importantly, capable of winning the close games. Matt Ryan is playing better than any QB in the league.
2. Houston Texans (5-0)
Last Week: 2 (-)
If the Texans make it through the next two weeks with an unblemished record, that 2-0 streak would be more impressive than their current 5-0.
3. San Francisco 49ers (4-1)
Last Week: 4 (+1)
The Ravens continue to win but the 49ers moving up is a testament to how well they’ve played. This team has absolutely dominated their last two games – putting up over 600 yards of offense against a Bills defense that was supposed to be “one of the league’s best”.
4. Baltimore Ravens (4-1)
Last Week: 3 (-1)
I hate to drop a team that is coming off a road win but the Ravens have struggled against subpar teams while the 49ers’ loss to Minnesota seems long forgotten.
5. Chicago Bears (4-1)
Last Week: 6 (+1)
In the past two weeks the Bears defense has scored 4 touchdowns. Imagine if Cutler and Marshall find that old Mile High magic
6. New England Patriots (3-2)
Last Week: 9 (+3)
The Patriots offense is explosive and dynamic. More than that, it’s balanced. New England has a ground game for once which should have their opponents scared.
7. Minnesota Vikings (4-1)
Last Week: 14 (+7)
Christian Ponder finally threw his 1st (and 2nd) interception of the year but rebounded nicely to lead the Vikings to a shocking 4-1 start. Percy Harvin has my vote for NFL MVP at this point in the season. Is anybody playing better football than Harvin?
8. Arizona Cardinals (4-1)
Last Week: 5 (-3)
Everyone is talking about the injury to Ryan Williams but this teams success or failure has always been on the shoulders of their quarterback.
9. New York Giants (3-2)
Last Week: 11 (+2)
This offense is still struggling to find an identity but we are all aware that if the champs can stay in the thick of things, we’ll see them come January.
10. San Diego Chargers (3-2)
Last Week: 10 (-)
The Chargers are 2-0 in their division but that’s not nearly as impressive considering those wins are over the Raiders and Chiefs. This weekend’s game against the Broncos will tell us a lot about the AFC West race.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2)
Last Week: 18 (+7)
Big Ben continues to show his ability to rally his team late in games and win the close ones.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)
Last Week: 7 (-5)
If the Eagles don’t make the playoffs it will only be because of turnover differential.
13. Green Bay Packers (2-3)
Last Week: 8 (-5)
This was the biggest second half collapse I have seen in recent memory.
14. St. Louis Rams (3-2)
Last Week: 19 (+5)
The Rams have their first winning record since 2006. More impressive is that they are off to a 2-0 start in the NFC West.
15. Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
Last Week: 15 (-)
Talk about consistently inconsistent. Tony Romo is getting a lot of the blame but his wide receivers and offensive line must step up.
16. Seattle Seahawks (3-2)
Last Week: 16 (-)
The vaunted Seahawks’ D has a big test this weekend as they face the NFL’s most prolific offense.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (3-2)
Last Week: 12 (-5)
The game against the Dolphins is one this team should’ve never lost.
18. Denver Broncos (2-3)
Last Week: 13 (-5)
The Broncos’ offense is much improved over the 2011 playoff version but the defense is nowhere near their old form. They must step up if they hope to stop Phillip Rivers this weekend.
19. Washington Redskins (2-3)
Last Week: 17 (-2)
Without RGIII in the game this team fell apart. This struggling defense gets a huge test when they face Percy Harvin this weekend.
20. Miami Dolphins (2-3)
Last Week: 25 (+5)
It becomes much easier for a young QB to develop when he has an offensive line as good as the one that Ryan Tannehill has protecting him.
21. Indianapolis Colts (2-2)
Last Week: 31 (+10)
Andrew Luck put together an impressive second half for his absent coach Chuck Pagano as the Colts are now 2-0 against NFC North teams.
22. Detroit Lions (1-3)
Last Week: 22 (-)
If the Lions can take advantage of turnovers and limit special teams scoring by the Eagles, perhaps Detroit can get back to their winning ways.
23. New York Jets (2-3)
Last Week: 21 (-2)
The chants for Tebow are growing louder in East Rutherford…
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3)
Last Week: 24 (-)
If Josh Freeman can’t throw touchdown passes against Kansas City this week – who can he throw them against?
25. Carolina Panthers (1-3)
Last Week: 23 (-3)
Auburn & Blinn College fans know that Cam Newton can be unstoppable for one season. Panthers fans are asking if he can do it for two?
26. New Orleans Saints (1-4)
Last Week: 29 (+3)
Drew Brees breaking Johnny Unitas’ record in a win against his former team was a special moment but it doesn’t change the fact that the Ain’ts are at least 3 weeks from .500.
27. Buffalo Bills (2-3)
Last Week: 20 (-7)
It’s not just that this team already has three losses – it’s the number of points they have given up in these losses.
28. Oakland Raiders (1-3)
Last Week: 26 (-2)
This team needs to win games now but it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll get the W against Matt Ryan & Co. in Atlanta
29. Tennessee Titans (1-4)
Last Week: 28 (-1)
This team’s fortunes are directly tied to those of Chris Johnson. As he’s gone downhill, so has this team.
30. Kansas City Chiefs (1-4)
Last Week: 27 (-3)
This fan base is excited that Brady Quinn will start this week. How far has KC fallen?
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4)
Last Week: 30 (-1)
For three quarters this team stood toe to toe with the Chicago Bears. Shame a game doesn’t end after three quarters.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-5)
Last Week: 32 (-)
Two weeks in a row this team has gotten off to a quick start against top tier teams – now they just have to learn how to finish.