1. Pittsburgh Steelers(5-1; Last Week #1)- Lucky to get a 23-22 win in Miami. Big Ben looks terrific. The schedule gets rough now though, as they have three straight primetime games, with two of those being on the road, and the only one at home being against a great team: at New Orleans, at Cincinnati, and vs. New England.
2. New York Jets(5-1; Last Week #2)- Had a bye week after winning five straight, and now have five games in a row that look very favorable: vs. Green Bay, at Detroit, at Cleveland, vs. Houston, and vs. Cincinnati. If they play like they've been playing so far, they'll more or less have a great playoff spot wrapped up after that five-game stretch.
3. New England Patriots(5-1; Last Week #3)- Randy Moss returns to New England, and the Patriots will likely show him that they don't miss him too much. Danny Woodhead's looking like he could be a big part of this offense in both the run and pass game.
4. Indianapolis Colts(4-2; Last Week #5)- They desperately needed the bye week with all of their injuries. The loss of Dallas Clark for the season is a huge one, and they need Austin Collie to return soon.
5. New York Giants(5-2; Last Week #7)- The most complete team in the NFC right now, and looking like a legitimate Super Bowl contender. They can run, pass, and have a very good defense, particularly with their pass rush. That's how they won the Super Bowl in 2007.
6. Baltimore Ravens(5-2; Last Week #4)- Yeah, they won the game, but having to go to overtime at home against the winless Bills might as well count as a loss. Their defense hasn't looked right over the last few weeks.
7. Tennessee Titans(5-2; Last Week #8)- Impressive win over a solid Eagles team, and Kenny Britt's looking like he could become one of the league's elite receivers. His game against the Eagles was prettyyyyyy, prettyyyyyyyyyyy, pretty good: Seven catches, 225 yards, and three touchdowns.
8. Atlanta Falcons(5-2; Last Week #10)- Sitting at 5-2 in a weak NFC with two games still to go against a horrible Panthers team is a pretty good spot to be in. It would be a shock to me(if they keep key players healthy, of course) if this team didn't end up with one of the top playoff seeds in the NFC.
9. Houston Texans(4-2; Last Week #11)- Can they beat the Colts, again? You have to like their chances with how banged up the Colts currently are. The Texans couldn't catch the Colts at a much better time. And a win would be -huge-. While they could still be in second place behind the Titans, a win at least give the Texans what would essentially be a two*-game lead over the Colts in the AFC South, since they would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.
10. Kansas City Chiefs(4-2; Last Week #13)- They should be 5-2 after a home game against the Bills this week, but they follow that up with two road games against AFC West rivals, the Raiders and Broncos. The Raiders are looking like their main competition for the AFC West crown at the moment, so that could turn out to be a very important game.
11. Washington Redskins(4-3; Last Week #15)- Great performance by their defense to beat the Bears in Chicago.
12. Philadelphia Eagles(4-3; Last Week #9)- Well, I guess we can put the Kevin Kolb/Michael Vick quarterback controversy to rest... for the next two weeks anyway, as the Eagles have a bye in week eight before Vick returns as starter in week nine to face the Colts.
13. Green Bay Packers(4-3; Last Week #16)- Had to beat the Vikings at home, and found a way to do so. It wasn't pretty, but here they are now at 4-3 and tied with the Bears for the NFC North lead. With how bad the Bears have looked over the last two weeks, and the Vikings now 2-4, the Packers have to be considered the favorites to win the division.
14. New Orleans Saints(4-3; Last Week #7)- What a horrible loss at home to Colt McCoy and the Browns at home. And it was never close. They've now lost to McCoy, undrafted rookie quarterback Max Hall and the Cardinals, and only won by two at home to rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen and his Panthers team that only has one win. Drew Brees doesn't look right, with 10 interceptions on the season already. He only threw 11 last year. Madden curse?
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers(4-2; Last Week #18)- This team is easily the biggest surprise in the NFL. Coming into the season, I thought they would be a two-win team or so.
Head coach Raheem Morris says they're even the best team in the NFC right now. Um, I don't know about that, but they're playing some good ball and are looking like legitimate playoff contenders at least. Second-year quarterback Josh Freeman could be a star.
16. Miami Dolphins(3-3; Last Week #14)- They deserved to win against Pittsburgh, and it's possible they even did... we just didn't have enough replay evidence to show that. Overall though, they look very average, as their .500 record indicates.
17. Seattle Seahawks(4-2; Last Week #25)- I look at their roster and still feel like this is no more than a seven-win team, but they've gotten it done so far, and are in a division with three other bad teams. Pete Carroll's doing a terrific job in his first season as coach, and is looking like a good bet to be rewarded with a trip to the playoffs.
18. Chicago Bears(4-3; Last Week #12)- The offensive line is just sooooooooooo bad. And now Jay Cutler's back to making bad decisions. Part of it has to do with his offensive line in my opinion, as he just looks jumpy in the pocket every time he steps back to throw now. Even when there is no pressure, it's like he's expecting it to happen and forces a bad throw. And their goal line offense is just atrocious. They've yet to score on ten plays at the one-yard line this season, and have even turned the ball over twice in such situations. Unbelievable.
19. Minnesota Vikings(2-4; Last Week #17)- Hey look, we're unsure of the status of Brett Favre going down to the last minute. Heard that story before? Seriously though, they're better off with Tarvaris Jackson playing if Favre's not 100%. Hell, they might even be better off with Tarvaris than a healthy Favre right now.
20. Cincinnati Bengals(2-4; Last Week #19)- Tough loss at Atlanta. Carson Palmer finally had a good game, but Cedric Benson struggled like he has for most of the year. He's only broken a run for over 20 yards in one game this year.
21. St. Louis Rams(3-4; Last Week #20)- Heartbreaking one-point loss at Tampa Bay. But, they should get back on track this week against the Panthers at home, follow that with a bye week, and then face the crappy 49ers. So they have a great shot to have a winning record after week 10. I think they'd be quite satisfied with that position after winning just one game in 2009.
22. Oakland Raiders(3-4; Last Week #27)- How about the Raiders going into Denver and putting a franchise-record 59 points against their hated rivals? Darren McFadden looks like the guy everybody thought he could be out of college. If he and Michael Bush can continue running with success, and Jason Campbell can play at least solidly at quarterback, this is a dangerous team that can win the AFC West.
23. Arizona Cardinals(3-3; Last Week #22)- Averaging just 146.2 passing yards per game, which is last in the NFL. They're not going to move up those rankings with Max Hall at quarterback. Still, their schedule, which looks quite easy on paper, could keep the Cardinals alive in the NFC West for at least most of the season.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars(3-4; Last Week #23)- Two straight horrible losses. Six of their last nine games are against teams that currently have winning records.
25. San Diego Chargers(2-5; Last Week #21)- How does Norv Turner still have a job? I've even talked about how they are ranked so highly in all of these statistics and I think they start winning games, but I'm not so sure anymore. Horrible coaching and special teams play may keep this team underperforming all season.
26. Dallas Cowboys(1-5; Last Week #26)- How 'bout them Cowboys? With Romo out at least six weeks, you have to think their season is over for all intents and purposes. I'd consider it pretty much over even if Romo were healthy. Just like I said about Norv Turner, how does Wade Phillips still have a job?
27. Cleveland Browns(2-5; Last Week #30)- ESPN's Adam Schefter provided a great statistic following the Browns' outstanding victory over the Saints in New Orleans: The Browns have beaten the defending Super Bowl champion in each of the three seasons. Who would've guessed?
28. Denver Broncos(2-5; Last Week #24)- That was one of the worst losses in Broncos history, and at home to their biggest rivals. I live in Denver, and I'm not finding many Josh McDaniels supporters. Unless they turn it around quickly, consider him on the hot seat going into the offseason. Of course, if the Broncos intend to do that, they have to find a coach that believes Tim Tebow is an NFL starting quarterback since they invested a first round draft pick on him, and that might be quite difficult. I've brought that thought up a few times recently, and people mention Jon Gruden and Tony Dungy, as both former(and damn successful) NFL coaches are big Tebow believers, but I can't see either of them leaving their television jobs to coach this team.
29. Detroit Lions(1-5; Last Week #29)- Matt Stafford's back at quarterback after being injured in week one, and reports are that he's looked great at practice. For what it's worth, deep down I really believe they're better than at least a few of the teams I have ranked ahead of them, but they have to go out and show that to me with wins first.
30. Carolina Panthers(1-5; Last Week #31 )- A win! Enjoy it, Panthers fans, because you might not be getting anymore this year.
31. San Francisco 49ers(1-5; Last Week #28)- London, I promise you we have better football than what you're about to see from this 49ers team and the Broncos. Like, much, much better.
32. Buffalo Bills(0-6; Last Week #32)- They must feel like winning a game is nearly impossible after they blew a huge lead to the Ravens to stay winless. They'll get a couple of wins though, especially if Ryan Fitzpatrick keeps playing like he has thus far.
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