1. Ravens (4-1)
With previous road wins against the Jets and Steelers, the Ravens remain the top choice among the top teams. Sunday’s solid win against Denver was just another blue collar day at work.
2. Steelers (3-1)
The return of Ben Roethlisberger should provide stability at the quarterback position. With all the cogs in place, the team seems poised to make another Superbowl run this year.
3. Jets (4-1)
Monday’s win over the Vikings shows the growth of young QB Mark Sanchez and the Jets. They squeaked out a victory that would have been a certain loss last year. The team has found it’s stride after the week one loss against the Ravens. Four in a row, and the addition of LB Pace, CB Revis, and WR Holmes make the Jets one of the hottest teams in the league.
4. Colts (3-2)
The Colts gave the Chiefs their first defeat of the season. They don’t seem to be the same ol’ Colts, but with QB Manning at the helm it is only a matter of time before Indy rights the ship.
5. Falcons (4-1)
The Falcons quietly have the best record in the NFC. Does Atlanta have staying power? Parity and mediocre play rule the day in the NFC, so for now, Atlanta appears to be the cream of the crop.
6. Patriots (3-1)
During their bye week, the Patriots traded WR Randy Moss to Minnesota, but added Deion Branch as a replacement. He’s no Moss, but he is a former Patriot Super Bowl MVP. One thing is for sure, QB Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick will manage to make it work.
7. Bears (4-1)
The Bears have four wins, but many believe that the record is built on a house of cards. Time will tell with this team, but the QB Jay Cutler’s concussion may test the team sooner than they like.
8. Packers (3-2)
The Packers are coming off a tough loss against the Redskins. To make matters worst, QB Aaron Rodgers has a concussion and may not start this week. Still the Packers remain one of the better teams in the league, with one of the NFL’s best young QB’s, and should be around when the dust settles end of year.
9. Saints (3-2)
The Saints lost to the Cardinals,‘nuff said. Seriously, this is a different team without the injured RB Reggie Bush, and two of their three victories were against the winless 49ers and Panthers. Still one would think Drew Brees and Co. have a serious playoff run in them.
10. Chiefs (3-1)
Hard to decide what to make of the Chiefs this season. Yet 3-1 is 3-1. Although they lost for the first time this season to the Colts 19-9, it seems that solid play in all three phases of the game has lead to winning football. Coach Todd Haley’s coordinators Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weiss have made an immediate impact.
11. Giants (3-2)
The Giants look like a different team the past two weeks. Actually they look like they did the year they won the Superbowl. The question is can this team show any consistency at all? Still, when they put it all together, boy are they tough to beat.
12. Titans (3-2)
Titans pull out a seesaw victory over reeling Dallas. That is the Titans 11th straight victory over the NFC. This is a hard nosed (some say dirty)football team nobody wants to play. They will likely go as far as Vince Young can take them, and if Fisher would allow the kid to have a bad game from time to time, things might turn out okay. Young can’t look over his shoulder the minute things go bad.
13. Texans (3-2)
The Texans were given an old fashion beat down by the Giants this week. They won’t face too many defenses like NY the rest of the season, so Arian Foster should continue his league leading rushing assault.
14. Redskins (3-2)
Everyone, including the Washington Redskins, is trying to determine what this team’s potential really is. The overtime win, against a tough Green Bay team, could be a team defining victory. To top it off, Donovan McNabb’s play has changed the team culture from last year and is paying immediate dividends.
15. Eagles (3-2)
The Eagles beat the 0-5 49ers in a tight game Sunday night. Actually, the 49ers lost that game more than the Eagles won it. Still a win is a win in the NFL, especially on the road. The Eagles have the best QB combination in the league and Vick will be back soon, but one wonders, is the revolving door at QB hurting team chemistry.
16. Buccaneers (3-1)
The Bengals imploded Sunday, but the Tampa Bay Bucs took full advantage when they did. Tampa QB Josh Freeman has passed the smell test, and seems to get better weekly. The team has already matched the Buc win total of 2009.
17. Jaguars (3-2)
Jacksonville ran up 36 on the road against a weak Buffalo Bill team. QB David Gerrad will go a long way in determining how far this team goes. The Jaguars won’t finish above 9-7, and 8-8 or 7-9 seems more likely in the end.
18. Dolphins (2-2)
Miami is coming off a bye week. They have two home divisional losses, but in the AFC EAST nothing is settled this soon. A tough rough game against the Green Bay Packer team awaits.
19. Cowboys (1-3)
Tough loss against the Titans this week. In the end, the Cowboys will put it all together, the question is will it be too late in the season. They play in the Dig-A-Grave bowl against the 1-3 Minnesota Vikings this weekend.
20. Vikings (1-3)
The Jet loss was bitter to take but left the Vikings with some good things to work on. Their defensive line was dominated by the Jets, but that won’t happen again to that front four. Randy Moss and Favre have another week to work together, the game is in Minnesota, and their opponent is the equally desperate Dallas Cowboys.
21. Chargers (2-3)
San Diego demonstrated embarrassing special teams play in a bad loss to Oakland on Sunday. The Chargers are off to their typical slow start, but how many times can they drink from that well without consequences?
22. Bengals (2-3)
It seems QB Carson Palmer may never reach his full potential. He has all the tools to be successful this season but is inconsistent too often. Second year Tampa player Josh Freeman outplayed Palmer in crunch time on Sunday. WR Chad Ochocinco belongs on a milk box for the missing. So far he hasn’t benefited from the addition of WR Terrel Owens in a meaningful way at all.
23. Broncos (2-3)
QB Kyle Orton is a surprising second in league passing statistics this year. However Denver still lost to the Ravens badly Sunday and will likely face the same fate against the Jets this week.
24. Cardinals (3-2)
The Cards 30-20 victory over the Saints was a nice organizational win, too bad they have a bye this week, preventing them from immediately capitalizing off of it. Former Jet safety Kerry Rhodes seems to be playing well in Arizona. Good for you Kerry.
25. Raiders (2-3)
The Raiders are facing a 0-5 49ers team that plays like their record is 3-2 or better. QB Jason Campbell may start for Oakland if Gradkowski can’t go.
26. Rams (2-3)
The Rams lost to Detroit 44-6. Even though the Lions are a better team, the score says it all. Even worst, losing WR Mark Clayton for the year really changes things for St. Louis and QB Sam Bradford.
27. Seahawks (2-2)
The RB Marshawn Lynch pickup could help out the Seahawks tremendously. Now Lynch has to show-and-prove on the field. He escapes the crowded backfield in Buffalo and should get the ball in Seattle.
28. Lions (1-4)
The Lions are putting together the makings of a talented team. They will be good down the road, just not this year. Detroit had a decisive first win against the Rams on Sunday. Bravo.
29. Browns (1-4)
Rookie QB Colt McCoy may be sent to the slaughter on Sunday. The Browns face a rested Steeler team coming off a bye week. A daunting task.
30. 49ers (0-5)
This team is in every game every week they play. They seem poised to turn it around, but can anyone climb out of that hole, even in the weak NFC West.
31. Panthers (0-5)
The Panthers lost badly to the Bears this past Sunday and could really use this upcoming bye week break to regroup.
32. Bills (0-5)
The Bills appear to be the worst team in football.