Let’s go back to week one shall we? Suppose I come to you and say: “I will bet you $50,000 that by mid season Cincinnati and Baltimore will be tied for first in the AFC with Cincinnati holding the slight tie breaker.” Would you take the bet? I sincerely doubt it. My rankings are based heavily on record. Win and you climb, lose and you drop. As always if you think you can do better, leave your own rankings in the comments below.
1. Green Bay Packers (8-0). It’s another narrow victory for the Packers and another step closer to a 16-0 season. Who is going to stop this freight train from rolling down the line?
2. San Francisco 49ers (7-1). The San Francisco 49ers are the second best team in football. Say it with me. THE 49ERS ARE THE SECOND BEST TEAM IN FOOTBALL. Man can those Harbaugh brothers coach or what?
3. Baltimore Ravens (6-2). For the last two minutes of the game, Joe Flacco channeled the ghost of John Unitas and marched his team down the field for a score and the win. A 92 yard drive against the best passing defense in the league? You know the Golden Arm is up there smiling this morning.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (6-2). The best two teams in the AFC? Why, Cincinnati and Baltimore of course. Take that prognosticators.
5. Detroit Lions (6-2). There are few teams in the league who needed a bye week as badly as the Lions. Hopefully the week off allows them to get healthy for a solid playoff push.
6. New York Giants (6-2). A late TD throw by Eli Manning turned this loss to the Pats into a win; one eerily reminiscent of a recent Super Bowl. Also, the Giants are the only team in their division with a winning record.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3). Someone please remind Dick LeBeau that he is a Hall of Fame defensive coordinator, and as such should be reminded that in the final two minutes of the game against elite talent, the prevent defense prevents winning. I don’t care if it’s a tired, over used, cliché. It’s still true.
8. Houston Texans (6-3). Houston takes care of business like they’ll need to do in order to make the playoffs.
9. New Orleans Saints (6-3). Slowly but surely New Orleans is moving into position to claim the NFC South title once again.Atlanta is standing in the way, but you have to like how New Orleans is running the ball of late.
10. Chicago Bears (5-3). The NFC North, like the AFC North, is shaping up to be the division of power. Bears, Packers and Lions, all fighting for the playoffs, all in position to make a run.
11. Atlanta Falcons (5-3). You know the best way to come off the bye week? Play the Colts. Atlanta throttled hapless Indy to keep pace with the Saints.
12. New York Jets (5-3). The Jets have quietly (I know right? Quietly!) regained form and have crept back into the picture as a legitimate contender. A return to form on defense has certainly eased this along.
13. New England Patriots (5-3). Wow, when was the last time anyone can remember the Pats dropping two straight? This is a team that is struggling mightily right now with an average running game, a terrible defense, and a passing game that is spinning it’s wheels.
14. Buffalo Bills (5-3). The good times finally came to an end in Buffalo against the Jets. The team of last year reared it’s ugly head to remind everyone that although it may be forgotten, it is certainly not gone.
15. Dallas Cowboys (4-4). A solid effort from Romo helps lead the Cowboys over the hapless Seahawks. Can he repeat the effort in the coming week?
16. Oakland Raiders (4-4). Three more interceptions by Carson Palmer have many in Oakland wondering if they shopped for a Porsche and got a jalopy instead.
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4).Tampa Bay blew a perfect opportunity to really make noise in the NFC South division race. Loss to New Orleans could be the back breaker.
18. Tennessee Titans (4-4). The Titans really needed a win to keep pace with the Texans in the playoff hunt. Unfortunately they caught the red hot Bengals at the worst possible moment.
19. Kansas City Chiefs (4-4). After coming back into the playoff picture with a four win run, the Chiefs laid an absolute dud against Miami.
20. San Diego Chargers (4-4). Phillip Rivers is just broken mentally right now. Until he gets his head on straight, this is a team going nowhere.
21. Denver Broncos (3-5). I stand by comments from last week. Yes the win was huge, yes Tebow played well enough to get the W, yes, he didn’t look nearly as bad on the field, he still isn’t long for this world.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5). It’s time for Andy Reid to go defensive coordinator shopping. When you have all the talent he has, there’s no excuse to let up so many points.
23. Washington Redskins (3-5). Injuries across the board have absolutely crippled this team. They’ve got nothing right now to keep them afloat.
24. Cleveland Browns (3-5). Despite Colt McCoy’s successes last year, the Browns might be shopping for a new play caller come draft time.
25. Arizona Cardinals (2-6). Despite John Skelton’s repeated attempts to give the game away, the Cardinals managed to pull off the victory over St. Louis.
26. Minnesota Vikings (2-6). Christian Ponder gets a bye week to rest and prepare to make a run at Rookie of the Year honors.
27. Carolina Panthers (2-6). Cam Newton is throwing up crazy video game numbers, but it hasn’t translated into victories for his team. Andy Dalton get’s the rookie of the year votes, if for no other reason than Cincy is actually winning.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6).Jacksonville could still theoretically turn their season around and make the playoffs out of the AFC South. God bless the NFL.
29. Miami Dolphins (1-7). Where has this Miami offense been all season. Matt Moore came out looking like a legitimate NFL quarterback.
30. Seattle Seahawks (2-6). Seattle has a lot of work to do if their going to rebuild this unit into a contender. That starts with drafting a QB next spring.
31. St. Louis Rams (1-7). The Rams are the first team in NFL history to score 4 points in a quarter of play. That is all.
32. Indianapolis Colts (0-9). This is a team that just can’t get out its own way. Everything, and I mean everything is going wrong for them right now.