1. Green Bay Packers- They probably had the best bye week, too, since they are the best at everything else.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers- Troy Polamalu is all over the field on defense. He’s amazing, and the Steelers need to be taken seriously again.
3. San Francisco 49ers- They are making plays by throwing the ball to lineman. Are you kidding me? The 49ers are unbelievable at this point. Wow, I’m impressed.
4. Detroit Lions- The defense was the story this week by absolutely dominating the Broncos. The Lions really needed a win after they dropped two in a row.
5. Buffalo Bills- The offense has gotten most of the attention this year, but the defense put together an impressive shutout against the Redskins this week. The Bills continue to roll.
6. New England Patriots- It’s weird to me how bad their defense is. Tom Brady is still excellent, but the defense lets the Patriots down in close games.
7. Baltimore Ravens- Something might have clicked in the second half against the Cardinals on Sunday. They needed to get their passing game going by getting the ball to Anquan Boldin more often, and that’s exactly what they did. He had a big game against his former team with seven catches and 145 yards.
8. Philadelphia Eagles- The Eagles were extremely exciting on Sunday night, and they quieted their critics for now. I’ve been on the bandwagon, so I’m expecting things to continue to get better for them.
9. New Orleans Saints- Did they really follow up a 62-point performance with a loss to the Rams? I love the NFL!
10. New York Jets- If the running game continues to be solid and Mark Sanchez limits his mistakes, they will be in the playoff mix again.
11. Cincinnati Bengals- It’s time I give them some major respect on the power rankings. They keep getting it done week after week. I’m impressed that they decided to keep their head coach, Marvin Lewis, around this year, and it’s definitely paid off.
12. Atlanta Falcons- Will they have a strong second half of the season like they did last year? They should be able to if they get wide receiver Roddy White playing at a high level again each week.
13. Dallas Cowboys- They were embarrassed against their rival on Sunday Night Football, but they will be fine. Their defense got dominated by the Eagles offense, and the Cowboys must fix those problems.
14. Chicago Bears- Will Matt Forte be able to carry the offense as much as he has the rest of the way? They need to find other answers on offense.
15. Oakland Raiders- I expect Carson Palmer to play much better after the bye week. We shouldn’t give up on the Raiders just yet.
16. Houston Texans- They are starting to establish themselves as the team to beat in the AFC South, even though that may not be saying too much.
17. New York Giants- I still don’t know what to make of this 5-2 team, but they keep finding ways to win so you have to respect that.
18. Kansas City Chiefs- As bad as they looked early in the season, they have made the right adjustments and are playing much better. They pulled out the victory they needed last night against the Chargers to stay even with the Chargers and Raiders in the AFC West.
19. San Diego Chargers- During Monday Night Football I learned that Phillip Rivers has six kids! He married his high school sweetheart, too. I also learned that the Chargers offense isn’t as strong as it has been in years past, and I can’t figure out why. They played a fun game against the Chiefs, but Phillip Rivers fumbled at the worst time.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- I’m intrigued to see how the NFC South shakes out this year with the Saints, Falcons and Bucs all putting in a good fight.
21. Tennessee Titans- They realize they can’t rely on Chris Johnson, but Matt Hasselbeck and the passing game have been solid. I’m still surprised any time they win though.
22. Carolina Panthers- They should have beaten the Minnesota Vikings at home, but they fell short at the end. The Panthers are a fun team to watch, but there is a lot of frustration when a team loses so many close games.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars- They continue to be competitive, but they are still too young to be a consistent winner each week.
24. Minnesota Vikings- Christian Ponder has given the Vikings the spark they needed, and they have looked much better the last two weeks. This is a year to watch him develop, and fans can see that their future is bright with him under center.
25. St. Louis Rams- I was really glad they pulled the big upset over the Saints. I know it sounds crazy, but I think they have the talent to put together a nice winning streak.
26. Cleveland Browns- They aren’t a very good team, and they can’t keep their running backs healthy. Plus their division is one of the toughest in the league. On a positive note, Josh Cribbs had a great game against the 49ers.
27. Washington Redskins- They are a mess. It will be tough to find many answers for their problems this season.
28. Seattle Seahawks- Marshawn Lynch averaged 1.5 yards per carry. If your starting running back puts up those kinds of numbers, it’s not good.
29. Denver Broncos- The defense must improve, Tebow needs more time, and the media/fan frenzy surrounding Tebow is crazy.
30. Arizona Cardinals- It’s going to be a long season for the Cardinals.
31. Miami Dolphins- On a positive note, Reggie Bush ran for over 100 yards. It’s amazing that he’s only done that twice in his career.
32. Indianapolis Colts- It’s hard to feel bad for a team that has had so much success in the last decade, but it’s painful to see how far they have fallen.
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