01. New Orleans Saints - Still the best team in the NFL. Brees has hit a rut lately, but his rut has resulted in nothing but three wins. If that's the worst this team has to face, then they're in great shape.
02. Indianapolis Colts - They're playing like champions but they cant tire out. Taking a loss or two between now and their predetermined first round bye may not be the worst thing in the world. Just make sure they don't lose four like they did in 2006; then again they won a Super Bowl that season so... Yeah, they're gonna be tough to beat.
03. Minnesota Vikings - That defense always does what it has to to win games. They're a conference loss by the Saints away from controlling the NFC. That'll be scary for everyone else.
04. Cincinnati Bengals - They're for real, they'll be in the playoffs. I'm not sure they can beat Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, San Diego, or New England when it matters though. They're playing like the fourth best team in the NFL though.
05. Pittsburgh Steelers - I'm not convinced they lost the division on Sunday, they'll still win 11 to 12 games. They lost control of the AFC North though, but they won 3 on the road in 2005.
06. New England Patriots - A yard away from probably being number two or three in the power rankings; instead they've only dropped one place. They're looking at a four game streak if they want a fourth championship though.
07. San Diego Chargers - They're the hottest team in the AFC right now, and with a win against Denver they'll be making every team above them in the power rankings have nightmares. Especially Indianapolis.
The Very Good
08. Denver Broncos - They're falling fast. I've got a feeling they're going to leave a huge crack in the pavement when they do. This team is a loss to San Diego away from imploding, and San Diego are hot and hungry for revenge.
09. Dallas Cowboys - That loss against Green Bay was really bad. What would be even worse would be a loss to a confident Redskins team this week. I don't see it happening though. They're still contenders.
10. Arizona Cardinals - The win at home was needed for confidence. They have St. Louis this week to bolster that confidence.
11. Philadelphia Eagles - I still think they'll be in the NFC playoffs. I no longer think they're Super Bowl contenders. The talent is there though. I honestly believe they may actually have to make a coaching change, and I've never thought that before. 2004 was a long time ago.
Hanging In There
12. New York Giants - The bye week was the Giants best week since the ALDS. They're right back in the Wild Card race, and a win over Atlanta this week will put them back in the NFC East race. Simply put; they're lucky.
13. Miami Dolphins - The best team under .500 can get above .500 with a win on Thursday against the Panthers. If they do that they'll be .500.
14. Jacksonville Jaguars - The win against the Jets put them back on everyones radar, including mine. They were a playoff team in 05 and 07. Does 09 continue that every-other-year trend?
15. Baltimore Ravens - A big win against Cleveland. They couldn't score any first half points though. If that happens this week against the Colts they'll likely get blown out of the water; and the AFC playoff race.
16. Houston Texans - In their bye week they didn't catch many breaks. Do you think they had deja-vu watching the Colts in the 4th quarter versus New England?
17. Atlanta Falcons - This team has been given the Wild Card on a silver platter but thus far they've refused to accept it. If Michael Turner is out, they're likely done. A trip to New Jersey will decide their fate on Sunday.
18. Green Bay Packers - What they did against the Cowboys deserves acclaim. They're still in the playoff hunt, but they're really not worth thinking about until after they beat San Francisco this week.
19. New York Jets - They're a dead team walking. New England will likely get too much pleasure out of pulling the plug in this team. At least they won one against New England early in the season.
20. Carolina Panthers - Holy smokes they're alive! If they beat Miami on Thursday then they'll be in control of their own playoff destiny. Personally, I think they're too inconsistent to make a real run.
21. Tennessee Titans - They're moving back into an AFC Playoff race that has luckily for them been pretty forgiving. If they beat Houston on Monday Night then they're back.
22. San Francisco 49ers - They beat the Bears in a game they shouldn't have won. But shouldn't have doesn't count. They have Green Bay this week in what could be a Resurrection game if they win.
23. Seattle Seahawks - It's a shame that they're this bad. I don't think they'll be legitimately good for some time to be honest. Bring in a new QB this draft this way he's ready to step in for 2011.
24. Buffalo Bills - They got ran over by Tennessee and it cost Dick Jauron his job. I don't think I ever took that hiring seriously to begin with.
25. Chicago Bears - Are they the 7th worst team in the NFL? No. But their loss to the 49ers keeps them here for at least this week.
26. Kansas City Chiefs - The good news is they got a win. The "who cares" news is it was against Oakland.
27. Washington Redskins - They may have ruined Denver's 2009 season; a spoiler is all they'll be for the duration of the season.
28. Oakland Raiders - The fact that this team is only the 28th worst team in the NFL goes a long way in stating how deep the bottom of the NFL really is. JaMarcus Russell was 9 of 24 for 67 yards on Sunday. Unfortunately his backup Bruce Gradkowski was even worse: 4 of 8 for 46 with 0 TD and 2 INT.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Too bad for them they couldn't hold on against Miami. Josh Freeman has lit a spark for this team, but it might go out against New Orleans this week.
30. St. Louis Rams - The awful team in the NFL with a soft spot in every ones heart. I knew they wouldn't beat the Saints, but I loved watching Facebook explode with random "go Rams" and "please don't mess up my survivor pool" posts.
31. Detroit Lions - Calvin Johnson should sit out the remainder of the year. No use in keeping him when he's not 100%. At this point in the season I'd also worry about doing anything detrimental to Matthew Stafford's growth as a QB.
32. Cleveland Browns - Awful situation right now. If Mangini gets fired it will be a shame though because the Browns will rebound thanks to some of the moves made this year. They were a mess before 2009, it's going to take a while to clean it.