1. Baltimore Ravens (Last Week: 1) (4-1): Nothing changed. Defense and running game still elite. Flacco is good, but too many turnovers (and that’s not apple turnovers).
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 2) (3-1): Big Ben set to return. Tomlin should stick to running and defense, and limit Ben’s penchant for risky plays.
3. New York Jets (LW:5) (4-1): Took care of business against the Vikes, but wasn’t pretty. Team only scored 13 points when you take away Vikings miscues (fumbles, short fields, pick-six). But holding Peterson in check is hard to do. Kudos for that.
4. Atlanta Falcons (LW: 4) (4-1): A squeaker on the road against the Browns is nothing to hang your hat on, but only the Jets have a better point differential.
5. New England Patriots (LW: 3) (3-1): Why trade Randy Moss? No really, why? They can survive, but it will be different. This might be more like the Patriot team we saw earlier this decade. That may not be a bad thing.
6. Indianapolis Colts (LW: 10) (3-2): They are good, but this Colts team does not feel like the previous Colts teams. Manning is great (last game was tough), but no run game and poor defense will be their demise.
7. Chicago Bears (LW: 12) (4-1): Couple a great start with an easy schedule ahead, and you get a team on the fast-track to the playoffs. They will do no damage in said playoffs, but I suppose “anything” could happen. Still a laundry list of things that are wrong with this team though.
8. Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 8] (3-1): Big statement game against the Colts didn’t go their way. KC is still a very impressive team. Just not enough offense to hang with the big boys.
9. New York Giants (LW: 17) (3-2): When the G-men win, they do it with the recipe they used to win the Super Bowl: pass rush, running game, and a dash of Eli. Best team in the NFC East with the Eagles a close second.
10. New Orleans Saints (LW: 6) (3-2): Lost to the Cardinals… without giving up an offensive touchdown? Automatic drop out of top ten. I’m only keeping them this high because they were Super Bowl Champs. Next week I may drop ’em like it’s hot.
11. Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 19) (3-2): If only you could combine the talent of Vick and Kolb into one super quarterback. They did just get home-run threat Jerome Harrison from the Browns who could help keep McCoy healthy. Giants and Eagles will battle down to the wire for NFC East title.
12. Tennessee Titans (LW: 13) (3-2): Beating the Cowboys isn’t what it used to be. Young looks decent, but the Titans will need CJ2000 and their defense to be great to win.
13. Green Bay Packers (LW:9) (3-2): The team is falling apart at the seems. Barnett… dead. Finley… dead. Many other players… dead. Aaron Rodgers… dead… for at least a week (concussion). Add injuries to the list of things I don’t like about this team. They could still squeak into playoffs.
14. Houston Texans (LW:7) (3-2): The Jeckel and Hyde Giants took the Texans to the shed in Houston. I’m starting to think the Texans might have the same Jeckel and Hyde syndrome.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 24) (3-1): I love cheering for the Buccs because they are not a very talented team, but they are winning games. QB Freeman plays gutsy in tough situations. These are the types of team who miraculously find their way into the playoffs.
16. Washington Redskins (LW: 20) (3-2): They have fight, you got to give them credit. McNabb will single handedly save three games or more this year. Not a playoff team.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 16) (2-3): They kicked away a game against the surprising Buccs. The truth is the Bengals defense isn’t as good as advertised, and Carson Palmer does not have the game he used to.
18. Miami Dolphins (LW: 18] (2-2): This is how good they are. They are a .500 team, and will probably end the year 8-8 or 7-9. Chad Henne could be on the hot-seat.
19. San Diego Chargers (LW: 14) (2-3): Only the Vikings and Cowboys are more disappointing. Actually put the Chargers ahead of the Cowboys. Philip Rivers is amazing and they have talent for miles, but they keep shooting themselves in the foot. Things can be fixed, but the clock is ticking.
20. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 11) (1-3): Another tough loss to another tough team. The road doesn’t get easier with games against the Cowboys, Packers, and Patriots. Must win 2 of 3 to make playoffs.
21. Dallas Cowboys (LW: 15) (1-3): This weeks battle of the disappointments (Vikings vs. Cowboys) will result in the loser nearly dashing their playoff hopes, even if it is only 5 games into the season. The Cowboys just look lost on all fronts.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 23) (3-2): The Jaguars are not a good team, but who cares. They have a winning record.
23. Denver Broncos (LW; 21) (2-3): You can’t win when Orton averages 50 passes a game. Moreno needs to get healthy, and defense needs to play up to potential. Anyone can win the AFC West.
24. Arizona Cardinals (LW: 31) (3-2): They got the crap kicked out of them, and still won. I don’t know how in the world you can score 30 points without an offensive touchdown (OT Levi Brown recovering a fumble does not count) is insane. This is possibly the worst team with a 3-2 record ever. For real.
25. Seattle Seahawks (LW: 25) (2-2): It feels like there are a lot of teams with surprising win-loss records. Let’s see what adding Marshawn Lynch to the mix does. They could make the playoffs in a terrible division. I mean if the Gophers were playing in this division, they would have a fighting chance. Okay maybe not, but I bet Indiana or Northwestern would.
26. San Francisco 49ers (LW: 26) (0-5): Speaking of the NFC Worst (West), the 49ers have found the millionth way to lose in only five games. It is insane that a team with a great run game, a great defense, and an okay QB can’t win one game.
27. Detroit Lions (LW: 27) (1-4): The Lions win! Good for them. That will happen between 1 and 3 more times this year.
28. St. Louis Rams (LW: 22) (2-3): Rams are a little bi-polor, which is expected when you start a rookie QB and have poor talent everywhere else (excluding RB Stephen Jackson). It’s amazing they have won two games thus far. Everything else is just gravy.
29. Oakland Raiders (LW: 30) (2-3): Oakland beat the Chargers. It was more the Chargers losing, but it still counts. Still the worst team in the AFC West.
30. Cleveland Browns (LW: 29) (1-4): They are the Browns. Need I say more?
31. Carolina Panthers (LW: 28] (0-5): The offense is in shambles. Coach Fox has completely gone away from what has made him so good for so long: a running game. Terrible decision when you have DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.
32. Buffalo Bills (LW: 32) (0-5): Did you even need to look. The Bills could lose all their games this year. They won’t, but they won’t be favored in any. Terrible team, terrible city, terrible fans equals relocation?