Dear NFL players: Someone please beat the Patriots. Let us know that other teams still have a chance.
1. New England Patriots (10-0) (Previous rank: 1): This is getting more and more ridiculous. Can anyone take the wind out of the Patriots' sails? So far, the answer is no. Randy Moss and Tom Brady are unstoppable. Their domination is making the rest of the NFL season torture for anyone who is not a Patriot’s fan.
2. Dallas Cowboys (9-1) (Previous rank: 2): Tony Romo might not be a comedian, but he is great at improv. Along with TO, T-RO showed the Redskins what offense was all about. Defensively, however, the Cowboys struggled: Washington had their chance to win this one.
3. Green Bay Packers (9-1) (Previous rank: 3): Remember back when Brett Favre was contemplating retirement? I wonder if he made the right decision. They dominated the Panthers from start to finish and, what is even weirder, Favre played against a quarterback older than him.
4. Indianapolis Colts (8-2) (Previous rank: 4): What is going on with the Colts? Sure, they won, but this was an ugly victory. On paper, the Chiefs were the better team. The Colts look like they are about to implode: they need Marvin Harrison back, stat.
5. New York Giants (7-3) (Previous rank: 8): This victory belongs to the New York defense, but Eli Manning wasn’t too shabby either. They didn’t score a slug of points, but they did just enough. This was a big win on the road for a team that thrives on momentum.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3) (Previous rank: 6): They had a nice day passing the ball and their run defense left the Chargers in need of a new battery. The Jags just might be the sleeper of the AFC.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3) (Previous rank: 5): After a come-from-behind win last week, it seemed like the Steelers would have been fired up for victory. Well, not exactly. They failed to make plays on both sides of the ball. Losing to the Jets in overtime has got to hurt.
8. Cleveland Browns (6-4) (Previous rank: 11): Ten games down and the Browns still have a winning record: my, my, my. They eked it out against the Ravens but heck, they’ll take it. This game was a kick!
9. Tampa Bay (6-4) (Previous rank: 13): With Tampa Bay’s defense performing the way it did, the offense practically had the day off. After dominating the Falcons, the Bucs are sitting pretty with a winning record.
10. Seattle Seahawks (6-4) (Previous rank: 12): Matt Hasselbeck came alive in this game, helping to rack up 30 points for his team. Seattle’s defense gave up some points to the Bears but they made big plays when they needed to.
11. Detroit Lions (6-4) (Previous rank: 9): Uh-oh. They’ve lost two in a row. Is this the typical Detroit Lions midseason meltdown? Well, let’s hope not. They kept it close against the Giants, but John Kitna’s interceptions hurt. His offensive line isn’t doing him any favors. Now they have a big game coming up on only three days rest.
12. Denver Broncos (5-5) (Previous rank: 16): After losing five games and winning three by a small margin, the Broncos have dominated their last two opponents. This team is getting hot and – surprise surprise – they are tied for first. With an easy schedule, they could win out.
13. Arizona Cardinals (5-5) (Previous rank: 15): Their defense was spectacular, picking off Carson Palmer with ease. Kurt Warner also had a nice day. If they could just start winning close games, this team would be contenders.
14. Tennessee Titans (6-4) (Previous rank: 10): The Titans are starting to come apart. What happened to their defense? They were shredded by Denver as the Broncos scored nearly every time they had the ball. If they want to make the playoffs, they better get out of their funk.
15. San Diego (5-5) (Previous rank: 7): Sure, they still have a chance in the dismal AFC West, but Philip Rivers needs to play better; he is hurting this team. Their defense isn’t helping either. Right now, San Diego looks like the 1990s' version of themselves.
16. Houston Texans (5-5) (Previous rank: 18): How happy is this team to have Andre Johnson back? Don’t be surprised to see them in the playoffs. Right now, they are better than their record.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) (Previous rank: 21): This was a bittersweet day: the Eagles won but Donovan McNabb left the game with an injury. Still, at 5-5 the Eagles are in the thick of the race. We’ll see where they go from here.
18. Washington Redskins (5-5) (Previous rank: 17): And all of a sudden, they are .500. They had their chance against Dallas, but couldn’t deliver when they needed it most. Their defense is really to blame for this loss: TO left them DOA.
19. Buffalo Bills (5-5) (Previous rank: 14): The Bills are just the latest team in a long line of those embarrassed by the Patriots. They are certainly not alone. This game didn’t show us that the Bills are that bad, it showed us more that New England is that good. The Bills, however, still have as good a chance as anyone for an AFC playoff berth.
20. New Orleans Saints (4-6) (Previous rank: 20): Just when they started getting on a roll, the Saints have begun to revert back to early season form. Their offense, after weeks of jelling, is now unraveling. A few more losses and their season is done.
21. Minnesota Vikings (4-6) (Previous rank: 27): Chester Taylor left Vikings fans asking "Adrian who?" They are still struggling with the passing game and their defense isn’t performing any miracles, but they did enough to put Oakland in its place: last.
22. Kansas City Chiefs (4-6) (Previous rank: 23): The overachieving Chiefs gave a gallant effort in this game and they almost pulled it off. Their defense did a great job against the Colts but their offense couldn’t muster out more than ten points. Still, they should be proud of the way they played.
23. Carolina Panthers (4-6) (Previous rank: 22): This was a sad day for the Panthers. Their offense couldn’t get going and their defense couldn’t stop the throwing. Stick a fork in them; they are done.
24. Chicago Bears (4-6) (Previous rank: 19): Their defense has gone from spectacular to horrible in one season flat. When that happens, the Bears won’t be winners: plainly put, their offense isn’t good enough. Either they start stopping opponents, or they will be watching the postseason from their sofas.
25. Baltimore Ravens (4-6) (Previous rank: 25): What has happened to this team? Once dominating, now dominated. They might have kept it close against the Browns, but the outcome leaves the Ravens blue.
26. Atlanta Falcons (3-7) (Previous rank: 26): Different quarterback, same outcome. Their offensive line isn’t providing enough protection and their defense isn’t making any stands. It’s not going to get any easier as they play the Colts on Turkey day.
27. Cincinnati Bengals (3-7) (Previous rank: 24): Their defense is still awful and their offense is starting to become that way. They might have scored 27 points, but they gave up more than that. Their season is over.
28. New York Jets (2-8) (Previous rank: 30): It might be too little, too late, but that doesn’t mean the Jets have to just throw in the towel. Beating the Steelers at home in overtime gives their fans something to root for.
29. St. Louis Rams (2-8) (Previous rank: 31): They’ve won two in a row, can they make it eight in a row and break even? Probably not, but at least they are better than the Dolphins. This victory belongs to their defense.
30. Oakland Raiders (2-8) (Previous rank: 28): The Raiders have quickly become one of the worst teams in the NFL. They have virtually no offense and their defense isn’t what it once was. There is no way this is a playoff team.
31. San Francisco (2-8) (Previous rank: 29): In what was anything but an NFC Championship preview, San Francisco was shut down on offense. Their defense was pretty good, but not good enough. The 49ers have now dropped eight in a row; they look like fool’s gold.
32. Miami Dolphins (0-10) (Previous rank: 32): Nothing they do seems to give them a victory. Oh well, at least Ted Ginn, Jr. is giving the team what they want to see. Will Miami go 0-16? Time will tell, but right now it looks that way.