It might seem like the NFL season is already over. Really, is anyone going to stop the Patriots? We find out next week when the best chance at taking the wind out of New England’s sails comes to Foxborough. For now, we wait and see and take a look at this week’s results.
1. New England Patriots (8-0) (Previous rank: 1): This is starting to get a little ridiculous. Forget beating this team, can anyone even make it a close game? This week’s match up against Indy will be the Patriots biggest test yet.
2. Indianapolis Colts (7-0) (Previous rank: 2): They put Carolina away easily, now onto New England. With a victory this week, the Colts can emerge out of the Pat’s shadow and become the team to beat. But, of course, that’s easier said than done.
3. Dallas Cowboys (6-1) (Previous rank: 3): No Change: Bye week.
4. Green Bay Packers (6-1) (Previous rank: 5): They weren’t outplayed by Denver, but they won when they had to. Brett Favre proved his wonderful career isn’t over yet. This was a huge road win for this team. Who would have thought they’d be 6 and 1?
5. New York Giants (6-2) (Previous rank: 4): They are better in the states than they are in Merry Old England, but a win is a win. Despite the strong game from Brandon Jacobs, the offense didn’t score many points. They might have lost this one if they were playing anyone besides Miami.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) (Previous rank: 6): The Bengals might not be the team they used to be, but give the Steelers some credit: this was a big road win. They played solid on both sides of the ball. They’re not quite in the class of the Pats and Colts, but they aren’t far behind.
7. Tennessee Titans (5-2) (Previous rank: 7): Last week they didn’t have Vince Young, this week, even though he was in the game, that was still roughly the case. Nonetheless, their defense cranked out a sloppy win. It was a victory, but Vince needs to get back on track in order for this team to make the playoffs.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-2) (Previous rank: 8): Their defense gave up big yardage, but they also got big turnovers. Quarterback Quinn Gray did just enough to get the job done. Their running game was solid.
9. San Diego (4-3) (Previous rank: 12): And here come the Chargers. After a horrible start, San Diego has come to life. They just flat out played better than the Texans. Phillip Rivers was great, but the Chargers defense was even better.
10. Detroit Lions (5-2) (Previous rank: 13): Lions versus Bears, oh my! Even playing against Chicago, Detroit still showed a solid offense. Their defense was great too, only giving up seven points and making Brian Griese look like, well, a Chicago quarterback.
11. Seattle Seahawks (4-3) (Previous rank: 11): No change; bye week.
12. Cleveland Browns (4-3) (Previous rank: 15): With steady solid play, Derek Anderson continues to make fantasy football players everywhere wish they’d drafted him. It’s going to be hard to make the playoffs in the AFC, but Cleveland just might squeak in.
13. Carolina Panthers (4-3) (Previous rank: 9): They were off to a good start, but it was ultimately a bad finish. The Colts are just a better team than the Panthers. This doesn’t mean the Panthers aren’t good, they just aren’t good enough.
14. Baltimore Ravens (4-3) (Previous rank: 14): No Change; bye week.
15. Washington Redskins (4-3) (Previous rank: 10): Um, ouch. When a defense gives up 52 points there’s really nothing else to say than: D'oh! This was a bad, bad game for Washington. Now we see if they rebound or if their stellar start was all for nothing.
16. New Orleans Saints (3-4) (Previous rank: 25): There are a few teams that started slow, and are now starting to ignite: the Saints are one of them. With their offense solidifying, this team is starting to look like their old selves. They are playing great football.
17. Tampa Bay (4-4) (Previous rank: 16): Losing by one point to Jacksonville has got to hurt. Jeff Garcia had an off day and their defense gave up too many yards. Don’t count them out yet, but don’t count them in either. The next few games will decide their fate.
18. Kansas City Chiefs (4-3) (Previous rank: 18): No change; bye week.
19. Arizona Cardinals (3-4) (Previous rank: 19): No change; bye week.
20. Denver Broncos (3-4) (Previous rank: 17): What has happened to Denver’s home winning streak? Their defense, despite giving up a few big plays, has gotten a little better but now their offense can’t score. They had plenty of chances to win this game; it’s kind of ironic that this time they lost… on a last minute play.
21. Buffalo Bills (3-4) (Previous rank: 22): The Bills could easily have a winning record, if not for some last minute points. If they continue to jell, they might find themselves being contenders. Their defense was great against the Jets.
22. Chicago Bears (3-5) (Previous rank: 20): Well, so much for their passing game. Returning back to their old offensive (pun intended) selves, the Bears managed a measly seven points against the Lions. The real problem, however, is their defense: it has gone from dominant to being dominated.
23. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) (Previous rank: 26): Donovan McNabb stepped up when his team needed him. This was a must win for the Eagles and they got the job done. On defense, they did a good job stopping Adrian Peterson. Still, they have some digging to do to get themselves out of their hole.
24. Houston Texans (3-5) (Previous rank: 21): What has happened to this team? After a quick start, they can’t find themselves in the win column. They were no match for the Chargers. They need Andre Johnson back, like yesterday.
25. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5) (Previous rank: 23): This loss to the Steelers might have put the proverbial nail in the Bengals coffin. Their defense just can’t stop anyone and their offense can’t carry the load for the entire team. This season is cat-astrophic.
26. San Francisco (2-5) (Previous rank: 24): This team looks like it’s imploding. They were once 2-0, now they are 2-5. Obviously, they aren’t getting the results they want. They seem to be getting worse every week.
27. Oakland Raiders (2-5) (Previous rank: 27): They continue to do well on defense and poor on offense. They kept it close against the Titans, but in the end, they got no cigar. They’re not giving their quarterback enough protection.
28. Minnesota Vikings (2-5) (Previous rank: 28): With their passing game virtually nonexistent, they are forced to rely on the run. In other words, if Adrian Peterson is shut down, they will lose. That’s exactly what happened on Sunday. Their defense, unable to stop McNabb, didn’t do them any favors.
29. Atlanta Falcons (1-6) (Previous rank: 29): No change; bye week.
30. New York Jets (1-7) (Previous rank: 30): This may have been Chad Pennington’s last game as a starter. Something needs to change. They are the opposite of what they were last year. In other words, they are bad.
31. St. Louis Rams (0-8) (Previous rank: 31): This team almost appears destined to lose. When their offense steps up, their defense falls down. They could score on Cleveland, but they couldn’t keep Cleveland from scoring more on them. Their passing defense needs some work.
32. Miami Dolphins (0-8) (Previous rank: 32): Even outside the US, the result is the same. They made it close against the Giants and that says something. But, this team is still staring down the barrel of a 0-16 gun.