It was another wild week in the NFL. With only two teams left unbeaten and two teams left winless, the rest of the league is somewhere in limbo. Things aren’t solidifying yet, but the season’s almost halfway over: contenders are coming out of the woodworks.
1. New England Patriots (6-0) (Previous rank: 1): This team just keeps getting better. Now that Tom Brady has high caliber receivers, he can’t be stopped. Soon, he’ll be dating super models. Oh wait.
2. Indianapolis Colts (5-0) (Previous rank: 2): No Change: Bye Week.
3. Dallas Cowboys (5-1) (Previous rank: 3): Well, they aren’t going undefeated, but they don’t fall in the rankings for two reasons: they lost to New England, and they’re better than 29 teams. Still, Sunday demonstrated that the Cowboys aren’t quite ready to be the real deal.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) (Previous rank: 4): No Change: Bye Week.
5. Green Bay Packers (5-1) (Previous rank: 5): It wasn’t the most dominating win in the world, but they’ll take it. Brett Favre wasn’t great, but their defense was incredible. Now, if they only had a running back.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-1) (Previous rank: 6): Jacksonville has historically had problems with the Houston Texans: well, not anymore. Dominating nearly every aspect of the game, the Jaguars easily sailed to victory. I’ll say it: they’re cat-tastic.
7. Baltimore Ravens (4-2) (Previous rank: 8): In what was easily the most boring offensive game on Sunday, Baltimore returned to what they do best: defense. They are starting to look like their old selves.
8. New York Giants (4-2) (Previous rank: 11): For anyone who wrote off the Giants after their winless start, it’s time to eat crow. Both offensively and defensively this team looks solid. With a fairly easy schedule, they will win the majority of the remaining games.
9. Carolina Panthers (4-2) (Previous rank: 13): Oh Vinny! At 43 years young, Testaverde showed that he still has it. He might not be the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, but he’s one the young guys can learn a lot from.
10. Tampa Bay (4-2) (Previous rank: 14): Despite not playing very well and still winning, Tampa Bay will take their victories anyway they come. Their running game is hurting, but Jeff Garcia is proving to be the man.
11. Tennessee Titans (3-2) (Previous rank: 7): This was not a good day for Tennessee. Not only did they lose, but Vince Young got hurt. If this keeps up, the Titans are going to be a team no one remembers.
12. San Diego (3-3) (Previous rank: 17): And just like that, they’re tied for first place in the AFC West. When LaDainian Tomlinson is able to run wild, this team won’t lose. Consider them recharged.
13. Seattle Seahawks (3-3) (Previous rank: 9): This wasn’t pretty for the Seahawks. Without the caliber to come from behind, it was over for Seattle early. Now we see if they rebound.
14. Washington Redskins (3-2) (Previous rank: 12): They had their chances in this one, but their turnovers killed them. Defensively, they look good, but what the heck is wrong with Santana Moss?
15. Cleveland Browns (3-3) (Previous rank: 18): The way Derek Anderson is playing, Brady Quinn might be sitting on the bench for a while. Who would have thought the Browns would have such an explosive offense?
16. Detroit Lions (3-2) (Previous rank: 16): No change: Bye week.
17. Arizona Cardinals (3-3) (Previous rank: 10): Kurt Warner’s injury hurt them a lot on offense. On defense, their inability to cover Steve Smith killed them. The Cardinals aren’t used to losing by a lot; this will sting for a while.
18. Houston Texans (3-3) (Previous rank: 15): After a big beginning, Houston has lost their last three games. They are starting to unravel as a team. Their turnovers and their injuries are killing them.
19. Denver Broncos (2-3) (Previous rank: 19): No Change: Bye Week. (P.S. — GO ROCKIES!)
20. Kansas City Chiefs (3-3) (Previous rank: 22): Beating the 1-4 Bengals might not be that big of a deal, but give KC some credit: this team actually looks pretty solid. Larry Johnson is finally starting to get back to normal: “normal,” of course, meaning “awesome.”
21. San Francisco (2-3) (Previous rank: 21): No Change: Bye Week.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) (Previous rank: 24): It’s another victory, but the Eagles still have a long way to go to return to dominance. They are playing well, and that’s a start.
23. Chicago Bears (2-4) (Previous rank: 20): Like so many other NFL teams, the Bears aren’t living up to expectations. They made it interesting against Minnesota, but a loss is a loss. Don’t blame it on the quarterback, Chicago’s defense was awful.
24. Oakland Raiders (2-3) (Previous rank: 23): Their run defense was burned on Sunday. Their offense just doesn’t have enough playmakers. They have got to be missing Randy Moss.
25. Cincinnati Bengals (1-4) (Previous rank: 25): What’s wrong with the Bengals? Bad defense? Poor coaching? Too much time in the slammer? Whatever it is, their season is all but over.
26. Buffalo Bills (1-4) (Previous rank: 26): No change: Bye week.
27. Minnesota Vikings (2-3) (Previous rank: 30): What a game this turned out to be. Fighting off a late Bears rally, the Vikings managed to squeak by on a 55 yard field goal. This win is going to do a lot for their confidence. Adrian Peterson is for real.
28. New Orleans Saints (1-4) (Previous rank: 29): Hey look at that, they got a win. Now, if they could get about nine more of those, they might be able to salvage their season. Their offense looked great.
29. Atlanta Falcons (1-5) (Previous rank: 27): Their defense isn’t stopping anyone and their offense isn’t scoring enough points. Their season is quite literally in the dog house.
30. New York Jets (1-5) (Previous rank: 28): Their offense can’t do anything. It might be time to shake things up. This is definitely not the same team from a year ago.
31. Miami Dolphins (0-6) (Previous rank: 31): With the trade of Chris Chambers, it’s obvious that the Dolphins are now focused on the future. Still, it’d be nice if they at least got one win this year. Ronnie Brown is a fantasy football stud.
32. St Louis Rams (0-6) (Previous rank: 32): In short, this team is awful. Maybe if a peewee football team meets them in St. Louis, the Rams will have a chance at victory. Their season is one more loss away from being over.