1. New York Giants
Last Week: 1
Still the best team in the NFL, though their biggest test comes next week when they play…
2. New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 2
The Saints will be well rested and healthy coming out of the bye. Of course, there are some negatives having a bye this early in the season. Namely, will they be able to maintain their momentum against the Giants?
3. Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 3
Peyton Manning’s moose hand signals aside, the Colts have been pretty impressive, especially with the continuing development of Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon—which is exactly what Peyton needs, more recievers.
4. Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 4
The Vikings are still contenders, but their performance has raised some questions. The offense is sharp, but the defense has looked more lucky than good. That’s going to be a problem unless they can shape up.
5. Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 5
Donovan McNabb looked great in his first action in a while, Maclin showed up in a big way, and Michael Vick hasn’t killed any dogs yet this year. Overall, a successful first five weeks for the Eagles.
6. Denver Broncos
Last Week: 9
Yes, Josh McDaniels taking it to his old boss was the story of the game, but the real story was those AFL throwback uniforms the Broncos were sporting. Did Kyle Orton design those?
7. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 11
Let’s face it, the Steelers damn-near lost to Dante Culpepper and the Lions, but they didn’t. And of all the fringe teams this year, I think they’ve got the best chance of doing something in the playoffs, especially when they get healthy.
8. Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 15
The Ravens were the most recent team to Kiss the Baby this year, turning what should have been a sure win into another Bengals comeback. They’re clearly not an elite team, but they’re way better than you thought.
9. Chicago Bears
Last Week: 10
The Bears move up the chart on their bye week. They’re the only team that looks capable of challenging the Vikings for the NFC North title. It should be interesting to see how they react when they face the….
10. Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 13
The Falcons were able to keep pace this week by drubbing the 49ers. But they’ve got a tough schedule coming up, and they’re going to have trouble catching the Saints.
11. New York Jets
Last Week: 6
Two letdowns in a row. Braylon Edwards showed up in a big way, only a few days after joining the team. Mark Sanchez will quickly learn, however, that Edwards’ favorite past time is dropping everything that comes his way.
12. Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 14
Hey! Look! It’s Tony Romo from a few seasons ago! Minus the fumbles in the first half, Romo looked like he was dating Carrie Underwood again.
13. New England Patriots
Last Week: 7
There was a sort of vaudevillian humor to CBS’ cameras locked on to Bill Belichick after Sunday’s loss, racing around the stadium like a lost puppy, trying to find Josh McDaniels, who had better things to do than shake hands with this loser.
14. Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 18
Yes, they had a fantastic game, putting up 900 points and carrying Matt Hasselbeck off as some sort of glorious, ribless king. But to temper that enthusiasm somewhat, they’re starting a Gatorade bucket at tackle this week.
15. San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 8
Not even Mike Singletary’s sideline rants could keep the 49ers together against the Falcons. Singletary was so hoarse by game’s end that he asked for a cup of water, but when Dre Bly went to retrieve it, Roddy White knocked it out of his hands.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 12
The Ravens are a playoff contender playing like a midlevel team. They have the players to repeat last years’ success, but every game from here on out will be a toss-up for them.
17. Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 24
The media is already ready to crown Chad Henne the new Chad in town in Miami. But even Scott Mitchell and Joey Harrington had some good games under center for the Dolphins.
18. San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 16
Big game this week. If they can beat the Broncos, they’re still in contention. If they lose, it’s time to start thinking about next year, and whether or not Shawne Merriman and LaDanian Tomlinson fit into their plans.
19. Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 17
Mark Tauscher will make his triumphant return to the Packers' injury report this week, when he and his knees attempt to shore up one of the leagues’ worst offensive lines.
20. Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 22
The Cardinals attempted only four runs in the second half of their game last week, which coach Ken Whisenhunt attributed to “not having any damn Cardinals running backs on my fantasy team.”
21. Houston Texans
Last Week: 20
The Texans, meanwhile, rallied to 21 unanswered points before losing to the Cards. The problem, of course, is the secondary, which makes Madden’s AI look smart.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 21
Mike Sims-Walker and Quentin Groves apologized to Jaguars fans this week for their conduct that lead them to being suspended for the Jags' 41-0 drubbing against Seattle. Both fans said it was fine, because they missed the game anyway.
23. Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 23
Al Davis is said to be on the brink of understanding that his current system of player decisions is not working out for the Raiders. His first order of business? Putting Nnamdi Asomugha on the trading block. That’ll…fix things….
24. Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 25
Somebody tell Jeff Fischer that “Vince Young just wins games.” Try to keep a straight face while you’re doing it too.
25. Detroit Lions
Last Week: 26
Culpepper was actually driving with the Detroit offense, and they had a legitimate shot to beat the Steelers. But everybody knows that the Lions' future lies entirely on Matthew Stafford and his adorably wonky knees.
26. Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 19
The Bills are not a good team. They should be at least mediocre. They have the talent to rise to mediocrity. But let’s face it. They lost 6-3. To the Browns. Because that’s how below par, even for them, they’re playing right now.
27. Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 27
I don’t know what woke Julius Peppers up for a handful of plays on Sunday, but the Panthers should probably invest in as much of it as they can get, because you can’t play the Redskins every week.
28. Washington Redskins
Last Week: 28
It was revealed this week that Sherman Lewis had to quit his job as a Bingo caller to be Jim Zorn’s babysitter. Lewis said he was disappointed, because Bingo was the chief attraction at Tom Walsh’s Bed and Breakfast.
29. Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 29
By all rights, the Chiefs should’ve won this week against the Cowboys. They had multiple chances to put them away, but in typical Herm Edwards fashion…wait…what? He’s not the coach there anymore?
30. Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 30
Derek Anderson Stat Line: 2/17, 23, 0/1. But you know what? He’s got the Browns only win this year! He’s clearly the best quarterback on the roster! Just ask future Hall of Famer Vince Young!
31. Saint Louis Rams
Last Week: 31
In defense of Kyle Boller, if Kevin Williams was about to lay into me, I’d probably forget I was holding onto the football, too. Then again, that’s probably one of the reasons I’m not a starting quarterback in the NFL.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 32
It’s not all bad for the Bucs after a horrible performance in Week Five. Their receivers…er…the schedule…um…OK. It is all bad for the Buccaneers. Sorry.