1. New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 1
The Falcons put up a fight, but this Saints team is just too much to overcome at this point. Even when they’re playing bad, they’re still elite.
2. Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 2
Peyton Manning has developed such a rhythm with this group of receivers that they’re coming open and catching the ball even when he’s not throwing to them.
3. Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 6
An emotional win for Brett Favre, which set up a throbbing in his groin. Favre’s been ridiculously awesome so far, but what more is there to play for?
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 5
I just hope the Steelers spent their bye week keeping Ben Roethlisberger away from hotel TVs and motorcycles. Maybe he spent his bye conditioning Troy Polamalu’s hair.
5. New England Patriots
Last Week: 4
This is the kind of bye week you don’t want. After a pretty mediocre start, the Patriots had pulled together and started dominating again. Now, a week off is just a week to get sluggish.
6. Denver Broncos
Last Week: 3
Case in point. The bye week threw off their roll and the Broncos looked silly. To be fair, I tried to warn them last week about signing Mitch Berger.
7. Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 8
You know what? Sure. The Cincinnati Bengals are the seventh best team in the NFL so far this year. And I dare you to find me one person outside of Cincinnati who thought that was going to happen. Hell, I dare you to find one person inside Cincinnati!
8. Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 9
Two good weeks in a row and suddenly they’re tied for first place. They’re not consistent enough to be considered elite, but they’re good enough to win a lot of games.
9. Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 10
Next up for noted prognosticator Tony Romo: Predicting which side his back is going to run to on a fake handoff.
10. New York Giants
Last Week: 7
I’ll give the Giants the benefit of the doubt this week. They’re just sad that they’ll never get a chance to appear on “Brothers.”
11. Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 14
Great win, but they’re facing a tough stretch of games which includes Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Green Bay. Yeah, and Cleveland too, but come on.
12. San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 18
Thanks to the “fresh” legs of LT, they’re moving back up the Power Rankings. But with Chris Chambers out, who will they turn to to drop Phillip Rivers’ passes?
13. Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 11
They played tough in a game they were ultimately fated to lose. I know so because Tony Romo told me.
14. Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 12
Ted Thompson must feel like the world’s biggest chump right now. Not that he made a bad decision going with Aaron Rodgers, but he’s going to have to live with that image—Brett Favre’s arms raised in triumph over Lambeau, groin throbbing—for the rest of his life.
15. Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 19
Say what you will, but the Dolphins look to be the team to beat in the lower half of the NFL. Hey, there’s still time to catch the Patriots, right?
16. Chicago Bears
Last Week: 16
There aren’t too many teams that make winning by 24 look as miserable as Chicago. Hell, all opposing defenses have to do is convince the Bears that the red zone starts at the 50.
17. Houston Texans
Last Week: 17
Look, I realize Steve Slaton hasn’t had the best year, but Ryan Moats, guys? Seriously? Was Ron Dayne busy or something? Vernand Morency wouldn’t pick up the phone?
18. New York Jets
Last Week: 13
Can we get rid of the New York Titans throwbacks? Please? Did you guys run out of the green and white uniforms? Or get a discount on the Titans ones if you bought in bulk? A few times a year? Sure. But all the damn time? No.
19. Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 15
Bad news, Cardinals fans. I’m afraid Kurt Warner caught a case of the Delhommes. I’m afraid the greater Phoenix area will have to be quarantined, lest somebody get an errant pass off their head.
20. San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 15
The 49ers are still convinced that they’re going to the Playoffs. Team consultant Tony Romo told them so. And sadly, in the NFC West...they’re probably right.
21. Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 20
For having a handful of legitimate NFL-caliber players on it, the Bills offense is a joke. It’s partly the coaches’ fault, but it doesn’t help when your two quarterbacks are State Senator Trent Edwards and Harvard graduate Ryan Fitzpatrick, who majored in taking the Wonderlich.
22. Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 24
Hey, they finally figured out that handing the ball off to Stewart and Williams is preferable to letting Jake Delhomme launch up prayers 40 times a game. Surely this will last them until...well...next week, when Jake throws 55 times against the Saints.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 21
You couldn’t beat the Titans?! I’m trying to figure out if Jack Del Rio has completely forgotten that his team has Maurice Jones-Drew on it.
24. Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 22
On one hand, I guess you could say that the Seahawks are at least playing with their full complement of receivers. On the other hand, that hasn’t mattered much.
25. Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 23
At this point, the only thing Tom Cable hasn’t been accused of beating is other teams.
26. Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 29
Vince Young just wins games. I’m just a little perplexed by the fact that they didn’t beat Washington to get their first win.
27. St. Louis Rams
Last Week: 31
Speaking of which, here’s another team that didn’t have to beat the Redskins to get their first win. Way to go, guys! Coach Steve Spagnuolo was so emotional after the game, nobody bothered to tell him that he only beat the Lions.
28. Detroit Lions
Last Week: 26
Who are back to looking comically bad. Dominic Raiola has said that he won’t let what happened to Joey Harrington happen to Matthew Stafford. Probably because Stafford won’t be able to stay off the IR as long.
29. Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 27
This week’s suspension will ensure that Larry Johnson’s rushing touchdown total stays at zero, though it will give him plenty of time to rediscover the magic of Twitter.
30. Washington Redskins
Last Week: 29
Jim Zorn had one of his most productive weeks as a “head coach” this week. Mostly because he couldn’t lose in embarrassing fashion during the bye. But hey, it’s a start.
31. Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 30
Security escorted Browns GM George Kokinis out of the building this week after he failed to build a competitive team once again. Join us next week when the whole team is escorted out of Cleveland. Again.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 32
Reportedly, Josh Freeman didn’t work out for the team during their bye because apparently preparation for your first NFL start isn’t quite as important as that rockin’ Halloween party back home.