1. New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 1
The Saints were exposed a bit by Washington, but luck is on their side. So long as Drew Brees stays healthy, they're the team to beat.
2. Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 2
Technically, Indy was the first team into the playoffs this year. They’ve got their fair share of problems, but wins aren’t one.
3. Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 3
The loss to the Cardinals doesn’t hurt them as much as you’d think. The loss of E.J. Henderson, on the other hand....
4. San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 4
In any other year, the Chargers would be the hottest team in the league right now, as it is, they’re just another contender.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 5
If Chad Ochocinco wants to keep getting fined for being hilarious, that’s fine. But he’s going to go broke if he keeps spending money like this.
6. Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 8
The Cardinals are a mystery wrapped in an enigma. How can a team so good be so inconsistent week to week? This week? A new high, so expect them to lose 42-0 on Sunday.
7. Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 10
Quite a return for Michael Vick to Atlanta, marking the first and probably last time the Eagles will utilize Vick effectively this season.
8. Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 11
The Packers’ defense really came around in this game, harrying the Ravens offense. The Packers will surprise some people in the wild card round.
9. Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 7
It’s too bad that we’re already past Thanksgiving, or I could make a cooked goose joke about Wade Phillips. Who does Jerry Jones’ ultimatum help, exactly?
10. New England Patriots
Last Week: 6
The Patriots let the Dolphins slip by again, but there’s no excuse this time Get fooled by the Wildcat, shame on the Dolphins. Get fooled by Chad Henne? Shame on you.
11. Denver Broncos
Last Week: 12
Leave it to the Chiefs to provide the Broncos with an extra bye week and a leg up on the wild card in case they can’t catch San Diego again.
12. New York Giants
Last Week: 13
For a team that was so baffling the last couple weeks, they looked competent at least. Eli Manning must have been watching all those Citizen Eco Drive commercials again. “Sort of Competent? Eli Manning Is!”
13. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 9
Ah yes, how do you respond to Mike Tomlin’s declaration that the Steelers will take the league by storm in December? By losing to the Raiders.
14. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 16
David Garrard said that the Jaguars are a “Team of Destiny.” What he failed to mention is that destiny is to finish 8-8 and two games out of the playoffs.
15. New York Jets
Last Week: 18
I take it those sliding lessons with the Yankees didn’t go over so well? I guess we’d better hold off on the injury prevention lessons from Greg Oden.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 17
It’s nice to see that John Harbaugh graduated from the Mack Brown School of Clock Management, it’s just too bad he never learned the “Win the Game” part of that.
17. Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 19
Could the Dolphins actually be challenging for an AFC East title without Chad Pennington or Ronnie Brown? Well, no. But at least it’s getting interesting.
18. Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 14
And so ends this year’s Chris Redman comeback attempt. Join us next year as he replaces an injured Brooks Bollinger and leads the Florida Tuskers to a loss in the UFL Playoffs.
19. Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 17
On one hand, they lost. On the other hand, Chris Johnson is making an incredible run at being the best running back ever on a sub .500 team.
20. Chicago Bears
Last Week: 24
Orlando Pace looks like he’s done, and it’s a sad way for the big man to go out. As a final favor to the team, though, he could at least eat a couple of the Bears’ safeties on his way.
21. Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 27
The Seahawks defense is finally starting to gel a little bit. Only 13 weeks too late for it to mean anything, too!
22. San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 20
Heartbreaking loss by the 49ers, as it put them from closing in on a potential tie with the Cardinals to playing for draft position with one kick.
23. Houston Texans
Last Week: 21
A familiar position for the Texans, who have lost four straight, and look to close out their season 3-1. I’m no psychic or Vegas prognosticator, but this will happen. They’re a team of destiny. I know because I asked David Garrard.
24. Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 22
Jake Delhomme is probably a little relieved that a broken thumb might end his season. Now he can turn over his turnovers to Matt Moore. And hey! They won!
25. Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 26
Forever proving the motto, “If you play enough bad football games, eventually somebody will take you for granted and you’ll win.”
26. Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 23
Happy Birthday to Terrell Owens this week. To mark this special occasion, we’re going to go ahead and let T.O. get out of Buffalo in a couple weeks.
27. Washington Redskins
Last Week: 28
The Saints were who they thought they were, and they let them off the hook. Actually, Denny Green probably has more power over the Redskins than Jim Zorn.
28. Detroit Lions
Last Week: 29
The only big story in Detroit now is Matthew Stafford gutting out another shoulder injury. Which...your quarterback constantly getting injured isn’t good news, no matter how gutsy he is.
29. Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 24
And now Matt Cassel is starting to look like the guy who’d never played a real snap before coming to the pros. At least he’s not Brodie Croyle.
30. Saint Louis Rams
Last Week: 27
The Rams should just give up and line up 10 offensive linemen and snap the ball to Stephen Jackson. I’m pretty sure that worked for my gimmick Madden team a couple years ago.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 29
A tale of two stat lines for Josh Freeman: Over 300-yards passing. Three red-zone interceptions (and five total on the day). Josh Freeman is the new Jay Cutler.
32. Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 32
It’s nice to see that half the Browns’ defense is getting an early start on the offseason. They’ll be back just in time to meet their new head coach!