Brady and the Pats are back in the Super Bowl mix.
On the other side of the radar, we have the Vikings at 2-5. The Cowboys are 1-6. The Chargers are 3-5. The 49ers are 2-6. The Panthers are 1-6.
Make sense to anybody yet?
Oh. Read on.
32. Dallas Cowboys (1-6, Last Week: 31)
Week 9: at GB
Jerry Jones claims to have “researched” a coaching change, but ultimately decided to stick with Wade Phillips.
Guess he didn’t like what he saw under the “Head Coaches” section of Craigslist. Slim pickins over there, I hear.
31. Carolina Panthers (1-6, Last Week: 29)
Week 9: vs. NO
Jonathan Stewart carried 14 times for 30 yards in his start against the Rams, replacing the injured DeAngelo Williams.
What happened to this guy?
30. Buffalo Bills (0-7, Last Week: 30)
Week 9: vs. CHI
The Bills have shown some serious heart in each of the last two weeks, taking first-place teams into overtime before ultimately losing.
Keep reaching for that rainbow, Chan.
29. Denver Broncos (2-6, Last Week: 24)
Week 9: BYE
The Broncos have dropped four straight games, and have looked particularly abysmal in each of the last two.
At least Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd are helping me in fantasy.
28. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5, Last Week: 23)
Week 9: vs. PIT
Carson Palmer reverted to his sub-50 percent passing ways again Sunday in the loss to the Dolphins.
What else is there to say about them? They’re bad.
They Won Last Week, But, Let’s Be Real Here, They’re Done, Too
27. San Francisco 49ers (2-6, Last Week: 32)
Week 9: BYE
Anyone think Troy Smith is the answer here?
Improved Over ’09, But Not Really in Contention
26. Cleveland Browns (2-5, Last Week: 27)
Week 9: vs. NE
The Browns had a week to soak in the win over the Saints, and will now turn their attention towards the red-hot Patriots.
25. Arizona Cardinals (3-4, Last Week: 25)
Week 9: at MIN
Derek Anderson actually led a nice comeback in the place of the benched Max Hall, but, as Derek Anderson usually does, wound up throwing a pick that cost the Cards a chance at tying or taking the lead late in the fourth.
Those black uniforms are cool, though.
24. Washington Redskins (4-4, Last Week: 15)
Week 9: BYE
I don’t remember Mike Shanahan being such a controversial figure in Denver.
What’s going on here?
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4, Last Week: 26)
Week 9: BYE
David Garrard had the best game of his career in the blowout win in Dallas, amassing five total touchdowns, four of which came through the air.
To be honest, this had more to do with the Cowboys suckage than the Jaguars proficiency.
Somebody, Please Put a Tent on This Circus
22. Minnesota Vikings (2-5, Last Week: 21)
Week 9: vs. ARZ
The only reason the 2-5 Vikings aren’t lower is that they’ve had to play road games against the Saints, Patriots, Jets, and, of course, the Packers.
The schedule gets easier from now on, but there’s an awful lot of drama going on up there.
Brad Childress is a clown.
On the Way Up
21. Detroit Lions (2-5, Last Week: 28)
Week 9: vs. NYJ
Since the NFC North is so ordinary, it’s tough to truly say they’re not contending, but their record will make it difficult.
Still, though, Jim Schwartz and company have turned this thing around very, very quickly. Impressive.
20. Chicago Bears (4-3, Last Week: 16)
Week 9: at BUF
If they lose in Buffalo coming off the bye this week, we’ll have our answer: Pretenders.
19. Seattle Seahawks (4-3, Last Week: 14)
Week 9: vs. NYG
The Seahawks are just one more win away from matching last season’s total, and are in first place heading into Week 9.
Maybe Pete Carroll has figured out the NFL thing after all.
Contending This Season?
18. Oakland Raiders (4-4, Last Week: 20)
Week 9: vs. KC
Coming off of two extremely impressive wins, the surging Raiders have a huge game at home this week against the division-leading Chiefs.
Can they do it?
17. St. Louis Rams (4-4, Last Week: 19)
Week 9: BYE
The mighty Rams have already quadrupled last season’s win total, and head into the bye week with a very, very good shot at a playoff berth.
I’ve always liked Sam Bradford, but who could’ve predicted he’d be this good this quickly?
Getting it Together?
16. San Diego Chargers (3-5, Last Week: 22)
Week 9: at HOU
San Diego got a win they absolutely had to have at home against the Titans, and now travel to Houston to continue their comeback attempt.
Philip Rivers has the most passing yards (2,649) through a team’s first eight games in NFL history. Whoa.
Forgotten, But Not Dead
15. Miami Dolphins (4-3, Last Week: 18)
Week 9: at BAL
Everybody is talking about the Jets and Patriots, but the Dolphins are very much alive in the AFC East at 4-3.
Can they improve to 5-0 on the road this season against Baltimore this week?
Talented, But Flawed
14. Houston Texans (4-3, Last Week: 10)
Week 9: vs. SD
Tough to be too hard on the Texans for dropping a Monday night game in Indianapolis. How often do teams win in that situation?
If they’re serious about being a playoff team, however, they’ll have to take care of business against the Chargers this week.
13. Tennessee Titans (5-3, Last Week: 08)
Week 9: BYE
A desperate Chargers team at home was a tough matchup for the Titans, and they shouldn’t take the loss too harshly.
Losing Kenny Britt and Vince Young might not help matters, though.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3, Last Week: 9)
Week 9: vs. IND
Michael Vick should be back this week, and he’ll instantly be tested going up against the Colts.
Can he regain his early-season form?
Overachieving? Maybe, But Who Cares?
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2, Last Week: 17)
Week 9: at ATL
The Bucs have done away with some of the league’s lesser teams, but will certainly be tested on the road against divisional foe Atlanta this week.
Raise your hand if you imagined Josh Freeman, LeGarrette Blount and Mike Williams all being big-time impact fantasy players this year.
10. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2, Last Week: 11)
Week 9: at OAK
KC eked one out against the Bills, and will now have to focus on the rolling Raiders; its immediate competition in the AFC West.
I still can’t believe that sentence is true.
Jekyll and Hyde
9. Green Bay Packers (5-3, Last Week: 12)
Week 9: vs. DAL
We know they’re smitten by the injury bug, and their 9-0 win at the Jets wasn’t pretty, but impressive nonetheless.
Will they be able to maintain their NFC North lead?
8. New Orleans Saints (5-3, Last Week: 13)
Week 9: at CAR
They’ve lost to the Cardinals and Browns, but beat the Steelers.
How “Jekyll and Hyde” can you get?
Not Sure What Happened to You Guys This Week, But Still Contenders
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2, Last Week: 1)
Week 9: at CIN
Just a flat effort by the Steelers in New Orleans, but they’ll have a chance at primetime redemption on Monday Night Football against the Bengals this week.
6. New York Jets (5-2, Last Week: 2)
Week 9: at DET
Mark Sanchez has come back down to earth since his electrifying start to the season.
In his last three games, he’s completed just 54 of 112 passes with one touchdown and four interceptions.
5. Baltimore Ravens (5-2, Last Week: 6)
Week 9: vs. MIA
The Ravens will be coming off of the bye to welcome the Dolphins into town, and have hopefully gotten the stink off of their clothes from the near-debacle against the Bills two weeks ago.
4. Atlanta Falcons (5-2, Last Week: 7)
Week 9: vs. TB
Can the Falcons prove to the world that the Bucs are pretenders?
3. New York Giants (5-2, Last Week: 4)
Week 9: at SEA
Arguably the league’s hottest team, the Giants will face a tough road test in Seattle in the first game out of the bye.
2. Indianapolis Colts (5-2, Last Week: 5)
Week 9: at PHI
It doesn’t matter who it is, but the Colts seem to just be able to plug anybody into any spot and still win games.
Is Dwight Freeney not the best DE in football?
1. New England Patriots (6-1, Last Week: 3)
Week 9: at CLE
Speaking of plugging guys in and winning regardless, there may be nobody better at that than Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
What more is there to say? This team just wins, and wins, and wins some more.
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