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4. New York Jets
Yes, they laid an egg against Green Bay and came close to getting upset against an improving Lions squad. But given their only other loss was a one point squeaker to Baltimore, that's not so bad.
The schedule gave them Buffalo, Minnesota, and Denver. All they've done is win.
The next two weeks—against the Browns and Texans—will either separate themselves from the pack, or have them thinking about IF, and not WHEN, they make the post-season.
3. Atlanta Falcons
Yes. This was surprising to even me.
Then I looked further. An overall point differential of +42. While some teams are led by their high-ranked defenses (Jets, Steelers, Bears, Ravens), others their high-ranked offenses (Chargers, Colts, Saints), the Falcons rank 10 in scoring offense and scoring defense. The Titans lead in offensive scoring and are ninth in scoring defense.
The only thing I think that puts the Falcons this high is the fact that they really haven't had a bad loss. In both losses (to the 6-2 Steelers and the 5-3 Eagles), they gained almost 300 yards on offense. Maybe it was winning their six games by a combined 62 points, although 34 of those were against the Cardinals alone.
Okay, fine. I can't even explain this. This is how objective it is. I just entered the numbers and the computer spit this out.
If you can explain it, go ahead.
However, if you dispute it, please use logical arguments.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
In a word...Defense. Tops in Scoring Defense, takeaways and second on overall yardage, the Steelers defense was simply the reason why they went 3-1 without Ben Roethlisberger.
In his absence, the Steelers only scored more than 20 once. Since his return, they've failed to score 20 points only once. Lately the defense has shown a little leniency, allowing 20 points the last three games after not letting anyone break it in the first five.
The second half of the season includes a mixed bag. There are three games against contenders (Patriots, Jets, Ravens), two against teams that can "trap" you quite easily (Raiders and Browns), and three they should win (Panthers, Bills and a rematch with the Bengals.).
What keeps Pittsburgh from being No. 1 is only two of their wins have been by 10 points or more, unlike the...
1. New York Giants
No team holds it's opponents to fewer yards per game than the Giants. Only the Chargers gain more yards per game.
Their six wins have been by a combined 192-93, which is what a great team should do against the likes of Carolina, Detroit, Houston, Dallas and Seattle.
That is what sets them apart.
But don't worry. With two games against the Eagles and one against the Packers, they can't dominate like this forever, can they?