Welcome to the fifth week of the 2008 NFL regular season. It is in this week when things in football begin to make sense. It is now when teams begin to separate themselves as playoff contenders. This is the time of year when...
...oh wait, it's only the beginning of October? My bad!
The loss by Dallas shakes up my rankings a little bit. In fact, the AFC may have regained some stability, since it now hosts two of the three remaining undefeated teams.
Rank (Last Week) Team (Record)
1. (8) Tennessee Titans (4-0)
Before you scroll straight to the comment section and start bashing me, hear me out.
First and foremost, the Titans haven't lost yet. Secondly, the teams they've played aren't half-bad (Minnesota, Jacksonville, Houston, and Cincinnati). But the third and most important factor that now has them at the top of my rankings is the point differential in their wins.
Tennessee has won their games by a combined 56 points. In just four weeks, I don't care who you are...That's pretty darn good.
2. (7) Buffalo Bills (4-0)
What impresses me the most about Buffalo is their ability to maintain composure and win games from behind. I realize it was only St. Louis, but during the beginning of that game, the Bills looked like they were in rough shape.
They were down 14-6 and had just thrown an interception at one point, but still managed to stomp the horrible Rams 31-14.
Another factor that puts them this high is, again, point differential. Buffalo is up on their opponents by a total of 46 points after four games. That means they're averaging double-digit victories.
3. (2) New York Giants (3-0)
The G-Men fall without playing. After almost losing to the Bengals in Week Three, it's tough to look fondly upon them until they pound Seattle this weekend in a manner that is to be expected.
4. (12) Washington Redskins (3-1)
What can I say? They just beat Dallas over the weekend. Jason Campbell is playing well. These guys look confident after taking such an ugly beating in Week One. They've got another exciting test coming up in Week Five, as they take on Donovan McNabb and the Eagles.
5. (1) Dallas Cowboys (3-1)
After losing a close one to a division rival, Dallas has an opportunity in Week Five to show the Giants how a final score against Cincinnati should really look.
6. (3) Philadelphia Eagles (2-2)
I realize that the Eagles lost to Chicago over the weekend, but they kept it close without the services of Brian Westbrook and with Donovan McNabb less than 100 percent healthy. A huge game against the Redskins next week will tell us a lot about this team.
7. (6) Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)
The Steelers were able to re-take the lead in the AFC North on Monday night, even without their two main running backs. These guys will have to dig deep if they want to stay in my top 10 though. I'm not sure I like their chances without the classic Steelers running game.
8. (9) San Diego Chargers (2-2)
After a tough first half against the Oakland Raiders, San Diego was able to put together a strong second half and come away with a 10-point victory. I think we all know that this is one of the AFC's top teams, and their record will reflect that come December.
9. (5) Denver Broncos (3-1)
Really? The Chiefs? What the heck happened? I have to think this was a fluke. I mean, I understand that Denver hasn't had much of a defense all season, but...the Chiefs?
10. (10) Indianapolis Colts (1-2)
As I said in last week's rankings, I'm not ready to drop Indy out of my top 10. If they lose to Houston in Week Five (or even come close to losing), then there will be cause for concern.
11. (14) Carolina Panthers (3-1)
For some reason, I'm still not completely sold on these guys. But, they keep winning...So I keep moving them up in my rankings.
12. (16) New Orleans Saints (2-2)
The Saints' schedule hasn't been easy, and they've been in every game. They'll be facing a hungry Vikings squad on Monday Night in Week Five.
13. (17) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)
The Bucs came away with a nice win against the Packers, and they, again, showed an ability to run the football. If you can run the football, you can control any game.
14. (4) Green Bay Packers (2-2)
Tough loss to the Bucs...But they should be able to bounce back in Week Five, as they face Matt Ryan and the Falcons.
15. (13) New England Patriots (2-1)
The Pats dropped a couple spots during their bye week, mainly because I'm hearing chatter that they're ready to start rookie quarterback Kevin O'Connell if Matt Cassel doesn't get a lot better, and fast.
16. (18) Chicago Bears (2-2)
Chicago was able to dig down and defeat a very strong team in the Philadelphia Eagles. A win like that has to give that entire team some much-needed confidence in such a tough conference.
17. (11) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2)
The Jags hardly beat a pretty sorry Houston Texans team this weekend. They'll have their hands full this coming week, as they are set to face Pittsburgh in Week Five. They'll need to take full advantage of the Steelers' weaknesses on the injury report.
18. (19) New York Jets (2-2)
New York showed that they can definitely put up some points this past weekend. Too bad it was against the Cardinals, or else they might have moved up in my power rankings more. Not to mention all the points they allowed Arizona to score.
19. (15) Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
Things aren't looking good for Minny right now. They'll need to come up big on Monday Night against the Saints, which won't be an easy task. A record of 1-4 will be almost impossible to come back from.
20. (20) Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
I had a feeling these guys weren't as good as people were saying. They beat two teams from Ohio, lost to an offensive backfield-less Steelers team, and now they have to face Tennessee. Not a good scenario.
21. (26) Cleveland Browns (1-3)
Did you notice that I had the Browns ranked one spot higher than the Bengals last week? Now you can see why.
22. (24) Arizona Cardinals (2-2)
I know...They lost. But honestly, the only other team in my bottom 10 that won this weekend was the Chiefs. Think they belong this high?
23. (23) Oakland Raiders (1-3)
The Raiders remain in the same spot because they lost their game in the same way as they did the week before. They were basically dominating their opponent until it was time to close it out. Al Davis is already doing interviews...
24. (31) Kansas City Chiefs (1-3)
All of a sudden, the Chiefs aren't a laughing stock. Okay, maybe that's going a little far...But I'm sure everyone noticed the fact that they beat a pretty good team over the weekend.
25. (25) Miami Dolphins (1-2)
If Miami can take down the San Diego Chargers in Week Five...I think we can officially call the AFC East "up for grabs".
26. San Francisco 49ers (2-2)
At 2-2, the 'Niners are still very much in the thick of the NFC West. It won't take much to win that division this year. Whoever does win that division will be the worst playoff team in a long, long time.
27. (29) Seattle Seahawks (1-2)
28. (22) Atlanta Falcons (2-2)
Absolutely destroyed by Carolina...This team can't seem to win a big game. They've got potential, but they're not there yet.
29. (27) Cincinnati Bengals (0-4)
How on Earth did it get this bad?
30. (28) Houston Texans (0-3)
Houston almost won this week. That's kinda good news, right?
31. (30) Detroit Lions (0-3)
I'm struggling to find anything to say about some of these awful teams.
32. (32) St. Louis Rams (0-4)
The Rams almost looked good against Buffalo...for a little while. That didn't last very long though.
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