The Chargers Keep Charging, But Not Many Changes Near The Top [NFL Power Rankings]
1. Saints, 13-0, Last week: 1
Even when they play poorly (for them), they seem to be catching all the breaks, as well. Without Matt Ryan and Michael Turner, the Falcons never really should have had a chance. They somehow did, but the Saints still won it.
2. Colts, 13-0, Last week: 2
Peyton Manning's interceptions have been creeping up lately, but the Colts are still winning. In the end, that's all that matters.
3. Chargers, 10-3, Last week: 3
They're playing the best football in the league right now. Could this be the year they finally keep it going in the playoffs? With the way Philip Rivers has stepped up, I wouldn't be surprised.
4. Vikings, 11-2, Last week: 4
Their win over the Bengals was a huge one, and is their best win so far. It makes their Week 13 loss to the Cardinals even more surprising.
5. Bengals, 9-4, Last week: 5
The loss to the Vikings wasn't great, but it was in Minnesota, and the Vikings are still a pretty good team. The Bengals are still in great shape to take the AFC North, but their 1st round bye may have slipped away.
6. Eagles, 9-4, Last week: 7
Their defense wasn't exactly stellar this week, but their offense is as good as anyone right now. They've seemingly found a balance with Michael Vick, and DeSean has really emerged as one of the league's most explosive players.
7. Packers, 9-4, Last week: 8
The Packers are the best 2nd place team in the league. Not that it matters, but I'd still take them against most teams in the NFC in the playoffs. Unfortunately for them, they'll be stuck on the road.
8. Broncos, 8-5, Last week: 9
They actually kept it close against the Colts for a while, and were able to frustrate Peyton Manning to the tune of 3 interceptions. Moral victories don't mean much, but you can't give them too much of a hard time for losing to the undefeated Colts.
9. Patriots, 8-5, Last week: 11
The Patriots weren't brilliant against the Panthers, but they were good enough to win. However, problems with Randy Moss' effort could kill their season, if they're not handled quickly.
10. Cardinals, 8-5, Last week: 6
Kurt Warner has been amazing over the past couple years, but last night, he looked his age. That's not a good sign for the Cardinals at all.
11. Giants, 7-6, Last week: 13
When you give up 45 points in your biggest game of the year, it's safe to say things are looking pretty bad. Even if the Giants turn it around and make the playoffs, I don't like their chances in the end.
12. Ravens, 7-6, Last week: 14
They destroyed the Lions, but they'll need to step it up a little more to separate themselves from the rest of the pack in the AFC wild card hunt.
13. Titans, 6-7, Last week: 15
Their season is virtually over, but they gave it a pretty good run, winning 6 out of 7 after their horrible start. If Vince Young can keep developing as a passer, this team may have a bright future.
14. Jaguars, 7-6, Last week: 12
They lost a pivotal game to the Dolphins, which could have put them in the drivers seat in the race for the AFC's final playoff spot. With the loss, they're just part of a huge crowd.
15. Cowboys, 8-5, Last week: 10
I might as well just put them even lower, really. If they can't win in December, then does it really matter? I'm not impressed with this team right now, and only a couple W's will win me over.
16. Dolphins, 7-6, Last week: 17
They salvaged their playoff hopes with a win against the Jaguars, but the AFC is awful crowded, and I don't think there's anything to separated them from the other 3 teams fighting for one spot.
17. Atlanta, 6-7, Last week: 16
The fact that they hung in there with the Saints was actually impressive. But it was still a loss, and their season is pretty much over at this point.
18. 49ers, 6-7, Last week: 19
Their play against the Cardinals confirmed the fact that they could have been a playoff team... but it also confirmed that they really blew it, in their losses to teams like the Vikings and Seahawks.
19. Jets, 7-6, Last week: 20
They started 3-0, lost 6 out of their next 7, and have won 3 in a row again. I'm a little scared for them, based on this pattern.
20. Texans, 6-7, Last week: 23
Steve Slaton is done, but the offense is still plenty potent. Unfortunately for them, they've already eliminated themselves from contention with dumb losses.
21. Steelers, 6-7, Last week: 18
With 5 straight losses, including 3 against the Chiefs, Raiders and Browns, you can make the case that the Steelers are playing worse than anyone in the league right now.
22. Bears, 5-8, Last week: 21
The Packers slammed the door on the Bears' season this week, and it's time for the Bears to figure out how to build around Jay Cutler, without any high draft picks. Good luck.
23. Panthers, 5-8, Last week: 22
If Randy Moss shut it down early in the game, and they still lost to the Patriots by 10, what does that say about the Panthers? Same thing I've said all year... they're not very good.
24. Seahawks, 5-8, Last week: 24
It's hard to be optimistic about a team that loses to the Texans by 27. That's all, really. This is a bad team this year, even if they have a few good pieces here and there.
25. Bills, 5-8, Last week: 26
They beat the Chiefs, but that's really not anything special. And it wasn't even an impressive win. Just two bad teams... nothing to see here.
26. Raiders, 4-9, Last week: 25
I have no idea how they even ended up with 4 wins, but they might even end up with one more at some point, since they still play the Browns.
27. Redskins, 4-9, Last week: 28
If I said this season was a disappointment for the Redskins, that would be a huge understatement. Maybe they'll suck less if and when the salary cap goes away.
28. Chiefs, 3-10, Last week: 27
Matt Cassel has been an interception machine, but it's not like he has anyone to help him out. At least Dwayne Bowe will be back next week.
29. Lions, 2-11, Last week: 29
Sometimes I think the only reason the Lions are around is to let other teams' players pad their stats for fantasy football.
30. Browns, 2-11, Last week: 32
Arguable the worst team in the league, they just came off a win against the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers.
31. Rams, 1-12, Last week: 30
If it weren't for the Lions, they could have gone 0-16 this year VERY easily. Too bad they had that gimme on their schedule. I would have liked to see that again.
32. Buccaneers, 1-12, Last week: 31
The Bucs are awful, but getting the #1 pick next year and grabbing Ndamukong Suh will be a nice step in turning them around again.
Feel free to comment about where you think I went wrong, what you would change, and why.