The Colts Are Back On Top, Thanks To The Saints Stumbling Against The Cowboys [NFL Power Rankings]
1. Colts, 14-0, Last week: 2
The Colts take over the top spot once again, simply by sticking with what they've done all year... winning, winning and more winning.
2. Saints, 13-1, Last week: 1
Their loss to the Cowboys ends their hopes of perfection, but more importantly, it shows that this team NEEDS to start quicker. They've been having trouble at the beginning of games for a month now. They're good enough to play catchup, but not every week.
3. Chargers, 11-3, Last week: 3
Are the Chargers the scariest team in the league right now? I think they might be. Philip Rivers is squeezing his way into the top 5 in MVP contention, and rightfully so.
4. Vikings, 11-3, Last week: 4
I've said it all year... this team is simply not built for the playoffs. Especially with Brett Favre, who is a disaster waiting to happen. Now that he runs the team, and not Brad Childress, it's all downhill from here.
5. Eagles, 10-4, Last week: 6
Their offense can hang with anyone, but defense wins championships. I'm a little concerned about this team going into the playoffs, but DeSean Jackson continues to impress me every week.
6. Bengals, 9-5, Last week: 5
The Bengals have endured a couple tough losses, but they were both to very good teams. They have the Chiefs and Jets on their schedule to finish the season, so they should be able to regain momentum heading into the playoffs.
7. Cowboys, 9-5, Last week: 15
Very few teams jump this high in one week this late in the season, but then again, very few teams get a road win over previously undefeated teams this late in the season. I'm still not entirely sold on the Cowboys, but they showed a lot in that win.
8. Cardinals, 9-5, Last week: 10
Hopefully the egg that they laid against the 49ers was just an aberration, because otherwise, they're looking pretty good right now. They division is locked up, and they're ready to make their playoff push.
9. Patriots, 9-5, Last week: 9
The Patriots aren't the elite team that people thought they would be at the beginning of the season, and they're probably looking at an early exit in the playoffs.
10. Packers, 9-5, Last week: 7
Even if the Steelers are at 100%, there's really no excuse for a playoff-caliber team to let them score 37 points. The Packers are hurting on defense, but that's still unacceptable for them.
11. Broncos, 8-6, Last week: 8
They coughed up the division, but they still control their own destiny. Their upcoming game against the Eagles should be very telling, for both teams.
12. Ravens, 8-6, Last week: 12
The Ravens are hitting their stride at the right time, and can basically punch their ticket to the playoffs with a win in Pittsburgh this weekend. That's a huge game for them, and the entire AFC playoff picture.
13. Giants, 8-6, Last week: 11
They beat up on the Redskins, but they'll need to string a few wins together to sneak into the playoffs. They have their work cut out for them, with the Panthers and Vikings coming up.
13. Titans, 7-7, Last week: 13
The Titans actually have a chance to make the playoffs, even after starting 0-6. They'll need a lot of help, as well as a win over the Chargers, but it's possible. How crazy is that?
14. Jaguars, 7-7, Last week: 14
Their game this week against the Patriots is huge. If the Jaguars lose, their season is virtually over. The Patriots are perfect at home, so they'll need to bring their "A" game.
16. Dolphins, 7-7, Last week: 16
The Dolphins could play the biggest role in the AFC playoff picture in the final two weeks. They're on the bubble, and so are their next two opponents, the Texans and Steelers. Those are some huge games.
17. Steelers, 7-7, Last week: 21
Their win over the Packers was huge, but this team needs to do some serious work against a couple desperate teams in the Ravens and Dolphins. They need to win both, and I don't see it happening.
18. Atlanta, 7-7, Last week: 17
The Falcons are very talented, but I think it's time to let Matt Ryan and Michael Turner rest up for next season. If they get injured more seriously than they already are, this franchise is moving backwards.
19. Jets, 7-7, Last week: 19
The Jets will be solid next year, and Rex Ryan is doing good things for them. Mark Sanchez HAS to mature, though. His mistakes cost them several games this year, and consequently a playoff spot.
20. Texans, 7-7, Last week: 20
A third straight 8-8 season? That's what it's looking like for the Texans. They're another team who has plenty of talent, but they're too inconsistent.
21. 49ers, 6-8, Last week: 18
I believe they might actually be better than a couple of teams ahead of them, but they're out of the playoff picture, so that really doesn't do them much good...hence the ranking.
22. Panthers, 6-8, Last week: 23
If Matt Moore had played QB all year, they might be looking at a playoff spot right now. He's not spectacular, but he seems to make less crippling mistakes than Jake Delhomme.
23. Bears, 5-9, Last week: 22
Year one of the Jay Cutler experiment has failed miserably. Is it time for Lovie Smith to go? Will that even solve anything? They need draft picks. Seriously.
24. Seahawks, 5-9, Last week: 24
Remember when the Seahawks dominated the NFC West, and won the division 5 years in a row? Yeah... not so much. It's rebuilding time, now.
25. Bills, 5-9, Last week: 25
Terrell Owens is actually starting to do well, but it sounds like he's getting a bit stir-crazy in Buffalo. Did anyone NOT see that coming?
26. Raiders, 5-9, Last week: 26
I have no idea who will play QB for the Raiders on any given week, but it's obvious that they need a real QB soon. The long-term answer is not on their roster right now.
27. Redskins, 4-10, Last week: 27
The Redskins have officially quit on Jim Zorn. The only thing interesting about this team is their coaching search, but it's hard to believe the new guy will have much to work with anyway.
28. Browns, 3-11, Last week: 30
Somehow, they've put together something called a "winning streak". I'll be honest... That's the last thing I ever expected to see from this team. Pay. Josh. Cribbs.
29. Chiefs, 3-11, Last week: 28
Jamaal Charles is definitely a huge bright spot for this team. Even if they don't have much else going for them, they have a nice core of skill players.
30. Lions, 2-12, Last week: 29
I've seen some Detroit folks talking about trading Calvin Johnson. The Lions have denied it, and I hope that's true. Allow me to say right now... BUILD. AROUND. CALVIN. JOHNSON. Is that difficult?
31. Buccaneers, 2-12, Last week: 32
What's the worst part about being 2-12? You're really bad, but not even bad enough to get the #1 overall pick in the draft. The Bucs could really use Ndamukong Suh, but it looks like they'll miss out.
32. Rams, 1-13, Last week: 31
The Rams take over the bottom spot because... well... they just keep on losing. I can't tell you how disappointed I am in the Lions for blowing St Louis' chance at 0-16.
Let me know what you think, and give your thoughts in the comments section below.