As far as I’m concerned, these will be the only ones we’ll do this season.
At this point, we know a great deal about teams… mostly we know that they are incredibly inconsistent.
With that here we go:
1. Green Bay Packers – 9-0
They’ve throttled everyone. They’ve dismantled most teams. Their defense is getting better. Aaron Rodgers might be too. They are the clear favorite to repeat this year.
2. New Orleans Saints – 7-3
I still maintain that this team is the only one that could have given the Packers a run like they did Week 1. They are phenomenal at home and if they can sneak past the 49ers and snag at least one home game they should repeat that Week 1 matchup.
3. San Francisco 49ers – 9-1
Sure they’re in the NFC West and can beat on some bad teams, but Jim Harbaugh is getting the most out of these players. If he can continue to roll they will be a tough out in the playoffs. They play good defense and avoid mistakes. It leads to close games though, and eventually they’ll lose a couple of them.
4. New England Patriots – 6-3
Make no mistake, this is a very flawed team. Their defense was better Sunday, but they need to prove it long-term. Their schedule going out is ridiculously easy, however, and they should finish with 11 or 12 wins and likely home field for the AFC Playoff run.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers – 7-3
Take out two games against the Ravens and this team is 7-1. We can’t discard the Ravens games, but the rumors of the Steeler dynasty’s demise have been over exaggerated. They play good defense, if not elite defense, and their offense continues to improve as their passing games becomes the focal point.
6. Baltimore Ravens – 6-3
They play to their opponents. So I guess if they can just get into the playoffs, they’ll win every game? They’re tough to figure out, but should end up with 10 or 11 wins this year. Whether or not they beat the Bengals will determine where they land.
7. Cincinnati Bengals – 6-3
I didn’t expect them to beat the Steelers, but they held out better than I thought. Tells me this team is for real and can beat good teams. They need to take at least 1 from the Ravens and take a game from the Steelers later to secure a playoff berth.
8. New York Giants – 6-3
They almost pulled out a win against San Francisco, but Eli continues to play tremendously. And he continues to do this despite not having most of his receivers at 100%. If they can get healthy by playoff time, this might be a tough team to face.
9. Chicago Bears – 6-3
The Bears are getting better. A likely wildcard will make it a tough playoff road for them, but so long as Matt Forte continues to play exceptional they have a shot to see the Packers again.
10. Atlanta Falcons – 5-4
They have a long road to go, but they’re playing much better than they were at the start of the year. The chemistry is developing. They need to string a couple big wins together to get back into the playoff hunt.
11. Houston Texans – 7-3
A 7-3 Texans team with Matt Schuab and a returning Andre Johnson is probably top 5. With Matt Lienart I have to demote them down. They’re playoff bound simply due to their rushing game and top ranked defense, but I don’t know if that’ll be enough come playoff time when they face other elite defenses.
12. Dallas Cowboys – 5-4
With the arrival of DeMarco Murray, this team looks like the Cowboy team that we expected to come out swinging. Romo is play much better and Demarcus Ware is playing exceptional. Long road to the playoffs for them, but they’re talented enough to make a run at it.
13. Detroit Lions – 6-3
The Lions continue to look a little suspect. The momentum from their early season run has worn off and their offense is struggling to get going without a viable running game. Defensively they’ve been torched and have demolished teams which makes them tough to figure out. They have an outside shot at playoffs if they can reform the 5-0 team from September.
14.Oakland Raiders – 5-4
Carson Palmer is starting to get this offense down and it looks like his best games are ahead. When Run DMC comes back they’ll be scary on offense again. It’s up to the defense to start stepping up again.
15. New York Jets – 5-4
Rex Ryan said he thought it was doubtful they could make the playoffs. They’re still a talented team, but they need to find an identity. They haven’t run the ball well or played typical Jets this year. Tough to gauge whether they can get back into it.
16. Buffalo Bills – 5-4
Ryan Fitzpatrick signs a long-term deal and begins to look like the castoff from a couple of years ago. Maybe teams are figuring out the Bills offense, but their defense isn’t doing them any favors. This team needs to get it together and in a hurry if they want to get into the mix.
17. Tennessee Titans – 5-4
Dark horse for the AFC South, the Titans had to have cheered when they heard Schuab went out. Now they need to kick CJ2K’s butt into gear and get this team moving consistently towards the playoffs.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 4-5
They’re talented, but the ‘youngry’ team is long gone. Now they just look overwhelmed and inexperienced.
19. San Diego Chargers – 4-5
I’d stick a fork in them, but it’s the AFC West… and the leader is 5-4. Rivers has to start playing better.
20. Denver Broncos – 4-5
Only Tim Tebow could make 2-8 look good. Another team that should have been dead long ago. Tebow has to start playing better.
21. Kansas City Chiefs – 4-5
Matt Cassel is banged up. Tyler Palko is coming in. Dwayne Bowe and Jonathan Baldwin have to pick up some slack and help the young QB out.
22. Seattle Seahawks – 3-6
The Seahawks have a very highly ranked pass defense. The Ravens threw 52 times. Good game plan. Still the Seahawks are good on defense, if their offense could just keep it up.
23. Philadelphia Eagles – 3-6
The Dream is dead. Vick has broken ribs… supposedly, and the defense is atrocious late.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars – 3-6
Jack Del Rio and the GM should be canned for the way they handled this season.
25. Minnesota Vikings – 2-7
Ponder has looked better, but the defense looks worn out and their offensive line is simply not the one it was a couple of years back…. Adrian still looks good behind it. Wasted talent.
26. Miami Dolphins – 2-7
The Dolphins are starting to get things together. Still, too little too late.
27. Carolina Panthers – 2-7
Offensively they’re good. Defensively they’re just abysmal
28. Arizona Cardinals – 3-6
Beat the Eagles. Who doesn’t these days? Lot of questions in Arizona. Skelton looks good, Kolb looks bad. Kolb cost them a lot. Skelton didn’t. Tough call.
29. St. Louis Rams – 2-7
The Rams are bad, but look better of late. They’ve gotten a couple of receivers back, but they’ll need to patch this offensive line together and get a defense on the field. That pee wee team they’re running out there now days is sad to watch.
30. Washington Redskins – 3-6
Rumors are starting that Mike Shanahan could be on the hot seat in Washington. I doubt that’s the case yet, but Daniel Snyder has been known to be trigger happy with his coaches.
31. Cleveland Browns – 3-6
They’re just bad. No offensive creativity and a horrendous defense. Not sure what they’ll do come off-season. They need to commit to Colt or look elsewhere.
32. Indianapolis Colts – 0-10
Time to clean house