1. 1. Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers absolutely trashed the Raiders. By the end of the first half, the Packers were up 31-0 and even in the second half, the Raiders did not do much. With only the Chiefs, Bears and Lions left in their schedule, the Packers seem destined to go 16-0. The Lions are only one who can ruin the Packers’ path to perfect record, however they have been very shaky.
2. Baltimore Ravens
This wasn’t much of a blowout that I have expected but the score doesn’t show everything. The Colts’ offense was held to 167 yards while the Ravens’ offense moved the ball at will. This team, despite missing its leader in Ray Lewis, has shown maturity that one expects from an experienced team. They face challenging schedule (Chargers, Browns and Bengals) that will decide the winner of the AFC North
3. New Orleans Saints
This game was closer than I thought it was going to be. Unlike their usual game plan where the offense carrying the team, the defense came up big and won the game for the Saints. Sure Jake Locker threw for 282 yards and a touchdown but the Saints’ defense kept Chris Johnson to 23 yards in 11 carries. By beating the Vikings this week, the Saints can control their faith.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers’ season is in jeopardy now that Ben Roethlisberger is injured. Latest reports show that he will not miss any games but the chance of being getting injured is exponentially great, so much so that I think the Steelers should rest him as much as he needs. Steelers face the 49ers, Rams and Browns and I believe that the Steelers defense is good enough to win these games
5. New England Patriots
If the 49ers did not lose against the Cardinals I would have dropped the Patriots a spot or two. The game against the Redskins was absolutely horrific. I saw an entire team falling apart, especially when Tom Brady and Bill O’Brien (Patriots’ offensive coordinator) had that dispute. The defense has gotten worse last few weeks and the offense lacks diversity. This season will be another disappointing season for the Patriots fan.
6. Houston Texans
The Texans deserve all the credits for overcoming injuries by its superstars (Schuab, Williams, ohnson etc) and continue to win games. The Bengals knew that they had to win in order to keep their playoff hope alive and played very physical football. However, the Texans showed compose and patience. The Texans, thanks to its strong running game and surprisingly efficient TJ Yates, have good chance to win last 3 games of the season.
7. San Francisco 49ers
This is a problem when you have Alex Smith as your quarterback. Your offense is not going to score much and it is on defense to limit opponents’ offenses. Alex Smith had 62.3 quarterback rating and the offense only had 233 total yards. The game against the Steelers will show whether they can survive tough NFL playoff game but don’t bank on it.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Perhaps I was wrong. The Falcons came back against the Panthers, even when the Panthers were up by 16 points at the end of the first half. They showed resilience and responded very well under pressure. The Falcons still have playoff chance and if they can get into the playoff, they will be a dangerous team to go against.
9. New York Jets
I don’t know whether the game was so loop-sided because the Chiefs are so bad or the Jets played well but by beating the Chiefs, they have kept their playoff hopes alive. The Jets’ defense held the Chiefs to 4 yards. Jets offense had great run-pass balance. I don’t know if they can make the playoff since a lot of AFC teams are still in contention for a spot in the playoff.
10. Denver Broncos
Dear, Tebowmania. If Tim Tebow beats the Patriots, I will be the believer. What this team has done last 7 weeks is nothing short of a miracle. I don’t know if it is because of Tim Tebow but entire team is playing hard and the defense made a great improvement. With Oakland struggling, Broncos can easily win the AFC East and go to the playoff.
11. Detroit Lions
12. New York Giants
13. Arizona Cardinals
14. Dallas Cowboys
15. Tennessee Titans
16. Cincinnati Bengals
17. San Diego Chargers
18. Seattle Seahawks
19. Chicago Bears
20. Carolina Panthers