(The idle Broncos lose their top spot)
The unofficial “best team in the league”, the Denver Broncos, sat out week seven’s exciting action, and despite their solid play through a 6-0 record, they won’t be able to hold onto their top spot.
If they weren’t already the team to beat in the NFL, the New Orleans Saints proved with a 21-point comeback that they can win every type of game.
Read on to see who makes the top five, and then check to see where everyone else fits in:
1. New Orleans Saints (6-0)
Just when you thought the Saints weren’t what they were cracked out to be, they storm back and make the Dolphins look like, well, the Dolphins. This can’t help but put even more fear into the rest of their future opponents.
2. Indianapolis Colts (6-0)
Peyton Manning didn’t get his sixth straight 300-yard game, but a dominating effort over the Rams will have to suffice. Their schedule hasn’t been very difficult, but the manner in which they’ve been winning has been quite impressive.
3. Denver Broncos (6-0)
A bye week doesn’t kill what they’ve got going, but no one in their right mind can keep them above the Saints and Colts right now.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2)
The better defense prevailed in a very hard-fought match with the previously undefeated Vikings. Still, something tells me there’s a good possibility we just saw a preview of this year’s Super Bowl.
5. Minnesota Vikings (6-1)
Bad calls, some no-calls, and an unfortunate tipped pass did them in against an elite defense. Still, to think they were only 18 yards away from taking this game and going 7-0 has to be inspiring.
6. New England Patriots (5-2)
They need to beat a quality opponent to get into the top five again, but two demolition wins gets the the recognition they deserve. The offense is back, but can they do this against elite opponents? Only time will tell.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)
Carson Palmer threw five touchdowns in three quarters, proving all his doubters wrong. If he and Cedric Benson can put up this kind of production on a consistent basis, could we be looking at a serious Super Bowl contender?
8. Arizona Cardinals (4-2)
Their defense made Eli Manning look like an amateur for much of Sunday Night. If the offense can stay this hot, is there any question that the NFC West is there’s to lose?
9. Green Bay Packers (4-2)
It’s hard to say how good they are after big wins over teams like Detroit in Cleveland. A win over Minnesota would prove they are a contender, and would likely catapult them into the top five.
10. New York Giants (5-2)
Eli Manning has been off for two games now, and the biggest issue with the Giants is now simply stopping this slide. After the Cowboys big win over Atlanta, they now have some serious competition for the division.
11. Dallas Cowboys (4-2)
12. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)
13. Atlanta Falcons (4-2)
They had many believing they were one of the teams to beat in the NFC for a while there. Their effort against Dallas may have shown that they aren’t.
14. New York Jets (4-3)
The running game carried Sanchez, and he responded with no interceptions and some smart football. How big is the loss of Leon Washington, and will the injury-pile ever stop?
15. Houston Texans (4-3)
Either the San Francico 49ers defense has regressed mightily, or this offense is hitting it’s stride. Regardless of your opinion, it’s got to be hard to bet against Matt Schaub right now.
16. San Diego Chargers (3-3)
Many (including me) expected them to lay down for the Chiefs after an emotional loss to the Broncos. Instead, Phillip Rivers showed why he’s among the league’s elite passers.
17. Chicago Bears (3-3)
It’s all about the running game in Chicago. If Matt Forte can’t get it going soon, he’s either out of a job, or this team is out of the playoff picture.
18. Baltimore Ravens (3-3)
They needed a week off to reflect on their poor defensive efforts. Also, to prepare for the undefeated Broncos. Does dropping to 3-4 kill their season?
19. San Francisco 49ers (3-3)
They may have lost their second straight game, but it may be a blessing in disguise. Alex Smith should be the starter under center after getting this offense’s mojo back.
20. Buffalo Bills (3-4)
Their offense is still virtually non-existent, but their defense has stepped it’s game up to an elite level. Eight interceptions in their last two games says Dick Jauron isn’t getting a pink slip quite yet.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3)
They may not be an elite team, but they have the tools on offense to compete. Now, if they can only do something about that porous pass defense.
22. Miami Dolphins (2-4)
Their offense is looking very sharp, and for an entire half, their defense was making Drew Brees look like what Chad Henne should be looking like. Giving the game away like that has to hurt.
23. Seattle Seahawks (2-4)
Matt Hasselbeck says it’s “ridiculous” that some experts think Seattle is already out of the playoff race. Is it?
24. Carolina Panthers (2-4)
Chalk up another three-interception game for Jake Delhomme. Can it get any clearer that his days as a Carolina starter are done after this season (and possible sooner)?
25. Oakland Raiders (2-5)
Week seven and eight were night and day. It was nice to get an upset over the Eagles last week, but this is clearly years away from competing on both sides of the ball.
26. Kansas City Chiefs (1-6)
Matt Cassel was bad in an absolute trouncing. They aren’t much better than they were last year. You have to ask yourself if you’re Todd Haley, “where do we go from here”?
28. Detroit Lions (1-5)
The nice thing about a bye week is Detroit couldn’t lose, and they got more rest for Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. The bad thing is, they got shut-out two weeks straight.
28. Washington Redskins (2-5)
The front office says Jim Zorn will finish the season as head coach, and could even be back next season. Really? I mean, really?
29. Cleveland Browns (1-6)
Eric Mangini needs to swallow his pride and make another quarterback change. Otherwise Cleveland needs to go in a different direction with their coaching.
30. Tennessee Titans (0-6)
Jeff Fisher is 0-6 and making jokes about his team being inferior to the Colts. Talk about a guy now worried about losing his job. Hey, at least he knows his role.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-7)
32. St. Louis Rams (0-7)
Another abysmal performance, another loss for the Rams. They have a very good chance at going 0-16 if they can’t get past Detroit next week.