By: Travis Thayer (@TheTravisThayer)
1. Denver Broncos (6-0) Next Game: at Indianapolis
The Broncos don’t clash with the Chiefs until Week 11, but there is plenty of intrigue over Peyton’s return to Indy. The Broncos look unstoppable, and I don’t see their streak stopping against the Colts.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (6-0) Next Game: vs. Houston
Everyone is looking forward to the Week 11 showdown with Denver. The Chiefs will have a good chance to be 9-0 going into that game if they can get by a struggling Texans team this week.
3. New England Patriots (5-1) Next Game: at NY Jets
All the Pats do is win. No Gronk, No Wilfork, and rookie recievers = no problem for the Pats. As long as Tom Brady is around the Pats will continue to win.
4. New Orleans Saints (5-1) Next Game: Bye
The Saints just had an epic collapse against the Pats, so they naturally are ranked a spot below. Sean Payton is making all the difference in the world, and Drew Brees would be a serious MVP candidate if it weren’t for that Manning guy.
5. Seattle Seahawks (5-1) Next Game: at Arizona
I think everyone agrees that the Seahawks are for real. Russell Wilson keeps managing the game, while his defense controls it. The only thing left to prove is winning consistently on the road.
6. San Francisco 49ers (4-2) Next Game: at Tennessee
The Niners are right on the Seahawks tail, and help is on the way soon. The Niners are battling a lot of injuries, but receivers Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree will be returning at some point. If this team gets healthy, the sky’s the limit.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) Next Game: at Detroit
Winners of four of their last five, and the Bengals are back on track. The defense has come up with timely stops, while the offense broke out of its two game funk. If the offense keeps it going the Bengals will become a very dangerous team.
8. Indianapolis Colts (4-2) Next Game: vs. Denver
I don’t expect the Colts to beat Denver this week, but they are quietly one of the most sound teams in the league. It won’t be long until everyone knows the Colts are not to be taken lightly.
9. Chicago Bears (4-2) Next Game: at Washington
Jay Cutler is playing good ball, and the Bears are winning – what a surprise. It helps their defense continues to take the ball away from its opponents.
10. Detroit Lions (4-2) Next Game: vs. Cincinnati
Reggie Bush has changed the culture in Detroit. They are no longer just a passing team, but they need Calvin Johnson to be Calvin Johnson if they intend to move up this list.
11. Green Bay Packers (3-3) Next Game: vs. Cleveland
Aaron Rodgers is about to feel Tom Brady’s pain. Randall Cobb and James Jones were lost to injury last week, but the Pack still managed to win the game. We’ll see if Rodgers can do more with less against a very good Browns defense.
12. Baltimore Ravens (3-3) Next Game: at Pittsburgh
What can you say about the champs other than they have been unimpressive. It’s early, but the Ravens really need a good showing against a not so good Steelers team.
13. Dallas Cowboys (3-3) Next Game: at Philadelphia
Tony Romo has been lights out, but he has also had his classic “Romo Moments” that cost his team the game.
14. San Diego Chargers (3-3) Next Game: at Jacksonville
Phillip Rivers is having a career year, and Keenan Allen is largely responsible. He just might be Rivers’ new go-to-guy. Expect big numbers for Rivers in Jacksonville
15. Miami Dolphins (3-2) Next Game: vs. Buffalo
The Dolphins are coming off a bye week, and they need a big win over division rival Buffalo before next week’s meeting with New England.
16. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) Next Game: vs. Dallas
Foles or Vick? RIght now it might not matter because nobody has been able to stop DeSean Jackson. Dallas has struggled covering and it could be another big week for number 10.
17. New York Jets (3-3) Next Game: vs. New England
The Jets have been better than expected so far, but we’ll see how good there are after facing New England, New Orleans, and Cincinnati.
18. Tennessee Titans (3-3) Next Game: vs. San Francisco
The Titans defense has been great thus far, but Jake Locker’s injury has the offense in shambles. The forecast in Tennessee is mostly cloudy with a better than good chance of thunderstorms.
19. Cleveland Browns (3-3) Next Game: at Green Bay
The Browns have had a good run so far, but their next four games are brutal. Green Bay, Kansas City, Baltimore, and Cincinnati. Those four games will tell us all we need to know about the Browns.
20. St. Louis Rams (3-3) Next Game: at Carolina
The Rams are coming off an impressive victory against the Texans. At least I think it is impressive, or do the Texans just really stink.
21. Arizona Cardinals (3-3) Next Game: vs. Seattle
Carson Palmer continues to turn the ball over, and their running game is non-existant. The Cards are a good candidate to slide deep down the list.
22. Carolina Panthers (2-4) Next Game: vs. St. Louis
Cam Newton had his best game of the year on Sunday. They have some winnable games the next three weeks against St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta.
23. Buffalo Bills (2-4) Next Game: at Miami
The Bills have been a surprising team even if their record doesn’t speak of it. Thad Lewis almost led the Bills to a win against the Bengals, and I can only assume they will be better when E.J. Manuel returns.
24. Oakland Raiders (2-4) Next Game: Bye
Terrelle Pryor was sacked 10 times on Sunday. He’s made the Raiders better, but he can’t continue to improve if he has no time to throw.
25. Houston Texans (2-4) Next Game: at Kansas City
It doesn’t matter who’s in at quarterback. Apparently they all throw pick six’s. It’s going to get worse before it gets better because the Texans face a great “D” in Kansas City this weekend.
26. Atlanta Falcons (1-4) Next Game: vs. Tampa Bay
The Falcons are about to hit a soft spot on their schedule, and there is no room for error. It might be now or never for the Falcons.
27. Washington Redskins (1-4) Next Game: vs. Chicago
I’m still waiting for RGIII to get it together, and for their defense to cover someone. One or the other has to happen in order for the Skins to make some progress in a not so good NFC East.
28. Minnesota Vikings (1-4) Next Game: at NY Giants
A bad quarterback and a bad defense is a recipe for disaster. Is Josh Freeman really going to be the answer?
29. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4) Next Game: vs. Baltimore
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong in Pittsburgh. They finally got their first win, but the schedule doesn’t get any easier in the coming weeks (Baltimore, Oakland, and New England).
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-5) Next Game: at Atlanta
It’s a disaster in Tampa. I’m betting they will be 0-8 after their next three against Atlanta, Carolina, and Seattle.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6) Next Game: vs. San Diego
Jacksonville gets to be ranked a spot ahead of the Giants because they covered the spread against Denver. Other than that, it’s really a tie for the worst team in the league.
32. New York Giants (0-6) Next Game: vs. Minnesota
Eli Manning has been awful, and so has the rest of his team. You can’t win when you turn the ball over, and as of right now that’s the only thing the Giants do well.