Before I give you the rankings, I want to point out that it was really, really hard trying to justify spots for the teams in the 10-14 spots and I didn't want to take the cheap way out and have a 5 way tie. I did not drop Green bay or Chicago from my previous rankings as those teams were both on their bye week. Right now I don't think that any team from the AFC West should be in the top 16 but the Broncos are there even though I believe the Ravens deserve to be in the top 16. Still, I think the Ravens are deserving of being mentioned so I have a tie at #16.
1. Titans - Indy kept is close and was even winning for a while, but the Titans proved to be too much. Barring somesort of major collapse, the division race is over. The good thing for them is that they also have a 2 game lead for the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs.
2. Giants - I was really, really close to putting them in the #1 spot. Going into PIttsburgh and winning is no easy task. The defense was swarming and Eli Manning didn't make any critical mistakes. Football purists live for this type of game.
3. Steelers - It's really hard to blame them for losing this game. This very well could have been a Super Bowl preview. They were pretty much just one reserve snapper tossing the ball out of the endzone away from possibly winning.
4. Panthers - Now we know how truly important Jake Delhomme is to this offense. He never once looked rattled, and made just one mistake. DeAnglo Williams looked good rushing the ball, and the defense stuffed the run.
7 (tie). Patriots - That was a little too close considering the Rams did not have Steven Jackson. I ahve a feeling that game might have gone the other way if he were. Still thoguh a win is a win and the first game against Buffalo got a bit more interesting.
7 (tie). Buccaneers - Really? All the Bucs could manage against the Dallas D was 3 field goals and 49 yards rushing? I know it was on the road but come on...
9. Cowboys - Even though the beat the Bucs, I do still have them lower than them. I know that once they get Tony Romo back, they could be scary again, but I still can't shake the feeling that when he does come back, it will be too late for the division. With them having to travel the next two weeks (to the Giants and then the Redskins after the bye) this team does not fill me with a lot of confidence. Are they really going with Brooks Bollinger? That's an awful idea, but I guess when the alternative is a 40 year old Brad Johnson.....
10 (tie). Packers - Coming off of the bye they draw the Titans. For some reason, I smell the upset here. I don't know why, but I think the Packers find a way to stay undefeated in the AFC South.
10 (tie). Bears - Coming off of the bye week they draw the Detroit Lions (or as I like to call it, the third bye of the year). On the surface this does have all of the makings of a trap game. The Bears are coming off of an emotional win over the Vikings and have had a week of rest, the game is in Chicago, most of the injured players are healthy again, but something tells me this one will be closer than the match up a few weeks ago in Detroit. I know since then the Lions have put Jon Kitna on the IR, traded Roy Williams to the Cowboys, and still have no offensive line or defense, but stranger things have happened.
13 (tie). Broncos - Like I said at the top of this, I don't generally drop teams if they are on their bye week. To me it's like a player losing their job due to injury. I'm not real high on this team, especially after that goose egg they laid in New England.
15. Saints - They desperately needed that win to stay alive in the division.It's going to be tough, but they still have a chance if Duece McAllister, Charles Grant, and Will Smith win their appeals. If not, Drew Brees will have to keep the Saints in their winning ways by himself until their suspension is over. That's a tough chore for any QB no matter how good Brees is.
16 (tie). Cardinals - They kept it very close against a very good Carolina team on the road. Kurt Warner made 1 too many mistakes. When you're running back combine for a total of 20 yards and lose a fumble (I am excluding the 30 yard run by Anquan Boldin) you're not going win very many games.
16 (tie). Ravens - This once again goes to further prove my theory, west coast teams do not play well on the east coast, regardless of what time the game is.