Most NFL fans will tell you Sunday is their favorite day of the week. Not me. Nope. My favorite day of the week is the day the Professor’s power rankings come out. Don’t you agree? Of course you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this right now. Let’s get down to business. Keep reading to see where your team is ranked this week.
Last Week: 1
Green Bay Packers (9-0)They have made it past the halfway point of their season unscathed. Aaron Rodgers is on a historic pace for just about everything a quarterback can do, especially his insane completion percentage. They’ve outscored their opponents by a combined total of 134 points. In other words, they’ve pretty much built a home and moved in to the #1 spot in the rankings.
Last Week: 3
San Francisco 49ers (8-1)There is no ignoring the Niners anymore. And for those who want to say it’s only because they’re in such a weak division, that doesn’t hold any water either. The Niners still have five more division games on their schedule. It sounds crazy, but they could still unseat the Packers as the #1 seed in the NFC against a soft closing schedule.
Last Week: 5
Houston Texans (7-3)I’m putting these guys up high this week, but it won’t be for long. After prospering despite injuries to their best players on both offense and defense (Andre Johnson and Mario Williams), the Texans were dealt another huge blow when they found out this week that Matt Schaub will probably miss the rest of the season with a foot injury. I liked this Texans team with Schaub, but I don’t know if they can hold onto a playoff spot with Matt Leinart under center.
Last Week: 4
New York Giants (6-3)A tough loss on the road to an 8-1 team keeps the Giants here at #4. Fans of Big Blue just better hope this isn’t the beginning of another second half slide. In seven seasons under current head coach Tom Coughlin, the Giants are only 24-33 in the second half of the season.
Last Week: 9
New England Patriots (6-3)If the Pats get the type of defensive effort they got against the Jets every week, they will turn into the favorites in the AFC.
Last Week: 2
Baltimore Ravens (6-3)What on earth is going on with these guys? It’s like if they’re not playing the Steelers, they don’t even bother trying. The only blemishes on their record are just that, blemishes. This talented Ravens team has no right losing to the Titans, Jags and Seahawks. I sure hope we see the focused and determined Ravens for the rest of the season, or they could find themselves back in the wild card round instead of with cushy homefield advantage.
Last Week: 7
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3)The Steelers sit below the Ravens for now because they’ve already lost twice to their AFC North rival. But Baltimore should take note how Pittsburgh took care of business on the road in a tight game. One other concern for the Steelers is Big Ben’s fractured right thumb. He’s played hurt before, but it’s never good when your QB has a broken finger on his throwing hand.
Last Week: 12
New Orleans Saints (7-3)The Saints first quality road win was a must-have since New Orleans takes on the Giants and the Lions in the next two weeks. The good news is, those two huge NFC match-ups come at home, where the Saints haven’t lost yet this season.
Last Week: 14
Chicago Bears (6-3)They’re riding a four game winning streak thanks to a defense and special teams that came to life against the Lions this week, producing 21 points. Unfortunately, the offense went into hibernation and now Chicago will be operating without its starting left guard, Chris Williams, who is out for the rest of the season with a wrist injury.
Last Week: 6
Detroit Lions (6-3)That’s now three losses in their last four games for the Lions, none uglier than that meltdown in Chicago. The lack of a running game has put too much pressure on Matthew Stafford. After hooking up with Calvin Johnson on multiple big plays earlier in the year, Stafford has averaged less than 6 yards per attempt in all three of Detroit’s three losses.
Last Week: 8
New York Jets (5-4)The three-game winning streak came to a crashing thud against the Pats. If Jets fans want a silver lining in their current playoff standing, it’s this: the last two seasons, Gang Green has entered the playoffs as a wild card on the road, and both times they made it all the way to the AFC Championship game.
Last Week: 15
Dallas Cowboys (5-4)Tony Romo certainly looks healthy now, huh? Romo completed nearly 90 percent of his passes on Sunday for 3 TDs and no INTs in the team’s blowout win over Buffalo. With upcoming dates against Washington, Miami and Arizona, look for Romo to continue his hot streak.
Last Week: 10
Cincinnati Bengals (6-3)Well, we all wanted to know how surprising Cincy would stack up against their division rivals. After their loss to Pittsburgh, they’re 0-1 against the top tier of the AFC North. Up next, another huge division test in a road trip to Baltimore.
Last Week: 11
Atlanta Falcons (5-4)Mike Smith’s huge gamble on 4th and inches in overtime wasn’t just about losing a football game. The division loss means that if the Falcons want to return to the playoffs this year, they’ll have to do it through the wild card.
Last Week: 20
Oakland Raiders (5-4)Carson Palmer played his best game so far as a Raider (299 yards, 3 TDs) and now Oakland is in first place. If Palmer can get his turnovers under control (8 TOs in two and a half games), the Raiders – I repeat, THE RAIDERS – will be in the playoffs this season.
Last Week: 13
Buffalo Bills (5-4)Uh-oh. What’s going on with Ryan Fitzpatrick? Since he signed his contract extension, Fitzpatrick is 1-2 with 4 TDs and 6 INTs. This week against Miami looks like a must-win game for the Bills. If they want to stop their current 11-year streak of seasons without a playoff appearance, they have to knock off the ‘Fins.
Last Week: 19
Denver Broncos (4-5)Tebowmania goes primetime! Denver’s new QB might be just the type of quarterback that can take on the Jets tough cornerbacks; meaning a quarterback who doesn’t pass.
Last Week: 21
Tennessee Titans (5-4)Don’t look now, but the Titans are still in contention for a playoff spot. If the Texans fall back to the pack with the injury to QB Matt Schaub, the Titans could ride a tough D and a revived Chris Johnson to the league’s most unlikely division title.
Last Week: 16
Philadelphia Eagles (3-6)Michael Vick’s rib injury is just the latest in a long line of terrible news for Eagles fans this season. Even with Vick, the Eagles couldn’t close out teams in the fourth quarter, having blown five fourth quarter leads this season (four at home). Now they might be forced to give it a shot with the erratic Vince Young calling plays.
Last Week: 17
San Diego Chargers (4-5)It’s that time of the year again, where everyone piles on the Chargers for wasting their wealth of talent on a sub-par team. It’s also that time of year when the Chargers usually make their second half…ahem…charge to the playoffs. Don’t be surprised to see this team turn things around.
Last Week: 28
Seattle Seahawks (3-6)What has gotten into Marshawn Lynch lately? He’s rushed for over 100 yards in each of his last two games and has scored a touchdown in five straight games.
Last Week: 27
Arizona Cardinals (3-6)Dare I say we have a quarterback controversy in Arizona? John Skelton is now 2-0 as a starter including his impressive win on the road against the Eagles on Sunday.
Last Week: 23
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6)I love the defense in Jacksonville, but the offense needs more pop in the passing game. Maurice Jones-Drew has outgained his quarterback three different times this season. Until that corrects itself, the Jags are going to have a hard time putting up points (31st in the league in scoring).
Last Week: 18
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5)Things continue to fall apart in Tampa Bay. Not only have they lost three straight games, but it appears that Albert Haynesworth wants to serve as a mentor in the Bucs’ young locker room. YIKES.
Last Week: 29
Miami Dolphins (2-7)Going from 0-7 to 2-7 has never seemed more impressive. The ‘Fins defense has completely shut down the opposition during their back-to-back wins, tallying 8 sacks and 2 INTs while allowing only 12 points combined.
Last Week: 31
St. Louis Rams (2-7)If you project receiver Brandon Lloyd’s stats as a Ram over a full season, he’d have 84 catches and over 1,000 yards receiving. If St. Louis has any hopes of turning Sam Bradford into a franchise quarterback, they’re going to have to re-sign Lloyd this off-season.
Last Week: 22
Cleveland Browns (3-6)Leave it to the Browns to lose a game on a missed 22-yard field goal. It looks like Peyton Hillis’ Madden curse has extended to the entire team.
Last Week: 24
Minnesota Vikings (2-7)The NFL has certainly turned into a passing league, and that’s bad news for the Vikings. Minnesota ranks 28th in passing yards and 30th in passing yards allowed.
Last Week: 25
Carolina Panthers (2-7)Think it’s bad that Cam Newton has only led the Panthers to two wins so far this season? I’m on the other side. I think it’s amazing that he’s gotten them to two wins already. Carolina’s defense is nearly invisible when it’s on the field, giving up over 135 rushing yards per game and over 26 points.
Last Week: 26
Washington Redskins (3-6)After being shutout earlier this season for the first time in his career, Mike Shanahan has reached another career lowlight in Washington. The Redskins’ current five game losing streak is the longest in Shanahan’s 269 game coaching career.
Last Week: 30
Kansas City Chiefs (4-5)You got to hand it to the Chiefs. When they lose, they REALLY LOSE. In their four losses this season, the Chiefs have been outscored 157-40. Now the Chiefs head into a Monday night shootout with the Pats starting their back-up QB, Tyler Palko, a guy who has completed five career passes. I’m not a psychic, but I see another blowout in the Chiefs future.
Last Week: 32
Indianapolis Colts (0-10)Peyton Manning quipped that he’s 0-10 as an assistant coach this year. At least he’s 1-0 as a stand-up comedian.