The 10th Sunday of NFL play shed some light on how the teams stack up. Here’s how I see it …
1. Saints — Keep finding ways to win. Not quite as pretty as it was early on.
2. Colts — You gotta be kidding me. They pulled that off? Amazing. What a game.
3. Vikings — No longer can I be accused of not putting this team high enough.
4. Patriots — I haven’t seen that kind of decision-making and suspect late-game management out of Bill Belichick in a long, long time. That one’s gonna sting for a while.
5. Bengals — No Antwan Odom, no Keith Rivers and no problem on D for the Bengals. Gotta love what these guys are doing. Sweeping the Steelers and Ravens? Child, please.
6. Steelers — They’ll be there in the end.
7. Chargers — They even got the run game rolling Sunday. All of a sudden, the AFC West is setting up for them.
8. Cardinals — They have a good chance to run away with the division. As long as they keep Kurt Warner healthy, they can be a factor.
9. Cowboys — I have a hard time putting them here. We all know they have more clunkers in them. Anyone else get the feeling the list of truly elite teams is dwindling more by the week?
10. Texans — Might still make a true believer out of me yet.
11. Ravens — Two looming games with Pittsburgh are vital.
12. Eagles — Spiraling and sputtering, and losing Brian Westbrook again won’t help the run game any.
13. Broncos — If Kyle Orton misses any amount of time, the drop could be very steep and sudden. Losing their mojo.
14. Giants — Let’s see how they come out of the bye.
15. Packers — Won one desperation game, but have a lot more to come.
16. Jaguars — Found a way to keep themselves in the playoff mix in a very tough AFC.
17. Dolphins — Ronnie Brown‘s status in a short week (on the Thursday night NFL Network game) will be key.
18. 49ers — They need Alex Smith to protect the football and Frank Gore to be a workhorse. Gutsy effort last Thursday.
19. Titans — Vince Young just keeps on winning. Owner Bud Adams is now capable of dancing on the sidelines (saw it with my own eyes in the preseason), and, well, celebrating in other ways.
20. Panthers — They are averaging 200 rushing yards per game since October. With Jake Delhomme protecting the football now, they’re a tough out.
21. Falcons — Matt Ryan‘s slump is very real, and even with the running game rolling, very damning.
22. Bears — If Jay Cutler played all his road games in primetime, he might throw 40 picks a season.
23. Jets — September seems like an awful long time ago, eh?
24. Seahawks — They end up in the same spot as a week ago. Not quite sure why, but things get murky down here in these parts.
25. Rams — They gave the Saints quite a scare. Steven Jackson keeps them in games.
26. Chiefs — They own the Raiders, which has to count for something.
27. Redskins — They showed great fight in a comeback win. Several people in that building have preferred Ladell Betts to Clinton Portis for a while now, and we may continue to see why.
28. Bills — Not much to cheer about these days.
29. Buccaneers — Tough, tough loss. Been more competitive since the bye.
30. Lions — They’re an automatic loss on the road.
31. Raiders — JaMarcus Russell is not very good, is he? I mean, no young quarterback would thrive in this circumstance, but still.
32. Browns — Cementing their status weekly with more chaos.