1.) Saints — Survived short week on road; still banking on them to peak when it counts.
2.) Patriots — The ability to simply pull away from people in the fourth quarter is special.
3.) Falcons – Another superb effort against a top opponent. If they hold on to top seed could be quite a playoff run.
4.) Chargers — They own Nov./Dec. … but better get something done in January.
5.) Jets — Can’t help but wonder if their good fortune turns at some point.
6.) Ravens — Ugly but effective win. Joe Flacco has been very good. If they sweep Steelers will win the division.
7.) Packers – Tough, tough assignment on road and came awful close.
8.) Steelers — Big Ben looking banged up. Got pushed around by the Bills at times.
9.) Bears — I may have totally whiffed on this team. Didn’t think they’d overcome the play of the offensive line. Still not convinced they get in playoffs.
10.) Eagles — Asante Samuel is a very good corner, but come on. They utterly fall apart in the secondary without him?
11.) Giants — Must-win game against wounded Redskins offensive line. Should be able to get after the passer.
12.) Colts – Gonna win that division, but if they have to go outside the dome I don’t see them doing playoff damage.
13.) Chiefs – I know it was against a porous rush defense, but steamrolling Seattle like that isn’t easy.
14.) Bucs — Winning on road in Baltimore was never gonna be easy. Showed very well. Still in the wild card hunt.
15.) Jaguars — Get another crack at Colts. Let one slip away against Giants that could haunt them.
16.) Browns — They’re gonna give every team a fight down the stretch.
17.) Rams — One weekend can turn it all around in the NFC West. If they can win again on road — at Seattle specifically — could take that division.
18.) Dolphins — Chad Henne been through an awful lot the last few weeks. Big, big win for him with some weapons out.
19.) Bills – I love this spunky bunch of upstarts. Quietly one of the better stories in the league. Could have beat Pats, Ravens and Steelers.
20.) 49ers — Last week I wrote: “It’s over. Troy Smith magic runs out.” I underestimated the ineptitude of the NFC West.
21.) Vikings – Finally win on road. Nice effort for Leslie Frazier, but losing AP for any period of time now would be crushing
22.) Redskins – Can’t really sustain much of anything on either side of the ball from week to week.
23.) Raiders — Could Tom Cable coach his way right back on the hot seat? Maybe a better question is: Has he ever coached his way off of it?
24.) Seahawks — You can’t go getting spanked like that at home. Schedule still sets up pretty well for them, however.
25.) Cowboys — Where was this mentality the first half of the season?
26.) Texans — Kings of too little, too late.
27.) Titans — Could be the exact opposite of how they finished a year ago.
28.) Broncos – No team does more in garbage time! And few teams are worse through the first three quarters. This video taping scandal won’t die easy.
29.) Lions – They can stay with you for three quarters, but they can’t close yet.
30.) Cardinals — To be relatively non-competitive in the NFC West tells you something.
31.) Bengals — 2011 could be sans Marvin Lewis, Chad Ochocinco, Cedric Benson, T.O. and Carson Palmer.
32.) Panthers — Just gonna go with what I wrote last week: “Hearing Russ Grimm and Ron Rivera could be guys they look at as head coach in 2011.