1. Denver Broncos (6-1); beat San Diego 35-21 (Thursday), retains same ranking – Denver took care of business in a showdown between two of the league’s top teams, once again solidifying their top ranking.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (5-1); bye week, moves up two spots – Everybody looks at this team as an offensive unit first. However, their special teams are really doing the job with seven TDs this year.
3. Dallas Cowboys (6-1); beat NY Giants 31-21, moves up six spots – DeMarco Murray is now the only running back in NFL history to start the season with seven 100-yard rushing efforts. Expect #8 against Oakland this weekend.
4. San Diego Chargers (5-2); lost to Denver 35-21 (Thursday), drops two spots – A loss at Denver certainly doesn’t put a grim prospect on the rest of a bright season.
6. Indianapolis Colts (5-2); beat Cincinnati 27-0, moves up one spot – The Indy defense has destroyed teams on third down, holding them to a 16% conversion rate and a QBR of 3.
7. San Francisco 49ers (4-3); lost to Denver 42-17, drops three spots – Injuries have decimated the Niners defense, and they had no shot against Denver’s outstanding offense.
8. New England Patriots (4-2); beat NY Jets 27-25, retains same ranking – Tom Brady is 3-0 against the Bears in his career, and he’d like to keep that streak going this Sunday.
9. Green Bay Packers (5-2); beat Carolina 38-17, moves up one spot – Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 3 TD’s and no interceptions in four straight games, a historical mark he shares with Brady.
10. Seattle Seahawks (3-3); lost to St. Louis 28-26, drops six spots – The Seattle defensive pressure just isn’t what it was last season, and they’ve lost two straight games.
11. Detroit Lions (5-2); beat New Orleans 24-23, moves up one spot – Detroit finally found itself in the last few minutes against the Saints. The win helps them keep pace with Green Bay for the NFC North lead.
12. Baltimore Ravens (5-2); beat Atlanta 29-7, moves up one spot – Baltimore just keeps blowing teams out, as their league-leading 12.7 points margin per game stat suggests.
14. Kansas City Chiefs (3-3); beat San Diego 23-20, moves up six spots – We were hard on the Chiefs early in the season. But they definitely look to move up with upcoming games against the Rams (2-4) and Jets (1-6).
15. Miami Dolphins (3-3); beat Chicago 27-14, moves up three spots – Ryan Tannehill has had some of the best games of his career lately. He looks to continue the good times against the Jaguars’ league-worst pass defense.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3); beat Houston 30-23, NR – Last Monday’s game against Houston got off to a rough start for Pittsburgh. However, they scored 3 TD’s in under two minutes to change everything.
18. Chicago Bears (3-4); lost to Miami 27-14, drops five spots – A painful home loss to the Dolphins was followed by a locker room shouting match. Is it too late for the Bears?
19. Carolina Panthers (3-3-1); lost to Green Bay 38-17, drops four spots – Carolina has given up 24 touchdowns this year – more than any other team. Furthermore, it’s three more than they surrendered all of last season.
20. Cleveland Browns (3-3); lost to Jacksonville 24-6, drops three spots – At least Cleveland faces Oakland (0-6) to try and bounce back from losing to another one of the league’s worst teams.