In what may be a first for the Top 12, all twelve teams remained on the board this week, but none of them held the same position that they did last week. Things are starting to get interesting as we get deeper into the season.
#1 - Houston Texans
I underestimated the Texans last week by ranking them under the Bears. They not only proved me wrong, but they took back the top spot on the board thanks to New Orleans knocking off Atlanta.
Last Week: 3 Change: +2 Record: 8-1 Next Game: vs. Jaguars
#2 - Atlanta Falcons
It was a good run at the top for the Falcons. Now it's time to prove that they can perform in the post-season, which is really all that matters.
Last Week: 1 Change: -1 Record: 8-1 Next Game: vs. Cardinals
#3 - Green Bay Packers
Only one team has beaten both the Texans and the Bears, and that's Green Bay. That's a pretty solid argument for them being #1 on the board. Actually, I'm not quite sure why I'm sticking the Pack at #3 given that fact, other than out of respect for the total package put forth by Houston and Atlanta over the past 10 weeks.
Last Week: 5 Change: +2 Record: 6-3 Next Game: @ Lions
#4 - Chicago Bears
Losing a close game against a top tier team is nothing ot be ashamed of, even if the Bears have fallen flat during their two biggest games so far this season. What's more concerning is possibly losing Jay Cutler if this concussion lingers.
Last Week: 2 Change: -2 Record: 7-2 Next Game: @ 49ers
#5 - New England Patriots
The Patriots may have found themselves rising even higher this week if they had blown out Buffalo like they should have. One step at a time...
Last Week: 6 Change: +1 Record: 6-3 Next Game: vs. Colts
#6 - San Francisco 49ers
All you need to know is that the Patriots won 45-7 over the team that the 49ers just tied (eeewww) to understand why they are currently in the #6 spot.
Last Week: 4 Change: -2 Record: 6-2-1 Next Game: vs. Bears
#7 - Denver Broncos
The Peyton Manning hype train is moving full speed ahead. I'm partially on board, but have to wonder how much of Denver's success is due to lackluster competition.
Last Week: 9 Change: +2 Record: 6-3 Next Game: vs. Chargers
#8 - Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens hung 55 on the Raiders, which is worth a bump. Still, it was the Raiders. We've yet to see Baltimore really hang with a good team since their rash of injuries, so I remain a bit suspect about them.
Last Week: 10 Change: +2 Record: 7-2 Next Game: @ Steelers
#9 - New York Giants
The Giants have looked awful the past two games, but I can't in good conscious say that Seattle is a better team than them right now, so they will only fall one spot as a result.
Last Week: 8 Change: -1 Record: 6-4 Next Game: Bye Week
#10 - Seattle Seahawks
The Hawks are deadly at home. Too bad they will likely spend their post-season on the road as the NFC's #6 seed.
Last Week: 11 Change: +1 Record: 6-4 Next Game: Bye Week
#11 - Indianapolis Colts
I never thought this Week 11 matchup for the Patriots was going to be a tough contest. It looks like the return of the Pats/Colts rivalry happened sooner than anyone could have expected.
Last Week: 1s Change: +1 Record: 6-3 Next Game: @ Patriots
#12 - Pittsburgh Steelers
Barely beating KC on MNF? Unimpressive. Potentially losing Rapistberger for several weeks with a shoulder injury? Concerning. Screwing the Patriots over by not being at full strength for your two games against the Ravens? Maddening.
That's how you drop five spots in one week, my friends.
Last Week: 7 Change: -5 Record: 6-3 Next Game: vs. Ravens