After a quiet few weeks, chaos has resumed in the Top 12 with teams flying up and down the board. And folks, there's a new #1 in town...
#1 - New England Patriots
Who looked better than the Patriots last week? Nobody. Who looked like they belonged to even be mentioned in the same sentence as the Patriots last week? The Niners, maybe? But San Fran was beating up on a backup QB. While most of the other contenders with slipping and struggline, the Pats hung 59 on a potential playoff team. The only reason I can think of to not put them #1 is the Gronk injury, but it's not like everyone else is so healthy.
Last Week: 5 Change: +4 Record: 7-3 Next Game: @ Jets
#2 - San Francisco 49ers
Another dominant win for the Niners, but it may not have been quite so lopsided if Jay Cutler was playing. Their next game against New Orleans could make quite the statement if they stamp out a streaking Drew Brees.
Last Week: 6 Change: +4 Record: 7-2-1 Next Game: @ Saints
#3 - Green Bay Packers
With a better showing against the Lions, Green Bay could have climbed to #1. Up next are the Giants, who seem to have the Pack's number as of late.
Last Week: 3 Change: 0 Record: 7-3 Next Game: @ Giants
#4 - Houston Texans
#1 teams don't need overtime to barely hang on and defeat 1-9 teams like the Jaguars. That was about as disgraceful of a win as you can get.
Last Week: 1 Change: -3 Record: 9-1 Next Game: @ Lions
#5 - Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta just hung on to escape the Cardinals. Another non-inspiring win from a big-time team. They'll have to do better than that against the red-hot Buccs this Sunday.
Last Week: 2 Change: -3 Record: 9-1 Next Game: @ Buccaneers
#6 - Denver Broncos
The Peyton Manning hype train is picking up a lot of steam. Tom Brady may just have to derail it this January.
Last Week: 7 Change: +1 Record: 7-3 Next Game: @ Chiefs
#7 - Baltimore Ravens
I'm not really sure they deserve a raise in the rankings after how putrid that battle was with the Steelers. However, the Ravens keep finding ways to win despite their crop of injuries and you have to respect that a bit.
Last Week: 8 Change: +1 Record: 8-2 Next Game: @ Chargers
#8 - New York Giants
The G-Men get a bump coming off their bye. Now they play the Packers in a game that will either have everyone back on the bandwagon, or back to calling for Coughlin and Eli's head. Fickle New York Giants fans...
Last Week: 9 Change: +1 Record: 6-4 Next Game: vs. Packers
#9 - New Orleans Saints
Talk about a feel good story. The much maligned Saints have crawled their way back to .500 It's a very tough road ahead, but everyone will be cheering them on as they seek to stick it to Commisioner Goodell.
Last Week: N/A Change: N/A Record: 5-5 Next Game: vs. 49ers
#10 - Seattle Seahawks
Seattle holds steady after a week of rest. This next game against Miami is a critical one for securing a playoff spot. They can't afford to let opportunities like this slip by.
Last Week: 10 Change: 0 Record: 6-4 Next Game: @ Dolphins
#11 - Chicago Bears
I feel bad dropping Chicago this far, but they looked downright awful without Cutler on Monday Night. What happened to their prolific defense?
Last Week: 4 Change: -7 Record: 7-3 Next Game: vs. Vikings
#12 - Indianapolis Colts
Indy ran into a buzzsaw on Sunday, but for the first 20 minutes or so they had me sweating. The post-Manning Colts are going to be just fine.
Last Week: 11 Change: -1 Record: 6-4 Next Game: vs. Bills