It's a quiet week for the Top 12, as eight of the top nine teams all walked away with wins. That's not to say that there wasn't some mild shifting going on, but nothing overly stunning. With a lot of the big dogs playing sub-par teams, there is room for some excitement next week if our Top 12 underpeform.
#1 - San Francisco 49ers
The Niners have simply steamrolled their AFC East opponents the past two weeks by a combined score of 79-3. I don't think you can make a stronger argument for them being #1.
Last Week: 2 Change: +1 Record: 4-1 Next Game: vs. Giants
#2 - Houston Texans
The Texans get their first taste of adversity by losing their star LB Cushing. The Packers and Ravens loom large the next two weeks as well. It's time for Houston to prove they belong among the league's elite.
Last Week: 1 Change: -1 Record: 5-0 Next Game: vs. Packers
#3 - Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have had some close calls the past two weeks. Still, I won't rain on their 5-0 parade by dropping them this week..
Last Week: 3 Change: 0 Record: 5-0 Next Game: vs. Raiders
#4 - New England Patriots
The Patriots have looked down right unstoppable at times. Still, they always manage to do something that keeps me from being entirely sold on their performance. Two weeks ago, it was the slow start against the Bills. This week, they let the Broncos creep back within 10 after leading by 21.
Last Week: 4 Change: 0 Record: 3-2 Next Game: @ Seahawks
#5 - Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have been playing down to the competition, similar to last year. A 9-6 win over the Chiefs? Come on! However, unlike last year, they are winning these poor performances instead of losing them.
Last Week: 5 Change: 0 Record: 4-1 Next Game: vs. Cowboys
#6 - Chicago Bears
With the Packers hovering under .500, and the Bears pulling off some impressive wins, it's certainly time to re-think who the top team in the NFC North is. My vote goes to Chicago.
Last Week: 8 Change: +2 Record: 4-1 Next Game: Bye Week
#7 - Minnesota Vikings
The Vikes just keep on winning. It's not always flashy, but their formula of sound defense and power running is a recipe for success. They might slow down a bit as the season drags on, but they'll be in the playoff hunt the entire way.
Last Week: 12 Change: +5 Record: 4-1 Next Game: @ Redskins
#8 - New York Giants
The Giants have been up and down all season, and sometimes even within the confines of a single game. Sunday in Cleveland was yet another contest where they looked horrendous before turning on the jets and blowing past their opponent.
Last Week: 11 Change: +3 Record: 3-2 Next Game: @ 49ers
#9 - Green Bay Packers
Surprisingly enough, the Packers might not even be the second best team in their division. They have a HUGE statement game coming up next week against Houston. 2-4 would be completely unacceptable and indicate that Green Bay's problems may be bigger than the replacement refs.
Last Week: 6 Change: -3 Record: 2-3 Next Game: @ Texans
#10 - Arizona Cardinals
Just when I started believing, Kevin Kolb and the Cardinals pulled the rug out from under me. Shame on you fellas. It's going to be a hard climb for you up this board.
Last Week: 7 Change: -3 Record: 4-1 Next Game: vs. Buffalo
#11 - Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh is once again on the board after falling off. I think the state of Pennsylvania is schizophrenic this year as you can never tell which team is going to show up. In the battle for state supremacy, the slighly less manic team won out.
Last Week: N/A Change: N/A Record: 2-2 Next Game: @ Titans
#12 - Philadelphia Eagles
I thought strongly about knocking the Iggles off the board yet again after another turnover-laden loss. However, something has to break the trend of them flip-flopping on and off week after week. Maybe keeping them in the Top 12, just barely, this week with break the vicious cycle.
Last Week: 9 Change: -3 Record: 3-2 Next Game: vs. Lions