We're a quarter of the way through the season, and five of the original Top 12 teams from the preseason are nowhere to be found. The most suprising of the group has to be the Atlanta Falcons, who started the season at #2 and are now 1-3 after losing to the Pats on Sunday. This week, we waved goodbye to Atlanta and Baltimore, with Detroit and Kansas City taking their place. Our big riser is the Niners, who moved up four spots to respectability after demolishing the Rams, and our biggest faller are the Bengals, who dropped four spots after falling to the lowly Browns.
This week is shaping up to be a very exciting one, as eight of our Top 12 teams go head-to-head. And of the four remaining teams, three are going up against teams who were on the Top 12 at some point earlier this year. Only Kansas City has it "easy" going on the road to Tennessee this week. You know what that means? Next week's board will likely look nothing like this one's.
#1 - Denver Broncos
At the moment, they are outpacing the 2007 Patriots. I don't think that winter will be kind to this Mile High team, however.
Last Week: 2 Change: +1 Record: 4-0 Next Game: @ Cowboys
#2 - New Orleans Saints
The Saints took care of business to make it to 4-0, and they've looked impressive nearly the entire way. There's very little to complain about so far in the Big Easy.
Last Week: 3 Change: +1 Record: 4-0 Next Game: @ Bears
#3 - New England Patriots
That was by far the best win of the year for the Patriots, who seem to be improving each week. With Gronk and Amendola set to return, expect the Pats to continue their trend upward.
Last Week: 4 Change: +1 Record: 4-0 Next Game: @ Bengals
#4 - Seattle Seahawks
Let's remove the hype for a second. What do we have? An ugly win against the Panthers. A strong blow-out win agains the Niners. A blow-out agains the horrendous Jaguars. A nail-biting win against a Texans team that basically threw away the game. Out of the four, only the Niners win was special. And the Carolina and Houston wins weren't so great. Is this any better than what the Patriots have done? Certainly not. Is it any worse? Probably not, either. But I'm tired of the Seattle hype, so the Seahawks are dropping to #4 this week.
Last Week: 1 Change: -3 Record: 4-0 Next Game: @ Colts
#5 - San Francisco 49ers
The Niners finally looked like who we thought they were. Now can they keep it up?
Last Week: 9 Change: +4 Record: 2-2 Next Game: vs. Texans
#6 - Chicago Bears
I dropped the Bears in consecutive weeks when they won. It's only fair that they stand pat after a loss. I'm still trying to figure this team out.
Last Week: 6 Change: 0 Record: 3-1 Next Game: vs. Saints
#7 - Green Bay Packers
The Pack stood firm during the bye. Now they have a surprising semi-must-win game against the Lions. It would not look good for them if they fell to 1-3 while Detriot sat at 4-1.
Last Week: 7 Change: 0 Record: 1-2 Next Game: vs. Lions
#8 - Indianapolis Colts
The Colts thumped the Niners. Can they continue their NFC West dominance?
Last Week: 12 Change: +4 Record: 3-1 Next Game: vs. Seahawks
#9 - Cincinnati Bengals
When you lose to the Browns, you deserve to drop four spots. Can anyone argue this?
Last Week: 5 Change: -4 Record: 2-2 Next Game: vs. Patriots
#10 - Detroit Lions
This is a huge game for the Lions coming up. If they win this one, they will have gone a long way towards putting the Packers in the rearview mirror and establishing themselves as a legit NFC North threat. If they lose... It could be the same old Lions.
Last Week: N/A Change: N/A Record: 3-1 Next Game: @ Packers
#11 - Kansas City Chiefs
How great would it be as a Pats fan if the Chiefs continued to roll and somehow sent Peyton Manning on the road in the Wild Card Round? Of course, that's assuming the Patriots wrapped up a bye week and the Broncos wouldn't be coming to Foxboro to start things off...
Last Week: N/A Change: N/A Record: 4-0 Next Game: @ Titans
#12 - Miami Dolphins
Not the best effort by the Dolphins, but we'll give them the nod for the unexpected 3-1 start. Certainly the Falcons, Ravens, and Texans don't deserve this #12 slot any more than they do.
Last Week: 11 Change: -1 Record: 3-1 Next Game: vs. Ravens