The New England Patriots retain the top spot in the power rankings despite their struggles against the New York Giants, while the Carolina Panthers are keeping up with the pace, something which can’t be said for the Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers. At the bottom? The Cleveland Browns, the only team to lose eight games so far this season.
1. New England Patriots, 9-0: Surviving their most difficult game of the season might mean there’s nothing left to fear on the road to perfection.
2. Carolina Panthers, 9-0: Cam Newton has been terrific this season in the fourth quarter. In their latest win, he was almost perfect in the first one as well.
3. Arizona Cardinals, 7-2: The Cardinals scored 39 points in the win over the Seahawks, 30 more than in both games combined last season vs Seattle.
4. Cincinnati Bengals, 8-1: Unable to score a touchdown in their first loss of the season, Andy Dalton also converted just 25% of his team’s third down situations.
5. Minnesota Vikings, 7-2: Adrian Peterson now has six games of more than 200 yards in his career, two more than anyone else since entering the league in 2007.
6. Denver Broncos, 7-2: Manning was 1-of-14 (7.1%) for 17 yards and 4 interceptions on throws more than 5 yards downfield Sunday, the worst completion percentage on such throws for any quarterback in the last 10 seasons.
7. Green Bay Packers, 6-3: Aaron Rodgers faced 23 blitzes in the loss to the Lions, completing just 9-of-21 (42.9%) against i.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers, 6-4: Having Ben Roethlisberger as a backup quarterback isn’t bad at all.
9. Atlanta Falcons, 6-3: Roddy White is unhappy with the number of touches he’s getting, but he thinks the Falcons can finish 7-0 the rest of the way.
10.Buffalo Bills, 5-4: The curse of the week after a win for Rex Ryan is over. Now, it’s time to see if he can get the Bills into the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
11. New York Giants, 5-5: Always get more out when it’s against the Patriots. Despite everything, the NFC is still theirs for the taking.
12. Kansas City Chiefs, 4-5: Three straight wins for the Chiefs, who suddenly look like the most scary defense in the league, especially for old, immobile quarterbacks.
13. New York Jets, 5-4: Despite holding Buffalo to just 280 yards, it’s hard to win with four turnovers to none, complicating things for the Jets after such an excellent start to the season.
14. Indianapolis Colts, 4-5: The Colts have the second easiest schedule in the AFC South coming off the bye, as they try to finish first in the worst division in football.
15. Washington Redskins, 4-5: With a career high four touchdown passes in the win over the Saints, Kirk Cousins suddenly looks like a QB the Redskins would like to keep for more than this season.
16. St. Louis Rams, 4-5: With Nick Foles playing like he’s not interesting in being a starter anywhere, Todd Gurley isn’t going to be a lot of help.
17. Seattle Seahawks, 4-5: Found a new way to lose in the fourth quarter, this time by regaining the lead before dropping it again.
18. Chicago Bears, 4-5: With every game that goes by, Jay Cutler looks more and more like the quarterback who’ll stay in Chicago for a few more years.
19. Miami Dolphins, 4-5: If Ndamukong Suh is actually progressing like Dan Campbell says he is, teams need to start worrying about the Miami defense.
20. Philadelphia Eagles, 4-5: Chip Kelly might be confident in Mark Sanchez filling in for Sam Bradford, but he is one of a rare few.
21. Oakland Raiders, 4-5: The Raiders offense was what let them down against the Vikings, shut out for the entire second half.
22. New Orleans Saints, 4-6: Awful on the road, OK at home. Now it’s time to see if the coordinator was the defense’s problems, or is it just bad players.
23. Houston Texans, 4-5: Is T.J. Yates the new savior?
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4-5: It’s hard to say if the Bucs should be happy or just numb about the fact that they held the awful Cowboys offense to 216 yards.
25. San Francisco 49ers, 3-6: Blaine Gabbert, right now, is a week by week starter. He’ll get a chance next game, but nothing is certain beyond that.
26. Baltimore Ravens, 2-7: The NFL confirmed the officials practically took a win away from the Ravens. It’s funny that Harbaugh said he is not allowed to comment on whether league acknowledged mistake.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars, 3-6: Five of their last six games have been decided by 7 points or less, either way. Needed officials to make mistakes to escape with their third win of the season.
28. San Diego Chargers, 2-7: Took a rest this week from putting up big offensive numbers in a useless kind of manner.
29. Detroit Lions, 2-7: For one cold afternoon in Green Bay, Detroit looked like a competent football team again on both ends of the field. It won’t be enough to make them feel good about this season.
30. Tennessee Titans, 2-7: Back to losing, and also losing players for the season: WR Justin Hunter had ankle surgery and CB Jason McCourty.
31. Dallas Cowboys, 2-7: Their roster quality should make them a top 10, maybe even top 5 team. But it seems they no longer believe in their ability to do anything on offense. Tony Romo coming back might change that.
32. Cleveland Browns, 2-8: Johnny Manziel didn’t look too bad in the loss to the Steelers, but the rest of the team seems miles away from being competitive in the NFL.