Being undefeated makes the Atlanta Falcons, at the moment, the number one team in the NFL. But you should consider the Baltimore Ravnes, Houston Texans, New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers as well when you’re talking about the best teams in the league.
1. Atlanta Falcons (6-0) – Still undefeated, although it’s hard to explain how exactly. Have won their last three games by 7 points or less. Their defense gives up a lot of yards, but allows only 18.8 points per game.
2. Baltimore Ravnes (5-1) – Were a tad lucky to get through the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday, but the bigger news are the injuries to its defense. Right now, they’re still very strong, but next week might expose that this is now a very different team without its leader.
3. New York Giants (4-2) – The win over the 49ers was so impressive, despite the fact that Eli Manning didn’t post big numbers. A re-found running game and more importantly, a defense that made life impossible for the quarterback.
4. Houston Texans (5-1) – Without Brian Cushing, life might not be so easy as before. Still, their defensive front is one of the best in the NFL, combined with a powerhouse running game.
5. San Francisco 49ers (4-2) – Alex Smith’s abilities under pressure were exposed, but Jim Harbaugh should learn from the mistakes he made. Still, the best running game in the league with probably the best defense as well.
6. Chicago Bears (4-2) – Haven’t been beating the best of teams, but they haven’t won by less than 17 so far, and they have the best rushing defense in the NFL.
7. Seattle Seahawks (4-2) – The Seahawks rank second in PPG allowed with 15.5 per game, second in opponents rushing yards (70) and have a rookie quarterback who is just getting better, with one of the best running games in the NFL.
8. New England Patriots (3-3) – Such a good offense (1st in total offense this season , but their inability to stop the pass is killing them with leads as teams forsake the running game and simply bomb their secondary.
9. Green Bay Packers (3-3) – Aaron Rodgers and his offense were finally found in Houston of all places this week, a quality win that should push the Packers towards a better second half (and some) of the season.
10. Minnesota Vikings (4-2) – One of the best defenses in the NFL got torched by the Redskins and Robert Griffin III, allowing 183 rushing yards and 138 from the rookie QB.
11. Denver Broncos (3-3) – It was tough start from the Broncos, but all-in-all, should feel OK about their record and the way their offense is shaping up, 4th in the league in passing yards with 290.8 per game.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) – Find new ways to lose every week, with the turnovers continuing to be the number one problem on a team that performs very well in other areas.
13. Arizona Cardinals (4-2) – The magic of the 4-0 start is gone, and all the problems of the offensive line, giving up 22 sacks over the last 3 games, have been exposed. A great defense can’t cover for that.
14. Washington Redskins (3-3) – RG III has a lot to work on his passing and mostly his passing decisions, but he’s a special talent, who can win games by himself.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3) – Amazing numbers – 7th in the league in passing, 31st in rushing yards. Their defense? great, top 5 in the league, but can’t manage to hold on to leads on the road, getting outscored 40-16 on away games in fourth quarters.
16. San Diego Chargers (3-3) – Philip Rivers and Norv Turner are at it again, as bad coaching and bad quarterbacking combined for one of the more embarrassing second half displays in recent NFL history.
17. Dallas Cowboys (2-3) – Played pretty well against the Baltimore Ravens, but until the Romo-Garrett-Offensive Line things gets worked out, the Cowboys are going to continue to struggle despite their offensive talent and pretty good defense.
18. Miami Dolphins (3-3) – Their early schedule can’t compare to the road ahead (Seahawks, Patriots x2, 49ers), but the Dolphins actually have a lot of faith in their rookie quarterback, as long as he’s not throwing interceptions.
19. Detroit Lions (2-3) – One of the more inconsistent teams on both sides of the ball you’ll come across this season, but Stafford has the ability and the targets to come up with big plays if the Lions are within reach in the end of the game.
20. New York Jets (3-3) – As long as the Jets work to establish the running game before Mark Sanchez begins throwing, they’re not that bad of a team.
21. St. Louis Rams (3-3) – A good defense might not be enough in the upcoming month, which includes games against the Packers, Patriots and the 49ers.
22. Cincinnati Bengals (3-3) – Getting killed by Dalton’s interceptions, but his offensive line isn’t doing a very good job in protecting him.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) – The only thing the Bucs do well is stopping the run, which is the first thing on the menu when you’re facing the Chiefs.
24. New Orleans Saints (1-4) – Have tons of talent on offense, but as long as this defense keeps giving up over 30 points per game, there’s not much hope for smiles when the season ends.
25. Indianapolis Colts (2-3) – A team that looks awful on the road, with Andrew Luck’s completion percentage dropping by 5% and throwing only 1 touchdown to 5 interceptions so far.
26. Buffalo Bills (3-3) – The Bills finally got something out of their highly paid defensive line, but it was against the easy-to-sack Arizona Cardinals, so it’s not saying much.
27. Tennessee Titans (2-4) – For the second time this season, Chris Johnson showed some signs of life, helping the Titans stun the Steelers. With him, they’re not a terrible team. Just a bad one.
28. Oakland Raiders (1-4) – A good chance to work on those improvements and hope for Darren McFadden to start picking up some yards in a game against a weak Jacksonville Jaguars.
29. Carolina Panthers (1-4) – Cam Newton is the passing game and the running game. The Panthers can’t keep playing like this and actually hope for a turnaround, especially after scoring only 19 points (total) in their two home losses.
30. Cleveland Browns (1-5) – New ownership taking over might be the push the Browns need to win their first road game since September 2011.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) – Only a spot higher because the fans haven’t cheered when their starting quarterback got injured.
32. Kansas City Chiefs (1-5) – It’s getting harder and harder to understand how they got their one win.