With the Arizona Cardinals losing to the Seattle Seahawks, it’s safe to say that the New England Patriots, after another convincing win, are the best team in the NFL at the moment, although their visit to the Green Bay Packers might change that assumption very quickly.
1. New England Patriots, 9-2: Seven straight wins and a defense that is no longer the Achilles heel of this team make them the best in the NFL right now.
2. Green Bay Packers, 8-3: Aaron Rodgers gets help from Eddie Lacy from time to time. It’s going to be a mega game when they clash with the Patriots.
3. Denver Broncos, 8-3: The Broncos defense and their offensive line are something to be worried about for a team that wants to win a Super Bowl.
4. Dallas Cowboys, 8-3: This defense isn’t going to win a championship, but this offensive line can make up for it against almost anyone.
5. Seattle Seahawks, 7-4: Played like they’re expected to in a dominant win over the Cardinals, who couldn’t get anything going their way on offense.
6. Arizona Cardinals, 9-2: Not just missed their quarterback in their visit to Seattle, but played without their best offensive player.
7. Philadelphia Eagles, 8-3: Perfect at home. Cowboys are perfect on the road. It’ll be interesting when the two teams meet.
8. Indianapolis Colts, 7-4: There’s nothing quite like playing the Jags if you’re looking to bounce back from a Patriots beatdown.
9. Cincinnati Bengals, 7-3-1: The one thing that determines how good the Bengals will be is whether or not Andy Dalton keeps his composure or implodes in each game.
10. Baltimore Ravens, 7-4: A defense and running game that most of the time seem to make the Ravens a team worthy of being considered as Super Bowl contenders.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers: It’s interesting to think just how many hits can Ben Roethlisberger keep take and still function at quarterback.
12. Kansas City Chiefs, 7-4: Things were looking so good for the Chiefs until that moment when they lost to the Oakland Raiders. Now it’s hard to respect them.
13. San Francisco 49ers, 7-4: Boring and disappointing to watch, but they’re winning the bad games, which is always a hint of a dangerous team.
14. Miami Dolphins, 6-5: Their best season in quite some time will probably end without a playoff berth. All that’s left is hoping that there’s continuation, and maybe even a huge finish this season.
15. San Diego Chargers, 7-4: Philip Rivers looked great, but the Chargers look less convincing as the season drags on.
16. Detroit Lions, 7-4: Matthew Stafford is awful on the road, always has been, and the Lions have a real, hard cap ceiling from becoming a team to be feared when it comes to the playoffs, if they get there.
17. Cleveland Browns, 7-4: It’s hard to really decide on how good the Browns are. They’re better than before, but they’ve had some real duds along the way, and if it wasn’t for Mike Smith, they wouldn’t be winning this weekend.
18. Buffalo Bills, 6-5: Detroit saved them from the snow, and the Bills responded with their most dominant win this season.
19. New Orleans Saints, 4-7: A third loss at home, and the Saints look like a team that even out of the NFC South won’t make the playoffs.
20. St. Louis Rams, 4-7: It’s fun to watch them, but you can’t really succeed in the NFL with such glaring problems at running back and quarterback.
21. Chicago Bears, 5-6: Who needs a quarterback when your team generates four turnovers?
22. Houston Texans, 5-6: The only sub .500 team in the AFC that can still make the playoffs. They won’t because of their quarterback situation.
23. Atlanta Falcons, 4-7: Even if they do make the playoffs, it’s time for Mike Smith to go.
24. Minnesota Vikings, 4-7: When McKinnon doesn’t have a big game to help out Bridgewater, the Vikings aren’t good enough to hang with almost anyone.
25. Carolina Panthers, 3-7-1: A bye week might give them some sort of jolt to spark some life back into their season, which is looking very dreary up until now.
26. New York Giants, 3-8: The defense and running game are so bad it’s makes almost forget what a good season Eli Manning is having.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2-9: The only reason I feel a bit more optimistic about the Bucs than the Titans is that they seem to be more committed to doing everything possible in order to get back to better times.
28. Washington Redskins, 3-8: It’s actually mesmerizing to watch Robert Griffin III look worse and worse with every passing week.
29. Tennessee Titans, 2-9: Zach Mettenberger is putting on some big numbers, but he isn’t convincing anyone that he’s someone to count on for the future.
30. New York Jets, 2-9: It’s sad watching a team struggle so much on offense with no help in sight.
31. Oakland Raiders, 1-10: This season is now just embarrassing, not historically a disaster.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-10: Just because they didn’t score a single touchdown in the loss to the Colts.