For the first time this season, the top ten stay the same but the bottom five get shuffled around.
- New England Patriots 6-0 (1)- The Patriots were put in the most danger of the season against their division rival Jets and were able to capitalize on a young team still maturing. Tom Brady led the team down the field on two different occasions in the fourth quarter to get the Patriots into the end zone to stop any hopes of a Jets upset. You also have to give massive credit to the Patriots for completely abandoning the run game allowing Brady to throw 54 times in the game. This is clearly a team that knows when to throw a game plan out the window if something isn’t working.
- Green Bay Packers 6-0 (2)- Green Bay was on a bye this week which was much needed if Aaron Rodgers hopes to take apart the top ranked Broncos defense.
- Cincinnati Bengals 6-0 (3)- The Bengals were also on a bye this week and much like the Packers, will need all the rest they need if they are going to go up against a healed Ben Roethlisberger.
- Carolina Panthers 6-0 (4)- The Panthers team continues to impress even if Cam Newton played below average. The Eagles put up more points than they probably should have but the defense made important stands to allow Carolina to keep the lead. While the score was close, the Eagles offense had trouble getting into rhythm with a strong pass rush from an underrated Panthers defense.
- Denver Broncos 6-0 (5)- The final team in the top ten coming off a bye this week, Denver can only hope Peyton Manning used the extra week to work on his passing game to get back into championship caliber form.
- Arizona Cardinals 4-2 (8)- After suffering from an embarrassing loss to a third string Steelers quarterback, the Cardinals kept the Ravens at bay and came away with a big win on Monday Night Football. With the Rams playing better than they have in years, the Cardinals are not going to be able to waltz into the playoffs like most thought they would a couple of weeks ago.
- Minnesota Vikings 4-2 (9)- I must admit, I thought the Vikings were going to fall apart when they had to travel to Detroit but instead really flourished and continue to cement their place in the top ten by beating teams who just last year would have destroyed them. Next week they face another big test when they travel to play the Bears in Chicago.
- Atlanta Falcons 6-1 (6)- Yes the Falcons won in Tennessee but they really should have won by more. The Titans even had a chance to win the game late in the fourth quarter but the Atlanta defense bailed out a struggling Matt Ryan who put up sad numbers for such a high contending team. If Tampa Bay was paying attention, they may be able to be the second team in the division to shut down the Falcons.
- Pittsburgh Steelers 4-3 (7)- The Steelers fell back a couple of spots in the standing after losing a big game against Kansas City. Even thought the Steelers played with a third string quarterback I expected the rest of the team to make up for the lack of a veteran under center. I expect all of that to change now that Big Ben should be back as the starting QB taking on the undefeated Bengals in a key divisional match up.
- New York Jets 4-2 (10)- I tossed around which New York team to round out the top ten and when it came down to it, there is no shame to losing to the best team in the NFL and the Jets very well could have knocked them off. After a full season together, this team could be one of those hot teams who are able to come together come January and cause upset after upset right up until the Super Bowl.
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