1. New England Patriots (2) 7-2. On the strength of their big victory in Foxboro over the Broncos the Patriots have the top spot this week. Brady and Gronk are clicking and their defense is improving. Own the all important tiebreaker over Denver for home field throughout the playoffs. Look out. Next Game: Bye Week
2. Arizona Cardinals (3) 7-1. I think it’s time we start to notice this team now. Bruce Arianas has lots of offensive weapons at his disposal and the defense is not afraid of blitzing any quarterback. The Redbirds are the only one loss team in the NFC and have beaten one of the only 2 loss teams with the other team coming up in 2 weeks. Next Game: Rams
3. Denver Broncos (1) 6-2. The loss in Foxboro knocks them off the top spot. When Peyton Manning says he stunk then the next opponent needs to watch out. Chalk it up to one of those games. I would be concerned about Wes Welker. Next Game: @ Oakland
4. Indianapolis Colts (5) 6-3. Andrew Luck organized a beat down of the Giants in NY on Monday night. Luck is in such a groove right now. With a 2 game lead and a 3-0 division record they will coast into the playoffs. But this team needs to play better defense against the better teams if they want to go anywhere in the playoffs. Next Game: Bye Week.
5. Detroit Lions (4) 6-2. Down a spot in a bye week. Have been winning with great defense while Megatron is on the shelf. That is impressive and so unlike the Lions. Golden Tate has emerged and will pair quite nicely with Mega when he comes back this week. Next Game: Dolphins
6. Cincinnati Bengals (6) 5-2-1. Kind of a ho hum win against the hapless Jaguars. Their division has all 4 teams over .500. EJ Green finally got back into the lineup. The emergence of Jeremy Hill will make this offense that much better. Next Game: Browns
7. Green Bay Packers (7) 5-3. The bye came at the right time with Aaron Rodgers tweaking his hamstring against the Saints. He is the one player the Pack can’t afford to lose. The offense has found their groove. The defense needs to improve. The division is now a 2 team race and the second place team may get shut out of the playoffs. Next Game: Bears
8. Philadelphia Eagles (8) 6-2. Adversity has now hit the Eagles. After successfully getting through injuries to key players quarterback Nick Foles now is on the shelf for 6 weeks with a broken clavicle. That puts the team in the hands of Mark Sanchez. And we know what kind of problems Sanchez has. Next Game: Panthers
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (UR) 6-3. Pittsburgh has cracked the top ten as Big Ben has been lighting up the league. This Steeler offense is explosive. But their defense must keep improving and keep forcing key turnovers. Next Game: @ Jets
10. Miami Dolphins (UR) 5-3. Gone is the bullying scandal of last year and now we know this team has real talent or Joe Philbin is just that great of a coach. Either way after that blowout over the Chargers on Sunday they round out the top 10. The next 3 weeks will tell us more about the Dolphins. Next Game @ Detroit.
On The Cusp:
Bills 5-3, Ravens 5-4, Browns 5-3, Chiefs 5-3, Chargers 5-4, Cowboys 6-3 & Seahawks 5-3.