Not much changed in the hierarchy of the NFC this week. Virtually all of the serious playoff contenders won, except for the Bucs and I'll let you decide whether they were actually a serious playoff contender. I have the Eagles holding firm at #8 and just missing out on jumping teams like the Ravens and Jets. This week is a real opportunity for the birds though, as you'll see I've given Dallas credit for the way they've played over the past few weeks.
I've tried to make this week's rankings more about how teams are playing as opposed to just what their record is.
(2) Atlanta Falcons (10-2) – Took a big step toward getting the #1 seed in the NFC, which should scare pretty much every other team in the conference. Atlanta is a great team at home. They’re a good team on the road. (LW: 3)
(4) New Orleans Saints (9-3) – The second best team in the NFC is the second best team in the NFC South. (LW: 4)
(6) Baltimore Ravens (8-4) – Joe Flacco came up small when the Ravens really needed him to make a play. That seems to becoming a theme for them. Can you trust that guy at playoff time? Not yet. (LW: 5)
(7) New York Jets (9-3) – The Jets have beat exactly one team with a winning record this year. They’ve been eeking out wins against bad teams the past few weeks. They ran up against a good team and got smoked. (LW: 2)
(8) Philadelphia Eagles (8-4) – With Dallas and Minnesota playing better, the Eagles suddenly have a tough stretch run in front of them. (LW: 9)
(10) Green Bay Packers (8-4) – Another team with a tough run to the end of the season that we’re going to learn a lot about. (LW: 8)
(11) Kansas City Chiefs (8-4) – This is a team that should scare anyone at home. They’re eventually going to have to go on the road in the playoffs and I have a hard time seeing how anyone could bet on them in that spot. (LW: 12)
(12) Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5) – Your AFC south leaders. That division is the AFC’s answer to the NFC South. (LW: 16)
(13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) – This a decent team, but their record was inflated by a very easy schedule. They’ve yet to beat a winning team all year. (LW: 13)
(14) St. Louis Rams (6-6) – The NFC West has a .500 team! In the next couple years, this team has shot to be actually good (LW: 19)
(15) Seattle Seahawks (6-6) – What an exciting race for the NFC West! Who will be best of the worst? (LW: 20)
(16) Oakland Raiders (6-6) – This is the spot in the power rankings where things really go downhill. (LW: 18)
(18) Minnesota Vikings (5-7) – Of all the interim coaches, I think Leslie Frasier has the best shot at keeping the job. (LW: 25)
(21) Indianapolis Colts (6-6) – 8 INTS for Manning over two weeks. I’m talking about Peyton by the way. (LW: 14)
(22) Miami Dolphins (6-6) – Last week I said "I have absolutely no idea what to expect of this team from week to week." I’m starting to expect them to stink now, and they aren’t letting me down. (LW: 15)
(25) Washington Redskins (5-7) – I was going to say it’s getting ugly in Washington, but I realized there’s no reason to use the word "getting." (LW: 22)
(26) San Francisco 49ers (4-8) – Mike Singletary is going back to Alex Smith this week. I was going to explore why, but I just decided to go on living my life instead. (LW: 24)
(27) Buffalo Bills (2-10) – Last week was one of only two times this season they’ve beaten by more than one score. (LW: 28).
(28) Denver Broncos (3-9) – Maybe I should have moved them up simply because they shed themselves of Josh McDaniels. (LW: 27)
(29) Detroit Lions (2-10) – Got screwed by the refs against the Bears… again! (LW: 29)
(31) Arizona Cardinals (3-9) – Meet the owners of the second longest losing streak in the NFL. 7 straight. (LW: 30)
(32) Carolina Panthers (1-11) – This show "The Walking Dead" is really good huhg? (LW: 32)