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Thanks to Aaron Rodgers, there is only one unbeaten team left in the NFL. Rodgers tossed six touchdowns against the banged up Houston Texans defense and Matt Ryan was able to finds some more late game magic to move the Atlanta Falcons to 6-0. There were some other stunning outcomes is past Sunday as well, most notably, the NFC West has more winning teams than the entire AFC.
Here are the updated The Fan AM 1060 NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted every week on thefan1060.com. Bob Kemp will react to these ranking the day after they are posted in the SportsZone.
1) Atlanta Falcons (6-0) LW: 1
After a somewhat surprising 6-0 start, the Falcons enjoyed a much deserved week off. Atlanta gets back to work this week as they face their former quarterback Michael Vick and the Eagles.
2) Houston Texans (6-1) LW: 2
Talk about a response. The Texans overpowered the depleted Ravens on Sunday. Arian Foster and Matt Schaub continue to be playing at a high level, but the defense earned the spotlight in this win. Houston, without some key defensive players, confused Joe Flacco and render Ray Rice ineffective all afternoon. The Texans can use this week’s bye to heal up.
3) Chicago Bears (5-1) LW: 4
It wasn’t pretty offensively, but with the Bears it doesn’t have to be. Chicago’s stellar defense continues to improve week to week, despite their age. The Bears forced three turnovers backed up against their goalline and held Calvin Johnson to just one catch all evening. Brian Urlacher and Co. must be licking their chops waiting for Cam Newton and the Panthers.
4) New York Giants (5-2) LW: 5
Fourth Quarter Eli strikes again. Just when it looked like RG3 and the Redskins were going to pull off a stunner in New York, Eli Manning hit Victor Cruz for a 77-yard TD with only 1:13 left. Cue the salsa music. The Giants can take full control of the NFC East with a win over the Cowboys this weekend.
5) San Francisco 49ers (5-2) LW: 6
The 49ers won a good ‘ol fashioned slobberknocker on Thursday. There are some concerns about San Francisco’s offense, plus Frank Gore is now nursing some bruised ribs. Still, the Niners can pull away from the rest of the fading NFC West with a win on Monday night.
6) Baltimore Ravens (5-2) LW: 3
It went from bad to worse for Baltimore this week. After the devastating injuries to Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb, the Ravens were blown out by the Texans on Sunday. I still think this is one of the better teams in the AFC, even after the losses on defense, but this team needs to solve its road woes.
7) Green Bay Packers (4-3) LW: 7
The Pack is back. Aaron Rodgers looks like his old self, while the defense is starting to slow down teams. Still, the Packers slow start and controversial loss put Green Bay in a hole, chasing the Bears and Vikings in the NFC North.
8) Minnesota Vikings (5-2) LW: 10
The Vikings keep on winning despite Christian Ponder’s struggles. Ponder completed only eight passes in Minnesota’s win over the Cardinals. Sure, Adrian Peterson did most of the work and the Vikings were playing the Cardinals. However, the Ponder needs to start performing better if the Vikings want to make a run at the playoffs.
9) New England Patriots (4-3) LW: 11
Call me crazy, but I do think the rest of the NFL fears the Patriots anymore. New England has struggled to a mere 4-3 start, needing overtime to beat the lowly Jets. Tom Brady no longer has that fourth quarter magic. Still, the Patriots are the team to beat in the AFC East.
10) Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3) LW: 15
Pittsburgh returned to .500, once again beating the Bengals on Sunday night. The come from behind win improved Ben Roethlisberger’s record against Cincinnati and Cleveland to 15-2. Pittsburgh will have their hands full with RG3 this weekend at Heniz Field.
11) Denver Broncos (3-3) LW: 12
Peyton Manning and the Broncos enjoyed the bye after their thrilling comeback on Monday Night Football two weeks ago. Denver can take control of the AFC West will a win this week against the Saints.
12) Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) LW: 13
The Eagles were off last week, but still made some noise, firing defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. Michael Vick appears in danger of losing his job too if he can’t hold onto the football. Vick faces his old team, the Falcons, this week.
13) Arizona Cardinals (4-3) LW: 9
From 4-0 to 0-3. The Cardinals season seems to be unraveling on a weekly basis. John Skelton is proving why Kevin Kolb should have been named the starter all along. The horrid offensive play is taking away some of the great things Arizona’s defense has done this year. The Cardinals are in must-win mode this week against the rival 49ers.
14) San Diego Chargers (3-3) LW: 17
If the Chargers were ever going to fire Norv Turner, this was the week to do it. That didn’t happen. San Diego should be able to get their fourth win this week against the Browns.
15) Miami Dolphins (3-3) LW: 16
Miami was one of the six (!) teams on bye last week. The Dolphins can keep things rolling this week against the Jets.
16) Dallas Cowboys (3-3) LW: 22
Sure the Cowboys won, but it wasn’t convincing. Dallas was fortunate to be playing the Panthers on Sunday. This week, the Cowboys will host a highly motivated Giants team looking to get revenge from the season opening loss and make Jerry Jones eat his own words.
17) Seattle Seahawks (3-4) LW: 8
The Seahawks tried to outmuscle the 49ers on Thursday night, and the damn near did. Marshawn Lynch ran for 103 yards, but Seattle’s offense needs more from Russell Wilson, who was just 9-for-23 for 122 yards in the loss. You have to wonder if Matt Flynn will take over at some point in the next few weeks.
18) St. Louis Rams (3-4) LW: 14
The Rams had no answer for Aaron Rodgers on Sunday. Now St. Louis will have to try and slow down Tom Brady. Oof. Jeff Fisher has done some great things so far, but the schedule is starting to get the better of the Rams.
19) Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) LW: 18
Cincinnati had another chance to prove they are a legitimate threat in the AFC North. The Bengals appeared to be on that way, but Cincy blew an 11-point lead and stumbled down the stretch against the Steelers. Marvin Lewis and Co. will have two weeks to stew about a game that slipped away.
20) Washington Redskins (3-4) LW: 19
Robert Griffin III appeared to have his biggest win of his young career. Unfortunately that Redskins defense got in the way. RG3 will face another tough test this week against the Steelers.
21) New York Jets (3-4) LW: 20
The Jets let another game slip away. New York had a chance to upset the Patriots, but Mark Sanchez and the offense just did not make enough plays. The Jets can get back in the AFC East race by sweeping the Dolphins this weekend.
22) Tennessee Titans (3-4) LW: 27
Where would the Titans be if Matt Hasselbeck was named the start at the beginning of the season? This team could be contending with the Texans for the division had that been the case. Instead, the Titans need to beat the Colts this week to get to .500
23) Indianapolis Colts (3-3) LW: 25
The Colts continue to find ways to win football games. The fact that this team is 3-3 is somewhat surprising, given how many issues the defense has. Indianapolis can move to above .500, but face a tough test on the road against the Titans.
24) Buffalo Bills (3-4) LW: 21
Buffalo handed a win to the Titans this weekend. All the money spent on the defensive side of the football has not paid off.
25) New Orleans Saints (2-4) LW: 26
Drew Brees has to continue to out-score opponents. That’s the only way the Saints can win with that awful defense. Peyton Manning should have a field day against that secondary this week.
26) Detroit Lions (2-4) LW: 23
Detroit continues to be the most disappointing team in the NFL. The offense continues to struggle (get Calvin Johnson more involved) and the defense gives up too many big plays. Still, the Lions have a shot at their third win this week against Seattle.
27) Oakland Raiders (1-4) LW: 29
The Raiders need overtime to beat Jacksonville at home. Yeah, that’s how bad things are in Oakland. It should be a barn burner against the Chiefs on Sunday. That’s my weekly attempt at sarcasm.
28) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4) LW: 28
Tampa Bay showed some heart, nearly completing the comeback against the Saints. Slowing down Adrian Peterson tonight is going to be a tough task for this porous defense.
29) Carolina Panthers (1-5) LW: 24
Cam Netwon’s suggestion box got a GM fired. I wonder how many teammates are suggesting he not turn the ball over against the Bears this week?
30) Cleveland Browns (1-6) LW: 30
New ownership, same results. The Browns had a great chance to beat the Colts on Sunday, but dropped pass, bad play calling and a below average defense prevented that from happening.
31) Kansas City Chiefs (1-5) LW: 31
Kansas City was off this week, which was good for Chiefs fans because they didn’t have to watch this mess.
32) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6) LW: 32
The Jaguars continue to prove way they are one of the worst teams in the NFL on a weekly basis. Losing Maurice Jones-Drew will only make things worse.