The top 10 remained relatively unchanged for the first time all season. Atlanta continues to roll, while the Texans, Bears, Packers, Ravens, Broncos and Steelers all took care of business. Figuring out the rest of the rankings outside of the top 10 remains a crapshoot. The Colts continue to surprise folks and have become a legitimate playoff contender. However, there are many teams still trying to figure out who exactly they are, the Arizona Cardinals included.
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 (8-0) LW: 1
The Falcons continue their tear through the NFL. The Cowboys gave Atlanta everything they had and it wasn’t enough. Matt Ryan & Co. have only a few test remaining in the second half of the season. The first one is this week in New Orleans.
2) Houston Texans (7-1) LW: 2
It wasn’t a typical dominate win by the Texans, but it still counts. Arian Foster ran all over Mario Williams and the Bills on Sunday. The victory sets up a big showdown on Sunday against the Bears, probably the best team Houston will face all season.
3) San Francisco 49ers (6-2) LW: 3
San Francisco remains at number 3 following their bye week. The Niners can take a stranglehold over the NFC West with a win at home over the Rams this weekend.
4) Chicago Bears (7-1) LW: 4
The Bears defense has been unreal all year. Chicago’s win over the Titans was just the latest exclamation point. The Bears jumped out to a 28-2 lead in the first quarter a never looked back. Da Bears (see what I did there) can make a big statement with a win this week against Houston.
5) Green Bay Packers (6-3) LW: 6
The Packers found success on the ground for the first time in years. However, you can easily make the argument that the Cardinals beat themselves at Lambeau Field on Sunday. Still, Green Bay has turned their season around just in time for their bye.
6) Baltimore Ravens (6-2) LW: 6
The Ravens road woes continued for another week, but once again Baltimore found a way to win. They could thank Pat Shurmur for going for it on 4th and 2 from his own 28. The Ravens season seems to be hanging on it’s last thread, but with the dreadful Raiders coming to town, I don’t think Baltimore is too worried right now.
7) New York Giants (6-3) LW: 5
The Giants looked out of sorts against the Steelers on Sunday. Some of that likely had to do with Hurricane Sandy, but another part is the G-Men just aren’t that good at home. Look for New York to get back to their winning ways on the road against Cincinnati.
8) New England Patriots (5-3) LW: 8
The Patriots were off last week following their trip to London. New England remains a top the pitiful AFC East and can start pulling away from the pack but beating the Bills this week. By the way, Tom Brady is 16-1 all-time against Buffalo.
9) Denver Broncos (5-3) LW: 9
Peyton Manning worked his fourth quarter magic once again and the Broncos are in prime position to win out the rest of the way. Denver only plays one team (Ravens) with a winning record in their final eight games. With Manning at the helm, the Broncos can easily finish the season on an 11-game win streak.
10) Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3) LW: 10
That was a big win for Pittsburgh on Sunday. There are still many questions surrounding this team, mainly on offense, but beating the defending champs in their building helped ease some of those concerns. Todd Haley has to be licking his chops this week as Pittsburgh hosts Kansas City on Monday Night Football.
11) Indianapolis Colts (5-3) LW: 12
The Colts keep on finding ways to win football games. This week it was on the shoulders of Andrew Luck, who threw an NFL rookie record 433 passing yards. Indianapolis can bolster their playoff chances with a win tonight in Jacksonville.
12) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4) LW: 16
Hello, Doug Martin. The rookie running back put on a show against the Raiders on Sunday and has emerged as this season’s breakout star. And don’t expect that to change any time soon. Greg Schiano will continue to fed Martin the football. Tampa can prove they are playoff contenders with a win over the Chargers this week.
13) Miami Dolphins (4-4) LW: 11
In a battle of rookie quarterbacks, Ryan Tannehill matched Andrew Luck pass for pass. Still, the Dolphins fell just short of picking up a big road win. Miami host Tennessee this week, looking to get back on track and keep their playoff hopes alive.
14) Seattle Seahawks (5-4) LW: 18
Seattle’s defense was once again the story this week. Yes, Adrian Peterson continually gashed the Seahawks for big gains, but Christian Ponder was confused all afternoon. The Seahawks remain right in the thick on the NFC and can create some separation with a win over the Jets this week.
15) San Diego Chargers (4-4) LW: 21
Norv Turner received another stay of execution as the Chargers beatdown the lowly Chiefs last Thursday. San Diego faces a tough test this week in trying to slow down Doug Martin.
16) Minnesota Vikings (5-4) LW: 13
The Vikings freefall continued, in large part because of Christian Ponder. It seems like opponents have figured him out. Ponder looked like he was figuring it out early in the season, but not he looks completely baffled. Minnesota will need him to turn things around soon before it’s too late.
17) Detroit Lions (4-4) LW: 23
The Lions can get back into the playoff hunt by beating the rival Vikings this weekend. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are finally get back in-sync. The next five games (MIN, GB, HOU, IND, GB) will determine the season in Detroit.
18) Arizona Cardinals (4-5) LW: 15
The Cardinals stumble into their bye on a five game losing streak. Arizona’s last two loses fall solely on the defense, which has been the backbone of this team for the last year. Things won’t be getting any better with a trip to Atlanta following the bye.
19) Dallas Cowboys (3-5) LW: 17
The Cowboys are once again the most overrated team in the NFL. Remember when everyone thought this team could contend for a Super Bowl after Week 1? That’s even more laughable right now. So who wants it more this week, Dallas or Philadelphia, two teams that can’t seem to get out of their own way?
20) St. Louis Rams (3-5) LW: 20
The Rams had the week off after their trip across the pond. The reward for their overseas trip? The San Francisco 49ers. Eek. Sam Bradford is going to in for a long afternoon.
21) Cincinnati Bengals (3-5) LW: 19
The Bengals season is slowing slipping away. Cincinnati had Denver on the ropes, but let Peyton Manning and Co. back in the game. It doesn’t get any easier with an angry Giants team traveling to Cincy this weekend.
22) New Orleans Saints (3-5) LW: 28
If you believe the talk, Drew Brees and the Saints are starting to turn their season around. Right now I don’t, but New Orleans can make me a believer by beating the Falcons at home this week. Though it’s hard to imagine that defense slowing down Matt Ryan and Michael Turner.
23) Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) LW: 14
I think I say this every week, but the Eagles are a mess. Michael Vick continues to take a beaten behind that hideous offensive line. Seriously, it makes the Cardinals o-line look Pro Bowl caliber. Andy Reid needs to finish the year 6-2 in avoid the hot seat. That looks highly unlikely.
24) Washington Redskins (3-6) LW: 22
The Redskins lost, which was supposed to be good news for Mitt Romney. Oops. Anyway, Washington relies too heavily on RG3 at the moment, and even he cannot overcome that bad Redskin defense. Washington is on bye this week.
25) Buffalo Bills (3-5) LW: 24
Mario Williams returned to Houston and the Bills left with their fifth loss o f the season. Many thought Buffalo would make a playoff run this year, but that looks nearly impossible now. Especially with the rested Patriots on the schedule this week.
26) Tennessee Titans (3-6) LW: 25
Matt Hasselbeck looked old for the first time and the Titans were thoroughly embarrassed by the Bears on Sunday. Chris Johnson disappeared once again when facing a good defense, a trend that has continued for the past few seasons. Don’t be surprised when the Dolphins run defense holds Johnson to low numbers this week.
27) New York Jets (3-5) LW: 27
The Jets were on a bye, so if there was ever going to be a time to make a switch at quarterback, this was it. However, Mark Sanchez will remain under center for another week. The Jets have a tough road test in Seattle this weekend.
28) Oakland Raiders (3-5) LW: 26
Oakland must be happy to see Doug Martin go. The rookie ran wild (nice Hulk Hogan reference, right?) on the Raiders defense. Now Oakland will try to stop Ray Rice and the Ravens? Good luck with that.
29) Carolina Panthers (2-6) LW: 30
Cam Newton beat Robert Griffin III and eased the concerns surrounding the Heisman winner for at least a week. Carolina will face their old coach, John Fox, this week. It will be a told order for this team to upset Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
30) Cleveland Browns (2-7) LW: 29
The Browns had the Ravens on the ropes, but once against Cleveland found a way to win in typical Browns fashion. Head coach Pat Shurmur took a big risk going for it on 4th down at his own 28 and it backfired badly. Cleveland will have two weeks to think about a win that slipped away.
31) Kansas City Chiefs (1-7) LW: 31
The Chiefs might be the worst team in the NFL. Kansas City has not lead in regulation all season, ALL SEASON! How is that even possible? And this team has a national televised game on Monday against the Steelers? I’ll pass.
32) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) LW: 32
Jacksonville is as bad, and maybe worse, that I thought they would be. The Jags only source of offense (Maurice Jones-Drew) will miss his third week due to injury. However, Jacksonville’s lone win is against the Colts, but it’s hard to imagine the Jags topping Andrew Luck tonight.