Another week has gone and went, and with it, we have an even stronger sense of how these teams stack up against each other. Six undefeated teams battle for #1, while nine teams with 1 win or fewer try to avoid the bottom. Where does your team come in?
32. Houston Texans (1-4, Previously #32) - Whether Mallet or Hoyer is the starting QB, this team is really bad, either way. Off to a horrible start, they have a chance to prove they aren't the worst team in the league when they go up against a trio of bottom tier teams the next three weeks (at Jacksonville, at Miami, and vs Tennessee)... with the way they've started, and the max potential of this team, winning some (or any) of those games might actually be a bad thing.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4, Previously #31) - Jacksonville is really bad, but what else is new? The only thing that may save them from a 1-15 season are two games left against Houston, and one against Tennessee... even that might not be enough.
30. New Orleans Saints (1-4, Previously #29) - That was an ugly loss. Both sides of the ball have been very inconsistent this year. The defense finally stepped up with some big turnovers, only for the offense to give up the ball themselves. The team has talent, they just can't win or field a fully healthy team. It's a weird season when both Drew Brees and Peyton Manning could be considered "liabilities"... hopefully that shoulder heals up (and the line protects) and Brees can get back into winning form.
29. Detroit Lions (0-5, Previously #20) - After coming up one blown call away from getting their first win of the year, the Lions came out emotionally flat and fell on their face against the talented Arizona Cardinals. Ameer Abdullah was benched after his second fumble, and Matthew Stafford was benched in favor of Dan Orlovsky after throwing 3 INT's and falling way behind. Stafford will remain the starting QB going on, but it's not exactly confidence building for a team that desperately needs it.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3, Previously #28) - Got the home win against another bad team. They are 2-3 right now, but that was through the easy part of their schedule. Don't expect too much from here on out from the Buccaneers. They have some very good pieces, but they aren't going anywhere today.
27. Tennessee Titans (1-3, Previously #27) - Hung in there with a seemingly tough Buffalo team, but couldn't pull out the win. This team will likely have a major impact on the order of the beginning of the draft, having games against Miami, Houston (x2), New Orleans, and Jacksonville (x2) left on the schedule.
26. San Francisco 49ers (1-4, Previously #26) - They have now lost 4 straight after causing a stir week 1... at least they made this one close? Up next, they face the brother of the man they ran out of town, in a battle of two teams desperately needing a second win.
25. Kansas City Chiefs (1-4, Previously #18) - Remember when I said this team was average? I may have been giving them too much credit. Remove Jamaal Charles from the equation, and you're much closer to the bottom, than the middle.
24. Chicago Bears (2-3, Previously #30) - Don't look now, but da Bears are on a two game winning streak... actually, do look now, because you're not likely to see it again this year. They barely pulled one out against KC who lost RB (and 90% of their offense) Jamaal Charles during the game, and even then, they needed a FG block for the W. Up next, they travel to Detroit to find out who the worst team in the NFC North is.
23. Indianapolis Colts (3-2, Previously #25) - Three straight wins!!! But the combined record of the teams they beat is 3-11... and the combined margin of victory is 8 points. Even with the return of Andrew Luck, this team is in for a rude awakening when they face a real team (The Patriots) on Sunday night.
22. Miami Dolphins (1-3, Previously #21) - If any one team needed a bye week, it was the Miami Dolphins. Expectations for the rest of the season have to be tempered after a horrific start that includes a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the firing of their head coach after four games. This team has some strong talent on paper, but that hasn't been able to amount to much of anything, this season.
21. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3, Previously #23) - Sam Bradford threw two interceptions in the end zone, but that didn't stop the Eagles from coming away with their second win of the season. While they looked a lot better than they have, it's hard to say if this team turned the corner, or just feasted on wounded prey.
20. Washington Potatoes (2-3, Previously #22) - It's been a very up and down season for this Washington team, with their latest week being down. While I don't see this team doing much in the grand scheme of things, the division is wide open for the taking.
19. Baltimore Ravens (1-4, Previously #12) - The Ravens sure are digging themselves a big hole to start off the season. The latest loss was by far the worst, dropping a winnable game to the Cleveland Browns. They can still turn things around, but they have to starting doing something, quick.
18. Cleveland Browns (2-3, Previously #24) - Cleveland got their second win of the season, and McCown did enough to quiet down those "Put In Johnny" remarks. While they still aren't going anywhere this season, that was a good win for a team that needed one.
17. Dallas Cowboys (2-3, Previously #19) - They were completely outclassed by the Patriots, but then again, a lot of teams have been. This treading water until Romo and Bryant get back thing isn't going very well, but they are still only 1 game out of first in the division... they could still be in position to make a late season run with rested star players.
16. Oakland Raiders (2-3, Previously #17) - Back to back losses by less than a TD have this team sitting below .500 going into their bye. They have some nice pieces, but still look to be about a year away from making true noise. After their bye, they have a crucial divisional match up in San Diego.
15. St. Louis Rams (2-3, Previously #16) - They lost at Green Bay, which isn't too concerning... Nick Foles completing 36% of his passes and throwing 4 interceptions is very concerning, however. He'll have plenty of time to dwell on that performance as the Rams go limping into their bye week. At least Todd Gurley looks like the real deal.
14. Seattle Seahawks (2-3, Previously #15) - They now have three losses, but two of the three are to two of the three best teams in the league. A 3 point loss at Cincinnati doesn't really negatively impact how I view this team, if anything, it actually helped more than their "win" last week. They have a chance to get their first statement win of the season, when the play host to the undefeated Carolina Panthers on Sunday (who will be looking for their first statement win, themselves).
13. Buffalo Bills (3-2, Previously #10) - That wasn't a pretty win, but it was still a win. The teams they've beaten haven't been the greatest level of competition, and questions remain on whether or not they can hang with the big boys. They'll get another chance to prove themselves week 6, when they play host to the Bengals.
12. San Diego Chargers (2-3, Previously #14) - San Diego suffered their third loss of the season in the final seconds against the Steelers, but all three losses have been against respectable teams. This team has beaten the bad teams they've faced, and lost to the good ones. A win next week in Green Bay will go a long way to prove this team's legitimacy.
11. Minnesota Vikings (2-2, Previously #8) - Leap frogged by the Panthers, Giants, and Steelers during their bye, the Vikings look to get back on the winning side of things when they welcome the Chiefs for a week 6 match up.
10. Carolina Panthers (4-0, Previously #13) - They made it through their bye week with out a loss... though looking at their list of W's this season, a bye week posed just as much threat to their undefeated record as any of their opponents, to date. The Panthers have a chance to prove just how real of a threat they are, when they travel to Seattle on Sunday.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2, Previously #11) - The Steelers are now 1-1 without QB Ben Roethlisberger, both winnable games. Mike Tomlin made up for any mistakes last week, with that gutsy (but correct) decision to go for the win. With Roethlisberger probably out for at least the next two weeks, the Steelers have a tough matchup against the Arizona Cardinals week 6.
8. New York Giants (3-2, Previously #9) - After a bad start, this team is starting to find ways to win. They seem to be the best team in their division at this point, and have been doing so without Victor Cruz and JPP. A big Monday night showdown against the Eagles will be very important for deciding the NFC East champion.
6. Arizona Cardinals (4-1, Previously #6) - A week after facing their first setback of the season, the Cardinals rebounded in extraordinary fashion. They won 42-17, and forced Detroit to pull a couple of their offensive starters. This team has now put up 40 points in 3 of their 5 game, and have only failed to reach 30 once. Conversely, they've held their opponents to less than 20 points three times, and have yet to surrender 25 points or more.
5. Atlanta Falcons (5-0, Previously #5) - Cruising right along at 5-0... looks like all those Mike Smith jokes had tons of merit. You can see and you can feel the difference this year, under Dan Quinn. The offense is doing what that offense does, and the defense is coming up at opportune times, something that has been missing in the past. This is a scary team that is starting to look capable of doing serious things. Can anyone stop both Jones AND Freeman? It doesn't look likely.
4. Denver Broncos (5-0, Previously #3) - Is Peyton Manning a liability? With the type of QB he is, and the o-line they have, it's getting easier to argue that point. The defense is playing lights out, though, and has them sitting pretty. I still think Manning will adjust to finally having a reliable defense, and tweak his style to more of a game-manager role, which will have this team firing on all cylinders by the end of the year.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (5-0, Previously #4) - A heck of a comeback win to remain undefeated. Cincinnati has been fool's gold in the past, but they are beginning to look like the real thing, this year. They also already have a two game lead over the next team in the division.
2. New England Patriots (4-0, Previously #2) - Consider this 1b, rather than #2. There is a clear top team in each division, and either one could easily be #1 on this list. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone playing better football than this group.
1. Green Bay Packers (5-0, Previously #1) - They are now 5-0 with their last two wins coming largely thanks to their defense. They keep on rolling through whomever is put in front of them. The NFC is theirs to lose.