Week Six is in the books. Which means that it’s time to rank the 32 teams regardless of division and conference lines.
Though it’s all meaningless, you’ll read them. And you’ll react to them.
Have at it.
1. New York Jets (No. 1 last week; 5-1): Winning at Denver isn’t easy,
especially when the Broncos are wearing those nausea-inducing orange
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 3; 4-1): Some think the
Steelers are the best team in the league. If they were, the Steelers
would have commemorated Big Ben’s return with something better than an
18-point win over an overmatched Cleveland team with a rookie
3. New England Patriots (No. 5; 4-1): We prefer that Tom Brady confine his trash talk to comments on grooming.
4. New Orleans Saints (No. 7; 4-2): The Saints are starting to look a little bit like the team they were last year.
5. Indianapolis Colts (No. 6; 4-2): Every team should be so lucky to have a quarterback with whom Father Time is catching up.
6. Baltimore Ravens (No. 3; 4-2): This team will be a force to be reckoned with come January. Again.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (No. 15; 4-2): Maybe Andy Reid should use Mike Vick for one series and Kevin Kolb for the next.
8. Tennessee Titans (No. 9; 4-2): At a time when few teams have two
competent quarterbacks, the Titans are lucky to be in the minority.
New York Giants (No. 11; 4-2): Cue the “how will the NFL manage to
play two conference title games in the same stadium?” crowd.
Atlanta Falcons (No. 4; 4-2): The Falcons haven’t won in Pennsylvania since 1988, including 0-2 so far this year.
Houston Texans (No. 13; 4-2): Andre Johnson’s ability to get away with pass interference may have saved this team’s season.
Chicago Bears (No. 8; 4-2): And here are the Bears we expected to see this year.
Miami Dolphins (No. 16; 3-2): Maybe the Dolphins should offer to play all their games on the road.
14. Green Bay Packers (No. 10; 3-3): It’s fitting, we suppose, that on the same weekend the Packers welcome back to Lambeau Field a receiver who pretended to show them his ass, they’ll also be seeing a quarterback who allegedly showed someone something else.
15. Minnesota Vikings (No. 19; 2-3): The Vikings will need much more than 188 yards of offense if they hope to keep winning.
16. Kansas City Chiefs (No. 12; 3-2): The Chiefs may have learned much more in two losses than they did in three wins.
St. Louis Rams (No. 23; 3-3): If Sam Bradford stays healthy, the Rams could rule this division for the next five years or longer.
18. Seattle Seahawks (No. 24; 3-2): With two games in four weeks
against the Cardinals, a changing of the guard could be coming in the
19. Washington Redskins (No. 14; 3-3): On the Redskins’ final scoring drive, Donovan McNabb played with a Super Bowl sense of urgency. For most other quarterbacks, that’s a good thing.
Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 17; 3-3): The hot seat warmly welcomes back Jack Del Rio.
Arizona Cardinals (No. 21; 3-2): The ultimate test of a team’s relevance? When on a bye, does anyone notice?
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 18; 3-2): It’s good for this team to periodically be reminded just how far it still has to go.
Broncos (No. 22; 2-4): The Broncos blew a prime opportunity to beat an
elite team on a day the rest of the division stumbled.
Dallas Cowboys (No. 20; 1-4): With all the great teams at the top of
the AFC, maybe Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doesn’t really want to play in
the Super Bowl he’ll host.
25. Cincinnati Bengals (No. 26; 2-3): See Arizona.
San Francisco 49ers (No. 30; 1-5): The presence of nine men during a field goal try wasn’t a mistake.The goal was to make the Raiders laugh so hard
that they wouldn’t be able to block it.
27. San Diego
Chargers (No. 25; 2-4): With the Patriots coming to town and Antonio
Gates in a walking boot, Norv Turner could be inching toward getting the
28. Detroit Lions (No. 28; 1-5): And yet another one-game winning streak snaps for the Lions.
Oakland Raiders (No. 27; 2-4): Adam Schefter’s report regarding the
Raiders’ willingness to trade anyone on the team technically was
incorrect. He left out the fact that they’re also willing to trade
30. Cleveland Browns (No. 29; 1-5): With a trip to New Orleans next on the agenda, the Browns could crawl into their bye week at 1-6. Which could persuade Mike Holmgren to run Eric Mangini out of the building.
31. Carolina Panthers (No. 31; 0-5): The crappy quarterback carousel continues, with perhaps the best chance of avoiding 0-16 coming this weekend against the 49ers.
32. Buffalo Bills (No. 32; 0-5): With a late break or two, “bye” actually could have beaten the Bills.