For the first time this year (we think), an NFC team has climbed to the top of the PFT power rankings.
(Relax, Cowboys fans. It’s not your team.)
So who’s No. 1? And who’s No. 2? And who’s No. 32? Read on.
1. Atlanta Falcons (No. 6; 7-2): As receiver Roddy White said a day after admitting to pushing down Ravens cornerback Josh Wilson on the play that decided Thursday night’s game, it’s only pass interference if the flag is thrown. As since the flag wasn’t thrown, the Falcons are on track to force the road to Dallas through Atlanta.
2. New York Jets (No.3; 7-2): It’s better to be lucky than good. But good tends to last a little longer.
3. New England Patriots (No. 7; 7-2): The Pats should lose by 20 points more often.
4. Baltimore Ravens (No. 1; 6-3): Though they got robbed when the officials didn’t flag Roddy White for pass interference, the Ravens of old would have put the clamps on the Falcons long before it got to that point.
5. Green Bay Packers (No. 5; 6-3): And now the Packers will have a chance to properly send Brett Favre into retirement. If he doesn’t retire first.
6. Philadelphia Eagles (No. 8; 6-3): Could be it that, in the first year after trading the quarterback who couldn’t deliver a Super Bowl win in 11 tries, the Eagles will finally get their Super Bowl win?
7. New York Giants (No. 2; 6-3): If the Super Bowl were played in November, the Giants would have a few more trophies in the case.
8. Indianapolis Colts (No. 11; 6-3): That breathing room they’ve picked up over the Titans could disappear quickly if the Colts can’t extend their winning streak over New England to three.
9. Oakland Raiders (No. 9; 5-4): Even in the bye week, the Raiders scored a win, beating back the grievance filed by their former head coach, Lane Kiffin.
10. New Orleans Saints (No. 10; 6-3): With Reggie Bush coming back, the Saints could soon be getting back to their 2009 form.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 4; 6-3): For the second straight year, injuries are derailing one of the best teams in the league.
12. Miami Dolphins (No. 15; 5-4): Has any win in the history of the league ever felt more like a loss?
13. Chicago Bears (No. 17; 6-3): The schedule gets brutal soon, and even with six wins the playoffs continue to be an uphill climb.
14. Cleveland Browns (No. 14; 3-6): This team can play with anyone. But even if they beat everyone left on their schedule, it may not be enough for the playoffs.
15. Kansas City Chiefs (No. 13; 5-4): With the way this team has played lately, Todd Haley will be able to engage in a lot more post-game finger-pointing.
16. San Diego Chargers (No. 16; 4-5): Here comes another playoff run, followed by another quick playoff exit.
17. Tennessee Titans (No. 12; 5-4): Since being traded out of New England, Randy Moss is 1-4. And the Patriots are 4-1.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 19; 6-3): Win at Baltimore on Thanksgiving weekend, and then we’ll believe.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 22; 5-4): That Hail Mary play was thrilling, but it’ll still take more than a few Rosaries to save Jack Del Rio’s job.
20. Seattle Seahawks (No. 24; 5-4): How can a team that lost two games by a combined score of 74-17 be leading a division? Oh yeah, it’s the NFC West.
21. St. Louis Rams (No. 18; 4-5): By the time the Rams are good enough to consistently win close games, they won’t have to.
22. Houston Texans (No. 20; 4-5): The Texans have actually gotten worse since Brian Cushing’s suspension ended.
23. Washington Redskins (No. 21; 4-5): Mike Shanahan’s next lie will come when he says his team is good.
24. San Francisco 49ers (No. 27; 3-6): The Troy Smith era officially has begun. Don’t blink.
25. Dallas Cowboys (No. 32; 2-7): In lieu of enjoying an impressive win, Cowboys fans already are thinking that their team can run the table. Hell, maybe they can.
26. Denver Broncos (No. 31; 3-6): One win over a team that got caught flat-footed doesn’t really change much in Denver.
27. Minnesota Vikings (No. 23; 3-6): Somewhere, Les Steckel is smiling.
28. Arizona Cardinals (No. 25; 3-6): OK, these are the Cardinals we’ve come to know and regard as worthless.
29. Buffalo Bills (No. 30; 1-8): Bills fans deserve a lot more than a two-point win over the Lions.
30. Detroit Lions (No. 26; 2-7): The best evidence of the sorry state of this franchise is that it actually feels like they’re having a good year.
31. Cincinnati Bengals (No. 28; 2-7): To say that T.O. played with alligator arms would be an insult to alligators.
32. Carolina Panthers (No. 29; 1-8): Eventually, John Fox’s attempt to distance himself from the performance of the team could include a suggestion that he isn’t actually the coach.