1. Texans (five first-place votes): On Monday night, Jets fans will witness “ground and pound” in a very different way than they ever envisioned.
2. Falcons: The road to the Superdome will be going through the Georgia Dome.
3. Ravens: A showdown with the Texans is inching closer and closer. Contusions are likely.
4. 49ers: Maybe they should have built that new stadium in Youngstown.
5. Cardinals: Only one stat matters. Points scored vs. points allowed.
6. Patriots: The offense finally has found the accelerator. And the pedal is pressed to the metal.
7. Packers: The offense is getting closer to finding the accelerate. And the pedal will be pressed to the metal.
8. Bears: In Jay Cutler’s defense, there’s a good chance Mike Tice ripped one before sitting on the bench.
9. Eagles: This year, Fly, Eagles Fly! will depend on their ability to Run, Eagles Run!
10. Giants: If we’re going to worship Eli Manning every time he pulls out a late win, we need to at least mention when he fails.
12. Vikings: Unlike last year, the Vikings know how to build a lead — and how to hold a lead.
13. Bengals: This team can go as far as A.J. Green can take them, which is potentially very far.
14. Chargers: Norv Turner finally realizes how ridiculous he sounded when talking about making Ryan Mathews a workhorse.
15. Rams: From Cortnoris to Legatron, the Rams are leading the NFC West in great nicknames.
16. Seahawks: The team that rounds out the top half of the rankings is technically in last place in its division.
17. Bills: G.M. Buddy Nix said in August that the Patriots don’t scare him. (Sometimes, there’s no need for a punchline.)
18. Steelers: There’s a chance this team simply isn’t as good as they think they are.
19. Cowboys: Tony Romo tabled contract talks so it wouldn’t become a distraction. If he hadn’t, maybe he would have thrown eight interceptions on Monday night.
20. Redskins: A dramatic ending doesn’t completely obscure the collapse that preceded it.
21. Panthers: A team that has nothing to lose can’t afford to play like it has something to lose.
22. Jets: A team that has everything to lose is playing like it’s already lost everything.
23. Buccaneers: A team that loses 13 of 14 games shouldn’t be surprised when it loses customers.
24. Titans: Losing Jake Locker for a few weeks could help the guy who lost his job to Locker win it back.
25. Lions: The losing likely will continue for the Lions.
26. Colts: Regardless of team allegiance, every NFL fan should be a Chuck Pagano fan.
27. Chiefs: The Brady Quinn era finally could be coming. Don’t blink.
28. Saints: The scoreboard says World 4, Saints 0.
29. Jaguars: So when does that train leave the station again?
30. Dolphins: But for that collapse against the Cardinals, the Fins would be in a four-way tie for first place.
31. Raiders: The fact that they somehow beat the Steelers is the only thing keeping the Raiders out of the basement.
32. Browns: Maybe Jimmy Haslam now hopes he isn’t approved to become the team’s owner.