1. Texans (four first-place votes): Yes, they’re unbeaten. But the ability to compare what the 49ers did to the Jets and what the Texans did to the Jets on the same field eight days apart is making some folks think the Niners are better.
2. Falcons: When it was time for the Redskins to pick their poison, they opted for slow, gradual death via aging Hall of Fame tight end.
3. 49ers (one first-place vote): How in the hell did this team lose to the Vikings?
4. Patriots: Despite being 3-2, this could be the best Pats team since the last Pats team that won a Super Bowl.
5. Ravens: Annnnnnd the Joe Flacco Contract Leverage Pendulum swings back toward the team.
6. Bears: Even Jay Cutler could find nothing to pout about during that 41-3 win over the Jaguars.
7. Giants: They won’t have to worry about playing down to the level of the competition this week.
8. Vikings: Adrian Peterson returns to the scene of his torn ACL, and he’s likely poised to tear up the turf at FedEx Field even more than one of those C-level college football games that often get played there.
9. Rams: It’s not easy to crack the top 10 when a team had only 10 wins in the three prior seasons combined.
10. Cardinals: With Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams out, maybe John Skelton can play tailback once he’s healthy.
11. Packers: With a 4-5 record over their last nine games (thanks, Kuselias), the Packers quietly have become ordinary.
12. Steelers: Even a one-legged Troy Polamalu could likely make a few plays against the Titans.
13. Eagles: “But, Jeff, we lost those eight games by 12 total points” likely won’t get the owner to change his mind.
14. Broncos: Before dumping them from the projected playoff tree, let’s not forget they’re in the AFC West.
15. Seahawks: They may have the fourth-best defense in the league — and the fourth-best defense in their division.
16. Bengals: Finally, the Bengals have lost a game they should have won. (To balance it out, they need to win a game they should have lost.)
17. Chargers: The fact that John Unitas finished his career with the Chargers apparently was lost on the officials who decided to kill their final drive with back-to-back questionable calls.
18. Colts: No one dreamed they’d be at No. 18 so soon after losing No. 18.
19. Cowboys: How irrelevant has America’s Team become? They had a week off, and no one noticed.
20. Redskins: Robert Griffin III has a “mild” concussion . . . and the Redskins have a “brief” home losing streak.
21. Jets: When “we only lost by six” and “we’re still tied for second-place in the division” are the only positive things that can be said, maybe it’s time to stop talking.
22. Saints: If Drew Brees can keep setting the all-time record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass each week, will the Saints keep getting calls down the stretch to ensure that the team also wins the game?
23. Dolphins: Quietly, Ryan Tannehill is proving that it was smart to make him a top-10 pick.
24. Buccaneers: With the Chiefs and Saints coming to town in successive weeks, the Bucs could be at .500 when they head to Minnesota later this month for a Thursday nighter.
25. Lions: With trips to Philly and Chicago on the immediate horizon, 1-3 is about to be 1-5.
26. Chiefs: Eric Winston may not be hearing cheers the next time he takes the field at Arrowhead Stadium — but he should.
27. Panthers: Cam Newton shouldn’t sit near Steve Smith in the film room.
28. Titans: With an eight-figure salary in 2013, Chris Johnson doesn’t have to try to talk his way out of town.
29. Bills: With owner Ralph Wilson’s birthday coming up next week, maybe the Bills decided to swap out points allowed for candles.
30. Raiders: They need more than one bye week to get ready to contend with the Falcons.
31. Jaguars: Outscored 98-20 in Jacksonville this season, the Jags probably would like to play in London earlier than next year.
32. Browns: The 2012 Browns are about to make Cleveland fans nostalgic for 1995.