1. Falcons (five first-place votes): They’ll have to wait until January to exorcise their playoff demons. For now, they’ll have to settle for another crack at further erasing the memory of Mike Vick.
2. Giants: The schedule gets difficult now, which is good for a team that can’t get focused when it’s time to play inferior foes.
3. Bears: A week after Cam Newton broke out the term “sweetheart,” the Bears could be calling him slightly stronger names.
4. Texans: The blowout of the Ravens was a welcome bottle of Listerine for that mouthful of Limburger.
5. 49ers: The nagging feeling that Alex Smith can’t take this team where it wants to go won’t go away.
6. Packers: With Jacksonville and Arizona heading to Lambeau Field, do the next two weeks qualify as preseason games?
7. Patriots: The Pats are blowing fourth-quarter leads like it’s Super Bowl XLVI. Or Super Bowl XLII.
8. Seahawks: Russell Wilson can take this team a lot farther than anyone realizes. Especially once they get guys who can catch his passes on a consistent basis.
9. Ravens: Joe Flacco really is a top-five quarterback. In his division.
10. Vikings: Enjoy the ride while it lasts. After Bears-Packers-Bears, it’ll be over.
11. Broncos: Of all the .500 teams in the AFC, the Broncos are the best suited to rise to the top.
12. Steelers: Dropping passes in prime time won’t get Mike Wallace paid the way he wants to be.
13. Redskins: The last time the Redskins beat the Steelers, RG3 was in diapers. Now, half the Steelers defense is.
14. Cardinals: With a three-pack of games against the 49ers, Packers, and Falcons, the losing streak is about to double.
15. Rams: The Rams have a chance to win pretty much every game. Soon, they’ll be winning most of them.
16. Eagles: Middle of the pack is just good enough for Reid to pack it in.
17. Saints: With the Broncos on the docket in Denver, Joe Vitt possibly wishes he’d had a seven-game suspension.
18. Jets: For those who think this team is a legitimate postseason contender, the glass is half fool.
19. Bengals: They should change the name of Paul Brown Stadium to Art Rooney Stadium.
21. Dolphins: The good news? Some Dolphins fans feel differently about G.M. Jeff Ireland. The bad news? Most Dolphins fans have no idea who those fans are.
22. Chargers: If the Chargers are cheating, they need to cheat harder.
23. Cowboys: In response to Redskins coach Joe Gibbs telling the Cowboys about mistakes he made while coaching, former Cowboys coach Barry Switzer will explain to the Redskins how he got arrested for having a loaded gun in his luggage at the airport.
24. Lions: The “our defensive backs are injured” excuse officially has been printed onto a card and laminated.
25. Titans: Jake Locker’s shoulder may not heal for the rest of the year. Or next year.
26. Buccaneers: It’s time to permanently melt the Creamsicles.
27. Bills: Amazingly, the Bill are only one game out of first place.
28. Raiders: Amazingly, the Raiders are only one game out of first place.
29. Browns: Jimmy Haslam won’t make a decision about Pat Shurmur until the season is over. After the next two games, it will be.
30. Panthers: The “suggestion box” is overflowing. And none of them have anything to do with coffee breath.
31. Jaguars: Gene Smith envies Marty Hurney.
32. Chiefs: Brady Quinn finally gets his chance. Hooray?