1. Panthers (11-0; last week No. 2): It’s been a year since they’ve lost a regular-season game. The real question for the rest of the current year is whether they’ll win three games in the postseason.
2. Broncos (9-2; No. 6): The Broncos could be paying a quarterback $19 million next year, after all. Just not the one they thought.
3. Patriots (10-1; No. 1): Will Tom Brady eventually be throwing passes to Tony Gonzalez, Randy Moss, and/or Terrell Owens?
4. Bengals (9-2; No. 4): The Bengals are back. As long as they don’t have to play at night.
5. Cardinals (9-2; No. 3): Good teams find a way to win even when they’re playing the opposite of good.
6. Vikings (8-3; No. 8): The Steve Hutchinson/Nate Burleson Tit-for-Tat Bowl finally has both teams playing for something other than spite.
7. Packers (7-4; No. 5): If Peyton Manning or Tom Brady had young teammates who weren’t spending enough time preparing to play, the last thing either of them would need to do is complain about it publicly.
8. Seahawks (6-5; No. 9): Russell Wilson played better than ever with Marshawn Lynch not in the building. Which may not be a coincidence.
9. Chiefs (6-5; No. 10): Yes, the 49ers kept the wrong guy.
10. Steelers (6-5; No. 7): That fake field goal was so bad that the Colts were laughing at it.
11. Colts (6-5; No. 14): 4-0 is the new 40.
12. Texans (6-5; No. 15): Few teams have improved more than this one during the season, and few can figure out how they did it.
13. Raiders (5-6; No. 13): Every time the Raiders give us a reason to give up on them, they give us a reason not to.
14. Bills (5-6; No. 12): They need to finish 4-1 to match what they did without LeSean McCoy, Tyrod Taylor, Charles Clay, and Rex Ryan.
15. Jets (6-5; No. 16): Stephen Ross no longer owns the Dolphins; the Jets do.
16. Bears (5-6; No. 20): Thirty years after a team to never forget, the Bears are gradually piecing together a season to remember.
17. Washington (5-6; No. 25): I like that at home; I hate that on the road.
18. Giants (5-6; No. 11): How bad would they have played in Washington if they hadn’t had two weeks to get ready?
19. Falcons (6-5; No. 17): Matty Ice has a modified nickname.
20. Buccaneers (5-6; No. 18): Is it a drop if it never actually touches your hands?
21. Lions (4-7; No. 24): The Lions have mastered Cooterball.
22. Ravens (4-7; No. 28): Thanks, Ravens, for the annual reminder that the Texans actually paid many millions of dollars to Matt Schaub.
23. Rams (4-7; No. 21): Apparently, “kiss my ass” comes from the Competition Committee’s special parliamentary procedures known as Robert’s Rules of Odor.
24. Dolphins (4-7; No. 22): If the Dolphins fire someone every time they lose to the Jets, the Dolphins may eventually have no one left to fire.
25. Jaguars (4-7; No. 23): At least folks in Jacksonville can enjoy the holidays without being distracted by playoff seedings.
26. Eagles (4-7; No. 26): At this rate, the Eagles may give the Titans a first-round pick to take Chip Kelly.
27. Saints (4-7; No. 27): Drew Brees will make it to 45 only if he becomes a kicker.
28. Chargers (3-8; No. 31): The Chargers are so bad that beating the Jaguars is actually an upset.
29. 49ers (3-8; No. 29): The 49ers are so bad that Rob Schneider is calling them out.
30. Cowboys (3-8; No. 19): At least the expectations won’t be quite as high next year.
31. Titans (2-9; No. 30): If the NFL played 45 minutes game, the Titans would be a lock for the Super Bowl.
32. Browns (2-9; No. 32): A Pick Six and a Kick Six and anyone who watched that one got sick at least six times.