1. Patriots (7-1; last week No. 1): If the offense is capable of scoring 41 points per game, they can trade Jamie Collins. And anyone else on the defense.
2. Cowboys (6-1; No. 2): The smartest thing the Cowboys ever did was focus on building a quality offensive line.
3. Broncos (6-2; No. 6): They’re far from dominant, but they’re good enough to be in the right place at the right time to qualify for another Super Bowl.
4. Raiders (6-2; No. 10): If they want to be taken seriously, they need a signature win. The next chance for one comes on Sunday night.
5. Falcons (5-3; No. 7): The Second Annual Midseason Swoon ended early.
6. Chiefs (5-2; No. 9): Alex Smith has a concussion. Unless he doesn’t. Unless he does. Unless he doesn’t.
7. Packers (4-3; No. 5): Every NFC contender should hope that the Packers don’t make it to the playoffs.
8. Steelers (4-3; No. 8): They need to get Ben back, sooner than later.
9. Seahawks (4-2-1; No. 4): The Seahawks should be thinking about giving Russell Wilson a week or two off in order to get him healthy for the playoff run. Or there won’t be one.
10. Vikings (5-2; No. 3): But for the presence of plenty of mediocre teams below them, the Vikings would have fallen on this list like a rock tied to an anchor in a sack full of cement blocks.
11. Texans (5-3; No. 16): They continue to win the ones they should, and lose the ones they should.
12. Washington (4-3-1; No. 12): They may be better than they were a year ago. The only problem is that the rest of the division is a lot better.
13. Eagles (4-3; No. 13): They’re better than expected, but still not nearly good enough.
14. Giants (4-3; No. 14): They’re better than expected, but still not nearly good enough.
15. Lions (4-4; No. 11): Two games in 18 days against Minnesota will go a long way toward determining whether the Lions really are any better than they’ve been.
16. Bills (4-4; No. 15): Sure, they lost. But Sunday’s game could be the moment on which a new trend emerged regarding the ritual of throwing specific things onto the field.
17. Buccaneers (3-4; No. 18): All those fans who didn’t sell their tickets to Raiders fans surely wish they did.
18. Bengals (3-4-1; No. 19): Years of free-agency losses and coaching promotions have caught up with the Bengals.
19. Titans (4-4; No. 23): Of all the teams in the AFC South, this is the one that could be best built to thrive in January.
20. Dolphins (3-4; No. 20): Check the schedule. This percolating team could be getting very hot, quickly.
21. Cardinals (3-4-1; No. 17): The window by all appearances has slammed shut.
22. Saints (3-4; No. 26): Quietly, the Saints are racking up victories and becoming more and more relevant.
23. Chargers (3-5; No. 21): The Chargers would be leading three or four other divisions.
24. Ravens (3-4; No. 24): If the Ravens ever are going to wake up, it needs to happen now.
25. Rams (3-4; No. 25): A division title isn’t out of the question, given how bad their division suddenly is.
26. Panthers (2-5; No. 27): At a time when they’ve been trying to turn the page on 2015, a back-to-the-future moment against Arizona may have down the trick.
27. Colts (3-5; No. 22): Chuck Pagano says Sunday’s game at Green Bay is a “defining moment” for the team. But we already know the definition of the term “crappy underachievers.”
28. Jets (3-5; No. 29): Maybe the offense should consist of a direct snap to Matt Forte on every play.
29. Bears (2-6; No. 31): Jay Cutler definitely wasn’t who Bears fans thought he was.
30. Jaguars (2-5; No. 28): “So I get paid for the rest of the year and I no longer have to run this crappy offense? Thanks!”
31. 49ers (1-6; No. 30): With a bizarre dispute emerging in Santa Clara, the 49ers somehow managed to lose in the bye week, too.
32. Browns (0-8; No. 32): There aren’t many/any obvious chances to win at least one game in the second half of the season.