1. Rams (8-0; last week No. 1): Win the next three, and it will be time for the ’72 Dolphins to start getting a little antsy.
2. Saints (6-1; No. 2): An NFC West reunion game gives the Saints a chance to jump to No. 1.
3. Patriots (6-2; No. 3): It was sluggish, it was sloppy, it was uninspiring. And they still beat the Bills by 19 points.
4. Chiefs (7-1; No. 4): They get the dysfunctional Browns at a time when they are much more dysfunctional than usual.
5. Chargers (5-2; No. 5): The return of Joey Bosa will make a playoff contender a Super Bowl contender.
6. Steelers (4-2-1; No. 9): The Steelers have gotten nearly as many Browns coaches fired as they’ve won Super Bowls.
7. Washington (5-2; No. 10): I love a great story, and there’s no story better than a 33-year-old future Hall of Fame tailback leading a team he joined barely two months ago to a potential division title.
8. Panthers (5-2; No. 11): My friends at WFNZ will surely still find a way to complain about the Panthers being ranked this high.
9. Vikings (4-3-1; No. 6): The Vikings desperately need on-field leadership that will keep players from folding the tents after unexpected adversity strikes, like a 14-point swing late in the first half of a game.
10. Eagles (4-4; No. 12): If the Eagles make it back to the playoffs, they definitely will have earned it, with five division games left, including four against Dallas and Washington.
11. Texans (5-3; No. 14): If the core players stay healthy, the Texans can be a major force come January.
12. Bengals (5-3; No. 13): Sometimes, players-only meetings work. Barely.
14. Bears (4-3; No. 17): With Nathan Peterman potentially playing quarterback for the Bills on Sunday, they may as well change the standings to 5-3..
15. Seahawks (4-3; No. 18): The biggest threat to the Rams in the playoffs could be residing in their division.
16. Ravens (4-4; No. 7): The most dangerous team in the AFC postseason may not make it there, to the delight of the Patriots and Chiefs.
17. Lions (3-4; No. 15): A team that has been too inconsistent gets a chance to take a bite out of the Vikings in a venue where the Lions are 2-0.
18. Dolphins (4-4; No. 16): As it turns out, Brocktober is the shortest month of the year.
19. Falcons (3-4; No. 19): Whether they have a chance to play in January will depend largely on what they do in November.
20. Buccaneers (3-4; No. 20): The revolving door at quarterback will continue to spin until the revolving door at coach starts spinning, again.
21. Cowboys (3-4; No. 21): There’s a strange blend of hope and desperation for a Cowboys team that goes one week at a time from hopeful to desperate.
22. Jaguars (3-5; No. 22): In football, drink-and-dash usually refers to taking a swig of Gatorade before running to the field.
23. Browns (2-5-1; No. 23): Two steps back will lead to a to-be-determined number of steps forward.
24. Broncos (3-5; No. 24): The Broncos should just stop drafting quarterbacks.
25. Titans (3-4; No. 25): The window is quickly closing on a playoff run.
26. Colts (3-5; No. 27): That overtime loss to the Texans could end up being the game that keeps the Colts out of playoff contention.
28. Cardinals (2-6; No. 32): Sweeping the 49ers doesn’t mean what it once did.
29. Bills (2-6; No. 28): On Monday night, there were half as many dildos thrown as there were points scored by the home team.
30. 49ers (1-7; No. 29): Those pesky Santa Clara traffic problems will be back in a big way on Thursday night.
31. Raiders (1-6; No. 30): Sean McDonough has volunteered to handle Thursday night’s game for FOX.
32. Giants (1-7; No. 31): Usually, that embarrassing one-year-too-many from a fallen star happens with a different team.