Kind of an odd week, what with football being played on Tuesday night for the first time in 60 years. So my Rankings are a little bit late as a result. Also, there were a couple upsets that I really didn't see coming. I don't care for upsets, most of the time. They tend to ruin what I plan to put out here in the ol' blog. Let's go!
1.) New England (13-2) [+1]
After another resounding win, the Patriots move up. Of course, it helps that Atlanta fell on their faces; I was reticent to move the Patriots up, unless something happened to the Falcons. Both teams just kept winning, so they stayed where they were. Well, finally, Atlanta got beat, so now the Patriots are first. They've been the best team in the NFL for the past few weeks, and now there are no roadblocks.
2.) Atlanta (12-3) [-1]
Luckily for the Falcons, there are no other 12 or 13-win teams. They could have taken quite a tumble, and they probably deserve it. They were at home and should have won, no matter who the opponent was. The Saints played well, though. Atlanta gets another reward with Carolina coming into the Georgia Dome...sounds like an easy win, but then again....
3.) Baltimore (11-4) [+1]
Another win for the Ravens. They could win the AFC North if Pittsburgh slips up next week. I think they'll go in as a Wild Card, but it doesn't make much difference. It's not likely that anyone will be spoiling to face the Ravens, after all.
4.) Pittsburgh (11-4) [+3]
Having a patsy come in on Thursday proved to be excellent tonic for the Polamalu-less Steelers. Even with the division game remaining, it doesn't look like there's much to play for, beside securing the 2-seed.
5.) New Orleans (11-4) [+3]
Going into Atlanta and winning proved something to me. And it looks like New Orleans is peaking at the right time. This despite last week's loss to Baltimore. Then again, Baltimore plays tougher defense. Atlanta's defense was strong, but Drew Brees was able to puncture it at the right time. I think they exposed Atlanta, and now have the best chance to win the Super Bowl among NFC teams.
6.) Chicago (11-4) [no change]
Rarely do the Bears play a shootout with anybody, much less another defense-oriented team like the Jets. I'm not quite sold on Chicago, even with them clinching their division and beating a team that just took out Pittsburgh. I don't think they'll advance far in the playoffs. Maybe they'll prove me wrong.
7.) Kansas City (10-5) [+2]
With the stunning loss by the Chargers, the Chiefs took advantage and won the AFC West. I'm not sure how they'll fare in the playoffs, but with that running attack, it's hard to believe they'd be one-and-done.
8.) NY Jets (10-5) [-3]
Going into Chicago and putting up 34 points isn't terrible. But losing means moving down. I think the Jets could have won the game, and thereby made it a little easier on themselves in the playoffs. Either way, it's gonna be hard, with three road games separating them from the Super Bowl.
9.) Philadelphia (10-5) [-6]
Disappointing play by the Eagles, who looked nothing like their normal selves. I guess it's understandable on an intellectual level...but I still don't get it.
10.) Indianapolis (9-6) [-]
Colts are back in the Rankings after defeating Oakland. They're also the presumptive AFC South winner. That means more Peyton Manning in the playoffs for at least one game. Hard to say they have a good chance of advancing far, but with the game at home, anything could happen.
Thanks for reading. See you next week.