Five weeks down, and no undefeated teams remain. Quite a quandary for this wannabe writer. Usually, the main purpose of these Rankings is to tout the best teams in the NFL, especially the undefeated teams. Now there are none remaining. It still remains to be seen whether any of these ten are actually "good", or if they were just the best ten at this point in the season. That's an arguable point, as there are currently ten 3-2 teams, all of whom look more or less Rankings worthy. Let's go!
1.) Baltimore (4-1) [no change]
If there's one thing I can appreciate, it's consistency. The Ravens have shown that in recent weeks by winning consecutive games. They seem to be getting better every week as well. They might not actually be the best team so far, but they seem to be the most complete. And with a lack of undefeated teams, Baltimore appears to be the best of the current group.
2.) NY Jets (4-1) [+2]
Again I figured the Jets would succumb, and again I was proven wrong. It figures, of course, that Brett Favre would throw an INT to seal his team's doom, and that the Jets' defense would be opportunistic enough to turn that INT into a game-winning touchdown. The Jets are getting all the pieces back in place, and that loss against Baltimore is looking smaller and smaller.
3.) New England (3-1) [no change]
New England was on a bye, so I couldn't see moving them up or down. I changed my mind about the other team in the Rankings on a bye...see below.
4.) Atlanta (4-1) [+1]
Another week, another win for the "never say die" Falcons. I think it's safe to say that Matt Ryan has no effects from last season's sophomore slump. Good thing, since they've needed him to be at his best at the end of every game. Next week they draw the Eagles in what could be Michael Vick's first game against his former team. They've got a better shot if Kevin Kolb is the Eagles' starter, I would guess, though that is no safe bet either.
5.) Chicago (4-1) [+5]
I don't have the stats next to me to back this up, but I'm guessing that was one of the worst starts by a QB since 2000. Heck, maybe since 1990, even. Todd Collins was all sorts of awful, completing only six passes for 32 yards, with FOUR INT's. Somehow, the Bears and Matt Forte (or maybe just Forte by himself, given their similarly dreadful O-line) made do without help from the QB and ran over Carolina. Obviously, we can't count on that happening again. Chicago must be loving Jay Cutler now; they might not have much hope with him, but they definitely have no hope whatsoever without him.
6.) Tampa Bay (3-1) [-]
Somehow, these erstwhile young Bucs are 3-1. Somehow. Playing against Cincinnati, they proved to me that they're a good team, and that Carson Palmer is in no way an "elite" QB. I doubt that Palmer is even "good" at the moment. Josh Freeman, on the other hand, is looking like a winner, if nothing else. Good for him.
7.) Kansas City (3-1) [-5]
Luckily for the Chiefs, there are only so many 1-loss teams this week. Their inclusion in the Rankings was a given, as a result. Usually, I would have dropped them out entirely; falling from the ranks of the undefeated is not something I reward. Despite losing at Indy, I think the Chiefs are a good team. Or better than the remainder of the 3-2 teams that aren't in the Rankings this week.
8.) Pittsburgh (3-1) [+1]
Like I said above, I don't usually move teams that are on a bye. It just seems ...stupid. Yet I've moved Pittsburgh up one spot this week because they're the "last" 3-1 team, and the other two teams below them have two losses. What looks worse, a 3-2 team ranked higher than a 3-1 team, or a team on a bye moving up a single spot? I thought so too.
9.) Indianapolis (3-2) [-]
Thanks to that win at home, and my undying admiration for Peyton Manning in general, the Colts are back in the Rankings. I guess that means I'm biased. Anyway, I firmly believe that the Colts will rise above this rather uncharacteristic start and win 12-13 games. Pie in the sky, I say. Pie in the sky.
10.) Tennessee (3-2) [-]
They've got Vince Young and Chris Johnson. And they just so happened to beat the Cowboys. OK, so maybe that's not worth as much as it used to be (like when the Cowboys were actually a good team). But I have a feeling about these Titans. I think they'll continue to prove their worth as the season goes on, as opposed to say, Jacksonville, or the NY Giants.
See you next week. Thanks for reading.