With only 5 weeks left in the 2010 NFL season we are starting to get a clearer picture of who are the best teams in the league. Week 13 will bring the picture even more clear, especially in the AFC as there are some matchups between top teams with the Jets traveling to New England and the Steelers heading to Baltimore. We have a new number one team this week and one new addition to our top 5. Here we go...
1. Atlanta Falcons (9-2) - I hate the nickname "Matty Ice", mainly because he has yet to win an important game in January but I am starting to warm up to it after the Falcons defeat of the Packers last Sunday. Matt Ryan is playing as efficiently as possible at the quarterback position and led the Falcons to another late victory. The Falcons only two losses came against teams from Pennslyvania, so as long as they can stay away from one state in the union they should have a very good chance of making it to Texas in February.
2. New England Patriots (9-2) - The Patriots played on Thanksgiving this past week in Detroit and for 40 minutes looked like they might have trouble with the Lions, but then they turned on the after burners and ended up beating the Lions by 21. The Patriots defense is still a cause for concern and week to week you never know how they are going to perform. They have their biggest game of the year on Monday night football this week as they welcome the Jets into Foxboro field for a match up of 2 of the 3 teams at 9-2. This rivalry is good anytime they play, add in the division title to the mix and we are looking at the game of the year to date. It all will come down to which Patriots defense shows up but a victory would go a long way to securing home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
3. New York Jets (9-2) - The Jets also played on Thanksgiving when they faced the Bengals in the new Meadowlands Stadium. This game was basically over before it started as the Jets won ever facet of the game. Terrell Owens called superstar corner for the Jets, Darrelle Revis, average prior to the game...that sort of backfired as Revis held TO to 3 catches for 14 yards and made TO look like an average receiver. The Jets will have their game of the year this week as they travel to New England for a showdown with the Patriots which will go a long way to decide the AFC east and home field advantage in the AFC playoffs. If the Jets can limit their turnovers and shutdown Brady and company they have a chance to move up in our rankings.
4. Baltimore Ravens (8-3) - The Ravens took care of business against the much improved Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home on Sunday. The final score was 17-10 but the game was never as close as the final score. The Ravens defense looked really good, holding the Bucs to less than 250 yards of offense. Josh Freeman looked confused at times and definitely did not play his best game of the season. Joe Flacco had a very efficient game and Ray Rice pounded the ball 20 times down the throat of the Bucs defense. Balitmore will play host to the Steelers on Sunday night football in a game that will go a long way to deciding the AFC north. The Ravens already beat the Steelers once so a win would give them a game lead with the tiebreaker.
5. Chicago Bears (8-3) - Chicago has received no love all season in our rankings, mainly due to the lack of good wins so far this season. They changed our thinking on Sunday as they laid a beat down against the Eagles. The Chicago defense looked really good, limiting Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson from making any big plays. They out-coached the Philadelphia Eagles and now stand alone on top of the NFC north. They will travel to Detroit this week to face a Detroit team that doesn't quit. Although on paper this looks like a game Chicago should win, they better take Detroit seriously because this would be a bad game for a let down.
Honorable Mentions: New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles
There is the top 5 teams in the NFL after week 12. Thoughts or opinions? Feel free to leave a comment! Also don't forget to visit my site, www.moleandmeares.com, to watch our weekly picks video and submit your week 13 NFL picks for a chance to win a weekly prize.