Senior NFL Columnist

Power Rankings: Move over, AFC, NFC pack sure looking large and in charge

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Why play the Super Bowl?

Can we just have an NFC Championship Game and give the big, gaudy rings to the winner?

Have you taken a look at the AFC?

OK, it's early. Things change week by week in the NFL. But there is no denying the AFC is the JV conference right now.

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Of the top six teams in the CBSSports.com Power Rankings, five are from the NFC. The lone team from the AFC is the Houston Texans, who are just eight days removed from a beating on their home field administered by the Green Bay Packers, one of those good NFC teams.

Aside from the Texans, what other team can we consider among the best from the AFC?

The Patriots? They've been blown out in the fourth quarter the past three games and held on to beat the Jets in overtime Sunday.

The Ravens? Don't get me started with that team. That defense is horrendous.

The Broncos? The Chargers? The Steelers?

Who? Anybody?

I don't like to play the if-the-playoffs-started-now game in October, but for those who do, the Dolphins and Chargers would be in if we did have playoffs this week.

The 3-3 Dolphins with a rookie quarterback and coach, and a team that many considered far from a contender when they appeared on Hard Knocks this summer on HBO.

And the last image we have of the Chargers is seeing them blow a 24-point halftime lead last Monday night to the Broncos.

The NFC is 19-9 against the AFC. The NFC won the series 33-31 last year, but they are off to a fast start this time around.

Will the AFC rally? Will November bring contenders? Right now, it's Houston and a bunch of teams searching for an identity.

Just look at these Power Rankings:

RANK TEAM MOVE (LW)

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.
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