NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs take top spot, Colts fall to No. 2

It's been a magical season in Kansas City so far.  (USATSI)
It's been a magical season in Kansas City so far. (USATSI)

How do the Colts lose their No. 1 ranking on a bye week? Two reasons: Kansas City is 8-0 and certainly deserving of the No. 1 spot. And the loss of Reggie Wayne will be tough to overcome for Indy.

Elsewhere, the Lions switch spots with the Cowboys after winning Sunday in Detroit in a showdown between the league's two best receivers, while the up-and-down Jets slide after an ugly loss to the Bengals.

1. Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs keep on winning, but some would say the backup quarterbacks they have faced in the last two weeks (Case Keenum and Jason Campbell) take away from their 8-0 record. A game next week against a Rams backup QB is a factor. The defense is good no matter who they play.

2. Indianapolis Colts: They fall from the top spot last week and they are on a bye. It is because they lost Reggie Wayne for the rest of the year and the Chiefs were impressive in week eight.

3. Seattle Seahawks: At times I think they are the best team in the NFL, and with five home games left on the schedule they should climb to the top with that defense and running game. Monday night against the Rams was another example of their offensive line problems, as Russell Wilson was sacked seven times.

4. Denver Broncos: It was hard to believe the Broncos scored 45 points this week against the Redskins. Peyton Manning is starting to get hit and it could be a problem in the weeks to come.

5. New Orleans Saints: New Orleans can score 30+ points at home against any team. Let's see how they do on the road this week when the Ryan brothers face off in New York. New Orleans averages 23 points a game away from New Orleans.

6. San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers run game has been intimidating opponents over the four-game win streak the Niners are on. When a club averages over 180 yards rushing for a month, not many teams will beat them.

7. Cincinnati Bengals: The Andy Dalton Show is gaining significant strength. Eleven touchdown passes in the last four games and the solid distribution of the passes is impressive.

8. Green Bay Packers: After watching the Packers drop 44 points on the Vikings on Sunday night, you would never know the club has a number of injuries.

Andy Dalton has the Bengals on a roll.  (USATSI)
Andy Dalton has the Bengals on a roll. (USATSI)

9. New England Patriots: The Patriots offense is not as impressive as it has been in years past, but they still win (5-2). I have some concern about how often Tom Brady has been sacked in the last month (16 in four games).

10. Detroit Lions: The Lions had the drive of the weekend in their last-second win over the Cowboys. Calvin Johnson looks unstoppable and Matt Stafford can put up 300 yards of passing on any defense.

11. Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys should have won the Lions game after being ahead with one minute to play, buy they couldn't stop the Detroit passing game. Dallas still has enough to win the NFC East with its passing game and the return of RB DeMarco Murray.

12. San Diego Chargers: No one saw the Chargers this high up the rankings back in August and many thought Philip Rivers was on the downside of his career, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. Rivers and his offense will put points on the board. The defense is always a question mark.

13. Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens have only scored 33 points in their two-game winning streak. The run game isn't what it used to be in years past.

14. Carolina Panthers: The Panthers are really improved and are legitimate playoff contenders with Cam Newton playing well and the front seven of the defense playing well.

Cam Newton has the Panthers in the hunt for a playoff berth.  (USATSI)
Cam Newton has the Panthers in the hunt for a playoff berth. (USATSI)

15. Chicago Bears: There's no telling what will happen for the next month with Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs injured and two defensive tackles out as well. The Bears are 1-3 in the last four games.

16. Tennessee Titans: A tough team, especially in the trenches. If Jake Locker can continue to improve they will move up the rankings. Rams and Jaguars are the next two games.

17. New York Jets: A hot and cold team that will probably wind up 8-8 as Geno Smith goes through the learning curve of being an NFL QB. The defense has to be great every week for them to win and last week vs. the Bengals they were not anything near good.

18. Oakland Raiders: Dennis Allen is getting a lot of mileage out of a bunch of patchwork defensive players and a young QB that can run. The Raiders are 3-1 at home and get the Eagles this week.

19. Arizona Cardinals: If the Cardinals can protect Carson Palmer, they will climb the rankings because of a solid defense and the big-play ability of Larry Fitzgerald.

20. Cleveland Browns: Another team that has had to use three different quarterbacks this season. They are on a three-game losing streak and need to turn things around.

21. Buffalo Bills: An 'A' for effort but how far can backup QB Thad Lewis take this team? They need EJ Manuel and CJ Spiller back in top form.

22. Atlanta Falcons: A medical mess has resulted in one of the better club's in the league to plummet. I worry about Matt Ryan and the beating he is taking behind that line.

Super Bowl or Bust? For Matt Ryan and the Falcons, it's looking like the latter.  (USATSI)
Super Bowl or Bust? For Matt Ryan and the Falcons, it's looking like the latter. (USATSI)

23. Miami Dolphins: The bubble has burst for a team with a ton of offseason hype. The Dolphins can't protect Ryan Tannehill and are consequently on a four-game losing streak.

24. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III is tough, but I'm not sure he will last very long in the NFL with the pounding he takes. The defense gives up more points than any team not names the Jaguars.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers: A two-game winning streak gave me hope they were going to climb out of the hole they dug, but the road loss last week to the Raiders was a reminder all is not well in Steeler town.

26. New York Giants: The way the NFC east is right now this team could climb back in the race. A two-game winning streak is a ray of hope, but I said the same thing last week about the Steelers. Buyer beware!

27. St. Louis Rams: The Rams played their heart out and almost beat the Seahawks this week with Kellen Clemons at QB. Their pass rush, led by Robert Quinn, is back and that will lead to a few more wins.

28. Philadelphia Eagles: Have you noticed how many teams at the bottom of the rankings are playing multiple quarterbacks? The Eagles are one of them and the style of offense changes radically when it isn't Michael Vick. Chip Kelly is getting his NFL indoctrination.

29. Houston Texans: Matt Schaub is healthy enough to play, but Case Keenum gets another start! I heard this story before when Tom Brady stayed on the field when Drew Bledsoe got healthy. I'm not sure Keenum is another Brady.

30. Minnesota Vikings: Musical chairs at QB … sound familiar?

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The team will have well over 100,000 no-shows and unsold tickets by the end of the season and that always spells trouble for a coach.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars: I think they play hard enough at times to win a game and not go 0-16, which might get them out of the last spot. For now, they sit at the bottom with 86 points scored all season (8.6 per game).

 
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