Pompei's NFL power rankings

1. Giants (1 last week): How would an Eli Manning-Peyton Manning Super Bowl strike you?

2. Falcons (3): When everyone was busy watching Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, Matt Ryan was the best passer in the first half of the NFL season.

3. Bears (2): Their offense has been all promise, no payoff. Unless Jay Cutler and company start putting together more scoring drives, the Bears can't keep it going.

4. Texans (4): They will get a chance to show Mario Williams how much he is missed Sunday.

5. 49ers (5): If they can keep Alex Smith playing like he played Monday night, look out.

6. Packers (6): They are managing to tread water through some injuries — that's the sign of a strong team.

7. Patriots (10): After the off week, the Patriots could be ready to embark on their annual second half tear.

8. Ravens (8): No truth to the rumor Joe Flacco is going to play both ways to do for the Ravens defense what he has done for their offense.

9. Broncos (11): Looks like they should keep getting better and run away with the AFC West.

10. Vikings (7): They cannot be as bad as the team we saw Thursday. Can they?

11. Dolphins (20): Joe Philbin is an early candidate for coach of the year and the Dolphins are the NFL's surprise team so far.

12. Steelers (13): What does it tell us when more people are talking about the uniform than the team?

13. Colts (21): The Colts are not a bad football team. And with Vick Ballard, they might not be a bad high jump team either.

14. Lions (18): If anyone can find Calvin Johnson, please let Matthew Stafford know where he is.

15. Seahawks (9): If you judged them strictly by their road record (1-4), they would be at the bottom of these rankings.

16. Cowboys (15): They remain a scary team to play. And a scary team to coach, apparently.

17. Cardinals. (14): If history is a guide, the Cardinals, who started 4-0 and then lost four straight, are due for a four-game winning streak.

18. Redskins (12): Injuries on both sides of the ball have affected this team to a significant degree.

19. Eagles (19): It's difficult to envision Nick Foles saving the season for the Eagles.

20. Buccaneers (27): They might not be Super Bowl bound, but you can see progress under first-year coach Greg Schiano.

21. Chargers (16): They have lost three straight and are starting to look for scapegoats.

22. Bengals (22): Three straight losses have the Bengals reeling, but they can't be counted out just yet.

23. Saints (17): Steve Spagnuolo would like a magic wand. Or a pass rush. Or some run defense. Or some decent coverage.

24. Rams (23): They can blame what happened Sunday on the fish and chips. Or on Tom Brady.

25. Bills (26): Maybe they had time during their off week to fix some of the leaks in their defense.

26. Jets (24): Rex Ryan barely is recognizable without being cocky. But he has little to be cocky about these days.

27. Titans (25): Mike Munchak says Jake Locker is not "a long ways away." The Titans, however, may be.

28. Raiders (28): Don't look now but the Raiders have won two straight. Never mind that the teams they beat were the Jaguars and Chiefs.

29. Browns (30): Trent Richardson and stingy defense are a pretty decent combination.

30. Panthers: (29): They may be one of those teams that will play tough almost every week but find a way to lose the game.

31. Chiefs (31): This team could use a shake-up. Is trading Dwayne Bowe the answer?

32. Jaguars (32): The Jaguars are feisty, but they need playmakers to step up.

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