With six teams tied atop the NFL standings at 6-2, it's a wide-open debate as to which team is the best. One of those teams, the Ravens, was No. 1 when I last released my rankings four weeks ago, and I've seen nothing since to convince me otherwise. When your biggest issues are an alleged loogie and some window tint, you're in pretty good shape.
1. Ravens (previous ranking — 1): Don't look now, but Joe Flacco is the league's hottest quarterback. He has thrown 11 touchdowns and just one pick since Week 3, giving him an NFL-best 108.6 passer rating during that span. He is more efficient than spectacular, but that's all this talented Ravens team needs.
2. Steelers (4): If Pittsburgh's tenacious 'D' — tops in the NFL in scoring defense — has a weakness, it's the 24th-ranked pass defense, which is allowing 240 yards per game.
3. Giants (8): The Giants, winners of five straight, are the cream of the NFC crop. They rank in the top seven in the league in passing, rushing, pass defense and run defense.
4. Falcons (3): And I praise the Giants with no disrespect to the Falcons, the Ravens' opponents Thursday night. They have been pretty impressive, too, winning six of seven, and wideout Roddy White will pose a serious problem for the Ravens.
5. Patriots (5): The Patriots are undefeated at home — I guess new Under Armour signee Tom Brady really does know how to protect this house — but they are a different team when they leave Foxborough, as we saw Sunday in Cleveland.
6. Packers (6): Despite all those injuries, the Packers continue to win games. Side note: LB Clay Matthews is an absolute beast.
7. Saints (13): Beware the champs, who beat the Steelers two weeks ago then beat down the hapless Panthers last weekend.
8. Jets (2): Mark Sanchez's completion percentage in the Jets' past four games is 50.3. That isn't going to cut it.
9. Eagles (16): If — and only if — the rejuvenated Michael Vick stays healthy, the Eagles will be a playoff team.
10. Colts (7): Peyton Manning and Co. are showing cracks, but they are still in control of the AFC South.
11. Titans (14): The Titans had to roll the dice on Randy Moss. The AFC is too stacked for them to make the playoffs without him — and that's assuming Jeff Fisher can get the most out of Moss.
12. Chargers (18): Yeah, I know the Bolts are in third place in the AFC West and winless in the division. Talent will win out.
13. Texans (15): A season with so much promise is starting to slip away. Arian Foster is the real deal, though.
14. Raiders (23): The Raiders are suddenly relevant. Really.
15. Chiefs (11): Reality is setting in, but a playoff spot will come sooner than expected — maybe even in 2011.
16. Buccaneers (12): I was wrong about Josh Freeman when I called him a bust before the 2009 draft. The kid can play.
17. Bears (10): The Bears are about to get fully exposed; their second-half schedule is especially tough. Heads up, Jay Cutler!
18. Dolphins (17): LB Karlos Dansby said that "on the street, you'd get killed for" spitting on someone. Remember that the next time you think about hocking a loogie at a stranger, OK?
19. Jaguars (19): The Jaguars have a .500 record despite an alarming minus-61 point differential. It's been a weird season.
20. Vikings (21): We finally saw signs of life on Sunday. They've got a long way to go to save their season, though.
21. Redskins (9): Mike Shanahan's decision to sit Donovan McNabb for Rex Grossman will look brilliant if McNabb turns his season around. Either way, consider the bridge burned.
22. Browns (26): OK, so maybe they're not cupcakes after all.
23. Rams (29): The Rams might win the NFC West by default.
24. Seahawks (27): They have been outscored 74-10 in the past two weeks, yet they, too, could win the NFC West by default.
25. Lions (24): If there is a God, he/she/it hates the Lions.
26. Cardinals (28): Anquan Boldin would be the best QB on the team had the Cardinals not traded him to the Ravens.
27. 49ers (30): I'm rooting for Troy Smith to turn them around.
28. Bengals (22): Stop whining about not getting the ball, Chad Ochocinco. You're the one who pushed the Bengals to bring in T.O.
29. Broncos (25): More Tim Tebow, please. After all, what do the Broncos have to lose at this point?
30. Cowboys (20): Jerry Jones finally figured out what we have known for a couple years: Wade Phillips is not a good head coach.
31. Panthers (31): Speaking of the Cowboys' vacancy, John Fox is a pretty good coach who will soon be out of a job.
32. Bills (32): Oh-so-close to that first win, yet so far away.
- Baltimore Ravens
- Pittsburgh Panthers
- New York Giants
- NFC West
- Arizona Cardinals
- Atlanta Falcons
- Chicago Bears
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Dallas Cowboys
- Denver Broncos
- Detroit Lions
- Green Bay Packers
- Oakland Raiders
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Tennessee Titans
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- New England Patriots
- New York Jets
- Philadelphia Eagles