Patriots rise, Ravens fall in my latest power rankings

There is little debate over which team is the NFL's best after the Patriots' 45-3 win over the Jets. And like Owen Wilson's Hansel character in "Zoolander," Tom Brady is so hot right now. The Baltimore offense? Not so much. The Ravens are reeling after topping the past two installments of my monthly power rankings. How far have they fallen? Read on to find out.

1. Patriots (previous ranking — 5): The Patriots smacked around the Jets on "Monday Night Football," and have gone 7-1 since the Randy Moss trade. Brady is the clear favorite for MVP, though it sickens me that his life might get even better.

2. Falcons (4): The only thing between the Falcons, who are undefeated in Atlanta, and the NFC South title is a home game against the Saints.


3. Eagles (9): Michael Vick is pretty good at football.

4. Saints (7): Drew Brees and the offense are finally clicking. The Saints have put at least 30 points on the board in four straight.


5. Steelers (2): Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu own the Ravens. Those two stole another one in Baltimore last weekend.

6. Packers (6): Their path to playoffs is perilous — @DET, @NE, NYG, CHI — but no one will want to play them if they get in.

7. Ravens (1): Derrick Mason has every right to be concerned about the offense after the Ravens' inability to put opponents away might have cost them the AFC North. Cam Cameron isn't going anywhere, though — at least not until the season is over.

8. Bears (17): This is Jay Cutler's first winning season, like, ever.

9. Giants (3): Losing Hakeem Nicks to injury killed my fantasy team, but it hasn't killed the Giants. Nicks should be back soon.

10. Jets (8): Rex Ryan wrote another big check for his Jets before a nationally televised statement game, and it bounced.

11. Chiefs (15): I guess it's time I start believing in the Chiefs. And in Matt Cassel, too. He has thrown 23 TDs and four INTs. Damn.

12. Jaguars (19): Maurice Jones-Drew is a total beast. It's a shame we don't get to see him on TV more often. Heck, it's a shame that Jaguars fans don't get to see him on TV more often.

13. Chargers (12): I didn't see another loss to Oakland coming.

14. Colts (10): Peyton Manning has tossed four interceptions in back-to-back games. Brady has thrown four all season.

15. Buccaneers (16): The young Bucs have been exposed as pretenders, but a solid foundation has been laid for the future.

16. Raiders (14): They slapped Big Ben then slugged San Diego.

17. Dolphins (18): What a story Cameron Wake has been, going from the CFL in 2008 to leading the NFL with 12.0 sacks in 2010.

18. Rams (23): Would you take rookie QB Sam Bradford, who has thrown for 2,653 yards and 17 touchdowns while somehow making the Rams relevant, over Ravens QB Joe Flacco right now?

19. Seahawks (24): I have no idea what to make of this team.

20. Cowboys (30): With two games against the Eagles in the season's final four weeks, the Cowboys could be serious spoilers.

21. Texans (13): There's a crazy storyline looming in Houston. Will Andre Johnson, the NFL's best receiver, request a trade once the Texans fail to make the playoffs? Don't expect this guy to mail it in against the Ravens on Monday night, though.

22. Vikings (20): Sit down, Brett Favre. It's over.

23. Browns (22): Eric Mangini has earned another year in Cleveland. I doubt he gets it, though, with Mike Holmgren likely to make a splash like Mike Holmgren in a cannonball contest.

24. Redskins (21): Today's lesson: Don't give a $100 million deal to big, fat guy who was just playing for a huge contract. In D.C., Albert Haynesworth was hungrier for snacks than sacks.

25. 49ers (27): The 49ers have handed Troy Smith a clipboard again, even though he quarterbacked them to three of their four wins.

26. Titans (11): Vince Young will survive the cage match with Jeff Fisher, but only because of chair-wielding owner Bud Adams.

27. Bills (32): Ryan Fitzpatrick has been one of the season's biggest surprises, but he might end up costing the Bills the top pick in the draft and a chance to take Stanford QB Andrew Luck.

28. Lions (25): In a two-week span, they ruined Turkey Day and killed "The Dougie." I wouldn't be surprised if they have something to do with WikiLeaks, too.

29. Broncos (29): Josh McDaniels, we hardly knew you. But we learned enough to know that you're a tool. Now what does this firing mean for Tim Tebow's future in Denver?

30. Bengals (28): The T.Ocho Show has been a bust, and I'm not referring to that awful show on Versus. Cincy needs to clean house — new coach; new quarterback; new, team-oriented wideouts.

31. Cardinals (26): When your season highlight is your QB blowing up on the podium, well, that's not a very good season.

32. Panthers (31): Paging Bill Cowher.