Rankings are a compilation of opinions of eight NFL writers from Tribune Publishing newspapers across the country (last week's ranking in parentheses):

1. Steelers (1) 12-game winning streak on the line vs. a very tough Ravens defense.

2. Eagles (3) Wondering what the Monday Night Football lead-in will be without Terrell Owens?

3. Patriots (2) Tom Brady will have to pick up the pieces after Miami meltdown.

4. Colts (4) Move over, Dan Marino, your record will fall in the first half.

5. Chargers (5) Hard to believe this high-voltage bunch was 4-12 in 2003.

6. Falcons (6) Bucs got sick on "Michael Vick Experience" in Week 10.

7. Jets (7) Chad Pennington should attack Patriots defense instead of the New York media.

8. Jaguars (12) Santa came a week early for the "Cardiac Cats" at Lambeau.

9. Bills (11) Bills get their big Christmas present a day late by playing the 49ers.

10. Ravens (8) Team has a chance to strike back at Ben Roethlisberger.

11. Packers (9) 'Twas the night before Christmas and we watched football.

12. Vikings (15) Still the night before Christmas and we didn't miss a play.

13. Broncos (10) Mike Shanahan needs to quit horsing around or he'll be bucked.

14. Panthers (13) Super Bowl losers still in the playoff hunt despite a losing mark.

15. Seahawks (14) Season's biggest disappointment meets worst franchise.

16. Chiefs (20) They need much more than Priest Holmes to save this season.

17. Bengals (16) Learned hard way that Jon Kitna is no Carson Palmer.

18. Texans (19) David Carr needs to avoid very large pothole in Jacksonville.

19. Rams (17) Headed for major shake-up in the offseason.

20. Saints (26) Ditto.

21. Redskins (23) Luckily for Joe Gibbs, NASCAR season is only two months away.

22. Cowboys (21) Fans used to wait all season for Redskins-Cowboys.

23. Buccaneers (18) It could be time to abandon ship on the SS Chucky Ball.

24. Raiders (28) A win over the Titans, er, Midgets, does not a season make.

25. Lions (22) NFL Sunday Ticket was made to avoid games like Lions-Bears.

26. Giants (27) Eli Manning showed flashes vs. Pittsburgh.

27. Cardinals (29) Unlike the Big Unit, no one would notice if they left town.

28. Titans (24) Indefensible defensive effort: allowing five touchdown passes by Kerry Collins.

29. Bears (25) No touchdowns in the past two weeks.

30. Dolphins (30) Made their season by beating Patriots.

31. Browns (31) Would need Butch Davis back to have a story line vs. Miami.

32. 49ers (32) Everyone's favorite punching bag plays host to Buffalo.

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