Every Monday morning, the day after my favorite day of the week but still hours before that week's slate of games officially wraps up with "Monday Night Football," I will bring you my weekly premature NFL power rankings.

Why Monday? Because who wants to wait until Tuesday or Wednesday for power rankings?


Why 11 teams? I don't really have a good answer for that one. I've always liked odd numbers.

What am I basing them on? Who my gut tells me are the toughest teams to beat that week.

Why isn't my team on the list!?!?! Take a deep breath and try not to take these too seriously.

1. Houston Texans (last week -- 1): They proved they can play from behind in a thrilling overtime win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, but getting torched by the immortal Chad Henne is a concern.

2. Green Bay Packers (2): It wasn't pretty, but they picked up a divisional win over the Detroit Lions on the road. I'm anxious to see how they play Sunday night in New York against the Giants.

3. Denver Broncos (3): They have won four games in a row and they could realistically run the table, assuming they can beat the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in the middle of December.

4. New England Patriots (6): Tom Brady and Co. keep short-circuiting scoreboards, whether they are at Gillette Stadium, across the pond in London or elsewhere. They have scored 170 points on their four-game winning streak.

5. Atlanta Falcons (4): Matt Ryan threw five interceptions and they still won? Oh, it was against the Arizona Cardinals. Nevermind.

6. San Francisco 49ers (5): They play the Chicago Bears tonight, but their concussed quarterback (Alex Smith) is not expected to suit up.

7. Chicago Bears (7): See above, and their concussed quarterback (Jay Cutler) is also out. Maybe we should watch "Gossip Girl" instead of "Monday Night Football" tonight? Nah.

8. Baltimore Ravens (9): Remember a couple of weeks ago when people were calling the Ravens frauds? Well there's something to be said for winning close games, especially in an environment like Heinz Field.

9. New Orleans Saints (NR): They are 5-5, their offense is borderline unstoppable and the defense is coming around. I don't know if they're going to make the playoffs, but no one wants to play this team right now.

10. New York Giants (10): They lost two games heading into their bye week and have to play the Packers coming out of it. I still don't see them not winning their NFC East, but they must stop the bleeding here soon.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (8): Not only did they lose to the Ravens, but it is also unclear when they will get Ben Roethlisberger back. They are still in good shape, but a playoff spot is by no means guaranteed.


On the rise: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The way they are playing, it shouldn't be long until they crack my top 11.

Free-falling: Philadelphia Eagles. Well at least we know Nick Foles ain't the answer yet. Drive safely, Andy Reid.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun