01. New England Patriots (7-1): They’re rolling, but trading Jamie Collins, arguably the team’s best defender, for pennies on the dollar while the team is trying to win another Super Bowl with its 39-year-old quarterback is a very strange move.
02. Dallas Cowboys (6-1): Dallas has now posted at least 400 yards of offense in five straight games, something the team had never done before in its entire history. And they did this with a rookie quarterback.
03. Denver Broncos (6-2): Defense is still the best in the NFL, but the schedule is a lot tougher in the second half of the season.
04. Seattle Seahawks (4-2-1): Their defense and the mediocrity of the rest of the league keep Seattle in the top five. Russell Wilson’s injury has clearly affected his performance, as evidenced by the fact that he has exactly as many rushing yards this season as Tom Brady. Let that one sink in for a minute.
05. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2): Alex Smith proves he’s no dummy — he’s going to sit out a week even after clearing concussion protocol. Meanwhile, Nick Foles rose from the dead to shred the hapless Colts. Andy Reid has the Chiefs in good position for the playoffs… again.
06. Atlanta Falcons (5-3): Matt Ryan is balling out of his mind, but the awful defense will eventually doom the dirty birds.
07. Oakland Raiders (6-2): 200 yards of penalties. Over 500 yards passing. A late dramatic win. Al Davis would love this team.
08. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3): They play the Ravens on Sunday and Big Ben will probably not be the starting QB. Steelers have lost 6 of 7 against the Ravens when Roethlisberger is not behind center.
09. Green Bay Packers (4-3): Aaron Rodgers looks back to his old self, but eventually he will need some help on offense. Last Sunday, he threw 4 TD passes and led the team in rushing. Come on.
10. Minnesota Vikings (5-2): A great defense being held back by an almost complete lack of playmakers on offense. Now Norv Turner has been forced out. Their promising season is in trouble.
11. Buffalo Bills (4-4): Another year of under-achieving should cost Rex Ryan his job. They’re 1-3 in division games, which obviously does not bode well.
12. Houston Texans (5-3): They’re undefeated and averaging 23 points per game at home. They’re winless and have scored a combined 22 points on the road. That’s probably good enough to win the execrable AFC South.
13. Detroit Lions (4-4): Matt Stafford still being held back by his lousy defense.
14. Washington Redskins (4-3-1): A team that could be 7-1 if it was merely average in the red zone will likely look back on this season as a colossal missed opportunity.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (4-3): I wonder what this team would be if it had decent wideouts. Darren Sproles continues to be a wonder.
16. New York Giants (4-3): They seem like the weakest team in the NFC East (-8 point differential), but they’re right in the thick of it.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1) – Haven’t beaten anyone apart from Cleveland since September.
18. San Diego Chargers (3-4): They play hard and close games and it looks like Melvin Gordon might be okay after all.
19. New Orleans Saints (3-4): Improved play due to continued greatness from Drew Brees and a defense that is merely bad, instead of historically awful.
20. Miami Dolphins (3-4): Back-to-back 200-yard games from Jay Ajayi are a shot in the arm for a team far too reliant on Ryan Tannehill. I do wonder what Dan Marino could have done with a running back like Ajayi.
21. Tennessee Titans (4-4): The offense gets most of the attention on this team, but Dick LeBeau has that defense playing better than most thought possible. Old man has still got it.
22. Carolina Panthers (2-5): The defense finally looked something like it did last year, but Cam Newton’s postgame attire was beyond a joke. He’s not joking about the hits he’s taking.
23. Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1) – Everything this team did on the offensive line during the offseason failed. When they cannot protect Carson Palmer, they lose — badly.
24. Baltimore Ravens (3-4): Wow, that 3-0 start seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it? Flacco has more interceptions than touchdown passes and I can’t help but think this team is under-achieving.
25. Los Angeles Rams (3-4): Losers of three straight and the offense looks like a mess. How bad must Jared Goff be if he can’t get on the field now?
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4): Got 200 free yards from the Raiders and still lost.
27. Chicago Bears (2-6): Discovered their heart by giving the ball to RB Jordan Howard. The less you ask Jay Cutler to do, the better he looks.
28. Indianapolis Colts (3-5): I thought giving a new contract to Chuck Pagano was crazy and I was right. He needs to go and take GM Ryan Grigson with him. Luck has been sacked 31 times. Injured reserve lies ahead if that keeps up.
29. New York Jets (3-5): Barely survived the Browns.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5): Proud I never got caught up in the offseason hype about this team, who seemed to mostly run up pretty stats in garbage time in 2015. They stink and they’re going to continue to stink in 2016, as well.
31. Cleveland Browns (0-8): They seem to play hard and competitively every week before finding a way to lose. They had a two score lead on the pitiful Jets and still couldn’t close the deal. Love the trade for Jamie Collins, though.
32. San Francisco 49ers (1-6): With no game to play during the bye week, Colin Kaepernick spent Sunday watching games on TV and kneeling during the national anthem.