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By Mike Ivcic, UltimateCapper Contributing Writer
All but four teams have had their bye week, so let’s crank out the second of our four power rankings for this season.
1. Green Bay Packers (8-0) – Defense isn’t great, but offense certainly is.
2. Baltimore Ravens (6-2) – Offense isn’t great, but defense certainly is.
3. New York Giants (6-2) – Huge win in New England at the start of extremely tough stretch of games.
4. New Orleans Saints (6-3) – Responded well after no-show against Rams.
5. San Francisco 49’ers (7-1) – Second-best record in NFL and on track for first-round bye in NFC.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) – Couldn’t stop Ravens at the end, but back in playoff hunt yet again.
7. Detroit Lions (6-2) – Much needed bye week with Chicago, New Orleans, and Green Bay twice still to come.
8. New York Jets (5-3) – The defense showed up against Buffalo, and they’ll be a game clear in the division if they do it again against the Patriots.
9. New England Patriots (5-3) – The Pats had the script they wanted and couldn’t close against the Giants.
10. Houston Texans (6-3) – Winning the games they’re supposed to and 3-0 in AFC South.
11. Chicago Bears (5-3) – Huge Monday night win gives Bears tiebreaker over Eagles, Bucs, and Falcons.
12. San Diego Chargers (4-4) – Despite the loss, good rebound performance after blowing game in Kansas City.
13. Dallas Cowboys (4-4) – Still believe, at the end of the season, Dallas will be prepping for a playoff game.
14. Atlanta Falcons (5-3) – Playoff-caliber team that looks ready to make a push behind the Saints.
15. Cincinnati Bengals (6-2) – Pittsburgh twice and Baltimore in the next four weeks could send the Bengals back to earth.
16. Buffalo Bills (5-3) – Offense crashed to earth against good Jets defense.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) – A good team that’s quickly running out of time for a playoff move.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4) – Biggest enigma in the league has tough next three (Texans, Packers, Titans).
19. Tennessee Titans (4-4) – Just need to stay within one before season-ending game with Houston.
20. Oakland Raiders (4-4) – Three-way tie atop division still leaves Oakland in good position.
21. Kansas City Chiefs (4-4) – Two big division wins followed by a crushing loss to the previously winless Dolphins.
22. Carolina Panthers (2-6) – Lack of wins overshadows major strides, especially offensively.
23. Denver Broncos (3-5) – Tebow is now 2-1 as a starter and Denver is suddenly one game back in the AFC West.
24. Minnesota Vikings (2-6) – Ponder can make Vikings a spoiler in second half.
25. Washington Redskins (3-5) – Shanahan needs to find a QB quickly, or he’ll ultimately need to find another job.
26. Seattle Seahawks (2-6) – They won’t be making the playoffs with a 7-9 record this year.
27. Cleveland Browns (3-5) – For all of the ragging on the Bengals, it’s the Browns who have become the joke of the AFC North.
28. Arizona Cardinals (2-6) – Just three years ago, they were playing in the season’s final game.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6) – They’ll be in Los Angeles soon enough.
30. St. Louis Rams (1-7) – Just not the same without a healthy Sam Bradford.
31. Miami Dolphins (1-7) – Finally got a win, but that could ultimately hurt them in the log run (read: NFL Draft).
32. Indianapolis Colts (0-9) – Peyton Manning shouldn’t be making THIS big of a difference.