Moves, moves and more moves. That’s the theme of this week’s Top 10 as we had a major shake-up in the top five for the first time in a long time. Despite the loss, the Packers stay #1, and with tears in my eyes I bounced both the Jets (previously seventh) and Broncos (tenth) out of the rankings. Keep reading to see where the rest of the chips fall and be sure to vote in this week’s poll!
#10: Dallas (Unranked last week, 8-6): Let me level with you: #10 was either going to be the Jets, the Tebows, or the Cowboys and so I went with the team I consider to be the lesser of three evils. Bonus points for pummeling Tampa on Saturday night and now all of a sudden their late afternoon date with the Eagles on Saturday is massive.
#9: Houston (#6, 10-4): The Texans luck finally ran out on Sunday against the Panthers and the real question now is whether it was a hiccup or if clock has finally struck midnight. They’re going to the playoffs no matter what, but you have to figure they’re looking to get right this week against the now 1-13 Colts.
#8: Detroit (Unranked, 9-5): Nice to see the Lions back in the Top 10 thanks to their gritty come-from-behind win at Oakland on Sunday. They return home this week for another game against an AFC West opponent and may be popping champagne with a win over the Chargers.
#7: Atlanta (#8, 9-5): Falcons took care of business in a big way against the Jags last Thursday night and they get a nice long week to rest up and get ready for a big league Monday night showdown in New Orleans.
#6: Pittsburgh (#3, 10-4): With a hobbled Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers went down in candlelit Candlestick last night and they take a little bit of a ratings tumble. They’d been ahead of the Ravens the last few weeks, even though Baltimore swept the season series. With both teams losing this week, I finally get to stick the Steelers back behind Baltimore. While they both lost for the fourth time this past week, I expect them each to pick up win #11 this weekend (Pittsburgh hosts St. Louis and Baltimore welcomes Cleveland to M&T Bank).
#5: Baltimore (#4, 10-4): See above.
#4: San Francisco (#9, 11-3): The Niners had an impressive MNF win against an admittedly beat-up Steelers squad, but they did more than enough to earn a rankings jump. The NFC West champs head to Seattle this week for a date with the second place Hawks.
#3: New England (#5, 11-3): Brady and friends put Tebow and Co. in their place last week and now return home to face the Fins. Obviously it’ll be cold at Gillette, but the weather didn’t seem to bother Miami in Buffalo. Not going to be easy, though.
#2: New Orleans (#2, 11-3): The Saints are probably playing the best football in the NFL at this moment thanks in very, very large part to QB Drew Brees. They spanked the Vikings on the road and now have that divisional showdown with the Dirty Birds.
#1: Green Bay (#1, 13-1): I imagine there’s an argument that can be made for dropping the Packers after their loss at KC (see poll below) but I just couldn’t do it. Even though the Saints were uber-impressive this week, GB is still two games ahead of them in the standings with an upcoming home game against the Bears.
IN this week: Detroit, Dallas
OUT this week: NY Jets, Denver
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