1) San Francisco—Someone needs to tell Alex Smith the story of Wally Pipp. Pipp is why players play hurt. There is really not much of a QB controversy. Harbaugh handpicked Colin Kaepernick and anointed him as the next great thing. It seems all he’s done is defeat Chicago Bears and then defeated the Saints on the road. Not so bad so what’s all the fuss. Meanwhile, they are all-around the best NFL team; even with 2 losses and a tie! And they get a re-match this week with the team they tied; St Louis Rams.
2) New England—At 8-3, the Patroits are playing the best football in the AFC. Brady continues to do what is necessary and he’s doing it in blowout fashion. While the Jets coach Rex Ryan was talking, Bill Belichick was planning a great game plan and got his desired results. They travel to Miami this week and will have avoid any letdown as they have been on a recent tear.
3) Houston—Houston, we MAY have a problem. It seems that a few cracks are starting to appear in the Texan’s armor. Andre Johnson is this team right now. They may have gone to Detroit last week and collected a win….BUT…it was not impressive. The game was handed to them. But the overtime win makes them the first 10 game winning team in the NFL this season. Gary Kubiak needs to play the remainder of his games more aggressively and work on some better offensive play calling to prepare for the playoffs. Let’s see if playing again on the road in Tennessee is any different for them this week.
4) Denver—This team could be ranked anywhere from #2 to #4 in this poll. Peyton Manning is ROCK!! He’s so assured of himself that between the end of the 3rd quarter and the start of the 4th quarter last week, he remained on the field. He did not even look at the sideline. That tells you who’s in charge. I wouldn’t say that the Broncos played their greatest game last week at Arrowhead, but it is a difficult place to win and cover. This week they are at home against Tampa Bay. The pressure to win will be placed more on their defense this week than the offense.
5) Atlanta—If you want a weekly scare, then make the Falcons your favorite team. It seems that even though on paper they are 10-1, they really just barely find a way to win. There are no dominant performances by these guys. But a win is a win….until the playoffs. Who could back these low-flying Falcons in a playoff scenario where you snooze…you lose? They play at home this week on Thursday Night against the Saints, a team that still thinks they can reach playoff status!!
6) New York Giants—You got to love this team., Just when you thought it was safe to jump in the water with the Packers, Eli Manning and Co. showed the world why they are the defending Champions and one of the best teams in the NFL. At 7-4, it was time to finally win a game in November. This week it’s an incredible Monday night match-up between division rival Washington Redskins; a team known to give the Giants fits.
7) Green Bay—Green Bay was running at will for 5 weeks and then their bye-week hit them. Two games since, they do not look like the same team. And they looked like they didn’t even belong on the same field as the Giants. They need to get re-started which Aaron Rodgers is capable of doing. And they can start this week as they host the Minnesota Vikings.
8) Baltimore—It may be unfair to anticipate wins and losses down the road based on today’s injuries. Most will say that the Ravens have “little” chance to get out of their first playoff game because of their injuries on defense. But these injuries have hovered over them for over a month and they keep on winning. San Diego gave them their most recent win with the greatest 4th and 29 first down in the history of the NFL. Needing a score with no time left, why would Flacco EVEN choose to throw a one yard dump pass to Rice. Many have said THAT decision may have been the worst in the history of the NFL. Throw it deep and hang on! This week they play their ole rival; Pittsburgh Steelers.
9) Chicago—It looks like Jay Cutler’s own offensive line has put a bounty on their own quarterback. How many sacks should he have to go thru this season? I would be reading them the riot act and getting some different linemen. Wait till this week and see what the Seahawks defensive line will do. Fortunately, two Seattle cornerbacks will not be playing (unless the appeal sides with them) so that may help. Meanwhile they hold on to the North lead with a 8-3 record. Best of luck laying on your back this week Mr Cutler.
10) Indianapolis—The Colts continue to have the luck of quarterback Luck and the upside Horseshoe on their helmets. Be honest, their record is 7-4. Get out your preseason charts and let me see the 2-14′s and the 3-13′s on you sheet. How many made plans to watch the Colts in January? They are playing inspired football. The team shaved their heads for their beloved coach. Two cheerleaders also got in on the emotions and shaved their heads. Emotions can take you quite far and we’ll have to see how far the talent of Andrew Luck can take them. They have a winnable game in Detroit but it will not be handed to them. They’ll need that rabbits foot for LUCK!
TEAMS WANTING TO BREAK INTO THE TOP TEN
11) New Orleans—Their season is do or die every week. This week it’s at Atlanta, good luck!!
12) Tampa Bay— has more wins than losses and needs to rise up this week at Denver…I wish you well!
13) Pittsburgh—Please Ben…Get well soon. We knew the defense needed help, but the offense too?
14) Cincinnati—The AFC wildcard race is really getting interesting and the Bengals are sitting pretty.
15) Minnesota and Washington are 6-5 and a win this week will really take them far. The Viking are at Green Bay and Washington host NY Giants.