1) ATLANTA FALCONS: Ranking 5th in scoring offense and 7th in scoring defense is a pretty good combination…only 3 teams better than their +10 in turnover ratio.
2) CHICAGO BEARS: …and Chicago is one of them at +12…been doing all this mostly without WR Alshon Jeffery who should return after the Tennessee game.
3) NEW YORK GIANTS: Eli has half the interceptions his defense does (8-16)…he’s also been sacked 14 fewer times.
4) HOUSTON TEXANS: Studying their schedule, it’s amazingly soft…the 28% conversion rate on 3rd down is a great number for that defense.
5) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Best in scoring defense and overall yardage defense, therefore, they have the best defense…amazing defense is that good while being 18th in sacks.
6) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Most points/game and most yards/game…they look like a top 5 team but who should I remove?
7) GREEN BAY PACKERS: Defense is average (that’s a huge compliment because that’s all they need)…soft part of the schedule ends after the Cards leave Lambeau.
8) DENVER BRONCOS: Third-best offense despite losing 10 of their 11 fumbles (usually teams recover around half of their own fumbles).
9) BALTIMORE RAVENS: Remember when no one rushed for 100 yards against this defense (30th-best rush defense)…I said this is the year of the Flacco (Fitzpatrick, Kolb, Ponder and Palmer are all rated higher).
10) MIAMI DOLPHINS: Best in the NFL allowing only 26% third down conversion rate…3rd-best rush defenses leads to more third & long for their opponents.
11) MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Was right on the cusp of the top 5 but a home loss to Tampa Bay is inexcusable…as good as their front four is, they should be more than just +4 in sacks vs. sacks allowed.
12) PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Best in NFL converting an amazing 52% of their third downs…with the best pass defense in the league, this team could be a sleeping giant if they improve on their abysmal +1 turnover ratio.
13) SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Don’t count them out due to weird schedule quirk with all three of their divisional home games crammed into the last four weeks of the season…if Russell Wilson is so good, why is there only one team with a worse passing game?
14) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Stats say even Cam Newton is better than Luck but the eyes are starting to see Luck moving up the charts…slowly the horrific turnover ratio (-10) is improving.
15) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Every stat I can find says one thing : average…next 3 games (at New Orleans, home for Dallas and at Washington) will determine the fate of Andy Reid.
16) WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Coaches make mistakes and I appreciate it when they admit it and usually let it go but not this time, Shanahan will get RG3 killed.
17) TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Doug Martin averages 4.5 yards/carry when rushing left and 3.2 when rushing right…by the way, LEFT guard Carl Nicks is out for the year.
18) NEW YORK JETS: I blame the owner, the GM, the Head Coach, Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes and the horrible run defense (141 yards/game)
19) TENNESSEE TITANS: Fifth-worst rush defense, fourth-worst pass defense, third-worst defense overall, second-worst scoring defense allowing 32 points/game.
20) DALLAS COWBOYS: Fourth-best defense + 18th in scoring defense = short fields (-11 in turnover ratio).
21) ARIZONA CARDINALS: Only two teams average less than 300 yards/game (can you guess the other one?)…6 of the 7 worst O-lines in the NFL have given up 20 sacks or more while Arizona is the only team over 30 (39)…5 teams have given up fewer sacks than Batiste.
22) CINCINNATI BENGALS: Uhh, the principal’s son?
23) SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: Giving up 40 more yards than they earn…as bad as they’ve been, last 3 games are extremely winnable so they can’t be counted out yet.
24) ST. LOUIS RAMS: Unfair to judge Bradford’s 8 to 7 TD/INT ratio because of bad WR routes but it’s time to get him weapons so you can decide if Sam’s the man.
25) BUFFALO BILLS: Allowing 47% of third downs to be converted and even if they stop you then, 80% of 4th downs are converted.
26) OAKLAND RAIDERS: Some rivalry, Oakland has won last 6 at Arrowhead…Palmer said his jersey doesn’t need washed as O-line has given up only 12 sacks (or as many as Batiste) this year & none against KC.
27) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Fighting it out with Tennessee for the worst defense award giving up 30 pts/game…opponents have almost 700 more yards rushing (have they been behind some games?)
28) DETROIT LIONS: Calvin Johnson has never been great at yards after catch but 26th in YAC is a problem…does anyone realize this is the 2nd-best offense?
29) CAROLINA PANTHERS: Trading Steve Smith is a great idea for the future and bad for the development of Newton…amazing after 7 games to have exactly the same number of rushing yards as you’ve given up (801).
30) JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Averaging 39 fewer yards per game than even the Arizona offense…yes that’s 32nd in the league.
31) CLEVELAND BROWNS: Only Matt Cassel and Skelton are worse-rated passers than Weeden.
32) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Did I just mention Matt Cassel, the 32nd-rated QB in the NFL?…have never run a play with the lead in 2012.