1) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (3): Had 27 sacks last year and have 31 this year…have given up the fewest points (65) despite 8 teams playing fewer games.
2) DENVER BRONCOS (2): Manning had never fumbled twice in one game before Sunday…the team is averaging 44 points/game.
3) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (6): A defense maligned for years held Drew Brees with seven three & outs…Tom Brady is 101 games above .500 as a starting QB (141-40 — yeah, that’s first place.)
4) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (1): October 14, 2012 = 1-5…October 14, 2013 = 5-1.
5) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4): Defense doesn’t get enough credit for giving up less than 17 points/game but it’s atrocious against the run…Manning returns Sunday night.
6) SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (5): Marshawn Lynch had over 75 yards receiving and rushing for the first time…they’ve fumbled more than any other team, they just recover them.
7) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (7): Four of next five are on the road…the stats show a team that is only a little better than their opponents, so the 49ers might not be as good as we think.
8 CINCINNATI BENGALS (8): Imagine how much better they’d be if they weren’t 22nd in turnover ratio…tied for seventh-best third down percentage on defense.
9) GREEN BAY PACKERS (12): Eddie Lacy is averaging a full yard/rush more than last year’s leading rusher…Ouch — literally and figuratively.
10) DETROIT LIONS (13): Schedule is very easy towards end of the season so getting two wins against next three teams would be playing with house money (vs. CIN, vs. DAL, bye and at CHI)…imagine if loss in Glendale costs them tight division.
11) CHICAGO BEARS (15): Urlacher’s replacement is replaced…
12) BALTIMORE RAVENS (9): They were so bad on first and second down versus Green Bay, their average third down conversion attempt needed 11 yards…Flacco’s QB rating is 26th, right between Matt Schaub and Geno Smith.
13) MIAMI DOLPHINS (11): No division games yet, but now two-in-a-row and then the final four in the last five weeks…Tannehill’s been sacked an NFL-high 24 times, despite the team already having their bye week.
14) DALLAS COWBOYS (14): Who would have guessed that from the 2011 season through last week, the two best outside-the-pocket QBs are Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo, with an 18-1 TD/INT ratio.
15) SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (20): Ken Whisenhunt’s team is 15th in rushing attempts after years of being in the 30’s with Arizona.
16) TENNESSEE TITANS (10): A turnover ratio of +8 is still great, but it keeps going down as losses go up…Two QBs, both Green Bay RBs and Jets’ Bilal Powell all rush for more yards/game than Chris Johnson.
17) ARIZONA CARDINALS (16): Carson Palmer is the 31st-rated passer in the NFL…as frustrating as the O-line can be, Palmer is only 18th in sacks taken.
18) CLEVELAND BROWNS (17): No shame in losing to Detroit but it’s the start of a likely three-game losing streak…rookie Barkevious Mingo has three sacks in his first six games.
19) ST. LOUIS RAMS (25): I thought the Tavon Austin pick was bad because he’d break in half, but I was wrong. Austin is a bad pick because he’s not very good.
20) CAROLINA PANTHERS (21): They’re second in scoring defense and third in total defense, which keeps them in every game…fourth-best red zone defense and sixth in red zone offense combined with a +2 turnover ratio means this is a decent team with no big play ability.
21) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (24): Winless at home, yet in first place…standing on the sidelines versus Oregon, I was always amazed at Chip Kelly’s red zone offense, which now ranks 27th (45% TD ratio).
22) BUFFALO BILLS (23): All the money spent on a defense that gives up close to 400 yards/game (27th)…remember when we thought Steve Keim/Rod Graves screwed up for not making a stronger run at Matt Flynn?
23) NEW YORK JETS (18): Almost twice as many turnovers as TDs (14-9)…if you can’t beat Pittsburgh at home, what will you do with New England and New Orleans coming to town sandwiched around a trip to Cincy?
24) HOUSTON TEXANS (19): At this point last year, J.J. Watt had 17.5 disrupted dropbacks but has just 5.5 in 2013…HOU penalty yards: 459 (worst in NFL), NYJ 429 (remember all the talk about how the NYJ are killing themselves with penalties?)
25) ATLANTA FALCONS (22): Only team in football allowing 50 percent of third downs to be converted…still have the Redskins and two against Tampa on the schedule so the season isn’t lost.
26) PITTSBURGH STEELERS (29): They’re 30th in rushing attempts because they’re 31st in rushing or 31st in rushing because they’re 30th in attempts?
27) WASHINGTON REDSKINS (27): The average team has completed 18 pass plays of 20-plus yards this year while Washington has 11 (tied for last).
28) OAKLAND RAIDERS (28): How do you know a QB has been sacked 10 times? He says this.
29) MINNESOTA VIKINGS (26): Christian Ponder has officially put Minnesota in the Red Room of Pain.
30) NEW YORK GIANTS (30): One in every eight pass attempts results in a sack or INT…impossible to believe, but the turnover ratio is -16 and they’ve scored 15 TDs.
31) TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (31): May I ask why your rookie QB has thrown 43 times in each of his two starts?
32) JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (32): The Jags haven’t scored three TDs in a game this year (Denver has put up three TDs in a quarter three times).