1) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (1): A 7-0 team has never missed the playoffs…despite not having their bye, still has given up the fewest total points (10 teams have played fewer games but given up more total points.)
2)INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (5): Odd to have back-to-back Sunday Night games (bye week in-between)…amazing to me Luck is just a second-year QB, but throws a pick only once every nine quarters this year.
3) DENVER BRONCOS (2): You can’t win a Super Bowl with the 32nd-ranked pass defense…if you have to play at San Diego, home vs. undefeated Kansas City and then travel to New England and KC, it’s nice to play the Redskins defense with a bye week after.
4) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (4): Huge advantage to go bye week, home against Buffalo, & at NY Jets…only loss is with five seconds left in New England and ranked fourth (yes, I’m the only person that questions their own poll?)
5) SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6): Opponents are 0-6 in their next game…if you believe in rushing the football and stopping the rush, second in rush “O” & sixth in rush “D,” will suffice.
6) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (3): Have forced a turnover in 34 straight games, longest active streak.
7) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (7): Called more rushing plays than passing over last four games and are 4-0 with 30+ points in those games. Pretty much a double-bye week with a date against the Jags in London this week and an actual week off next.
8) CINCINNATI BENGALS (8): Dalton’s most complete game as a pro (24-for-34, 372 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs)…I’d have them over the Seahawks if it wasn’t for the unforgivable loss to Cleveland.
9) GREEN BAY PACKERS (9): Teams like rhythm which is tough when the schedule goes SNF, MNF, regular 12:00 p.m. Sunday kick and then back to SNF…after getting gashed earlier in the year, defense has improved to 12th in scoring and 15th in total defense.
10) DETROIT LIONS (10): Despite Suh and Fairly’s five sacks, the rest of the team has only four, which may be why defense is ranked 31st…Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush, but you’re 10th in red-zone TD percentage?
11) CHICAGO BEARS (11): Lost for the first time in franchise history when scoring 40+ points…Lovie Smith to Marc Trestman means offense goes from bad to second in scoring and defense goes from great to giving up almost 400 yards/game.
12) DALLAS COWBOYS (14): It sounds sacrilegious to believe Dez, but he has more yards, receptions, YAC & TDs in his first 50 games…hard for me to ever put this team in the top 10 with the 29th-ranked defense.
13) SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (15): Philip Rivers is the second-highest rated QB in the NFL…impossible to get me to believe Ken Whisenhunt’s offense is only two rushes behind KC for sixth-most attempts.
14) NEW YORK JETS (23): No one has ever led four fourth-quarter/OT game-winning drives in their first seven games at QB until Geno Smith…does it say more about Geno or Tom Brady that Smith is only one point behind in QB rating?
15) BUFFALO BILLS (22): EJ Manuel is a higher rated QB than Joe Flacco, Tom Brady and Eli Manning…allowing 2.4 first downs by penalty per game which is seventh-worst.
16) MIAMI DOLPHINS (13): Impressive that Tannehill has an 83.1 QB rating despite a league-leading 26 sacks…where would this team be if it wasn’t second in red-zone offense?
17) TENNESSEE TITANS (16): Three-game losing streak gets a bye week, a trip to St. Louis and a home game against the Jags so everything is better…time to accept Chris Johnson and his 3.2 yards/carry — as well as zero TDs –is no longer a big play back.
18) ARIZONA CARDINALS (17): Larry Fitzgerald leads the league in INTs by target…Eli Manning is the only QB with a rating below Carson Palmer that hasn’t been benched or released.
19) CAROLINA PANTHERS (20): Cam Newton has only eight incompletions to go with four TDs and 464 yards without an INT in his last two games…look out if Newton gets it since the defense is second in scoring allowing less than two TDs per game and is third in total defense.
20) BALTIMORE RAVENS (12): You’d think with a whole week to prepare the overpaid Joe Flacco, he’d lead your team to better than 32nd in first quarter points….maybe Flacco can keep improving to move his rating higher than the established veterans like EJ Manuel and Ryan Tannehill.
21) CLEVELAND BROWNS (18): Seventh-ranked total defense…imagine how much better it would be if they ever got to rest (offense is 26th in third down conversion.)
22) ST. LOUIS RAMS (19): Speaking of third down conversions, only the Jags are worse…it is the most difficult job in sports to be a successful NFL QB but it’s clearly not that hard to be an NFL QB if Brady Quinn keeps finding jobs.
23) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (21): Allowing 417 yards of offense, no other defense gives up 400.
24) WASHINGTON REDSKINS (27): RGIII ran the zone read eight times in weeks 1-7 and eight times against Chicago, so is he now healthy or did the Shannahans suddenly remember what made him successful?
25) ATLANTA FALCONS (25): (Keep in mind how bad Arizona is at defending the TE while you read this)…only receptions by Jimmy Graham create more first downs than Tony Gonzalez.
26) PITTSBURGH STEELERS (26): Imagine how much better he’d be if the O-line was healthy…Suisham still perfect — 14-for-14 on FGs.
27) OAKLAND RAIDERS (28): He’s officially as delusional as 98% of all Raiders fans.
28) NEW YORK GIANTS (30): Still crazy the Jets and Giants are 31st and 32nd in turnover margin…worst third down defense in the NFL.
29) HOUSTON TEXANS (24): Tied with the Jets for 31st in turnover margin…another description of the turnovers is 25th in points allowed but first in total defense — which is measured in yards — means short fields and pick sixes.
30) MINNESOTA VIKINGS (29): Whenever you say the sentence, “Josh Freeman gives us the best chance to win,” you’re either stupid or lying.
31) TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (31): Third-most penalties despite already having their bye week…the next highest team with only six games played is 18th.
32) JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (32): The question has to be asked, who’s the best quarterback in the state of Florida…it’s either Glennon, Tannehill or Winston, and none of them is a Jaguar.