32. Cleveland Browns
The Browns are the only winless team in football still, and for that they get the last spot on this list. Brandon Weeden is playing well for a rookie with no playmakers around him outside of Trent Richardson.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
We may never understand how they upset the Colts on the road, but Blaine Gabbetr and this awful is pitiful. They are no stars after MJD and the NFL’s worst offense looks like they have never played football before. Yes, they are that bad and in a terrible division they better find a victory before they drop below the worst of the worst.
30. Oakland Raiders
See above for MJD with Darren McFadden and Oakland because the offense is way too dreadful these days. Coming off a bye could give Atlanta a scare perhaps, but it is highly unlikely right now. The defense was terrible against Denver and it does not look like a ton of improvement will be any time soon (even with getting healthier corners).
29. Kansas City Chiefs
This defense isn’t the worst one out there, but with Matt Cassel getting injured it all comes down to Brady Quinn. Bowe and Charles (running really well) are stars but they have made some mistakes. Two weeks ago it was the fumbling from Charles (Shaun Draughn too) and now this past week it was Bowe tipping passes up in the air for Baltimore to pick it off (which they did). They are finding new ways to lose every week and turning the ball over with ease needs to stop before they have double digit losses by Thanksgiving.
28. Tennessee Titans
The Titans had a major issue crossing the 50-yard line against the Vikings, who have a solid defense. Still, Jake Locker is out with a shoulder issue and CJ2K still cannot do jack in this backfield. T-R-O-U-B-L-E!
27. Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton is not avoiding that sophomore slump and it would be nice to see some players around him make some plays. The defense is solid and middle of the pack at worst, but the offense has been horrid with opponents simply stacking the line with and eight and even nine men fronts.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Josh Freeman is not the answer at quarterback and a struggling Doug Martin could be blamed on a mediocre (putting it nice) offensive line. The defense isn’t better than say the Panthers but it is not as bad as the Saints. A six win type of year would be respectable although there is a higher percentage than end up doing worse than that as opposed to doing better.
25. New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees broke Johnny Unitas’ record consecutive TD passes in NFL games (49) and yet this team still has several issues. The offense is average at best without Jimmy Graham (ankle) and their lack of a running game enables this defense to allow a chunk of yards. It is Brees or bust and luckily he still is a superstar.
24. Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford and the Madden cover man himself look jinxed to me. They have had zero rhythm and they remain as the only NFC team (they are coming off a bye) without registering an interception.
23. Buffalo Bills
Yes, the Bills were in the Super Bowl alongside the Niners from every year in 1989 through 1994, but they were destroyed by them on Sunday. Allowing 176 points through five is a flat out joke and there is no way they can contend for a playoff spot if they do not get their acts together. Also, can somebody tell Chan Gailey that the object of the game is to give your best players more opportunities a chance to shine. Stevie Johnson and C.J. Spiller better get a lot more looks or else they will end up losing a lot more games than they have even been accustomed to.
22. Washington Redskins
The defense played well, for one half until it eventually was torched by Matt Ryan and the rest of the Falcons magnificent trio (Julio Jones, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez). RGIII’s injury may have cost them a victory, but it was not as if Kirk Cousins killed this team, give the Falcons some credit for slowing Alfred Morris down. Losing 7 consecutive home games has to be a joke because they will not avoid a last place finish if they cannot beat at least foe in the division at home.
21. Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck and the Colts came away with a huge victory over the Packers (Chuck Strong), but they still have been outscore by 19 points on the season. Plus, they have only played four games and they need to show a lot more if they expect crack the top 15.
20. New York Jets
They played well against the Texans, but the struggles are still there on offense and the defense/special teams cannot bail them out every single weekend.
19. Miami Dolphins
Ryan Tannehill is developing as a quarterback, but this defense is legit with Sean Smith at corner and a few freaks up front (Cameron Wake, Karlos Dansby, Kevin Burnett). While they do not scream wild card contenders, they may stay in the hunt if they can supplant the Bills and Jets.
18. St. Louis Rams
Danny Amendola’s injury will be tough and Steven Jackson is not exactly healthy either. Harassing Kevin Kolb and getting to him 8 times was impressive (Chris Long, Robert Quinn) although the offense is far from complete.
17. Seattle Seahawks
The offense is still borderline bad when Marshawn Lynch does not break off long runs and it is because the receivers cannot draw any separation. The defense is lights out, but the NFL says you better put some more points on the board.
16. Green Bay Packers
Cedric Benson is done (Linsfranc) for the next eight weeks and the news could not get much worse for the Packers these days. Alex Green will step in, but he cannot play pass defense for this Green Bay defense. They have atrocious and although blowing a 17-point leading is embarrassing in the NFL, nothing is working right.
15. Denver Broncos
Peyton and the boys cannot help the run defense out, but he has been able to put a lot more points on the board as opposed to last season. The showdown with the Bolts will determine if they have a shot to win the title.
14. San Diego Chargers
Ryan Mathews is running harder and he truly puts less pressure on Philip Rivers and thi San Diego offense. Now the defense on the otherhand is still atrocious at defending the pass and the road woes may honestly cost them a playoff spot if they do not beat up on Oakland and Kansas City inside the division (they beat KC in Arrowhead).
13. Cincinnati Bengals
Dalton to Green is the ‘‘it” tandem, but a lack of a running game needs to wake up or else a third place AFC North finish will occur.
12. Arizona Cardinals
This offense and team has nowhere to go but down! It may be a struggle from here on out with Ryan Williams and Cedric Benson both out for a whole (in fact, Williams is done for season with shoulder injury).
11. Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota defense continues to impress and Adrian Peterson (sprained ankle) is running harder and harder. The slate does get tough in November and especially December though.
10. Dallas Cowboys
If they fail to defeat the Ravens the trouble will be brewing that they could wilt under the pressure of contending in the NFC East. A victory however would give them the swagger to take off.
9. New York Giants
Eli Manning and the G-Men are clicking on all cylinders right now on offense, and it is not as if this defense is playing lights out. If the front four can stay healthy and continue to improve then the NFC East will pay the price.
8. Philadelphia Eagles
Vick continues to fumble the ball towards the goal line or in general, and it will cost this team a division title if they fail to come away with the big victory. Still, their record is legit and they will be around all season.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben and his receivers are the most explosive in the NFL and because of it this aging defense can start to tee off like the good ole times.
6. New England Patriots
Stevan Ridley has been the x-factor so far and with Aaron Hernandez returning will only help this team out even further.
5. Baltimore Ravens
The defense was legit…..against the Chiefs though. Joe Flacco put together a virtuoso performance against the Cowboys or else they could get upset.
4. Chicago Bears
Registering 5 defensive TD is impressive and less pressure on Jay Cutler-Brandon Marshall could allow this team to win the division and go deep in the postseason.
3. San Francisco 49ers
The best defensive team on the planet would be these Niners and they are every bit as good as the teams listed below them here.
2. Houston Texans
Undefeated, unscathed and flawless would describe this team with Arian Foster going bonkers. However, J.J. Watt certainly is playing like the best defensive player on the planet and he has a few around him that are legit too.
1. Atlanta Falcons
Matty ‘Ice’ Ryan is the clear-cut MVP over Arian Foster right now and it is because he plays the quarterback position. It helps to have the virtuoso performances and come from behind victories, but playing in a dome with a bevy of weapons to throw has really helped this franchise turn the corner. The defense plays amazing ball in the dome, registering the second most picks in the NFL (9, behind only Chicago’s 13).