1.New York Jets. The Jets became the first team in NFL history to win two consecutive road games in overtime with their victory over the Cleveland Browns. This ability to comeback and win in the clutch is what makes the Jets number one this week. Second-year quarterback Mark Sanchez has made tremendous strides in his second year, and the veteran leadership of LaDainian Tomlinson, combined with the big-play abilities of Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes have many Jet fans dreaming of playing in Dallas in February.
2.New England Patriots. A week after being embarrassed by the Cleveland Browns, the Patriots played one of the more impressive games of this NFL season, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 39-26, in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score would indicate. Tom Brady has the offense back on track, and with one of the best coach/quarterback combinations of all time, the Patriots may make another run at a Super Bowl.
3.Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens suffered another tough loss, this time losing to the Atlanta Falcons in the final minutes of the game. A defense with good numbers and a great reputation isn’t supposed to give up the lead late in the game. They have quality wins at home over good teams, but a 2-3 record on the road needs to be improved, unless Baltimore continues to go undefeated at home.
4.Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers were embarrassed by the New England Patriots in a game that the final score, 39-26, doesn’t indicate the domination. The Steelers need to address what went wrong immediately, which I am confident they will, and will be in the hunt for another ring with two-time Super Bowl winning starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leading the offense and Troy Polamalu leading the defense.
5. Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons earned a quality victory over the Baltimore Ravens and, at 7-2, own the best record in the NFC. Third-year quarterback Matt Ryan has the Falcons making a claim to be the best team in the conference. Michael Turner is having another good year, and the veteran leadership of Tony Gonzalez has the Falcons possibly making a deep playoff run, one that could lead to the Super Bowl.
6. New Orleans Saints. The Saints had a bye week, and host the Seattle Seahawks this weekend, a game they should win. For other NFC teams, the frightening thing is Reggie Bush will return soon and the Saints will have another offensive talent to make a run at a Super Bowl repeat.
7. The Philadelphia Eagles. Not even Eagle head coach Andy Reid expected Michael Vick to play this well. A spectacular 59-28 victory against the Washington Redskins, in which Vick accounted for six touchdowns, has Vick as the MVP favorite, a redemption story none have ever seen in the NFL. A match up against division rival New York Giants, who have knocked five quarterbacks out of games this season, will be a stiff test for the Eagles.
8. Green Bay Packers. The Packers come off a bye week to face division rival and former Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, likely for the last time. This will be an emotional game, with the Vikings trying to keep their slim hopes alive, and Aaron Rodgers wanting to better his mentor for the last time. The Packers are on a roll, having defeated the Dallas Cowboys 45-7 in their last game. Despite a lot of injuries, the Packers have played well, and the coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for it.
9.Indianapolis Colts. The 6-3 Colts defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-17, amazingly without a Peyton Manning touchdown pass. Despite injuries, any team led by Manning will be dangerous at any point in the season. Losing Pro Bowl Tight End Dallas Clark will hurt, but the Colt offense always seems to know how to put points on the board.
10.The New York Giants. The Giants five-game winning streak came to an end, as they were defeated by the division rival Dallas Cowboys in their first game after Wade Phillips was fired. They face another tough game this week, as they travel to play the surging Philadelphia Eagles in what on paper is one of the best games this week.