COLTS: Squeaking by Buffalo is a bit worrisome. But a win is a win is a win. And the Colts have won all of them.
THE "ALMOST" ELITE
BRONCOS: Here come the Chargers.
CHARGERS: Watch Phil Rivers. He is slowly moving into the Peyton Manning/Tom Brady class of NFL quarterbacks. He is THAT good.
RAVENS: The Ravens, without Ray Lewis, slipped by the Titans. Now they have to go against the Falcons with Lewis listed as questionable again. If Mike Vick shows up, this could be an interesting game to watch.
SEAHAWKS: Welcome back Shaun Alexander (and maybe Matt Hasselbeck). While you were out, the Hawks built up a two-game division lead. At this point, the Birdies are clearly the strongest contender in the NFC.
BEARS: I admit it: I was too rough on the Bears last week, knocking them down to "average". They did a number on the G-men.
GIANTS: No Toomer. No Strahan. No win.
PATRIOTS: Someone complained that I had the Patriots rated below the Saints. Does the loss to the Jets explain why? Regardless, I have to rate them above the Saints this week.
BENGALS: I still like the Bengals, but I am completely confused as to what is wrong with this team. It could be all the parole officers interfering with practices.
PANTHERS: If Steve Smith is on the field, healthy or not, the Panthers are dangerous.
SAINTS: After losing to Pittsburgh, it is clear the Saints ain't. Their loss to the Panthers drops them to here.
CHIEFS: Will the real Chiefs please stand up? They beat the Chargers and Seahawks, but lose to the Dolphins. Do you think that loss could be why Trent Green is coming back this week?
BROWNS: The MOST underrated team in the NFL. Romeo Crennel has this team playing as a unit now, not unlike the Patriots. However, the Browns still don't have the talent of a team like the Patriots. But at least they are moving in the right direction. Definitely a team to watch for next year.
JETS: Splitting the Patriots series is a good sign, but not enough to push them beyond the "average" category.
FALCONS: The Dirty Birds are still too inconsistent to be a contender, as they proved against Cleveland.
EAGLES: The Eagles better not look past the Titans this week. Even though the Eagles have the Colts next week, the Titans could easily beat the Eagles if they take the Titans lightly.
COWBOYS: Speaking of Indianapolis, Dallas will have their hands full this week. Even in Dallas, I cannot see the Cowboys beating the Colts.
BUCCANEERS: In spite of the numbers, I like Bruce Gradkowski. As rookie quarterbacks go, one touchdown and two interceptions against a solid Carolina defense is not bad at all.
JAGUARS: Is it just me, or does it look like the Jags are practicing for next year? How do they lose to Houston twice?
STEELERS: Their win over the Saints was more of a commentary on how overrated the Saints were. Granted the Steelers played a good game, but they still have not won two games in a row yet this year. Do I even need to remind anyone that the Raiders beat the Steelers?
RAMS: At least they made a game of it against the Seahawks. They are slowly dropping into "wait until next year" mode.
VIKINGS: The Vikes are another head-scratching team. They beat the Panthers and Seahawks, but lose to the Bills, 49ers, and Packers.
REDSKINS: Welcome to the NFL Jason Campbell. By the way, you won't have Clinton Portis to hand off to for the rest of the season. Have fun!
DOLPHINS: Who lit a fire under this team? In two weeks, they beat both the Bears and the Chiefs. Before that, the best team they could beat was the Titans. Look at these losses: Bills, Texans, and Packers.
49ERS: For you fantasy footballers out there, get Frank Gore. He is the next Marshall Faulk. Even on a bad team like the 49ers, Gore rocks.
LIONS: Ouch! A loss to the 49ers last week. If they cannot beat the Cardinals this week, they need to just go ahead and fire Matt Millen.
PACKERS: Please tell me the Packers are NOT serious about bringing Brett Favre back next year? Granted, Favre is playing better this year than last year. But he is still NOT the old Favre. He is just old.
TEXANS: Beating the Jags shows this team is starting to come around...sort of.
BILLS: You didn't honestly expect them to beat the Colts, did you?
TITANS: Does anyone really care about Albert Haynesworth coming back? What he did was wrong, but it is hard for me to get up much ire over a second rate defensive lineman. He did his suspension. If he does it again, the NFL should ban him for life. Period.
RAIDERS: Boo hoo. Randy Moss isn't happy, so he's dropping passes. The Raiders need to drop him.
CARDINALS: The Cardinals are the one reason I can feel good about being a Raider fan. There IS a worse team, with a worse owner, than the Raiders. Al Davis could be in a coma and still run the Raiders better than Bill Bidwill.