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NFL rankings

Published: Monday, Aug. 31 2015 2:28 p.m. MDT

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) passes against the Oakland Raiders. (Associated Press) San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) passes against the Oakland Raiders. (Associated Press)

Game of the week

Chiefs at Raiders: No, really, this is the game of the week. After two straight wins, Oakland is making a move in the AFC West. Standing in the Raiders' way are the first-place Chiefs, who have won seven straight games in Oakland.

Team on the rise

Bucs: You might not be able to name five players on their team, but they're an impressive 5-2. Josh Freeman is a young QB who makes clutch plays.

Team on the decline

Bengals: They don't make the playoffs very often, so thinking they could do it two years in a row was a stretch. They're 2-5 and set to fall out of contention.

Miami Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith (24) returns an interception. (Associated Press) Miami Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith (24) returns an interception. (Associated Press)

NFL rankings

1. Patriots: Trading Randy Moss and getting a pick for him was a win-win scenario.

2. Ravens: They have something to prove after a bye and their lackluster win over Bills.

3. Colts: Looked great against Texans, but how long can they handle numerous injuries?

4. Steelers: Injuries are starting to catch up to them as well.

5. Giants: Eli Manning has to stay poised in a hostile environment today.

6. Falcons: Playing for first place in the NFC South against the Buccaneers.

7. Packers: 'D' looked like a combination of the '85 Bears and '00 Ravens last week.

8. Jets: After a lousy performance last week, they should do their talking with their play.

9. Chiefs: Almost got caught looking past hapless Bills before winning in overtime.

10. Titans: Offense is suddenly more dangerous with the addition of Moss.

Fantasy tips

CAN'T MISS: Philip Rivers vs. Texans

SLEEPER: Jason Campbell vs. Chiefs

NOT THIS WEEK: Matt Schaub vs. Chargers

FREE AGENT PICK UP: Jacob Tamme, Colts

Local watch

Rising: Former Ute Sean Smith is again playing a key role for the Dolphins. After starting the season on the bench, he had an interception against the Bengals last week.

TV schedule

DOLPHINS (4-3) AT RAVENS (5-2)

11 a.m., Ch. 2

Miami has won six straight road games dating back to last season and could catch Baltimore napping after a bye. The Dolphins will have to score touchdowns to win. They won't.

Prediction: Ravens, 16-15

CARDINALS (3-4) AT VIKINGS (2-5)

11 a.m., Ch. 13

Wow, FOX, thanks for showing this barnburner on local TV. If the Ravens-Dolphins game isn't good, feel free to rake leaves. Do the laundry. Read a book. Plan your week ...

Prediction: Vikings, 7-6

COLTS (5-2) AT EAGLES (4-3)

2:15 p.m., Ch. 2

The Colts haven't lost to an NFC team in regular season games (6-0) since coach Jim Caldwell took over. They did lose to an NFC team in the Super Bowl, but Philly isn't super.

Prediction: Colts, 31-24

COWBOYS (1-6) AT PACKERS (5-3)

6:20 p.m., Ch. 5

Dallas reached new lows in allowing the Jaguars to score 35 points and making quarterback David Garrard look competent. The Packers will make them fall deeper.

Prediction: Packers, 52-6

STEELERS (5-2) AT BENGALS (2-5)

6:30 p.m. Monday, ESPN

The Steelers usually win in Cincinnati — taking eight straight meetings there before last season. As we've learned, this year's Bengals team is nothing like the 2009 version.

Prediction: Steelers, 33-21

DOLPHINS (4-3) AT RAVENS (5-2)

11 a.m., Ch. 2

Predictions

Miami has won six straight road games dating back to last season and could catch Baltimore napping after a bye. The Dolphins will have to score touchdowns to win. They won't.

Prediction: Ravens, 16-15

CARDINALS (3-4) AT VIKINGS (2-5)

11 a.m., Ch. 13

Wow, FOX, thanks for showing this barnburner on local TV. If the Ravens-Dolphins game isn't good, feel free to rake leaves. Do the laundry. Read a book. Plan your week ...

Prediction: Vikings, 7-6

COLTS (5-2) AT EAGLES (4-3)

2:15 p.m., Ch. 2

The Colts haven't lost to an NFC team in regular season games (6-0) since coach Jim Caldwell took over. They did lose to an NFC team in the Super Bowl, but Philly isn't super.

Prediction: Colts, 31-24

COWBOYS (1-6) AT PACKERS (5-3)

6:20 p.m., Ch. 5

Dallas reached new lows in allowing the Jaguars to score 35 points and making quarterback David Garrard look competent. The Packers will make them fall deeper.

Prediction: Packers, 52-6

STEELERS (5-2) AT BENGALS (2-5)

6:30 p.m. Monday, ESPN

The Steelers usually win in Cincinnati — taking eight straight meetings there before last season. As we've learned, this year's Bengals team is nothing like the 2009 version.

Prediction: Steelers, 33-21

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