Go figure. Every time we think we've got things sorted out, a bunch of losses turns everything upside-down. We're still working with the same 12 or so teams we've had in our rankings for most of the season, but this week's list looks very different from a week ago. Guess that's life in today's NFL. Here are the top 10 teams going into Week 11.
The question for the Lions all year has been whether they can stay healthy. Now that quarterback Matthew Stafford has a fractured finger on his throwing hand, we'll see if Detroit can hang in there with two games against the Packers still to come.
You can't keep Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Patriots down for long. They thrashed the Jets on Sunday to reassert themselves atop the AFC East. Our bet is that they stay there…defensive weaknesses notwithstanding.
There's no shame in losing to the Niners these days, as New York did on Sunday. But the Giants suddenly find the Cowboys nipping at their heels in the NFC East, and they need every win they can get. This week's Sunday-night matchup with the slumping Eagles will be key.
Every time we're ready to anoint the Ravens as the AFC's best, they suffer a bad loss that leaves us scratching our heads. The latest gaffe came at the hands of the 3-6 Seahawks. Ouch. They'd better rebound quickly, because they've got the Bengals at home this week in an AFC North matchup.
We'd like to put the Texans higher; their record and stats certainly support that. But after hearing that quarterback Matt Schaub is out for the season with injury, we're skeptical that backup Matt Leinart can lead Houston the rest of the way. Expect a lot of running plays.
The Bears blew out the Lions last week to move into a tie for second place in the NFC North. But Chicago's once-intimidating defense is a shadow of its former self. You can throw the ball on these Bears…and with the Chargers coming to Soldier Field this week, we're about to see proof.
It's hard to rank the Steelers so much higher than the Ravens, who have beaten them twice. But Pittsburgh recovered from its latest loss by beating the Bengals on Sunday in a key AFC North game. Given their experience, you'd have to bet on the Steelers if there's a third showdown with Baltimore in the playoffs.
Another week, another NFC South foe defeated (although it took overtime to dispatch the pesky Falcons). The Saints will rest on their laurels for a week before taking on the Giants in Week 12. Hard to believe a team this good is still just third-best in the NFC.
Wow. With Frank Gore injured and a high-powered Giants offense in town, the Niners had all the reason in the world to fold. But former Ute Alex Smith showed his mettle, leading San Francisco to a huge win and proving his doubters wrong. With six games left against weak NFC West foes, the Niners are on track for a first-round playoff bye.
The champs destroyed Minnesota on Monday night, and this week's opponent, Tampa Bay, doesn't look to pose much of a threat, either. Plus, those two games against Detroit still on the schedule don't look as tough as they once did. It's no sure thing by any means, but these Packers have a real shot at 16-0.