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Rank   Team Record   Change   Comment
1 New England Patriots New England Patriots 10-0
It wasn’t pretty, but the Patriots remain unbeaten. This Sunday’s road game against Denver may be their last true test of the season.
2 Carolina Panthers Carolina Panthers 10-0
Another dominant performance from Cam Newton and the defense.
3 Arizona Cardinals Arizona Cardinals 8-2
▲ 1
That one had to feel really good for Carson Palmer, who turned a 14-7 halftime deficit into a 34-31 win against his former team. With the Niners and Rams upcoming, Arizona has an excellent shot at 10-2.
4 Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati Bengals 8-2
▼ 1
Back-to-back prime-time losses can sting for a franchise that hasn't won a playoff game in a quarter of a century, but there’s no shame in losing by three to Arizona. That said, the Bengals need to beat the skidding Rams this Sunday. No excuses.
5 Denver Broncos Denver Broncos 8-2
▲ 1
Another gritty win courtesy of the Denver defense, but let’s be fair: Brock Osweiler, who went 20-of-27 for 250 yards, two touchdowns and zero turnovers, was more than solid. The Broncos are still very much in contention for a first-round bye.
6 Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers 7-3
▲ 1
With their backs against the wall, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers responded. The division race is far from over, but Green Bay is in the driver’s seat.
7 Minnesota Vikings Minnesota Vikings 7-3
▼ 2
The Packers’ offense was only going to struggle for so long, and Minnesota’s O-Line looked leaky. Six sacks on Teddy Bridgewater are far too many.
8 Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers 6-4
The next four will not be easy: at Seattle, against Indy, at Cincy and against Denver. If the Steelers make the playoffs, they’re going to earn it.
9 Seattle Seahawks Seattle Seahawks 5-5
▲ 4
The Seahawks’ five wins have come against the following quarterbacks: Jimmy Clausen, Matthew Stafford, Colin Kaepernick, Matt Cassel and Blaine Gabbert.
10 New York Giants New York Giants 5-5
▲ 2
The bad? Four of the five losses have been by a combined nine points. The good? The Giants are still atop the NFC East.
11 Kansas City Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs 5-5
▲ 4
That’s four straight (dominant) wins. Combined score: 130-39. Would you want to face this team right now? I sure wouldn’t.
12 Buffalo Bills Buffalo Bills 5-5
▼ 2
The Bills had their chances but just didn’t make enough plays. A tough road game in Kansas City awaits.
13 Indianapolis Colts Indianapolis Colts 5-5
▲ 1
The Colts are 3-0 in games in which Matt Hasselbeck starts. Just sayin'...
14 Houston Texans Houston Texans 5-5
▲ 3
The Texans have suddenly won three straight and four of five to pull even with Indy in the AFC South, and how about that defense? Houston is allowing an average of just 9.7 points over its last three games.
15 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta Falcons 6-4
▼ 6
With four losses in five games, that 5-0 start seems like a distant memory – especially since the only win during that stretch was a 10-7 decision against Tennessee. With Minnesota upcoming, hopes have to be fading fast in Atlanta.
16 New York Jets New York Jets 5-5
▼ 5
The Jets have been competitive in every game this season. Still, four losses in five games is hard to swallow. If the running game ain’t working, this team ain’t winning.
17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-5
▲ 6
Easily the best game of Jameis Winston’s young career. The rookie quarterback threw for five touchdowns in a 45-17 win over Philly, this after throwing for just four touchdowns in his last five games combined. The Bucs are 4-2 over their last six games, and one of the losses came at Washington by a point. The improvement is clear.
18 Washington Redskins Washington Redskins 4-6
▼ 2
After getting blown out 44-16 in Carolina, Washington is now 4-1 at home and 0-5 on the road.
19 Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars 4-6
▲ 7
Jacksonville has won three of four and is actually knocking on the AFC South door. That is, in a word, stunning.
20 Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins 4-6
▼ 2
Remember that 44-point outburst against the Texans in Week 7? The Dolphins have scored just 58 combined in the four games since and have gone 1-3 in the process.
21 Chicago Bears Chicago Bears 4-6
▼ 2
The offense just didn't make enough plays. The 15 points were the fewest for a Jay Cutler-led offense since last December.
22 Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia Eagles 4-6
▼ 2
Things could be worse in Philly, but not by much. The Eagles gave up 283 rushing yards to Tampa Bay and let a rookie quarterback throw for five touchdowns. One of those things happening is bad enough, but both? Not good.
23 Oakland Raiders Oakland Raiders 4-6
▼ 2
Derek Carr finished without a touchdown for the first time since Week 1. That’s three straight losses for the Raiders, who have lost four games by six points or fewer this season.
24 New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints 4-6
What’s a realistic goal for the defense this week? Hold Houston under 30?
25 Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys 3-7
▲ 3
Romo returns and the skid ends. Imagine that.
26 St. Louis Rams St. Louis Rams 4-6
▼ 4
Todd Gurley has rushed 61 times for 200 yards (3.3 yards per carry) in his last three games, during which the Rams are 0-3 with a pair of three-point road losses.
27 Detroit Lions Detroit Lions 3-7
▲ 3
The offense still can’t score – the Lions have been held under 20 points in eight of their last nine games – but the defense has come to play each of the last two weeks, holding Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr to just two touchdowns. Detroit hadn’t won two straight games since last December.
28 San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers 3-7
▼ 3
The 49ers, who are 0-5 on the road, never had a chance in that one.
29 Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens 3-7
▼ 2
Losing Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett is the cherry on top of what has been an awful, injury-plagued season. All three wins have come by a field goal.
30 San Diego Chargers San Diego Chargers 2-8
▼ 1
Six straight losses, the most recent by 30 points to a division rival at home. The mailing in has officially begun.
31 Tennessee Titans Tennessee Titans 2-8
Marcus Mariota hasn’t thrown a touchdown in two straight games. The Titans have lost both games and scored just 23 points in the process.
32 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns 2-8
At home against Baltimore, at home against Cincinnati. Johnny Manziel will be given his chance over the next two weeks.

Tony Meale is the author of The Chosen Ones: The Team That Beat LeBron. He lives in Chicago and won’t be mad if you follow him on Twitter @TonyMeale.

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