10. San Francisco 49ers (22)
Huge climb for the 49ers, and this might be temporary. They abused the Bengals last weekend, and their defensive line could be a problem for years to come. Holding out the jury on this offense.
9. Atlanta Falcons (24)
They looked so bad against Minnesota, then followed it up with a win over the Eagles. If they can get their run game rolling, and this young defense grows, they could be dangerous.
8. Minnesota Vikings (11)
They moved up, despite a loss to Green Bay, because everything outside the quarterback position looks good, and the way they handled Atlanta in the opener required me to put them above them for now. That pricey quarterback is going to need to get it together. And soon.
7. Seattle Seahawks (9)
They followed a tough home win against the Bengals with a tough road win against Pittsburgh. That equals 2-0 for a team that seems to improve each year as the season goes on.
6. Green Bay Packers (12)
It’s weird to say that the Packers are winning because of their defense, but here we are. You have to think Aaron Rodgers and company will get on track, which makes them dangerous.
5. Baltimore Ravens (7)
Remember when I said it was weird to say that the Packers were winning because of their defense? Come on! It was one team ago! Regardless, the Baltimore Ravens are winning right now because of their offense, with an assist from a run-stuffing defense that is taking away half of what offenses like to do.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson, has fulfilled the hype around him from the Ravens Flock all offseason, and then some. He is a two-way threat every single play, and tight end Mark Andrews and rookie receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown are potentially forming a set of offensive triplets that will entertain Charm City for years to come.
A tilt with the Chiefs this week will be a good measuring stick for where this team is right now, and maybe give some insight about their future, as well. This team will be exciting, barring injuries, and the future looks bright.
4. Dallas Cowboys (8)
So, why is Dallas ahead of Baltimore? Coin flip. I couldn’t decide, and took the path that made me look less like a homer. Dallas is efficient on offense and very talented on defense. Them and Philadelphia will be battling to the end of the season if they both stay healthy.
3. Los Angeles Rams (3)
The defending NFC champions are undefeated, and that keeps them highly ranked, especially coming off a win against the New Orleans Saints. There is still some question about the health of running back Todd Gurley, but make no mistake about it — this team is still loaded and well-coached.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (2)
They have Patrick Mahomes. They are coached by Andy Reid. They have speed up and down the roster, and they hosted last year’s AFC Championship game. This will be a test for them this week against the Ravens, even if it’s at home.
1. New England Patriots (1)
Tom Brady. Antonio Brown. Julian Edelman. Josh Gordon. Seven hundred quality running backs. Bill Belichick. That’s a load for any team to handle. Oh, yeah. They might have their best defense in 15 years. Good luck with this team.