Now that every team has played at least eight games we only have one team that has a secure spot and it is the Jacksonville Jaguars at the bottom of the league. Perhaps they’re taking a page from the anonymous NBA GM who recently said it may not be such a bad idea to tank the season in order to ensure a high draft pick. There is a plethora of NFL-ready talents at the quarterback position. They would be stupid to take Jadaveon Clowney with the first pick, no matter how dominant he turns out to be on Sundays. But without any further ado.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: If the road to the Superbowl in the AFC goes through Arrowhead Stadium the rest of the conference may be in trouble. With possibly the strongest defense in the league and a highly efficient offense this team is hard to get ahead on.
2. Indianapolis Colts: The loss of Reggie Wayne has opened the door for T.Y. Hilton to shine. The only team to beat both the Broncos and the Seahawks this season should challenge for the top seed in the AFC.
3. Seattle Seahawks: Aside from the aberration this past week this team has played phenomenal at home this season and not much worse away. Great teams find ways to come back from deficits like they experienced against Tampa Bay this week.
4. Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning is playing better than ever and he has the pieces around him to break every major season passing record. The defense has given up a lot of points, but to this point have come up strong in big moments. I would not be surprised to see this team win the Superbowl.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: A lot of AFC at the top this season. A young high-powered offense will lead this team to the AFC North title this season.
6. New Orleans Saints: Good luck beating this team at home. With a fast offense and a much improved defense this team is light years ahead of last year’s disappointment.
7. New England Patriots: Had it not been for some bad play by a defensive back in the waning seconds of the game against the Saints this team would have only a one game lead in the division. Look for the offense to get stronger with a full complement of running backs at their disposal.
8. San Francisco 49er’s: As bad as they have played at times this team deserves the sixth spot in these rankings. They have a consistent run game with some real playmakers in the passing game. Their defense took a step down from last year’s powerhouse but they are still one of the strongest in the league.
9. Detroit Lions: Any team that contains Calvin Johnson is at a gross advantage on offense. Having a quarterback who can consistently get the ball to him and a diversified running back corps is really icing on the touchdown cake. The defensive line makes up for the lack of talent in the backfield, but a good offensive line can fix that problem.
10. Chicago Bears: Their defense looked inspired against Green Bay in the league’s last edition of Monday Night Football, which has been their greatest weakness up to this point. Their offense hasn’t lost a beat with Josh McCown at quarterback, let’s hope they can learn how to tackle big/powerful running backs.
11. Dallas Cowboys: Had it not been for a last second touchdown given up to the Detroit Lions this team would be dangerously close to locking up the NFC East division title. As long as Tony Romo can play up to his capability this team will be in the playoffs.
12. New York Jets: Their run game is coming on strong, almost as strong as their defense is playing. Geno Smith is learning on the go and this team looks as if they may challenge the Patriots for the AFC East title.
13. Green Bay Packers: This team would be higher if Aaron Rodgers were not out an indefinite period of time due to a fracture collarbone. Eddie Lacy is leading a rushing attack that has become one of the strongest in the league after spending years being anemic.
14. Carolina Panthers: Having Jonathon Stewart back adds to a rushing attack that has been the main factor in this team blowing teams out all season. A solid defense led by Luke Kuechly will have trouble in New Orleans, so do not expect this team to surpass the Saints.
15. San Diego Chargers: The Chargers have a lot of talent in every phase of the game that seldom is pieced together at the right time. Will be hard for them to make the postseason in what has become the strongest division in football only a couple years after being the worst.
16. Cleveland Browns: The team that looked to have thrown in the towel on the season by trading Trent Richardson has become the second best team in what is perennially a strong AFC North. Credit this to the play of their defense led by unsung cornerback Joe Haden.
17. Philadelphia Eagles: Nick Foles has finally taken the starting job by the reins and this could be the end of Michael Vick in the NFL. If their defense can perform up to the level the offense has recently this team has a decent shot to make the playoffs via the NFC East division title.
18. Tennessee Titans: Was this last week the rebirth of Chris Johnson? Doubtful, this team needs help on offense, defense and in the front office. Good luck dealing with the Colts for the next ten years.
19. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill looks to be the quarterback of the future for this young team and as long as their defense can continue to be strong this team could be really good, just not this year.
20. St. Louis Rams: With Sam Bradford under center this team may be ranked higher, but not even the recent coming-out of Zac Stacy can make this team better than a .500 ball club. A solid defense should help this team win half of their games this season.
21. Arizona Cardinals: I feel strange putting this team around the middle of these rankings but there are so many bad teams in the league they have earned this spot. Carson Palmer will not lead this team to any Superbowls, or even division titles, but he is a good place-filler for a team waiting for catastrophic injuries to Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick.
22. Buffalo Bills: The Bills defense is now playing extremely well and if the return of C.J. Spiller to full health means the offense will have the ball longer this team could creep above 8 wins by the end of the season.
23. Washington Redskins: A porous defense and a run game that has a hard time getting moving will keep this team from the playoffs this season.
24. Houston Texans: The offense is struggling and the loss of Arian Foster for the time being is a serious setback, but this defense is as strong as any in the league. Case Keenum looks like he may be the quarterback of the future for the Texans, hopefully he has more than one good NFL game in him.
25. Oakland Raiders: Terrelle Pryor is fun to watch for now, but if this team is serious about contending in the AFC West this team needs a lot of new faces, including at starting quarterback.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers: The third best rookie running back in the league (behind Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin) has given this offense a shot of life. They are a far cry from the playoffs this season, but it is good to see some young talents on offense and defense making things happen.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Ever heard the saying “oh how the mighty have fallen?” If it was not already a thing this team would be the face of the phrase. Superbowl champions to a probable sub .500 finish.
28. Atlanta Falcons: Hard to put this team above or below the next two teams but I gave them the advantage based off the quarterback. Steven Jackson has proven that even when healthy he is not the same running back he was when at his best in St. Louis and the loss of Julio Jones has been apparent.
29. New York Giants: They look like they are starting to turn things around, only problem is it is far too late and they are out of contention for anything other than a mid-round draft pick.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Glennon is playing extremely well in the wake of all the drama during the first half of the season. If Doug Martin can come back strong this team could pull off some upsets and affect playoff positioning.
31. Minnesota Vikings: Only thing keeping them out of the bottom spot is Jacksonville.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars: Marcus Mariota FTW?