Everyone near the top of this list had their hands full this week, but seven of the top eight teams won, making the Green Bay Packers our biggest faller. But with five weeks to go, the race is wide open.
1. San Francisco 49ers (8-2-1, 1st last week): Their second statement victory of the year. First, a win in Green Bay in Week 1, and now they slay the red-hot Saints in New Orleans. Regardless of who's at quarterback, this is the NFL's best team right now.
2. Houston Texans (10-1, 2nd last week): Cutting it a little too close with Baltimore still within reach. Can't afford to have off days this often in January.
3. Atlanta Falcons (10-1, 3rd last week): Same goes for these guys, who haven't won convincingly in nearly a month.
4. Baltimore Ravens (9-2, 5th last week): Can you believe that one of their losses came at the hands of the Eagles?
5. New England Patriots (8-3, 7th last week): I don't know what to make of a blowout win over the Jets, but this offense is ridiculous with or without Rob Gronkowski.
6. Denver Broncos (8-3, 6th last week): Haven't lost since Oct. 7, and the defense might be just as good as the offense.
7. Chicago Bears (8-3, 8th last week): Nice battle-back victory over Minnesota, but they're being ravaged by injuries right now.
8. New York Giants (7-4, 10th last week): The Manning Bowl in New Orleans. That would be the story of the century for the NFL.
9. Green Bay Packers (7-4, 4th last week): Couple duds this year, but at least they're getting them out of the way now. Have to get healthier quickly though.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5, 9th last week): Tough to see them lose such a close one to Atlanta, but this is still a playoff team.
11. Cincinnati Bengals (6-5, 16th last week): Very quietly they've won three straight, and their next three opponents have losing records. Watch out for Cincy in the playoffs.
12. Indianapolis Colts (7-4, 17th last week): An obvious one-and-done in January, but that's still pretty amazing all things considered.
13. Washington Redskins (5-6, 19th last week): Completely rejuvenated since the bye, this offense is one of the best in the league. It'll remain that way for more than a decade.
14. Seattle Seahawks (6-5, 11th last week): Had a bad feeling about them in Miami but at least they run into Chicago at an ideal time.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5, 13th last week): Considering these injuries, I'm starting to think the Steelers will fall short of the postseason this year.
16. New Orleans Saints (5-6, 12th last week): Back-breaking home loss to the Niners. Just not their year, despite the push.
17. Minnesota Viking (6-5, 14th last week): Not the same without Percy Harvin, and I don't think Christian Ponder's the answer.
18. St. Louis Rams (4-6-1, 20th last week): Jeff Fisher's guys are playing hard. They've lost only once since Week 8.
19. Cleveland Browns (3-8, 22nd last week): Another big win and now 3-3 after that 0-5 start. A quarterback away from being competitive next year.
20. Miami Dolphins (5-6, 25th last week): Too little, too late? I think so.
21. Detroit Lions (4-7, 18th last week): Two tough losses in a row at home to very good teams. That's their season right there.
22. Dallas Cowboys (5-6, 15th last week): Lose to the Eagles at home Sunday night and you'll have a real problem on your hands.
23. Carolina Panthers (3-8, 21st last week): Loved what I saw from Cam Newton this week, but then again it was the Eagles.
24. San Diego Chargers (4-7, 26th last week): Now they're losing to good teams in painful fashion. If the Chargers had fans, I'd feel terrible for them.
25. Buffalo Bills (4-7, 28th last week): Lose to the Colts. Move up three spots. Strange league, this is.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9, 30th last week): Back-to-back stellar efforts. But they might be costing themselves Matt Barkley, if they want him.
27. Tennessee Titans (4-7, 23rd last week): I get the feeling Chris Palmer won't be the only coach to go between now and Black Monday.
28. Arizona Cardinals (4-7, 24th last week): Has a team ever started 4-0 and finished 4-16? After winning nine of 10, the Cards have lost seven straight. Insanity.
29. New York Jets (4-7, 27th last week): Big changes must be coming soon, right? No way Woody stands for this.
30. Oakland Raiders (3-8, 29th last week): The schedule has done them in. Oh, and a lack of talent.
31. Philadelphia Eagles (3-8, 31st last week): Hard to believe this talented team now is ranked dead last in the NFC, record-wise and otherwise.
32. Kansas City Chiefs (1-10, 32nd last week): Three straight 3-8 teams on deck for the Chiefs, so the race for the No. 1 overall pick will be interesting.