Suddenly, this week's Giants-49ers game in San Francisco is looking like it could be one of the biggest matchups on the 2012 NFL schedule. The G-men crushed the Browns in Week 5, while Niners demolished their opponent for the second week in a row. The Texans and Falcons remain unbeaten, and thus they still occupy the top two spots on this list, but San Francisco and New York have moved up into the next two slots.
1. Houston Texans (5-0, 1st last week): Closer than expected against the Jets, but J.J. Watt has become the league's most dominant player. Amazing.
2. Atlanta Falcons (5-0, 2nd last week): Same deal with the Falcons, who had trouble in Washington. Sometimes it's just about survival.
3. San Francisco 49ers (4-1, 4th last week): I don't care who your opponents are, if you outscore them 79-3 in two weeks, you're a ridiculously good football team. That's unheard of.
4. New York Giants (3-2, 9th last week): Four solid efforts after that puzzling opener against the Cowboys.
5. Baltimore Ravens (4-1, 5th last week): The defense stepped up when the offense fell flat in Kansas City. Good team finding a way to win, but they've been a tad off since Week 1.
6. Arizona Cardinals (4-1, 3rd last week): Proof that you can't be elite without an elite offense?
7. New England Patriots (3-2, 7th last week): Unstoppable force meets an immovable object in Seattle this week.
8. Chicago Bears (4-1, 12th last week): Sleeper Super Bowl team? No defense is making plays like this one, and the schedule should land them at 7-1 at mid-season.
9. Green Bay Packers (2-3, 6th last week): They've lost more games in five outings this year than they had in their previous 23.
10. Minnesota Vikings (4-1, 14th last week): First true road test coming in Washington. Winner of that could be a wild-card contender this year.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2, 11th last week): Shouldn't have cut it that close at home against a Philly team that was shooting itself in the foot.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2, 8th last week): Good sign that they hung with the Steelers despite shooting themselves in the foot, but the turnover rate has to drop.
13. St. Louis Rams (3-2, 20th last week): They're now 3-0 at home. Guess it's time we start buying into the young Rams.
14. Seattle Seahawks (3-2, 16th last week): Few defenses scare the hell out of me like this one. Another stellar performance in Carolina.
15. San Diego Chargers (3-2, 13th last week): Next five opponents are sub-.500, which helps.
16. Denver Broncos (2-3, 10th last week): Positive second-half performance against the Patriots was encouraging. Big game now with San Diego.
17. Washington Redskins (2-3, 18th last week): The 'Skins can battle with anyone, but only if Robert Griffin III stays healthy.
18. Miami Dolphins (2-3, 23rd last week): Beat the Rams at home and you're 3-3 heading into the bye. Who expected that from the Phins?
19. Dallas Cowboys (2-2, 17th last week): We'll see if the bye week solves what's wrong with that offense.
20. Carolina Panthers (1-4, 15th last week): I'm stubbornly grasping onto the Panthers still. That could change with Dallas, Chicago and Washington on deck after the bye.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (3-2, 19th last week): Flat effort came out of nowhere. Right when I was ready to send them up this list.
22. Detroit Lions (1-3, 21st last week): It's beginning to look as though the NFC North's going to be a bitch for the Lions this year. Defense has no teeth.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3, 22nd last week): The sked's been tough but at least they've got the Chiefs coming out of the bye.
24. New York Jets (2-3, 24th last week): There's no way they can overcome what's happened, but admirable effort against Houston.
25. New Orleans Saints (1-4, 26th last week): Not exactly an awe-inspiring victory against San Diego, but I won't count them out yet.
26. Indianapolis Colts (2-2, 31st last week): I take back what I said last week about the Titans being the second-best team in the AFC South.
27. Kansas City Chiefs (1-4, 25th last week): Up to 19 total turnovers now, which is hard to believe. On pace to make history in that category.
28. Oakland Raiders (1-3, 28th last week): At least they've turned it over only three times in four games. The problem is the defense has only forced three. Oh, and they're not very good in general.
29. Tennessee Titans (1-4, 29th last week): Consistently bad defense and a consistently mediocre offense. What a depressing team.
30. Cleveland Browns (0-5, 30th last week): At least they've discovered a potential stud in Josh Gordon. Pieces are in place offensively, but they're a year or two away, at best.
31. Buffalo Bills (2-3, 27th last week): Buffalo's defense, which has been roasted in the last two second halves, is giving up a league-high 6.7 yards per play. Oh, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is regressing.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4, 32nd last week): It looks like the Jags will have the league's worst offense despite the presence of Maurice Jones-Drew for the second year in a row.