There isn't a lot we can conclude based on what's' gone on over the first six weeks of the 2012 NFL season, but this much is for sure: the NFC has kicked the AFC's ass. Not only do NFC teams have a combined winning percentage of .556 while the AFC's combined percentage is only .446, but the NFC's elite teams continue to beat the best the AFC has to offer. This week alone, Green Bay and Seattle helped establish that.
Unsurprisingly, the top three teams in our rankings hail from the NFC, while eight of the bottom nine come out of the AFC.
1. Atlanta Falcons (6-0, 2nd last week): Finding a way to win for the third week in a row. I guess that's all that matters, but they're feeling the pressure from...
2. New York Giants (4-2, 4th last week): The fact that they can now run and pass block should scare the hell out of everyone else in this league. Oh, and now the pass rush is back.
3. Green Bay Packers (3-3, 9th last week): Don't piss off Aaron Rodgers, guys.
4. Houston Texans (5-1, 1st last week): At least they're landing the banged-up Ravens at a good time. If they win that, they'll have a two-game lead on the entire conference entering their Week 8 bye.
5. Baltimore Ravens (5-1, 5th last week): They can't climb despite a 5-1 record because they continue to win in very unconvincing fashion. And the injuries are adding up quickly.
6. San Francisco 49ers (4-2, 3rd last week): On Sunday at Candlestick, we got more proof that the need for revenge can only do so much for a team.
7. Seattle Seahawks (4-2, 14th last week): The Seahawks are tougher than you, and Russell Wilson is good when it matters. Odd for a rookie quarterback.
8. Chicago Bears (4-1, 12th last week): Healthy and rested and now back in first place in the NFC North after the bye. And their next three opponents have sub-.500 records.
9. New England Patriots (3-3, 7th last week): Does anyone really think they won't win the AFC East? No panic in Foxborough.
10. Arizona Cardinals (4-2, 6th last week): Maybe that run really was a fluke. I mean, that was a disgusting loss.
11. Washington Redskins (3-3, 17th last week): They've been leading or tied in the fourth quarter of all six of their games. Imagine how much better they'd be with Pierre Garcon and Brian Orakpo....
12. Denver Broncos (2-4, 16th last week): Usually you can't afford to fall behind 24-0. But that's the power of Peyton Manning + Norv Turner + Philip Rivers.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3, 11th last week): Another "meh" performance and now the Bengals on the road. Trouble.
14. New York Jets (3-3, 24th last week): Nice to see the running game get it going but I still can't see them overcoming the losses of Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes. Pats this week.
15. Miami Dolphins (3-3, 18th last week): Ryan Tannehill has impressed me more than every rookie quarterback except Robert Griffin. Dude's so smooth under the pressure and running the no-huddle like a 10-year veteran. Not landing Peyton Manning was a blessing in disguise.
16. St. Louis Rams (3-3, 13th last week): Hung with the Dolphins on the road. Baby steps for a team that competes every week.
17. Minnesota Vikings (4-2, 10th last week): Tough loss but damn, Percy Harvin is becoming one of the most dangerous weapons in the league. With Harvin and Adrian Peterson and that defense, these guys will contend.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (3-3, 12th last week): Seeing what all of these rookie quarterbacks are doing, you have to wonder what Philly would be doing on offense with Nick Foles leading the way right now.
19. Detroit Lions (2-3, 22nd last week): You can never count them out, and the defense is improving. Huge road win in Philadelphia. They would have been done at 1-4.
20. Dallas Cowboys (2-3, 19th last week): They weren't supposed to beat Baltimore, but it was the way in which they lost....
21. San Diego Chargers (3-3, 15th last week): That's why Philip Rivers will never win a Super Bowl. No way Norv Turner survives now if they miss the playoffs, right?
22. Carolina Panthers (1-4, 20th last week): If they lose to Dallas at home, their season's over.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3, 23rd last week): Ronde Barber, still killing it at the age of 53. Or something like that.
24. Cincinnati Bengals (3-3, 21st last week): Have a bad feeling about these guys. You can't throw three picks against the Browns, Andy Dalton.
25. Buffalo Bills (3-3, 31st last week): Such a Bills thing to do, beating one of the best home teams in football three time zones over after giving up 97 points in the previous two weeks. Don't trust these guys, but who knows....
26. New Orleans Saints (1-4, 25th last week): They could be in trouble in Tampa.
27. Tennessee Titans (2-4, 29th last week): No one else in their weak division won. The Titans are alive after a nice victory. I don't think they're good enough to turn it fully around, but wild-card spots might not require huge win totals in the AFC this year.
28. Oakland Raiders (1-4, 28th last week): On one hand, they nearly took down the unbeaten Falcons on the road. On the other hand, they didn't. One large Carson Palmer mistake was the difference. On the bright side, they're in the NFC West.
29. Indianapolis Colts (2-3, 26th last week): They peaked early this year.
30. Cleveland Browns (1-5, 30th last week): Just another crappy team adding to our confusion by snapping an 11-game losing streak against the 3-2 Bengals. Never, ever bet on games between AFC North teams. Biggest crapshoot division in football.
31. Kansas City Chiefs (1-5, 27th last week): This does not seem like a very appropriate time to re-up Scott Pioli, but whatevs.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4, 32nd last week): Two tough road games in Oakland and Green Bay coming out of the bye. They'll be 1-6.