We're finally here NFL fans, the midway point of the season. The time of year where teams shouldn't surprise us anymore even if they aren't, as Dennis Green put it "who we thought they were".
But regardless of how the pieces fall into place, the power rankings are ever changing, despite the top 10 being relatively unchanged. There is some big movement amongst the mid tier teams with the Colts and Dolphins moving up the list, and the Chargers dropping WAY down.
Previous week's ranking in parentheses
1. (1) Atlanta Falcons – Atlanta won convincingly over a slumping team in Philadelphia to stay undefeated. Next up on the Falcons schedule is the hapless Cowboys at home.
2. (2) Houston Texans – The Texans come off the bye next week to face a struggling Buffalo Bills team. Houston should win this one fairly easy to maintain the best record in the AFC.
3. (3) Green Bay Packers – The Packers didn't put up a ton of points against the Jaguars, but when you face a team that bad you don't have to.
4. (4) Chicago Bears – Chicago needed to score 16 points in the 4th quarter to pull out a win against a bad Panthers team, but a win is a win and the Bears are 6-1.
5. (6) San Francisco 49ers – Worry no more niner fans! A game against the Cardinals right now cures all ails as Alex Smith went 18/19 for 232 yards and 3 touchdowns.
6. (7) New England Patriots – A big time blowout is exactly what the Patriots needed this week against a normally competitive Rams defense. Maybe the PATRIOTS should play all their games in England.
7. (9) Denver Broncos – Manning put up big numbers against a bad Saints defense as predicted. The defense was able to step up and shut down Drew Brees.
8. (5) New York Giants – Another drop down the list after a win for the Giants. The G-men need to stop trying to give away games.
9. (10) Baltimore Ravens – A banged up Ravens team got a much needed bye in week eight, and they get a potentially easy game facing the Browns out of the bye.
10. (12) Pittsburgh Steelers – Jonathan Dwyer had a good game for the second straight week and Roethlisberger throws touchdowns to three of his TEs/FBs as the Steelers smack the Redskins around at Heinz field.
11. (8) Minnesota Vikings – Ponder and Peterson both were able to move the ball against the Buccaneers, but turnovers prevented Minnesota from putting points on the board.
12. (14) Cincinnati Bengals – A much needed bye week for the slumping Bengals, but getting Peyton Manning and the Broncos in week 9 isn't a favorable match-up right now.
13. (16) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Freeman is on fire with his third straight big week, and Doug Martin joined in to run all over the Vikings defense
14. (17) Detroit Lions – Matthew Stafford finally woke up, throwing for 352 yards and 4 touchdowns (3 passing, 1 rushing) including a last second TD to Titus Young to beat Seattle.
15. (11) Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson looked decent against a below average Detroit secondary, but Seattle can't win on the road (1-4).
16. (15) St. Louis Rams – The Rams defense decided to leave their game back in the states as they let the Patriots score on their first five possessions. Sam Bradford had a decent completion percentage, but needs to start pushing the ball down the field.
17. (13) Arizona Cardinals – There's the Cardinals team I was expecting to see before the season. The offensive line is terrible, and the defense was picked apart by Alex Smith.
18. (24) Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins were dominant against the Jets despite losing Ryan Tannehill to a knee injury. Tannehill may miss next week against the Colts, but Matt Moore is more than capable of getting the win next week.
19. (19) Philadelphia Eagles – A surprising zero turnover game for Philly, but still an ugly loss against the Falcons. The discussion will now turn to whether or not benching Michael Vick can save their season.
20. (21) Washington Redskins – Washington was dominated from the opening kickoff in Pittsburgh. If I'm a fan of the Redskins, I'm infuriated that Shanahan is sending RG3 out to catch passes and risk him getting hit like Ryan Clark hit him.
21. (20) Dallas Cowboys – Six turnovers……SIX TURNOVERS!! Nothing else needs to be said about the most frustrating team in the league except, six turnovers.
22. (26) Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck has the Colts with a winning record at 4-3, none of those wins are against teams with winning records, but progress is progress.
23. (25) Tennessee Titans – An overtime loss for the Titans at home hurts, but it definitely looks like CJ2K is back. It will be interesting to see what happens with this team when Jake Locker returns.
24. (22) New Orleans Saints – Like I said last week, "At this point, an average day for Brees means a loss in New Orleans.". Brees had a bad day in Denver and the Saints got smacked around.
25. (18) San Diego Chargers – I said last week that if the Chargers struggle against the Browns that it's time to sell stock and I would have had them drop further if the teams behind them weren't all so bad.
26. (23) New York Jets – Mark Sanchez was forced to throw the ball 54 times as the Jets trailed the entire game. That combined with a porous defense is a recipe for disaster in New York.
27. (31) Cleveland Browns – The Browns defense shut down a quickly fading Chargers team, as they able to hold on to the game late. The offense needs to continue to be carried by Trent Richardson if the Browns want to have a semi-respectable record.
28. (28) Oakland Raiders – Oakland's offense looked well balanced against the rival Chiefs, but this is easily the worst 3-4 team in the league
29. (27) Buffalo Bills – The Bills won't get a break the next few weeks after their bye with road games against Houston and New England. The second half of the season will be ugly in Buffalo.
30. (29) Kansas City Chiefs – Turnovers killed in a lackluster home loss to the rival Raiders. When Matt Cassel is the team's leading rusher, you're in trouble.
31. (30) Carolina Panthers – The Panthers did what bad teams do, give away the game in the final quarter.
32. (32) Jacksonville Jaguars – Jacksonville gave Green Bay a game, but to be honest I have to check each week to see if the Jaguars are still in the NFL.
Photo Credit: Getty