1. Minnesota Vikings – They’re the real deal now. Robert Smith is a candidate for MVP honors and Cris Carter just keeps on catching touchdowns. Next week’s match-up with St. Louis might not be as close as once anticipated. The East is going through the Metrodome.
2. Miami Dolphins – What a year for the Miami Dolphins. With the dominating win in Buffalo Sunday, the Dolphins have established themselves as the best team in the east. A loss though and a Jets win would give New York the division so Miami better keep on winning.
3. Denver Broncos – Where did this team come from? They’ve beaten Oakland twice, New Orleans didn’t have a chance at home Sunday and Mike Anderson is the world’s best no-name running back. The only problem with this team is that they lost to Cincinnati. But, if losing to the Bengals leads to this, then more teams should follow suit.
4. Baltimore Ravens – What a defense this team has. Baltimore enjoyed a full week off and with San Diego coming to town next week, the Ravens are cruising. Almost took first-place without playing, but Tennessee just squeaked by Philly.
5. Oakland Raiders – Tough loss against a respectable Pittsburgh team. Big game with a good Jets team coming up. Like Miami, one loss could cost them the division.
6. Tennessee Titans – They didn’t score a touchdown, but Al Del Greco came through at the buzzer to beat the Eagles on the road. Eddie George is a work horse, but the Titans aren’t winning big like they used to. They are winning the close ones, however, all that’s all it takes.
7. New York Giants – Still, the Giants are searching for respectability, but after a win in Washington and control of the NFC East, the G-Men are closing in on a first-round bye.
8. New York Jets – The Jets exacted revenge against Indianapolis and sent the Colts two games off the pace in the AFC. The Jets are a win and a Miami loss from control of the division.
9. Philadelphia Eagles – They were outplayed, but the Eagles kept it close and had the lead with only a few seconds to go. But, when the game was over, Philly found itself a 15-13 loser. With Cleveland, a bye and then Cincinnati, there should be no fears in Philly, just a realization that a playoff berth might come as a wildcard team.
10. Tampa Bay Buccanneers – Here come the Bucs. Cold weather is still their downfall, but Tampa is 8-5 and right in the wildcard hunt.
11. New Orleans Saints – Well, this isn’t a Super Bowl team with all the injuries, but they could still very well make the playoffs. St. Louis isn’t playing good football and the Saints still control their own destiny.
12. Detroit Lions – Had a great chance to gain ground on the Vikes, but they didn’t seize the moment. Playing Robert Smith isn’t easy and Detroit is well aware of that.
13. St. Louis Rams – What is this the Los Angeles Rams? Amazing what a not-so-good defense and a quarterback injury can do to a Super Bowl team.
14. Jacksonville Jaguars – Boy, is this team back. It came a little too late, but the Jags are really not a team that anyone wants to play. Poor Cleveland.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Kordell led the way against Oakland. Blowing a home game to Philly a few weeks ago is coming back to haunt the Steelers. Bill Cowher is quite a coach.
16. Buffalo Bills – What happened to Buffalo against Miami? In a playoff hunt against an arch-rival, one would think the Bills would have shown up.
17. Carolina Panthers – The Panthers are playing good football. They’re not going to the playoffs but at least they’re playing good football.
18. Indianapolis Colts – Suddenly, the Colts are playing like this is the early 1990’s.
19. Washington Redskins – How much fun is it to see this team lose.
20. Green Bay Packers – The Pack put it to Chicago. Ahman Green has been a great surprise for Green Bay.
21. Seattle Seahawks – Still trying to land A-Rod, but chances are becoming less likely.
22. San Francisco 49ers – Was that Joe Montana who led the 49ers to 45 points? No, it was Jeff Garcia and it was against the Chargers.
23. Kansas City Chiefs – Playing like the Kansas City Chefs.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – Through a process of elimination, it can be proven that there are seven teams worse than the Bengals.
25. Atlanta Falcons – Georgia Tech is going to the Peach Bowl.
26. Dallas Cowboys – How about them Cowboys. Yeah, how about them.
27. Arizona Cardinals – Another fine season for those Arizona Cardinals.
28. Chicago Bears – Replay 1985 classic season for enjoyment.
29. New England Patriots – Just don’t embarrass yourselves too much Monday night.
30. Cleveland Browns – It’s amazing this team isn’t the worst.
31. San Diego Chargers – Back where they belong.