Seahawks remain No. 1; Saints rising fast
1. Seahawks (4-0):Most people are putting the juggernaut Broncos atop the power rankings, but not here. The Seahawks went down to Houston and fought off a desperate Texans team in OT. This defense can stop anyone, on any turf — Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady included.
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2. Broncos (4-0): Omaha! Omaha! Papa John's? You can't even rattle Peyton Manning's audible calls, real or fake. Good luck, Dallas.
3. Saints (4-0): Drew Brees has these Saints looking like its 2009 all over again. When do we get to see Saints-Seahawks? Oh, Monday, Dec. 2. Can't wait.
4. Patriots (4-0): Here we go again. Tom Brady could take Wilson from the movie "Castaway" and turn him into a viable NFL pass-catcher.
5. Colts (3-1): Average margin of victory has been 27 points since hiccupping against Miami two weeks ago. At 30-1 odds, hedge your Bowl bets.
6. 49ers (2-2): Niners getting back to basics with punishing ground game. They just need to get healthy and stop reading own press clippings.
7. Chiefs (4-0): KC isn't a surprise anymore, they are bordering on elite. Question is, do they enough firepower to overthrow Denver?
8. Lions (3-1): This offense is electric — shades of Scott Mitchell? — when everyone is healthy. It looks like they might have finally figured it out in Motown.
9. Bears (3-1): Give the Bears credit for almost rallying to overcome huge deficit last week. Don't give them credit for the O-line reverting to old habits.
10. Ravens (2-2): It's going to be hard to repeat with Ray Rice less than 100 percent — with all apologies to Temple's Bernard Pierce, of course.
11. Packers (1-2): Record screams lower, but take a long look down this list and tell us if any of those teams can beat the Pack. We didn't think so.
12. Dolphins (3-1): The pass-rush suffered without stud end Cameron Wake. He'll be back (we think), no time to panic in South Beach.
13. Bengals (2-2): Ugly, ugly loss. Andy Dalton now on pace for 20 touchdown tosses, along with 16 interceptions. They need better play out of the quarterback position.
14. Texans (2-2): Houston fans are burning Matt Schaub jerseys in the parking lots. Uh-oh. One more stumble and they'll be chanting for David Carr to come back.
15. Titans (3-1): On record alone, Titans should be much higher. In reality, they might be counting on Ryan Fitzpatrick to carry the load with starter Jake Locker reportedly out 4-8 weeks.
16. Chargers (2-2): Philip Rivers wishes he could play the NFC East every week. It's between him and Reggie Bush for Comeback Player of the Year.
17. Falcons (1-3): Can this be fixed? Atlanta's offense still ranks No. 7 in total yards and No. 4 in passing yards. So, yeah, maybe.
18. Cowboys (2-2): Dallas is determined to make Dez Bryant the focal point of the offense. That's a start.
19. Panthers (1-2): Might be most underrated team in football. Coming off a bye, they are well-rested and see two possible softballs on the schedule: at Arizona, at Minnesota.
20. Cardinals (2-2): Cards squeaked out win last week, but coach Bruce Arians didn't mince words. He called the offense (30th in third-down conversions) "putrid."
21. Eagles (1-3): If Chip Kelly can eliminate the turnovers and mental mistakes (14 penalties past two weeks) and start turning field goals into touchdowns, this experiment might work.
22. Browns (2-2): Brian Hoyer is ruining CEO Joe Banner's plan to tank the season for Teddy Bridgewater. Karma chameleon.
23. Jets (2-2): Bilal Powell (292 yards, 4.4 average) is trying to revive the old ground-and-pound Jets attack.
24. Bills (2-2): Teams are going to start stacking the box in an effort to make EJ Manuel beat them.
25. Redskins (1-3): Robert Griffin III appears to be getting healthier. Now, Alfred Morris gets chance to rest bruised ribs on bye week.
Best of the worst: 26. Rams (1-3); 27. Raiders (1-3); 28. Vikings (1-3); 29. Steelers (0-4); 30. Giants (0-4); 31. Buccaneers (0-4); 32. Jaguars (0-4).