There were quite a few shake-ups at the top of the board this week with New England's miraculous comeback and the Chiefs hitting the skids. Things could get crazy again this week with a #1 vs. #3, a #4 vs. #6, and a #9 vs #12 all on tap this week. The Lions managed to play their way off the board and are replaced by the Eagles. In other news, the Colts are falling almost as quickly as the Panthers are rising.
#1 – Seattle Seahawks
It's got to be nice to not play and get bumped all the way up to the top spot. However, Seattle is going to have to earn its position for next week with the Saints coming to town. Needless to say, the winner of that game will likely be holding the #1 spot next week, and, more importantly, home field throughout the NFC playoffs.
Last Week: 2 Change: +1 Record: 10-1 Next Game: vs. Saints
#2 – New England Patriots
The Patriots were 30 minutes away from going the way of the Detroit Lions and getting themselves kicked off the rankings this week. Now they're holding the #2 spot. It's amazing the difference that 30 minutes can make.
Last Week: 5 Change: +3 Record: 8-3 Next Game: @ Texans
#3 – New Orleans Saints
Gut check time. Beat the Seahawks and they are in the NFC driver's seat. Lose in Seattle, and Carolina may just overtake them and send them on the road in the Wild Card Round.
Last Week: 3 Change: 0 Record: 9-2 Next Game: @ Seahawks
#4 – Denver Broncos
After blowing a 24-0 lead, dropping three spots in the rankings is not even a blip on the Broncos' pain radar.
Last Week: 1 Change: -3 Record: 9-2 Next Game: @ Chiefs
#5 – Carolina Panthers
I don't know if they have enough in them to get past a road playoff game in Seattle, but if somebody else comes along and upsets the Seahawks, the Panthers could very well end up in Met Life Stadium in February. They just have the look of a team that is going to get hot and catch everyone off guard in January.
Last Week: 6 Change: +1 Record: 8-3 Next Game: vs. Buccaneers
#6 – Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs followed up their nine game winning streak with a two game losing streak. They better show up against Denver or it will be three in a row.
Last Week: 4 Change: -2 Record: 9-2 Next Game: vs. Broncos
#7 – San Francisco 49ers
The Niners stand pat after a ho-hum victory over the hapless Redskins. I'm still not convinced that they're actually the 2nd best team in the NFC West.
Last Week: 7 Change: 0 Record: 7-4 Next Game: vs. Rams
#8 – Cincinnati Bengals
With the Colts in free fall, the Bengals are in prime position to host a very weak #6 seed in the AFC to start the playoffs. There may just be a playoff win in Cincinnati for the first time since 1991.
Last Week: 9 Change: +1 Record: 7-4 Next Game: @ Chargers
#9 – Arizona Cardinals
The Cards are yet another sneaky NFC team that is catching everyone off guard. Who's up for a Carolina/Arizona NFC Championship? Anybody?
Last Week: 12 Change: +3 Record: 7-4 Next Game: @ Eagles
#10 – Chicago Bears
The Bears didn't play and yet still managed to take the lead in the "only slightly better than the NFC East" NFC North.
Last Week: 10 Change: 0 Record: 6-5 Next Game: @ Vikings
#11 – Indianapolis Colts
I don't think that the Titans have enough going for them to take the division, but Indy needs a quick turnaround or they won't be long for the post-season.
Last Week: 8 Change: -3 Record: 7-4 Next Game: vs. Titans
#12 – Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have clawed their way onto the board. Unfortunately, there's not much difference between team #12 and team #20 with the gigantic pile of teams that are 6-5 or 5-6 at the moment. They can prove their worthiness by beating Arizona, or it's likely one and done for the Iggles on this list.
Last Week: N/A Change: N/A Record: 6-5 Next Game: vs. Cardinals