By Nick Ferraro
1. New Orleans Saints
The defense still has some holes, but not enough that the offense can’t compensate.
2. Indianapolis Colts
Two narrow escapes in a row for the Colts. They need a complete game this week against the Patriots.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
The running game was back on Monday night for the defending champs. That’s bad news for the rest of the league.
4. New England
We get a chance to see if the Patriots still have Indy’s number on Sunday.
5. Minnesota Vikings
The rest of the division provided the Vikings with a three-game lead while the Vikings rested. I wish the Vikings played New Orleans in the regular season. It seems they almost certainly will play in the post-season.
6. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals appear to be the real deal. Traveling to Pittsburgh will be a huge test for the AFC’s newest contender.
7. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys got a huge road win in Philadelphia. Everyone is waiting to see if they can finally follow a strong November with a strong December.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Playing in the Saints’ division means the wild-card race starts early.
9. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are anything but consistent. It got them to the Super Bowl last year. It’s hard to imagine it working again.
10. Denver Broncos
The Broncos had a chance to step forward over the last two games. They instead took some major steps backward.