So lets start by stating how I come by my power rankings: Team record, quality wins, and overall team performance. So having said that let's get to what you came here for:
#1 Denver Broncos: While they are 0-1 against teams over .500, they have 4 games coming up after the bye week all against teams currently over .500 and three within the division. Also, it's hard to overlook the fact that they've hung at least 30 points in every game they've played thus far. WOW! Just WOW! Concerns: As stated above they've yet to be tested except in the one game they lost against the Colts, I did think that was more about the Colts than it was about the Broncos but more about that later. The only other concern for me is that ever since the Colts game it's seemed to me that Peyton has lost a little of his velocity, I am concerned that maybe there may be something wrong with Peyton but that's why we have bye weeks and it couldn't have come at a better time for the Broncos.
#2 New Orleans Saints: I love the Saints! Everything about this team is incredibly good. In the past if you would have told me the Saints would score 23 points or less in a game I would have said that's a loss for them then, but this team is really good defensively, ranked 4th in points allowed per game allowing just over 17 points a game, now part of that is because they have played 5 teams under .500 but I give the Fatter Ryan credit for helping this team turn things around in a hurry. Concerns: They haven't played a strong schedule having only played two teams above .500, which will probably fall to one since the Bears are without Jay Cutler for a few weeks, and they're 1-1 in those games. Those are concerning numbers we'll see how they fair against the other top level teams in the NFC with a game at home against the 49ers and away at Seattle.
#3 Cincinnati Bengals: Let me make this very clear, this is NOT a homer pick. They have a legitimate claim to this spot. With a top ten defense and offense they're one of the better teams in the league. They possess the league's leading tackler, #2 Wide receiver, and #4 quarterback (last two are in terms of yards).They have the #5 scoring defense and are also #5 in total offense. They are 3-1 against teams that are over .500, two of which will most likely end up being playoff teams. This is an impressive team go look up their stats and they're better than I think anyone outside of Cincinnati knows. Concerns: A banged up defense and a tough schedule will be a huge test for this team as a whole going forward.
#4 Indianapolis Colts: Now before I get the angry Colts fan saying "what the hell man!?" I really like this team and a couple weeks ago the Bengals and Colts were flipped but then the Colts lost Reggie Wayne. Losing a top 10 receiver is difficult for any team, let alone a guy who is clearly the focus of your offense. That said they hang around for me in the top 5 because of their record against teams above .500. With a 3-1 record against teams above .500 and the fact that each of those teams are either locks for the playoffs or at least a serious contender in San Diego. The other reason I like this team to be in the top 5 is because of their defense, Robert Mathis is playing like a man possessed! If you don't believe me ask Peyton Manning. Concerns: No Reggie Wayne is a HUGE concern for me. By far one of the most valuable players in the game, can T.Y. Hilton pick up the slack? We'll see.
#5 Seattle Seahawks: Seattle fan chill! I couldn't put Seattle over the Colts, but I couldn't put the Colts over the Bengals, so this is where you land. The Seahawks have one of the best defensive secondaries in the league. I love Richard Sherman and the rest of this secondary. This secondary could shut down any team on any given Sunday. That said their offense has put up 12, 23, 20, and most recently 14 points in four out of their 7 wins. That's not good offense performance. They've played two teams above .500 and are 1-1 in those games. It doesn't get much tougher in the weeks ahead for the team though with only two games against teams over .500 (49ers away and Saints at home) so they should be fine.
#6 Kansas City Chiefs: I give Andy Reid a ton of credit for turning this team around in a hurry and making them a virtual lock for the playoffs, but having played only one team that is .500 their record is a bit inflated with five games against teams over .500 we'll see what this team is made of in the second half of the season. This defense is full of guys that are looking to destroy you on every play! Alex Smith is playing well at quarterback with only four interceptions this year. They have a great running game that starts and ends with Jamaal Charles. Concerns: Lookout Chiefs fans your schedule gets tough in the second half of the season.
#7 San Francisco 49ers: This is a really good team. Not a great team, but really good. With Anquan Bolden and Vernon Davis two top flight receiver and a quarterback who excels in getting them both the ball, and in the fact that they have one of the more physical linebacking corps in the league and you've got a Super Bowl contender. Concerns: In short Colin Kapernick. He's shown up pretty small against elite level teams, that said you really can't complain about a team that's reeled off five victories where they've put up at least 31 points.
#8 Green Bay Packers: With the best quarterback in the league you'll usually always be in the top 10, but with a suspect defense they can't be put in the top five. That said their two losses have come at the hands of teams that have a combined record of 12-4 so they can't be that bad. I do worry about this team against elite level competition but going forward in the season they have three games against teams above .500 and two of those are against the Bears one of which we know Jay Cutler will not be there for, so you would figure they have a very good chance at winning the NFC North, except that the Lions only play two, but we'll get to them in a second. Concerns: The defense without Clay Matthews. If you watched their games against the Bengals you saw that against without their star linebacker that a pedestrian defense at best.
#9 Detroit Lions: What can you say about Calvin Johnson that he hasn't already shown us? The man's a freak of nature! Matt Stafford is playing at an extremely high level, and tall, bulky receivers not named Calvin Johnson make this team a threat to any defense. Concerns: Their defense. This team always seems to be coming from behind and as with their game against the Bengals you can't always depend on coming back, you need to be able to get out in front of some of these elite teams, their offense is capable of doing that but their defense is suspect.
#10 New England Patriots: Tom Brady is making a very good case of being a hall of famer (like he wasn't already!) with his performance this year. Only an elite quarterback could guide this team to the 6-2 record it sits at currently. That said this team's success is more about the elite level coaching Belichek has put forth on this defense. Without Vince Wilfork and Aqib Talib they barely lost a step. Love them or hate them Belichek and Brady are both lock hall of famers. Concerns: The receiving corps is either banged up, young, or fourth stringers in way over their heads. Gronks return should help but they can't depend on him to consistently be great coming off the major injury he had. This corps of receivers is the only reason I don't have this team in the Super Bowl.
#11 San Diego Chargers: I think there's a very good chance that there could be three teams from the AFC West in the playoffs (talk about your turnaround for a division). Phillip Rivers is having an incredible comeback year and is definitely on pace to be the comeback player of the year, the defense is underrated, and special teams that seem to have gotten out of their own way. Concerns: The San Diego Chargers. They always seem to either start off poorly or collapse at the end of the year. I'll reserve judgement on this team but I do think they have a chance at the playoffs.
#12 Carolina Panthers: This defense is for real! I could see this team making the playoffs, despite their quarterback. Concerns: Cam Newton coming from behind. Cam is one of the best front runners in the game, that's why he was a great a college player, but coming from behind is not his strong suit and he seems to get down on himself and his team when things get bad since it does not get easier for this team in the second half. I look for this team to collapse down the stretch, sorry Carolina fans.
#13 Arizona Cardinals: I love their defense! Concerns: Carson Palmer will end up being a weak point for this team with some really good defenses coming up with some excellent ball-hawks. Expect some awful games from Palmer.
#14 Tennessee Titans: The Titans quietly have one of the better defenses in the league, and Locker is having a decent year. Concerns: Chris Johnson. I know wait hear me out. He can break a long gainer but when that's taken away from him it's difficult for him to get the between the tackles runs for three or four yards.
#16 Dallas Cowboys: This is the best team that can't get out of their own way. With guys like Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, and Demarcus Ware (Currently out) it's unacceptable for this team to be .500. Concerns: The defense is awful and they don't seem to be able to close
#17 Baltimore Ravens: The defense is still pretty formidable and can hang with most of the offenses in the league. The problem is the offense was immensely overrated coming into the season and the loss of Dennis Pitta in the preseason was killer. Concerns: The road ahead is not an easy one to accomplish if they're trying to make the playoffs with two games against the Bengals, at Detroit, and New England at home.
#18 New York Jets: I know they just got blown out but they still have an excellent defense outside of that one performance. I don't expect this team to be around long so Jets fans prepare to be bottom dwellers again soon. Concerns: The entire Jets organization.....
#19 Atlanta Falcons: I expect this team to make a run in the latter half of the year. With guys like Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez, Julio Jones, and Roddy White you can't be expected to stay down forever. Concerns: This defense is terrible!
#20 Chicago Bears: This team would be ranked much higher if Jay Cutler hadn't been knocked out for the next 3-4 games. With Josh McCown in I expect this team to take a step backwards since Cutler was on a role. I won't be surprised if this team makes a run at the playoffs at the end of the year. Concerns: This team could go 1-3 or 0-4 in the next few games which would be pretty killer for their chances at the playoffs.
No explanations from here on out.
#21 Buffalo Bills
#23 Oakland Raiders
#24 St. Louis Rams
#25 Houston Texans
#26 Cleveland Browns
#28 NY Giants