Each week, we compare all 32 NFL teams using our Football Relativity comparison. On the comparison, the 10 level is reserved for the best teams, and the 1 level for the worst. We’ll note throughout where teams have moved up or down from last week.
10 – Green Bay Packers – The Packers fell behind early but still rebounded to beat the Falcons on the road 25-14. Green Bay continues to show that it can overcome obstacles and win on the road, two traits of a fine team. They’re still the best team in the league.
9 – Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints (UP A LEVEL) – We discussed the Saints’ key win in this post. The Patriots knocked off their AFC East nemesis the Jets, which allows them to keep up with the resurgent Bills in the AFC East. The Patriots have gotten their running game going the last two weeks, which is a good sign that makes their offense even more potent. The Ravens were on bye.
8 – Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers (UP A LEVEL), San Diego Chargers – The Lions took care of business on Monday night against the Bears, and while it may not have been artistic, it moved them to 5-0. It’s kind of a shame that we won’t see Packers/Lions until Thanksgiving day. The Steelers got well in a 38-17 victory over Tennessee, and with a favorable schedule the Steelers have a chance to return to the form we expect from them. The Chargers went on the road and won 29-24 in Denver. San Diego hasn’t looked like world beaters, but unlike previous seasons they’re off to a quality 4-1 start. Do they have another gear later in the season like they have in the past?
7 – Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills (UP A LEVEL), Houston Texans (DOWN A LEVEL), New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders (UP A LEVEL), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (DOWN A LEVEL) – We covered the key win by the Bills and the disappointing losses by the Giants and the Texans in Rise/Sink/Float. We discussed the Buccaneers’ blowout loss in this post. The Falcons fell to 2-3 with a home loss to the Packers; they must win against the Panthers this week or else they are in serious trouble. The Raiders honored Al Davis’ memory with a win against the Texans in Houston. Oakland is 3-2 and still in the thick of things in the AFC race – and they’re good enough to continue making noise.
6 – Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles (DOWN A LEVEL), San Francisco 49ers (UP A LEVEL), Washington Redskins – The Redskins and Cowboys were on bye, but they moved up the NFC East standings thanks to the losses by the Giants and the Eagles. Philadelphia lost to a good team on the road, but the key mistakes they keep making are limiting their ability to show off their talent. They need to fix things fast or else the playoffs will slip away. The Bears lost on the road to the Lions, and while there’s no shame in that, being 2-3 raises problems. The 49ers moved to 4-1 with a dominating win over the Buccaneers. While we don’t know how good the 49ers can be, it’s safe to at least say that they are the class of the NFC West.
5 – Tennessee Titans – The Titans lost at Pittsburgh 38-17; the question is whether that loss or the previous 3-1 is a better indicator of Tennessee’s talent and future. That’s a story that bears watching in the coming weeks.
4 – Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals (UP A LEVEL), Seattle Seahawks (UP A LEVEL) – The 2-2 Browns were on bye. The Bengals moved to 3-2 with a win in Jacksonville. Cincinnati continues to pile up wins, which is impressive. But we can’t shake the feeling that we’re already seeing QB Andy Dalton’s ceiling. The Seahawks crossed the country and beat the Giants to move to 2-3. It was the best win of the weekend, and it showed that Seattle could still challenge the 49ers in the NFC West.
3 – Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs – We discussed another close Panthers loss in this post. The Broncos fell short against the Chargers but, more significantly, made the switch at quarterback to Tim Tebow. The upcoming bye week will reveal whether that switch is permanent. The Chiefs got their second straight win by beating the Colts at home. The schedule gave K.C. a break, but the Chiefs capitalized with two wins and seem to have stabilized after an atrocious start.
2 – Arizona Cardinals (DOWN TWO LEVELS), Indianapolis Colts (DOWN A LEVEL), Jacksonville Jaguars (DOWN A LEVEL), Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings (UP A LEVEL) – The Cardinals fell to 1-4 in a blowout loss to the previously winless Vikings. Maybe that win is a turning point for the Vikes, who have started well but hadn’t finished a game until this week. The Jaguars lost at home to the Bengals, and while they were close (again), they haven’t been able to get over the hump either. The Colts got a much better performance out of QB Curtis Painter, but they couldn’t hold a lead against Kansas City. The Dolphins were on bye.
1 – St. Louis Rams – The 0-4 Rams were mercifully on bye.