We’re one fourth of the way through yet another NFL regular season. It always goes by so fast. October is starting, which means we start to find out every team’s identity. Every week provides a reshuffling of the rankings, but in about a month or so, we will start to see very little change. In addition to the rankings, after every team I will write how I feel this team is trending. Will they be higher, lower, or about the same as these rankings? Here they are, in all their splendor.
1. Green Bay Packers (4-0) – Stock: Same. After a month, I can’t imagine they relinquish this spot. For probably the entire regular season. Has the look of a 14-2 team. That’s not to say they’re the shoe-in Super Bowl champion, but they’re certainly in the running.
2. New Orleans Saints (3-1) – Stock: Same. Just about. Maybe a spot or two lower, but nothing more. The offense is so explosive and the defense is improving as the year goes on.
3. Baltimore Ravens (3-1) – Stock: Same. The class of the AFC, and I can’t see this changing much. Lock them in to a first round playoff bye.
4. Detroit Lions (4-0) – Stock: Down. Playoff team, yes. Legitimate threat to the Packers for the division? Not yet. Keep in mind, they’ve looked bad in the first half on the last two games.
5. New England Patriots (3-1) – Stock: Same. They’re still really good, but won’t be much of a change in the rankings. They’re way too flawed. That being said, their strengths can compensate for their weaknesses.
6. Buffalo Bills (3-1) – Stock: Down. Loss to the Bengals is disconcerting. Win that, and you convince a lot of people that you’re legit. Playing the underdog role is easier than being considered a favorite. Will still challenge for a playoff spot.
7. Houston Texans (3-1) – Stock: Down. Andre Johnson is out for three weeks reportedly. The win against the Steelers looks more impressive than it really is (more on that later). Will still win this division pretty comfortably, but a long way to go before considered elite.
8. San Diego Chargers (3-1) – Stock: Up. They’re 3-1 early in the season and that’s with Rivers playing like garbage. He’ll improve. And unfortunately, so will this team.
9. Chicago Bears (2-2) – Stock: Down. Very few elite teams and a lot of meddling ones. These rankings prove that. Just waiting for the bottom to come out on these Bears. Not impressed.
10. Tennessee Titans (3-1) – Stock: Down. This team has overachieved. I think they’re the number two team in this division by a wide margin, but no way they’re as good as their record indicate. Could still challenge for a playoff spot.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) – Stock: Up. Team looked like it started to “get it” in the second half of their Monday night win. Remember, this is a talented young team that has underachieved thus far in the season. If they start picking it up, watch out.
12. San Francisco 49ers (3-1) – Stock: Up. Their win over the Eagles convinced me. I know it’s the Eagles, but they look like the favorites in this division. Harbaugh has done a great job thus far. So much for sucking for Luck.
13. Oakland Raiders (2-2) – Stock: Up. Lost against the Bills and Patriots. The easy part of their schedule is coming up after this week.
14. Atlanta Falcons (2-2) – Stock: Same. Don’t know what to make of this team. They’re just kinda…there. Not as good as last year.
15. New York Jets (2-2) – Stock: Up. I refuse to think these guys are out of it. Until they lose to a bad team, they’re still a team to watch out for.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) – Stock: Down. If they don’t beat the Titans this week, they are going to drop in these rankings. Big time. I still think they’ll drop throughout the month regardless.
17. Dallas Cowboys (2-2) – Stock: Up. The bye week will solve a lot. Could easily be 4-0. Or 0-4. Next month will tell us everything.
18. Washington Redskins (3-1) – Stock: Down. And here comes the running back shuffling.
19. New York Giants (3-1) – Stock: Down. Need a quality win to show me something. Then the jump over their divisional rivals. Until then, they remain here.
20. Arizona Cardinals (1-3) – Stock: Same. Need a bigger sample size. Don’t knock them as much as others do for their last two losses.
21. Carolina Panthers (1-3) – Stock: Same. Don’t expect much to change. This is a much improved team. Really fun to watch.
22. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) – Stock: Down. But not by much surprisingly. I believe Bengals, you’ve impressed the hell out of me.
23. Cleveland Browns (2-2) – Stock: Same. McCoy can’t throw for over 60 times. C’mon now.
24. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) – Stock: Up. They have to be better than this right? Well, maybe not.
25. Denver Broncos (1-3) – Stock: Same. Not terrible, but not good either. Need a year or two to get better.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) – Stock: Down. Yeah, that Week One win was a fluke.
27. Indianapolis Colts (0-4) – Stock: Up. Lost two close games against better teams. If they’re not careful, they’ll play themselves out of the Luck sweepstakes.
28. St. Louis Rams (0-4) – Stock: Up. Maybe they’ll start improving? At six losses, I throw in the towel. Not yet.
29. Seattle Seahawks (1-3) – Stock: Same. Need to be a little worse. Not that they’re any good, but they wanna have a shot at Luck.
30. Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) – Stock: Same. Need a new coach.
31. Minnesota Vikings (0-4) – Stock: Down. Just because they’re probably gonna bring in Ponder at some point. Who is terrible.
32. Miami Dolphins (0-4) – Stock: Down. This is gonna get even uglier.