First and 10: Tuesday afternoon NFL power rankings

October 18, 2011|By Matt Vensel

Because doing a full, 32-team list of power rankings is too much work for a Monday Tuesday, I will rank only the top 11 teams in the NFL after each exciting football Sunday (that's where the "first and 10" comes in).

I forgot to do this on Monday, but Tuesday is still OK. Here's the balance of power heading into Week 7:

1. Packers: After flying out to a 24-3 lead Sunday, they took it easy on the winless Rams. How nice of them.

2. Ravens: The offense looked better after the bye. Overall, the Ravens are fifth in the NFL in points per game.

3. Patriots: The Patriots have won three tough games in a row after losing to the Bills in Week 3.

4. 49ers: Lost in the scuffle between Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz is that the 49ers improved to 5-1.

5. Saints: Despite a road loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday, I’m not dropping the Saints out of my top five.

6. Lions: We knew they weren’t going undefeated, but they must fix their run offense and run defense.

7. Steelers: The win over the Jaguars was sticky, but enough for the Steelers to jump past the idle Chargers.

8. Chargers: The bye week was big for the Chargers, who could see Antonio Gates return in Week 7.

9. Raiders: Holding off the Browns with Kyle Boller was impressive. Now they have picked up Carson Palmer.

10. Giants: A typical, unpredictable Giants team, the good Giants took care of the Bills over the weekend.

11. Bills: Buffalo has lost two of three games since beating New England. I blame Sports Illustrated.

Biggest rise (not on the list): The Buccaneers, who are knocking on the door after upsetting the Saints.

Biggest fall (not on the list): The Dolphins, whose flaws were fully exposed on “Monday Night Football.”

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