Last week’s rankings in parentheses
1. Broncos 6-0 (1): Champ Bailey returned last week and now the Broncos get pass rusher Von Miller back from suspension.
2. Patriots 5-1 (6): Tom Brady finding ways to make-do with wide receivers that betray him too often at key moments.
3. Saints 5-1 (2): Rob Ryan’s defense got off the field twice late in loss at New England.
4. Seahawks 5-1 (4): Have not been particularly sharp the last three weeks but defense still can be suffocating.
5. Chiefs 6-0 (9): 31 sacks are nine more than next closest team and defense on pace for NFL record 82.
6. Colts 4-2 (3): Offense was far too reliant on Trent Richardson in loss at San Diego.
7. 49ers 4-2 (5): Help could be coming soon as WR Mario Manningham and CB Eric Wright practicing this week for first time this season.
8. Packers 3-2 (8): Aaron Rodgers overcame losses of receivers Randall Cobb and James Jones, overshadowing strong defensive effort minus Clay Matthews.
9. Bengals 4-2 (7): Difficult to figure this team out. Defense blanketed Tom Brady one week and then Bengals needed overtime for victory at Buffalo.
10. Bears 4-2 (11): Jay Cutler playing his best football since 2009 trade as team looks to build momentum heading into off week.
11. Lions 4-2 (13): Who leads Lions in touchdown receptions? Tight end Joseph Fauria, an undrafted free agent out of UCLA.
12. Ravens 3-3 (10): Running game with Ray Rice ranks 27th in NFL, averaging just 72.7 yards per game and John Harbaugh wants to get that solved.
13. Cowboys 3-3 (15): Victory over Redskins came with price as they prepare for first-place showdown at Philadelphia minus DeMarcus Ware, DeMarco Murray.
14. Dolphins 3-2 (12): Coming out of week off rested and ready to embark on AFC East schedule with Bills and Patriots next.
15. Chargers 3-3 (19): Don’t underestimate Mike McCoy’s credentials as a quarterback whisperer.
16. Jets 3-3 (14): Three-point loss to Patriots in Week 2 was fifth straight setback in series for Rex Ryan.
17. Titans 3-3 (16): Somehow they sit at .500 despite Chris Johnson averaging only 3.1 yards per carry.
18. Eagles 3-3 (23): Chip Kelly noncommittal about Nick Foles as his starter.
19. Rams 3-3 (26): Alec Ogletree emerging as force in middle of defense, punctuated victory at Houston with 98-yard interception return for TD.
20. Browns 3-3 (17): Brandon Weeden’s decision-making under fire after Browns unraveled, blowing 10-point lead against Lions.
21. Cardinals 3-3 (20): Trip through NFC West gauntlet makes next stop Thursday at Seattle.
22. Texans 2-4 (18): Could be Gary Kubiak has stuck with Matt Schaub this far because alternatives are not inspiring.
23. Falcons 1-4 (24): First goal for digging out of this hole has to be .500.
24. Steelers 1-4 (29): Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau now 16-2 in career vs. rookie QBs after facing Jets’ Geno Smith.
25. Panthers 2-3 (27): Ron Rivera has vowed to get aggressive on fourth down, proof he’s not going down without a lot of fight.
26. Bills 2-4 (22): Thad Lewis’ sprained foot led Bills to sign Matt Flynn as backup. Fortunately, Lewis expected to play at Miami.
27. Raiders 2-4 (21): Tough to evaluate Terrelle Pryor for the future when he’s getting sacked 10 times like he was at Kansas City.
28. Vikings 1-4 (25): Announcement Josh Freeman will start Monday in Meadowlands against Giants could come Wednesday.
29. Redskins 1-4 (28): RG-3 showed a little quickness and elusiveness at Dallas but defense remains bad and special teams a nightmare.
30. Giants 0-6 (30): Eli Manning has matched his 2012 interception total of 15 in just six games. Career high? Twenty-five in 2010.
31. Buccaneers 0-5 (31): Josh Freeman saga, MRSA incidents all obscure fact this a seven-victory team from 2012 in a free fall.
32. Jaguars 0-6 (32): Any given Sunday saying didn’t materialize at Denver. Team catches Chargers on short week traveling cross country. Rare shot for a victory?
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