RankingsOctober 19, 2011

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NFL Rankings: Handshakes All Around

By R.J. White

After 60 minutes of well-played football, all anyone remembers from the Lions-49ers battle was the post-game handshake. Getting a road victory against a 5-0 team was enough to vault the 49ers into our top three, while the Lions see themselves fall to fifth in our rankings. Maybe if coach Jim Schwartz had thrown a punch once he caught up with coach John Harbaugh, we would have ranked them higher. Meanwhile, the Packers are holding strong at the top of the list, while the Dolphins are certainly doing enough to remain the No. 1 choice for the No. 1 pick. How does everyone else shake out?

RankPreviousTeamRecordWeek 6Week 7
11Green Bay Packers6-0W, STL 24-3at MIN
The Packers just keep rolling, winning this week despite not bothering to come out the locker rooms for the second half.
24Baltimore Ravens4-1W, HOU 29-14at JAC
The Texans are less imposing with their injuries, but the Ravens still scored a dominant win. This defense don’t play.
38San Francisco 49ers5-1W, DET 25-19Bye
Huge win for a San Francisco team that is very much “for real.” I’d shake Jim Harbaugh’s hand, but, you know …
45New England Patriots5-1W, DAL 20-16Bye
They stopped scoring points for one week, but still managed a fourth-quarter comeback, which was all Romo’s fault.
52Detroit Lions5-1L, SF 19-25vs. ATL
The Lions have finally been punched in the mouth (or slapped on the back), and now it’s time to respond against Atlanta.
66San Diego Chargers4-1Byeat NYJ
The Chargers follow up a week off with a tough road game — will Antonio Gates return in time to help his team win?
73New Orleans Saints4-2L, TB 20-26vs. IND
The injury to Sean Payton surely cost this team a win in Week 6, which is something you don’t get to read often.
810Pittsburgh Steelers4-2W, JAC 17-13at ARI
The Steelers have quietly emerged as one of the power teams in the AFC once again thanks to Max Starks and the line.
97Buffalo Bills4-2L, NYG 24-27Bye
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw away a game that would have kept Buffalo rolling into a bye. Now they have two weeks to stew.
1011Oakland Raiders4-2W, CLE 24-17vs. KC
This team wasn’t winning because of Jason Campbell, and I seriously doubt Carson Palmer will make any difference good or bad.
1114Cincinnati Bengals4-2W, IND 27-17Bye
Don’t look now (OK, you can look), but the upstart Bengals are 4-2 and looking to keep the momentum after a week off.
1216Tampa Bay Buccaneers4-2W, NO 26-20vs. CHI
Big win for the Buccaneers, as they now hold a tiebreaker over the Saints for what could be a No. 2 or No. 3 seed.
139Washington Redskins3-2L, PHI 13-20at CAR
This team was due to collapse, and Rex Grossman finally did what Rex Grossman does: throw picks, and get benched.
1415Tennessee Titans3-2Byevs. HOU
The Titans are flirting with adding a big-name WR like Terrell Owens, because that’s never backfired in the past.
1517Atlanta Falcons3-3W, CAR 31-17at DET
The Falcons earned a nice win against the Panthers, but they have to face an actual NFL defense this week in Detroit.
1618Chicago Bears3-3W, MIN 39-10at TB
The hot-and-cold Bears are hot once again, but it’s past time to think about giving Matt Forte an extension already.
1720New York Giants4-2W, BUF 27-24Bye
Nice win for the Giants, but a home loss to the Seahawks still lingers over the team. They need a week off to regroup.
1813Dallas Cowboys2-3L, NE 16-20vs. STL
After five straight close games, the Cowboys should find their way into an easy win this week when the Rams come to town.
1921New York Jets3-3W, MIA 24-6vs. SD
Beating up the Matt Moore-led Dolphins gets the Jets a “ho-hum,” but a win against the Chargers would mean something.
2012Houston Texans3-3L, BAL 14-29at TEN
This team has a tough task ahead: rebounding without their best defensive player. This Tennessee game is critical for them.
2124Philadelphia Eagles2-4W, WAS 20-13Bye
The Eagles finally took a small step in the right direction with a win, but this should have been a blowout with four INTs.
2219Seattle Seahawks2-3Byeat CLE
Will this team survive if Tarvaris Jackson can’t go? And yes, I’m totally kidding. The defense could certainly get another win here.
2325Kansas City Chiefs2-3Byeat OAK
The Chiefs are getting lucky with two easy matchups and then a game against a rusty Carson Palmer. Can they win on the road?
2422Cleveland Browns2-3L, OAK 17-24vs. SEA
Greg Little is emerging as a No. 1 receiver, but that’s about the only thing going right for the Browns right now.
2527Denver Broncos1-4Byeat MIA
OK, Tim Tebow. You have the hopes of an absurdly large amount of people resting on your shoulders. But no pressure.
2628Arizona Cardinals1-4Byevs. PIT
The only solution the Cardinals have to avoid another losing week is to get a lot more byes scheduled in ASAP.
2723Carolina Panthers1-5L, ATL 17-31vs. WAS
Last year, the offense tanked while the defense was solid. Those roles have flipped this year. Cam can’t do it all (or can he)?
2826Minnesota Vikings1-5L, CHI 10-39vs. GB
The Vikings were drawing buzz as a sneaky good team after playing well in three early losses. That’s now out the window.
2929Jacksonville Jaguars1-5L, PIT 13-17vs. BAL
Jacksonville is a team stuck on celebrating “moral victories,” like last week’s four-point loss to the Steelers, their fifth straight loss.
3030St. Louis Rams0-5L, GB 3-24at DAL
No wins and five losses? Brandon Lloyd to the rescue! Watch the Rams finish 8-8 and somehow win the NFC West.
3131Indianapolis Colts0-6L, CIN 17-27at NO
Curtis Painter is playing decent enough, I guess, but is there any question now that Peyton Manning is the MVP of the league?
3232Miami Dolphins0-5L, NYJ 6-24vs. DEN
The Dolphins are home against a one-win team this week — if they can’t win this one, they can’t win any. Which is good for them.

R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and Razzball and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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