Donovan’s 32: Surging Patriots complete their rise to the top

 

1. Patriots – New England’s defense deserves more credit. The job they’ve done against Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Matthew Stafford in their last three games speaks for itself.

2. Ravens – Justin Forsett is having a great year that no one is talking about: No. 3 in rushing yards (903) and TDs (7). 

3. Cowboys – Best o-line in football.  No surprise Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray are having career years.

4. Packers – Aaron Rodgers is still steaming (30 TDs and just 3 INTs this year!).

NFL POWER RANKINGS

5. Chiefs – Was the loss to Oakland a fluke?

6. Broncos – Too many questions on defense.

7. Cardinals – Need more production from the offense.  A lot riding on the health of Larry Fitzgerald.

8. Eagles – Mark Sanchez has to protect the football.

9. Colts – Sloppy win vs. Jacksonville. Still need to find a running game.

10. 49ers – Still no identity on offense.

11. Seahawks – Great win at home, but can they come close to matching it on the road?

12. Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill is playing great right now. Tough to see a great effort in Denver go to waste.

13. Steelers – Have struggled this year against mediocre teams.  Will have a chance to turn that around this week against the Saints.

14. Browns – Return of Josh Gordon is just what the doctor ordered to open up the offense.

15. Lions – Need to find the end zone (21 consecutive possessions without scoring a TD)

16. Chargers – Obviously a much better team with Ryan Mathews back on the field.

17. Bengals – Healthy A.J. Green makes all the difference.

18. Bills – A lot to like about this defense. Made the Jets look even worse than they are.

19. Rams – Shaun Hill is playing well without much to work with. Just need to clean it up at the end.

20. Vikings – Battled hard against the red hot Packers. Saw some good things on defense.

21. Saints – A total mess on both sides. Good thing six wins will likely be enough to take the NFC South.

22. Titans – Zach Mettenberger is progressing under adverse circumstances.

23. Texans – Ryan Mallet out. Is it Tom Savage time?

24. Jets – So, now we’re back to Geno Smith?

25. Bears – Tough win at home vs. Tampa Bay, which isn’t saying much.

26. Falcons – Mike Smith’s time management is just the latest of their problems.

27. Giants – Continue to find ways to lose.

Gallery: Looking back on Will Smith's football career

28. Panthers – Cam Newton will continue to take most of the blame, but this defense hasn’t done him many favors. 

29. Redskins – Bad all across the board.

30. Raiders – Congrats on the win Oakland.  They definitely have plenty of experience in the spoiler role.

31. Tampa – Gave away that game in Chicago. 

32. Jaguars – Winding down their fourth consecutive rebuilding year.