By Glenn Bernardi
Jets Contributing Writer
October 17th, 2006
Bears win and stay on top.
Bears win and stay on top.
1. CHICAGO BEARS {6-0} - Last Week {#1}
Every good team needs an occasional reminder that the other guys get paid too. It's a wake-up call every dominant team will receive at least once or twice during the course of a 16 Game season. It can make you a better team in the long run, but it usually comes at a high price, the price of a loss verses a team you should beat. When you can receive that wake-up call and win a game you could or should have lost, as was clearly the case verses Arizona, consider yourself fortunate. That said, the Bears defense stole that game with some enormous plays down the stretch, and that should not be ignored either.

2. DENVER BRONCOS {4-1} - Last Week {#2}
The Broncos treated the Raiders like a preseason game, extremely vanilla on offense, as if Shanahan correctly decided we can beat these clowns without showing future opponents what we really have up our sleeves.

3. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS {4-1} - Last Week {#3}
The Pats earned this spot by demolishing Cincinnati prior to their bye week, and I see no reason to drop them this week.

4. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS {4-1} - Last Week {#4}
They did exactly what they were supposed to do to maintain last weeks lofty ranking, beat the 49ers like a rented mule.

5. CAROLINA PANTHERS {4-2} - Last Week {#10}
That's four in a row for the Panthers, and don't be fooled by those two fluke deflections {Mark Clayton touchdowns} and 23-21 final score. Steve Smith was flying, Carolina's defense was swarming, and they flat-out dominated the Ravens.

6. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS {5-0} - Last Week {#6}
This team probably hates the bye week, being the regular season champs that they are. One less opportunity to fool people for the millionth time.

7. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS {4-1} - Last Week {#7}
Thrilling road comeback verses a feisty Rams team was enough to maintain their previous ranking.

8. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS {3-2} - Last Week {#9}
Philly, Cinci and Baltimore stumbled and the Jags are the beneficiaries, rising one spot despite being idle this week.

9. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS {5-1} - Last Week {#12}
This team has consistently climbed the ladder and now they crack the TOP 10 off a very impressive win over Philadelphia. The one year turn-around for these guys thus far, from bottom feeders to 5-1, has been nothing short of staggering.

10. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES {4-2} - Last Week {#5}
Suddenly a hard fought loss in New Orleans doesn't look so bad. If that happened last year it would have been a debacle, but this year you almost expect it.

11. CINCINNATI BENGALS {3-2} Last Week {#8}
Sometimes a really good team just lays an egg verses a team they should beat, they just get caught napping or catch that team on the wrong day. That appears to be what happened to the Bengals in Tampa, but that was a colossal mistake. Now they'll have to avoid .500 verses a Panthers team that means business.

12. PITTSBURGH STEELERS {2-3} - Last Week {#19}
Just when I had to save face and drop Pitt in the rankings substantially, following one mulligan after another, they make me look right a week too late as they obliterate KC 45-7. So I'm back on the bandwagon this week.

13. ST LOUIS RAMS {4-2} - Last Week {#13}
Lost a heartbreaker at the wire verses Seattle, but this team is playing well and that 4-2 was almost validated in a loss.

14. NEW YORK GIANTS {3-2} - Last Week {#15}
I'm one of those guys who doesn't think very highly of Michael Vick. Okay, I'm not gonna lie, I think he's grossly overrated. But the Falcons have a decent team overall and that was an impressive road win for the G-Men.

15. DALLAS COWBOYS {3-2} - Last Week {#17}
Owens finally showed up and put a hurtin' on the woeful Texans. Excuse me for not being overly impressed, after all, the Cowboys were home and it was the Texans. But I'll be impressed if Dallas takes care of business verses the Giants this week.

16. BALTIMORE RAVENS {4-2} - Last Week {#11}
What is it with this team? Why can't they ever have an offense that looks like it belongs in the 21st century? They have a terrific defense, but why does their offense always have to stink this bad? Who's the offensive coordinator, Knute Rockne?

17. MINNESOTA VIKINGS {3-2} - Last Week {#16}
I'm not a believer, I admit it, but they can make me a believer this week verses Seattle.

18. ATLANTA FALCONS {3-2} - Last Week {#14}
Let's be frank, this team is overrated, just like their Quarterback, so I'm not surprised they got smoked by the Giants this week.

19. NEW YORK JETS {3-3} - Last Week {#21}
Newsflash for the Jets defense: Football is a 4 Quarter Game, 60 minutes, 3600 seconds to be precise. Congrats on beating the Dolphins, I know every Jet fan is grateful, that's one team we always wanna beat, but more wins will be tough to come by if we can't get this 4th Qtr thing figured out?

20. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS {2-3} - Last Week {#18}
Pitt 45 KC 7. I guess its time for Herm to bust out that "We Play to Win the Game" speech, huh? Better yet, time to tell his team about the importance of sweeping the corners, blah blah blah. Like Mr. Miagi, its time to sandaflaw!

21. BUFFALO BILLS {2-4} - Last Week {#22}
Don't laugh at Buffalo just yet Jet fans. You might wanna put those jokes on hold. As I've been saying for a few weeks, the Lions have some playmakers on offense and Mike Martz is back to his mad-scientist ways, which could spell big trouble for this Jets defense if they can't figure out that 4/60/3600 thing in a hurry.

22. WASHINGTON REDSKINS {2-4} - Last Week {#20}
The best thing about the Skins losing to the Titans, as was pointed out by one of our posters at JI on Sunday, the Jets own Washington's 2nd RD Pick this year and that pick just got a little bit better.

23. ARIZONA CARDINALS {1-5} - Last Week {#25}
What a crushing defeat for the Cardinals. They had the vaunted Bears dead to rights, dead as a door-nail, but somehow they let it slip away. Now give the Bears defense some credit as well, they went out and made BIG PLAYS in the 4th Qtr to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but this was a crushing loss for a talented young Cardinals team right on the brink of the 2006 seasons biggest upset by a country mile, and I don't care if the point spreads say otherwise.

24. DETROIT LIONS {1-5} - Last Week {#31}
I knew this team wasn't #31 overall last week, they have too many playmakers to rank that low, but they were 0-5 and left me no choice. With a win over Buffalo I now feel free to rank them a little closer to where they probably belong.

25. TAMPA BAY BUCS {1-4} - Last Week {#30}
This young QB, Bruce Gradkowski, looks like he might have a future in this league, and that was signature win for the neophyte this week, beating the heavily favored Bengals.

26. TENNESSEE TITANS {1-5} - Last Week {#28}
They came within a whisker of knocking off the Colts @ Indy, then upended the Skins in DC. They may not have the horses, but Jeff Fisher has this young team playing hard.

27. SAN FRAN 49ERS {2-4} - Last Week {#23}
Routed 48-19 @ San Diego and 41-0 @ KC a few weeks back. Once upon a time this franchise used to dismantle teams like that on a routine basis. What goes around comes around.

28. GREEN BAY PACKERS {1-4} - Last Week {#29}
As I type this on Tuesday it's the NFL trade deadline. Word has Brett Favre is not going anywhere, his wishes and Green Bay's, which means he's content to finish out his career on a horrible football team so he can retire a Packer.

29. HOUSTON TEXANS {1-4} - Last Week {#24}
Suddenly that one win verses Miami is not looking quite as impressive. We knew the Dolphins were bad, that became apparent weeks ago, we just didn't know they stunk like a dead rat.

30. CLEVELAND BROWNS {1-4} - Last Week {#26}
Hey look, I'm not gonna pretend to know if Cleveland is better than Houston, Houston is better than Frisco, Green Bay is better than Miami, etc. I'm just playing musical chairs. They all STINK! The only thing we know for sure is Oakland is dead last, after that it's a crap-shoot.

31. MIAMI DOLPHINS {1-5} - Last Week {#27}
This week Zach Thomas called his Fins the worst team in the NFL. Two weeks ago Jason Taylor echoed similar sentiments. I respectfully disagree with Laurel & Hardy, but only because the Oakland Raiders exist. Now they did make it easier for me to decide which team should be #31 this week. and I'm thankful. I mean, I'll argue with them about #32, nobody can take that away from Oakland, but they can have #31 if they really want it that bad. And it's not a gift either, they've earned it.

32. OAKLAND RAIDERS {0-5} - Last Week {#32}
Ordinarily I'd say the Cardinals could never bounce back from such a crushing defeat Vs Chicago. That's the kind of loss that lingers for a long time. It would send most teams directly into the tank. Ordinarily that would be the case, but this is not ordinary, not by a longshot. This week Arizona gets their crack at the human punching bags, AKA: the Oakland Raiders.

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