By Glenn Bernardi
Jets Contributing Writer
October 24th, 2006
Despite a bye week, Brian Urlacher and the Chicago Bears, stay on top.
Despite a bye week, Brian Urlacher and the Chicago Bears, stay on top.
1. CHICAGO BEARS {6-0} - Last Week {#1}
This team has two weeks to think about their narrow escape verses Arizona, and listen to all of the questions that arose about how good they really are, so look for them to be in a bad mood this week as they take it out on the 49ers.

2. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS {5-1} - Last Week {#3}
Once again they are playing exceedingly well in all facets of the game and establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in this sea of parity, better known as the NFL circa 2006.

3. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS {6-0} - Last Week {#6}
Until now I've been very stingy when it comes to ranking Indy, because they have fooled us so often with their regular season dominance, but the rest of the contenders are too inconsistent, banged up or just plain flawed, and it's time to respect the undefeated Colts, if for no other reason, at least they're consistent.

4. DENVER BRONCOS {5-1} - Last Week {#2}
Their defense is scorching hot and Tatum Bell has the running game clicking as usual in Denver, but Jake Plummer has been so putrid that the calls for Jay Cutler are growing louder by the minute, and this despite their gaudy 5-1 record.

5. CINCINNATI BENGALS {4-2} Last Week {#11}
How do you jump from 11 to 5 in one week? You beat a quality team like the Panthers, then let everyone else shoot themselves in the foot in this land where parity reigns supreme.

6. CAROLINA PANTHERS {4-3} - Last Week {#5}
After reeling off four straight wins a loss @ Cincinnati is understandable, so I won't punish them too harshly in the rankings for their early season stumbles without Steve Smith or a three point loss @ Cinci.

7. NEW YORK GIANTS {4-2} - Last Week {#14}
Now the Giants are living up to their preseason hype, as they marched into Dallas on MNF and beat the Cowboys senseless. How bad was the carnage? They finally got Bledsoe yanked, bludgeoned Tony Romo, and left Parcells looking dazed and confused at his post game press conference, like a beaten man.

8. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS {5-1} - Last Week {#9}
It's time to start rewarding the teams that are winning and punish the teams that are resting on their laurels.

9. BALTIMORE RAVENS {4-2} - Last Week {#16}
Last week I wondered aloud why this team can't ever seem to field an offense that looks like it belongs in the 21st century. Apparently Brian Billick was wondering the same thing too, as he fired his offensive coordinator and "close friend" Jim Fassel. So does the phrase "with friends like you, who needs enemies" ring a bell?

10. ST LOUIS RAMS {4-2} - Last Week {#13}
They're coming off a bye so they didn't lose to a team they should beat this week, which is more than I can say for some of the so-called elite teams.

11. MINNESOTA VIKINGS {4-2} - Last Week {#17}
Last week I said I'm not a believer, but they can make me a believer verses Seattle. I think that savage 31-13 beating they laid on the Seahawks did the trick.

12. ATLANTA FALCONS {4-2} - Last Week {#18}
Anyone see that 41-38 shootout verses Pitt? When you see Michael Vick perform like that, as a pocket passer, it makes you wonder why the heck he doesn't do that more often, as opposed to that Quasi Option QB nonsense. If he can do that to the Steelers defense, there's no reason why he shouldn't do likewise to lesser defenses.

13. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS {4-2} - Last Week {#4}
Talk about having a bad week, first they lost to Herm's KC Chiefs, which is really a terrible loss for a would-be contender, but then to make matters a million times worse they lost Shawne Merriman to a steroids suspension. Ouch and OUCH!!

14. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS {4-2} - Last Week {#7}
And if the Chargers think they have problems, they should take a look at Seattle. Shaun Alexander is still out, they got absolutely mauled by the Vikings, and now they lost Matt Hasselbeck to a knee injury. These guys are in big trouble.

15. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS {3-3} - Last Week {#8}
Here's the modern NFL in a nutshell. This team is the perfect example. They kill the Jets 41-0, take a nice little vacation via the bye week, and then promptly get smashed by the Houston Texans to the tune of 27-7. And its not just the Jaguars either, with a precious few exceptions this type of parity pretty much applies across the board.

16. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES {4-3} - Last Week {#10}
Exhibit B, this week they lost to the Tampa Bay Bucs. Granted it took a near record FG for distance at the wire, but still, this is supposed to be one of the legit contenders and they probably are, just like the Jags, but they lost to the Buccaneers and knocked me out of my suicide pool in the process, which is why they're lucky I even ranked them as high as #16 this week!

17. NEW YORK JETS {4-3} - Last Week {#19}
Good win verses Detroit, lots of positives, but they must beat Cleveland this week to make it stick. There are only two options, go into the bye week at 2 Games over .500 and a realistic shot at a playoff spot in 2006, or spit the bit verses Cleveland and linger as a .500 ball-club for whom a playoff seed would go from likely to unlikely in the blink of an eye.

18. PITTSBURGH STEELERS {2-4} - Last Week {#12}
Lost a 41-38 shootout at Atlanta, but this Steelers team should never find themselves in that type of game, their defense is too good. Something is amiss with the defending champs.

19. DALLAS COWBOYS {3-3} - Last Week {#15}
All I can say is, Parcells was wearing the closest thing I have even seen from the tuna to a look of resignation following that Monday night beat down at the hands of the G-Men. He looked like man who just realized, for certain, that he does not have a QB on his roster who can take Dallas to the promise land, and thus he looked like a beaten man.

20. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS {3-3} - Last Week {#20}
Nice bounce-back win over San Diego after getting ripped in Pittsburgh the week prior.

21. HOUSTON TEXANS {2-4} - Last Week {#29}
They didn't just beat Jacksonville, they obliterated the Jags. That's a heck of a win for the Texans.

22. TAMPA BAY BUCS {2-4} - Last Week {#25}
First the Redskins than the Eagles, so they spent the past few weeks whipping up on the NFC East.

23. GREEN BAY PACKERS {2-4} - Last Week {#28}
They beat Miami in Miami, adding further insult to injury for the team Jet fans love to hate. Needless to say Brett Favre is muh main man this week!

24. BUFFALO BILLS {2-5} - Last Week {#21}
Nice to see the Bills got up for the division rival Patriots in their building this week. Actually they got smoked and now they are officially heading in the wrong direction, towards the bottom of the barrel.

25. WASHINGTON REDSKINS {2-5} - Last Week {#22}
That 2nd RD Pick Washington owes the Jets is looking better and better by the week, so I have nothing bad to say about these guys, so long as they're on our side {i.e. keep losing} we're cool.

26. ARIZONA CARDINALS {1-6} - Last Week {#23}
I knew it was possible they could have such a hangover following the Bears, and the brutal manner in which they lose that game, that even the putrid Raiders could sneak up and bite them, but I never dreamed it would actually happen. BUT IT DID.

27. TENNESSEE TITANS {1-5} - Last Week {#26}
Bye week so they don't lose much ground this week, and I'll even reward them slightly for knocking off the Skins after nearly knocking off the Colts as well.

28. DETROIT LIONS {1-6} - Last Week {#24}
They'll continue to score points, and they'll pull off a few upsets via the shootout, I'm just glad the Jets are other ideas.

29. SAN FRAN 49ERS {2-4} - Last Week {#27}
They'll still get blown out on most weeks, as has often been the case this year, but they're getting a little better, to the point where they can steal an occasional W if the opposition gets caught napping.

30. CLEVELAND BROWNS {1-5} - Last Week {#30}
Any Jets fan who views this one as a gimmie better ask the Jaguars and Eagles {just to name two} about gimmies in the NFL. This is an ANY GIVEN SUNDAY league, now more than ever, so the Jets better bring their A-Game to Cleveland.

31. OAKLAND RAIDERS {1-5} - Last Week {#32}
I admit it, I'm shocked, I never thought any team could ever leap Oakland this year. I'd have bet money that #32 spot was theirs for the long haul, but somehow some team managed to trump even the Raiders for pure folly and futility.

32. MIAMI DOLPHINS {1-6} - Last Week {#31}
AND THE WINNER IS, the Miami Dolphins. Congratulations to the Finsters, you accomplished the seemingly impossible this week when you lost to Green Bay at home. You dethroned what appeared to be an un-dethronable loser of monumental proportions. Take a bow fins, you earned it, and here's your reward for such an amazing feat .. MIAMI IS ON THE CLOCK!!