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After a real life motivated week away from the update, we are back.  Obviously some of the highlights of the last couple of weeks include frankly a lot of old reliables making statements - the Patriots that they can score, the 49ers that they are pretty darn rugged and the Steelers that they can shut down a good team now and again.  And we still have the stunning continuing success of the NFC West.  The regular referees are back - which is obviously a good thing - and the season feels like it is hitting its stride.  So without further adieu the rankings, based on a combination of head to head, schedule rating, scoring margin, record vs good teams and common opponents.  The methodology can be found here:

1. Chicago Bears (4-1)
2. Houston Non Oilers (5-0)
3. Arizona Cactus Wrens (4-1)
4. San Francisco 49ers (4-1)
5. Atlanta Falcons (5-0)
6. Cleveland Rams of Saint Louis (3-2)
7. Minnesota Vikings (4-1)
8. Seattle Seahawks (3-2)
9. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)
10. Greater Providence and Boston Patriots (3-2)
11. Baltimore Edgar Allan Poems (4-1)
12. Denver Broncos (2-3)
13. Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
14. Northern New Jersey Jets (2-3)
15. Green Bay Communists (2-3)
16. Miami Gardens Porpoises (2-3)
17. Baltimore Colts of Indianapolis (2-2)
18. Cincinnati Other Paul Browns (3-2)
19. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4)
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2)
21. Homestead Grays a.k.a. whatever you want to call Washington DC's football team (2-3)
22. Detroit Lions (1-3)
23. San Diego Chargers (3-2)
24. Northern New Jersey Giants (3-2)
25. Buffalo Bills (2-3)
26. Carolina Panthers (1-4)
27. Dallas Texans of Kansas City (1-4)
28. New Orleans Sinners (1-4)
29. Houston Oilers of Nashville (1-4)
30. Land Mass Surrounding Tampa Bay Bucs (1-4)
31. The Team that Al Davis Corpse Built (1-3)
32. Cleveland Paul Browns (0-5)

The first obvious question that comes to mind is - the Jags over the Steelers?  As a practical matter this is silly and will bear itself out.  At this point though, the Jags have had the good fortune to go 1-4 against the Texans, Bears, Vikings, Colts and Bengals, teams that combine for a 15-5 record in games not involving the Jags.  The Steelers are 2-2, but against Denver, the Jets, the Raiders and Eagles - teams combining for a 6-9 record in games not involving the Steelers.  The Jags might be the worst team in the league, but their performance against these teams would not be a great indicator of their badness.

The Giants pedestrian ranking of 24th is also still a vexing point for a 3-2 team, but it is again a schedule matter - opponents 5-14 when they are not playing the Giants.  Like last year, the Giants are getting their cupcakes early, but the chances to peak are still there - that said an 0-2 start in the division is alarming.

As far as #1?  The Bears two brilliant outings, on the road no less, get them careening to the top of the charts, although Houston is very close behind.  It is hard to get the memory of them forgetting how to block in Green Bay, but we are seeing what promise this roster has, the most promise they have had since the Neal Anderson days frankly.  They spearhead a loaded NFC which has 8 of the top 10 teams so far, with four of them coming from the former joke punchline NFC West - it is hard to say with a whole lot of confidence which AFC teams, if any, you feel good about in trying to match up.

Lot of important things to discuss as this year and political season wear on - the NFL is not one of them.  But it still helps to have a pleasant diversion.  Thanks.

UPDATE: Of course I stupidly forgot the game of the week, the Colts winning for Chuck Pagano who is fighting leukemia.  Reggie Wayne, veteran of all those years with Manning, ends up with his greatest performance with Luck.  Robert Griffin has had more flash leading Washington to a solid start and for once an exciting one, but Andrew Luck has quietly put together a terrific season.  That a rookie is already a solid average NFL quarterback portends for ... the only limits to his potential are injuries and any self inflicted wounds, wounds he seems much too well put together to commit.  I can't praise the top 2 quarterbacks in this rookie class enough.  


The best team in the NFC is

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