- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 19, 2006

NFL writer David Elfin of The Washington Times ranks the teams (Last week’s ranking in parentheses):

1. Bears (1) — Cardinals popped the invincibility aura, but magic still lingers.

2. Colts (2) — Offense ready to break out against bruised, battered Redskins.

3. Chargers (6) — Could be unbeaten, too, if Marty hadn’t played it safe vs. Ravens.

4. Patriots (7) — Can go to 4-0 in AFC East by beating Bills for 7th straight time.

5. Saints (10) — The way they’re going, they should’ve passed on the bye.

6. Eagles (4) — NFC East is still theirs despite loss in Superdome.

7. Falcons (3) — Giants beat them at their own game, running for 259 yards.

8. Cowboys (8) — Beating Giants at home would be critical for playoff positioning.

9. Panthers (11) — Carolina’s 4-0 since Smith returned from bad hamstrings.

10. Ravens (5) — Baltimore had no defense for Panthers’ Smith.

11. Jaguars (9) — Should toy with Texans after two weeks to prepare.

12. Broncos (12) — Which is nastier? Denver’s D or Plummer’s quarterbacking?

13. Seahawks (13) — Brown’s last-second 54-yard FG capped huge comeback in St. Louis.

14. Giants (15) — And Tiki’s talking retirement after 308 yards past two weeks?

15. Steelers (18) — Champs showed Chiefs and everyone else that they’re not dead yet.

16. Rams (16) — A questionable call from beating Seahawks for NFC West lead.

17. Vikings (17) — Hutchinson-Burleson free agent moves add bad blood to Seattle matchup.

18. Bengals (14) — It has been nearly a month since formerly rolling Bengals have won.

19. Bucs (23) — Will lift from stunning Bengals be quashed by angry Eagles?

20. Jets (22) — Can equal last year’s four Ws by beating Detroit at home.

21. Chiefs (19) — Crushed by champs and now they get Chargers, who pounded those same Steelers.

22. Bills (21) — At least Jauron won’t face any more teams that fired him.

23. Cardinals (25) — Maybe they can take out their frustrations on hapless Raiders.

24. Titans (29) — Will bye ruin momentum from upset W in Washington?

25. Redskins (20) — Blowing a 14-3 lead at home to Titans and rookie QB: inexcusable.

26. Dolphins (28) — Fourth quarter rally vs. Jets was ultimately for naught.

27. 49ers (24) — At least Smith’s development gives them a promising future.

28. Browns (26) — Do these guys ever beat the Broncos?

29. Lions (31) — Bounced back from choke vs. Vikings to give Marinelli first W.

30. Texans (27) — Surrendered more than twice as many points as they’ve scored.

31. Packers (30) — No wonder Favre has been avoiding the media.

32. Raiders (32) — At least they played defense against Denver.

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