- The Washington Times - Friday, September 28, 2007

NFL writer David Elfin ranks the teams. (Last week’s rankings in parentheses)

1. Patriots (1) — Could hike 38-point average vs. Bengals.

2. Colts (2) — Won three of five meetings with Denver since 2003.

3. Cowboys (3) — Clearly the early class of the NFC.

4. Steelers (4) — Tomlin can be first Steelers coach to win first four.

5. Ravens (6) — Boller’s actually playing better than McNair.

6. Packers (9) — Players all want to catch Favre’s record-breaker.

7. Titans (15) — Hard to believe Fisher’s job was in jeopardy a year ago.

8. Chargers (5) — It’s not just Norv; defense gave up 62 points past two weeks.

9. Jaguars (27) — Control the clock formula is working.

10. Texans (10) — Schaub gets to show Falcons what they’re missing.

11. Broncos (8) — Faltering run defense faces Addai, L.T. next two weeks.

12. Seahawks (13) — Time to avenge 2006 sweep by San Francisco.

13. Bears (7) — Griese lucky to break in against a reeling Lions defense.

14. Bengals (14) — Extra day of preparation won’t help vs. Patriots.

15. Buccaneers (19) — Garcia’s smarts, resurgent defense are getting it done.

16. Panthers (17) — Can take command of NFC South next two weeks.

17. Redskins (11) — Blown 14-point lead to Giants could be a killer.

18. Eagles (18) — Nice of the offense finally to show up.

19. 49ers (12) — QB Smith needs Gore to take the pressure off him.

20. Cardinals (16) — Whisenhunt, Grimm won’t play welcoming hosts to Steelers.

21. Giants (22) — If they beat Eagles, Coughlin might save his job yet.

22. Lions (20) — Marinelli was a defensive coach in Tampa, right?

23. Jets (28) — O-line needs to clamp down, or Pennington won’t last.

24. Raiders (24) — Culpepper gets his shot to prove Dolphins wrong.

25. Browns (25) — Still haven’t won two in a row since October 2003.

26. Saints (21) — Few teams have needed an early bye more.

27. Chiefs (31) — If the Chargers were ever ripe for the taking …

28. Vikings (23) — A home loss to Packers and they’re done in division.

29. Dolphins (29) — Defense needs to regain form vs. visiting Raiders.

30. Bills (26) — Have a shot vs. Jets after back-to-back beatings.

31. Rams (30) — With Jackson out, they have no chance in Dallas.

32. Falcons (32) — At least they made it close the past two weeks.

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