For the first time this season, there is a new team atop the power rankings. After the Broncos lost to the Colts in a thrilling Sunday night game, the Chiefs became the league’s only team that has yet to lose. And they’re now the team to beat.
Below them, the top 10 remains mostly the same. As the season approaches the halfway point, the division races will get more exciting. Most divisions don’t have a clear favorite, so every game will become more important.
Tell us where you think your team should be ranked in the comments!
1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-0, Last Week: 2)
As the NFL’s only undefeated team, the Chiefs are on top. They continue to win with a safe brand of football that should last throughout the playoffs. High-scoring teams can have bad games, but teams like the Chiefs are consistent with their pass rush and efficient offense. They had a scare against Houston last weekend, but as long as they play smart, the Chiefs will give themselves a good shot to beat any opponent.
2. Denver Broncos (6-1, Last Week: 1)
Against the Colts, Denver didn’t look like the dominant team it had been. The Broncos made mistakes and finished with a loss for the first time. Peyton Manning tried valiantly to lead the Broncos back from a 19-point deficit in his first game against the Colts since going to Denver, but Andrew Luck and Indy were too strong. Denver must regroup and figure out how to protect Manning and get back to its winning ways.
3. Indianapolis Colts (5-2, Last Week: 8)
The Colts’ win over the Broncos was important for many reasons. Not only did it show that Indy can beat the best teams in the league, it also made clear that Luck will be an elite quarterback for years. On a more concerning note, though, wide receiver Reggie Wayne tore his ACL and will be out for the rest of the season. That’s a big loss for the Colts’ offense, as Wayne is a veteran leader for the team, but Luck has the skills to make do without him.
4. New Orleans Saints (5-1, Last Week: 3)
The Saints come off their bye week with a game against Buffalo. They’ll need to come out strong after letting Tom Brady and the Patriots beat them in the final seconds two weeks ago. Tight end Jimmy Graham’s injury is a huge concern for New Orleans. If he can’t play against the Bills, the Saints could be in danger of losing two in a row.
5. San Francisco 49ers (5-2, Last Week: 7)
After beating the Titans, the 49ers are now on a four-game winning streak. With a powerful running game and strong defensive play, San Francisco is again becoming a team no one wants to play. The win streak can go to five in a row this weekend, as San Francisco plays Jacksonville in London. If they win and the Seahawks lose to the Rams on Monday night, the 49ers would be tied with Seattle for the top spot in the NFC West.
6. Seattle Seahawks (6-1, Last Week: 5)
Against Arizona last Thursday night, the Seahawks had the type of complete performance few teams can have. Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes, and the Seattle defense recorded seven sacks. If the Seahawks continue to play this well, it will be tough for other NFC contenders to beat them.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2, Last Week: 10)
With its win over Detroit, Cincinnati extended its AFC North lead to two games. On their best day, the Bengals can be one of the most dangerous teams in the NFL. They have playmakers like A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard on offense, and their defense gives up less than 20 points per game. Cincinnati will have a tough game on Sunday though, as they take on a New York Jets team coming off a big win.
8. New England Patriots (5-2, Last Week: 4)
The Patriots are too inconsistent this season. A week after rallying to beat the Saints, the Pats were on the other end of a last-second game. They gave up a game-winning field goal to the Jets, who are only one game behind them in the AFC East. They now play the Dolphins in another important divisional game, and must win to give themselves more breathing room in the AFC East.
9. Green Bay Packers (4-2, Last Week: 9)
Green Bay got a 31-13 win over Cleveland, but suffered a scary loss in the process: Tight end Jermichael Finley suffered a serious neck injury during the game. Other key contributors like James Jones and Randall Cobb have already been injured, but Aaron Rodgers should find a way to keep his team competitive. The Packers have a very winnable game against Minnesota on Sunday, so they should continue their three-game winning streak.
10. Detroit Lions (4-3, Last Week: 11)
The Lions lost a close game to the Bengals on Sunday. They’re certainly a good team, but in order to be great, Detroit must win home games against other talented teams. With players like Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, they have the talent, but the Lions need to be more consistent. The race for the NFC North should be a close one, and Detroit has a chance to win the division.
11. Dallas Cowboys (4-3, Last Week: 13)
The Cowboys aren’t great, but they’re the only NFC East team with a winning record.
12. San Diego Chargers (4-3, Last week: 15)
San Diego is dangerous, and can upset the league’s best teams if their offense plays well.
13. New York Jets (4-3, Last week: 19)
The Jets got a confidence-building win over New England last weekend.
14. Miami Dolphins (3-3, Last week: 16)
Miami must beat New England after losing a divisional game to Buffalo last weekend.
15. Chicago Bears (4-3, Last week: 6)
The Bears will have to play without two key injured players – quarterback Jay Cutler and linebacker Lance Briggs – for several weeks. That will hurt their chances to win the NFC North.
16. Buffalo Bills (3-4, Last week: 23)
The Bills are last in the AFC East, but they can upset good teams.
17. Baltimore Ravens (3-4, Last week: 14)
With all its struggles, it’s hard to believe Baltimore is still tied for second in the AFC North.
18. Tennessee Titans (3-4, Last week: 12)
The Titans get a bye week, which will allow them to recover from their loss to the 49ers.
19. Arizona Cardinals (3-4, Last week: 17)
The Cardinals can be competitive, but they did not look like a .500-level team against the Seahawks.
20. Houston Texans (2-5, Last week: 26)
Quarterback Case Keenum and the Texans should be encouraged by their close loss to the Chiefs.
21. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4, Last week: 21)
This offense used to be considered a dangerous one, but it only scored three points against the Cowboys.
22. Cleveland Browns (3-4, Last week: 18)
The Browns are hoping Jason Campbell, who will start at quarterback on Sunday, can give them a chance against the Chiefs.
23. Carolina Panthers (3-3, Last week: 24)
Don’t look now, but the Panthers are .500.
24. Washington Redskins (2-4, Last week: 28)
Robert Griffin III looked like his old self as Washington beat Chicago in a shootout.
25. Oakland Raiders (2-4, Last week: 22)
The Raiders had a bye week, and must now play a Steelers team that has won two in a row.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4, Last week: 25)
If Pittsburgh can beat Oakland on Sunday, it can be part of the AFC North race.
27. St. Louis Rams (3-4, Last week: 20)
Losing quarterback Sam Bradford for the season to a knee injury will make it extremely tough for the Rams to compete in the NFC.
28. Atlanta Falcons (2-4, Last week: 27)
Atlanta snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Tampa Bay on Sunday.
29. New York Giants (1-6, Last week: 30)
The Giants finally got their first win of the season on Monday night.
30. Minnesota Vikings(1-5, Last week: 29)
Signing quarterback Josh Freeman has only caused more problems so far for the Vikings.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-7, Last week: 31)
The Jaguars play the 49ers on Sunday, meaning they could go winless for the first half of this season.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6, Last week: 32)
Tampa Bay’s first win probably won’t come tonight against Carolina, which has won two in a row.
Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images