1. PATRIOTS (5-0) (1): The Patriots exacted their pound of flesh from the Colts in the first meeting since the DeflateGate controversy, but it wasn't the blowout most folks expected. Even so, the Patriots were the better team and outlasted a surprisingly resilient Colts club, thanks in part to Indy's spectacularly botched special teams meltdown on a fake punt late in the third quarter.

2. PACKERS (6-0) (2): Some alarm bells must be going off with the Packers' defense, which allows Philip Rivers to pass for 503 yards, but sometimes you have to win this way. It's still good enough for the Packers to stay unbeaten and remain the class of the NFC North.

3. BENGALS (6-0) (3): The Bengals match their best start since the 1988 Super Bowl season by dominating the Bills on the road. Andy Dalton leads the way again as Cincy rolls up 17 points on its first three possessions of the second half in a 34-21 win.

4. PANTHERS (5-0) (5): OK, now you can say the Panthers are for real. After beating up on the underbelly of the NFL the first month, they beat the defending NFC champs on the road as Cam Newton leads a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback with touchdowns on the Panthers' final two possessions.

5. BRONCOS (6-0) (4): Peyton Manning still is not right - in fact, this could be it for the future Hall of Fame quarterback - but he does just enough after throwing three interceptions to get Denver the OT win in Cleveland. It's that Denver defense that's powering the Broncos' unbeaten start.

6. FALCONS (5-1) (6): Dan Quinn finally experiences the feeling of defeat as the Falcons' unbeaten run comes to an end in New Orleans. Mistakes on offense in the first half set the tone, and an inspired Saints team does the rest in a 31-21 loss.

7. JETS (4-1) (8): Todd Bowles has the Jets off to a remarkable start, as the they've already equaled last year's win total. The Jets overcame a sluggish start, due in part to some bye week rust, and dominated Washington in the second half. Now we see how good the Jets really are: They're on the road on Sunday against the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots.

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8. STEELERS (4-2) (10): Landry Jones comes to the rescue after Michael Vick injures his hamstring. The backup to the backup ignited the Steelers' offense with two touchdown passes in an impressive home win against the Cardinals. Ben Roethlisberger's return shouldn't be too far off, though, and the Steelers have done fine work to remain afloat in his absence.

9. CARDINALS (4-2) (7): There were some rare mistakes for Carson Palmer, who threw two interceptions against Pittsburgh to ruin coach Bruce Arians' return to Pittsburgh after his run as the Steelers' offensive coordinator. Put this one in the "stuff happens" file; the Cardinals are still a very good team.

10. VIKINGS (3-2) (11): Teddy Bridgewater wasn't at his best with two interceptions, but a steady defense and a solid effort by rookie receiver Stefon Diggs secured the win over the hapless Chiefs.

11. SEAHAWKS (2-4) (9): The Super Bowl hangover continues in Seattle, where the Seahawks continue to stumble months after their stunning loss to the Patriots in last season's title game. Legion of Boom? It's more like the Legion of Gloom as the Seahawks' defense suffers a second straight second-half meltdown, this time at home against the Panthers.

12. EAGLES (3-3) (18): DeMarco Murray finally goes over the 100-yard rushing mark, and the Eagles' defense dominates Eli Manning and the Giants as Philly erases a 1-3 start and moves into a tie for the top spot in the NFC East.

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13. COLTS (3-3) (13): What in the world was Chuck Pagano thinking? The Colts were only down by six points late in the third quarter when they botched a fake punt, complete with an illegal formation, to try and outsmart Bill Belichick. That's never a good idea, and the play backfired. Spectacularly. The ice just got thinner for Pagano.

14. GIANTS (3-3) (12): Giants' three-game winning streak comes to an end with an awful performance in Philly. They were blown out at the Linc in Week 6 last year after a three-game win streak, and that eventually mushroomed into a seven-game losing skid. This year's team insists that won't be the case again.

15. RAMS (2-3) (14): After a bye week, the Rams are home to the Browns. We'll see if their win one, lose one trend continues.

16. BILLS (3-3) (15): So much for all that excitement Rex Ryan brought to Buffalo. The Bills have now lost two straight at home, and Ryan's defense has looked awful in both. And now Mario Williams is questioning Ryan's scheme, adding to the team's long list of problems that includes continued quarterback issues.

17. COWBOYS (2-3) (16): Matt Cassel gets his turn to see if he can jumpstart the offense in place of Brandon Weeden. The stakes are high in his first start: the Cowboys are at the Giants on Sunday.

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18. CHARGERS (2-4) (17): Philip Rivers threw for career highs in completions (43), attempts (65) and yards (503), but it still wasn't good enough to beat the Packers on the road.

19. 49ERS (2-4) (25): After a much-improved performance in a losing effort against the Giants the week before, the Niners put it all together against the Ravens and get back into the NFC West race.

20. RAIDERS (2-3) (19): After a bye week, the Raiders face a critical AFC West matchup against the Chargers in San Diego.

21. BUCCANEERS (2-3) (26): Up next for Jameis Winston and the Bucs after a bye week: at Washington.

22. SAINTS (2-4) (29): A season-saving win over the Falcons? Probably not, but that NFC South matchup, especially at the Superdome, is one of the best there is. A dramatic performance by the reeling Saints only makes it better.

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23. REDSKINS (2-4) (20): Two more interceptions for Kirk Cousins, and another vote of confidence from coach Jay Gruden. And on and on it goes . . ..

24. BROWNS (2-4) (22): More off-field news from Johnny Manziel - for all the wrong reasons - and more good work from Josh McCown, even if the final result (26-23 loss in OT to the Broncos) wasn't what he wanted.

25. LIONS (1-5) (27): Matthew Stafford enjoyed a terrific bounce-back game after being benched the week before as the quarterback throws four TD passes against the Bears and leads the dramatic 37-34 win in overtime.

26. BEARS (2-4) (21): Jay Cutler with an excellent fourth-quarter comeback effort to put the game in overtime, but the Bears can't finish off the Lions and lose in the extra session. Cutler is doing his part to work into coach John Fox's good graces.

27. DOLPHINS (2-3) (31): Dan Campbell promised the Dolphins would be a tougher team, and that's exactly what happened in his head coaching debut. Miami stomps the Titans on the road behind solid efforts on offense from Ryan Tannehill and Lamar Miller and a dominating showing on defense led by Cameron Wake's four sacks.

28. TEXANS (2-4) (32): DeAndre Hopkins is blossoming into a star for an otherwise mediocre Texans team. The third-year wide receiver is on pace for nearly 2,000 yards and now has four straight 100-yard receiving games.

29. RAVENS (1-5) (23): The Ravens are in crisis mode for the first time in John Harbaugh's run as head coach. Harbaugh will miss the playoffs for only the second time since taking over in 2008. Joe Flacco is a mess, and the defense isn't much better.

30. CHIEFS (1-5) (24): Not that the Chiefs were winning with Jamaal Charles, but without their best playmaker on offense, they're barely able to function on offense. They've invested a fortune in Alex Smith, but he's playing his way out of Kansas City.

31. TITANS (1-4) (28): That brilliant Week 1 performance by rookie Marcus Mariota is a distant memory after four straight losses. Since starting off with four TD passes and no interceptions against fellow rookie Jameis Winston, Mariota has thrown five TD passes and five INTs.

32. JAGUARS (1-5) (30): There are legitimate questions whether Gus Bradley is the right fit as head coach and Blake Bortles as quarterback.

Note: Last week's ranking for each team is in parentheses after their record.