By Dan Pompei/Chicago Tribune (MCT)
Oct. 30, 2012 at 5:30 a.m.
Dan Pompei’s NFL power rankings
1. Giants (1 last week): How would an Eli Manning-Peyton Manning Super Bowl strike you?
2. Falcons (3): When everyone was busy watching Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, Matt Ryan was the best passer in the first half of the NFL season.
3. Bears (2): Their offense has been all promise, no payoff. Unless Jay Cutler and company start putting together more scoring drives, the Bears can’t keep it going.
4. Texans (4): They will get a chance to show Mario Williams how much he is missed Sunday.
5. 49ers (5): If they can keep Alex Smith playing like he played Monday night, look out.
6. Packers (6): They are managing to tread water through some injuries - that’s the sign of a strong team.
7. Patriots (10): After the off week, the Patriots could be ready to embark on their annual second half tear.
8. Ravens (8): No truth to the rumor Joe Flacco is going to play both ways to do for the Ravens defense what he has done for their offense.
9. Broncos (11): Looks like they should keep getting better and run away with the AFC West.
10. Vikings (7): They cannot be as bad as the team we saw Thursday. Can they?
11. Dolphins (20): Joe Philbin is an early candidate for coach of the year and the Dolphins are the NFL’s surprise team so far.
12. Steelers (13): What does it tell us when more people are talking about the uniform than the team?
13. Colts (21): The Colts are not a bad football team. And with Vick Ballard, they might not be a bad high jump team either.
14. Lions (18): If anyone can find Calvin Johnson, please let Matthew Stafford know where he is.
15. Seahawks (9): If you judged them strictly by their road record (1-4), they would be at the bottom of these rankings.
16. Cowboys (15): They remain a scary team to play. And a scary team to coach, apparently.
17. Cardinals. (14): If history is a guide, the Cardinals, who started 4-0 and then lost four straight, are due for a four-game winning streak.
18. Redskins (12): Injuries on both sides of the ball have affected this team to a significant degree.
19. Eagles (19): It’s difficult to envision Nick Foles saving the season for the Eagles.
20. Buccaneers (27): They might not be Super Bowl bound, but you can see progress under first-year coach Greg Schiano.
21. Chargers (16): They have lost three straight and are starting to look for scapegoats.
22. Bengals (22): Three straight losses have the Bengals reeling, but they can’t be counted out just yet.
23. Saints (17): Steve Spagnuolo would like a magic wand. Or a pass rush. Or some run defense. Or some decent coverage.
24. Rams (23): They can blame what happened Sunday on the fish and chips. Or on Tom Brady.
25. Bills (26): Maybe they had time during their off week to fix some of the leaks in their defense.
26. Jets (24): Rex Ryan barely is recognizable without being cocky. But he has little to be cocky about these days.
27. Titans (25): Mike Munchak says Jake Locker is not “a long ways away.” The Titans, however, may be.
28. Raiders (28): Don’t look now but the Raiders have won two straight. Never mind that the teams they beat were the Jaguars and Chiefs.
29. Browns (30): Trent Richardson and stingy defense are a pretty decent combination.
30. Panthers: (29): They may be one of those teams that will play tough almost every week but find a way to lose the game.
31. Chiefs (31): This team could use a shake-up. Is trading Dwayne Bowe the answer?
32. Jaguars (32): The Jaguars are feisty, but they need playmakers to step up.
©2012 Chicago Tribune
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