Ahhhh, sweet, sweet wonderful parity. Can you imagine if 2 months ago I had told you the Dolphins would own wins over the Patriots and Chargers? That the Falcons looked like the best team in the NFC South, that the only undefeated team in the AFC through 5 games was led by Kerry Collins? You would have thought I was insane.. Welcome to the 2008 NFL Season! Parity is fantastic, no? Let's get to the rankings.
1 (1). New York Giants - 4-0 - No Plaxico Burress? No problem for the defending champs who humiliated the Seahawks on Sunday. And things don't look any tougher the next couple weeks with games at Cleveland and home to the 49ers on the horizon.
2 (4). Washington Redskin - 4-1 - They just keep chugging along, winning big games. Hard to believe this is the same team that was humiliated in Week 1 by the Giants. They don't win pretty but they just keep on winning. Back to back road wins in Dallas and at Philly earn them the 2 spot.
3 (5). Dallas Cowboys - 4-1 - T.O. claims the media made up his fued with Romo and that everything is dandy in Cowboywille. It certainly looked like it against the Bungles on Sunday. Don't believe the hype though. The big guns on this offense aren't Romo and Owens, but rather the RB tandem of Barber and Jones.
4 (3). Tennessee Titans - 5-0 - The Titans fall to the 4 spot but it's more an indictment of their opposition than it is of the Titans themselves. 5 wins is nice and all but the collective record of their opponents to date is 6-17 including W's against the winless Texans and Bengals. Things remain easy next week with a game against the struggling Chiefs before finally facing their first big test in a Monday Night Match-up with the Colts on Oct. 27th.
5 (6). Pittsburgh Steelers - 4-1 - It seems new names are added to their injured list almost on a daily basis, but for now at least, the Steelers keep plugging along. After failing to practice much of the week with shoulder pain, Ben Roethlisberger had a huge game against the Jaguars, throwing for over 300 yards and 3 TD's. Mewelde Moore provided the rushing attack with Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall both out with injuries. They remain the most talented team in the AFC, IF they can get healthy and overcome injuries.
6 (7). Denver Broncos - 4-1 - Yes, Virginia, the Broncos DO have a defense. In one of the biggest surprises of the week the Denver defense made a cameo just in time to welcome former friend Brian Griese back to town. And welcome him they did to the tune of 3 1st half sacks and a big hit by Champ Bailey that chased Griese from the game. Of concern to the Broncos are injuries to Eddie Royal and Tony Sheffler that may leave Jay Cutler without 2 of his favorite targets for an extended period of time.
7 (8). Carolina Panthers - 4-1 - The defense was impressive again as the Panthers shutout the hapless Chiefs. The running game was also in fine form as the offense rushed for almost 200 yards rushing. Injuries to OT's Jordan Gross and Jeff Otah could prove troublesome long term though.
8 (NR). Chicago Bears - 3-2 - The Bears are back and as staunch as ever on the defensive side of the ball but what's impressive is for the first time in a long time the Bears offense is actually quite potent as well. Led by rookie phenom Matt Forte at RB and Captain Neckbeard himself, Kyle Orton at QB the offense is averaging nearly 26 points per game. With the Packers in a sudden tailspin, the NFC North appears to be Chicago's to lose.
9 (NR). Atlanta Falcons - 3-2 - No, that's not a misprint. The Falcons are for real. Led by breakout star, Michael Turner and rookie sensation Matt Ryan, Atlanta is giving it's fans something to cheer about for the first time in years. A big win at Lambeau Field propels them into the rankings but they'll have a real chance to show they belong in a big matchup with the rising Bears this coming Sunday.
Apologies to the New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Bucs.