Posted by Mike Florio on September 27, 2011, 10:21 AM EDT
1. Packers (No. 1; 3-0): The Packers needed to play in the 2011 regular season like they played in the 2010 postseason. So far, they have.
2. Saints (No. 2; 2-1): The only thing that Week One game against the Packers helped determine was the location of the January rematch.
3. Lions (No. 7; 3-0): By winning in Minnesota for the first time since 1997, the Lions have exorcised yet another of their lingering demons.
4. Ravens (No. 9; 2-1): In their two wins, the Ravens have rolled up a total score of 72-14. If that version of the team shows up more often, the Ravens could be the team to beat in the AFC.
5. Bills (No. 11; 3-0): The 2008 Bills started 4-0 and finished 3-9. The 2011 Bills who played for the 2008 Bills are very aware of that.
6. Patriots (No. 3; 2-1): This team is doing pretty well for having neither a defense nor a running game.
7. Chargers (No. 5; 2-1): A winning record for the month of September should get these guys some sort of a commemorative paperweight.
8. Steelers (No. 10; 2-1): If offensive linemen keep getting injured, the Steelers may have to move Ben Roethlisberger to tackle.
9. Buccaneers (No. 15; 2-1): Eight years after one of the most memorable Monday night games ever, the Colts return to Tampa for something that likely will be far less compelling.
10. Raiders (No. 20; 2-1): Mark Sanchez wasn’t eating any hot dogs this time around.
11. Jets (No. 6; 2-1): With games at Baltimore and at New England, that 2-0 start could soon be 2-3.
12. Giants (No. 17; 2-1): New York’s original team could soon be nudging Rex and company out of the spotlight.
13. Cowboys (No. 14; 2-1): A team that should be 0-3 can defy placement at the unluckiest of numbers.
14. Texans (No. 8; 2-1): What could have been the most significant win in franchise history became just another missed opportunity.
15. Bears (No. 12; 1-2): Losing by 10 points to the Packers still wasn’t as ugly as those orange alternative jerseys the Bears wear.
16. Falcons (No. 6; 1-2): The Falcons are one of two NFC teams who were too desperate to try to close the gap with the Packers.
17. 49ers (No. 21; 2-1): The team that everyone expected to win the NFC West in 2010 and everyone expected to finish last in 2011 is, of course, currently in first place.
18. Redskins (No. 16; 2-1): John Beck? Keep your helmet handy.
19. Panthers (No. 19; 1-2): The man who arrived in the NFL with a tidal wave of hype literally rode a tidal wave to get his first win.
20. Titans (No. 22; 2-1): Without Kenny Britt, the Titans may not add to those two wins for a while.
21. Eagles (No. 13; 1-2): Somewhere, the 2000 Redskins are laughing their asses off.
22. Cardinals (No. 18; 1-2): The team that had no quarterback in 2010 has lost to a team that has no quarterback.
23. Jaguars (No. 23; 1-2): Somewhere, David Garrard is laughing his ass off.
24. Broncos (No. 24; 1-2): Maybe the Britt-less Titans will make an offer for the Broncos’ hot young receiving prospect, Tim Tebow.
25. Bengals (No. 25; 1-2): By the end of the season, there could be more people on the field than in the stands at Bengals home games.
26. Browns (No. 27; 2-1): Beating two of the worst teams in the league doesn’t make the Browns a good team.
27. Seahawks (No. 29; 1-2): The worst team to ever make the playoffs — the 2010 Seahawks — could have some competition this year.
28. Vikings (No. 28; 0-3): The Vikings never blew a 20-point halftime lead under Brad Childress, in large part because under Brad Childress the Vikings rarely led by 20 at halftime. Or at any other time.
29. Colts (No. 30; 0-3): Jim Irsay has a better chance of playing quarterback for the Colts this year than Peyton Manning.
30. Rams (No. 26; 0-3): If they can’t beat the Redskins with Washington is coming off a short week, the Rams may not win a game until November.
31. Dolphins (No. 31; 0-3): At least the Dolphins are playing as well on the road as they play at home.
32. Chiefs (No. 32; 0-3): When losing by only three points is cause for celebration, the season is a lost cause.