1.Steelers - “If a rusty Ben Roethlisberger is good for three TDs, wait until the QB gets in midseason form.” (Walker)
2. Jets - “Rex Ryan enters the bye week with what he bragged about -- the league’s best record.” (Clayton)
4. Ravens - “Road losses to New England and Cincinnati prove this team still has room to grow.” (Walker)
1. Jets - A five-game win streak with no end in sight. A Week 15 trip to Pittsburgh could wind up being a battle for homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. --Chris Burke
2. Steelers - Now that Ben Roethlisberger is back, the Steelers are much more dangerous. They still have the Saints, Patriots and a trip to Baltimore on the schedule, so it won’t be easy, but Pittsburgh can establish itself as a contender.
4. Ravens - There’s not much shame in not being able to put New England away Sunday, but it’s also not a good thing when you blow a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. The Ravens will get better, though, as Ed Reed is ready to roll after missing six games.
1. Steelers - “The streaking Jets are breathing down the Steelers’ backs, but we’re not budging the Pittsburghers out of our top spot until they prove fallible again. But this is the four-game stretch that should tell us if the Steelers really are who Peter King thinks they are: at Miami, at New Orleans, at Cincinnati, home against New England. (Well, you do have to give the Big Dog props so far. He did pick them to claim the shiny trophy).”
2. Jets - “Rex Ryan decided against going quietly into the bye week, saying his guys are clearly the best team in the NFL by virtue of their 5-1 record. Maybe it has been since Steve Spurrier was in his gloating, glory era in Gainesville that we’ve had a head football coach as ready to stir it up as Sexy Rexy. He might as well wear a white visor.”
6. Ravens - “The Ravens vaunted defense let one slip away in the fourth quarter in Foxboro on Sunday, but I predict Baltimore is about to embark on a lengthy roll. The schedule has the Ravens either home or off five of the next seven weeks, with only one challenging road game (at Atlanta) between now and mid-December.”
1. Steelers - “I’ve seen saying for weeks that once Ben Roethlisberger was back behind center that they could go on a long winning streak. They weren’t exactly dominant against the Browns, but the Steelers are healthy for a change on both sides of the ball.”
2. Jets - “The Jets are proving that last year’s postseason performance was no fluke. They have tremendous balance on offense, which many doubted would be possible coming into the regular season. But the resurgence of veteran RB LaDainian Tomlinson is a big part of that.”
6. Ravens -“That was a game last week that they probably should have won. QB Joe Flacco is playing at a high level, no question about it. But for a change, their defense couldn’t get the job done when it counted.”
My Take: There’s no reason to deny the Steelers and Jets the top two spots. They have earned it through the first six weeks and with Big Ben back, the Steelers only look stronger. A lot of the rankings are putting the Patriots at three and I have to agree with that as well. The Ravens exposed their defense last week, but like any good team they adjusted.
Here’s where I disagree with Fox Sports and SI.com. The Ravens deserve to be ranked fourth because of their schedule alone, both through the first six weeks and going forward. They had to play a lot of really tough road games and to come out of that at 4-2 is the reason why it’s hard to look away from these Ravens as one of best teams.
How do you feel about the Ravens being ranked sixth in some rankings?
Where do you think they should be ranked?