1. Steelers: "It turns out the Steelers are both lucky and good." (Walker)
2. Jets: "Jets are rested coming off their bye week. They seem like the No. 1 team in football." (Clayton)
4. Ravens: "The Ravens narrowly avoided embarrassment by beating the Bills at home in OT." (Walker)
1. Steelers: "I had said last week that this was the NFL's most complete team, but Pittsburgh has started to suffer injuries on defense. The loss of starting DE Aaron Smith is potentially very big. The good news is their passing offense is back on schedule with Ben Roethlisberger behind center."
2. Jets: "Their bye came at the right time last week. Getting CB Darrelle Revis back to 100 percent is paramount for the success of their defense going forward. It will be interesting to see if that Week 15 game at Pittsburgh will be for home field throughout the playoffs. This is clearly one of the NFL's most complete teams, but that Pittsburgh game could be very telling."
4. Ravens: "Good teams have to win games where they don't play particularly well on one side of the ball. Last week's victory over the visiting Bills would be a good example of that. It was very surprising that Buffalo had that much success against Baltimore's secondary. It will be interesting to see if other teams take the same approach to attack the backend of their defense."
1. Jets: "The Jets were on a bye this week, and the NFL had one of the uglier weekends of action that you'll ever see. Correlation or causation? Probably the former, although Rex Ryan's explanation of why it's the latter would be awfully entertaining." (Josh Alper)
2. Steelers: "The Steelers got by the Dolphins, though Miami fans want it noted that it was only because of the referee. Of course, those field goals the Dolphins had to settle for earlier in the game may have been a factor. Anyway, Pittsburgh now heads to New Orleans, where the struggling Saints are desperate to stay relevant."
4. Ravens: "Don't read too much into the Ravens needing overtime to beat winless Buffalo. The reality is that no team blows out everyone it's supposed to, and it will do the Ravens good down the road to have found a way to win on a day where they clearly didn't have their "A" game."
1. Steelers: "We're about to get very familiar with these front-running Steelers. After six consecutive early Sunday afternoon games to open the season, Pittsburgh has two Sunday night games (at New Orleans, home against New England) and a Monday nighter (at Cincinnati) in the next three weeks. In fact, half of the Steelers' 10 remaining games will be prime-time affairs, and that doesn't even take into account the potential flex-scheduling angle (Jets at Steelers, Week 15, perhaps?)"
2. Jets: "Judging from history, one more win from the Jets (Green Bay visits this week) and we're going to start hearing that a New York-New York Super Bowl pairing is a distinct possibility. Or did I just jump the gun and go there even before November has arrived? It's understandable, given that the Jets' Rex Ryan and the Giants' Antrel Rolle have declared their teams to be the best the NFL has to offer in the past two weeks."
7. Ravens: "I know Miami fans won't agree with me, but there wasn't a worse call last Sunday than Baltimore being awarded the ball in overtime on that Ray Lewis strip of Bills tight end Shawn Nelson. How do you make the case that Nelson's forward progress wasn't halted when he had been lifted completely off the ground by a Ravens defender? (Watch video here.) Nelson was no longer under his own power, and he wasn't even struggling to fall forward when Lewis went to work on wresting the ball from him. A bogus call if I've ever seen one."
My take: I think the Steelers and Jets deserve the top two spots and the Ravens deserve to be fourth or even fifth in my opinion. Even though the Ravens beat the top two teams they just haven't looked as consistent as both the Jets and Steelers. SI.com ranks the Ravens seventh, which is definitely way too low for a team that is 5-2 at the midway point of their season with wins against the top two teams. I'm sure the Bills game didn't help their rankings, but like any elite team would do, the Ravens still found a way to win. That's the good thing about
this team. If one side of the ball is struggling, the other side has their backs. That's something that's hard to find in the NFL.