5) Cincinnati Bengals (8-3): One of the biggest surprises in the NFL this year has been the Cincinnati Bengals. With their win over Cleveland in Week 12, the Bengals have swept their division, which includes Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Carson Palmer appears to be playing his way back into the elite QB’s conversation. The Bengals also have a great running attack. Cedric Benson has lead the way all year, but after a recent injury the Bengals acquired Larry Johnson from the Chiefs. In week 12 Johnson rushed for over 100 yards. Lets also not forget about the play of their defense. A top 10 defense in the NFL.
4) San Diego Chargers (8-3): Talk about getting hot at the right time. The Chargers have reeled off 6 straight wins. Their passing game has been great, but more importantly, the reemergence of their run game has played the biggest role in their recent success. For the Chargers to last in the top 5, they will have to win some big games, as they still have Dallas, Cincinnati, and the re-energized Tennessee Titans on the schedule. If the Chargers can continue to run the ball, and shut down opposing offenses, the road to the AFC Championship game will go thru San Diego.
3) Minnesota Vikings (10-1): The Vikings have been a great football team all season. Their only loss came to the Steelers who were at full strength. Minnesota will get to prove how good of a football team from here on out. Still on the docket for the Vikings, at Arizona, the Bengals, at Carolina, at the Bears, and they closeout the season hosting the Giants. Not an easy schedule. However, Favre is playing great. Adrian Peterson is the best RB in the NFL. Do not sleep on Minnesota. I can not wait to see a Vikings/Saints NFC Championship game.
2) Indianapolis Colts (11-0): If you have been reading my articles lately you’re probably wondering how did an 11-0 team win, and still fall from first to second. Well, for one, the Saints proved they are the best team in the NFL, but Indianapolis has appeared vulnerable the past few weeks. The Colts are consistently starting slow. This is going to come back to haunt them. With that being said, Indy is a dangerously good football team. A team I would not want to face in the playoffs. They have the best quarterback in the NFL in Peyton Manning. He has proven week after week that he can pick apart any defense. If the Colts defense can get healthy for the playoffs, I see no reason why they wouldn’t be paying a visit to Miami with the Saints.
1) New Orleans Saints (11-0): I give up! After weeks of talking myself out of putting the Saints in the number 1 spot, I have no choice now. 11-0, 407 points scored, and they have blown out the Eagles, Giants, and Patriots. This team doesn’t have a single flaw. They have the best offense in the NFL, a great passing and running attack, and very good defense, and they have one of the best special teams units in the NFL. Can this team run the table? After looking at their remaining schedule, I have to say YES. There only tough opponent they play at home, where they are unstoppable. The New Orleans Saints are my Super bowl 44 favorite.
6) Dallas Cowboys (8-3)
7) New England Patriots (7-4)
8) Arizona Cardinals (7-4)
9) Green bay Packers (7-4)
10) Tennessee Titans (5-6) !! Lets face it, they’re HOT right now.