1. Rams (5-0)
— They don’t blow everyone out. They can win the close ones, too. Good teams respond when pushed.
2. Chiefs (5-0)
— They were 5-0 last year, just like now, only to fall back to earth. Actually, they crashed. Will history repeat? With a different quarterback? Don’t bet on it.
3. Saints (4-1)
— Drew Brees breaks the all-time pass record then has a bye week to celebrate. Timing is everything.
4. Patriots (3-2)
— Their defense can stop sweating. Tom Brady and the offense are back scoring 30-plus points a game.
5. Panthers (3-1)
— It took a 63-yard field goal to keep them from being a .500 team.
6. Jaguars (3-2)
— Can’t win when the quarterback commits five turnovers. But they paid Blake Bortles during the offseason, so they have to live with the consequences.
7. Bengals (4-1)
— Saw a pitch for Marvin Lewis as an early coach-of-theyear candidate. Yes, the Bengals have been very good, but let’s not get carried away. He’s 0-for-the playoffs in Cincy (0-7).
8. Bears (3-1)
— Did the bye week cool off Mitch Trubisky? Or will he be the same guy who threw six touchdown passes against the Bucs?
9. Vikings (2-2-1)
— Their record isn’t much to brag about, but Kirk Cousins has still been pretty incredible. Would they be any different with Case Keenum? That’s the interesting question.
10. Ravens (3-2)
— The offense became the first in NFL history to score a touchdown on its first 13 trips in the red zone. Now? They have the NFL’s longest active streak without a touchdown.
11. Steelers (2-2-1)
— They served up their best evidence that they’re ready to climb back into contention.
12. Packers (2-2-1)
— Mason Crosby, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, can’t find the ocean with his kicks. It’s like he has football Steve Blass disease.
13. Eagles (3-3)
— No one managed to jump them in the NFC East while Carson Wentz regained his footing. The Skins, Giants and Cowboys had their chance.
14. Chargers (3-2)
— Phillip Rivers is quietly playing the best football of his career. Thanks to Patrick Mahomes in KC, he’s only slightly under the radar.
15. Titans (3-2)
— Marcus Mariota has thrown twice as many interceptions (4) as touchdowns (2). Doubt that’s what they’re looking for.
16. Dolphins (3-2)
— What’s worse, getting blown out, or blowing a 17-point second half lead? Put them down for the dreaded double-header.
17. Bucs (2-2)
— After a bye week, Jameis Winston jumps back in with one of the league’s best passing offenses. We’ll see if he can conjure up some Winston magic of his own.
18. Browns (2-2-1)
— They’re making their second attempt at a winning streak. The way Baker Mayfield is playing, they’re bound to get it.
19. Lions (2-3)
— They head into their bye week having taken down Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Still need some work on the ordinary people.
20. Broncos (2-3)
— Their defense used to be one of the best. They used to carry the offense. But now they’ve fallen, and can’t get up.
21. Redskins (2-2)
— They had a bye to get the offense on the right track with Alex Smith, but came back and looked worse. The good news? They haven’t lost sight of first in the division.
22. Seahawks (2-3)
— They don’t want to hear how they put up a good fight against the Rams. There are no moral victories in the NFL.
23. Texans (2-3)
— They were given last rites a few weeks ago, but now they’re a game out of first place.
24. Falcons (1-4)
— This is a team many picked to either be in the Super Bowl or win it. Already, their playoff hopes are going, going . . . and just about gone.
25. Cowboys (2-3)
— The only time the offense looks good is when Ezekiel Elliott is carrying the football.
26. Jets (2-3)
— How do they take pressure off Sam Darnold? Just run, baby. They produced 323 rushing yards last week, 219 from Isaiah Crowell.
27. Bills (2-3)
— No quarterback has been sacked more than Josh Allen (19 times). And no QB has a worse passer rating (60.4). But somehow, they’re finding a way to win.
28. Colts (1-4)
— It might help Andrew Luck if he had some semblance of a running game. See Jets.
29. Raiders (1-4)
— Why is there a problem giving Marshawn Lynch the ball at the 1-yard line? It’s a no-brainer. And yet, Jon Gruden used him as a decoy three times. The lesson? He lost, just like Pete Carroll in Super Bowl XLIX.
30. Giants (1-5)
— The visual told a thousand words. Odell Beckham Jr. headbutting a cooling fan out of frustration during Thursday night’s loss to the Eagles, needing to be calmed down by a rookie — Saquon Barkley.
31. Niners (1-4)
— They had prime time dates three times in the next five weeks. Thank god for flex scheduling.
32. Cardinals (1-4)
— Ugly wins, are still wins. They’ll take it, even if their defense never left the field.