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In 2010, the Seahawks won the NFC West with a below-.500 record. Is the former punchline now the best division in football?
Every team in the NFC West currently has a winning record.
Let that statement sink in for a moment.
Yes, that NFC West. The same division that had a 7-9 champion represent them in the playoffs after the 2010 season. The same division that had only one winning team last year. The same division that had been the go-to punchline of countless jokes by writers and bloggers across the country.
But don't worry. While the NFC West may be vastly improved through the first five weeks of the season, the NFL is still full of comically bad teams. In this week's NFL power rankings, it looks like most teams are starting to show their true colors--both good and bad. As usual, after each team we list their record and how their current position compares to last week.
- Texans (5-0, NC): New York made them sweat a little, but Houston handled yet another lesser opponent. Next week should be very challenging as they face a desperate Green Bay team on short rest.
- Falcons (5-0, NC): They lucked out a bit with the mid-game injury to Robert Griffin III. But just like the only other undefeated team, they found a way to win on the road.
- 49ers (4-1, +1): The loss to Minnesota must have made them angry. The Niners have steamrolled their last two opponents by a total of 76 points.
- Ravens (4-1, -1): A win's a win, but an ugly 3-point win over an awful Kansas City team will still drop you in the rankings.
- Patriots (3-2, +1): Don't look now, but the Pats can run now. Pick your poison.
- Bears (4-1, +2): Who needs consistency from Jay Cutler when your defense can outscore the opposing offense every week?
- Giants (3-2, +4): If Tom Coughlin could somehow hypnotize his team into thinking that it's always the second half, the G-Men would be unstoppable.
- Vikings (4-1, +6): It's not like Tennessee put up much of a fight on Sunday. But if the defense keeps this up and Percy Harvin keeps...well, being Percy Harvin, the Vikings just might be a playoff team.
- Cardinals (4-1, -4): Their defense is still amazing, but who's going to move the ball with all their injured running backs?
- Steelers (2-2, +5): Pittsburgh showed their toughness in the Battle of Pennsylvania. But injury-wise, this team is more fragile than Glass Joe from Mike Tyson's Punch-Out. You can pretty much assume the Steelers will be without Troy Polamalu these days.
- Eagles (3-2, -2): They have the talent to win, but they can't hold on to the ball. Can they correct it, or is this just the same old Eagles?
- Chargers (3-2, -2): They had New Orleans on the ropes but couldn't finish. San Diego has to put games away if they want to be taken seriously.
- Packers (2-3, -6): Speaking of putting games away...To be fair, the Packers have had some awful luck this year. Then again, they've created some of that luck with their porous offensive line, terribly unbalanced attack, and inopportune penalties.
- Broncos (2-3, -1): Their three losses are to the #1, #2, and #5 teams in this week's rankings. They have a big showdown with San Diego this week to prove that they're better than their record.
- Bengals (3-2, -3): They squandered a lot of chances in a pretty bad home loss to Miami. It feels like Cincinnati will be floating around the middle of the rankings most of the year.
- Rams (3-2, +4): Wow, where did that defense come from? Let's see them do it on the road before we take St. Louis too seriously.
- Seahawks (3-2, -1): Another NFC West team with a legit defense, but it felt more like Carolina losing than Seattle winning last week.
- Cowboys (2-2, -1): They begin a rough stretch of four road games in five weeks coming off their bye this week. Depending on how they play, they could go about a dozen spots either way in these rankings.
- Redskins (2-3, -1): It's pretty simple for Washington: find a way to keep RGIII upright, find a way to be in every game. Easier said than done though.
- Dolphins (2-3, +5): Miami isn't terrible. In fact, they're half-decent. I'm just as surprised as most of you.
- Colts (2-2, +10): Andrew Luck already has two game-winning fourth quarter drives in four career games. How much of their win over Green Bay was for Chuck Pagano and how much was actually a young team earning their stripes?
- Lions (1-3, NC): Their post-bye game in Philly might be a must-win if the Lions hope to get back to where they were last year.
- Jets (2-3, -2): They threw everything they had at Houston and it still wasn't enough. Get ready to hear lots more about their backup quarterback in the coming days.
- Buccaneers (1-3, NC): If the offense didn't improve over the bye week, this team is in trouble.
- Saints (1-4, +4): Drew Brees is still an amazing quarterback. The New Orleans defense is still an amazing liability.
- Bills (2-3, -7): In a league filled with parity, Buffalo hasn't had a single game decided by single digits. They're either amazing or cover-your-eyes bad. It's kind of impressive.
- Panthers (1-4, -4): I defy you to find a recent article written about the Panthers that doesn't include the words "Cam Newton" and "sophomore slump". It's impossible.
- Raiders (1-3, NC): I hope they enjoyed their bye, because it's off to Atlanta to take on the undefeated Falcons this week.
- Chiefs (1-4, -2): An ugly incident overshadowed their ugly team on Sunday. Call me crazy, but I don't think Brady Quinn will solve much in KC.
- Titans (1-4, -4): Sure, the Vikings are better than expected, but Tennessee barely showed up at the Metrodome. Chris Johnson is cooked and their defense can't tackle.
- Jaguars (1-3, -1): It was fitting that Jacksonville wore their black jerseys against Chicago--they looked dead.
- Browns (0-5, NC): Cheer up, Cleveland fans. At least this isn't English Premier League soccer. If it was, your team would definitely be relegated to a lower division.