Dan Pompei's NFL power rankings

Last week's rankings in parenthesis.

1. Cardinals (1): They have won eight in a row at home. Even if a lot of the victories have been ugly, they still count.

2. Falcons (2): Successful teams always catch breaks. The Falcons caught one Sunday, and then they showed they could capitalize.

3. Texans (3): They might be the most complete team in the league, as they can beat an opponent any way conceivable.

4. Ravens (4): They should be well-rested and more dangerous than before when they play the Chiefs.

5. 49ers (5): Now they get three straight at home and could be 7-1 at the midway point.

6. Eagles (8): In a pass-happy league, there is something to be said for the team that might have the best pass defense.

7. Packers (8): The Packers might have saved their season Sunday, or, more accurately, Saints kicker Garrett Hartley might have saved the Packers' season.

8. Patriots (9): Even when they don't have all hands on deck, this team still can flex its offensive muscle with anyone.

9. Bears (10): The Bears finally have a really impressive victory; now they need to string a few together.

10. Giants (6): Eli Manning can't always pull the rabbit out of his hat, but he can most of the time.

11. Chargers (11): The Chargers keep winning the ones they are supposed to win.

12. Bengals (15): Three straight victories has the Bengals trending up. We'll see if the trend continues against the Dolphins.

13. Vikings (18): They keep answering challenges very impressively, but we still need to see more from Christian Ponder and company.

14. Broncos (16): Peyton Manning gets another shot at Tom Brady next weekend. He could use Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison.

15. Cowboys (13): They are a little nicked up on defense, but they also are completely out of sync on offense.

16. Steelers (14): Most teams don't like an early week off, but it looks like theirs came at a good time.

17. Seahawks (12): The Seahawks are starting to look like one of the most inconsistent teams in the league: Capable of winning the ones they aren't supposed to win, and capable of losing the ones they are supposed to win.

18. Redskins (24): With RGIII, they rank 18th; without him, they would rank 118th.

19. Lions (17): If there is a way to lose, the Lions apparently will find it. This is one of the NFL's most enigmatic teams.

CHICAGO

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