Pompei's NFL power rankings

1. Texans (3 last week): They proved they are for real by winning against a tough Bears team in bad conditions Sunday.

2. Falcons (1): Did anyone really think they were the '72 Dolphins? They are allowed one mulligan.

3. Bears (2): No disgrace in losing to the Texans when the Bears' starting QB was in the locker room.

4. Ravens (8): Confidence is sky high at the right time — two of the next three are against the Steelers.

5. 49ers (5): They have allowed an NFL-low 127 points, but if they had allowed one fewer they would be 7-2 instead of 6-2-1.

6. Packers (6): They need to survive a tough stretch of schedule before currently injured players come back as reinforcements.

7. Patriots (7): The offense is humming; will Aqib Talib save the defense?

8. Broncos (9): In all phases of the game, they are looking better and better by the week.

9. Steelers (10): They beat the Chiefs without Big Ben, but the Steelers need their quarterback healthy to win down the stretch.

10. Colts (11): They may have less hair on their heads, but they have been playing like they have more hair on their chests.

11. Giants (4): If anyone knows who is wearing No 10 for this team and what he did with Eli Manning, please alert the authorities.

12. Seahawks (12): They are 6-4 but winless in the NFC West and 4-4 in the NFC — which is not a good scenario for their postseason chances.

13. Vikings (14): If Christian Ponder plays like he did Sunday, the Vikings are going to surprise some people in the last seven weeks of the season.

14. Buccaneers (16): While everyone was talking about Doug Martin, Josh Freeman quietly has gotten on a hot streak.

15. Saints (18): They look like a different team since Joe Vitt came back from his suspension.

16. Bengals (21): After beating the Giants, they have a chance to go on a roll with games against the Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Cowboys and Eagles.

17. Cowboys (20): They get five of their next six at home and could get hot.

18. Lions (13): After a loss to the Vikings, the Lions are looking at playing their next four games against teams with a combined winning percentage of .740.

19. Dolphins (15): They scored three points against the Titans. Some opponents have put up more than that against Tennessee before the last note of the national anthem.

20. Chargers (17): They are 1-4 in their last five, and it won't get easier this week with a trip to Denver.