THE POINT: To rank each of the NFL’s 32 teams based on performance, perception and potential rather than merely by record.

THE PANEL: Our 10-man committee consists of:

Joe Bendel, 970 ESPN, Steelers Radio Network; Tim Benz, 105.9 The X, Steelers Radio Network; Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 970 ESPN, Steelers Radio Network; Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News; Jeff Legwold, Denver Post; Cole Pepper, Studio Host Jaguars Radio Network; Mike Prisuta, WDVE, 970 ESPN, Steelers Radio Network; Jon Saraceno, USA Today; David Todd, 970 ESPN, Steelers Nation Radio; Matt Williamson,

THE PROCESS: Each panelist ranks the teams from No. 1 to No. 32. Teams receive one point for their spot in the rankings (the No. 15 team gets 15 points, etc.). An aggregate score is compiled from the 10 ballots and the teams are stacked in reverse order, with the lowest score achieving the No. 1 ranking and the highest score checking in at No. 32.

THIS WEEK’S POLL: The Texans came as close to a perfect scorecard as any team has since this process started. Houston captured seven of 10 first-place votes in the wake of its win over the Bears and the weather in Chicago.

Green Bay’s two first-place votes helped the Packers achieve a tie with the Bears at No. 4, while the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens wound up sharing the No. 7 spot this week.

Yes, it’s that tight at the top.

THE STEELERS’ STATUS: The Steelers moved up to No. 9 despite a less-than-impressive victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, who got themselves out of the basement (KC has a two-point edge over the Jacksonville Jaguars).


No. 1-Houston Texans (7)-13

No. 2-Atlanta Falcons (1)-30

No. 3-San Francisco 49ers-40

No. 4-Chicago Bears-44

-Green Bay Packers (2)-44

No. 6-Denver Broncos-62

No. 7-New England Patriots-65

-Baltimore Ravens-65


No. 10-New York Football Giants-103

No. 11-Indianapolis Colts-120

No. 12-Seattle Seahawks-125

No. 13-Minnesota Vikings-132

No. 14-Tampa Bay Buccaneers-152

No. 15-New Orleans Saints-153

No. 16-Dallas Cowboys-169

No. 17-Detroit Lions-172

No. 18-Cincinnati Bengals-175

No. 19-San Diego Chargers-192

No. 20-Miami Dolphins-195

No. 21-St. Louis Rams-216

No. 22-Washington Redskins-226

No. 23-Arizona Cardinals-227

No. 24-Philadelphia Eagles-232

No. 25-Tennessee Titans-241

No. 26-New York Jets-246

No. 27-Buffalo Bills-257

No. 28-Oakland Raiders-280

No. 29-Carolina Panthers-284

No. 30-Cleveland Browns-288

No. 31-Kansas City Chiefs-314

No. 32-Jacksonville Jaguars-316