Las Vegas Review-Journal NFL reporter Gilbert Manzano’s weekly rankings, with last week’s ranking in parentheses.
1. Chiefs 5-1 (1). The Chiefs might want to avoid the Steelers in the playoffs. The Chiefs’ offense had another forgetful performance against Pittsburgh, but they’ll quickly bounce back. That’s not good for the Raiders on Thursday Night Football.
2. Eagles 5-1 (3). The Eagles proved they’re for real after a signature road victory against the Panthers in primetime.
3. Patriots 4-2 (7). Bill Belichick and Tom Brady refuse to go away. Suddenly New England is only one game behind the Chiefs in the AFC standings.
4. Panthers 4-2 (6). Cam Newton and the Panthers had multiple opportunities to rally against the Eagles, but came up short. They’ll stay in contention with Green Bay hurting and Atlanta and Seattle struggling on offense.
5. Falcons 3-2 (4). Is Steve Sarkisian starting to become a problem for the once mighty Atlanta offense?
6. Broncos 3-2 (2). Did the Broncos expect to be handed a victory against the winless Giants? That defense should be awake again.
7. Seahawks 3-2 (9). Seattle returns from a bye week to play the Giants on the road.
8. Rams 4-2 (10). Los Angeles picked up an impressive victory in Jacksonville a week after folding versus Seattle at home.
9. Steelers 4-2 (13). Are the Killer Bs back? Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell led the way to hand the Chiefs their first loss of the season.
10. Vikings 4-2 (16). No Sam Bradford, Dalvin Cook or Stefon Diggs. No problem. The Vikings’ defense has Minnesota in first place in the NFC North.
11. Redskins 3-2 (11). Kirk Cousins and the Redskins escaped with a victory against the 49ers.
12. Lions 3-3 (8). Detroit continues to go backwards after giving up a 50-burger to the Saints.
13. Titans 3-3 (22). The Titans were happy to see Marcus Mariota back under center. He makes that offense go.
14. Saints 3-2 (24). After an 0-2 start, the Saints have won three straight games with an improved defense.
15. Packers 4-2 (5). It’s hard to tell where the Packers go from here after Aaron Rodgers’ injury. A big slide could be coming for Green Bay.
16. Bills 3-2 (12). The Bills return from a bye week to host the Buccaneers.
17. Jaguars 3-3 (14). The most inconsistent team in the NFL, but there’s nothing inconsistent about Leonard Fournette. He continues to produce at a high level.
18. Texans 3-3 (19). Deshaun Watson led the Texans to another high-scoring performance against the Browns.
19. Cowboys 2-3 (20). The Cowboys come off a bye week to face the 49ers on the road.
20. Ravens 3-3 (15). Baltimore lost in overtime against the Bears at home. That’s not good.
21. Cardinals 3-3 (26). Adrian Peterson has given the Cardinals new life. The veteran tandem of Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald has Arizona thinking playoffs.
22. Raiders 2-4 (17). Are the Raiders going to score more than 17 points in a game again this season? They got serious issues on offense.
23. Jets 3-3 (18). The Jets had the Patriots on the ropes during the first half last week.
24. Chargers 2-4 (25). The talented Chargers might be turning a corner after starting 0-4.
25. Dolphins 3-2 (27). Behind Jay Ajayi’s hard running, the Dolphins stole a game in Atlanta.
26. Bengals 2-3 (23). The Bengals travel to Pittsburgh after a bye week.
27. Bears 2-4 (28). Mitchell Trubisky picked up his first career win versus the Ravens.
28. Buccaneers 2-3 (21). Peterson is still running through that Tampa Bay defense.
29. Giants 1-5 (30). The Giants lost their best playmakers but still go into Denver for the win. Makes sense.
30. Colts 2-4 (29). The Colts blew a second-half lead against the Titans on Monday night.
31. 49ers 0-6 (31). The pattern continues for San Francisco. Play tough but lose at the end. That’s good for the tank.
32. Browns 0-6 (32). Myles Garrett keeps sacking the quarterback. It’s not all bad in Cleveland.