1. Atlanta Falcons 9-1 (Last week, 1): If Matt Ryan can throw five interceptions and the team can still win, they’re really a team of destiny. The Falcons remain on top after their win.
2. San Francisco 49ers 7-2-1 (Last week, 3): Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers to victory over a tough Bears’ defense. But still, the 49ers’ defense is a top unit. Other than a few hiccups this season, San Francisco will be dangerous in the playoffs.
3. Green Bay Packers 7-3 (Last week, 5): The Packers pulled out a win late over the Lions and are back where there are used to being. Don’t be surprised if Green Bay wins the NFC North outright.
4. Chicago Bears 7-3 (Last week, 2): Chicago drops a few spots after laying an egg in San Francisco. Sure, Jay Cutler didn’t play, but this team is know for its defense and let a player in his first start look like Joe Montana.
5. New York Giants 6-4 (Last week, 4): The Giants are coming off their bye and need to get back on track. Big Blue hosts the Packers Sunday night on the national stage.
6. New Orleans Saints 5-5 (Last week, 6): The Saints keep proving why those first four games were a fluke. They still have some work to do however for a wild card spot.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-4 (Last week, 9): Tampa Bay is on a hot streak, even though they relied on a Panthers’ collapse to earn their sixth win and fourth straight.
8. Seattle Seahawks 6-4 (Last week, 7): The Seahawks travel to Miami following their bye. This is a big game to prove Seattle can win on the road, since we know how good they are at home.
9. Minnesota Vikings 6-4 (Last week, 8): Minnesota is also coming off a bye, but it’s looking like this team may be the odd man out, especially with an extremely difficult remaining schedule.
10. Dallas Cowboys 5-5 (Last week, 10): There was really no reason the Cowboys should have beaten the Browns this past Sunday, which really is sad. The Cowboys earned the overtime victory and kept their playoff hopes alive. But the team will need to shape up if they consider themselves serious contenders.
11. Washington Redskins 4-6 (Last week, 14): Washington slides up a few spots after embarrassing the Eagles.
12. Detroit Lions 4-6 (Last week, 11): The Lions are losing respectably, but they are still losing. Last year’s squad looked like a perennial playoff team, but that hope might have to wait until next year.
13. Arizona Cardinals 4-6 (Last week, 13): The Cardinals have now lost six games in a row, but the team put up a strong effort against the 9-1 Falcons.
14. St. Louis Rams 3-6-1 (Last week, 12): St. Louis had the chance to pummel the struggling Jets at home and just didn’t show up for the game. Something’s wrong when Mark Sanchez has a big day throwing the ball.
15. Carolina Panthers 2-8 (Last week, 16): Carolina had their third win within its sights but ultimately relinquished the lead and the game to the Buccaneers. But at least they held the lead at some point.
16. Philadelphia Eagles 3-7 (Last week, 15): What a complete joke of a team! They played with their back-up quarterback but couldn’t muster anything offensively against one of the league’s worst passing defenses. Andy Reid’s seat is burning hot.
Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.