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Patriots top the NFL power rankings

Randall the Handle

By Randall The Handle

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots cruised past the Denver Broncos on Sunday. (USA TODAY SPORTS)

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots cruised past the Denver Broncos on Sunday. (USA TODAY SPORTS)

TORONTO - 

Rank Team Last week Comments

1 New England Patriots 2 Reports of their demise greatly exaggerated.

2 Arizona Cardinals 3 Not allowing injuries to be an excuse.

3 Denver Broncos 1 Suddenly must prove they can win on road.

4 Indianapolis Colts 5 Two weeks to prepare for visit from Patriots.

5 Philadelphia Eagles 10 Can Mark Sanchez keep them winning?

6 Pittsburgh Steelers 14 Big Ben is in a zone. Namely, the end zone.

7 Green Bay Packers 6 Haven’t defeated a team with current winning record.

8 Detroit Lions 9 Can only get better with Megatron back on the field.

9 Seattle Seahawks 8 Second half of schedule will test this group.

10 Miami Dolphins 11 Ryan Tannehill silencing his doubters.

11 New Orleans Saints 17 Quietly sneaking back to relevance.

12 Dallas Cowboys 4 Romo bashers suddenly rethinking their beliefs.

13 Cincinnati Bengals 12 Best record within tight division will serve them well.

14 Kansas City Chiefs 16 Recent play and events have them eyeing division.

15 Baltimore Ravens 13 Losing twice to Bengals won’t help their cause.

16 Buffalo Bills 19 Winning team that few are paying attention to.

17 San Diego Chargers 7 Appears they had many of us fooled.

18 Cleveland Browns 20 After soft run, level of competition about to go up.

19 San Francisco 49ers 15 Once-proud offensive line is currently in shambles.

20 Carolina Panthers 18 Defensive issues continue to plague this group.

21 Chicago Bears 24 Cold in Chicago but warm under Trestman’s seat.

22 St. Louis Rams 25 Maybe that goal-line stand is start of turnaround.

23 Minnesota Vikings 26 Several bright spots, but passing game not one.

24 Washington Redskins 23 Team with this much talent should not be 3-6.

25 New York Giants 21 Defence is awful and receivers can’t catch.

26 Houston Texans 22 Finally, the quarterback change has been made.

27 Atlanta Falcons 27 Rematch with Bucs team they demolished 56-14.

28 Tampa Bay Bucs 28 Lovie Smith’s return to coaching could be short lived.

29 Jacksonville Jaguars 31 A work in progress, but reasons for optimism.

30 Tennessee Titans 29 Rookie QB has had extra week of preparation.

31 New York Jets 30 How are you liking the Big Apple, Percy?

32 Oakland Raiders 32 Unlikely that 14-game skid ends this weekend.

Browns (5-3) at Bengals (5-2-1)

LINE: CINCINNATI by 6

We’re not buying the Browns. They’ll have to prove their worth against some quality opponents and while they fared well over some decent teams in September, we tend to put more stock in recent games as teams establish their true identities. What is alarming about the past three weeks for this Cleveland group is that it has been outgained by Jacksonville, Oakland and Tampa Bay. This coincides with the injury to center Alex Mack and his absence cannot be overstated. Since his departure, the Brownies have rushed for 69, 39 and 50 yards respectively against three powder puff squads. It’s not like Cleveland has a prolific passing game to overcome this issue. Now it will travel on a short week to face a respectable Cincinnati squad and one that hasn’t lost on this field in a year and a half (12-1-1 against the spread). With stud WR A.J. Green back for his second game after missing time with toe issues combined with Cleveland’s current roster issues, this price appears cheap.

TAKING: BENGALS –6 

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