We are six weeks into the 2011 season, and already we are starting to separate the pretenders from the contenders for the coveted first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. We had a somewhat volatile week in which some teams really put themselves behind the 8-ball by winning, and some by just trying too hard.
Which team tops this week's rankings? You are just moments away from finding out. Or you could skip straight to No. 1 right now, but where is the fun in that?
And without further ado ...
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-5)
The Jaguars move down a spot by actually putting up a fight in the second half at Pittsburgh. The Jags were cruising, falling behind 17-3 at halftime, before they rallied for 10 points in the second half, putting a scare into the Steelers. That is not a way to impress the voters in this rankings. Well, voter, at least. Up next: vs. Baltimore
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (1-5)
The Vikings jump the Jaguars here for a truly impressive performance against the Bears on Sunday night. Huge credit goes to the Vikings defensive line that was so underwhelming, that the Bears offensive line seemed almost credible. Bears QB Jay Cutler actually looked confused by getting so much time. Credit also is due for Leslie Frazier and his staff for fully committing to the race to No. 1 when the decided to start rookie Christian Ponder at quarterback. Up next: vs. Green Bay
ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-4)
The Cardinals hold firm after the bye week, but this team could really go on an impressive run in the coming weeks. The Birds play host to the Steelers and then travel to Baltimore before a huge Week 9 tilt against St. Louis, which could be for all of the marbles. The Cardinals have a real chance to go 0-3 in that stretch and make some noise here. Up next: vs. Steelers
ST. LOUIS (0-5)
The Rams managed to move up in the rankings without having to go on the field in Week 5. That was impressive. But then the team went to Green Bay this week and solidified its hold on the third spot. But don't sleep on this team, it has the look of a squad that could challenge for the top spot. Up next: at Dallas
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (0-6)
There are times when you come to question Curtis Painter's drive to be No. 1. He shows just enough plucky spirit that he's going to end up doing just enough to win a game. And in this particular race for No. 1, that is not going to be good enough. Not with the way the Dolphins and Rams are performing this season. That's why the Colts are No. 2 this week. The only way to get back to No. 1 is to put Kerry Collins in at quarterback. Up next: at New Orleans
MIAMI DOLPHINS (0-5)
Perhaps inspired by the Colts looking competitive on Sunday, the Dolphins really took advantage of the opportunity to prove that they are really the No. 1 team in these rankings with a lifeless Monday night performance against the Jets. If this game is the turning point, Matt Moore deserves some LVP consideration for targeting Revis here, and Brandon Marshall for this play or his end zone drops. Up next: vs. Denver