The dreaded recency bias has the Saints placed second on this list because they lost in Week 17 and didn't play this past weekend. But this is a serious challenger. The last five Super Bowl champs had a first round bye and these Saints (who are 5-0 in home playoff games in the Drew Brees/Sean Payton era) are most definitely dreaming of a title.
There is a fragility and vulnerability to these Chiefs, mostly focusing on a secondary that cannot stop the pass. But Kansas City are one of the better pass-rushing teams in the league and that helps. What makes this club special, of course, is the off-the-charts form of second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes. I cannot wait to watch him when the Chiefs begin their post-season adventure.
It was not a vintage offensive display against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday but the Chargers reminded us that they are a complete, quality team. I have worries about the health of Melvin Gordon because you never want a running back with braces on both knees. But the defense is in top form and this team travels well - the Chargers are 8-0 in games played out of LA this season.
This is going to upset some New England Patriots fans here but I actually think the Colts would take Bill Belichick's men if they met this weekend. There is a new physicality to Indianapolis that has been missing for as long as I can remember, as evidenced by their dominance of Deshaun Watson and 200 yards rushing this past weekend. Oh, and that Andrew Luck can really sling it!
Reputation and opponents 'playing the badge' will make New England a tough psychological challenge for any team that plays them in January. But more of note should be the fact they went a perfect 8-0 at home in the regular season. That said, this feels like the most flawed Patriots team in quite a while and they are very beatable indeed. I just cannot see them winning it all this season.
The defense is playing at a very high level and Ezekiel Elliott remains their key man on offense. The Cowboys are going to present a stern challenge to the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night but there are still too many times when their offense gets bogged down. And that is the reason this team is placed seventh - they play too many close games and settle for three a bit too often.
I believe in Nick Foles and that was also a surprising and improved defensive performance against the Bears. There are still a few too many big plays given up in the passing game, especially on double moves, but the Eagles are a vastly different team than a month or six weeks ago. And they won't mind one bit that I am disrespecting them here at number eight. Few believed in them a year ago!