Patriots take over top spots; Texans climb the charts

This is how the NFL's 32 teams stack up after Week 2:

IN THE HUNT

Teams, listed with record and previous week's ranking, that look good enough to be among the 12 playoff qualifiers, but not based on conference:

1. New England (2-0; 2): Can we dispense with the silly conclusions that the Patriots are better at cheating than playing honestly great football?

2. Indianapolis (2-0; 1): Vince Young is amazing, but it shouldn't have been that hard for the Colts to win at Tennessee.

3. Dallas (2-0; 4):Tony Romo is playing his way into a big, fat contract extension.

4. Pittsburgh (2-0; 5): So much for Mike Tomlin having a tough time filling those huge head-coaching shoes.

5. Green Bay (2-0; 8): The ageless wonder makes it look as easy on the field as he does in those blue jean commercials.

6. Houston (2-0; unranked): What a difference a quarterback makes.

7. Detroit (2-0; 10): Don't look now but the Lions have put together something that looks as if it could be very special.

8. Washington (2-0; unranked): Playing strong defense while overcoming key injuries on the offensive line makes this a legitimate top-10 team.

9. Denver (2-0; 11): Two weeks, two narrow escapes.

10. San Diego (1-1; 3): What's wrong with these guys?

11. San Francisco (2-0; unranked): With a strong defense, Mike Nolan is OK with playing it ultra-safe on offense.

12. Arizona (1-1; unranked):Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm are making good things happen for the Cardinals' offense.

MIDDLE OF THE PACK

NEED WORK

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