1.) Green Bay Packers (9-0) — This team is going 16-0. And winning the Super Bowl. Aaron Rodgers is going to win MVP, and will set multiple quarterback records this season. They will go down as (one of) the best teams ever. Yes, they are that good.
2.) San Francisco 49ers (8-1) — We all know the Niners already won their division, the NFC West. The question is: how far can they go in the playoffs? San Francisco is coming off a good win against a tough Giants team in a game in which Frank Gore didn’t even play. Even though you still expect him to have one of those 12-28, 132 yards, 3 INT games, Alex Smith has been unbelievably solid, and continues to minimize mistakes. This week features a possible hangover game against an inspired Arizona team that has won two in a row. But something tells me Jim Harbaugh won’t let his guys rest. The Niners are for real.
3.) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3) — The Steelers are just one of those teams that you can trust to be there every postseason. Call them the San Antonio Spurs of the NFL. With a great coach and experienced signal caller in Ben Roethlesberger, the Steelers still have the weapons and the defense to get it done.
4.) Chicago Bears (6-3) — Why are the Bears continually underrated? I hate Jay Cutler as much as the next guy, but you have to give props where props are due. If not for Rodgers, Matt Forte would be an MVP frontrunner, as he leads the team in rushing and receiving. They have won four in a row and are coming off a convincing 37-13 rout of the Lions. They simply win game, and do not get blown out — Chicago’s three losses on the year come at the hands of the Saints, Packers and Lions. Are teams ever going to learn to not kick the ball to Devin Hester? Can’t wait for a Week 16’ matchup against the Packers.
5.) New Orleans Saints (7-3) / New England Patriots (6-3) — I wanted to put the Saints here, but there was just no way I could round out my top five without Brady, Belichick, and the Pats. Too much was made of the team’s two-game losing streak. Sure the defense sucks, but it’s only getting better and it has not hindered them too much so far anyway. You just can’t bet against these guys down the stretch.
As for the Saints, they are a bit of an enigma. Drew Brees and company have beaten the Texans (who would have been above both of these teams, if not for Matt Schaub’s season-ending injury) and Bears at home, but have not fared so well away from New Orleans. If this team is going to make a run in the playoffs, it will need to win on the road — probably at Green Bay or San Francisco.
Daily Nexus sports editor Ryan Porush makes more picks than Peter Piper.