Dan Pompei's NFL power rankings

1. Falcons (2 last week): Matt Ryan is stringing together good performance after good performance. And the Falcons don't lose when Ryan is on.

2. Bears (3): Their confidence is sky-high, and it gets real now for the Bears with the Texans and 49ers up next.

3. Texans (4): The Texans haven't had a turnover in five games this year. If they can avoid one Sunday, they can beat the Bears.

4. Giants (1): Sandy and Isaac Redman were a tough one-two punch for the Giants.

5. 49ers (5): As Alex Smith goes, so go the Niners. He has a 122.3 passer rating in their six victories.

6. Packers (6): They are piling up injuries — and victories — at a rapid pace.

7. Patriots (7): Bill Belichick traded for Aqib Talib because he thinks this team can win a Lombardi Trophy.

8. Ravens (8): Their injury report may go on like the New York City phone book, but they aren't that banged up.

9. Broncos (9): While everyone has been marveling at Peyton Manning, their defense continues to improve.

10. Steelers (12): Maybe they should try same-day travel for all of their road games.

11. Colts (13): Should the coach of the year be Bruce Arians, or should it be Chuck Pagano?

12. Seahawks (15): If they played every game in Seattle they would be the equivalent of the 1972 Dolphins and Russell Wilson would be Joe Montana.

13. Lions (14): They have won three of four and are back at .500. Arrow is pointing up.

14. Vikings (10): Adrian Peterson is a one-man gang. Unfortunately, it takes more than one man to play offense in the NFL.

15. Dolphins (11): They lost a tough one Sunday but will have a chance to get better in their next two against the Titans and Bills.

16. Buccaneers (20): It seems like Doug Martin covered enough yards in the last two weeks to have run a marathon.

17. Chargers (21): Not so fast filling out that application to collect unemployment, Norv Turner.

18. Saints (23): Sean Payton can't help them this year. The question is can he help them next year — or will he be helping another team?

19. Cardinals (17): The off week could be a good time for a shake-up in the desert, but what can Ken Whisenhunt do?

20. Cowboys (16): Is a strong finish ahead? The Cowboys' opponents in the second half are a combined 25-42 and they have just one team remaining on their schedule with a winning record.