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14. New England Patriots

One hour before this past Sunday's game, my little boy started "Exorcist"-puking all over the place. I should have known right then that Sunday night's game wasn't going to be fun. And it wasn't: deader-than-dead crowd; no drama; no exciting plays; no Brady and a gimpy Peyton Manning; Dave Thomas murdering any chance of a decent ending; Belichick turning into Ray Childress for three hours and lacking the balls to go for it on fourth-and-1 when the Belichick-Brady era was defined by balls in those situations; Madden and Michaels needing two extra minutes to realize Manning had ended the game with the second-down pass to Reggie Wayne with three minutes left (because the Pats didn't have any timeouts left); everyone back home pulling the, "Hey, Cassel looked good in that game -- he might be a player!" routine even though the Pats scored only 15 freaking points; and the Colts somehow getting to 4-4 even though they trailed five of those games by at least 14 points and have had a double-digit lead only twice all season.

Anyway, NBC kept promoting Sunday night's show as "The Rivalry of the Decade," and I realized that, yes, that was definitely true. Past tense. I now will put on my Pat Patriot helmet and dive out of a moving car.

13. Miami Dolphins

12. Green Bay Packers

I like both teams and believe their 4-4 records (thanks to some bad luck) are deceiving. Both have favorable schedules down the stretch. Both show up for every game and carry themselves like THEY think they should win. Both are well-coached. Both can come from behind if they need to. I just can't figure out how to push them through to the playoffs without a 6-2 or 7-1 streak. Anyway, you know what's great? Playoff appearances from the Jets and the Pack are in play -- not locks by any means, but in play -- which means the tiny chance of a Packers-Jets Super Bowl remains in play. My God. Can you imagine? Not even the Last Supper had as much tension, awkwardness and soul-searching as a hypothetical Pack-Jets Super Bowl.


11. New York Jets

Really nice win in Buffalo this past Sunday. They appear to be rounding into

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