This is turning out to be a very unselfish season in the NFL. Nobody wants to be No. 1. For the third consecutive week, our top-ranked team went down to defeat on Sunday, abdicating the throne that is the very apex of SI.com's NFL Power Rankings.
This time it was the Steelers who refused the spotlight, giving up the No. 1 slot for the second time in three weeks by virtue of that 39-26 meltdown at home against New England before NBC's Sunday-night cameras. The win was so convincing that I felt compelled to vault the Patriots back to the pole position, ahead of even the whatever-it-takes Jets (who beat them in Week 2 in New Jersey) and the NFC-pace-setting Falcons (7-2).
Will the Patriots make a home for themselves atop our rankings? We'll see. Because just like Bill Belichick's team owns the Steelers, the team that has dominated New England in recent years, the Colts, visit Foxboro on Sunday. A Patriots' loss and you can bet we'll have a new No. 1 for the fourth week in a row. But that's getting ahead of ourselves, and we always take it one game at a time with what amounts to our imaginary re-ordering of the NFL standings.
Now on to this week's rankings...
NFL Power Rankings