This week in the NFL

Associated Press photo by DAVID J. PHILLIP -- Denver quarterback Peyton Manning waves to fans following a win at Houston last Sunday. Show caption
Associated Press photo by DAVID J. PHILLIP -- Denver quarterback Peyton Manning waves to fans following a win at Houston last Sunday.

Sheldon Mickles takes a look at the top teams and top games in Week 2 of the NFL

The rating game

1. DENVER (12-3)

Last week: 3rd

They’re back on top thanks to Seahawks’ slip-up.


Last week: 2nd

After rough November stretch, they’re on a roll.

3. SEATTLE (12-3)

Last week: 1st

Don’t look for them to mess up and lose No. 1 seed.

4. NEW ENGLAND (11-4)

Last week: 5th

Despite all the injuries, you knew they’d get it done.

5. CAROLINA (11-4)

Last week: 7th

Saints fans praying for a huge letdown from them.

6. CINCINNATI (10-5)

Last week: 9th

They’re still looking to land the two seed in AFC.

7. ARIZONA (10-5)

Last week: 8th

Impressive run may still not get them in playoffs.

8. KANSAS CITY (11-4)

Last week: 4th

They were brought down to earth with Colts’ loss.

9. NEW ORLEANS (10-5)

Last week: 6th

Once 9-2, they do not want to back into playoffs.


Last week: 10th

That was impressive road win against the Chiefs.


Last week: 13th

Can they somehow get past rejuvenated Cowboys?

12. SAN DIEGO (8-7)

Last week: 15th

A nice late-season surge could work out for them.

13. BALTIMORE (8-7)

Last week: 11th

They laid a giant egg at home against the Patriots.

14. DALLAS (8-7)

Last week: 18th

Just win, and they’re in. Lose, and, well, you know.

15. CHICAGO (8-7)

Last week: 12th

Like Cowboys, they have one shot at brass ring.

16. MIAMI (8-7)

Last week: 14th

Dolphins have to win and hope for help.

The second half

17. Pittsburgh (7-8) Last week: 20th

18. St. Louis (7-8) Last week: 19th

19. Green Bay (7-7-1) Last week: 16th

20. N.Y. Jets (7-8) Last week: 21st

21. Detroit (7-8) Last week: 17th

22. Buffalo (6-9) Last week: 22nd

23. N.Y. Giants (6-9) Last week: 23rd

24. Tennessee (6-9) Last week: 24th

25. Minnesota (4-10-1) Last week: 25th

26. Atlanta (4-11) Last week: 26th

27. Jacksonville (4-11) Last week: 27th

28. Tampa Bay (4-11) Last week: 28th

29. Oakland (4-11) Last week: 29th

30. Cleveland (4-11) Last week: 30th

31. Washington (3-12) Last week: 31st

32. Houston (2-13) Last week: 32nd

Game to watch

Carolina (11-4) at Atlanta (4-11)

Noon Sunday, Georgia Dome (Fox)

The Saints may not be scoreboard-watching before their game with the Bucs, but their fans will certainly want to know what’s happening, as they can get the No. 2 seed with a Panthers’ loss and Saints’ win. It’ll be strange for Who Dat fans to root for the Falcons, but you do what you have to do. Right?

Mick’s picks

Saints (-121/2) over Bucs

Falcons (+6) over Panthers

Packers (-21/2) over Bears

Titans (-7) over Texans

Steelers (-7) over Browns

Giants (-31/2) over Redskins

Bengals (-6) over Ravens

Colts (-111/2) over Jaguars

Cowboys (+61/2) over Eagles

Dolphins (-6) over Jets

Vikings (-3) over Lions

Patriots (-9) over Bills

Broncos (-12) over Raiders

Cardinals (pick) over 49ers

Chargers (-91/2) over Chiefs

Seahawks (-11) over Rams

Last week: 7-9-0 (.438)

Season totals: 91-126-6 (.422)

TV schedule


Noon: Panthers at Falcons (Fox)

Noon: Ravens at Bengals (CBS)

3:25 p.m.: Bucs at Saints (Fox)

3:25 p.m.: Broncos at Raiders (CBS)

(game not available in New Orleans)

7:30 p.m.: Eagles at Cowboys (NBC)