NFL Power Rankings, Week 11: Broncos, Chiefs set for showdown at the top - SBNation.com
5. Carolina Panthers The maturation of a contender isn't always a linear process -- sometimes there's an orderly procession from also-ran to challenger to division champ to elite, and other times a big-time team bursts onto the scene as sudden as a summer storm. For all the ugliness, the Panthers' road win over the 49ers announced them as bona fide contenders. They may be channeling the early 2000s Tennessee Titans, who featured a rock-ribbed D and an offense that wasn't explosive exactly, but that was really adept at gaining 10 yards in three downs. Getting past a battle-tested bunch like the Saints in their own division is a 50/50 prospect at best, but they can do everything that the Jets did to New Orleans with an even greater degree of violence. Even Seahawks-Niners might not offer as much drama as this Panthers-Saints battle plays out down the stretch. (Last Week: 6)
Interesting that Mr. Chilton is looking towards the Saints match-up which is still three games away rather than our MNF throw down against the Patriots. Oh wait, he mentions that in the Patriots write-up:
6. New England Patriots Was the Pats' Week 9 torching of the Steelers a mirage, or have the returns of Amendola and Gronk finally given Tom Brady the ammo to throw down with the league's elite? We'll find out in a hurry, as back-to-back games against the Panthers and Broncos will go a long way towards divining the Pats' postseason prospects. Belichick may need all his wizardry to bind up a battered defense, but at least a healthy Aqib Talib can make matters easier if he continues to erase lead wideouts. (Last Week: 7)
Look at that, we are being put in the same company as Peyton Manning though for different reasons I imagine. I'm sure Smitty is not worried about Talib either given he knows him well. Maybe J-Stew can plant Talib in the turf for old times sake.