Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady. Unfortunately for Patriots fans, it's really Peyton Manning vs. the Patriots' secondary. Now the Patriots had four interceptions last week. But they were up against Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was lobbing 'em in like Dice-K trying to find the plate on a 3-0 count. Manning is no Fitzpatrick. After all, Manning went to Tennessee. But he won't be throwing simple Pop Warner fly routes on virtually every single play making it easy to lay back and wait. The key in this Sunday's game - as it has been the other 12 times the Brady and Manning have played against each other - is whether or not the Patriots' defensive front can pressure and contain Manning. Brady and the offense should do just fine. A couple of 100-plus-yard rushers won't hurt the Patriots' effort, either, but we'll probably have to wait another 32 years for that one. We'll update the rankings each Saturday during the season. Remember, these are for entertainment purposes only. Teams are listed with record and last week's ranking.
1. Texans (4-0; 1): With Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster fueling the offense and J.J. Watt anchoring the defense, the Texans are what the Jets want to be when they grow up. Houston has more wins than the rest of the AFC South combined.
2. Falcons (4-0; 2): Matt Ryan leads the NFL's most dynamic aerial assault but only after Michael "Road Rage" Turner sobers up the Redskins with some punishing yards on the ground. Atlanta has twice as many wins as rest of the NFC South combined and at least 10,000 fans who can throw as well as anyone in the Red Sox rotation.
3. 49ers: (3-1; 4) Hey, Jets fans: "Colin Kaepernick!" (50 yards rushing on five carries and a touchdown.) How did that taste? About as good as losing 34-0. Wasn't that what Tim Tebow was supposed to do?
4. Cardinals (4-1; 3): The Cardinals lost in St. Louis Thursday for the first time since they left for Arizona in 1988. And no one tossed their empties on the field.
6. Patriots (2-2; 9): We know they can run the ball - especially when Buffalo only puts five players in the box and drops six into coverage on nearly every play. The last year the Patriots had two 100-yard rushers in the same game, the Red Sox were managed by Don Zimmer and Johnny Pesky.
7. Eagles (3-1; 7): Mike Vick is living a dog's life as the Eagles have won three games by a combined total of four points.
8. Giants (2-2; 6): Lawrence Tynes missed a 54-yard game-winning field goal last Sunday night against the Eagles twice, unfortunately the second try actually counted.
9. Bengals (3-1; 12): Starting to look like the Vikings of the AFC.
10. Chargers (3-1; 13): Forced six turnovers against the Chiefs last week and they actually have fewer yards passing (847) combined than their opponents (949). Norv Turner, is that you?
11. Vikings (3-1; 14): Starting to look like the Bengals of the NFC.
12. Bears (3-1; 17): Have asked Roger Goodell for permission to play the Cowboys every week.
13: Broncos (2-2; 18): Brady vs. Manning - you decide.
Perhaps Eli was better than both:
14. Rams (3-2; 22): Have already surpassed last season's victory total under first-year coach Jeff Fisher.
15. Packers (2-2; 11): Almost got hosed again by the regular refs against New Orleans but Karma instead continued her rampage against the Saints and Bountygate. Destiny and Mystique continued to work the stage in Houston.
16. Redskins (2-2; 14): Biggest sports story in Washington this week - Teddy Roosevelt winning the Presidents Race during the Nationals season-finale on Wednesday. That N.L. East title wasn't too shabby, either.
17. Seahawks (2-2; 15): Pete Carroll and the Seahawks got reality double-check against St. Louis last week since the replacement refs were back training for the Lingerie League. Matt Flynn, stay loose.
18. Jets (2-2; 8): Santonio Holmes, who has team highs of 20 catches and 272 yards, is lost for the season. But Mark Sanchez still has Eva Longoria. She'd probably have a better shot against the Texans, who have the No. 1 defense in the NFL. Expect the resurrection - of Tebow - sometime in the second half Monday night.
19. Bills (2-2; 16): Kyle Williams was upset with the $15,000 fine levied after his late hit on Brady last week. Buffalo fans remain irate as Mario Williams continues to laugh all the way to the bank thanks to his $50 million guaranteed contract.
20. Steelers (1-2; 19): Coming off bye week, the rested James Harrison, Troy Palamalou and the rest of the Steelers defense should stand head and shoulders above Vick and the Eagles.
21. Cowboys (2-2; 10): Tony Romo threw up after Monday's game, but that was intercepted, too. OBF Lock of the Season: Romo will not throw any inteceptions in Week 5.
22: Lions (1-3; 20): Calvin Johnson gets a bye-week to recover from the head-shot he took from Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway. Meanwhile, Greenway's wallet will need about two minutes of playing time to recover from the $21,000 fine from the NFL, which he has also appealed.
23. Buccaneers (1-3; 22): Go into bye week still reeling from loss to Redskins courtesy of Billy "Clutch Foot" Cundiff.
24. Saints (0-4; 24): Drew Brees poised to make it 48 straight games with a TD pass against San Diego Sunday night. He can celebrate even if the Saints fall to 0-5. At least Johnny Unitas never had to pay his defensive players extra to take out the likes of Frank Gifford and Bart Starr.
25. Dolphins (1-3; 25): Most improbable story of the NFL season thus far: "little-known white guy catching passes from a rookie quarterback " Brian Hartline, who is leading the NFL with 455 yards receiving through four games.
26. Colts (1-2; 26): Coach Chuck Pagano has left the team in the wake of his leukemia diagnosis. Another reminder of football's ultimate unimportance.
27. Chiefs (1-3; 27): Matt Cassel and Romeo Crennel now 123 regular-season victories behind Brady and Bill Belichick on all-time coach/QB tandem list after win last week. Maybe starting the Crennell -Brady Quinn tally next week.
28. Titans (1-3; 28): Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray wants his team to play so hard that opponents "better bring the Gator truck." Guess he's never seached "New Orleans Saints Bounty" on Google.
29. Panthers (1-3; 29): Cam Newton (just four TDs and 68 completions in four games) has another chance to re-establish himself as a quarterback and not just a running back.
30. Raiders (1-3; 30): Raiders may have home game against Jacksonville on Oct. 21 moved back a day if the A's reach the ALCS. Sure Raiders' fans will use the extra day to their advantage when it come to pre-game hydration.
31. Browns (0-4; 31): Season highlight will be Bill Belichick's appearance in "Cleveland 1995."
32. Jaguars (1-3; 32): Two Jaguars tickets and $6 will get you a nice breakfast and cup of coffee at the nearest Waffle House.
Don't forget to join us Sunday at 4 p.m. for our in-game Patriots-Broncos fan chat. Maybe we'll run into the next manager of the Red Sox sometime earlier in the day. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page or e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org. And don't forget to follow us on Twitter @realOBF.
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