By Colonel Comey
Cold, Hard Football Facts Conference Champ
Yes, the AFC is back. And the NFC is wack.
Seven of our top eight teams this week are from the AFC, and there's little debate about their supremacy. Last week alone, Cleveland beat New Orleans and Tennesee beat Philadelphia, and while Atlanta did beat Cincinnati at home they ended up having a tricky time doing it.
  • The AFC ranks 1 through 6 in points differential, with Atlanta leading the NFC at +5.1 points per game.
  • The AFC is 17-12 in interconference play.
  • The AFC's preseason hype teams, Jets, Texans and Ravens, are a combined 14-5.
  • The NFC's preseason hype teams, 49ers, Cowboys and Packers, are a combined 6-14.
  • Last year's AFC title game foes are a combined 9-3.
  • The NFC title game foes are 6-7. 
  • The AFC has the seven best scoring offenses and five of the seven best scoring defenses. 
About the only thing the NFC has going for it is the No. 3-ranked N.Y. Giants ... whose two losses both came to teams from the AFC (Indy, Ten).
On to our orgy of statitudes and bragging rights; ladies and gentlemen, the Cold, Hard Football Facts Power Rankings!
1. N.Y. JETS (5-1)
Last week:
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Jets' defense still isn't back to its 2009 standard; they were first in yards per play allowed (4.2) and third-down defense (32%) in 2009; this year they're 9th (5.0) and 24th (42%)
Last week:
23-22 win at Miami
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Over his last 16 games, Ben Roethlisberger has thrown 29 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and has 10 in-game passer ratings of 100+. That kind of production will buy you a lot of forgiveness.
3. N.Y. GIANTS (5-2)
Last week:
41-35 win at Dallas
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: If the Giants could ever improve their Bendability (30th) and Scoreability (16th) -- their efficiency, in other words -- they'd be more or less unbeatable. They're now No. 3 in total offense and No. 2 in  total defense, but only 9th in scoring offense and 19th in scoring D.
4. NEW ENGLAND (5-1)
Last week:
23-20 win at San Diego
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Starting in 1985 when he was elevated to defensive coordinator with the Giants, Bill Belichick's teams have won 10+ games 16 times in 25 years, with a 17th edition now just five wins away in 2010.
Last week:
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Heard much about Reggie Wayne this year? Nope ... even though Wayne is on pace for 120 catches and 1,605 yards. That's how good this guy is, and why the loss of Austin Collie and Dallas Clark doesn't seem to worry anyone too much. Oh, and that Manning guy.
6. TENNESSEE (5-2)
Last week:
37-19 win vs. Philadelphia
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Kenny Britt has a touchdown in eight of his last 12 games (10 overall), even more impressive when you consider that the Titans have thrown only 20 touchdown passes over that span.
7. BALTIMORE (5-2)
Last week: 37
-34 win vs. Buffalo
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Joe Flacco has thrown on third-and-long 36 times this year, more than any other QB – and he's picked up first downs on 14 of them, good for 8th in the league (38.9 percent). Apparently the days of protecting Flacco are over. Also, the days of not allowing 34 points to Buffalo could be over.
8. KANSAS CITY (4-2)
Last week:
42-20 win vs. Jacksonville
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Chiefs are leading their division through Week 7. Uncommon here in 2010? Nope. All eight current division leaders failed to win the division in 2009.
9. ATLANTA (5-2)
Last week:
39-32 win vs. Cincinnati
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Falcons are just 1-2 with a point differential of -5.7 vs. Quality Opponents.
Last week:
37-19 loss at Tennessee
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: LeSean McCoy is on pace for 1,090 yards rushing and 670 receiving; in Brian Westbrook's last full year in Philly he ran for 1,333 and had 771 through the air.
11. GREEN BAY (4-3)
Last week:
28-24 win vs. Minnesota
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Packers defense is particularly good on fourth down. Last year they were fifth best (40% allowed), this year they're third best (22%). In other words, when in Lambeau, punt. 
12. NEW ORLEANS (4-3)
Last week:
30-17 loss vs. Cleveland
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Usually defending champs can blame some of their post-Super Bowl struggles on a tough schedule, but Saints opponents are a combined 15-23 (not counting games vs. NO). Five of their last nine are against teams with records of 4-2 or better.
13. HOUSTON (4-2)
Last week:
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Spent their bye week realizing that they're the only Texas team that has a legitimate shot to play in their home state in the Super Bowl.
14. SEATTLE (4-2)
Last week:
22-10 win vs. Arizona
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Matt Hasselbeck's passer rating with two wide receivers is 38.0, worst in the NFL. With three receivers, it's 84.4. Note to Pete Carrroll: use three receivers more.
15. CHICAGO (4-3)
Last week:
17-14 loss vs. Washington
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Bears quarterbacks have been hit or sacked a total of 84 times – that's 14 a game, folks. Last year's worst team in that category was Jacksonville, which allowed 10.6 hits/sacks a game.
16. MINNESOTA (2-4)
Last week:
28-24 loss at Green Bay
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: In 2009, the Vikings led the NFL with 35 forced fumbles. In 2010, they are 30th in the NFL with six forced fumbles. Somehow, BrettFavre must be to blame.
17. WASHINGTON (4-3)
Last week:
17-14 win at Chicago
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: How are the Redskins winning? They've won the turnover battle in six of seven games and tied it in the seventh. 
18. SAN DIEGO (2-5)
Last week:
23-20 loss vs. New England
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Norv Turner is still head coach.
19. MIAMI (3-3)
Last week:
23-22 loss vs. Pittsburgh
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Remember those pound-it-at-you-with-success Dolphin teams of the past couple years? Gone. Miami is 24th in yards per carry (3.8) and tied for last in rushing touchdowns (1).
20. CINCINNATI (2-4)
Last week:
39-32 loss at Atlanta
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Apparently the Cedric Benson of 2009 was the aberration. He's averaging 3.9 yards per carry, has already fumbled three times and has yet to top 22 yards on any of his 129 touches.
21. ST. LOUIS (3-4)
Last week:
18-17 loss at Tampa Bay
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Rams are 30th in kick return defense (28.2 YPR). Sorry, Rams fans, that's all we've got this week. Check back next week, we'll have something better, we promise.
22. OAKLAND (3-4)
Last week:
59-14 win at Denver
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Raiders' 59 points Sunday were only three fewer than they combined to score over the first SEVEN games of 2009.
23. TAMPA BAY (4-2)
Last week:
18-17 win vs. St. Louis
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Tampa Bay has four road trips over the next five weeks, but with trips to San Fran and Arizona and a home game vs. Carolina in that mix, they could still be over .500 with five weeks to play.
24. DALLAS (1-5)
Last week:
41-35 loss vs. NY Giants
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: When you win the turnover battle 5-2 at home and lose, as Dallas did Monday night, there is definitely something wrong. Since the start of 2007, teams to go +3 or better in turnovers at home have a record of 91-9, according to the search engine.
25. CLEVELAND (2-5)
Last week:
30-17 win at New Orleans
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Peyton Hillis and the rest of the running backs who came out in 2008 are getting it done. Thirteen of the top 36 rushers in the league (including Hillis) are third-year pros.
26. DENVER (2-5)
Last week:
59-14 loss vs. Oakland
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: With nine tackles a game and 3.5 sacks on the season, don't blame Broncos LB D.J. Williams for the team's woes. But definitely blame someone else.
27. DETROIT (1-5)
Last week:
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Good news! The Lions have five home games the next seven weeks. Bad news! All of the visiting opponents currently have winning records (Redskins, Jets, Patriots, Packers, Bears).
28. ARIZONA (3-3)
Last week: 22
-10 loss at Seattle
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: Last year, Arizona averaged 251 yards of net passing (post-sacks) per game. This year? 146.2. CHFF thesis: Kurt Warner might have been pretty good.
Last week:
42-20 loss at Kansas City
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Jaguars' longest passing play of the season is a whopping 29 yards. Defensively, they've allowed a league-high nine pass plays of 40+ yards. In other words, this team would be a lot happier in 1937.
30. CAROLINA (1-5)
Last week:
23-20 win vs. San Francisco
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Panthers' 75 points through the first six games of the season are the 11th fewest since 2001 (2002 Bengals, 51).
Last week:
23-20 loss at Carolina
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: If you're looking for a silver lining, Frank Gore is on pace to become the 58th player in history with 2,000+ yards from scrimmage (2,089). Enjoy.
32. BUFFALO (0-6)
Last week: 37
-34 loss at Baltimore
The Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Bills' gutsy loss in overtime to Baltimore rated a 6.421 on the Inevitablity Index.