The Patriots improve two spots from last week, leapfrogging the 49ers and Colts. That's always nice for a team -- when on the bye, you improve your standing because others ahead of you lost.
My initial reaction when looking at this week's Power Rankings was how ESPN's "Monday Night Football" matchup -- 7-2 Patriots at 6-3 Panthers -- pits the No. 5- and No. 6-ranked teams. If you love the big stage, and appreciate competition between two of the best, this is a week to appreciate.