1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay. Best quarterback in the league. Undefeated team. This one's not hard, folks.
2. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans. And on the 11th week, he took a bye ... and stayed on course to break Dan Marino's record for passing yards in a season.
3. Tom Brady, QB, New England. Not much of a run game. No deep threat in the pass game. But a win tonight and the Patriots will be tied for best record in the AFC.
4. Justin Smith, DL, San Francisco. Part of the defense that stretched its franchise record to 11 straight games without allowing a rushing touchdown.
5. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh. Steelers, 7-3 with him, would be 3-7 without him.
"Good luck the rest of the way. Stay healthy.''
-- Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler to San Diego's Philip Rivers on the field after the Bears whipped the Chargers 31-20.
A bit ironic.
"I don't even know what football is right now. I don't know what hitting is, I don't know what tackling is, and I've been in this league a long time. I can't tell what's a personal foul or what's anything anymore.''
-- Oakland coach Hue Jackson, after the Raiders hung on to beat the Vikings, despite getting 12 more penalties called on them.
"I don't like it because it's college football. This is the NFL. Those teams don't win."
-- Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, on the option offense played by the Denver Broncos in recent weeks with Tim Tebow at quarterback.
Using that option offense, the Broncos are 4-1.
Composite score in Miami's three-game winning streak: Dolphins 86, Foes 20.
Possessions by foes in the three-game winning streak: 35.
Touchdowns by foes in the three-game winning streak: zero.
For all of you (and me, too) starting to get interested in the Packer run at perfection, keep in mind that they have a game with Chicago remaining -- on Christmas night at Lambeau Field.
Margin of victory in the last six Bear-Packer meetings: 3, 6, 7, 3, 7, 10.
Green Bay's 4-2 in those six games, but in the immortal words of Laura King: I'm just SAYING.
One of those Packer seven-point wins came late last season, when Chicago had absolutely nothing to play for, and powerful Green Bay had one drive of more than 35 yards in 13 possessions. Pack won 10-3.
Green Bay and Chicago played 12 quarters last season, including the NFC title game at Soldier Field. Discounting defensive scores, the composite score: Packers 41, Bears 37.
The Cutler injury obviously will play a role in the December matchup, but I will be surprised if the Bears go quietly into the night when they play Green Bay.
New York: the town where D-list celebrities feel so special.
In the short time I've lived in Manhattan now, I have gotten the following salutations on the busy streets or in buildings:
"Peter King!'' (A few times.)
"Hey! The ESPN guy!''
"You're that football guy! What's your name?''
"Peter! Giants going to the Super Bowl?'' (No, I answered. "You're kidding!'' the guy said.)
"Peter! Love your column!''
And my personal favorite: "Chris! ... Chris! ... HEY CHRIS!'' So I turn and say, "Hi. It's Peter.'' And he said, "You look so familiar -- just like a guy I went to college with!''
"DeSean Jackson: "People don't understand the light I bring and shine on my teammates." Whatever that means ...''
-- @MikeGarafolo, the Newark Star Ledger Giants beat man, after Sunday night's 17-10 Eagle win, which included the weird taunting penalty that Jackson got on the Giants sideline.
"You got to be kidding me!!! I am going to puke!!!''
-- @TonyBoselli, the former USC tackle, watching the Trojans go in for the insurance touchdown at Oregon Saturday night -- and fumbling near the Duck goal line. Luckily for Boselli's sanity, the Ducks missed a 37-yard field goal attempt at the gun, and USC had the biggest win of the Lane Kiffin era.
-- @ArianFoster, running back of the Houston Texans, asked by a Tweeter last week what he studied in college at Tennessee, because he sounded intelligent.