5. Carolina Panthers (8-3, Previous: 6)
Former NFL coach Sam Rutigliano used to say that quarterbacks are like tea bags: You never know what you have until you put them in hot water. Cam Newton has been steeping nicely in the past two weeks, leading his team down the field for consecutive comeback victories against the Patriots and Dolphins. Carolina has now won seven straight and erased all doubts of whether it’s the real deal. (Getty Photo)
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