CAROLINA PANTHERS (8-0)
How they got here: Some dismissed the Panthers because of their relatively underwhelming early schedule. However, Carolina has now beaten the Seahawks in Seattle and the Eagles, Colts and Packers in Charlotte.
Most impressive win: 27-23 at Seattle. Anytime you can win in Seattle is impressive. Marching down the field with time running out and scoring a game winning touchdown is all the more sweeter.
How long could this last?: Carolina has three of the next four on the road (Titans, Cowboys, Saints), with a home date with the Redskins lodged in there. Those roadies won't be easy, but they aren't against the elite teams they've been facing of late. They still have both matchups with the Falcons to look forward to.
CINCINNATI BENGALS (8-0)
How they got here: Cincinnati has been flexing its offensive muscle. Their bend-but-don't-break defense has been pretty good and Andy Dalton is looking like a MVP candidate has been making this a scary team. This team is getting comparisons to the 1988 team that went to the Super Bowl.
Most impressive win: 27-24 vs Seattle. Not trying to pick on Seattle, but many fans felt that this was where this team could falter. This was a big game on a big stage and the Bengals have struggled in those situations. It looked like this would be the case again, falling behind 24-7 in the fourth quarter. But Andy Dalton led a comeback for the ages in Cincinnati and pulled out the overtime victory.
How long could this last?: In two weeks, the Bengals go to Arizona to face Carson Palmer and the Cardinals. That's going to be tough. Aside from that, their Week 16 game at Denver looks to be the most daunting task.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (8-0)
How they got here: These are the defending champions and Tom Brady didn't have to serve that four-game suspension. New England has been winning impressively all season long. But this hasn't been the toughest of slates.
Most impressive win: 34-27 at Indianapolis. No, this isn't the Colts that we though we'd have this season or even the one that the Pats beat for the AFC title a year ago. But this was the revenge of sorts for Deflategate. Plus it was a tough game ... probably the toughest test they've had this season.
How long could this last?: The schedule toughens up now. In the next three weeks, the Patriots travel to New York to face the always dangerous Giants and to see old rival Peyton Manning and his Broncos. .