Shockingly, occupying the higher reaches of the league are the Lions, Bills and 49ers. Buried with the dregs are the Vikings, Colts and much-hyped Eagles.
There are overachievers (Tennessee, Washington, even Cincinnati) and underachievers (Cowboys, Jets, Steelers, Falcons, Cardinals).
A breakdown of the first month of the season, in reverse order of the standings:
There is no other way of describing Minnesota, Miami, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Kansas City and St. Louis. At least the Colts (0-4) have the most valid of excuses: no Peyton Manning, who is making a case for his fifth MVP award by not being available because of neck surgery.
As for those other cities:
Minnesota lacks cohesion and confidence. With Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Percy Harvin and Antoine Winfield, this roster has too much talent to be winless.
"Well, 0-3, 0-4, those are humbling moments," coach Leslie Frazier said. "I don't know if its humility necessarily, but we have to get this right. It's not going to happen by talking about it. It's something we have to do. We are going to identify some things that have to be corrected, and then we have to be the people to get it done."
Perhaps Eric Mangini, the former Jets and Browns coach who once led New York to the playoffs, could bring his nickname and his "genius" to South Beach.
Their secondary, with three standout cornerbacks, including CB Nnamdi Asomugha, the top prize of free agency, has been a sieve. And the offense, aside from Michael Vick, has been inconsistent, with a penchant for big mistakes.
"Our issue right now is we are unable to close out games," Asomugha said. "You can't come into that last quarter and not be able to pull it out, especially when you're winning."
Injuries, particularly to RB Steven Jackson and WR Danny Amendola, have been a factor. More distressing is a defense that sometimes seems clueless.
The Lions also are exceptionally organized and well-coached, something no one could say in Matt Millen's day.
And they never give up: the Lions became the first team in NFL history to rally from 20-plus point deficits in consecutive victories and its 24-point comeback at Dallas matched the largest one on the road in league history, according to STATS, LLC.
"He is doing the things for us that we hoped he would," coach Mike Munchak said. "You never know how fast things are going to come together when you bring all different guys together that have never worked together and new coaches, but having a guy like him has made the process a lot easier for us."
"Definitely one that got away from us," receiver Stevie Johnson said. "Everybody in the locker room is frustrated. We're 3-1 but we're frustrated that even have that one `L.' We just have to come back harder."
Sure, the Eagles' floundering defense made Alex Smith look like Joe Montana and Frank Gore like Emmitt Smith, but give the 49ers (3-1) credit for never losing faith.
"I told them the other day they're good, and the longer it takes them to figure that out the better off we'll all be, because when people start thinking they've arrived that's when they stop working and doing the things that got them there," Harbaugh said. "We'll keep pretending we have a long way to go, and we do. We don't have to pretend."