Each week on your FAVORITE Midday Radio Program, Just a Bit Outside, Joe Giglio and myself reveal our Top 5 teams in each conference. We call this ground-breaking, highly anticipated feature: THE FORMIDABLE FIVE! I don’t quite know how to title this each week. Is this Formidable Five for Week 12? Week 13? Week 12.5? I don’t quite know. But here’s what I do know…these are the five best teams in the NFC.

5. Atlanta Falcons: Rough home loss to the Saints notwithstanding, the Dirty Birds have bounced back nicely from their slow start. Matt Ryan has really gotten it together, Michael Turner continues to be a little bowling ball of consistency, and the recieving corp is legit. The defense is...Atlanta Falcon-y in so much as they don't do a lot, but they do do enough. With the Wildcard Picture crumbling around them, the Falcons should be able to get to the 2nd Season if they just win the games they are supposed to, ala last week vs the Vikings.

4. Dallas Cowboys: This post was published on November 30th, which is important to this team and this team alone. I have to admit, they've looked good. DeMarcus Ware is a whirling dervish and Tony (Ugh) Romo has been slingin' it like its...November. But the calender will have turned to December by their next game and I don't need to tell you how that USUALLY goes for Ol' TR. They barely escaped a gritty but under-talented Miami team on Thanksgiving...was that a preview of what's to come? There is no denying the 'Boys are a solid, balanced football team...but if history holds serve, we'll be seeing a "Who Can Gag Harder" contest between them and the Giants around Christmas Time. Their paper-thin schedule may prevent that however. Let's see how it goes out in the desert this Sunday.

3. New Orleans Saints: Who dat? Well on Monday night, it was the Saints we've all come to know and love. They unleashed hell on the New York Giants with relentless blitzing and an even more relentless-er offense. Dem Saints are a scary team at the Superdome (5-0) and a alright team away from it (3-3). Their remaining two road games are winnable however (Tennessee and Minnesota) and if they continue to be unstoppable in the Bayou, we're looking at a team with a bye and a conference (unless you happen to be Green Bay) with a lot to fear.

2. San Francisco 49ers: I considered dropping them to 3, because I was *THAT* impressed with New Orleans Monday night, but I feel that would be an impossibly harsh punishment for a team whose only sins this year have been losing in overtime to Dallas and losing after a cross country trip on a very short week. You may not understand it, you may not love it, but the fact of the matter is this...the San Francisco 49ers belong where they are. They have gotten to this point without really feasting on the paltry NFC West yet (4 division games still remain on their slate.) Do I necessarily believe that they can hang with the Saints in New Orleans or Green Bay in Lambeau? Not quite. But they might only have to deal with one of those fates if they continue on the path they've been cutting.

1. Green Bay Packers: 11-0. That's all you need to know. Eleven and Oh. We keep building up teams as "tests", they keep knocking 'em down. The Lions didn't belong on the field with them on Thanksgiving, despite what we had all hoped. A lot of folks are hyping their matchup with the Giants this weekend as their toughest test, but if they go out there and do what they do...we may just have to sit back, relax, and enjoy history.