NFL Power Rankings Week 17: Despite Loss, Falcons Still Top NFC

The race for the NFL's worst team is almost as interesting as the race for the best.

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NFL Power Rankings Week 17: Despite Loss, Falcons Still Top NFC

The Falcons failed their last big test of the season last night when they lost to the Saints in Atlanta. It will be interesting to see how they’re treated in the power ranks this week. The Bears got a big win over the Jets, but does anyone feel comfortable saying they’re a better team than Atlanta? I don’t. What about maybe the Ravens? It’s a possibility, but it’s not as if the Ravens haven’t lost to their top division rival this year.

Maybe the Eagles get some consideration if they blow out the Vikings tonight, but with Joe Webb starting would that really be all that impressive? So for now, I decided to leave the Falcons at #2.

(1) New England Patriots – After their blowout of the Bills, Tom Brady talked about how tough the AFC East was because they had to play teams like the Bills and Dolphins twice a year. Really Tom? (LW: 1)

(2) Atlanta Falcons – So the Falcons lose to the New Orleans last night, but does that mean they should drop below the Bears, Eagles or Ravens? I don’t really think so. They’re still going to clinch the #1 overall seed need week against the Panthers. (LW: 2)

(3) Chicago Bears – This team keeps winning and this time it was over a quality opponent in the Jets. It wasn’t even that close either. The Bears blew the Jets away in the 3rd quarter of that game. (LW: 3)

(4) Baltimore Ravens – Baltimore is tied atop the AFC North with Pittsburgh, although they lose a tiebreaker. That said, the Ravens have won three straight scoring over 30 in two of those games. They’re playing better than Pittsburgh right now. (LW: 5)

(5) New Orleans Saints – Huge win for them last night in Atlanta. The defending champs are a team no one wants to see in the postseason. (LW: 7)

(6) Philadelphia Eagles – Won the NFC East without even playing Sunday after their game was postponed until Tuesday. Now they’ve got to beat the Vikings and face a quick turnaround to host Dallas four days later. (LW: 4)

(7) Pittsburgh Steelers – They get an easy win over the hapless Panthers in Heinz Field and despite the fact that they could very well end this season with 12 wins I’m still very wary of this Steelers team. It’s almost inconceivable to see a Steeler team with an offensive line that bad. (LW: 7)

(8) Kansas City Chiefs – Another team that just keeps winning and they clinched the AFC West this weekend. That’s got to feel good for franchise that’s been pretty bad for quite a while now. (LW: 9)

(9) Green Bay Packers – Huge win over the Giants to seize control of the final wild card spot. A team with a good defense and good QB like this should scare anyone in the playoffs. (LW: 13)

(10) Indianapolis Colts – I jumped the Packers over the Colts this week because I think they’re just a better team. They’re grinding out wins, but they’re doing it with smoke and mirrors. (LW: 10)

(11) New York Jets – The Jets were in a tough position playing back to back road games against quality opponents, but the reality is that the Jets are now 1-3 in December. Their defense isn’t nearly as good as advertised and their QB has regressed as the year has gone on. (LW: 6)

(12) New York Giants – Last week I asked “How do the Giants come back from what happened to them Sunday?” Turns out, they couldn’t. The Giants were manhandled by the Packers and are now in the outside looking in to the playoffs. (LW: 11)

(13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – They need a lot of help, but they’re still alive in the NFC playoff race. Even though they likely won’t make the playoffs and St. Louis will, the Buc’s turnaround this season has been more impressive. (LW: 16)

(14) St. Louis Rams – They took care of business at home against the 49ers, now they need to get a win in Qwest Field to win the NFC Worst. The playoffs begin this weekend for them. (LW: 17)

(15) San Diego Chargers – Last week I said “This is a team that no one in the AFC wants to see sneak into the playoffs.” Thanks to their loss to to Cincy, one of the worst teams in football, no one will have to see them in the playoffs. (LW: 12)

(16) Oakland Raiders – Despite the fact that the Jags still have a shot at the postseason, I don’t think they’re as good as Oakland or San Diego. (LW: 15)

(17) Jacksonville Jaguars – Three weeks ago they were leading the AFC South. Now they’ve lost two straight and seem to have been exposed. (LW: 14)

(18) Seattle Seahawks – A team who has won six games all year and lost their last three actually has a home game to decide whether they get into the playoffs. (LW: 18)

(19) Detroit Lions – The Lions have won three straight games including two on the road and all three against teams that were .500 or better at the time. (LW: 24)

(20) Miami Dolphins – They’ve lost 3 of their last 4 to Cleveland, Buffalo, & Detroit. Plus, they’ve only won at home once this year. (LW: 19)

(21) Tennessee Titans – With the right QB, this could really have been a 10 win team. (LW: 22)

(22) Washington Redskins – They’ve scored 50 points in two games with Rex Grossman at the helm. Pretty embarrassing for Donovan McNabb. (LW: 28)

(23) Dallas Cowboys – They lost to arguably the worst team in the NFL last week and are now in last place in the NFC East. They probably also sealed Jason Garrett’s fate. (LW: 20)

(24) San Francisco 49ers – Took the first step rebuilding by firing Mike Singletary. Outside of Josh McDaniels, I’m not sure that there was a worse coach in football. (LW: 21)

(25) Minnesota Vikings – It’s not always snowy in Philadelphia, but it was this weekend. (LW: 23)

(26) Cleveland Browns – Lost the Art Modell bowl and Colt McCoy looked pretty awful. (LW: 26)

(27) Buffalo Bills – Despite a new coach, they actually clinched a worse record than they had last year. Chan Gailey was who we thought he was. (LW: 27).

(28) Cincinnati BengalsCarson Palmer finally plays well. Unfortunately it was 15 weeks too late. (LW: 29)

(29) Denver Broncos – Eventually Tim Tebow is going to have to do more than throw screen passes, but it worked against the league’s worst defense. (LW: 30)

(30) Houston Texans – Trivia question, who has the league’s longest current losing streak? Hint: it’s also the team with the worst defense in the NFL. (LW: 25)

(31) Arizona CardinalsJohn Skelton didn’t do much for most of the game, but he did lead them on the game winning drive against Dallas. It’s a start. (LW: 32)

(32) Carolina Panthers – If only they could draft Cam Newton or Andrew Luck before they have to play the Falcons this weekend. (LW: 31)

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NFL Power Rankings Week 17: Patriots Still Riding High

[Note by JasonB, 12/28/10 1:17 PM EST ] Our full week 17 power ranking can be found here.

It’s Monday and time for our top 10 power ranking preview. This week is a bit unique and tough to do considering that three of our top 10 have yet to even play this week. So pending the outcome of the Monday and Tuesday night games we could see some shakeups in the top 10.

(1) New England Patriots – After their blowout of the Bills, Tom Brady talked about how tough the AFC East was because they had to play teams like the Bills and Dolphins twice a year. Really Tom? (LW: 1)

(2) Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons face their last major test of the season tonight when they host the Saints. They only need one win to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC and unless they forfeit the final game against the the Panthers, they’re going to get that win. (LW: 2)

(3) Chicago Bears – This team keeps winning and this time it was over a quality opponent in the Jets. It wasn’t even that close either. The Bears blew the Jets away in the 3rd quarter of that game. (LW: 3)

(4) Philadelphia Eagles – Won the NFC East without even playing Sunday after their game was postponed until Tuesday. Now they’ve got to beat the Vikings and face a quick turnaround to host Dallas four days later. (LW: 4)

(5) Baltimore Ravens – Baltimore is tied atop the AFC North with Pittsburgh, although they lose a tiebreaker. That said, the Ravens have won three straight scoring over 30 in two of those games. They’re playing better than Pittsburgh right now. (LW: 5)

(6) Pittsburgh Steelers – They get an easy win over the hapless Panthers in Heinz Field and despite the fact that they could very well end this season with 12 wins I’m still very wary of this Steelers team. It’s almost inconceivable to see a Steeler team with an offensive line that bad. (LW: 7)

(7) New Orleans Saints – The third team in our top ten that hasn’t even played yet. They’ve got a huge game against the Falcons tonight that could really jump start their defense of last year’s Super Bowl title. (LW: 8)

(9) Kansas City Chiefs – Another team that just keeps winning and they clinched the AFC West this weekend. That’s got to feel good for franchise that’s been pretty bad for quite a while now. (LW: 9)

(10) Green Bay Packers – Huge win over the Giants to seize control of the final wild card spot. A team with a good defense and good QB like this should scare anyone in the playoffs. (LW: 13)

We’re going to include two more teams in our “top ten” because I really do think these last couple spots are very close.

(11) Indianapolis Colts – I jumped the Packers over the Colts this week because I think they’re just a better team. They’re grinding out wins, but they’re doing it with smoke and mirrors. (LW: 10)

(12) New York Jets – The Jets were in a tough position playing back to back road games against quality opponents, but the reality is that the Jets are now 1-3 in December. Their defense isn’t nearly as good as advertised and their QB has regressed as the year has gone on. (LW: 6)

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NFL Power Rankings Week 16: NFC Powers Rising

It was a really interesting week in the NFL. There were a few teams that proved they’re not ready for prime time (Tampa & Jacksonville) while a few others made major statements of intent (Philly & NYJ). Still other teams showed some resolve in defeat (New Orleans & Green Bay). Pittsburgh, Chicago & Atlanta all clinched a playoff spot this past week, with a few other poised to clinch this week. The postseason spots are starting to become scarce as we head into the second to last week of the NFL season.

Without further ado, here’s your full week 16 NFL power rankings.

(1) New England Patriots – Struggled to beat the Packers in Foxboro without Aaron Rodgers, which was a surprise. The Pats were 15.5 point favorites in that game and only won by four… Still a win is a win and the Pats still hold the AFC’s best record. (LW: 1)

(2) Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons won their 8th straight on Sunday and clinched a playoff spot. They’ve got one more big test this season and it’s next week when the Saints come to the Georgia Dome. Unfortunately, had the Saints not lost Sunday that game could have helped decide the NFC South. (LW: 2)

(3) Chicago Bears – Crushed Minny last night just liked they should have and really helped to shake off the embarrassment to New England. They clinched the NFC North and have the inside track on a first round bye. (LW: 5)

(4) Philadelphia Eagles – Pulled off one of the great comebacks in NFL history to beat the Giants and take a stranglehold on the NFC East. With home games against the Vikings and Cowboys left, the Eagles have a decent shot at a No. 2 seed. (LW: 5)

(5) Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens did what the Steelers could not this weekend, get a win at home against a quality opponent. They’ve now pulled even with Pittsburgh in the AFC North. (LW: 6)

(6) New York Jets– The criticism we’ve had with the Jets all year is that they’ve beaten bad teams and lost when they faced quality opponents… Not this past weekend. They went into Pittsburgh and got a huge win. (LW: 10)

(7) Pittsburgh Steelers – The Jets are a quality team, but that’s really no excuse for the Steelers to drop a home game at this point in the season. They were supposed to be the second best team in the AFC, they didn’t look like it. (LW: 3)

(8) New Orleans Saints – I can’t say as though there’s a lot of shame in losing to the Ravens on the road. That’s a tough, out of conference road game. It’s surprising how often teams lose in that spot. Unfortunately it probably cost them a shot at the NFC South. (LW: 4)

(9) Kansas City Chiefs – Got themselves a road win against the Rams, which sets them up very nicely to get a playoff game at home. (LW 11)

(10) Indianapolis Colts – Tough decision as to who was No. 10 this week, but the Colts really had a great win to beat the Jags and wrest control of the AFC South back. If they win out, they’re the division champs again. (LW: 15)

(11) New York Giants – How do the Giants come back from what happened to them Sunday? It doesn’t get easier either, they now head on the road to face the Packers in a game that will likely decide the final wild card spot. (LW: 8)

(12) San Diego Chargers – This is a team that no one in the AFC wants to see sneak into the playoffs. With their offensive firepower, they can beat anyone. (LW: 14)

(13) Green Bay Packers – They put up a real fight against the Pats and with Aaron Rodgers returning they still control their own playoff fate with the Giants coming to town next week. (LW: 12)

(14) Jacksonville Jaguars – Failed their test against Indy. If you want to be the best you gotta beat the best and they didn’t do it. Now they need Indy to lose if they want any shot at the AFC South (LW: 9)

(15) Oakland Raiders – I really like this Oakland team. I really think they’re as good as anyone in AFC outside of Pats/Steelers/Ravens. (LW: 19)

(16) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – You’re going to lose at home to Detroit while in the thick of a playoff race? Really? Boo! (LW: 13)

(17) St. Louis Rams – People may have anointed Sam Bradford a little quick. He’s been terrible for a few weeks now. Might have hit that “rookie wall.” (LW: 17)

(18) Seattle Seahawks – I now actively hate the entire NFC West. (LW: 18)

(19) Miami Dolphins – Its almost impossible to understand how this team wins so much on the road and loses so much at home. (LW: 16)

(20) Dallas Cowboys – They beat the Redskins but allow four TD passes from Rex Grossman. Pyrrhic victory? (LW: 23)

(21) San Francisco 49ers – With nine losses, they’re still very much in the hunt for the NFC West crown. (LW: 20)

(22) Tennessee Titans – Hey look, a team whose offense looked great against the Texans! (LW: 25)

(23) Minnesota Vikings – Last night was just ugly for this team. They’ve got more problems than just at QB. (LW: 21)

(24) Detroit Lions – Two straight wins? Lions are on fire! (LW: 26)

(25) Houston Texans – Arguably the worst defense of all time. Not joking. (LW: 24)

(26) Cleveland Browns – After showing some fight in midseason, they appear to be just playing out the string. (LW: 22)

(27) Buffalo Bills – Went down to Miami and got a win. Not bad. Well, yeah they’re bad. (LW: 28).

(28) Washington Redskins – Rex Grossman threw some touchdowns and had some turnovers. In other words he played like Rex Grossman (LW: 27)

(29) Cincinnati Bengals – They lose Terrell Owens, but win a game. Hmmm. (LW: 31)

(30) Denver Broncos – Tebow saves souls, not football games. (LW: 27)

(31) Carolina Panthers – Beating Arizona for this team at this point in the season is like the Giants losing to the Eagles. Giants and Eagles are in a playoff race. Cards and Panthers are in a race for the No. 1 pick. (LW: 32)

(32) Arizona Cardinals – Lost the awful bowl to the Panthers last week, so here they are at the bottom. (LW: 29)

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NFL Power Rankings Week 16: Patriots, Falcons & Eagles Lead The Top 10

[Note by JasonB, 12/21/10 7:32 AM EST ] Our full week 16 NFL power rankings can be found here.

Our full week 16 power rankings will come out tomorrow, but today we’re doing a preview of the top 10 teams in the NFL. The outcome of the Bears vs Vikings game could certainly change this, but I’m going to assume that the Bears can take care of the Joe Webb lead Vikings tonight in what should be a frigid affair in Minnesota.

There was actually quite a bit of movement amongst the top 10 this week.

(1) New England Patriots – Struggled to beat the Packers in Foxboro without Aaron Rodgers, which was a surprise. The Pats were 15.5 point favorites in that game and only won by four… Still a win is a win and the Pats still hold the AFC’s best record. (LW: 1)

(2) Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons won their 8th straight on Sunday and clinched a playoff spot. They’ve got one more big test this season and it’s next week when the Saints come to the Georgia Dome. Unfortunately, had the Saints not lost Sunday that game could have helped decided the NFC South. (LW: 2)

(3) Philadelphia Eagles – Pulled off one of the great comebacks in NFL history to beat the Giants and take a stranglehold on the NFC East. With home games against the Vikings and Cowboys left, the Eagles have a decent shot at a #2 seed. (LW: 5)

(4) Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens did what the Steelers could not this weekend, get a win at home against a quality opponent. They’ve now pulled even with Pittsburgh in the AFC North. (LW: 6)

(5) Chicago Bears – Lost in embarrassing fashion last week to the Patriots, but can get some redemption with a win over the Vikings tonight. With the Packers dropping two straight, their position in the NFC North is still safe. They need to beat the Jets and Packers in the last weeks to ensure themselves a #2 seed in the NFC. (LW: 7)

(6) New York Jets– The criticism we’ve had with the Jets all year is that they’ve beaten bad teams and lost when they faced quality opponents… Not this past weekend. They went into Pittsburgh and got a huge win. (LW: 10)

(7) Pittsburgh Steelers – The Jets are a quality team, but that’s really no excuse for the Steelers to drop a home game at this point in the season. They were supposed to be the second best team in the AFC, they didn’t look like it. (LW: 3)

(8) New Orleans Saints – I can’t say as though there’s a lot of shame in losing to the Ravens on the road. That’s a tough, out of conference road game. It’s surprising how often teams lose in that spot. Unfortunately it probably cost them a shot at the NFC South. (LW: 4)

(9) Kansas City Chiefs – Got themselves a road win against the Rams, which sets them up very nicely to get a playoff game at home. (LW 11)

(10) Indianapolis Colts – Tough decision as to who was #10 this week, but the Colts really had a great win to beat the Jags and wrest control of the AFC South back. If they win out, they’re the division champs again. (LW: 15)

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NFL Power Rankings Week 15: Is It The Patriots And Everyone Else?

Week 15 in the NFL started with the Colts getting themselves back in the playoff race and ended with the Giants and Ravens keeping themselves in it. Our big movers in the power rankings this week are the Steelers, who have a real decent shot at running the table and taking the #2 seed in the AFC, the Eagles, who staked their claim as the second best team in their conference, and Jags who just keep winning.

The ranks this week were not kind to the New York Jets or the Green Bay Packers, who may be crumbling at the worst possible time.

Here are your power rankings for week 15 of the NFL season.

(1) New England Patriots – Another week, another blowout win over an opponent with a good record. Last week they blew out the Jets in Foxboro, this week they blew out the Bears in Chicago. Not really any debate over this one. (LW: 1)

(2) Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons look like they’re going to ride their cupcake remaining schedule straight to the No. 1 seed in the NFC. They face one more test against the Saints, but of course the game is at home. (LW: 3)

(3) Pittsburgh Steelers – If you’re a QB facing the Steelers how is the first thing you do before any play not find out where Troy Polamalu is and plan accordingly? (LW: 6)

(4) New Orleans Saints It’s kind of a joke that the Saints are going to be a wild card with probably 12 or 13 wins and a sub .500 team from the NFC West is going to get a home game. (LW: 4)

(5) Philadelphia Eagles – A win on the road against Dallas sets up a showdown with the G-men next week which will likely decide the NFC East. (LW: 9)

(6) Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens beat the Texans just like everyone does. Get up early, watch them stage a comeback, then break their heart at the end. (LW: 6)

(7) Chicago Bears – The Bears headed into last weekend with the toughest last four games of any team in football. They failed their first test miserably by getting blown out at home by the Patriots. The Pats are a great team and I don’t think there’s a ton of shame in losing to them, but getting blown out at home is inexcusable. You don’t get to be considered a top 5 team after that. (LW: 5)

(8) New York Giants – They looked pretty slopping doing it, but the Giants beat up on the Favre-less Vikings. Next week they host the Eagles for NFC East supremacy. (LW: 9)

(9) Jacksonville Jaguars – You have to give this team some respect, they just keep winning. Having said that… I kinda feel the same way about them as the Bears. Yes they keep winning, but I still don’t think they’re that good. They’ll have a chance to prove me wrong next week against the Colts. (LW: 12)

(10) New York Jets– If the Packers and Chiefs hadn’t lost this week, I would have been tempted to push them out of the top 10. They got a lot of wins against bad teams and are starting crumble now that the season is getting tougher. Rex Ryan admitted he thought about benching Mark Sanchez during Sunday’s game. He may want to think harder if the second year man continues to struggle. (LW: 7)

(11) Kansas City Chiefs – I certainly didn’t expect them to win on the road against San Diego without Matt Cassell, but I didn’t think they look that bad either. When healthy and at home they’re a tough team. Outside of Arrowhead who would be scared of them in the playoffs? (LW: 12)

(12) Green Bay Packers – If Aaron Rodgers misses another game there’s a very good chance this team doesn’t make the playoffs. They’ve already lost the ability to control their own fate. (LW: 8)

(13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Got maybe the luckiest win of the year at Washington this week and it kept them alive in the NFC wildcard race. Still haven’t beaten a team with a winning record though. (LW: 13)

(14) San Diego Chargers – If they hadn’t choked against the Raiders two weeks ago, they could be wrapping the AFC West up. They kept themselves alive with a convincing win over KC. (LW: 17)

(15) Indianapolis Colts
– Got a big win Sunday and can possibly take back the division with a win over Jacksonville next week. (LW: 21)

(16) Miami Dolphins – I’ll just copy and past what I wrote the last two weeks about this team “I have absolutely no idea what to expect of this team from week to week.” After stinking it up for a couple weeks they go to New York and manhandle the Jets. (LW: 22)

(17) St. Louis Rams – So much for the NFC West leader maybe getting over .500. They’re in line to play the Saints in the first round of the playoffs, which New Orleans fans are licking their chops over. (LW: 14)

(18) Seattle Seahawks
– Does no one want to win the NFC West? (LW: 15)

(19) Oakland Raiders – Like Miami, this team could look really good or really terrible on any given week. They kinda looked both at times against Jacksonville. (LW: 16)

(20) San Francisco 49ers – The NFC West, where tanking for a better draft pick and trying to win the division are almost the same thing! (LW: 26)

(21) Minnesota Vikings
– Was there a team in a worse spot this week than the Vikings? They lose their stadium, their QB, Percy Harvin, & Ray Edwards all in the same week. Then they get to play a “home” game in the stadium of a division rival. Having said that… they stink. (LW: 18)

(22) Cleveland Browns – Being without Colt McCoy has really slowed their momentum. (LW: 19)

(23) Dallas Cowboys – They didn’t get a win from Philly, but at least they were able to get Michael Vick’s autograph. (LW: 20)

(24) Houston Texans – It’s groundhog day again for the Texans. Fall behind early, stage a comeback, lose at the end. (LW: 17)

(25) Tennessee Titans Randy Moss was not targeted once during their Thursday night loss to Indy. Win-win scenario huh Jeff Fisher? (LW: 24)

(26) Detroit Lions
- The takeaway from Sunday is that the Lions were beating the Packers even before Rodgers got hurt. (LW: 29)

(27) Washington Redskins – Since their playoff hopes are over, Redskins fans should just enjoy the comical ways their teams comes up with to lose games every week. That Hunter Smith botched extra point might have helped you to a top 5 pick. (LW: 22)

(28) Buffalo Bills – They won, so that’s something. (LW: 27).

(29) Arizona Cardinals
– Fordham University has produced Vince Lombardi, myself, and Cardinals QB John Skelton. NOT TOO SHABBY! (LW: 31)

(30) Denver Broncos – Last week, I seriously pondered whether Arizona was the worst team in the NFL. Then they blew out Denver this week, what does that say about the Broncos? (LW: 27)

(31) Cincinnati Bengals – Stretched the longest losing streak in the NFL to ten games. (LW: 30)

(32) Carolina Panthers – Not only is this a bad team, but they’re in a division with two great teams and one good one. (LW: 32)

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NFL Power Rankings Week 15: Eagles Jump Into Top 5

We'll be doing our full Week 15 power rankings tomorrow, but prior to the two Monday night games we've got a preview of the top 10 teams in the NFL. The cream of the crop hasn't changed a whole lot since last week, but I'm guessing the spots from 5-10 will see a lot of movement in most national power ranks. They certainly have in ours.

[Note by JasonB, 12/14/10 1:29 PM EST ] Our full week 15 power rankings can be found here.

(1) New England Patriots (11-2) – Another week, another blowout win over an opponent with a good record. Last week they blew out the Jets in Foxboro, this week they blew out the Bears in Chicago. Not really any debate over this one. (LW: 1)

(2) Atlanta Falcons (11-2) – The Falcons look like they're going to ride their cupcake remaining schedule straight to the No. 1 seed in the NFC. They face one more test against the Saints, but of course the game is at home. (LW: 3)

(3) Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3) – If you're a QB facing the Steelers how is the first thing you do before any play not find out where Troy Polamalu is and plan accordingly? (LW: 6)

(4) New Orleans Saints (10-3) – It's kind of a joke that the Saints are going to be a wild card with probably 12 or 13 wins and a sub .500 team from the NFC West is going to get a home game. (LW: 4)

(5) Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) – A win on the road against Dallas sets up a showdown with the New York Giants next week for NFC East supremacy. Let's see if the Giants hold up their end of the bargain with a win in Detroit tonight over the Vikings. (LW: 9)

(6) Chicago Bears (9-4) – The Bears headed into last weekend with the toughest last four games of any team in football. They failed their first test miserably by getting blown out at home by the Patriots. The Pats are a great team and I don't think there's a ton of shame in losing to them, but getting blown out at home is inexcusable. You don't get to be considered a top 5 team after that.  (LW: 5)

(7) Baltimore Ravens (8-4) – The Ravens should beat the Texans tonight which would vault them over the Bears. (LW: 6)

(8) Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5) – You have to give this team some respect, they just keep winning. Having said that... I kinda feel the same way about them as the Bears. Yes they keep winning, but I still don't think they're any good. They'll have a chance to prove me wrong next week against the Colts. (LW: 12)

(9) New York Giants (8-4) – It was a bizarre weekend for the Giants who left New York for Minnesota only to end up Kansas City before they were told to head to Detroit... It looks like they'll be facing a Brett Favre-free Vikings team in what is really a road game for both teams. If the Giants win they've got a shot to take the NFC East lead next week. (LW:9)

(10) New York Jets (9-4) – If the Packers and Chiefs hadn't lost this week, I would have been tempted to push them out of the top 10. They got a lot of wins against bad teams and are starting crumble now that the season is getting tougher. Rex Ryan admitted he thought about benching Mark Sanchez during Sunday's game. He may want to think harder if the second year man continues to struggle. (LW: 7)

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NFL Power Rankings Week 14: AFC Strikes Back!

Week 13 in the NFL saw some big moves by contenders in the AFC, but the NFC’s top teams basically just held serve. For this week’s ranks, I really decided to order teams less on what their record is and more on how I feel like they’re playing. That’s why this week’s schedule is very kind to teams like the Browns, Cowboys and Vikings, who have poor records but are playing well as of late. Also, if you want to do well in these ranks, you better have some quality wins. So Jets fans, before you get upset with your rank… take a look at your team's schedule this year.

Here we go with the Week 14 power ranks.

(1) New England Patriots (10-2) – A blowout win on Monday Night football solidifies the Pats' spot on top of the Week 14 power rankings. At this point New England is a deserved Super Bowl favorite. (LW: 1)

(2) Atlanta Falcons (10-2) – Took a big step toward getting the #1 seed in the NFC, which should scare pretty much every other team in the conference. Atlanta is a great team at home. They’re a good team on the road. (LW: 3)

(3) Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3) – The Steelers are one of those teams that you can never bet against in a fight. The uglier the game, the better they play. (LW: 6)

(4) New Orleans Saints (9-3) – The second best team in the NFC is the second best team in the NFC South. (LW: 4)

(5) Chicago Bears (9-3) – They just keep winning… We’ll find out whether the Bears are real contenders these next couple weeks. They have the toughest last four games of any team in football. (LW: 7)

(6) Baltimore Ravens (8-4) – Joe Flacco came up small when the Ravens really needed him to make a play. That seems to becoming a theme for them. Can you trust that guy at playoff time? Not yet. (LW: 5)

(7) New York Jets (9-3) – The Jets have beat exactly one team with a winning record this year. They’ve been eking out wins against bad teams the past few weeks. They ran up against a good team and got smoked. (LW: 2)

(8) Philadelphia Eagles (8-4) – With Dallas and Minnesota playing better, the Eagles suddenly have a tough stretch run in front of them. (LW: 9)

(9) New York Giants (8-4) – Every team should get to play the Redskins at least once, just as a gift to their fans. (LW: 10)

(10) Green Bay Packers (8-4) – Another team with a tough run to the end of the season that we’re going to learn a lot about. (LW: 8)

(11) Kansas City Chiefs (8-4) – This is a team that should scare anyone at home. They’re eventually going to have to go on the road in the playoffs and I have a hard time seeing how anyone could bet on them in that spot. (LW: 12)

(12) Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5) – Your AFC South leaders. That division is the AFC’s answer to the NFC South. (LW: 16)

(13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) – This a decent team, but their record was inflated by a very easy schedule. They’ve yet to beat a winning team all year. (LW: 13)

(14) St. Louis Rams (6-6) – The NFC West has a .500 team! In the next couple years, this team has shot to be actually good. (LW: 19)

(15) Seattle Seahawks (6-6) – What an exciting race for the NFC West! Who will be best of the worst? (LW: 20)

(16) Oakland Raiders (6-6) – This is the spot in the power rankings where things really go downhill. (LW: 18)

(17) San Diego Chargers (6-6) – They needed to be flawless to overcome their awful start. Instead, they got smoked at home by the Raiders. (LW: 14)

(18) Minnesota Vikings (5-7) – Of all the interim coaches, I think Leslie Frazier has the best shot at keeping the job. (LW: 25)

(19) Cleveland Browns (5-7) – The Browns have a winning record in the second half of the season. (LW: 23)

(20) Dallas Cowboys (4-8) – Still a terrible record, but they’re playing better than most of these 6-6 teams. Although now they’ve lost Dez Bryant for the year. (LW: 26)

(21) Indianapolis Colts (6-6) – 8 INTS for Manning over two weeks. I’m talking about Peyton by the way. (LW: 14)

(22) Miami Dolphins (6-6) – Last week I said “I have absolutely no idea what to expect of this team from week to week.” I’m starting to expect them to stink now, and they aren’t letting me down. (LW: 15)

(23) Houston Texans (5-7) – The Texans are like watching re-reruns of a bad horror movie. (LW: 17)

(24) Tennessee Titans (5-7) – That Randy Moss trade has worked out great! (LW: 18)

(25) Washington Redskins (5-7) – I was going to say it’s getting ugly in Washington, but I realized there’s no reason to use the word “getting.” (LW: 22)

(26) San Francisco 49ers (4-8) – Mike Singletary is going back to Alex Smith this week. I was going to explore why, but I just decided to go on living my life instead. (LW: 24)

(27) Buffalo Bills (2-10) – Last week was one of only two times this season they’ve beaten by more than one score. (LW: 28).

(28) Denver Broncos (3-9) – Maybe I should have moved them up simply because they shed themselves of Josh McDaniels. (LW: 27)

(29) Detroit Lions (2-10) – Got screwed by the refs against the Bears… again! (LW: 29)

(30) Cincinnati Bengals (2-10) – If they get the top pick, should they take a QB? The Bengals now have the longest losing streak in the NFL: Nine games. (LW: 30)

(31) Arizona Cardinals (3-9) – Meet the owners of the second longest losing streak in the NFL. Seven straight. (LW: 30)

(32) Carolina Panthers (1-11) – This show “The Walking Dead” is really good huh? (LW: 32)

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NFL Power Rankings Week 13: Eagles Hanging In Top Ten

The Eagles lost this week, which will no doubt hurt their power rankings… but it was a road loss to a good team. Plus, it was just one loss after three straight wins. Even the biggest homers likely weren’t expecting the Eagles to run the table, so they were going to lose eventually. I’d prefer it to be to the Bears rather than the Giants or Cowboys…

While the Eagles will drop this week, they’re still a top 10 team. We’re at the point in the NFL season where the playoff picture is getting clearer. The pretenders are gone and unless you’re in the NFC or AFC West, we know which teams have a shot. So without further ado, here are SBNation.com’s NFL power rankings for week 13. The ranks are theirs, the comments are mine.

(1) New England Patriots (9-2) – So far the Eagles have been a part of the three highest rated games on the NFL season, that’s probably going to change next Monday night when the Pats face the Jets in one of the biggest games of the NFL season. (LW: 1)

(2) New York Jets (9-2) – The last time the Jets played a winning team, they were shut out. Can their luck continue against the Patriots? (LW: 2)

(3) Atlanta Falcons (9-2) – Maybe "Matty Ice" could win a playoff game before he earns a nickname that sounds like he’s "clutch?" If not a playoff game, how about just a couple of decent road wins? (LW: 3)

(4) New Orleans Saints (8-3) – Any team who beat Dallas in Dallas on national TV is ok by me.. (LW: 4)

(5) Baltimore Ravens (8-3) – Pats Vs Jets in one primetime game next week, Ravens vs Steelers in the other all in the same weekend! (LW: 5)

(6) Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) – If God hadn’t prevented Steve Johnson from catching that pass, who knows how far Pitt would have dropped? (LW: 6)

(7) Chicago Bears (8-3) – Bears finally got a quality win, even though they nearly lost it at the end. They’ve got a brutal schedule from here on out. (LW: 11)

(8) Green Bay Packers (7-4) – Like the Eagles, they lost a tough road game against a quality opponent. That happens. (LW: 7)

(9) Philadelphia Eagles (7-4) – You must be doing something right when people are praising the opposing defenses for holding your offense to only 50+ points in two games. (LW: 8)

(10) New York Giants (7-4) – Last week, they were in another second half free fall. This week, everything is cured and Superbowl is next right Giants fans? (LW: 10)

(11) San Diego Chargers (6-5) – If this team had any semblance of a special teams early in the year, many would be talking about them as the best team in the league. (LW: 14)

(12) Kansas City Chiefs (7-4) – This is just a hell of a team at home. (LW: 13)

(13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4) – Failed a test against a good team in Baltimore. Will Atlanta further expose the Bucs next week? (LW: 12)

(14) Indianapolis Colts (6-5) – Maybe it’s the injuries, maybe they just aren’t very good. Either way, this isn’t your father’s Colts team. (LW: 9)

(15) Miami Dolphins (6-5) – I have absolutely no idea what to expect of this team from week to week. None. (LW: 17)

(16) Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5) – This is a team who I watch and don’t see how they’re any good, yet there they are atop their division. (LW: 15)

(17) Houston Texans (5-6) – THey’ll be bringing the NFL’s worst pass defense into Philadelphia on short rest this week. Probably won’t be pretty. At least Andre Johnson won’t get upset because Asante Samuel is being too rough. (LW: 20)

(18) Oakland Raiders (5-6) – So the Raiders stink again right? Because for a bit there it looked like they were kinda good. I suppose it was just an illusion. (LW: 16)

(19) St. Louis Rams (5-6) – Hey look. a road win! And they’ve got a pretty good shot at getting another against the Cardinals. (LW: 22)

(20) Seattle Seahawks (5-6) – It’s a crime that a team this bad is probably going to make the playoffs. (LW: 21)

(21) Tennessee Titans (5-6) – If anyone other than Rusty Smith plays QB for this team for the rest of the year they’ll probably win their division. (LW: 18)

(22) Washington Redskins (5-6) – Lost at home to the Vikings just when it seemed like maybe they’d turned things around. It probably won’t be pretty when they travel to face the Giants this week. (LW: 19)

(23) Cleveland Browns (4-7) – At least one fanbase thinks Josh McDaniels is doing a great job. (LW: 23)

(24) San Francisco 49ers (4-7) – Brian Westbrook dialed back the clock last night with a big performance, but he’s been resting on the bench all year. Can he stay healthy now that he’ll carry the load with Frank Gore out for the year? (LW: 25)

(25) Minnesota Vikings (4-7) – The new coach bump is 2-0 this season. I say fire Leslie Frazier this week and keep it rolling. (LW: 27)

(26) Dallas Cowboys (3-8) – All wins do is hurt their draft position at this point and convince Jerry Jones that Jason Garrett actually had nothing to do with the disappointment of this season. So in that way, losing on Thanksgiving was good. (LW: 24)

(27) Denver Broncos (3-8) – Is Josh McDaniels the worst coach in the NFL right now? Seriously, Wade Phillips is gone. It may be true. (LW: 26)

(28) Buffalo Bills (2-9) – They were on track for the biggest upset of the season until God screwed it up. (LW: 28).

(29) Detroit Lions (2-9) – The Thanksgiving tradition of watching the Lions get blown out on Thanksgiving continues. (LW: 29)

(30) Cincinnati Bengals (2-9) – More people might be watching the awful TOcho show than the Bengals at this point. (LW: 31)

(31) Arizona Cardinals (3-8) – I agree with Derek Anderson, there’s nothing funny about this. If this team isn’t proof that it’s a QB’s league, nothing is. (LW: 30)

(32) Carolina Panthers (1-10) – The latest team to get run over by Peyton Hillis. The only thinkg they should be worrying about is whether to take a QB with their top 2 pick next year or whether one of the 8 QBs they drafted last year can play. (LW: 32)

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NFL Power Rankings Week 12: Eagles Flying High

More NFL power rankings are out and there hasn’t been a whole lot of movement in the top five. The Eagles got themselves a big win on Sunday over the Giants, but so did teams like the Patriots… So the polls where the Eagles move the most are the ones who still had them sitting behind the Giants last week.

SB Nation has the Eagles at No. 5.

The Eagles could be ranked higher the way they’re playing. They have two road games against the Bears and Giants remaining. After that, they play no teams with winning records. The Eagles have a lot of potential to grow.

ESPN has the Eagles holding steady at No. 6.

Michael Vick was impressive overcoming adversity Sunday on what wasn’t his best night.

FOX Sports has the Eagles up three spots to No. 6 behind the Saints.

Philadelphia was able to win a game last week where it didn’t get a super-human effort from veteran QB Michael Vick. It was important for the Eagles to get major contributions from players from both sides of the ball.

Real Clear Sports, who takes the average ranks of a number of national polls has the Eagles tied at No. 5 with the Green Bay Packers this week.

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NFL Power Rankings Week 12: Eagles Rise To Top Five

With yet another win over an opponent with a winning record, a category they lead the league in, the Philadelphia Eagles have solidified themselves as a top five team in the NFL. Last week, we noted that power rankers were failing to recognize the significance of the fact that the Eagles had beaten multiple teams with winning records by ranking the Giants, who had an identical record to the Eagles and had only won win against a winning opponent, ahead of them in most polls. The Eagles 27-17 victory over the Giants, who lost yet another game to a quality opponent, clearly erased the notion that the Eagles should be behind the Giants.

Most power ranks are still ranking the Atlanta Falcons, who were beaten soundly in Philadelphia when the teams played head to head, ahead of the Eagles mostly because they have one extra win. I understand the motivation there, but what are the point of power rankings if you’re just going to rank exclusively by number of wins? That’s what we have standings for after all.

Although there’s some shuffling as to where they’re ranked, there’s a pretty good consensus among national power ranks as to the who the top four teams in the NFL are right now. The Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, New York Jets, & Philadelphia Eagles.

CBS Sports has the Eagles at #4

The improvement of the offensive line has been a major difference for this team the past month. They need to be better this week at Chicago.

Yahoo! Sports also has Philly at #4

Philly was an Eli Manning slide away from blowing the lead at home during a game in which they should have had a 28-3 lead at the half. They remain at the four spot in these NFL power rankings.

Fanhouse, who loved the Eagles last week, loves them again with a #2 ranking

Sunday night's Eagles-Giants matchup seemed like it might decide the NFC favorite for the Super Bowl, and Philadelphia came out on top, despite a very ugly third quarter. This team hinges on Michael Vick staying healthy; if he does, the Eagles could hoist their first championship trophy

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NFL Power Rankings Week 11: Philadelphia Eagles All Over Top Ten

Every major national NFL power ranking has the Eagles climbing up this week, but some had me scratching my head… ESPN has the Eagles at a respectable sixth, up two spots from last week. Their number one is the Atlanta Falcons, who have just one more win than the Eagles and were completely blown out in Philadelphia with Kevin Kolb at QB.

But you know what? That’s ok. The Falcons have played well recently, they got a big win over the Ravens… We’ll accept that, but the FOX sports rankings really befuddled me. They’ve got the Eagles at #9 behind such teams as the Colts, Giants, Saints, & the aforementioned Falcons. The Colts? That team has an identical record to the Eagles and were just beaten by them head to head. What other proof would one need to think the Eagles are a better team right now? The Giants and Eagles also have an identical record, but the Eagles have beaten two teams ranked in the top 10. The Giants have beaten none.

Real Clear Sports, who takes the average ranks of a number of national polls has the Eagles ranked at #6 this week.

Fanhouse has the Eagles all the way up at #2.

Be afraid of Michael Vick. Against the Redskins, Vick threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more — and that was before halftime. The Eagles set a franchise record for first-quarter and first-half points, and did everything right while trashing division foe Washington Monday night. A date with the Giants next week gives the Eagles a chance to solidify themselves as the class of the NFC East, if not the entire conference.

CBS has the Eagles up three spots to #4 this week.

The way Mike Vick is playing, it’s hard to count them out of anything. He’s elevated his game in a big way. They play so fast on offense.

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NFL Power Rankings Week 11: Eagles Rocket Up The Ranks

The Philadelphia Eagles made a serious statement of intent to the NFL last night and the folks who make the power ranks are taking notice. Michael Vick’s legendary performance and the Eagles destruction of the Redskins in front of a prime time audience has put them in the argument for the best team in the NFC. When you consider that earlier this season they also blew out the Atlanta Falcons, who many considered the NFC’s best last week, the Eagles have a better argument to be #1 than you might realize.

If Birds beat the Giants next week, once again on national TV, I think the debate will pretty much be moot and the Eagles will take the top spot in the NFC and arguably the entire NFL. For now, our latest SBNation power ranks have the Eagles breaking into the league’s top 5.

32. Carolina Panthers (1-8)
31. Arizona Cardinals (3-6)
30. Detroit Lions (2-7)
29. Cincinnati Bengals (2-7)
28. Buffalo Bills (1-8)
27. Dallas Cowboys (2-7)
26. Minnesota Vikings (3-6)
25. Denver Broncos (3-6)
24. San Francisco 49ers (3-6)
23. Washington Redskins (4-5)
22. St. Louis Rams (4-5)
21. Cleveland Browns (3-6)
20. Houston Texans (4-5)
19. Seattle Seahawks (5-4)
18. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4)
17. Kansas City Chiefs (5-4)
16. Miami Dolphins (5-4)
15. San Diego Chargers (4-5)
14. Tennessee Titans (5-4)
13. Oakland Raiders (5-4)
12. Chicago Bears (6-3)
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3)
10. New York Giants (6-3)
9. New Orleans Saints (6-3
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)
7. Baltimore Ravens (6-3)
6. Indianapolis Colts (6-3)
5. Philadelphia Eagles (6-3)
4. New York Jets (7-2)
3. Atlanta Falcons (7-2)
2. Green Bay Packers (6-3)
1. New England Patriots (7-2)

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NFL Power Rankings Week 10: Eagles On The Rise

The Eagles got themselves a statement win on Sunday and the national rankings are reflecting that as they’ve jumped into the top 10 in every national poll. The Eagles seem to be firmly behind the Giants as the second best team in the NFC. Inexplicably, the Giants have actually made it to the top of a couple of these rankings despite probably not even having one quality win this season. They’ve beat exactly one team with a winning record, the Chicago Bears. The Bears have already started to melt down and probably won’t be above .500 for much longer.

Our own SBNation.com poll has the Eagles at #10 this week.

Impressive win over the Colts on Sunday. In two weeks they’ll have a shot at catching up to the Giants when New York visits Philly.

ESPN has the Eagles jumping up 4 spots to #8 this week.

Michael Vick is willing to take as many hits as necessary if it means winning.

FOX Sports also has the Eagles up 4 spots to #10

While they closed last week’s game well against the visiting Colts, Philadelphia needs to beat the teams they’re clearly better than such as this week’s opponent. For this team to go far, it must get more consistent play from the defense, especially in the backend.


Real Clear Sports
, who takes the average ranks of a number of national polls has the Eagles tied with the Saints for #9 this week.

CBS has the Eagles up a whopping 5 spots to #7

Mike Vick really adds spice to the offense with his legs. His ability to scramble really complements what LeSean McCoy does on the ground. Now they get Donovan McNabb again in a revenge game.

The Sporting News has the Eagles at #9 this week and picked an unlikely player to highlight

David Akers, 35, has been kicking around for the whole Andy Reid era, and he remains an elite kicker.

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NFL Power Rankings Week 9: Eagles Hold Steady During Bye Week

The Eagles didn’t play this weekend and subsequently didn’t move in this week’s SBNation power rankings. The Eagles have held steady at #14, but did see their rank in the NFC East improve. Last week, they were 3rd in the NFC East behind the Giants and Redskins, but after the Skins bombed in Detroit this week they plunged down the ranks and the Eagles became the #2 team in the division.

The biggest beneficiary of a bye week were the Ravens, who rose from #5 to #3 despite not even playing. The Falcons also moved up a spot during their bye week. The top five are the Patriots, Colts, Ravens, Packers and Jets.

As far as the NFC East teams. The Giants are #7, the Eagles #14, Redskins #18, and the Dallas Cowboys all the way down at #30.

This week, the Eagles obviously have a huge opportunity to stake their claim as a contender as they host the #2 ranked Indianapolis Colts. With a win, the Eagles could certainly make a claim to be one of, if not the top team in the NFC.

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NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Eagles Slide Back To The Middle

Last week, the Eagles had a statement win against the Falcons, which launched them up into the top 10 of most national power rankings… This week, they were on the other end of a statement win by the Titans and seem to have slid back into the middle of the pack as far as the rankings go. Like we’ve pointed out in recent weeks though, there still hasn’t been a clear difference that’s developed between the teams in the area of #18 to #20. There’s a lot of parity, or mediocrity if you like, in the league this year. Maybe moreso than ever.

The latest SBNation.com power rankings drops the Eagles four spots to #14 this week. This puts them directly behind the Redskins and #3 in the NFC East. Overall, the Eagles are ranked as the #6 team in the NFC.

The Eagles have their bye this week and then will face the #4 ranked Indianapolis Colts in two weeks.

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