NFL Week 5: Power Rankings


NFL Week 5: Power Rankings
By Michael D. Wright
9.29.08

I hate ESPN’s Power Rankings, because you can see their bent toward (and conversely AGAINST) certain teams. Mine is less biased and based upon reality, the way all facets of each team plays and the overall impression each team leaves on me — regardless of fandom and rivalries. I figure the Week 4 mark is 1/4 of the season and the first true barometer of where teams stand. I will probably do this bi-weekly, depending on how drastically things shift in the league. If not, it will remain quarterly (Week 8, 12, 16/17, etc.)

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

Here are ESPN’s Power Rankings
9.30.08
* Previous Week’s Ranking in ( )

1 (2) Giants 3-0-0 Took the NFC East lead without getting off the couch. With the Seahawks coming in, Giants are staring at 4-0. (MM)

2 (4) Titans 4-0-0 Hard to find fault with the franchise’s first 4-0 start. But you have to take note that the teams they’ve beaten are 3-12 combined. The Titans are the only team that has played three home games. (PK)

3 (1) Cowboys 3-1-0 We’ll see if the loss to the Redskins is a wake-up call. The good news is Cincinnati, Arizona and St. Louis are next. (MM)

4 (6) Bills 4-0-0 The Bills have overcome three straight fourth-quarter deficits to remain undefeated. Their opponents have a combined record of 4-11, but the Bills have been sensational when it matters most. (TG)

5 (5) Steelers 3-1-0 The Steelers got back on track with a big win against Baltimore to solidify their spot as one of the AFC’s best. (JW)

6 (15) Redskins 3-1-0 Beating the Cowboys on their home turf has to count for something. Big game with Philly looms. (MM)

7 (10) Panthers 3-1-0 Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad give Panthers best receiver duo since Muhammad’s departure three years ago. (PY)

8 (9) Chargers 2-2-0 The Chargers’ win over Oakland wasn’t pretty, but 25 points in the fourth quarter is a nice indication of what this team can do. (BW)

9 (3) Eagles 2-2-0 Deserve a little grace for playing without Brian Westbrook, L.J. Smith and Shawn Andrews. Can’t afford to lose at home to the Redskins. (MM)

10 (13) Buccaneers 3-1-0 Brian Griese 3-0 since taking over as starter. (PY)

11 (7) Broncos 3-1-0 The Broncos will continue to slide down the rankings if their defense can’t improve. Too much pressure is being put on the Denver offense. (BW)

12 (14) Jaguars 2-2-0 Two consecutive late-game rallies, spurred by a precise David Garrard. They’ve officially survived the 0-2 start and losses to Tennessee and Buffalo don’t look so bad. (PK)

13 (11) Patriots 2-1-0 Eviscerating loss to Dolphins in Week 3 gave Patriots plenty to work on in their bye week. If they can’t beat the 49ers on Sunday, prepare for panic to set in. (TG)

14 (17) Ravens 2-1-0 There’s nothing wrong with a 2-1 start. But the Ravens missed out on a chance to make a huge statement in Monday’s road loss to Pittsburgh. (JW)

15 (8) Packers 2-2-0 The Packers might have to start their backup quarterback for the first time in 16 years if Aaron Rodgers can’t recover from a sprained shoulder. (KS)

16 (16) Saints 2-2-0 Deuce McAllister is back to bring much-needed balance to the offense. (PY)

17 (12) Colts 1-2-0 The Colts enjoyed a week off to help refocus and heal. But the best medicine could be the Texans, who’ve only beaten Indy once. (PK)

18 (20) Bears 2-2-0 The Bears hope they turned the corner in defeating
Philadelphia. One thing is for certain: They showed important versatility on offense. (KS)

19 (21) Jets 2-2-0 Brett Favre’s six-touchdown day breathes new life into the Jets heading into their bye week. But defense ranks 28th on points allowed and 24th in yards allowed. (TG)

20 (18) Cardinals 2-2-0 Pass protection must improve or Kurt Warner won’t last. Cards face must-win vs. Buffalo. (MS)

21 (19) Vikings 1-3-0 It doesn’t get any easier this week at New Orleans on Monday Night Football. (KS)

22 (22) 49ers 2-2-0 J.T. O’Sullivan has taken 19 sacks in four games. Tough week for Niners with Pats coming off bye. (MS)

23 (23) Seahawks 1-2-0 Bye week allowed Seahawks to get healthier at receiver. Defense must step up. (MS)

24 (24) Falcons 2-2-0 Falcons beating bad teams and losing to good ones. Must keep Michael Turner running against the good ones. (PY)

25 (26) Browns 1-3-0 The Battle of Ohio wasn’t pretty. But the Browns finally got a win and have the bye week to try to get better. (JW)

26 (25) Dolphins 1-2-0 Dolphins shocked the NFL with a crazy romp over the Patriots in Week 3. If the Dolphins can follow up with a win at home over the Chargers, they would rekindle long-lost hopes in South Florida. (TG)

27 (27) Texans 0-3-0 Remaining upbeat despite losing a game they should have won. Ready for a full month at home in Reliant Stadium with the roof open. (PK)

28 (29) Raiders 1-3-0 The Raiders may be a mess, but this team is playing hard. Good things will start to happen if that trend continues. (BW)

29 (31) Chiefs 1-3-0 The Chiefs deserve a lot of credit for their big win over Denver. Many pundits thought they’d go 0-16. That is no longer a worry. (BW)

30 (28) Bengals 0-4-0 This team wasn’t good with Carson Palmer. Without him, it might be the worst team in the league. (JW)

31 (30) Lions 0-3-0 Matt Millen’s departure doesn’t make them any better. At least not this year. (KS)

32 (32) Rams 0-4-0 Rams would be wise to give Marc Bulger another shot. Trent Green’s not the long-term answer. (MS)

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