Three weeks are in the books, and it’s time again for our power rankings. We have some shifts in both conferences this week, and if the team was ranked last week, the ranking will be next to the team name. Let’s get to it!
NFC Top 5
1. Dallas (1) – Boy the Cowboys looked good vs the Packers. Tony Romo is leading an offense that can afford to have an off night from Terrell Owens. That running game is lethal with Marion Barber and Felix Jones, and the defense made life tough for Aaron Rodgers and a Packers offense that had looked good in weeks one and two. Washington usually gives the Boys trouble, so we’ll see if they can this week.
2. NY Giants (2) – Wasn’t easy, but Big Blue went to OT and got it done vs the Bengals at the Meadowlands. Amani Toomer came up with a huge grab in the OT, and this team is still dangerous to give teams a lot of issues around the league. They get a week of rest, then have the Seahawks at home in two weeks in a game where they should be favored to be 4-0 when it’s all said and done.
3. Philadelphia (5) – This gang of green didn’t need much offense Sunday vs the Steelers, that’s due to the fact they made Ben Roethlisberger their personal tackling dummy. The injury to Brian Westbrook is going to be huge to watch the next few days, and hopefully he can go vs the Bears on Sunday night. If not, look for Donovan McNabb to wear out his arm with plenty of throws vs the Windy City Boys.
4. Green Bay (3) – A setback vs the Cowboys Sunday night, but it may long-term be good to show how far the Packers have to go vs the elite in the NFC. Aaron Rodgers and the offense has to learn to finish, while the defense got slapped in the face and will have to respond. A game at Tampa Bay this Sunday is not going to be easy. Need to see more from the running backs, starting with Ryan Grant.
5. Tampa Bay (-) – The Bucs jump to five with a gutsy comeback win over the Bears 27-24 in OT Sunday in Chicago. Brian Griese surely will win Offensive Player of the Week honors, as he was on over the last quarter and OT when he led the team back from a double digit deficit. With the defense looking good (scored vs the Bears) and Griese and the offense able to score, this team will be tough to dethrone in the NFC South.
NFC Bottom 3
1. St.Louis (1) – You can sense that Scott Linehan had better not buy any green bannas, as he is about to be on the coaching market with no job. The Rams are just awful, and somehow are worse than last year. Marc Bulger has no answers, Steven Jackson has no answers, and even the 1-15 Dolphins didn’t look this bad last season.
2. Detroit (2) – Upper management is now coming out and saying it’s time to bail on GM Matt Millen, and it’s about time. The Lions defense is giving teams double digit leads week in and week out before the offense can even respond. Jon Kitna is hurt, the running game is nowhere to be found, and the defense is terrible. Look for Millen to be gone, and possibly Rod Marinelli to follow.
3. Seattle (3) – A win over the Rams was a step in the right direction, but again, it was just the Rams. We need to see more of this team, and they will get their shot at that in their next three weeks after this weeks bye with games at the Giants, vs Green Bay and at Tampa Bay. They have to get better on both sides of the ball.
AFC Top 5
1. Denver (3) – The Broncos got the benefit of another no-call Sunday, but it’s not their fault, and they took advantage of it in a 34-32 win over the Saints. They have scored 114 points, meaning we know they can score when they need to, but have to shore up that defense a bit if they are going to stay in the top spot long term in the AFC.
2. Tennessee (-) – It’s about time that we give credit to this group, as the Titans are a team that as the season goes along no one is going to want to play. They can run the ball, play great defense, and as long as the QB, whoever that is, doesn’t lose the game, they will be fine. Look for this unit to keep winning and putting pressure on the Colts and Jags for the top spot in the AFC South.
3. Buffalo (4) – Down by nine in the 4th vs the Raiders, Trent Edwards again led this team back as they moved to 3-0 with a comeback 24-23 win. Buffalo of 08 is a lot different from the team that was running through the AFC in the 90’s with Jim Kelly and the K-gun offense, but make no mistake, this is a good team that may be playing over its head, but look like they can hang with the best in the conference.
4. Baltimore (-) – This is a team run by defense and chaos, and they did that Sunday as they pounded the Browns with a 21-point third quarter in a 28-10 win. They have two solid running backs, and as long as Joe Flacco continues to improve, this team could be better than a lot of people thought. An upset of the Steelers this week on Monday night would make a statement in the AFC North.
5. New England (1) – The Pats have to get their due, this despite their record-breaking regular season winning streak getting blown out by the Dolphins Sunday. They still have a great system, and playmakers that have to start stepping up, as they realize that it won’t be easy without their leader in Tom Brady. They get a week off before they head to SF for an interesting game with the Niners.
AFC Bottom 3
1. Kansas City (2) – The Chiefs are going to be hard pressed to win more than 3 games this year, as they are really a train wreck. Three QB’s (all bad by the way) in three weeks, and a defense that can’t stop the run or the pass right now. Larry Johnson is at least a bright spot, and they have to find someway to get him involved even more and ride him as much as they can.
2. Cleveland (3) – Big trouble for Romeo Crennel and this team, who for whatever reason decided that they would be able to show up on Sundays and be right back to being a 10-win team. Not so fast. It’s amazing what a difference a year makes, as well as a schedule that has exposed them on both sides of the ball. Maybe they can actually get a win this week vs the rival Bengals.
3. Cincinnati (1) – Speaking of which, the Bengals should get some credit as they showed up and played hard vs the Giants, and almost pulled off the major upset. In the end though, they let the Giants off the hook, and a few big OT plays were enough to do them in. They should have success vs the Browns this week, as they are favorites and should expose the Browns weak secondary.