Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Power Rankings: Giants rising, Cowboys fall
By Dan Graziano
A look at where the NFC East's teams placed in this week's Power Rankings, where they placed on my ballot and why. Enjoy.
3. New York Giants (Last week: 7). The Giants actually tied for No. 2 with the Houston Texans but lost on the best-record tiebreaker. (And yes, I find it very funny that the Texans were unanimously No. 3 on every ballot and yet come in at No. 2 in the poll. I like quirky math things.) I put the Giants No. 2 on my ballot, behind only the undefeated Falcons. I thought about putting them No. 1, but 6-0 is 6-0 and as impressive as the Giants' victory in San Francisco was, it was their first true quality win of the year. No. 2 is where the Giants were on my preseason ballot (behind the Packers), and I think they're capable of being the best team in the league on any given week. What they have to show is consistency of effort and intensity, and to this point they have not. But if the run game and the pass rush are coming around, they could spend a lot of time up here near the very top of the poll.
13. Philadelphia Eagles (11). The loss that got Juan Castillo fired drops the Eagles only two spots in the rankings. Me, I dropped them from No. 9 to No. 10, mainly because I didn't have a team other than the Broncos I felt deserved to jump them. But I have them ranked higher than everyone else does, and I'm not as high on teams like the Seahawks (only good at home) and Vikings as other voters are. Might be nearing time for a midseason re-evaluation, and I admit my Eagles ranking may still be relying more on what I think they're capable of than what they have accomplished so far this season, but that's where I am with it.
15. Washington Redskins (21). This is an example, however, of the opposite case. I think people are holding their preseason opinion of the Redskins against them too much and ignoring what they've accomplished. This is a team scoring 29.3 points per game, and if you don't think Robert Griffin III is a real NFL quarterback, right at this moment, then you haven't watched him. I have the Redskins at 12. Mike Sando has them at 20 and John Clayton at 22. With one of the highest-scoring offenses in the league and a defense that is outperforming its individual players' own résumés, I think they deserve better.
18. Dallas Cowboys (13). I kept them at 13, which is where I had them last week. Could have put the Seahawks or Vikings ahead of them, but we've been over that. And besides, I thought the Cowboys played as well Sunday as they have since Week 1. A two-point loss in Baltimore, where no one ever wins, that could have been a win if a field goal attempt had been two feet to the right, isn't a droppable offense for me.
What do you guys think?