Every Tuesday afternoon, the nation gathers around its collective cubicle to discuss the ESPN.com Power Rankings. I thought the Dallas Cowboys caught a break with a No. 29 ranking in light of their 35-17 home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. As he does each and every week, NFC West blogger Mike Sando pulls back the curtain on the once-mysterious voting process:
7. New York Giants: I think you could make a case for the Giants to be a little higher than this with a 5-2 record. I'm not convinced the Jets and the Falcons are better than the Giants at this point in the season. The Jets were shut out at home by the Packers -- and they only fell two spots. That doesn't make much sense to me. At least AFC North blogger James Walker tried to downgrade the Jets with a "6" on his ballot. Paul Kuharsky of AFC South blogging fame gave the Giants their lowest number with a ninth-place vote.
12. Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles only fell one spot by not playing Sunday. John "The Professor" Clayton had them at No. 9, but his vote was neutralized when Walker recorded a "13" on his ballot. If the Eagles beat the Colts on Sunday, look for them to move up at least five spots. The Colts checked in at No. 5 in the Power Rankings this week.
18. Washington Redskins: Kuharsky refuses to give up on this team, ranking them No. 15. Clayton, who predicted the Skins would challenge the Cowboys for NFC East supremacy this season, has downgraded Mike Shanahan's team to "20" on his ballot.
29. Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys may have ended up in the 30s if not for the benevolence of Kuharsky, who had them at "25." Both Sando and Clayton had the Cowboys 30th on their respective ballots. The Jaguars moved up six spots in the Rankings based on their road win over the Cowboys. I think the Cowboys can stay in front of the Bills, but the 49ers and Panthers will eventually track them down.
The NFC East has fallen to fifth in the overall divisional rankings. Kuharsky gave the Beast an overall "15," but he was canceled out by Sando's crushing 17.5. And if you're bored at work, these colorful historical charts are a good way to kill some time.