Deconstructing the power rankings

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Thanks to NFC West blogger/archivist Mike Sando, we've pulled back the curtain on what used to be a secret vote. I've had a chance to digest the power rankings, so now I can tell you who to be mad at -- other than me.

AFC North blogger James Walker was able to see first-hand Monday night the scientific formula I use to come up with the rankings. This required me to pull out a copy of the NFL standings in the Post-Gazette while James attempted to finish off his crab cakes and mac and cheese at the one restaurant in the Pittsburgh theater district that stays open past 8 p.m.

Five of the 12 "experts" ranked the Giants No. 1 despite their 20-14 loss to the Eagles. As most of you know, the NFC Beast dropped the Giants to No. 2 behind the Tennessee Titans. AFC East blogger Tim Graham drew the ire of Nashville residents by ranking the Titans third in the power rankings. His e-mail will be posted in Wednesday's edition of The Tennessean.

The Cowboys settled in at No. 8 after their fourth-quarter collapse in Pittsburgh. But Scouts Inc. stalwart Matt Williamson still has a lot of love for the Cowboys, ranking them fourth. Kevin Seifert had the Cowboys 15th overall, behind teams such as the Dolphins and Vikings. Please send your holiday greetings to Kevin at his old address in Minneapolis.

Sando fell in love with the Eagles all over again, ranking them No. 8. But Jeff Chadiha kept things balanced by listing Philly 17th. In his defense, he's been tough on the Eagles for weeks. Jeff's not quite ready to trust this team.

The Redskins fell to 18th in the rankings, which may have been generous. This team's in a free-fall and the injuries keep coming from both sides of the ball. Jim Zorn told his players that no one else is allowed to get injured. And he seemed serious about that. Graham's the only blogger who's not quite willing to give up on the Redskins. He had them at No. 15.

The most curious vote of the day goes to the polarizing Sando, who ranked the Falcons 17th. I didn't give up on Matty Ice following the road loss to the Saints. I have them at No. 8 -- and three other panelists agreed with me.

I tried desperately to poke holes in one of John Clayton's selections, but The Professor was on his game Tuesday. He'll have the inactives for Sunday later this afternoon.