Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Power Rankings: Redskins rising
By Dan Graziano
It's Power Rankings day here at ESPN.com, and the voters have spoken. Here's how our division's teams fared this week:
6. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week's ranking: 3). The Eagles drop from their elite perch following their Sunday night loss in Atlanta and the injury to Michael Vick. Their ranking appears to have been hurt especially by John Clayton ranking them 11th, which strikes me as a tad harsh. I mean, it's not as though no one's gone to Atlanta and lost the past couple of years. The run defense and the pass protection -- two preseason areas of concern -- looked worrisome. And without Vick, I agree that they're not a top-five team. But they're still loaded in a lot of places, and Vick isn't guaranteed to miss time. I'd rank them above the Texans, who moved ahead of them into fifth.
13. Dallas Cowboys (13). The overtime win in San Francisco kept Dallas right where they were last week, which I think it's about right for now. I still think they'll end up being better than the Bears (10) and Lions (11) before it's all said and done, but based on what we've seen so far you couldn't put them ahead of Detroit just yet. The defense has outperformed expectations, but the injuries they have on offense could make it tough to score for the next few weeks, so they'll do well just to hang in the middle of the pack for now.
15. Washington Redskins (19). That's a 13-spot jump in two weeks from a team that began the season ranked 28th on this list. Only the Bills (11 spots), Titans (eight spots) and Texans (five spots) made bigger jumps this week than did the Redskins, who vault into the top half of the list. Based on the way they've played so far, they've earned the spot, and clearly they never belonged down at 28 in the first place (as at least one astute and ruggedly handsome blogger said at the time). You could even make the case to rank them ahead of San Diego, Dallas or Tampa Bay -- the three teams directly ahead of them -- based only on the way they've played so far. But I think it's fair to put them where they are right now until we see more. If they're 3-0 this time next week, I expect another big jump, not to mention a lot of Rex Grossman feature stories in national publications.
18. New York Giants (17). One of only two teams (along with the Steelers) to win their Week 2 game and drop in the rankings, the Giants surely suffered for how awful they looked in their Monday Night Football victory over the Rams. They have major issues still to solve, especially on the health front, and they look awful in the secondary and shaky in the run game. Ashley Fox has them ranked 14th, which saves them from dropping further. Three of the five voters ranked the Giants in the 20s. Personally, based on results so far, the only team behind them I think I might move ahead of them is Oakland, but that's no sure thing. They're in about the right spot, for me, but you could see the bottom dropping out with a few more injuries.
So yeah. That's Power Rankings for Week 3. Your thoughts?