Tuesday, October 18, 2011
NFL Power Rankings: Middle of the pack
By Dan Graziano
It's Power Rankings day! And you know what that means, right? Well, technically, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't mean a whole lot. But it's our weekly chance to debate, argue and analyze the relative merits of the NFL's 32 teams. Here, we take a look at how the four teams in our division fared in this week's voting, in order:
New York Giants: 11 (Last week, 14)
Ah, the Giants. They beat the Eagles, they go up to 12. They win in Arizona, they go up to 10. They lose to Seattle, they drop to 14. They beat the Bills, back up to 11. It seems no one knows what to make of the Giants. Paul Kuharsky ranks them eighth. John Clayton ninth. James Walker, 16th, and he was at the Buffalo game! These Giants are a conundrum -- winning more games than it seems they should be winning. But it's the wins on which all teams are judged, and the fact is they're 4-2.
Washington Redskins: 15 (10)
The Redskins are 3-2, but trending the other way. An ugly loss Sunday to the Eagles knocked Washington out of its lofty top-10 perch and back down to the middle where I think they belong. I'm interested to see what happens from here on out, as they'll have a harder time mustering much offense with their line banged-up, and they aren't going to dazzle anybody even if the defense can win them some games.
Philadelphia Eagles: 20 (21)
A division road win only moves you up one spot. Tough crowd, but the Eagles did little before Sunday to earn any benefit of the doubt. Watching them play, there are times when it's impossible to imagine that there are 19 teams better. But they are 2-4 and have done some really bad things to get there, so they have to work to earn their way back up the standings and in the minds of the voters. They get a week off, so they could move up next week if the teams in front of them lose. But at this point, I think everybody feels we need to see it from the Eagles before we can believe it.
Dallas Cowboys: 21 (15)
This seems a little harsh -- a six-point drop after a last-minute road loss in New England. I mean, I know they had the lead late, but was that a game they were really supposed to win? Walker has them 15th, higher than any other team in the division, but each of the other voters ranked them one spot behind Philadelphia. I fail to see anything the 2-4 Eagles have done to this point to warrant being ranked ahead of the 2-3 Cowboys. But that's just me, and we have 11 more weeks left to sort all of this out.