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Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Power Rankings: Giants up to No. 2

By Dan Graziano

Yes, it's Power Rankings day, and time to check and see how our division's teams did in this week's poll. As usual, I'll tell you where they placed this week, where they placed last week and how I personally voted. Enjoy.

2. New York Giants (Last week: 3). Breaking a tie with the Texans and moving into sole possession of second place, the Giants now rank behind only the undefeated Atlanta Falcons in our Power Rankings. Three of us voted them No. 2. John Clayton and Jamison Hensley each had them ranked No. 3 (behind Atlanta and Houston). I had moved them up to No. 2 last week after their very impressive victory in San Francisco. They didn't look as good, obviously, Sunday in beating the Redskins. But beat them they did, and NFC East wins are no joke. The Giants are playing as well as anyone right now, and if they were to win this weekend in Dallas and Andy Reid were to improve to 14-0 on weeks immediately following his bye, the Giants likely would be the poll's No. 1 team this time next week.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (13). Eagles stay right where they are after their bye week, which is fair. It was, after all, only the second week this year in which they didn't commit a turnover. We are waiting to see which way to go with the Eagles as they welcome the poll's No. 1 team to their home Sunday. Another loss could push them into the bottom half. A big win could give folks their anticipated reason to believe the Eagles are capable of big things. I have them 11th, which is down one spot from last week because I decided to make a correction on the Vikings and jump them up a bunch of spots. I'm waiting to see whether I'm wrong about how good the Eagles can be. Not sure yet.

15. Dallas Cowboys (18). Among the poll's biggest upward movers this week, the Cowboys benefit from a road win in Carolina and slide up into the top half. I had them 13 last week, I have them 13 again this week. I moved the Steelers and Vikings ahead of them and dropped the Cardinals and Redskins behind them. I think the Cowboys are a very average team, and I continue to feel good about having picked them to finish 8-8 and continuing to rank them in the middle of the NFL pack (though I rank them more highly than do any of our other voters). Obviously, yes, a second victory over the Giants on Sunday could impact their ranking in a favorable direction.

18. Washington Redskins (15). Switching places with the Cowboys are the Redskins following their heartbreaking loss to the Giants. They are among the poll's biggest fallers this week, though they can take pride in being its highest-ranked four-loss team. I had them at 12 last week and dropped them to 14 this week, moving Minnesota and the Cowboys in front of them. (And yes, in anticipatory answer to your outraged questions, I do know they beat the Vikings.) Ashley Fox and I rank the Redskins the highest of any of the voters. I do tend to favor teams with great quarterbacks in this poll, and the Redskins have one. Their defense is keeping them from contention.

So those are my thoughts. I welcome yours.