Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Power Rankings: Tightening East
By Dan Graziano
The new Power Rankings have hit the virtual doorsteps, so let's see how our division's teams are doing this week:
10. New York Giants (Last week: 8). The Monday night loss to the Redskins undid the gains they made by thumping the Packers the week before and dropped the Giants back to their lowest spot of the season. I personally dropped them from 7 to 8, one spot behind Green Bay, which I admit is weird considering the head-to-head result. But as appears to be the case with the rest of the voters, I simply don't know what to do with a team that one week can look like the best in the league and the next can't get out of its own way. They couldn't solve the Redskins last year, either, so maybe it's just something about that matchup and they'll rebound the next couple of weeks. But you could rank these Giants almost anywhere along a wide spectrum. Jamison Hensley joined me in ranking them 8. John Clayton has them all the way down at 13 after having them 6 not long ago. The Giants are confounding.
14. Washington Redskins (17). One of the poll's biggest movers with a three-spot jump this week, the Redskins are on a three-game winning streak and have looked good on national TV two weeks in a row now. Sunday's game against Baltimore offers a chance for another big jump next week, in addition to the real-world opportunity to move ever more seriously into the playoff picture. I have the Redskins at 12 in my poll, just ahead of Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Seattle and right behind Cincinnati. If the defense can keep holding it together with these good schemes and individual efforts each week, why aren't they a real contender?
16. Dallas Cowboys (19). Same story, pretty much, except the Redskins beat them, which explains the two-spot difference. The Cowboys also picked up three spots this week after beating the Eagles in prime time Sunday. I have them 16 on my ballot, as do Ashley Fox and Mike Sando, while the other two have them 15. Right in the middle seems to be where the 2012 Cowboys belong, though again, sitting one game out of a playoff spot means they have a chance to make a big move up in the final four weeks.
30. Philadelphia Eagles (30). Can't fall much farther, so even an eighth straight loss doesn't push them down into the bottom two. Sando did it, though rating the Eagles as the absolute worst team in the league through 13 weeks. Ashley has them at 31, ahead of only the Jaguars. It's pure personal opinion when you get to the bottom of the ballot, and I have the Eagles 27th, but how can you argue right now if someone wants to tell you there's no one in the league worse? They haven't won in more than two months.
As always, I welcome your thoughts.