NFC East: 2013 NFL Week 5 Power Rankings

A weekly examination of the Eagles’ Power Ranking:

Preseason: 25 Last Week: 19 | Power Ranking since 2002

Chip Kelly knows all about how a blowout can affect a football team’s place in the weekly rankings. He used to run up scores all the time at Oregon. In his four years there, Kelly’s teams scored 50 or more points 21 times.

It’s a little different being on the other side of that. In the smoldering aftermath of Sunday’s 52-20 humiliation in Denver, the Broncos are BCS bowl-bound at the top of the ESPN panel’s weekly rankings. The Eagles dropped all the way to No. 27. That’s two spots below their preseason spot, which was based on a first-year coach taking over a 4-12 team.

There is good news in the rankings for Eagles fans, though. Three of their next four games are against teams that are below them: home-and-home against the No. 30 New York Giants and a road game against No. 31 Tampa Bay. There is a home game against the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys in there, too.

So the Eagles are where they deserve to be, but there is an opportunity for them to start climbing back toward the top 10.

Power Rankings: No. 18 Dallas Cowboys

October, 1, 2013
A weekly examination of the Cowboys’ Power Ranking:

Preseason: 20 | Last Week: 15 | Power Ranking since 2002

The Dallas Cowboys dropped three spots in this week’s Power Rankings after their 30-21 loss to the San Diego Chargers, but they will have a chance to make a big jump if they can knock off the top-ranked Denver Broncos on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

With the way the Broncos are playing and the way the Cowboys' defense played last week against Philip Rivers (401 yards passing, three touchdowns), that seems like too tall of an order.

Among the voters, Dan Graziano continues to be a believer in the Cowboys, putting them at No. 14 in the rankings, while Kevin Seifert gives them their lowest ranking at No. 21. The Chargers did not receive much of a bump in beating the Cowboys, going from No. 19 to No. 17.

The Cowboys remain the top-rated NFC East team by a decent margin. The Washington Redskins check in at No. 25, but the Cowboys’ two wins this year came against the No. 29 New York Giants and No. 26 St. Louis Rams.

Beating the Broncos and Peyton Manning could be a huge boost, but the Cowboys are so much of a week-to-week team that you cannot predict that it would mean much going into their Week 6 meeting against the Redskins.

Power Rankings: No. 25 Washington

October, 1, 2013
A weekly examination of the Redskins’ Power Ranking:

Preseason: 10 | Last Week: 25 | Power Ranking since 2002

The Washington Redskins felt good about their win in Oakland. However, they know they could have played better and that heavy lifting remains. The voters clearly agree.

A win at the Raiders helped the Redskins inch up in the Power Rankings, moving two spots to No. 25. While the Redskins could feel good about the victory -- linebacker Brian Orakpo, nose tackle Barry Cofield and linebacker Ryan Kerrigan all had two sacks apiece -- it was not the sort of aesthetic victory that makes anyone forget about their play in the first three weeks. And while the defense did what it should against a backup quarterback, the fact is it still has to prove it can get it done against a legitimate starter.

There are two 1-3 teams ranked ahead of Washington: Atlanta (16th) and Minnesota (24th). The Falcons at No. 16 is debatable, but they’ve lost close games to New Orleans (by six), Miami (four) and New England (seven). Those three teams are a combined 11-1. The Vikings' three losses, by a combined 15 points, have come against teams with a combined 8-4 record. Meanwhile, the Redskins’ three losses have been by a combined 31 points against teams that are 5-6 combined.

Also, the NFC East continues to plummet as three of the teams are ranked in the bottom eight. That’s what happens when your division has a point differential of minus-126, and the next closest division, the AFC North, is at minus-37.

Power Rankings: No. 30 New York Giants

October, 1, 2013
A weekly examination of the New York Giants' Power Ranking:

Preseason: 12 | Last week: 29 | Power Ranking since 2002

I honestly do not know who would win a game between the Giants and the Jaguars on a neutral field right now, but that's the question at this point for me. I dropped the Giants to No. 31 on my own ballot, moving them behind Tampa Bay because at least the Bucs were in their game Sunday. The Giants are not competitive right now and fully deserving of their overall power ranking as one of the three worst teams in the NFL.

Kevin Seifert and John Clayton were the most generous to the 0-4 Giants this week, ranking them 29th. Jamison Hensley and I had them at No. 31. Jacksonville is the only team in the league with a worse scoring differential (minus-98) than the Giants' minus-85, and the next-worst team is St. Louis at minus-52. The Giants are bottom-of-the-barrel bad.

If you'd like to join us at 1:30 p.m. ET for our live Spreecast video chat about this week's Power Rankings, here's the link. Hope to see you there.