The latest ESPN.com Power Rankings are out and the NFC South is on a slight downward trend. That’s what happens when two teams lose in the middle of the playoff race.
The New Orleans Saints lost to Baltimore on Sunday and voters dropped them three spots to No. 7. I won’t say the ranking is unfair. I will say New Orleans’ loss came to a very good team and on the road, so it’s not time to panic. But you do have to be able to win against good teams on the road if you want to be listed high in the Power Rankings or play late into the postseason.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers dropped two spots to No. 15 after a devastating home loss to Detroit on Sunday. Ordinarily I’d say that kind of loss should drop a team more than two spots. But I think voters had been selling the Bucs short for most of the season and the slight drop probably puts them right about where they currently belong.
The two NFC South teams that won Sunday didn’t move a bit in the Power Rankings and I can’t really argue with that. The Atlanta Falcons stayed firm at No. 2, a spot behind New England.
Although the Carolina Panthers got their second win of the season, they stayed the unanimous choice at No. 32. It’s pretty obvious the voters realized victories against the Arizona Cardinals don’t earn you sudden credibility.