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Tuesday, November 29, 2011
NFL Power Rankings: Saints fall

By Pat Yasinskas

Don’t ask me how, but even though New Orleans Saints looked very impressive in Monday night’s 49-24 victory against the New York Giants, they somehow tumbled a spot in the latest edition of ESPN.com’s NFL Power Rankings.

The Saints are No. 4 after spending the past two weeks at No. 3, and that came after San Francisco, which was No. 2 last week, lost. But the 49ers are No. 3 now, and the Baltimore Ravens jumped all the way to No. 2 from No. 5.

AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky was the only voter who had the Saints ranked higher than No. 4. (Must be a Southern thing.) Ashley Fox had New Orleans at No. 5, and the rest of the voters had the Saints at No. 4.

The Atlanta Falcons moved up to No. 9 after sitting at No. 11 last week. No argument there. No. 9 is right about where the Falcons belong at the moment.

Amazingly, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have lost five consecutive games (and not looked at all good in doing so) are No. 20 for the third straight week. They were helped significantly by AFC East blogger James Walker, who had them at No. 19. I’m going to have to have a little talk with James.

The Carolina Panthers moved up two spots to No. 28 with a victory against the Colts. But I’m not so sure the Panthers are even the worst team in the division right now. We’ll find out for sure Sunday when the Panthers play the Bucs.