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Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Fight the power (rankings)

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The power rankings I submitted last week lent themselves to a slight degree of criticism. The Jaguars were too high, the Falcons were too low, etc.

I sat back, took it all in and basically agreed with a lot of the criticisms. Those were the weakest rankings I've submitted. A new approach was in order. And so I spent some airport time Monday doing some self-scouting, as the coaches sometimes say.

The conclusion went along these lines: We're deep enough into the season to put less weight behind what we expected a team to do, or what we expect the team to do in the future. The Jaguars or Chargers might seemingly have more talent than teams ranked ahead of them, but that can't be a pivotal factor at this point.

The Jaguars provided a classic case for me. I liked their chances very much coming into the season. Injuries hurt their offensive line, but this was still going to be a tough team because Jack Del Rio really doesn't field any other kind, particularly now that he has a good quarterback.

When the Jaguars won three of four heading into their bye, I boldly moved them into the top five. The ensuing laughter and derision appears wholly justified after the Browns' victory at Jacksonville in Week 8.

And so I started fresh on the power rankings. Jacksonville took a huge fall. The Falcons moved higher than I had them, even after their defeat. I'll make sense of the full breakdown when the latest power rankings come out in a few hours.

By the way, where would you rank the NFC West teams this week? How far would you knock down the Rams after losing at New England?