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Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Power rankings: How the voters voted

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Rank Team Mike Sando John Clayton Paul Kuharsky Jeff Chadiha
1 PIT 1 1 1 1
2 NE 2 5 2 2
3 NYG 3 4 3 4
4 PHI 4 6 6 3
5 IND 5 7 5 7
6 SD 6 2 8 13
7 ATL 8 9 7 6
8 MIN 10 3 13 5
9 TEN 7 12 4 9
10 BAL 11 8 9 8
11 GB 9 10 10 11
12 NO 13 11 12 12
13 DAL 12 13 17 10
14 SEA 16 15 14 15
15 CHI 14 14 15 21
16 NYJ 15 18 16 16
17 ARI 18 19 11 19
18 SF 17 17 22 14
19 MIA 21 21 18 18
20 WAS 22 16 20 25
21 BUF 19 24 24 17
22 CAR 24 20 19 22
23 HOU 23 22 21 23
24 DEN 20 26 28 24
25 JAC 26 23 25 26
26 CIN 27 27 23 27
27 OAK 25 30 30 20
28 CLE 28 25 31 28
29 TB 29 28 27 29
30 KC 30 29 26 30
31 DET 31 32 29 31
32 STL 32 31 32 32

The Chargers, Vikings and Raiders defied easy characterization in the ESPN.com power rankings for Week 2, released Tuesday.

And if the Bills had upset the Patriots on Monday night, perhaps there would have been a shakeup in the top three.

The Titans, at No. 9, were the highest-ranked team with an 0-1 record, followed by the Bears at No. 15. The 18th-ranked 49ers were the only team ranked below the team they defeated in Week 1.

A look inside the rankings ...

Rising: The Jets jumped seven spots to 16th. The Saints jumped six spots from 18th to 12th. The 49ers and Cowboys each rose four spots. The Raiders and Broncos rose three apiece. The Vikings, Falcons, Lions, Colts and Seahawks each rose one spot.

Falling: Carolina plummeted eight spots to No. 22, easily the most dramatic fall from Week 1. Jeff Chadiha knocked them down 15 spots in his rankings. The Texans, Bears and Cardinals each fell four spots. The Bucs and Dolphins fell three. The Bengals and Titans fell two. The Chargers and Chiefs fell one, as did the Rams, who settled into the No. 32 spot.

Unchanged: Ten teams' rankings remained unchanged from Week 1, including the top four.

Deadlocked: Voting produced no ties this week.

Groupthink: All four voters ranked the Steelers first. All four ranked the Giants third or fourth and the Rams 31st or 32nd.

Agree to disagree: The Chargers, Raiders and Vikings generated the widest gap between highest and lowest votes. Thirteen teams generated disagreements at least five spots wide: Ranking the divisions: NFC East teams ranked 10.5 on average, best for any division. AFC West teams ranked 21.7 on average, worst for any division. The chart below shows how each voter ranked teams from each division on average. Each division's highest ranking is in red. Lowest rankings are in blue.
A voter-by-voter look at changes of at least four spots since the Week 1 rankings:

Sando: Jets (+7), Broncos (+6), Raiders (+6), Titans (+4), Saints (+4), 49ers (+4), Bills (+4), Texans (-4), Bears (-5), Cardinals (-5), Panthers (-10)

Clayton: Saints (+6), Jets (+6), 49ers (+6), Cowboys (+5), Broncos (+5), Cardinals (-5), Bengals (-6), Panthers (-7)

Kuharsky: Jets (+5)

Chadiha: Jets (+9), 49ers (+8), Packers (+7), Saints (+7), Raiders (+7), Chargers (-4), Titans (-4), Redskins (-5), Cardinals (-6), Bears (-6), Texans (-7), Dolphins (-7), Panthers (-15)

For download: an Excel file -- available here or here -- showing how each voter voted this week and in past weeks. It includes a "powerflaws" sheet pointing out potential flaws in voters' thinking by showing how many higher-ranked opponents each team has defeated. A quick primer: