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Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Power rankings: How the voters voted

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

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

The Ravens shot to the top of ESPN.com's NFL power rankings for Week 3 after they won impressively, and five of the six highest-ranked teams from the previous week lost Sunday.

Baltimore rose nine spots, edging the Jets for the largest improvement from Week 2.

The chart shows team-by-team votes for all four ESPN.com panelists (left to right: me, John Clayton, Paul Kuharsky and Jeff Chadiha).

A look inside the rankings ...

Rising: The Ravens rose nine spots to first. The Jets rose eight to eighth. The Texans rose sixth to 17th. The Saints and 49ers jumped five spots. The Broncos rose four. The Falcons and Vikings rose three apiece. The Bengals and Colts each rose two places. The Bears, Giants, Raiders and Bucs rose one.

Falling: The Seahawks and Patriots each dropped eight places following tough defeats. The Titans fell seven. The Chargers, Steelers and Eagles each fell five spots. The Redskins and Panthers each fell three places. The Jaguars and Cowboys dropped two. The Packers, Browns and Cardinals fell one apiece.

Unchanged: Rankings for the Bills, Lions, Chiefs, Dolphins and Rams remained unchanged.

Deadlocked: We broke no ties this week.

Groupthink: Three panelists ranked the Steelers fifth. Three ranked the Saints seventh. Three panelists ranked the Titans 16th.

Agree to disagree: The Broncos generated the widest gap -- 10 spots --  between highest and lowest votes. Seven other teams generated disparities of at least six spots: Ranking the divisions: NFC East teams ranked 12.6 on average, higher than any division's teams. AFC West teams ranked 21.9 on average, lower than any division's teams. The chart below shows how each voter ranked each division on average. Highest votes in red. Lowest votes in blue.
Breakdown By Division
Voter AFC
East
AFC
North
AFC
South
AFC
West
NFC
East
NFC
North
NFC
South
NFC
West
Mike Sando 14.25 14 15 21.75 13.25 17 16.25 20.5
John Clayton 15 14.75 15.25 23.5 11.75 14.5 16.25 21
Paul Kuharsky 16 15 16 21 13.25 15 15.75 20
Jeff Chadiha 13.25 15.5 17.75 21.5 12 15.25 15 21.75
Average 14.6 14.8 16.0 21.9 12.6 15.4 15.8 20.8
Rank 2 3 6 8 1 4 5 7

A voter-by-voter look at changes of at least six spots since the Week 2 rankings:

Sando: Ravens (+10), Jets (+9), Texans (+8), Saints (+6), Bengals (+6), Eagles (-6), Chargers (-6), Cowboys (-6), Patriots (-7), Packers (-8), Seahawks (-8), Titans (-9)

Clayton: Jets (+10), Ravens (+7), Texans (+6), Chargers (-11)

Kuharsky: 49ers (+10), Vikings (+7), Jets (+7), Ravens (+6), Texans (+6), Cardinals (-6), Panthers (-7), Patriots (-11), Titans (-12)

Chadiha: Broncos (+10), Jets (+10), Saints (+8), Raiders (-6), Eagles (-6), Steelers (-6), Titans (-7), Patriots (-8), Seahawks (-8)

For download: An Excel file -- available here or here -- showing how each voter voted this week and in past weeks.

The file includes a "powerflaws" sheet pointing out potential flaws in voters' thinking by showing how many higher-ranked opponents each team has defeated. For example, the Steelers rank higher than the Bears even after losing to Chicago. The Texans rank lower than the Titans after beating them. The Bengals rank lower than the Packers despite beating them. And so on.

A quick primer on the powerflaws sheet: