- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Yes, the new Power Rankings are out. Here's at look at where our division's teams stand this week:
7. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 12). That's where I ranked them, though I have to say I struggled. Yes, they're 2-0, which can only be said of five other teams. Yes, that's all that matters, and yes, they've shown an impressive amount of grit and toughness to overcome nine turnovers and win their games each by one point. But on the flip side ... they've committed nine turnovers and only won each game by one point. I'm not the only one struggling to figure out where to rank them. Ashley Fox, clearly not a believer, has them 10th. Jamison Hensley has them fifth. And yes, I agree that it seems a bit incongruous that they're ranked behind the Ravens after beating them. But I doubt anyone who's watched the Eagles so far this year has a clear idea of what to make of them, and I think they remain a difficult team to trust.
8. New York Giants (7). Rare that a team drops a spot after winning, but it speaks to the jumble in the NFC East and the confusing way these teams have come out of the gate. The Giants have looked very bad in seven of their eight quarters so far, but their brilliant fourth quarter against the Buccaneers has them at 1-1 instead of 0-2. Ashley ranks them fifth, John Clayton has them 11th and I have them sixth, still one spot ahead of Philly because I'm determined not to underestimate them this year and I believe they have earned more benefit of the doubt than have the Eagles. I can't deny they've looked much shakier than this ranking indicates, and I have to believe the ranking is due more to what we saw from them last year than what they've shown so far in 2012.
15. Dallas Cowboys (10). As great as Week 1 was for Dallas, the Week 2 loss in Seattle was just as bad, and so they're right back in the range in which they began the season. Three of us have them ranked 13th, Ashley has them 15th and Mike Sando has them 16th. They actually tied for 14th with Arizona but lost out on a tiebreaker (overall record). My inclination is to keep them right here in the middle until they show some kind of sustained proof that they belong any higher.
20. Washington Redskins (15). A bad loss in St. Louis and bad injury news on the defense has pushed the Redskins back down the ladder. I seem to still be the only thing keeping them this high, as I put them 16th while Sando put them 22nd and Clayton and Jamison have them at 23. I still think they're better than people are inclined to assume they'll be, but they've been throwing dirt on their benefit of the doubt for years now. And if the defense is banged up, that's going to hurt them in the standings and the rankings going forward. I guess that, while I expect that to happen, I thought it was fair to wait and see first before dropping them back into the 20s.
Anyway, enjoy. I know you always do.
4hEric D. Williams
3hEric D. Williams