- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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The new NFL Power Rankings are out, and you know what that means. Absolutely nothing in terms of the playoff race or anything else that will happen the rest of the season, but plenty of opportunity for name-calling and ridicule. Let's take a look at where our teams placed in this week's poll.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 9). Amazing what happens when you don't turn the ball over, eh? The Eagles are 3-1 in spite of it all and on top of the NFC East, and they are the highest-ranking team in the division this week. They technically tied for seventh with the Packers but won the tiebreaker based on better overall record. Me, I had them ninth last week and kept them there, mainly because I didn't find a team I thought deserved to drop behind them. The only candidate is the Giants, whom they beat, and I'll explain that in a second. Jamison Hensley is the highest on the Eagles, ranking them sixth, and it looks like my No. 9 ranking is the lowest among the voters. Sorry, Eagles fans. I think your team is good, I really do, but I think the eight teams I have in front of them have played better so far this year.
10. New York Giants (6). Lots of disagreement on the Giants. John Clayton ranks them 15th. I rank them sixth. The other three voters rank them ninth, 10th and 12th. As a group, we appear unsure of what to do with the Giants. I dropped them only one spot in my rankings this week, because I don't see a two-point road loss in the division as a good reason to penalize a team's ranking very much. I am determined not to let the result of one single game influence my opinion of these teams too strongly, and I am also determined not to underestimate the Giants as I did all of last year. What are we but overripe pineapples if we do not learn our lessons? If I have a concern about the Giants, it's about the injuries to significant players such as Hakeem Nicks and Kenny Phillips lingering and having a long-term effect. But I'll wait to see if that does happen before changing my opinion on them too dramatically. So, short answer to the "How can you rank the Giants ahead of the Eagles after the Eagles beat them?" question is that I base these on more than just one game.
15. Dallas Cowboys (12). I mean, I have them at 13, down two spots from where I had them last week. They looked oil-spill bad Monday Night, but again, it was only one game, and their four-game body of work has done absolutely nothing to alter my preseason opinion of them as a middle-of-the-pack team this year. Jamison, who'd been highest on them, has them down at 15 now. Mike Sando has them 18th while Ashley Fox has them 11th. They're going to have more bad games, and they're going to have more good ones. They're not there yet.
18. Washington Redskins (22). Robert Griffin III fever is sweeping the nation, even if it has to share the local spotlight with the Washington Nationals. Griffin is clearly for real, and he brought Washington's high-scoring offense back in the fourth quarter to beat the Buccaneers. I have the Redskins 17th, up two spots from where I ranked them last week. I personally feel as though their defense will keep them from rising much higher than this, but that their offense could keep them from sinking much lower. This is not the way I expected the Redskins' season to go, but obviously, no one can predict this crazy NFL. Ashley has Washington ranked 15th. Clayton's not a believer, as he puts them 23rd and is done with his segment.
Have at 'em, folks.