Monday, July 26, 2010
Camp power rankings: NFC East style
By Matt Mosley
It wouldn't be the first week of training camp (in some precincts) without a new edition of our ESPN.com NFL Power Rankings. You'll be pleased to know that the NFC East had a higher overall ranking (13.8) than any other division. The AFC South and NFC North tied for second with a 14.8. But our esteemed panelists were all over the map when it came to the Redskins, Giants and Eagles. In fact, AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky moved the Redskins up 11 spots since he last voted in April. He apparently loved Mike Shanahan's work in organized team activities. OK, let's take it team-by-team:
NFC East power rankings:
4. Dallas Cowboys -- John "The Professor" Clayton gave the Cowboys their highest ranking at No. 2, but he was canceled out by Kuharsky's No. 6 vote. Paul has the Ravens and Packers ahead of the Cowboys. Dallas moved up one spot in the rankings from April's edition. And the Cowboys were fourth overall in the Week 18 power rankings last January. This sounds about right to me. After what happened in the Metrodome last January, it probably wouldn't be fair to move the Cowboys past the Vikings.
16. New York Giants -- This is where things got a little nutty with our voters. John Clayton obviously believes that Tom Coughlin will get this thing back on track with his No. 11 vote. But Kuharsky, a longtime critic of the Beast, has the Giants at No. 20 overall. I encourage you to flood his "comments" section on the AFC South blog. I think the Giants will bounce back and challenge for a playoff spot, so 20 seems a bit low to me. AFC North blogger James Walker and the NFC West's Mike Sando had the Giants 15th and 18th, respectively, on their ballot. Our panelists had huge disagreements on the Eagles and Redskins and they're currently not speaking to each other.
17. Philadelphia Eagles -- The panel's sudden passion for Donovan McNabb and the Redskins has hurt the Eagles' ranking. Philly fell four spots from April's rankings. Clayton dropped the Eagles four spots from the last time he voted. Perhaps he wasn't pleased with Andy Reid and Howie Roseman's draft. Kuharsky gave the Eagles their highest ranking at No. 12 while Clayton had them at No. 22. That was the biggest disparity in the entire ranking process. In fact, I've asked for a review board to take a look at this situation and see what can be done.
20. Washington Redskins -- At this rate, the Skins will crack the top 15 before the regular season. Clayton continues to be bullish on Mike Shanahan (No. 15), but he was somewhat neutralized by Sando's No. 23 vote. Kuharsky had the Skins at 17 and Walker came in at 19.
Moral of this story: The Cowboys appear to be the closest thing to a lock heading into training camp. No one seems to have a good read on the other three teams, and I'm having the same issue. So where do you guys stand? Did the Beast get a fair shake in the rankings?
By the way, check out these colorful charts that track every team's rankings back to 2002.