Monday, November 22, 2010
Power rankings revisited: Week 11
By Mike Sando
A weekly review of how teams performed in relation to last week’s Power Rankings (with new rankings scheduled for Tuesday):
Finally, at long last, ESPN.com's NFL Power Rankings held their ground.
Higher-ranked teams won all but two games Sunday and three games in Week 11. They had lost eight of 14 last week.
The top-ranked Atlanta Falcons presumably did enough to remain in the No. 1 spot after Baltimore, New England and Pittsburgh had taken turns holding the top spot in the previous three rankings. The Falcons dominated time of possession and finished strong to pull away from St. Louis, ending the Rams' four-game home winning streak.
The seven highest-rated teams last week won Sunday. The top 12 teams either won or lost to higher-ranked teams.
Our four panelists -- me, John Clayton, Paul Kuharsky and James Walker -- will cast our ballots for Week 12 following the Monday night game. The chart shows how we ranked teams last week, with red text identifying teams that lost in Week 11.
Last week, voters disagreed most strongly over how to rank the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins and St. Louis Rams.
My rankings for the Bears, Saints and Redskins will probably improve, although Chicago remains a team I wouldn't trust against strong opposition. More on the Bears below.
The reckoning: Three games featured lower-ranked teams beating higher-ranked teams in Week 11.
Still to play: Denver at San Diego on "Monday Night Football" (ESPN, 8:20 p.m. ET).
- (30) Buffalo 49, (28) Cincinnati 31: The sort of defeat that gets coaching staffs fired. Worse for the Bengals, they have four more games against teams ranked in our top 10 last week. Their remaining opponents were ranked 9.7 on average last week, the highest average for any team's opponents from Week 12 forward. On a personal note, this wasn't the week to replace Bills receiver Steve Johnson in my Gridiron Challenge fantasy lineup.
- (21) Washington 19, (13) Tennessee 16: The Vince Young experiment has died before. How many lives can it have?
- (17) Chicago 16, (14) Miami 0: The Dolphins ran out of players, plain and simple. Fair to say a top team would have blown them out? It's self-serving in my case because I ranked the Bears only 21st a week ago. That doesn't necessarily invalidate the thinking. Look for the Bears to rise in the rankings anyway. They're 7-3.
My early favorite for the No. 1 spot: Atlanta. New England defeated a stronger opponent, however. I would not argue too strongly against the Patriots.