Monday, December 27, 2010
Power Rankings revisited: Week 16
By Mike Sando
A weekly review of how teams performed in relation to last week’s Power Rankings (with new rankings scheduled for Wednesday):
We're pressing pause on ESPN.com's NFL Power Rankings for Week 17 pending the Tuesday night snowball fight between Minnesota and Philadelphia.
We'll post new rankings Wednesday, one day later than usual.
The Eagles went into Week 16 as the third-ranked team behind New England and Atlanta. The Falcons could conceivably fall from the No. 2 spot if they lose to New Orleans in the Monday night game. The Saints, ranked as high as fourth on one ballot, could be in position to move up the list.
Where would that leave the Eagles? We weren't going to guess without seeing how Philadelphia fared in a game delayed by snowy conditions. Losing to the Vikings seems unfathomable -- sort of like Jacksonville losing to Washington, San Diego losing to Cincinnati and additional nonsensical outcomes from Week 16.
Four of the five lowest-ranked teams won their games, with each defeating teams ranked at least 10 spots higher in the most recent rankings.
Let's sort through the carnage. And remember, the chart at right shows how we voted last week, with red lettering identifying teams that lost in Week 16.
The reckoning: Seven games featured lower-ranked teams beating higher-ranked teams. Let's take a closer look at them ...
Still to play: New Orleans and Atlanta on "Monday Night Football" (ESPN, 8:20 p.m. ET), followed Tuesday by Minnesota and Philadelphia (NBC, 8 ET).
- (31) Denver 24, (21) Houston 23: Enjoy the Tim Tebow rushing touchdowns while he lasts. Can a quarterback hold up running like that? Tebow carried 10 times for 27 yards overall.
- (30) Cincinnati 34, (10) San Diego 20: We can now suspend talk about the Chargers' December dominance.
- (29) Arizona 27, (18) Dallas 26: The Cardinals haven't had this much fun in months. They still need a quarterback, of course.
- (26) Washington 20, (14) Jacksonville 17: So much for the Redskins tanking after the allegedly "disrespectful" handling of Donovan McNabb. Not that Rex Grossman lit it up.
- (12) Green Bay 45, (9) New York Giants 17: Twenty-four interceptions for Eli Manning. Five lost fumbles, too.
- (8) Chicago 38, (5) New York Jets 34: The Bears are making it work with a potentially volatile mix. Good for them. I thought they would have imploded by now.
My early favorite for the No. 1 spot: New England.