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Tuesday, September 20, 2011
NFC South in the Power Rankings

By Pat Yasinskas

The newest edition of the ESPN.com Power Rankings are out and the NFC South is on the rise.

The division’s got two teams in the top 10, highlighted by the New Orleans Saints at No. 4. The Atlanta Falcons are No. 8 and I’ve got a slight gripe with that. The Philadelphia Eagles, the team the Falcons defeated Sunday night, are No. 6.

Shouldn’t the Falcons be ahead of “The Dream Team’’? I think so, but John Clayton and Paul Kuharsky were the only members of the voting panel to see it that way.

Despite a victory against Minnesota, the members of the voting panel remained lukewarm on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who came in at No. 14. I can’t really argue with that one. Tampa Bay won, but started very badly against a Minnesota team that’s not very good. The Bucs need to play a four-quarter game before they really get respect.

Although they’re 0-2, the Carolina Panthers slowly are climbing out of the dregs of the rankings. They’re up to No. 27 and Kuharsky even had them at No. 24 on his ballot.