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Tuesday, December 20, 2011
NFL Power Rankings: Saints No. 2

By Pat Yasinskas

The New Orleans Saints took another step up in the latest edition of the ESPN.com Power Rankings.

The Saints, who have won six straight games, moved from No. 3 to No. 2. All five voters had the Saints at No. 2, one spot behind the Green Bay Packers.

Despite an easy win against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night, the Atlanta Falcons stayed put at No. 8. I’m not on the panel of voters, but I think I would have put the Falcons in front of the Ravens and Steelers, the two teams ranked immediately in front of them.

But my biggest gripe with this week’s vote is that the Carolina Panthers stayed put at No. 24. That comes after the biggest victory the Panthers have had in the past few seasons. They went on the road to Houston and beat a good team Sunday. I think they should have jumped up at least a couple of spots.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell one spot to No. 29 as they lost their eighth straight game and were embarrassed at home by Dallas. Winning four games early on and the ineptitude of the Vikings, Rams and Colts are the only things keeping the Bucs from ranking in the 30s. But there’s still time for them to get there.