Tuesday, December 20, 2011
NFL Power Rankings: East meets middle
By Dan Graziano
What a great division ours is for the NFL Power Rankings. One week the Giants are up and the Cowboys are down. The next week it's the opposite. The long-forgotten Eagles and Redskins are making noise again, and there's just absolutely no way to know what it's all going to look like this time next week. The upshot is that none of the teams in the NFC East is particularly good or at all consistent, but we love our division nonetheless and we check every week to see how its teams are doing in the rankings.
10. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 14). Lots of consensus on the Cowboys. Every voter has them ranked 11th except James Walker, whose ninth-place vote apparently pushes the Cowboys into the top 10. They had a gimme game in Tampa Bay and took care of it while the Giants stumbled against the Redskins. I think they're ranked right about where they deserve to be at this point, and I'm sorry I don't have anything interesting to say about it.
16. New York Giants (12). The Giants tied the Seahawks for 15th but lost the tiebreaker because, as you may recall, the Seahawks beat them. So it's a four-spot drop for the Giants, who are back at .500 with two weeks left in their season and no way to stop an opposing offense. As is the case with Dallas, it's hard to argue this ranking. They're a .500 team. Middle of the pack, and ranked accordingly. I think they got too high at several points this year, but I never thought they were any worse than right around 15th or 16th.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (21). James has these guys 13th, which helps the rankings, and he just watched them annihilate the Jets, so I guess he was impressed. The Eagles do look awfully impressive when things are clicking for them, and with Jason Babin punishing quarterbacks and the defense hitting its stride, that's what's going on right now. There's no doubt the Eagles should have been a top-tier team in the league this year. Their failures in the first three quarters of the season doomed them to the back half of these rankings.
25. Washington Redskins (27). A road win in New York and a season sweep of the Giants earns the Redskins a two-point bump in the rankings. I think they're better than a couple of the teams in front of them, but they did lose to the Panthers and jeez, the Chiefs just beat the Packers so you have to hand it to them. A strong finish with victories over the Vikings and Eagles could push Washington well above the No. 28 ranking with which it began this season.