Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Power Rankings: Eagles fall four spots
By Dan Graziano
Yes, it's Power Rankings day -- our fun little way of bleeding Overreaction Monday into Tuesday here on ESPN.com. Let's take a look at where our division's teams fall in this week's poll.
7. New York Giants (Last week: 10). A three-spot jump following a complete pasting of the league's worst team at home. In my own personal rankings, I moved the Giants up from No. 6 to No. 5, but that had more to do with the Packers falling behind them than the idea that the Giants should be moved up. Nothing about Sunday changed anything about my opinion of the Giants, so I didn't feel compelled to alter their ranking significantly in either direction. I'm still higher on them than the rest of the panel, as John Clayton ranks them 14th and everybody else has them at No. 7. I know John's never been sold on the champs, but I have a hard time seeing them as worse than the Bengals. To each his own. Regardless, Sunday's game in San Francisco strikes me as the type of game that could have a far greater impact on my opinion of the Giants than a home game against the Browns would. So check back next week on this.
11. Philadelphia Eagles (7). Not to repeat myself here, but nothing I saw from the Eagles on Sunday changed anything about my opinion of their team. They lost by two points on the road in Pittsburgh on a last-second field goal to a team that was coming off a bye week and is notoriously tough to beat in its building. I had the Eagles ranked ninth last week, and I have them ranked ninth this week. I had them ranked ninth in Week 4 as well. We've done six of these polls this season, and I've put the Eagles at No. 9 in four of them. I don't see how a two-point road loss in Pittsburgh -- or a two-point home victory over the Giants, for that matter -- makes people change their minds about a team so dramatically. But I am the new guy in this exercise, so I guess I'm still learning.
13. Dallas Cowboys (15). The Cowboys had a bye and moved up two spots. Does this mean the Cowboys look their best when they're not actually playing? I had them 13th last week and have them 13th again this week. The panel's opinion on Dallas ranges from No. 12 (Ashley Fox) to No. 18 (Mike Sando). The Steelers moved ahead of them while the Chargers, Bengals and Broncos all dropped behind them. This says less about the Cowboys than it does about the AFC, which has almost no good teams and whose rankings are therefore subject to extreme volatility.
21. Washington Redskins (18). I dropped them one spot on my ballot, from 17th to 18th. I actually thought they played fine against the Falcons, but I wanted to bump the 4-1 Vikings up in the rankings, and the Redskins were one of the teams over which they had to jump. Guess we'll see how wise that was, since they play each other this week. If Robert Griffin III is out, this team's ranking should drop significantly. But since we haven't seen that yet and we don't know whether he'll play, I thought it wise to hold tight with Washington. Everybody has them in the 18-23 range, which seems fair for a 2-3 team with a killer offense and defensive issues.
What do you guys think?