NFL Nation: NFC East power rankings

Oh yeah, it's Power Rankings day here at ESPN.com, and you're dying to know how your NFC East teams have fared in this week's poll. Well, the two teams that actually played Sunday ... not so good. The two teams that had the week off saw a little bump up the rankings. Yes, it seems that one of the best things you can do right now if you play in the NFC East is not play.

Here's a look at how our four teams stand in the latest edition of the Power Rankings:

10. Washington Redskins (Last week: 12). The bye was good to Washington, as four of the teams that had been in front of them lost and they jumped up two spots into the league's top 10. Not a bad spot for a team that began the season ranked 28th in this poll. Now, when the Giants were here last week, I expressed some mild skepticism about their ability to hold the spot. I feel somewhat the same about Washington, though not as strongly. They run the ball better than the Giants do, and they play better defense. Their offense is intentionally vanilla, but they've committed the fewest penalties in the league and are second in the league in average time of possession. Basically, if everyone around them keeps being so wildly inconsistent, I like the Redskins' chances to stay steady and take advantage of that. Right now, I'd probably rank the Raiders and Texans higher, and maybe the Titans. And the Cowboys did beat them, so you could make that case, too. But that's nitpicking, and I'm not a voter, so it doesn't matter what I think. The Redskins are a top-10 team in the Power Rankings, so enjoy that, Skins fans.

14. New York Giants (10). The Giants and the Cowboys tied for the No. 14 spot in this week's poll, but the Giants win the tiebreaker by virtue of their better win-loss record. Mike Sando in particular really took that Sunday game to heart, as he's got the Giants ranked 19th and the Seahawks 17th. But this mid-pack range seems more like where the Giants belong than did last week's top-10 heights. They've shown plenty of heart and toughness in their wins, but until they start running the ball better on offense and stopping the run better on defense, they're going to be too inconsistent week-to-week.

15. Dallas Cowboys (17). Dallas didn't play, but it moves up two spots thanks to poor games by the Buccaneers and Jets. I'd probably rank them ahead of the Giants right now if I had to make that call, since I think they've generally played better even though the records say otherwise. But I don't feel especially strongly about it. I'm fascinated to see how they come out of the bye and play in New England, where no one ever wins regular-season games. If they put up a good fight this Sunday, and they come out of the game healthy, I think Dallas is in a good position to make a strong run the rest of the way. The schedule isn't bad and they've shown an ability to play with good teams.

21. Philadelphia Eagles (20). I mean, I've seen four of their five games in person. They have plenty of athletic talent, but they just don't play the game of football especially well. And I really think that's going to hold them back. John Clayton still has them up at 18, which inflates this ranking a bit. But right now they're down there in the bottom third, and they've earned their way there. I'll be interested to see their ranking next week. If they play well and by some miracle win in Washington, I wonder if the voters will bump them way up thinking "they're back." And if they lose and fall to 1-5, they'll have to be down right there at the bottom with the other absolute worst teams in the league. No matter how much athletic talent they have.

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


Please join me in questioning the sanity of our four fearless voters in the ESPN.com power rankings. We do this every Tuesday in an effort to provide a forum for all of your pent-up frustration:

Take a moment to digest this week's power rankings. Here's how the NFC East teams finished:

2. New York Giants -- Do I think the Giants are better than the Colts? You bet I do, but it's going to take a Colts loss for our panelists to move the Giants into first place. Come to think of it, maybe a convincing win in New Orleans might do the trick. Right now, the Giants have a better defense and a better running game than the Colts. Anyone disagree?

10. Philadelphia Eagles -- The Eagles had the day off Sunday, and the voters made them pay by dropping them one spot in the rankings. I think the Eagles will come out Sunday and dominate a winless Bucs team. It will be interesting to see how Andy Reid uses Michael Vick now that Donovan McNabb is back as the starter.

17. Dallas Cowboys -- The voters kept the Cowboys right where they were last week. I thought they were ranked too low last week, so No. 17 sounds about right after the loss to the Broncos. The voters apparently have a ton of respect for Josh McDaniels and his undefeated team since they didn't penalize Dallas for losing.

22. Washington Redskins -- I guess the voters were pretty impressed with that narrow win over a winless team. The Redskins moved up four spots in the rankings with the 16-13 win. Just think what would happen if they knocked off the Eagles later this month.

Now let's take a long look at the voting process. NFC West blogger Mike Sando, one of the most prolific writers of our time, does a really nice job breaking it all down.

Paul Kuharsky and Jeff Chadiha had the Giants right where they belonged -- in first place. But the Seattle-based duo of John Clayton and Sando both ranked the Giants third behind the Vikings. At least Clayton, a Hall of Famer, moved the Giants up three spots from ranking them No. 6 last week.

The Broncos made the biggest leap -- moving up five spots to No. 8 overall. The Redskins were tied for the second-biggest move as they went from No. 26 to No. 22. I guess that second-half comeback made a big impact on voters. In other news, everyone finally gave up on the Titans, dropping them seven spots to No. 25, which seems ridiculously low.

Eagles fans, you can blame Kuharsky for dropping you from No. 9 to No. 10. He had the Eagles at No. 12 overall. I'll try to track down Paul for an explanation this afternoon if you guys are interested. We take our power ranking pretty seriously and that's why Paul will go before an independent committee Thursday afternoon in an effort to clarify his thought process.

It was amazing to see the disparity when it came to the Redskins. Chadiha, a longtime Beast favorite, fell in love with Jim Zorn all over again in ranking the Skins 20th. Sando looked over an Excel 2007 file and had the Skins at No. 27. Sando also gave the Cowboys their lowest ranking at No. 20.

Chadiha was bullish on the NFC East, giving the division an average ranking of 12.25. Sando had both the AFC East and the NFC North in front of the Beast. Here are some really cool graphics that chart how each team in the NFC East has done in the ESPN.com Power Rankings since 2002:

SPONSORED HEADLINES