Power Rankings: Top NFC teams face big November tests

Updated: November 6, 2007, 1:50 PM ET
By Mike Mcallister | ESPN.com
Week:

Four teams are unbeaten at home this season. Four teams are unbeaten on the road. The Patriots, of course, are the only team that fits both categories.

ESPN.com's Power Rankings
The rankings were determined by a poll of ESPN.com's NFL staff: writers John Clayton, Len Pasquarelli, Matt Mosley, Jeffri Chadiha and Mike Sando; Scouts Inc. Insiders Jeremy Green and Keith Kidd; and ESPN.com NFL senior editor Mike McAllister.

But now that we've got the Pats-Colts battle-to-end-all-battles out of our system (at least until the AFC title game), let's turn our attention to some other top teams, specifically those in the NFC.

That's why we mentioned the unbeaten splits. The Cowboys and Packers are each 4-0 on the road, while the Lions are 4-0 at home. Not so surprising, those three teams, along with the Giants, make up the NFC's contingent in the top 10 of this week's rankings.

Those perfect marks could all end soon, however. The Cowboys face their biggest road challenge to date Sunday at the Meadowlands, as the Giants are the NFC's hottest team with a six-game winning streak. The next week, New York gets a crack at handing the Lions their first home loss. Obviously, this is a big two-week stretch for the Giants and their playoff hopes.

Meanwhile, the Packers play their next two at Lambeau before hitting the road with back-to-back Thursday games at Detroit (on Thanksgiving) and Dallas (Nov. 29). Anybody outside Wisconsin thinking the Pack will be 6-0 on the road?

In essence, November will give us a sneak preview of the NFC playoffs. By the end of this month, we'll have a better understanding of which teams will be lining up to be annihilated in play in Super Bowl XLII.

So how would you rank the teams after Week 9? Click here to access SportsNation's ranking tool.

BIGGEST RISE: New Orleans Saints from 19th to 11th. BIGGEST DROP: Denver Broncos from 16th to 25th.

(Editor's note: LW indicates each team's ranking last week.)

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