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11-16-2004, 04:39 PM
Week 11 NFL Power Rankings
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These are very confusing times.

We marvel at the Patriots, Steelers and Eagles equally. We wonder if the Colts can win a Super Bowl without a defense. We don't respect the Falcons or Chargers, but can't ignore their winning ways.

We love the Broncos, but can't trust Jake Plummer. We see Kyle Boller morphing into Trent Dilfer and giving the Ravens just enough bite to chew up opponents. We see Brett Favre making another late-season run.

So who do we see winning it all? Any of the above. Honestly, any of them. Enjoy the ride.

ON THE RISE: Both the Jaguars (No. 18 to No. 13) and up-and-down Saints (No. 29 to No. 24) leaped five notches thanks to big wins, while the Packers (No. 12 to No. 8) and Cardinals (No. 26 to No. 22) hopped four slots each.

FALLING FAST: The Chiefs and Browns both fell to 3-6, and both dropped big-time in our poll Kansas City fell seven spots (No. 9 to No. 16) and out of the top 10 in losing at New Orleans. Cleveland's home loss to Pittsburgh dropped them six positions (No. 22 to No. 28).

NOTE: Rankings are updated by Tuesday midday every week.

Rk Team Last Week Rising/Falling High/Low Comment
1. Patriots (8-1) 1st SAME 1st/2nd Public opinion is starting to sway toward the Steelers, and for good reason. Still, the Patriots with RB Corey Dillon would win a rematch. Coach Bill Belichick, with a second look at a team, is another significant advantage. The Steelers must knock out the champs in January or have the Patriots stumble beforehand from gain the No. 1 spot.
2. Steelers (8-1) 2nd SAME 2nd/24th What's not to like? The Steelers have a balanced offense, a rising star at QB and a veteran RB who patiently waited until the team needed him and then responded with back-to-back inspirational performances.
3. Eagles (8-1) 3rd SAME 1st/3rd There is concern about the running game and run defense, but for now the Eagles stay put. Can any defense stop the Terrell Owens dance party?
4. Colts (6-3) 4th SAME 3rd/5th The team is averaging 33.1 points per game, but probably needs 40 to beat good teams. Five Peyton Manning TD passes against a decent Texans team was impressive.
5. Falcons (7-2) 5th SAME 5th/20th The doubt about the Falcons will not go away, but a 7-2 record, a stingy defense, an underrated running game and an unconventional QB warrants this ranking.
6. Chargers (6-3) 6th SAME 6th/32nd Like the Falcons, the Chargers get no respect. How many NFL fans know the Chargers are the No. 2 scoring team in the NFL (29.1 points per game)? And they have achieved that ranking with RB LaDainian Tomlinson limited with minor injuries. Rested thanks to a bye week, the Chargers should shred a Raiders defense yielding 27.4 points per game.
7. Broncos (6-3) 8th

(+1) 5th/14th The Broncos have the ingredients to play deep into January. QB Jake Plummer has highs and lows that would drive most coaches insane, but this team is solid because of a good running game and a tough defense.
8. Packers (5-4) 12th

(+4) 8th/23rd Last season, the Packers went from 4-5 to a division title. With coach Mike Sherman calling plays, the team is averaging 35 points a game. A healthy NT Grady Jackson can take this team from mediocre to very good.
9. Ravens (6-3) 11th

(+2) 7th/12th QB Kyle Boller is improving, and that means the Ravens are dangerous again.
10. Rams (5-4) 13th

(+3) 7th/22nd The Rams are 4-0 in the division, and the sweep of Seattle give St. Louis the tiebreaker. As for moving up in the poll? That's unlikely considering their defense gave up 40 at home to the banged-up Patriots.
11. Vikings (5-4) 7th

(-4) 3rd/13th Without WR Randy Moss, the Vikings can compete with good teams but not beat them. Three consecutive losses and a defense going downhill are bad signs.
12. Jets (6-3) 10th

(-2) 4th/18th Backup QB Quincy Carter will win some games. Clock management was an issue in the loss to Baltimore, but the running game and defense are good enough to get this team into the playoffs.
13. Jaguars (6-3) 18th

(+5) 8th/22nd This team has the heart of a lion. QB Byron Leftwich gets injured, and backup David Garrard runs the two-minute drill just like Leftwich. RB Fred Taylor looked like his old self last week.
14. Seahawks (5-4) 15th

(+1) 3rd/17th There are serious questions about this team. Did everyone overestimate the talent on this team? Or are the Seahawks classic underachievers? Seattle is one game over .500 in coach Mike Holmgren's tenure.
15. Giants (5-4) 14th

(-1) 6th/27th Don't blame Kurt Warner for all the sacks and recent losses. The offensive line is awful, and the wide receivers don't get open. This is not the situation to play a rookie quarterback unless the coach has given up on the season.
16. Chiefs (3-6) 9th

(-7) 5th/22nd What a shame this offense is stuck with this defense. The Chiefs scare every opponent but have the ability to beat only a few. Team officials should draft nothing but defensive players the next two years and hope the offense doesn't grow too old.
17. Texans (4-5) 16th

(-1) 12th/30th The running game has slipped as dramatically as the passing game has grown. This is a respectable spot for a 3-year-old expansion team, but expectations are growing.
18. Bucs (3-6) 17th

(-1) 17th/29th If the Bucs had this team from Day 1, they probably would be 5-4 and in the playoff hunt. Last week's loss to Atlanta hurt more than most fans realize. QB Brian Griese plays like Rich Gannon for coach Jon Gruden and Michael Pittman keeps defenses honest, but no Buc really scares opponents.
19. Lions (4-5) 19th SAME 13th/28th The Lions figure to slip more in the next few weeks. Injuries, lack of depth and not enough scoring punch make the Lions a target for good teams. A 1-3 home record is frustrating, but the lack of a running game is a bigger issue.
20. Titans (3-6) 20th SAME 4th/23rd Salary-cap jail and injuries, especially to elite QB Steve McNair, have caused the Titans to fall. Losing to the Bears last week means the end is near for 2004.
21. Bengals (4-5) 23rd

(+2) 13th/29th In the past two weeks, the defense has been a pleasant surprise. The Bengals have won three of four games and appear poised to make a late-season run.
22. Cardinals (4-5) 26th

(+4) 22nd/32nd An underrated defense, a stable full of elite wide receivers and an ageless running back spell trouble for opponents. Arizona could crack the top 16 by season's end. Dennis Green could be Coach of the Year.
23. Bills (3-6) 21st

(-2) 21st/30th The Bills play solid defense and have a stable of good running backs, two good wide receivers and a veteran QB. What's missing? A winning attitude and an offensive line. The Bills are much better than this ranking, but must prove it.
24. Saints (4-5) 29th

(+5) 16th/29th How do you spell inconsistent? S-A-I-N-T-S. Coach Jim Haslett will get fired if the players don't repeat last week's inspired performance.
25. Bears (4-5) 27th

(+2) 24th/32nd Rookie QB Craig Krenzel is 3-0, but that's the only good thing you can say about his performance. Still, he has as many victories as Trent Green, Drew Bledsoe and Mark Brunell and is a whole lot cheaper. The defense is wicked good.
26. Redskins (3-6) 24th

(-2) 14th/26th The Joe Gibbs experiment looks like another waste of big money by owner Daniel Snyder. That's too bad. Things are sure to get much uglier the team faces Philadelphia twice, Pittsburgh and the Giants in the next four games.
27. Cowboys (3-6) 25th

(-2) 8th/27th Coach Bill Parcells calls this team stupid. The better choice of words might be slow, old or untalented. It might be time for Parcells to retire.
28. Browns (3-6) 22nd

(-6) 19th/28th The Browns are a big mess. The quarterback openly criticizes the coaches. A defensive tackle threatens opponents in the media. And the power-hungry coach is way over his head with front office responsibilities. It's time to blow up this organization again.
29. Panthers (2-7) 30th

(+1) 2nd/31st A slew of injuries and an underachieving defensive line make the Super Bowl appearance 10 months ago seem like it was 10 years ago. However, the Panthers showed great heart in winning at San Francisco last week.
30. Raiders (3-6) 28th

(-2) 17th/30th The Raiders have seven victories since the 2002 AFC championship game. From the coach down to the last player on the roster, this team looks like a rental. Coach Norv Turner is another victim of a bad organization.
31. 49ers (1-8) 31st SAME 29th/32nd This once-proud team was dismantled by a new owner and now can't beat a bad team at home that had barely had enough healthy players to suit up. Things must change in the front office.
32. Dolphins (1-8) 32nd SAME 17th/32nd All Dolphins employees would like to thank Ricky Williams for this season ... as in thank him right upside his head

Spicy McHaggis
11-16-2004, 04:41 PM
We're 16th? Wow thats generous. Who do we got screwing the guys that put up these rankings?