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KingPriest2
11-30-2004, 01:37 PM
Tuesday, November 30


Power Rankings: AFC dominance

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ESPN.com


ESPN.com's Power Poll
This week's rankings were determined by a poll of ESPN.com's NFL staff -- writers John Clayton, Len Pasquarelli, Michael Smith and ESPN.com NFL editors Peter Lawrence-Riddell and James C. Black.
The top six teams in the rankings stay the same this week, although the Steelers' hold on the top spot is starting to weaken a little. A few impressive outings by the Patriots and a lackluster game or two by the Steelers and New England could be back in the top spot.

As for the rest of the list, this week again shows the AFC's dominance. Three AFC teams that are on the outside of the playoff race right now (Broncs, Jags, Bills) are ranked higher than two NFC teams (Seahawks and Rams) that would be in the playoffs.

On to the rankings. To view last week's rankings, click here. Also, if you think you can do a better job, click here to rank the teams yourself and then later today at 4 p.m. ET stop by the Power Rankings Show on SportsNation to chat with the NFL Power Ranker.


2004 Power Rankings: Week 13
Rk(LW) Team Rec. Comment
1 (1) Steelers 10-1-0 In his nine starts (9-0), Ben Roethlisberger hasn't had to throw more than 25 passes in a game.
2 (2) Patriots 10-1-0 At one point Troy Brown made a play on defense and then turned right around and returned a punt. He's fun to watch.
3 (3) Eagles 10-1-0 At least Atlanta is keeping pace so the Eagles actually have something to play for the rest of the way.
4 (4) Colts 8-3-0 Our fearless forecast for Peyton Manning: 57 TDs. That's 16 in five games, which would actually be a slump for him.
5 (5) Falcons 9-2-0 Michael Vick needs 291 yards rushing in the Falcons last five games to become the first QB to rush for 1,000 yards.
6 (6) Chargers 8-3-0 Antonio Gates is just a monster. How do you cover a guy who is that big and can move like that?
7 (9) Packers 7-4-0 It was Brett Favre's night, but Najeh Davenport deserves some praise too. He'll make a pretty good starting RB some day.
8 (10) Jets 8-3-0 The Jets did OK without him (2-1), but getting Chad Pennington back would obviously be a huge lift for the Jets.
9 (7) Broncos 7-4-0 That certainly wasn't what Mike Shanahan brought Champ Bailey to Denver for.
10 (11) Vikings 7-4-0 He doesn't get the recognition of some of the other young DL in the league, but Kevin Williams is really good.
11 (8) Ravens 7-4-0 While Kyle Boller has improved some, it's still obvious that without Jamal Lewis the Ravens aren't a legitimate contender.
12 (12) Jaguars 6-5-0 Jaguars would clearly be a playoff team if they were in the NFC.
13 (17) Bills 5-6-0 Take a look at the Bills' schedule: 9-7 isn't that far-fetched at all.
14 (13) Seahawks 6-5-0 Seahawks should still make the playoffs, but all that Super Bowl talk seems a little ridiculous now.
15 (14) Rams 5-6-0 The Rams are just so inconsistent and some of that (if not most of it) has to fall on Mike Martz.
16 (21) Bengals 5-6-0 Talk about a mixed bag: Carson Palmer threw a career high four TDs Sunday, but he also tied a career high with three INTs.
17 (16) Giants 5-6-0 The Giants aren't playing like a playoff team, but someone in the NFC has to be the No. 6 team, right?
18 (18) Texans 5-6-0 Impressive rally by the Texans, who were down 21-3 at one point. That's a game a young team can build off.
19 (28) Panthers 4-7-0 They call Jevon Kearse The Freak, but what about Julius Peppers? Did you see him chase down Michael Pittman from behind?
20 (15) Buccaneers 4-7-0 Memo to Martin Gramatica: You might want to start looking for a real estate agent.
21 (19) Titans 4-7-0 Steve McNair is obviously frustrated, but we're not putting too much weight on his retirement comments.
22 (29) Cowboys 4-7-0 As long as the playoffs are still a chance, it seems pretty obvious that Vinny Testaverde will be the Cowboys QB.
23 (30) Raiders 4-7-0 Think the idea of hurting the Broncos' playoff hopes put a smile on Al Davis' face.
24 (24) Chiefs 3-8-0 The Chiefs are out of it, but with games left against the Broncos and Chargers, they can still play a big role in who wins the AFC West.
25 (23) Cardinals 4-7-0 Now it's John Navarre? Just what exactly did Josh McCown do?
26 (20) Lions 4-7-0 Kevin Jones looks like a keeper at running back for the Lions.
27 (25) Saints 4-7-0 Like all the 4-7 teams in the NFC, Jim Haslett has to sell his players on the idea that the Saints are still in it.
28 (22) Bears 4-7-0 Say what you want about Jeff George, but he could be playing left-handed and he'd be better than Jonathan Quinn.
29 (26) Browns 3-8-0 Based on what he's done in New England this year, Romeo Crennel should be right at the top of the Browns list for a new coach.
30 (27) Redskins 3-8-0 The Redskins haven't scored 20 points in a game yet this year. That's just bad.
31 (31) Dolphins 2-9-0 The Dolphins might stink, but they still have one of the best defensive players (Jason Taylor) in the NFL.
32 (32) 49ers 1-10-0 The 49ers need a whole lot more than the No. 1 pick in the draft to get back to being respectable.