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KingPriest2
12-08-2004, 10:41 AM
Tuesday, December 7


Power Rankings: Pats take over top spot

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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.
We said a couple of weeks ago in the Power Rankings chat that all it would take was a small shift in the votes and the Patriots would move into the top spot. Well, that small shift happened and we have a new No. 1. This certainly won't make the folks in Pittsburgh happy, but it's a poll and those are the results. Besides, as long as the Steelers keep winning, the road to the Super Bowl in the AFC still goes through Pittsburgh, so Steelers fans can take solace in that.

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. We're guessing they'll be a few questions from Pittsburgh.


2004 Power Rankings: Week 14
Rk(LW) Team Rec. Comment
1 (2) Patriots 11-1-0 Terrell Owens would probably be No. 1, but Corey Dillon is right behind him in terms of the top offseason acquisitions.
2 (1) Steelers 11-1-0 You hear some folks knocking Ben Roethlisberger because he doesn't have to throw the ball a lot. But what's more important is that when he does throw, he's averaging 8.47 yards per attempt. That's No. 3 in the NFL behind Manning and McNabb.
3 (3) Eagles 11-1-0 If the Eagles don't make the Super Bowl this year, they might not ever make it again.
4 (4) Colts 9-3-0 Talk about balance: Stokley (882), Wayne (875) and Harrison (870) are all pace to go over 1,160 yards receiving.
5 (6) Chargers 9-3-0 The defense (No. 11 overall and No. 2 against the run) is getting sort of overlooked, but Wade Phillips has it playing some good football.
6 (8) Jets 9-3-0 Curtis Martin isn't flashy and he doesn't dance after big plays, but he's on his way to the Hall of Fame.
7 (5) Falcons 9-3-0 Michael Vick must see Monte Kiffin in his nightmares. He just turns to mush against the Bucs.
8 (7) Packers 7-5-0 The Packers certainly didn't leave Philly feeling as good about their chances in the NFC as they probably felt when they arrived.
9 (9) Broncos 7-5-0 Jake Plummer has thrown 10 INTs in the Broncos' five losses and just five INTs in their seven wins.
10 (10) Vikings 7-5-0 Randy Moss just doesn't look right. And without him at full speed, the Vikings obviously aren't as dangerous.
11 (11) Ravens 7-5-0 This week it was the defense, not the offense, that let the Ravens down.
12 (13) Bills 6-6-0 A couple of losses by the teams in front of them (Broncos and Ravens) and suddenly the playoffs aren't completely out of the picture.
13 (12) Jaguars 6-6-0 Strange stat of the week: Fred Taylor is seventh in the AFC in rushing (980 yards), but has scored just one rushing TD.
14 (19) Panthers 5-7-0 You could make a case that the Panthers are playing as well as any team in the NFC other than the Eagles.
15 (16) Bengals 6-6-0 Maybe Marvin Lewis knew what he was doing with Carson Palmer, huh?
16 (15) Rams 6-6-0 Rams' playoff hopes could now rest on the 39-year old shoulder of Chris Chandler. Of course, the Rams might finish first in the NFC West if they finish 7-9.
17 (20) Buccaneers 5-7-0 Bucs are back in the hunt, but the West Coast (2-23 in the Pacific Time zone, according to The Tampa Tribune) has never been kind.
18 (14) Seahawks 6-6-0 The Seahawks just don't know how to play a full 60 minutes of football.
19 (22) Cowboys 5-7-0 Looks like the Cowboys knew what they were doing when the traded down and picked Julius Jones. If they'd had him all year they'd be a playoff team right now.
20 (26) Lions 5-7-0 Roy Williams has slowed down some, but with him and Kevin Jones, the Lions have some exciting pieces in place.
21 (28) Bears 5-7-0 Getting Brian Urlacher and Charles Tillman back was obviously a huge spark for the Bears defense.
22 (18) Texans 5-7-0 Maybe all the talk about David Carr being on the verge of being a superstar (some of it here) was a bit premature.
23 (24) Chiefs 4-8-0 Maybe Larry Johnson (20 carries for 118 yards and a TD and one TD reception) can actually play a little.
24 (17) Giants 5-7-0 After starting 4-4 and 5-3, respectively, they are now 0-12 in the second half of the past two seasons.
25 (30) Redskins 4-8-0 After not scoring 20 points in a game this year the Redskins just decided they'd skip right past the 20s and go straight to 30.
26 (21) Titans 4-8-0 If you're looking for positives, Drew Bennett's emergence as a No. 2 WR is one.
27 (23) Raiders 4-8-0 Ronald Curry's injury is too bad, but the former college QB showed plenty of promise this year and should be a big part of Oakland's future.
28 (25) Cardinals 4-8-0 Well, apparently John Navarre (1 TD and 4 INTs) wasn't the answer at QB either.
29 (27) Saints 4-8-0 If you're Jim Haslett, what could you have possibly said to the Saints at halftime of Sunday's game?
30 (29) Browns 3-9-0 Apparently a new head coach didn't provide much of a spark in Cleveland.
31 (31) Dolphins 2-10-0 There's talk in Miami about benching A.J. Feeley, but at this point, what good would that do? You might as well keep him out there and see if he's going to have any role in the team's future.
32 (32) 49ers 1-11-0 We knew the 49ers wouldn't be very good, but they're even worse than we could have imagined.