Power rankings: Giants are the new sheriff in town

Power rankings: Giants are the new sheriff in town

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 03:31
1. New York Giants (10-1): In six-game win streak they've scored 30 points or more in last four. Next 3 games are vs. NFC East foes, and final 5 are all against teams .500 or better. Last week: 2. 2. Tennessee Titans (10-1): Got dominated by Jets but should rebound from first defeat with Thanksgiving Day trip to Motown followed by dates with Browns and Texans. Last week: 1. 3. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3): They've won 4 of last 6 and in each victory the NFL's stingiest defense has held its opponent to 10 points or less. Face Patriots on the road this week with 3 extra days' rest. Last week: 3. 4. New York Jets (8-3): Seventh win in last 8 games was easily the most impressive, as they whipped previously unbeaten Titans to hold on to top spot in AFC East. Last week: 14. 5. Indianapolis Colts (7-4): Four straight wins have been by 3, 4, 6 and 3 points, and they seem destined for the postseason, since next 4 games are against teams with a total of 9 victories. Last week: 5. 6. Baltimore Ravens (7-4): Loss to Giants is only blemish in last six games, and defense didn't allow a point last week vs. Eagles, whose only score was on special teams. Last week: 6. 7. Dallas Cowboys (7-4): Romo went to T.O., and it worked for 213 yards and 3 TDs, as they scored more than 14 points for the first time in 5 games and won back-to-back games for first time since 3-0 start. Last week: 7. 8. Tampa Bay Bucs (8-3): Managed to overcome a 17-0 deficit in last week's 38-20 win over Lions, thanks to a defense that has allowed the fewest points in the NFC and permitted 9 first downs in Detroit. Last week: 8. 9. Carolina Panthers (8-3): Defense that was NFC's best got embarrassed in 45-28 loss to Falcons that tightened up NFC South race and ended 4-game win streak. They'll have a tough time holding share of lead, since last 5 opponents are a combined 35-20. Last week: 4. 10. Arizona Cardinals (7-4): Outgained the Giants by 50 yards but lost 37-29, even though Warner continued to rack up MVP passing numbers. Barely-there run game must improve if they are to factor in playoffs. Last week: 10. 11. New England Patriots (7-4): QB Matt Cassel putting up Brady-like numbers and then some past two weeks. Visiting Steelers will put up more resistance this week. Last week: 12. 12. Washington Redskins (7-4): Aches, pains and a lack of practice didn't keep NFL rushing leader Portis from rushing for another 143 yards to snap two-game skid. Offense has scored more than 20 points just once in splitting last six games. Last week: 11. 13. Atlanta Falcons (7-4): Big win over Panthers brought them within a game of Carolina and Tampa in NFC South, but 3 of next 4 are on the road at Chargers, Saints and Vikings, plus a home game vs. Bucs. Last week: 17. 14. Minnesota Vikings (6-5): Fast start and 5 takeaways helped them rout Jags on the road and set up first-place showdown in NFC North with Bears Sunday night at Metrodome, where Vikings are 5-1 in last 6 vs. Bears. Last week: 19. 15. New Orleans Saints (6-5): Even without Reggie Bush, they're averaging 34.5 points per game in last 4, including 3 wins. Bush should be back this week at Tampa. Last week: 21. 16. Green Bay Packers (5-6): Defense that throttled the Bears a week earlier looked helpless against Drew Brees, in 51-29 loss to Saints that diminished big win vs. Bears. Last week: 13. 17. Chicago Bears (6-5): Rout of Rams provided great confidence boost, but it remains to be seen if they can stuff the run vs. “All Day” Peterson this week at the Metrodome. Last week: 18. 18. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5-1): They're not as bad as they looked last week in 36-7 loss to Ravens, and neither is McNabb, who was benched. But he'll be back this week against Cards. Last week: 9. 19. Miami Dolphins (6-5): Let opportunity to join AFC elite slip away by allowing Patriots 530 total yards in 48-28 loss, but they're still one of NFL's most improved teams. Last week: 15. 20. Denver Broncos (6-5): Who can figure this group? Got spanked 31-10 at home by Raiders team they destroyed 41-14 on the road in season opener. Might still win AFC West by default. Last week: 16. 21. San Diego Chargers (4-7): Talk about bad luck. Lost 23-20 to the Colts on 51-yard FG as time expired, fourth loss this season in the final minute. Have lost 4 of last 5, including last 3 by a total of 9 points. Last week: 24. 22. Buffalo Bills (6-5): After scoring just 43 points in last 3 games combined, snapped 4-game losing streak with 54-31 victory over Chiefs in K.C., as QB Trent Edwards regained his magic touch. Last week: 23. 23. Houston Texans (4-7): Victory over Browns was their first on the road in more than a year and ended a 3-game losing streak. WR Andre Johnson leads NFL with 81 catches and 1,071 receiving yards. Last week: 26. 24. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7): A popular Super Bowl pick in the preseason, they won't even make the playoffs. Vikings hadn't beaten anyone by more than 10 until they whipped them 30-12. Last week: 20. 25. San Francisco 49ers (3-8): Lost for the 7th time in last 8, and 3 of their next 4 are on the road. At least they're scoring for Singletary, averaging 27 points in last 3. Last week: 25. 26. Oakland Raiders (3-8): A bad year for football in the Bay Area got a bit better with their first in 5 weeks, a shocking 31-10 win over Broncos, in which they equaled their point production from the previous 4 games. Last week: 29. 27. Cleveland Browns (4-7): Face red-hot Colts this week at home, where they've lost 3 straight and 5 of 6 this season. QBs Quinn and Anderson both looked awful in loss to Texans. Last week: 22. 28. Seattle Seahawks (2-9): Even with Hasselbeck back at QB, this offense can't get anything going. They've scored more than 20 points once in the last 8 games. Last week: 28. 29. Cincinnati Bengals (1-9-1): Scored 14 points or less in 5 of last 6 games but are 1-1-1 in last 3. Return of Chad Ocho Cinco from suspension probably won't help vs. Ravens. Last week: 27. 30. Kansas City Chiefs (1-10): Offense rolled up 462 yards, but they still lost 54-31 to Bills. At least they have a shot this week at Oakland. Last week: 26. 31. St. Louis Rams (2-9): Hard to say which is worse, an offense that has scored 51 points in past 5 games or a defense that has allowed 166. Last week: 30. 32. Detroit Lions (0-11): They won the first quarter 17-0 against the Bucs last week but lost 38-3 over the final three quarters. They're probably not thankful for Thursday's visit from the Titans. Last week: 32.
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