Week 3, 2008, NFL Power Rankings News Article: Pro football power rankings by FootballLocks.com.
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NFL Power Ratings – 9/23/2008

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Comments September 23, 2008




Could Dallas be #1 after the Giants’ close call with the Bengals? Sure they could. It’s very close. But the Giants are still undefeated after pulling off the greatest Super Bowl upset of all time. And the Giants own an NFL record streak of 12 games in a row won away from home. And the Giants have given up the fewest points in the NFC this season. And the Giants beat the Cowboys in Dallas just 6 games ago in the divisional playoffs.




Dallas smoked the Packers in Green Bay. And the Cowboys are the current favorites to win Super Bowl XLIII. But the defending champs still have enough clout to deserve hanging on to the top spot for now.




The Chargers got the monkey off their backs. And when LT’s toe is 100%, they’ll be even tougher to beat. The only thing that keeps the Chargers ahead of Tennessee is their (2-0) mark against the Titans last season including a playoff win… Lastly, the Chargers *really did* beat the Broncos in Denver week 2, even if the standings can’t give them credit for it– the power rankings can and do.




Through 3 games the Titans are averaging giving up just under 10 points per game. And we currently have them projected to finish with the top record in the AFC. However, they certainly could suffer their first loss when they host the Vikings this week in a battle of two of the league’s top smash mouth teams…




Washington improved to (2-1) with a victory over the hot starting Cardinals. A healthy Santana Moss does wonders for the Redskins’ offense. We currently have Washington projected to go (11-5) regardless of the fact they might lose their next two games at Dallas, and at Philadelphia.




The Eagles sacked Roethlisberger 9 times in a display of defensive domination over the Steelers. Philadelphia needs Westbrook to heal up soon.




  The Packers got a dose of reality in week 3. Dallas is simply the better team. Of course the injury to Harris certainly didn’t help as it opened the door for Miles Austin to torch Green Bay’s secondary.




  Some say it’s better to be lucky than good. That may be true in the regular season, but not in the playoffs. There’s no question the Broncos are potent when passing the ball. Cutler to Marshall has become a phenomenal duo. But Denver’s defense leaves a lot to be desired. Their schedule is light, and Denver should amass plenty of wins. They look to be on pace for as good as (12-4). But can this team win in the postseason? Everyone knows Denver caught a huge break in week 2 versus San Diego, and another monster break in week 3 when the Saints’ Gramatica missed a late 4th quarter field goal in a game where they allowed the Saints to put up over 500 yards on offense without Marcus Colston in the lineup. The Broncos could just as easily be (1-2). And they’re not coming off an AFC championship game visit like our other top (1-2) team. The standings show (3-0). But the power rankings show more like (1.5 – 1.5)… We’ll be happy to move the Broncos up further if they keep winning or at least show some better defense. Okay, let the hate mail begin. Just keeping it real.




  No Sanders, no stopping the run. The Colts fell under the .500 mark thanks to a closing moments loss in a game where they were run over by the Jaguars to the tune of 236 yards.




  In week 2 the Vikings shut out the Colts in the first half and lost… Here in week 3 the Vikings saved their “shutout” for the second half, and it landed them a much needed victory over the hot starting Carolina Panthers. The Vikings’ schedule doesn’t get any easier. A trip to Tennessee is on deck followed by a trip to New Orleans. Needless to say, Minnesota needs to win at least one of these next two games to stay on pace to at least be in the playoff picture.




  While some readers wanted to have us committed for ranking the Vikings ahead of the Panthers last week– as we eluded to in the rankings, it was going to be difficult for the Panthers to get a road victory in Minnesota against a solid team in desperate need of a win, that also possesses a defense capable of shutting out the Colts for a half… The Panthers were held to just 47 yards rushing by the Vikings. Not to mention Carolina was shut out in the second half.




  Quick, nobody look while we whisk Cassel’s Patriots into the pre-teens. New England’s regular season run of 21 straight wins came to an end in a crushing 25 point home loss to the Miami Dolphins– who were ironically the last team to beat the Patriots in the regular season. With Chad Pennington lining up at receiver all day, the Patriots couldn’t stop Ronnie Brown (133 yards rushing, 4 rushing TD’s); even though they knew the run was coming. And just when New England looked ready to pounce on the run, Ronnie Brown burned them with a 19 yard TD pass. Adding insult to injury, Williams nearly broke the 100 yard rushing mark as well. Of course Patriots’ fans are going to want to continue Brady’s streak of regular season wins when he comes back next season. They can start at 20 since Brady played some against the Chiefs. But the real question Patriots’ fans need to ask is– can New England win in San Francisco their next game (week 5)???




The Bills scored their second dramatic come from behind victory in a row, topping the Raiders at home. Their early (3-0) mark does wonders for their playoff chances. But almost losing to the Raiders doesn’t do them a lot of favors in the power rankings. Buffalo passed New England in the standings this week. All they have to do to pass the Patriots in the power rankings is beat the Rams on the road next week. No problem, right?




  We had concerns about how the Steelers’ offensive line would perform when they finally had to play a team with a half decent defense. The results were not encouraging as they were smoked by the Eagles. To make matters worse, Roethlisberger injured his throwing hand.




Without Colston in their lineup, Brees threw for 421 yards against the Broncos– but Gramatica couldn’t connect on a 43 yard field goal and the Saints left Denver with their second straight loss… Making matters worse, Shockey will now miss time with a sports hernia, leaving the Saints in a weakened state as the fired up 49ers come to town.




  Griese threw for over 400 yards leading the Bucs to a come from behind victory at Chicago… This is the kind of victory that could have seriously positive playoff implications for Tampa Bay. As far as power rankings go, should the Bucs be rated higher? Absolutely. The problem is there are around 5 or 6 teams that all grade similarly. A win over the Packers in week 4 is all Tampa needs to rocket up.




  Jacksonville saved their season with a victory at Indianapolis thanks to Jones-Drew and Taylor each going over 100 yards rushing. Of course it should be noted that the Colts were very thin in the run stuffing department for this game.




The Bears let one get away against Tampa Bay, falling at home in overtime. When it’s all said and done, this is the kind of loss that could potentially cost Chicago a playoff spot.




The Jets fell below .500 with a rather predictable loss in San Diego. As far as the rankings go, last week’s loss to the Patriots now grades worse after what the Dolphins did to New England this week.




  In a week of high scoring it was refreshing to see a team that still knows how to play defense for 4 quarters. But can the Ravens keep it up against stiffer competition like Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and Indianapolis? We’ll find out in the next 3 weeks… Meanwhile, wins over the Bengals and Browns aren’t enough to rocket the Ravens to top of the rankings.




  The Cardinals lost the turnover battle in Washington, and hence the game. With contests coming up against the Jets, Bills, Cowboys, and Panthers, it looks like make or break time will come early in the season for the Cards.




The 49ers are above .500 after hammering the Lions. Of course everyone is blowing out Detroit, so beware of engaging in week 3 playoff talk– like what went on early last season… Then again this year’s Niners do look quite different. And according to our projections the West may be won in 2008 with a seriously sub .500 record.




  Miami ended New England’s regular season winning streak at 21 games with a blowout of the Patriots at the Razor with Chad Pennington at the helm– while the Jets lost to New England with Favre at home the previous week. Hmmmm. Ronnie Brown looked back to his old form with 4 dazzling touchdown runs and a TD pass. Can the Dolphins keep it going after their bye when they host the Chargers– or will the party be over?




  The Seahawks grabbed their first win– a blowout of the Rams at home. There’s no ail that playing the NFL West bottom feeder can’t fix.




  The Falcons got back over .500 by crushing of the Chiefs as Turner bolted for 3 TD’s… Most of Atlanta’s easy games are behind them– their schedule starts to get very tough going forward.




Cincinnati almost turned their season around with an upset of the champs, but fell in overtime– and now sit at three games below the .500 mark.




  You see what’s happening here right? Derek Anderson is primed to become the scapegoat after an (0-3) start. You can’t overly blame for losing to Dallas. And Pittsburgh & Baltimore have the leagues top 2 defenses. One might extrapolate that Brady Q would have had similar fortunes. To bring in Quinn now just in time to face the Bengals would really be sticking it to Anderson.




  The Raiders let one get away in Buffalo. Then again they were out-gained by 131 yards. Meanwhile, the coaching drama continues.




  With so many bottom ranked teams suddenly turning in stellar performances, there’s no place for the Texans to go but way down.




  Thigpen was picked off 3 times as the Chiefs were throttled in Atlanta, falling to three games below .500




  Detroit was blown out in San Francisco. The Lions have given up the second most points in the league this season.




  The Rams fell to three games below .500 as they were blown out in Seattle… St. Louis has given up the most point in the NFL this season.

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