Week 3 Power ranking
NFL Power Rankings
Rank LW Team
1 4 Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
Didn't take everyone very long to jump on the bandwagon, did it? Now a cynic might say I just have them up here now because I picked them to go to the Super Bowl. And he, she or it would be right. Except that the Chiefs have been playing like the hounds of hell, haven't they?
2 5 Buffalo Bills (2-0)
Another Z preseason pick, this one to win the AFC East. I'm doing this shameless bragging right now because we all know that things can change in a heartbeat, and I want to savor the moment while I have it.
3 10 Denver Broncos (2-0)
The whole problem with the hidden injury would have been averted if Mike Shanahan simply would have shrugged and said, "That's what they told me." Jake Plummer left the San Diego game in the first half with what was announced as a "mild concussion." In the press box the writers chuckled. Yeah, concussion. That's why they were working on his shoulder on the sidelines. Coming off the field at halftime, Shanahan confirmed the concussion story to CBS-TV's sideline reporter, Scott Kaplan. After the game Shanahan admitted that he had fudged it and didn't report the true ailment, a mild shoulder separation, for strategic purposes. Ooooh, big thunder from the league office, which plans to call in the CIA, Interpol and Interplanetary Security to fully investigate the matter. I guess it was Mike's good Catholic upbringing that put him in the confessional on Sunday, but hey, next time just lay it off on someone else and leave the mea culpa to the writers, OK? Bottom line -- Jake should be OK this Sunday.
4 7 Minnesota Vikings (2-0)
Finally the NFC makes an appearance in the rankings. When Michael Bennett got hurt in the preseason, we all wondered how Minnesota would ever get its running game going. All sorts of exotic names were mentioned, but waiting in the wings, taking it all in, was eight-year vet Moe Williams -- blocker, solid enough runner, special teamer, good all-around citizen. Well, Moe creased the Bears for 108 big ones Sunday night, to add to the 80 he recorded against the Packers in Week 1, and the running game is just fine, thank you.
5 1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
In training camp the Bucs decided to keep long-snapper Ryan Benjamin, 6-foot-1, 242, instead of the guy they had gotten from the Cowboys in a trade, 6-foot-3, 257-pound Jeff Grau, whom Tampa Bay felt was a better blocker but not as good a snapper. So on Sunday the Panthers beat the Bucs with three blocked kicks, all of which came when their big inside musclemen caved in the interior wall. That was the leading special teams area of concern, until another one surfaced in OT when Tom Tupa's sorry attempt at an out-of-bounds pooch punt was a one-hopper to Steve Smith, who returned it 52 yards to the Bucs' 40, setting up the winning field goal. I think their special teams coach is in trouble, and their offense will suffer, too, from the loss of their big play guy, Joe Jurevicius.
6 20 Carolina Panthers (2-0)
So why are they rated below the Bucs? Because three blocked kicks does not reflect on the relative strength of the two teams. And Tampa Bay got some serious drives going against them. And their QB, Jake Delhomme, doesn't really look like a big-league starter. And a 14-spot move from 20th is pretty dramatic, anyway, tying my all-time largest jump. At least I think it's all time. Jimmy, where's that record book you've been keeping?
7 14 Indianapolis Colts (2-0)
I'm not really ready to believe yet. I put them up here because their record merits it.I have their win against Tennesee on tape. I'll look at them later in the week and try to work some sensible type of comment about them into Friday's mailbag, instead of this gibberish.
8 2 Tennessee Titans (1-1)
Honest, I didn't mean to jinx Steve McNair with that remark about his health in last week's rankings. I mean, I love the way the guy plays. He was my all-pro QB last year. Go easy on me, Titans fans. I want him to get well as much as you do.
9 3 Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1)
Tommy Maddox threw three picks against the Chiefs. Jimmy Johnson, the coach-turned-TV analyst, must be chuckling. "In college we called him Turnover Tommy," he said during one show last season. There is, however, no QB controversy in Steeltown. The backup is Cliff Stoudt. Just kidding. The backup is Charlie Batch.
10 13 Seattle Seahawks (2-0)
Well, Vegas is impressed with the 'Hawks. They rate as a three-point favorite over the mighty, Marc Bulger-led Rams. Take heart, Seattle fans. Dr. Z, coming off a brilliant 3-7 weekend, likes the upset.
11 12 Green Bay Packers (1-1)
Beware the trip to the desert. Sometime, maybe not during my lifetime, but certainly while my kids are alive, the Cardinals will upset a team at home.
12 11 Oakland Raiders (1-1)
Some things never change. Everyone was annoyed when Jerry Porter sat himself down at halftime of the Titans game in Week 1, with what the club called an "abdominal strain." Then he flew down to Florida on his own for an outside opinion, and the diagnosis was a double hernia, requiring surgery. Note to Oakland: Your team doctors should move to Morris County, N.J. They'd feel right at home practicing medicine back here.
13 18 Miami Dolphins (1-1)
The Houston game was an aberration. What you saw against the Jets was the true Dolphins team. What you'll see on Sunday will be the True Dolphins getting upset by the True Bills, the latter being what I must sit down and pay, once this exercise in journalism is completed.
14 16 St. Louis Rams (1-1)
The Warner-Bulger thing is over. Unless the young guy screws up. He won't against the Seahawks. I'm telling you, it's over.Finito.Terminado. You heard it here first.
15 8 San Francisco 49ers (1-1)
I hate dumb teams. Unless they're so young that they don't know any better. When you're running around on the other team's 25-yard-line and the score is tied and the clock is ticking down to zero, you hit the ground and call time out. Anyone knows that. When the other guys have the ball in OT, you don't yank a facemask and give them 15 free yards and move them into field-goal territory. And that was a veteran who did that. I'm not mentioning any names, but he wears No.53. Ah, I can't go on with this. Why am I so bitter about the Niners-Rams game? Because I picked Frisco... see, I'm even using a nickname that's strictly forbidden out there... in an upset. I take these things hard.
16 17 New England Patriots (1-1)
There's a big mystery surrounding Rosevelt Colvin. He has some sort of injury. Locker was cleared out after the game with a note to the milkman saying no deliveries until further notice. I quote from what was, at one time, my favorite song, The Cry of the Wild Goose: "You'll see a shadow pass overhead, you'll find a feather beside my bed."
17 22 Washington Redskins (2-0)
I'm becoming a convert. The quarterback and star wideout were banged up in the first half at Atlanta. Both come back to have big days against a decent defense -- and on the road. Then the kicker boots a 54-yarder 12 seconds before halftime. Yep, they're onto something down there. And here come the e-mails flooding in to poor Jimmy. So why are the Redskins only in 17th place, tell me that, please? If I put 'em at 16, that would mean I failed to reward New England for winning in Philly. I feel the 49ers are a better team than the Rams, but St. Louis beat San Francisco, so that wraps up No. 14 and No. 15. Miami, a good team, owns No. 13, and higher than that, we're into the Power Elite. The 'Skins should be higher, I agree. I upped them five places this week. A win over the Giants and it'll be another power surge. Save the e-mails, please, because the only answer will be the one you just heard, and it's so boring that it's tough reading it once, let alone twice.
18 15 Atlanta Falcons (1-1)
I don't know about these guys. They just have to get better play out out of the quarterback position.
19 28 Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
I have the same old problem with them as I do with the Giants. Dallas won, but who's really better? Quincy Carter made some big-league throws Monday night.The defense exerted pressure on Kerry Collins, even with a three-man rush. But it collapsed in the fourth quarter. I'll give you 10-1 odds, though, that they won't lose this weekend.
20 6 New York Giants (1-1)
Come bring the kids to Action Park and see The Big Slide. From sixth to 20th, with the bottom nowhere in sight. You could get by with three rookies on the O-line if their names were Munoz, Boselli and Allen, but not with these guys.They're lucky that the Redskins don't really have the front four with which to humiliate them.
21 21 New Orleans Saints (1-1)
Their injury list reads like a casualty report from the front -- LB Sedrick Hodge, knee. Hairline fracture. Possible surgery. CB Dale Carter, broken bone around the eye socket. Surgery. Top draft, DT Jon Sullivan, knee surgery for torn cartilage.Sunday the Saints are at Tennessee. They could use a bye week or two. The league is merciless.
22 27 Baltimore Ravens (1-1)
Jamal Lewis' record-shattering performance gets them a five-spot jump in the rankings. Kyle Boller's second straight subpar afternoon keeps them from moving higher.
23 9 Philadelphia Eagles (0-2)
I got a call from Kenny Leistner on Monday. Who's Kenny Leistner? A personal trainer for selected NFL players. The Eagles, he told me, just signed Frankie Ferrara, the defensive end who'd been cut by the Giants. Good old Eagles. I'd called them about Frankie, and someone in their organization listened. Or maybe they were going to sign him anyway. You've heard enough bad things about Philly and the cheese steaks and all that, so at least here's something that's good.
24 19 Cleveland Browns (0-2)
"If you write that they've got to shore up their run defense," the Redhead says, "our marriage is in trouble." Relax, honey, there are other things I can write about. Such as their 175 yards of total offense against Baltimore, lowest in the NFL last weekend. Or the four picks Kelly Holcomb has thrown in two games. Maybe even a revival of the QB controversy, if I get desperate. Old saying -- when you're a cynic by nature, you never run out of negatives. How old a saying? OK, I just made it up.
25 25 Houston Texans (1-1)
Based on their Miami upset, are they better than the Browns? And are you really going to waste your valuable time e-mailing the answer to this bottom-of-the-heap trivia to me?
26 24 New York Jets (0-2)
Nobody's written in yet, but one more unproductive outing, and the writers will begin to hint that their top draft, DT DeWayne Robertson, might just be a, ssshhhh, bust. They had to lift him for Chester McGlockton Sunday. Robertson got a good push but had no ball awareness. Plus, he's a very nice young man, which accounts for the kindly treatment he has received from the writers. Not from the Dolphins, though.
27 23 San Diego Chargers (0-2)
There were little glimmers against the Broncos, when it seemed that they might be ready to mount a comeback. But they fizzled. This is a dead team. Flat. With very little leadership on the field. How does Marty light the fire?
28 31 Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)
My, but they played the Raiders tough, and I wish I could lift them more than three places after their loss. But, you know, everything in moderation. They'll get their hoist, though, after they upset the Steelers on Sunday.
29 26 Detroit Lions (1-1)
Two weeks ago Arizona's rookie pass catcher, Anquan Boldin, had a career day against them. Last Sunday the Packers' Ahman Green ran for 160 yards on them. This is what is known as balancing your defense.
30 29 Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)
The only reason I didn't have them higher than Detroit is because it would mean I didn't demote Jacksonville after it lost 38-17 at home to the Bills. And that would hardly be fair to similar miscreants, would it?
31 30 Arizona Cardinals (0-2)
The desert heat drained the life out of the visiting Seahawks and held the score to 38-0. This kind of day usually earns you a trip to bottomville, but Chicago got there first.
32 32 Chicago Bears (0-2)
They showed some spark against the Vikings Sunday night. Should I have moved them ahead of the Cardinals? The only way to settle it would be to have a three-game series, one at home for each team, and a third at a neutral field, say, Columbia University's Lawrence A. Wien Stadium, which holds 17,000. On second thought, maybe you'd want a smaller place.
Week 3 Power ranking
LOL ...THE DALLAS COWBOYS ARE RANKED HIGHGER THAN THE SAINTS..DO THE SAINTS GET ANY CREDIT WHATSOEVER
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