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Power Rankings

As I write this, I'm watching the World Series post-game show. Congrats to the Chicago White Sox and their fans, specifically FBG staff writers Rudnicki and Wood.

Let's get to it.

From Greg A.
Can you please give the Bucs some credit? They have the best record in the NFC and you rank them 15th. Like it or not, they are 5-1, so they have to be doing some things right. You keep hinting that they will fall apart, but their defense is lights out and with Caddy/Pittman, the running game is above average. Put them where they deserve, which is at least in the top ten. And stop ranking teams on what you think they will do but rank them on what they have done. I am not saying they are going to win the Super Bowl or that they are the best team in the league, but they need to be given some credit.

I hear you, and I understand that it's frustrating for Bucs fans to see their team sit at 5-1 and be ranked in the middle of the pack when it comes to rankings like this. The problem lies in our interpretation of power rankings.

To me, they are different from say, college football rankings. That is based solely on what teams have done, with preseason expectations coming into play somewhat. With this, I truly rank each team in terms of how "powerful" I think they are. I try to assume each team plays one another on a neutral setting, and who do I think would win. In the case of the Bucs, I don't think they'd beat any of the teams ahead of them, and I don't think they'd lost to the teams behind them.

Their five wins are against teams that are a combined 11-20, while their loss came to the hapless Jets. I admit, I've mentioned several times before that you can't control who you play, so teams shouldn't be penalized for beating inferior opponents. It's just that that Bucs were fortunate to even win two of those games and hardly have dominated inferior competition.

Additionally, they've got a tough stretch coming up following the game against San Francisco this week. If the Bucs win a tough game in the next few weeks and maintain a good record, rest assured - they will move up. But at this point I don't think they are as good as their record would indicate. I'd much rather keep them stagnant than move them up a few notches each week they win only to lower them if/when they begin losing with regularity.

Any other comments/questions/complaints/death threats should be e-mailed to me at the following address: If selected, your e-mail will appear in this space next week.

Rk - Team Name - Record (Last week)

  1. Indianapolis Colts 7-0 (1)
    Who'd have thought that someone who owns both Peyton Manning AND the Colts defense would be happier with the production out of the latter?

    Thank you, that was my 'obvious statement of the week' portion of the column.
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers 4-2 (5)
    Congratulations Steelers. You're once again the second-best team in the AFC.
  3. Cincinnati Bengals 5-2 (2)
    After getting drubbed like that, most teams would move down more than one spot. But I'm thinking maybe it's just that Pittsburgh is THAT good.
  4. Denver Broncos 5-2 (3)
    Mike Anderson (in his best Jack Nicholson voice), to fantasy owners who wrote him off: "You <messed> with the wrong marine!"
  5. New England Patriots 3-3 (4)
    They should get back on track with a home game against Buffalo this week. Of course, if they don't, a precipitous drop awaits.
  6. Atlanta Falcons 5-2 (6)
    They're here for now, and will likely be a high playoff seed…but the defense I expected to be dominant is not going to be there when they need it, I'm afraid.
  7. Philadelphia Eagles 4-2 (7)
    Those mother*$&%&* lucky sons of *$%*&*$!!!!!
  8. Jacksonville Jaguars 4-2 (8)
    I know it's "out there" or whatever, but bear with me. STL, HOU, BAL, TEN, ARZ, CLE, IND, SF, HOU, TEN. The Jaguars should, yes SHOULD, go 12-4.
  9. Washington Redskins 4-2 (11)
    Am I still a fool for putting this team in the top-10 several weeks ago?
  10. Seattle Seahawks 5-2 (12)
    As noted in The Profit last week, I'm suddenly on board for the Seahawks. I think that they're being underestimated because of their history, and they're actually pretty good! (Now I'm crossing my fingers that they won't make me look like an idiot this week)
  11. Dallas Cowboys 4-3 (9)
    Uh yeah, so what was that ending all about?
  12. San Diego Chargers 3-4 (10)
    I know I'll be accused of homerism here, but the Chargers are as good a team as anyone in the league. Regardless of schedule difficulty, this team WILL make the playoffs. That's in blood, in stone, whatever.
  13. Carolina Panthers 4-2 (13)
    Note to Carolina: If you tell the Vikings that you'll provide them with a post-game spread, make sure they know you're talking about food.

    (And no, around these parts jokes like this will never die. They'll just get recycled until you're sick of me…OK, MORE sick of me.)
  14. Kansas City Chiefs 4-2 (14)
    A win this week, and I'll have to find a way to get them into the top ten.
  15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-1 (15)
    If the Bucs don't intercept Dorsey at least 7 times this week, it'll be an enormous failure.
  16. New York Giants 4-2 (17)
    The Giants have played a very impressive two drives the past two games. Now if they could do something about those first 55 minutes, they'd be really good.
  17. Saint Louis Rams 3-4 (18)
    This is the line of demarcation that separates the good teams in the league from the crappy ones. The Rams are part of the crap.
  18. Detroit Lions 3-3 (22)
    It's almost a mockery that…
  19. Chicago Bears 3-3 (25)
    …one of these teams is going to win a division title.
  20. Miami Dolphins 2-4 (16)
    Remember when the Dolphins were good? Like, a few weeks ago?
  21. Buffalo Bills 3-4 (19)
    There has never been such a demand for someone of Kelly Holcomb's stature to play in the history of the league.
  22. Oakland Raiders 2-4 (20)
    So, THIS is what LaMont Jordan can do with an opportunity.
  23. New York Jets 2-5 (21)
    Something tells me Chase Stuart isn't going to send me a Christmas card this year.
  24. Baltimore Ravens 2-4 (23)
    When the Chicago Bears are showing the Ravens what a REAL defense looks like, you've got some issues.
  25. Cleveland Browns 2-4 (24)
    I just realized something while watching VH1's Awesomely Wacky Celebrity Baby Names…Romeo Crennel's first name…is ROMEO!
  26. Minnesota Vikings 2-4 (27)
    All that proves…is that they can beat the awful Packers. That's it.
  27. Arizona Cardinals 2-4 (28)
    I don't want to make a big thing out of it, but I'm starting at RB for Arizona this weekend. So like, watch for me and stuff.
  28. Tennessee Titans 2-5 (26)
    For some real high comedy, check out the latest Titans' injury news on our Blogger from October 15th on. I half expect to read that Ernest Givens was electrocuted doing the electric slide.
  29. Green Bay Packers 1-5 (29)
    I said the following last week:
    "Don't know why, but I have a good feeling about Ahman Green the rest of the way."

    Well, I suppose it's a good thing for him that he doesn't have to be a part of this embarrassment anymore.
  30. New Orleans Saints 2-5 (30)
    I heard ESPN crying about the NFL costing the Saints games the other night, and I thought to myself…"Hmmm, could it also be that the Saints are just very very bad?"
  31. San Francisco 49ers 1-5 (31)
    Watch for this team in 2012.
  32. Houston Texans 0-6 (32)
    Watch for this team in 2018.

Super Shufflers Of the Week (+)

  1. Chicago Bears +6…It's weird, but there is definitely an offense bias. That is, if the Bears had a great offense and a horrific defense instead of the other way around, they'd probably be thought of more highly.
  2. Detroit Lions +4…Just getting Harrington out of the lineup bumped them two spots.
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers +3…The Steelers have lost once to a largely-intact Patriots team, and once without their starting QB. I think it's safe to say I underrated them.

Plungers Of the Week (-)

  1. Miami Dolphins -4…Just not clicking in any aspect of the game right now. The short week was supposed to benefit the home team, right? Right?
  2. Many teams tied with -2…A two-point drop is nothing huge, and isn't worth elaborating on for each team. They just lost, that's all.
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