2010 NFL Week 15 Power Rankings

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 12: Mark Sanchez  of the New York Jets picks himself up after an incomplete pass against the Miami Dolphins at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 12, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Finally, a team is offering stability at the top of the rankings.

Check out Week 14’s Power Rankings

1. New England Patriots
Previous Week: 1
This is the fourth week in a row I’ve had the Patriots in the top spot. I only mention that little factoid because before the Pats made their home atop Mount Power Rankings, the No. 1 spot acted as a revolving door for teams. New England is peaking at the right time, which has to be a scary thought for AFC playoff contenders. Tom Brady is unbeatable in blizzard-like conditions.

2. Atlanta Falcons
Previous Week: 2
Never before have I seen a team fly under the radar as well as the Falcons have this season (not that they have any control of that). Even when they’re supposed to blow out a team and do just that, people aren’t impressed. Everyone is waiting for this team to fall and in the meantime, the Falcons keep winning. Here’s the real interesting part: this team hasn’t even played a complete game yet.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers
Previous Week: 3
The Steelers’ defense is getting warmed up at just the right time, which is interesting because the Patriots’ offense is peaking now, too. We may be headed for a Pittsburgh-New England rematch soon enough.

4. New Orleans Saints
Previous Week: 4
The Saints’ defense is starting to have that opportunistic feel about them again. They picked off Sam Bradford twice inside the red zone last week and returned one of the gifts for a touchdown right before half. I’m sure Gregg Williams wishes his unit wouldn’t give up so much yardage with the playoffs fast approaching, but he has to be pleased with the amount of turnovers its now producing.

5. Baltimore Ravens
Previous Week: 6
The Ravens were lucky to escape Houston with a win on Monday night. Yes, they were up 28-7 early in the third quarter but they got too complacent and allowed the Texans to tie the game after 99 and 95-yard drives late in the fourth quarter. Houston had also stolen all the momentum heading into overtime so again, the Ravens were fortunate to make it out of Texas with a W. They have some issues to iron out before the playoffs.

6. Philadelphia Eagles
Previous Week: 8
Nice win for the Birds last Sunday night in Dallas. Andy Reid’s squad fell behind in the second half but never panicked and got a couple of monster plays out of Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson. That said, Vick is still taking too many hits, which has to be a concern for Reid with the Giants’ ferocious front seven on deck.

7. New York Giants
Previous Week: 10
The Giants’ performance Monday night in Minnesota wasn’t awe-inspiring from an Eli Manning standpoint, but Tom Coughlin had to love the way his running game destroyed a usually stout Minnesota front seven. The defense played incredibly well too, although most defenses will look good when the other team don’t use a quarterback. Either way, it was a huge win after a couple of days of chaos and with the Eagles game coming up. Now it’s gut-check time.

8. San Diego Chargers
Previous Week: 12
The Chargers caught the Matt Cassel-less Chiefs at the right time but they’re not out of the woods yet. Any Oakland-type meltdowns the rest of the way and San Diego will be home for the playoffs. Both KC and San Diego have cakewalk schedules the rest of the year, so the Bolts will just have to pray that their division rivals collapse in the final weeks.

9. Chicago Bears
Previous Week: 7
I’m not surprised the Bears lost to the Patriots last weekend. I’m surprised that they got the beating of a lifetime in what I consider “Chicago Bear conditions.” And I’m not referring to the weather, because Brady and the Pats obviously can play in the snow. I’m referring to the fact that the Bears and their fans absolutely love the underdog, we’re-better-than-everyone-says-we-are, nobody-gives-us-any-respect role. And then they go out their and they get destroyed on their home turf. Granted, if you’re going to get destroyed you might as well get destroyed by the best team in the league. I just expected more out of the eventual NFC North champs.

10. Green Bay Packers
Previous Week: 9
I hate when people say that a team is better than their record because hey, their record is their record. But in the case of the Packers, I happen to think it’s true. They’ve been decimated by injuries and yet, the numbers still suggest they’re better than their record would indicate. But no matter how you slice it, the Pack are in deep trouble. They travel to New England this Sunday night and if Aaron Rodgers (concussion) can’t go, Matt Flynn isn’t going to beat the Pats on their home turf. That means Green Bay must hope the Bears lose to the Vikings on Monday night. And with how poorly Minnesota played against the Giants, that’s a long shot. It appears as though all hopes have been dashed for this once promising team.

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2010 NFL Week 4 Power Rankings

NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 26: Matt Ryan  of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on September 26, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Falcons defeated the Saints 27-24. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

There were a lot of movers and shakers in the power rankings this week and we could have a lot of moving parts next weekend too with a couple of big-time match ups (none bigger than the Steelers and Ravens this Sunday in Pittsburgh).

Let’s get nasty…

Check out Week 3’s Power Rankings

1. Indianapolis Colts
Previous Week: 2
The Colts didn’t dominate the Broncos by any stretch of the imagination on Sunday, but that was no less an impressive victory. They were coming off a quasi-must win on Sunday night and had to travel cross-country to play in a tough environment. Good win.

2. Green Bay Packers
Previous Week: 1
I don’t know whether to rip the Packers for that horrendous display last night or remark how impressive it was that they still had a chance to win a game after committing 18 penalties. Either way, that was some ugly football.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers
Previous Week: 10
I have to admit, I thought the Steelers would get caught looking ahead to their game with the Ravens this weekend when they took on the Bucs. Obviously I’m not that bright.

4. Baltimore Ravens
Previous Week: 4
I’m starting to think I have this team rated too high, but then again the Ravens haven’t played a complete game yet. Their offense struggled the first two weeks and their defense took a step back last Sunday against the Browns. I think when this team puts it all together it could dominate, but we haven’t seen it yet.

5. Atlanta Falcons
Previous Week: 13
Yes, there loss to the Steelers in overtime was ugly. But there aren’t many offenses that look good against Pittsburgh’s defense. Matt Ryan stepped up in a huge way on Sunday in the win over the Saints. It may have been his finest performance to date.

6. New Orleans Saints
Previous Week: 3
Tough loss for the Saints, who were a Garrett Hartley chip shot away from 3-0. At least fans can take comfort in the fact that Drew Brees and Sean Payton won’t rest until they iron out their issues.

7. New York Jets
Previous Week: 10
I’m not the biggest Mark Sanchez fan, but there’s no doubt he’s been impressive the past two weeks. He’s found a solid weapon in tight end Dustin Keller.

8. Philadelphia Eagles
Previous Week: 9
I’m still waiting for Michael Vick to take a game off (he’s been prone to in the past), but I have nothing but positive things to say about his game to this point. He’s been spectacular.

9. Houston Texans
Previous Rank: 5
The Texans learned a valuable lesson this week in that playoff hopefuls can’t take weeks off. They just didn’t show up against the Cowboys.

10. Chicago Bears
Previous Week: 15
The Bears are the greatest team alive – period. Bear Down, Chicago Bears.

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NFL Power Rankings: Week 2

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 12: Running back Arian Foster  of the Houston Texans runs for a touchdown in the NFL season opener against the Indianapolis Colts at Reliant Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Week 1 is the week where every fan thinks their team shouldn’t be rated higher in the power rankings because they’ve been drunk on their team’s Kool-Aid for the past six months.

Week 2 is the week where half of those fans thinks their team is a pile of excrement.

Ah, fans.

Check out Week 1’s Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers
Previous Week: 2
It’s not easy to travel into Philadelphia in the opening week of the season and beat the Eagles on the road. Aaron Rodgers was far from perfect and Ryan Grant’s injury is a concern, but the Pack are off to a great start.

2. Indianapolis Colts
Previous Week: 1
I don’t want to drop the Colts too far down because they had that beating coming to them for a while now. The Texans were tired of being bullied and they finally did something about it. Now, if the Giants run all over the Colts this Sunday night in Indy, then we may have a problem.

3. Baltimore Ravens
Previous Week: 3
Anquan Boldin made Antonio Cromartie and rookie Kyle Wilson look like…well, he made them look like an average corner and a rookie. Still, Ozzie Newsome’s prized offseason acquisition came through in his first real test as a Raven and I think Joe Flacco is going to love targeting Boldin early and often from here on out.

4. New Orleans Saints
Previous Week: 5
The Saints’ performance last Thursday night left something to be desired, but the defense played well and you know the offense is going to produce more times than not. It’ll be interesting to see how NO fares in San Francisco next Monday night against what should be an embarrassed but motivated Mike Singletary team.

5. New England Patriots
Previous Week: 6
The Bengals’ defensive effort was pathetic last Sunday in Foxboro, but it was impressive to see the Pats’ offense rolling on all cylinders in the opening week of the season. I loved seeing Wes Welker catch the first touchdown of the year and it wasn’t only because he’s on my fantasy team…all right, all right – it was only because he’s on my fantasy team.

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2010 NFL Week 1 Power Rankings

Aug. 15, 2010 - Fort Wayne, Ind. - Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, No. 18, center, talks to receiver Austin Collie, No. 17, before the start of the Colts' preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. ..Photo by Chad Ryan.

Week 1 is, by far, the most scrutinized week when it comes to doing power rankings. That’s because every Ram, Brown and Bill fan still has a glimmer of hope that their team will compete this year.

Here’s my first crack at doing a power ranking of all 32 teams in the NFL. Criticize all you want – I just have one rule: If you’re going to criticize, tell me which team you would have higher or lower. Don’t be the tool that leaves a hit and run comment without sharing his opinion or else you will be mocked…relentlessly.

2010 NFL Week 1 Power Rankings:

1. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts remain the team to beat in the AFC, although keep an eye on the interior of their defensive line because it could be an issue all season.

2. Green Bay Packers
This is honestly the most complete team in football to me right now besides the Colts. Remember, nobody on their offensive line has gotten hurt yet.

3. Baltimore Ravens
I may be a little higher on the Ravens’ expectations than most and I do admit that their secondary scares me. But I think Joe Flacco turns heads in his third year, especially now that he has a true No. 1 in Anquan Boldin.

4. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are loaded with talent, but let’s see whether or not Doug Free can protect Tony Romo’s blindside on a weekly basis.

5. New Orleans Saints
I know, I know – it’s almost unjust to rank the defending Super Bowl champions any lower than second. But while the Saints’ O is going to be explosive again this year, it’s their D that concerns me (especially the run defense). It’s also extremely difficult to repeat when you have a target on your back.

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Peter King releases his 2010 NFL Power Rankings

SI.com’s Peter King released his first NFL power ranking for the 2010 season and has more than a handful of surprises, most notably at No. 1.

1. Green Bay. It’s not just the maturation of Aaron Rodgers. It’s the carryover from a fluky end to 2009 (the weird playoff loss at Arizona) and the fact that only one team in football — New Orleans — had a better point differential than the Pack’s plus-164 last year. I like Jermichael Finley to become a great player in his second starting season. I don’t trust the pass-rush (where Clay Matthews is the only real thing), and I worry about two of the top three corners coming off ACL surgery, and aging. But the defensive front is formidable, and a very good match for the good run teams of the AFC North. I also like Weeks 2 through 5 on the schedule (Buffalo, at Chicago, Detroit, at Washington), which sets up for a strong start.

This should make my colleague John Paulsen extremely happy. The Packers’ offense is explosive, although the offensive line will once again be the focus. Rodgers endured a ton of hits last season and those blows eventually catch up with a quarterback. His O-line must do a better job of protecting him for them to get back to the playoffs.

With Green Bay ranking first, King must have the Saints at No. 2, right? Wrong.

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