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2010 NFL Week 8 Power Rankings

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning talks to his offense in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at New Meadowlands Stadium in week 4 of the NFL in East Rutherford, New Jersey on October 3, 2010. The Giants defeated the Bears 17-3.   UPI /John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

Thanks to a controversial finish in Miami, the Steelers retain their spot at the top for one week. After that, however, it’s pure, unadulterated chaos, as usual.

Let’s get nasty, Ricky.

Check out Week 7’s Power Rankings

1. Pittsburgh Steelers
Previous Ranking: 1
The NFL says that the officials in the Pittsburgh-Miami game got the call right on Big Ben’s fumble at the goal line. I think that’s crap, but it doesn’t change my opinion that this is currently the best team in the league. That may change with a loss to the Saints this Sunday though.

2. Indianapolis Colts
Previous Week: 2
We’ll see how the Dallas Clark and Austin Collie injuries play out before moving the Colts from this spot. With the Texans coming to town on Monday night, we’re about to learn a lot about this Indy team.

3. New York Jets
Previous Week: 2
The Jets are fortunate to get a banged up Packers team at home while coming off a bye this Sunday. Now they have to take advantage of it and keep pushing forward.

4. New England Patriots
Previous Week: 4
Not a very dominating performance out in San Diego last week, but wins are the only thing that matter. Good teams take advantage of the gifts that opponents give them, which is exactly what the Pats did last Sunday. That said, they’re fortunate not to have blown a double-digit fourth quarter lead.

5. New York Giants
Previous Week: 7
There’s no doubt the Giants need to cut down on the turnovers (they’re averaging about 34 a game right now), but they’re dominating teams right now. Romo or no Romo, after the two early interceptions on Monday night, the Giants were in complete control. This is your favorite in the NFC East from here on out.

6. Baltimore Ravens
Previous Week: 5
It looked like the Ravens had already gone into their bye last week against the Bills. There’s no excuse to give up 34 points to Buffalo at home, but John Harbaugh and Co. will get things straightened out this week.

7. Tennessee Titans
Previous Week: 11
If Kenny Britt can stay out of Jeff Fisher’s doghouse long enough to stay on the field, then he gives the Titans what they’ve been desperately searching for in terms of a deep threat. This team is starting to play with a little more consistency from week to week and is now an under-the-radar contender in the AFC.

8. Philadelphia Eagles
Previous Week: 8
It’ll be interesting to see how Michael Vick performs coming off his injury. Kevin Kolb did his job to keep the Eagles afloat while Vick was out, but now it’s time to turn it up a notch because the Giants are rolling. I didn’t move the Eagles down this week after a bad second half in Tennessee because this is still the same team that absolutely dominated the Falcons two weeks ago.

9. Atlanta Falcons
Previous Week: 9
Although they let the Bengals back into the game after building a 24-3 lead, it was impressive to watch the Falcons reinsert their foot on Cincinnati’s throat in the fourth quarter. Their offense also found the vertical passing game for one of the first times all year and Michael Turner bounced back after a poor outing in Philadelphia two weeks ago. The bye week comes at a great time for this team, as injuries are starting to mount.

10. Green Bay Packers
Previous Week: 10
The Packers hold onto their top-10 ranking after beating the Vikings, although they have another tough outing this week in East Rutherford. The Jets will be coming off their bye and it’s scary to think about what Rex Ryan will drum up in terms of a pass rush while game planning to face Aaron Rodgers.

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2009 NFL Power Rankings Week 8

Here’s how I see things 1-32 in the NFL now that seven weeks are in the books.

1. New Orleans Saints (6-0)
Considering they gave up 34 points last week, it would be easy to assume that the Saints defense didn’t play well. But it was actually Drew Brees that allowed the Dolphins to jump out to a 24-3 halftime lead with all the turnovers he had. Credit Sean Payton for not abandoning the run and getting away from his game plan despite the early deficit.

2. Indianapolis Colts (6-0)
The Colts continue to feast on bad teams, as they blew out the Rams in St. Louis last Sunday. But they’ll get a couple of decent challenges from their next four opponents: 49ers (or maybe not considering how overrated Mike Singletary’s team now looks), Texans, Patriots and Ravens.

3. Denver Broncos (6-0)
It’s amazing how this team continues to be underdogs week after week. Despite being undefeated and facing an opponent that has lost three straight, the Broncos are 3-point underdogs at the Ravens this Sunday. Something tells me Josh McDaniels wouldn’t have it any other way.

4. New England Patriots (5-2)
I’m not overlooking the fact that the Patriots absolutely demolished two bad teams the past two weeks. But I’m also not going to overlook how comfortable Tom Brady seems in the pocket again.

5. Minnesota Vikings (6-1)
Why Brad Childress decided not to use Adrian Peterson more in those final six minutes on Sunday is beyond me. Brett Favre shouldn’t be attempting 51 passes in a game unless it’s a blow out and the Vikes need to throw to get back into it.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)
Any lingering doubts about whether or not the Bengals could put their home loss to the Texans in Week 6 behind them were erased once they scored their fourth touchdown of the first half against the Bears. What a season Cedric Benson is having.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2)
This hasn’t been an overly impressive team through the first seven weeks of the season, but the Steelers always have a knack for making their opponents look really bad on Sundays.

8. Arizona Cardinals (4-2)
This may be a little high for the Cardinals, but I can’t force myself to rank them below the Giants after their impressive win last week in East Rutherford. There’s a lot to like about this Cardinals team right now: They’re playing well defensively, their offense is starting to get into a rhythm and Beanie Wells is even showing potential in the running game. ‘Zona is once again the team to beat in the NFC West.

9. New York Giants (5-2)
The Giants are who we thought they were: An injury-riddled team that is going to have to battle some tough opponents over the next couple weeks to stay afloat in the NFC East.

10. Dallas Cowboys (5-2)
If the Cowboys can play with the same intensity, focus and determination every week as they did last Sunday against the Falcons, they’ll have no problem making the playoffs. I swear the Dallas players thought it was the Super Bowl with how they got up for Atlanta.

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Midseason NFL Power Rankings: Contenders & Pretenders Edition

Kerry CollinsThe NFL is mixed bag of emotions every week in terms of how teams play from Sunday to Sunday, but it’s fair to at least take an early look at the contenders and pretenders.

Below is a midseason power ranking of all 32 teams. Along with a ranking, each team gets slapped with a “contender,” “pretender,” or “What time does April’s draft start?” label as well.

We’re heading into Week 9. I fully expect that these rankings will mean absolutely nothing by Week 10, but screw it – let’s have some fun.

Midseason Power Rankings

1. Tennessee Titans (6-0)
It’s kind of hard not to rank the only undefeated team left in the NFL at the No. 1 spot, but the Titans also deserve it. Their offense isn’t flashy outside of Rookie of the Year Candidate RB Chris Johnson, but QB Kerry Collins has provided enough savvy veteran play to allow the defense to win ballgames. And speaking of the defense, it might be the most clutch unit in the NFL season.
Midseason Status: Contender

2. New York Giants (6-1)
What the hell happened in Cleveland two weeks ago? Eli Manning looked like…well…he looked like Eli Manning pre-postseason 2007 and the defense clearly had no idea how to stop Derek Anderson and that high-powered Browns’ offense (read the sarcasm please). Still, the defending champs have four things going for them right now that make them the best team in the NFL: A quarterback, a running game, a defense that gets after the quarterback and they can win on the road.
Midseason Status: Contender

3. New England Patriots (5-2)
People are just going to think I’m putting the Pats this high because they’re the Pats. But the reason why I’m putting the Pats this high is because Bill Belichick is on a mission to prove people wrong. And once he sets his sites on proving people wrong, nothing can stop him. Not even Tom Brady on the sideline.
Midseason Status: Contender

DeAngelo Williams4. Carolina Panthers (6-2)
Their win against Arizona in Week 8 was unimpressive to say the least, but good teams find ways to win even when they don’t play that well. I think this team has a ton of fraud in them, but it’s hard to argue with how well the defense is playing and how much of a different team they are with Jake Delhomme under center. If they can keep running the ball as well as they have, Carolina will win the NFC South.
Midseason Status: Contender

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2)
The Steelers should have beaten the Giants last Sunday – plain and simple. They had control of the game but a botched snap and some failed protection for Ben Roethlisberger cost them a win. I still think the offensive line is going to be an issue all season, but every time you think Pittsburgh is going to take a step back and start stumbling, they prove that they can win tight games with key players on the sidelines.
Midseason Status:

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