The New Orleans Saints are not the new #1 team on isportsweb’s NFL Power Rankings this week. That honor stays right where it was, with Denver. Sorry if my featured pic is a tad misleading, I just got tired of putting a picture of the Broncos up at the top.
The Saints are, however, my new #2 team after their 38-17 drubbing of the previously undefeated Miami Dolphins. Sorry, Seattle.
The turn around defensively for New Orleans one year removed from a historically bad season is impressive. But remember, in 2012 they were without star LB Jonathan Vilma and head coach Sean Payton, and their defensive coordinator last season (Steve Spagnuolo) isn’t employed by the team anymore. Enter new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and his 3-4 defense, and all of a sudden the Saints are a stalwart on that side of the ball. They rank 6th in total yards allowed, 5th against the pass, 5th in points allowed, 2nd in turnover differential, and have the 5th most sacks of any team (12 on the season, technically ranking 12th after ties). Add in that same unstoppable offense of the past, and it makes for a potent combination of awesome.
But alas, that combination is not yet good enough to unseat the current Power Rankings kings from their throne, but who knows what can happen if the Saints manage to win their next two contests (against the 3-1 Bears and the 4-0 Patriots)?
Anyway, on to the rankings:
1. Denver Broncos (Last week: 1)
All I have to say is thank GOD I drafted Wes Welker in my fantasy league (in the fifth round no less). I’m 4-0 right now, thanks in large part due to his performances.
2. New Orleans Saints (Last week: 4)
Could you imagine the offensive fireworks if the Saints and Broncos met in the Super Bowl? As long as the weather doesn’t totally suck, that is (and it will).
3. Seattle Seahawks (Last week: 2)
Yes, they won. But it took some really bad Houston play calling and execution in the fourth quarter and an overtime session for that to happen. That’s why they move down a notch.
4. Detroit Lions (Last week: 5)
They went up 40-16 on Chicago heading into the final quarter, and staved off a comeback attempt by the Bears offense.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 10)
They totally decimated the Giants, but still don’t have a win that I’d call a “signature” win. And that might not happen until they play Denver in week 11.
6. New England Patriots (Last week: 13)
They have yet to beat a team that has a winning record, and they really haven’t looked all that good doing it. But they are undefeated, and right now deserve to be here.
7. Green Bay Packers (Last week: 8)
Must be pretty nice to be on your bye-week and still move up a spot. You can thank the Bears for their assistance.
8. Chicago Bears (Last week: 3)
Jay Cutler threw three picks, but almost led his team to a 4th quarter comeback. “Almost” being the operative word.
9. Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 15)
They have a HUGE test against Seattle this week. They cannot afford the kind of offensive start that they had against Jacksonville.
10. Miami Dolphins (Last week: 9)
They got rocked. Are the Dolphins really 3-1 good? They have more trying games ahead, so we’ll find out soon.
11. San Francisco 49ers (Last week: 12)
A nice bounce back game. Everyone wants to play the Rams right now.
12. Tennessee Titans (Last Week: 17)
Why are they not ranked higher? So far the only team worth anything that they’ve beaten is San Diego. A win against undefeated Kansas City this week would definitely help their status, but being without Jake Locker for at least four weeks will make that exponentially more difficult.
13. Houston Texans (Last week: 7)
Maybe the window on this team has closed already. Andre Johnson’s getting old, Matt Schaub isn’t consistent, and they just don’t look championship worthy right now.
14. San Diego Chargers (Last week: 18)
The Chargers are making strides, but I don’t foresee them being much more than a middle-tier team all season.
15. Cleveland Browns (Last week: 23)
The Browns are 2-0 since trading away their No. 1 running back and benching their No. 1 quarterback. That’s impressive regardless of who they played.
16. Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 6)
The defense we can excuse a bit because of injuries. But what happened to their offense?
17. Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 11)
Remember when the Falcons were early contenders for the NFC Championship? Yeah, I can’t either.
18. Arizona Cardinals (Last week: 19)
Arizona must find a run game if they want success in Brice Arians’ air it out philosophy. They currently rank 18th in pass yards per game, a number that should be higher with Palmer chucking the rock to Fitzgerald.
19. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 16)
It’s the same story for the Cowboys that we’ve had the past eight years: Inconsistency. And that bit them again against the Chargers.
20. Baltimore Ravens (Last week: 14)
Ok, Ravens fans. How do you feel about your $120 million man after throwing five picks in a loss to Buffalo??
21. Buffalo Bills (Last week: 25)
Ok, Bills fans: How do you feel about Baltimore’s $120 million man after intercepting five passes in a win against Baltimore??
22. Carolina Panthers (Last week: 22)
No action on the field = no action in the power rankings. The Panthers meet Arizona this Sunday.
23. Minnesota Vikings (Last week: 29)
The Vikes finally get off the schneid in a win over Pittsburgh. All it took was getting out of the country.
24. Washington Redskins (Last week: 26)
Things look shaky yet again in the start of their game against the Raiders, but they finally started to pull together in the second half. A plus? RGIII didn’t throw a pick this week.
25. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 21)
All I could think about as Denver went up and down the field on the Eagles was how big of a man crush Jon Gruden had on Chip Kelly’s offense that first game of the season.
26. New York Jets (Last week: 24)
They finally started to look like the Jets we expected to see all season. At least Geno Smith now knows Mark Sanchez won’t replace him after Sanchez finally elected on season-ending surgery.
27. St. Louis Rams (Last week: 20)
QB Sam Bradford actually isn’t playing that badly. He just gets no help in the run game or from the defense.
28. Oakland Raiders (Last week: 27)
Matt Flynn played well, but the Raiders are still the Raiders regardless of who their QB is right now.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last week: 28)
Mike Glennon started off well, then threw two late interceptions that led to their loss against the Cardinals.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week: 31)
Steeler’s QB Ben Roethlisberger says his team is the worst in the NFL. Nope, Ben. Your team isn’t even the second-worst. The Giants suck more.
31. New York Giants (Last week: 30)
I know Tom Coughlin has a lot of credit built up with team management, but that credit has to be getting eaten up quickly after an 0-4 start.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 32)
The Broncos and the Jaguars may be the only two teams that never move a spot in the power rankings all year.
Biggest Riser: Cleveland (+8 spots)
Biggest Faller: Cincinnati (-10 spots)
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