1. PATRIOTS (3-0):
Bill Bellicheat and the Patriots* remain at the top of the JI Power Rankings.
These guys are so loaded and dominant I fear they may run the table, even without the cameras, and wouldnít that be a kick in the teeth.
2. COLTS (3-0): When the defending champs are undefeated after three games they should be #1, but the Pats look far superior to everyone including the Colts.
3. COWBOYS (3-0): Right now the Cowboys look like the class of the NFC and somewhere Bill Parcells must be thinking; maybe I should have stuck around for one more year.
4. PACKERS (3-0): Brett Favre is turning back the clock and reminding us all why heís a first ballot hall of famer and an all-time great, and heís doing this with no running game to speak of. Do I expect this to continue? No, but for now the old gunslinger deserves his props and his Packers have earned this ranking.
5. STEELERS (3-0): After a one year hiatus the Steelers look like they mean business again, but they have feasted on a soft schedule so lets not get carried away.
6. CHARGERS (1-2): Chargers General Manager, A.J. Smith, has done a terrific job with player personnel and manipulating the draft, but Iíd love to know what was going through his mind when he decided to entrust this team to Norv Turner. Was he drunk? Right about now Marty-ball is not looking so bad, huh?
7. RAVENS (2-1): Letís face it, after the TOP 3 the theme in the NFL through three weeks is obvious; parity/mediocrity rules the day.
8. TITANS (2-1): As I was saying ...
9. JAGUARS (2-1): I love a big/physical defense so I appreciate what makes the Jags competitive, but once upon a time any team with David Gerrard at Quarterback wouldnít get so much as a whiff of the TOP 10 Ö and you wonder why I wonít apologize for ranking the Packers in the TOP 5.
10. BRONCOS (2-1): I refuse to be a phony just to make the power rankings more entertaining. Iím not raving about the Broncos either because frankly they donít deserve it.
11. SEAHAWKS (2-1): As I was saying Ö
12. BENGALS (1-2): This team is a disgrace, but theyíre explosive on offense and thatís good enough for #12 in the NFL circa 2007.
13. TEXANS (2-1): I would have ranked this team #4 if they didnít lose WR Andre Johnson and possibly RB Ahman Green to knee injuries. They also lost rookie sensation, WR Jacoby Jones, to a separated shoulder. Donít sleep on the Texans, they have a ferocious young defensive line, one that I envy, DeMeco Ryans is an outstanding young middle-linebacker and Dunta Robinson is no slouch at Cornerback. They have a Quarterback too, Matt Schaub is a nice player, and if he gets those weapons back this is a legit playoff contender in my view.
14. PANTHERS (2-1): Jake Delhomme is down and now David Carr gets one last chance to prove heís not a bust.
15. BEARS (1-2): They should turn it around defensively, but their offense is pathetic. They better make the switch to Brian Griese; at this point they have nothing to lose. Oh yeah, and trading Thomas Jones is right up there with the Falcons trading Matt Schaub and the Chargers hiring Norv Turner for the dumbest move of the off-season award. Cedric Benson has been nothing short of putrid.
16. LIONS (2-1): They got dismantled in Philly last week, which was not exactly a shocker because the Eagles were home and desperate for a win, but I can name a lot of teams that wish they had the Lions personnel on offense.
17. NY JETS (1-2): As we are learning much to our dismay, thereís no shame in getting waxed by the Patriots, the Jets are acquiring company on a weekly basis in that regard, and they came one, two, arguably three dropped touchdown passes away from taking the Ravens to overtime at Baltimore. Last week the Jets bounced back with their first win over Miami, which is always nice, but they made it a little too exciting at the end because their defense couldnít lower the boom with a 31-13 lead. I still believe the Jets are a wild card contender, especially when you consider the competition (a mediocre lot), but I may have to reconsider if theyíre not 3-2 following the Bills and the Giants. I donít want to get too far ahead of ourselves here, but if the Jets are any good they should beat Philly at home as well, they should be 4-2 after week six. 3-3 heading to Cincinnati, with the Jets pass rush (or lack thereof), would NOT be a good idea.
18. REDSKINS (2-1): Boy that was a tough home loss to the Giants because they couldnít punch it into the end-zone at the gun.
19. EAGLES (1-2): One more touchdown and they would have cracked 60 Points verses the Lions. Do you think the Eagles were dead serious about getting into the win column last week?
20. BUCCANEERS (2-1): What can I say, Iím not a believer, but Iíll keep an open mind.
21. 49ERS (2-1): In my opinion the 49ers that got blasted by the Steelers is more for real than the 49ers that narrowly defeated the Cardinals and Rams. I love Frank Gore, but their defense has been average at best and their passing game has been a rumor.
22. GIANTS (1-2): The Giants narrowly escaped 0-3 and Tom Coughlin jumped so high when they made that goal-line stop he literally lost his hat. He looked like a condemned man who just received a last minute reprieve. Sadly with this bunch the execution wasnít overturned, it was merely delayed for another day.
23. SAINTS (0-3): I donít know what is more shocking, that the Saints are 0-3, that they have looked so dreadfully inept getting there, or that the leagues most explosive offense one year ago suddenly looks, well, awful. How awful? Drew Brees has thrown one touchdown pass and seven interceptions thus far, and now they lost Deuce McAllister for the season as well. (Ouch!)
24. CARDINALS (1-2): For those Jet fans who lamented passing on Matt Leinart in the draft, and you know who you are, would you trade Kellen Clemens for Matt Leinart if the Cardinals made that offer today? I think itís ridiculous to yank him for Kurt Warner as the Cardinals did last week, and then suggest there will be some sort of a QB rotation (Uh, what?). If you draft a QB that high you have to be more committed than that, you have to give the kid a chance to boom or bust, but right now I suspect most Jet fans are feeling a lot better about our QB of the future than the Cards are about theirs.
25. BROWNS (1-2): Yeah they lost a close one to the Raiders at Oakland, but Iím still marveling at that 51 they dropped on the Bengals in a thrilling shootout.
26. RAIDERS (1-2): Why the Browns ahead of the Raiders when the Raiders just beat the Browns? Because the Browns beating the Bengals, and the way they went about it, is more impressive too me than the Raiders narrowly defeating the Browns at home. Does that make any sense?
27. DOLPHINS (0-3): Trent Green can still fling it around the yard a little bit, Ronnie Brown is not a bad feature back, Jason Taylor can still wreck some havoc more often then not, and the defense as a whole is better when Zach Thomas is in the lineup. So theyíre near the bottom at 0-3, though not yet the worst of the worst Ö but theyíre working on it.
28. BILLS (0-3): The Bills are a team in transition following a slew of free agent departures, and certainly theyíve had bad luck with injuries thus far (my prayers go out to Kevin Everett and his family), but this team lost the opener to the Broncos by one measly point on a last second FG and the Jets would be well advised to take that into serious consideration no matter who plays Quarterback for the Bills. This is a division rival, at home and in full desperation mode for a win. The Jets arenít good enough to take this team lightly, and they better know thatís a fact.
29. CHIEFS (1-2): Chiefs got in the win column as they nipped the Vikings 13-10 in this seasonís biggest snooze-fest to date. Thus far the Chiefs have scored a grand total of 26 Points in three games combined (3, 10 and 13). Get used to it Chiefs fans, and donít say us Jet fans didnít warn you.
30. VIKINGS (1-2): Itís hard to be worse than the Chiefs, but the Vikings found a way.
31. RAMS (0-3): Their defense stinks, their offensive line has been absolutely decimated by injuries, and now Steven Jackson is apparently lost for a month.
32. FALCONS (0-3): They lost 24-3 to the Vikings (think about that), havenít won a game, Michael Vick is heading to the slammer, Matt Schaub is throwing touchdown passes for the Texans, their franchise is in complete disarray, and now DeAngelo Hall has flipped his lid as well.