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Sportsline Power Rankings - Prisco, oh no you DIN'NT!


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http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/powerrankings

Power Rankings: It's still the Buccaneers, for now

By Pete Prisco

SportsLine.com Senior Writer

Tell Pete your opinion!

This is prediction week at SportsLine.com, just not in this column.

Yes, there is a difference between the SportsLine.com Power Rankings and my Super Bowl picks. The latter will come out later this week, which will give you, the fans, even more fodder in the Rip Pete segment that is disguised as the Tell Pete Your Opinion at the bottom of each of my columns. And here's the good news: I will start answering some of those letters every week beginning later this week.

Star LB Derrick Brooks and the Bucs start No. 1.(Getty Images)

So fire away. Rip the Power Rankings. Tell me how much crack I smoke. Tell me how you want to meet me in a bar somewhere and tear my head off because I ripped your team or your player. Tell me how you want to kill my cats.

Caring is a good thing.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers head into the regular season showing no signs of dropping off from last season's Super Bowl victory. They will be better on offense and the defense is again going to be dominant, which is why they still top the Power Rankings.

Tampa Bay defenders have a bit of a chip on their shoulders, too. They want to prove they are one of the best defenses ever, not just of recent time.

But for a hint as to the coming Super Bowl picks this week, here's one: Tampa Bay won't be the pick. It's not that they don't deserve consideration, because they will get it. It's just that repeating is such a tough thing to do.

You'll also notice that the New England Patriots have made a big move up this board. That's after seeing them dominate the Eagles in the preseason. They have the makings of a special defense for a special defensive mind in Bill Belichick.

Are they the AFC Super Bowl pick?

You'll have to wait until Thursday. Until then, fire away about these Power Rankings. They're what stir the juices anyway.

The rankings for Sept. 1:

POWER RANKINGS

Current Team Previous

1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1

They won't repeat, but they will be a very good team again. Jon Gruden will make sure of that.

2 St. Louis Rams 3

They looked faster on defense and Kurt Warner looked like the two-time MVP passer. They will be a Super contender again.

3 Philadelphia Eagles 2

Seeing them in the preseason, something seems to be missing. The Duce Staley holdout didn't help.

4 Buffalo Bills 4

If they can adjust to the loss of Peerless Price without having too much of a drop in their offensive production, they can be a Super team.

5 Denver Broncos 15

They have the look of an improved team with Jake Plummer the answer to their quarterback woes. The defense has to play better.

6 New England Patriots 18

The additions to the defense will make the Pats a tough unit to face. The question about this team is the running game, with no lead back.

7 Indianapolis Colts 10

In the preseason, the offense has looked outstanding. The defense has to show that it is improved in the second season under Ron Meeks.

8 Tennessee Titans 5

If Steve McNair gets some help, they will be a factor again in late January. Jeff Fisher knows how to get his players to compete as well as any coach in the league.

9 Atlanta Falcons 6

Don't worry about Doug Johnson, he's going to be fine holding things down until Michael Vick returns. The defense is a little worrisome.

10 New York Giants 14

The defense has to be better against the run, but the offense is going to be one of the NFL's best. It features too many weapons.

11 Oakland Raiders 8

They looked terrible in the preseason, so that has to be a concern. But maybe it was just vets taking it off.

12 Miami Dolphins 13

They like their defense, and Jay Fiedler has looked good in the preseason, but the offensive line is still a concern as are the hangovers from their past collapses.

13 Pittsburgh Steelers 17

The defense will be better against the pass, and the division is a soft one. But what happens if Tommy Maddox can't duplicate 2002?

14 New Orleans Saints 7

If Rick Venturi can piece together the defense, they can compete for the AFC South title. The offense will put up points.

15 Green Bay Packers 9

We know they'll score with Brett Favre and his swift receivers, but does outstanding defensive coordinator Ed Donatell have enough to work with on the other side of the ball?

16 San Francisco 49ers 12

Jeff Garcia's back troubles are something to monitor. The defense has had some injury troubles in the preseason, so that is also a concern.

17 New York Jets 11

Chad Pennington's loss will be felt, but veteran Vinny Testaverde does throw a better deep ball. The defense will be better and Cutis Martin is healthy, which will help.

18 Kansas City Chiefs 16

We love the offense, especially with Priest Holmes back in as the top runner. Now if that defense can make even small strides.

19 Carolina Panthers 26

We know the defense is going to be good -- if the corners hold up -- but is Rodney Peete a playoff quarterback, especially after getting outplayed in the preseason by Chris Weinke?

20 Minnesota Vikings 19

The Vikings will have to overcome the loss of Michael Bennett, which is going to be tough to do. And the defense isn't good enough to offset that loss.

21 Seattle Seahawks 21

They will be tough to defend if Matt Hasselbeck can prove that he wasn't a fluke late in 2002. It's now or never for Mike Holmgren.

22 Baltimore Ravens 20

With Ray Lewis back, the defense will again be among the best. The question is rookie quarterback Kyle Boller, who will be an opening-day starter.

23 San Diego Chargers 27

There are too many young faces on defense for this to be a playoff team. The offense will have to control the football, which is possible with LaDainian Tomlinson in the backfield.

24 Cincinnati Bengals 24

Marvin Lewis is quickly putting his stamp on this team, which is a good thing. The Bengals will be competitive and can surprise if Jon Kitna can play as he did late in 2002.

25 Cleveland Browns 22

The quarterback situation, no matter how it played out, was bound to affect this team. The defense was awful in the preseason, which doesn't bode well for the regular season.

26 Dallas Cowboys 28

Quincy Carter looks as if he has made strides as a quarterback, which is essential to the success of this team. How much remains to be seen.

27 Washington Redskins 23

They spent a lot of money to improve this season, but will it show up? They have to get a big season out of Patrick Ramsey or all the money spent will matter little.

28 Chicago Bears 29

The running game is a question, the passing game is a question with Kordell Stewart and offensive coordinator John Shoop is unimaginative. Think they have a chance to win?

29 Jacksonville Jaguars 25

The coaching staff never had doubts about Mark Brunell. Now he has to show why to get the fans off his back.

30 Houston Texans 30

They will be better on offense -- they have nowhere to go but up -- but something says that defense will take a step back.

31 Detroit Lions 31

The running game is in trouble without James Stewart -- I can't believe I just wrote that -- which should put a lot of pressure on second-year quarterback Joey Harrington.

32 Arizona Cardinals 32

There are some talented young players on this team, players who could pay off big in a year or two. This will be a learning season for most.

Discuss, and ***** about how the moron ranked the Cowboys ahead of us.

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27 Washington Redskins 23

They spent a lot of money to improve this season, but will it show up? They have to get a big season out of Patrick Ramsey or all the money spent will matter little.

Well, Prisco seems to think that Ramsey will not have a big season judging from his ranking of the Redskins

All the better when Patrick has a big year and shows them all

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I think if I saw him on the street, if i even recognized this loser, I would fight Pete Prisco.

And I'm not a fighter, I wouldnt fight him for just pissing me off because of where he put the skins but i would fight him for actually putting out this list of power rankings, this is the worst thing i've ever seen.

I think he really under rated the following teams:

Redskins

Panthers******* especially the panthers

Chargers

Chiefs

Packers

i could go on and on and on

How much does this guy get paid anyway

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4 Buffalo Bills 4

If they can adjust to the loss of Peerless Price without having too much of a drop in their offensive production, they can be a Super team.

5 Denver Broncos 15

They have the look of an improved team with Jake Plummer the answer to their quarterback woes. The defense has to play better.

6 New England Patriots 18

The additions to the defense will make the Pats a tough unit to face. The question about this team is the running game, with no lead back.

7 Indianapolis Colts 10

In the preseason, the offense has looked outstanding. The defense has to show that it is improved in the second season under Ron Meeks.

Thats 4 teams in a row I believe he overrated.
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Originally posted by Tom [Giants fan]

Ok, you guys always get upset when someone disses the Redskins and puts them low on a power ranking but this one I will even admit is absurd. :doh:

Ya know Tom, I normally don't care about this crap, especially CNNSI Sportsline crap, but 27th? 27th?

My Grandma could choose better than that, and she's dead (God rest her soul)! :mad:

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I love how the preseason "doesn't matter" oh except when Prisco wants to compliment Quincy Carter, then preseason STRIDES OF GREATNESS matter.

I love how first we are told preseason doesn't matter. Then we get railed for losing the first game. Then it is said that the THIRD PRESEASON GAME, is the best gauge to see where your ACTUAL TEAM FOR OPENING GAME is at as far as the starters go, so in the 3rd game, we go out and DOMINATE the Ravens who many believe is a playoff team, keep in mind it was 17-3 at halftime. This gets totally no-sold by every and all media outlets. I haven't heard ANYTHING......ANYTHING on ESPN about the so-called, "IMPORTANT 3rd preseason game" It is like the Skins won, and then they just pretend it didn't because then they might have to say something about the skins besides, "QB carousel" "flapping lips" "unknown qb" "no d-line" etc......So then comes week 4 where the starters play about ten minutes, and suddenly the media is back to talking about how horrible the Skins look etc.......

Look if you want to bash the skins, fine, but don't ignore the times when the team actually looks decent, or even good. I mean I didn't make up the whole, "3rd preseason game is most accurate potrayal of team" the "EXPERTS" did, so why not put an emphasis on that game?

</rant>

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