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Oddly we are below the Jets. Go figure. :rolleyes:


Power Rankings: Stay off the bandwagons ... for now

By Pete Prisco

SportsLine.com Senior Writer

Stop the season. Why bother with the formalities?

After what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did Monday night to the Eagles, making a good team with legitimate Super Bowl hopes look like an embarrassing unit on their home field, is there any doubt the Bucs players will have rings on their other hands next spring?

Sure there is.

One game, one week, does not make a season. That's why whatever happened Sunday, including Miami's upset loss to the Texans that drove the millions in those survivor pools scrambling to buy back in, has to be tempered for what it truly is, which is one game in a season of 16.

Any dominating play or abysmal performances from Week 1 (Bears excluded) can't be fully grasped until the end of September. If the Bucs are throwing around good teams like rag dolls, only then we can seriously talk about the repeat.

If Miami is 1-3 in September, possible with its schedule, then we can talk about how the December swoon might not even matter this time around.

And if the Bills, who looked like a sure-thing AFC champion in knocking off the Patriots, are still blowing away teams come October, then we have to watch them as serious contenders.

As it is now, it's just one week.

So, even the Bears, and their awful performance in San Francisco, get a pass until the first of October.

Well, maybe they don't.

That said, how good did Tampa Bay look against the Eagles? All of those who thought they wouldn't repeat, here included, might be re-evaluating those thoughts now. Shutting out the Eagles, no matter how limited they seem to be on offense, is impressive, particularly on the road.

The Eagles could play that Tampa Bay defense until Andy Reid slimmed own, and they still might not score.

Part of the problem was that message Reid sent to his team in the opening quarter. Faced with a fourth-and-goal at the 1, he tried a fake field goal. Granted, the play was open and rookie tight end L.J. Smith dropped a touchdown pass, but what that said to his team was this: We're not good enough to get a yard with our offense against that defense.

Trickery is for the meek. The game was lost by that decision.

The Eagles should have either gone for it with their offense or kicked a field goal to get three points on the board. The decision to go for the fake was a soft move against a hardened team.

That's not a way to get over that loss last January in the NFC Championship Game. Tampa Bay dominated from that point on, and the score actually could have been a lot worse.

The Bucs maintain their top spot in this week's SportsLine.com Power Rankings, and there's no reason to think they won't be near that spot all season.

But before calling off the season, let's play out the next month before overreacting to the first week. We all know how things even out in a hurry. It takes more than one week to label teams, to start firing coaches and anointing the next Super Bowl champs.

There is no Super Bowl in September, you know.

Here are the complete Power Rankings after Week 1:


Current Team Previous

1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1

Still don't think they will repeat, but after Monday night, the lean is more that way than against it. Boy, were they good.

2 Buffalo Bills 4

If that defense continues to play like it did Sunday, they are going to be one heck of a team. The money spent on the defensive side might prove to be well worth it.

3 Denver Broncos 5

It wasn't a pretty start for Jake Plummer against the Bengals, but the Broncos still dominated on the road. Plummer has to be better, though.

4 Indianapolis Colts 7

It wasn't exactly the offensive production they expected against the Browns, but it was a good sign the defense held Cleveland without a touchdown.

5 Tennessee Titans 8

They conquered some demons against the Raiders, with Steve McNair looking good in the process. The defense looked faster.

6 New York Giants 10

They knocked Kurt Warner senseless and showed the defense will be better in 2003. Tiki Barber is way underrated.

7 Pittsburgh Steelers 13

So, Tommy Maddox isn't a one-year wonder. The defense also looked faster than the unit from 2002.

8 Atlanta Falcons 9

So much for the one-man team talk. Doug Johnson should be able to hold things down until Michael Vick returns.

9 San Francisco 49ers 16

The Bears are a bad team, so it's tough to give this team as much credit as their blowout score would indicate. But they were impressive.

10 Minnesota Vikings 20

Going on the road and dominating Brett Favre the way they did is a good sign for the Vikings. We know the offense will be good.

11 Kansas City Chiefs 18

Priest Holmes showed no problems with the hip injury, while the defense showed it isn't close to being the same group that took the field in 2002.

12 Philadelphia Eagles 3

If they could stay away from the Bucs, they would be in great shape. At some point, they have to find a way to beat that team.

13 St. Louis Rams 2

They were knocked around pretty good by the Giants, but that's a tough place to open a season. How they bounce back this week will define their season, especially with Marc Bulger playing this week.

14 Oakland Raiders 11

They had a tough opener against the revenge-minded Titans on the road, but they didn't look sharp with all the penalties.

15 New England Patriots 6

That was awful Sunday in Buffalo, and things don't get easier when they go on the road to play the Eagles this week. Starting 0-2 would be a big hole.

16 Seattle Seahawks 21

They easily handled a New Orleans team that was expected to put up some points. The Seattle defense is faster and better, which showed against the Saints.

17 New Orleans Saints 14

This is a banged-up team that has to find a way to beat an improved Houston team Sunday. If they start 0-2 heading to Tennessee in the third week, their season would be in jeopardy.

18 Green Bay Packers 15

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?

19 New York Jets 17

Vinny Testaverde stunk up Fed-Ex field last week, but the play calling didn't help him. Key second-week game against the Dolphins on Sunday.

20 Miami Dolphins 12

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

21 Carolina Panthers 19

See, the Panthers did start the wrong quarterback. Who knew the right one was Jake Delhomme?

22 Washington Redskins 27

That was a nice defensive effort against the Jets, but the passing game has to be better.

23 Houston Texans 30

Winning on the road against a good Miami team will give this team a great deal of confidence. The offense looks much improved.

24 Dallas Cowboys 26

Even Bill Parcells can't make Quincy Carter a good quarterback. Until they get better play from that position, they are going to stay in this range.

25 Baltimore Ravens 22

Kyle Boller looked like a scared rookie against the Steelers, which gave the Ravens no chance to win on the road. He has to be better.

26 Cleveland Browns 25

They played the Colts tough, but scoring no touchdowns isn't a good thing for first-time starter Kelly Holcomb.

27 San Diego Chargers 23

It's going to be a long year for that defense. Now is all that money spent on David Boston worth it?

28 Detroit Lions 31

Don't get too excited Lions fans. That was only the Cardinals you beat up Sunday.

29 Jacksonville Jaguars 29

They were seconds from a big road victory. As it is, they now face a tough Bills team at home to avoid going 0-2.

30 Cincinnati Bengals 24

New-look Bengals? Yeah, right. We fell for that trap, too. Cincinnati is in for a long season again.

31 Chicago Bears 28

What was that in San Francisco? That dolled-up Soldier Field might be empty for much of this season with any more games like that.

32 Arizona Cardinals 32

Here's the good news: Anquan Boldin can play. The bad news: Not many others can.

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Prisco just keeps proving himself to be an idiot. There is no way we should be ranked lower then the Jets. But this comment caught my eye as well...

18 Green Bay Packers 15

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?

Next week I believe the Packers have three recievers able to play and one of them is their kick returner who I don't think has saw the field at WR in regular season action. Maybe he is 'swift' though... Moron..

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so we rank lower than the team we just beat. I guess I could understand it if if we won on a fluke play or something, but comeon.

Atleast we're only the second worste team that won it's only game thus far. Until I saw Houston, I was kind of wondering if winning meant anything.

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Originally posted by Tom [Giants fan]

I think it is going to take a few wins for people to start believing in the Skins. For two reasons:

I think it's going to take a few wins by more than 3 points against opponents playing with their starting qb's before the Redskins start to get some respect.:laugh:

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The one that I love is how 2 teams that were SHUT OUT are in the top half in the rankings.

As I said in another post, with the injuries, and the seemingly inept offence, the Iggles could be scraping bottom by the end of this year.

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