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NFL.com: Some teams already matching hype- Power Rankings


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Some teams already matching hype

By Vic Carucci

National Editor, NFL.com


(Sept. 14, 2004) -- It's only one week, but several NFL teams already showed that they are capable of living up to considerable preseason hype.

The New England Patriots maintained their Super Bowl-winning profile, which is why they remain atop our weekly team rankings. The Philadelphia Eagles demonstrated the instant explosiveness they gained from the acquisition of Terrell Owens, which is why they edged up the poll.

The Minnesota Vikings provided early evidence of why they should be taken seriously as a contender -- and why they deserve to move closer to the top of the rankings. The Denver Broncos showed that there is, indeed, life after Clinton Portis and why giving him up was not too great a price for Champ Bailey. Their impressive opening-day win against Kansas City caused them to soar from 11th to fourth in the poll.

Meanwhile, the Washington Redskins took us back in time, with Joe Gibbs once again leading them to victory, while also giving every indication that they equally prospered from the Bailey-for-Portis swap.

One club that fell woefully short of its preseason hype on opening day was the Baltimore Ravens, who had no defensive or offensive answers for the supposedly inferior Cleveland Browns.

This is how the top 12 looks from here:

Deion Branch and the Pats continue to smile at their top ranking.

1. New England (1-0; unchanged): Remarkably, this team has gotten better since winning the Super Bowl.

2. Philadelphia (1-0; 3): The Donovan McNabb -Terrell Owens Show is off to a great start, and will need to maintain that form against the Vikings.

3. Minnesota (1-0; 4): Daunte Culpepper wasted no time showing he is a more complete quarterback and laying the foundation for his MVP case.

4. Denver (1-0; 11): It's a cliché, but that Bronco running back factory just keeps churning them out.

5. Indianapolis (0-1; 2): Bouncing back from the season-opening loss in New England will be difficult to do in Tennessee.

6. Tennessee (1-0; unchanged): The Titans probably should have had an easier time with the Dolphins; there will be nothing easy about facing the Colts.

7. Green Bay (1-0; 10): Ahman Green 's legs and just enough of Brett Favre's arm could take the Packers a long way.

8. Seattle (1-0; 9): The Seahawks are off to an impressive start, but they need Shaun Alexander back in the lineup as soon as possible.

9. Kansas City (0-1; 5): New coordinator, same problems on defense.

10. Washington (1-0; unranked): Joe Gibbs never really left the NFL; he just went for a long drive … in a circle.

11. St. Louis (1-0; unranked): It wasn't pretty, but thanks to Marshall Faulk the Rams at least have started on a winning note.

12. Baltimore (0-1; 8): Are the Ravens that bad ... or are the Browns that good?

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well seeing as only 16 teams are 1-0 (san diego being one of them) they can't put us below 15. i mean we did have the 4th best rusher and the number 1 defense of the week. and they really only have this week to base their values on. i think 10 is a big jump but kind of necessarry given baltimore's display and some of the other teams that won but just really didn't look special at all doing it.

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