Archive: Rankings

First Attempt at Rankings

Trying to rank the teams entering the season is even more problematic than trying to rank them during the season. Even so, here's an attempt: 1. Giants...Michael Strahan retires and Jeremy Shockey is traded, but Eli Manning has become a championship QB and they get to stay here until...

 

By Mark Maske | August 20, 2008; 02:26 PM ET | Comments (5)

Conference Championships Rankings

The Packers leap-frog the Chargers in part because of how well the Packers played, and in larger part because of the Chargers' injuries. The Teams That Are Still Playing: 1. Patriots (17-0)... 1* 2. Packers (14-3)... 5 3. Chargers (13-5)... 3 4. Giants (12-6)... 7 The Teams That Just...

 

By Mark Maske | January 15, 2008; 01:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

Conference Semifinals Rankings

The Teams That Are Still Playing: 1. Patriots (16-0)...1* 2. Colts (13-3)... 2 3. Chargers (12-5)... 3 4. Cowboys (13-3)... 4 5. Packers (13-3)... 5 6. Jaguars (12-5)... 6 7. Giants (11-6)... 8 8. Seahawks (11-6)... 9 The Teams Whose Seasons Just Ended: 9. Titans (10-7)... 10 10. Steelers...

 

By Mark Maske | January 8, 2008; 10:32 AM ET | Comments (1)

Final Regular Season Rankings

The Patriots, of course, keep the top spot and the Colts stay at second after losing a game they barely tried to win. The Cowboys drop because they actually tried to beat the Redskins and couldn't come close, and Terrell Owens's status is uncertain entering the playoffs. The Redskins...

 

By Mark Maske | January 1, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (7)

Week 17 Rankings

The Chargers took a roundabout route but are about to finish the season right where they started it--as one of the top three or four teams in the league. The Packers' lopsided loss moves them out of the top five and allows the Jaguars to move into it. The...

 

By Mark Maske | December 25, 2007; 08:16 AM ET | Comments (0)

Week 16 Rankings

The Cowboys' loss drops them to third, with the Colts reclaiming the No. 2 spot. The Chargers move back into the top five, and the Browns get into the top 10. The Ravens' loss to the Dolphins is their biggest embarrassment in a season full of them, and it...

 

By Mark Maske | December 18, 2007; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (12)

Week 15 Rankings

The Patriots re-establish their dominance. It's tempting to move the Colts up to second after the Cowboys struggled to beat the Lions, but Dallas keeps the No. 2 spot for at least one more week. The Seahawks move into the top five. 1. Patriots (13-0)... 1* 2. Cowboys (12-1)......

 

By Mark Maske | December 11, 2007; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Week 14 Rankings

Unfortunately, there wasn't a lower number available for the Dolphins, who all but clinched an 0-16 season by being trounced by the Jets. 1. Patriots (12-0)... 1* 2. Cowboys (11-1)... 2 3. Colts (10-2)... 4 4. Packers (10-2)... 3 5. Buccaneers (8-4)... 6 6. Seahawks (8-4)... 7 7. Steelers...

 

By Mark Maske | December 4, 2007; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 13 Rankings

Who's really the second-best team in football right now? The Packers-Cowboys game Thursday night should make it clear. 1. Patriots (11-0)... 1* 2. Cowboys (10-1)... 2 3. Packers (10-1)... 3 4. Colts (9-2)... 4 5. Jaguars (8-3)... 5 6. Buccaneers (7-4)... 7 7. Seahawks (7-4)... 8 8. Steelers (8-3)......

 

By Mark Maske | November 27, 2007; 07:37 PM ET | Comments (2)

Week 12 Rankings

The Colts don't get to keep a top-three ranking based on the presumption that they are the NFL's second-best team when they're at full capacity. It's beginning to look possible that they won't be at full capacity again all season. The Packers move up to third and the Colts...

 

By Mark Maske | November 20, 2007; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 11 Rankings

The real question this week is where to put the Colts. When healthy, they're still clearly the second-best team in the league, and there is a gap between second and third. But in their current state, decimated by injuries, they're not that. They need Marvin Harrison and Dallas Clark...

 

By Mark Maske | November 13, 2007; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (7)

Week 10 Rankings

The Patriots reaffirm their top ranking with their comeback victory at Indianapolis, and the Colts show they're a worthy No. 2 capable of winning the inevitable rematch in the AFC title game. Who's No. 3? It's tempting to put the Steelers there after their dominating win over the Ravens...

 

By Mark Maske | November 6, 2007; 12:45 PM ET | Comments (3)

Week 9 Rankings

How subjective are these rankings? This subjective: The Chargers move up to third based on little more than a feeling that they're back, that they've returned to being the team they were expected to be entering the season. The Saints climb to 12th based on a similar inkling. The...

 

By Mark Maske | October 30, 2007; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (10)

Week 8 Rankings

The NFC East gets three teams in the top eight, but the real shakeup this week comes at the bottom. The winless Dolphins plummet to last after losing tailback Ronnie Brown, their best offensive player, to a season-ending knee injury. The Rams also are 0-7, but at least they...

 

By Mark Maske | October 23, 2007; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Week 7 Rankings

So now it's down to two unbeaten teams and two winless clubs. The Cowboys remain the highest-ranked NFC team but fall two spots to fifth after losing to the Patriots. The Jaguars' climb to fourth means that two of the top four clubs in the rankings will be facing...

 

By Mark Maske | October 16, 2007; 01:57 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 6 Rankings

It will be No. 1 vs. No. 3 in Irving, Tex., on Sunday when the Patriots visit the Cowboys. But really, it's the AFC South that's ruling the NFL, with three teams (Colts, Jaguars and Titans) in the top six in the rankings and the last-place Texans at 15th....

 

By Mark Maske | October 9, 2007; 12:54 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 5 Rankings

The Seahawks move back into the top five with their convincing win over the 49ers. The Steelers drop four spots after their loss to the Cardinals. The league's middle class is huge, and you could practically pick names out of hat for numbers 12 through 20. The Dolphins and...

 

By Mark Maske | October 2, 2007; 12:58 PM ET | Comments (1)

Week 4 Rankings

It's tempting to move the Cowboys higher than fourth after their dominating performance in Chicago. But they'll stay there, for now. It's time to start believing in the Packers, who crack the top five. The Lions were proven fraudulent and get the lowest ranking of the 2-1 teams. The...

 

By Mark Maske | September 25, 2007; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Week 3 Rankings

It's tempting to just put the Patriots first (after their dominating performance against the Chargers) and the Colts second (after just getting by against the Titans), and just say that none of the rest of it matters. Is anyone else any good? The Steelers look pretty solid. But the...

 

By Mark Maske | September 18, 2007; 03:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 2 Rankings

The Colts and Patriots clearly were the two best teams in football on the opening weekend. The Colts' showed impressive speed on defense, and the Patriots showed their offense might be potent enough to compensate for the early-season absences of Rodney Harrison and Richard Seymour on defense. The Chargers...

 

By Mark Maske | September 11, 2007; 01:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 1 Rankings

Many observers have all but awarded the Super Bowl to the Patriots. But they'll begin the season minus suspended safety Rodney Harrison and end Richard Seymour, who's on the physically unable to perform list after undergoing offseason knee surgery, on defense and perhaps could struggle a bit early. The...

 

By Mark Maske | September 4, 2007; 12:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Super Bowl Rankings

Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy finally get to the Super Bowl and the Patriots go home after a classic AFC championship game. The Bears played, in the NFC title game, like a team that can give the Colts some problems in Miami but the Saints still might have prevailed...

 

By Mark Maske | January 23, 2007; 03:05 PM ET | Comments (5)

Conference Championships Rankings

What does it take to beat the Patriots in a postseason game? Obviously being the better team isn't enough. The Colts actually played solid defensive games in consecutive weeks in the playoffs. The Saints are the best team in the NFC but the outcome of the title game Sunday...

 

By Mark Maske | January 16, 2007; 01:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Conference Semifinals Rankings

The AFC is simply better, so its teams get the top four spots. The Eagles are playing the best football in the NFC, and they move up to fifth. The Bears are a shaky No. 1 seed, with questions about their defense lately as well as about quarterback Rex...

 

By Mark Maske | January 9, 2007; 01:00 PM ET | Comments (16)

Final Regular Season Rankings

The Chargers get to take the top ranking into the playoffs. The Bears drop a spot with their abysmal performance in the regular season finale; you shouldn't play that poorly even when the game is meaningless. The Giants move up to 12th only because they reached the postseason. The...

 

By Mark Maske | January 2, 2007; 03:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 17 Rankings

The most intriguing team as the regular season comes to a close is the Eagles, who move up to seventh after Monday's lopsided win in Dallas. The Broncos and Jets move back into the top 10 as they close in on wild card berths in the AFC. In the...

 

By Mark Maske | December 26, 2006; 11:46 AM ET | Comments (0)

Week 16 Rankings

Which NFC team do you trust? Just when you started to trust the Saints, they lose at home to the Redskins. The Bears nearly blow a game against the lowly Buccaneers, and it wasn't even Rex Grossman's fault. The Cowboys looked good in Atlanta, but that was right after...

 

By Mark Maske | December 19, 2006; 12:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 15 Rankings

The top five gets shaken up after lopsided losses by last week's Nos. 2, 3 and 4 teams--the Cowboys, Colts and Patriots. The Saints move up to second. When they were ranked No. 1 here earlier this season, it was partially based on their early-season accomplishments but also in...

 

By Mark Maske | December 12, 2006; 12:29 PM ET | Comments (20)

Week 14 Rankings

Is anybody out there any good? 1. Chargers (10-2)... 1 2. Cowboys (8-4)... 5 3. Colts (10-2)... 2 4. Patriots (9-3)... 4 5. Bears (10-2)... 6 6. Ravens (9-3)... 3 7. Seahawks (8-4)... 8 8. Saints (8-4)... 9 9. Jets (7-5)... 11 10. Bengals (7-5)... 12 11. Jaguars (7-5)......

 

By Mark Maske | December 5, 2006; 12:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 13 Rankings

The AFC gets the top four spots, and eight of the top 12. The Cowboys supplant the Bears as the top-ranked team in the NFC. The middle of the pack becomes more muddled than ever, with a dozen teams having five or six wins. 1. Chargers (9-2)... 1* 2....

 

By Mark Maske | November 28, 2006; 12:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 12 Rankings

The Colts' defeat at Dallas gives the top spot to the Chargers, who get the nod over the two one-loss teams because their level of play right now simply is the league's highest. The Cowboys are a different team with Tony Romo at quarterback and move into the top...

 

By Mark Maske | November 21, 2006; 12:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 11 Rankings

The Colts keep the top spot and the Bears move up to second with their win in the Meadowlands over the Giants, who drop to sixth. The Patriots look vulnerable and tumble to 13th while the 49ers and Packers climb to the middle of the pack. The Steelers get...

 

By Mark Maske | November 14, 2006; 02:30 PM ET | Comments (5)

Week 10 Rankings

With the Bears losing and now facing three straight road games, the still-unbeaten Colts take over the top spot. They've lapped the field after winning in Denver and New England in consecutive weeks, but they're still not the same overwhelming team they were at this time last season. The...

 

By Mark Maske | November 7, 2006; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 9 Rankings

The two unbeatens stay at the top, and the Patriots use their impressive win Monday night to replace the Broncos at third. The Giants, Falcons and Chargers move up in the top 10 and the Ravens break back into it. The Chiefs, Cowboys and Jaguars make big jumps, all...

 

By Mark Maske | October 31, 2006; 02:00 PM ET | Comments (7)

Week 8 Rankings

The gap between Nos. 1 and 2 narrows with the Colts' hard-nosed win over the Redskins, but the Bears keep the top spot. The Saints move into the top five. The Chargers drop from third to 10th while the Giants, Vikings, Bengals and Falcons rise. The Raiders' first victory...

 

By Mark Maske | October 24, 2006; 01:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 7 Rankings

The Bears didn't give a No. 1-worthy performance Monday night but get to keep the top spot entering their bye week. The Chargers, Broncos, Panthers and Saints move up. The Giants become the highest-ranked NFC East team, just ahead of the Eagles and Cowboys. The Ravens and Bengals suddenly...

 

By Mark Maske | October 17, 2006; 02:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 6 Rankings

The Bears keep the top spot after their dismantling of the Bills, and the Colts hang on to the No. 2 ranking even after squeaking by the lowly Titans. The Eagles move up to third. The Ravens drop four spots to seventh after their Monday night loss in Denver....

 

By Mark Maske | October 10, 2006; 02:18 PM ET | Comments (14)

Week 5 Rankings

The Bears' dominating performance in their win over the Seahawks gives them the top spot. The Saints drop just outside the top 10 after holding the No. 1 ranking on a ceremonial basis for a week. The Patriots make a big jump after their lopsided triumph over the Bengals....

 

By Mark Maske | October 3, 2006; 02:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 4 Rankings

No, the Saints aren't the best team in the NFL. But they are greatly improved. They're exciting and, for this week at least, they deserve the top spot in the rankings after Monday night's emotional and decisive triumph in the reopening of the Superdome. The Colts and Bengals gave...

 

By Mark Maske | September 26, 2006; 03:15 PM ET | Comments (14)

Week 3 Rankings

The Colts stay planted at the top. The Steelers drop only to fifth after their loss Monday night in Jacksonville. It was Ben Roethlisberger's season debut, after all. The Ravens look like they're for real and jump into the top 10. The winless Panthers get a little bit of...

 

By Mark Maske | September 19, 2006; 03:00 PM ET | Comments (14)

Week 2 Rankings

Things get a little bit topsy-turvy after a crazy opening weekend. The Colts keep the top spot but the Steelers move up to second as they possibly prepare to welcome back Ben Roethlisberger. Three would-be NFC East heavyweights plummet. The Raiders and Packers perhaps should have a one-game playoff...

 

By Mark Maske | September 12, 2006; 04:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Week 1 Rankings

Ben Roethlisberger's absence from the Steelers' season-opening lineup knocks the defending Super Bowl champions out of the top spot. The NFC East has three of the top 10 teams, and the Bills look up at everyone else. 1. Colts 2. Broncos 3. Seahawks 4. Panthers 5. Steelers 6. Cowboys...

 

By Mark Maske | September 6, 2006; 01:00 PM ET | Comments (2)

 

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