Thursday, September 15, 2005

Week 2 NFL Power Rankings

Here are the power rankings for Week 2. After you are finished reading, check out The Inquirer's Eagles podcast on Philly.com.

1. Colts (2005 record: 1-0, Last week: No. 1): An impressive 24-7 win at Baltimore, a tough place to play against a tough defense.

2. Patriots (1-0, No. 4): They move up two spots with a 30-20 victory over the Raiders. A good test this week at Carolina.

3. Steelers (1-0, No. 5): Also move up two, giving AFC a 1-2-3 sweep. Ben Roethlisberger was strong and RB Willie Parker (167 yards rushing) was stronger.

4. Falcons (1-0, No. 6): Eagles fans know why the Falcons jump two spots. That is one ornery defense.

5. Eagles (0-1, No. 2): Donovan McNabb and the offense was slapped around by a tough Falcons defense.

6. Panthers (0-1, No. 3): Down three after a tough 23-20 loss to the emotion-driven Saints, followed by a home game against Patriots.

7. Chiefs (1-0, No. 13): Have the Chiefs returned to 2003 form, or were the Jets that bad?

8. Bills (1-0, No. 12): The Bills move up four after the rest of the top teams all lose. Buffalo did its job in a 22-7 win over the Texans.

9. Cowboys (1-0, No. 15): The Cowboys go to San Diego and win a hard-fought 28-24 game. Great start for QB Drew Bledsoe.

10. Chargers (0-1, No. 10): The Chargers did nothing to hurt their standing in a tough hard-fought loss to the Cowboys. It was the game of the week.

11. Saints (1-0, No. 22): Emotion has moved me to move the Saints up 11 spots after a great win over Carolina.

12. Jets (0-1, No. 7): Quarterback Chad Pennington is not as bad as he played last week. If he is, coach Herman Edwards may "snap".

13. Jaguars (1-0, No. 19): The Jags came out strong with a home-win over the Seahawks. Now, they must go to Indy.

14. Giants (1-0, No. 21): Eli Manning developed a new relationship with Plaxico Burress and renewed an old with Jeremy Shockey. It was a nice win against an improving Cardinals team.

15. Ravens (0-1, No. 10): The offense is down and Kyle Boller is out. Anthony Wright takes over this year. The Ravens need a statement game on offense against the Titans.

16. Buccaneers (1-0, No. 25): Cadillac Williams is the real deal, rushing for 148 yards, including one carry for 71 yards and a touchdown.

17. Bengals (1-0, No. 23): OK, they beat the Browns. Not a big deal, but at least they did not get upset.

18. Lions (1-0, No. 24): It's only Week 2, but the Lions are now the team to beat in the NFC North.

19. Vikings (0-1, No. 8): Mike Tice will not be long for this season if he keeps losing at home.

20. Cardinals (0-1, No. 11): Coach Dennis Green can't be happy with Sunday's 42-19 spanking by the Giants. Larry Fitzgerald looks great.

21. Broncos (0-1, No. 14): How could the Broncos get slapped around by the Dolphins? And now they face a better team in the Chargers. At least they are at home.

22. Bears (0-1, No. 25): Hard-fought loss to the Redskins.

23. Seahawks (0-1, No. 17): A 26-14 is not a surprise. The Jags are good and Seattle remains a terrible road team.

24. Rams (0-1, No. 16): Losing to the 49ers in the division is a sin for Mike Martz.

25. Raiders: (0-1, No. 20): A loss to the Patriots on the road is nothing to be ashamed of. The Chiefs are next, a must win.

26. Packers (0-1, No. 18): It is going to be a long year for the Packers. Losing Jevon Walker, and a weakened offensive line, will make life miserable for Brett Favre.

27. Dolphins (1-0. No. 31): A great win over the Broncos for new coach Nick Saban. That should generate some confidence.

28. Redskins (1-0, No. 28): Beating the Bears, 9-7, at home is no test. Mark Brunell or Patrick Ramsey is no improvement either.

29. Texans (0-1. No. 27): Houston was overmatched at Buffalo. The Steelers are next and so is an 0-2 record.

30. Titans (0-1, No. 29): The Titans looked good on their first drive against the Steelers. It was down hill from there.

31. San Francisco (1-0, No. 32): Beating the Rams should be worth more than one spot, but the Eagles are next. Let's see next week.

32. Browns (0-1, No. 30):I don't think for a minute that the Browns will be at the very bottom very long. Green Bay is next.

Bravo, Ramon


Fans or not, the Phillies are on fire and that is the best marketing the team could get.

They have won four straight, including three against the NL East-leading Braves, and are tied for the wild-card lead with 16 games remaining.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel played a hunch last night and sat slugging first-baseman Ryan Howard. It paid off when replacement Ramon Martinez delivered a grand slam (photo by Jerry Lodriguess/Inquirer Staff Photographer) to give the Phils a 7-0 lead on the way to a 12-4 victory.

Fan and journalists alike (including me) have written off this team numerous times this season, but they keep fighting back, proving they are in the race for good. With three games against the Marlins this weekend, a sweep for either team should decide it. That is not likely to happen.

Next week, there are three more games with the Braves. Could the Phillies actually make a run at the division? It is there for the taking.

What do you think?