NFL Power 10: Ravens Hold Onto the Top Spot in the Power Rankings

Sean Crowe@CroweKnowsSenior Writer IOctober 3, 2009

BALTIMORE - SEPTEMBER 27:  Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens looks to pass during the game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium on September 27, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Browns 34-3. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

For those of you who haven't figured out the NFL is now a passing league, take a look at what's happened the first three weeks of the 2009 NFL season.

NFL teams have totaled 21,077 net passing yards (439.1 per game) so far this season. With 5,635 passing yards this week (an average of 402.5 per game), 2009 would surpass the record for most net passing yards through the first four weeks of a season in NFL history.

Currently, the 2007 season holds the record for most net passing yards through four games with 26,711 yards. The top five seasons for most net yards through four games have all happened since 2002.

Point being, teams are passing more than ever. Which means the quarterback is as important as ever. And this week's Power 10 reflects as much.

Previous week in ( )

1 (1) Ravens (3-0-0)

Joe Flacco, who completed 25 of 35 passes (71.4 percent) for 342 yards with one touchdown vs. zero interceptions and a 111.8 passer rating, has taken a leap this season.

Teams are slowly becoming just as frightened at the thought of facing him as they are of facing Ray Lewis and his defense.

2 (2) Giants (3-0-0)

Eli Manning actually has people debating whether he's the better of the two Mannings this season. While that's completely insane, Eli has been earning that ridiculous contract the Giants gave him this off-season.

And I NEVER expected that to be the case, especially after what happened to his play last season after Cheddar Bob shot himself in the leg.

3 (4) Saints (3-0-0)

I never thought a player would challenge 2007 Tom Brady for "greatest fantasy football player ever" status.

Drew Brees might just do that. He's on pace for 48 touchdowns, 4,500 yards, and he's carrying a monstrous 118.1 passer rating.

4 (5) Colts (3-0-0)

Peyton Manning finished Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals with a 130.5 passer rating. Playing in his first season without Marvin Harrison, and within Harrison's eventual replacement, he's probably playing his best football.

Right now, with Tom Brady struggling (by Manning/Brady standards), Peyton Manning is far and away the best quarterback in the NFL.

5 (8) Jets (3-0-0)

Mark Sanchez, who was just named the offensive rookie of the month for September, became the first rookie quarterback since Greg Cook of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1969 to start and win his team’s first three games of a season. Two of those wins came against the Titans and the Patriots.

Not bad for a kid Pete Carroll thought wasn't ready for the NFL.

6 (6) Vikings (3-0-0)

Brett Favre has defeated 31 different teams as a starter in his career. He can become the first quarterback to beat all 32 current teams when the Vikings host the Packers on Monday night.

7 (7) Broncos (3-0-0)

Which brings us to Kyle Orton. The Broncos are the exception to the rule. They're also the most likely of all the Power 10 teams to completely fall on their face.

On the other hand, Orton is 25-12 as a starter...

8 (-) Bears (2-1-0)

After a disastrous first game in which he threw four interceptions and only one touchdown, Jay Cutler has rebounded nicely. Against the Steelers and Seahawks, Cutler threw 5 touchdowns and only 1 interception.

His passer ratings in those games was 104.7 and 126.4 respectively. He also completed over 70 percent of his passes in both games.

9 (-) Patriots (2-1-0)

Tom Brady's passer rating is down (79.9 this season, 92.4 for his career), he's missing open receivers, and he's only thrown three touchdown passes thus far, but he's still Tom Brady. And as long as you have Tom Brady, you have a chance to win.

Just ask the Buffalo Bills.

10 (3) Falcons (2-1-0)

The Falcons were thoroughly dominated by the New England Patriots, and their all-world sophomore quarterback couldn't get anything going. But even in a loss, we saw what makes Matt Ryan special. The kid doesn't make mistakes. He's wise beyond his years.

Dropped Out

(10) 49ers (2-1-0)

Tough loss to the Vikings, but Frank Gore might be an even tougher loss.

(9) Steelers (1-2-0)

The Super Bowl champs better figure it out soon. The last time they were coming off a Super Bowl championship, they went 8-8 and missed the playoffs.

Bottom Three

30 (32) Panthers (0-3-0)

The biggest disappointment in the NFL.

31 (-) Rams (0-3-0)

If you play fantasy football, and the defense playing the Rams is available, pick them up. Every week.

32 (31) Browns (0-3-0)

Seriously, Cleveland, what did you expect? Eric Mangini? How did you not see this coming?

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