Not too much moving and shaking this week in the Power Rankings. The Giants' loss to the Eagles cost them the top spot, but nothing more. And down the rankings, it all shakes out as expected with three teams falling out of the top 10 thanks to losses—including the New York Jets, who just two weeks ago were sitting pretty in the division lead and at No. 2 in the rankings.
The newcomers are a trio of 8-5 teams, not far ahead of the 8-5 bunch unseen behind them. The Dolphins, Cardinals, and Vikings are all welcomed to the top 10 courtesy of their positions as division leaders.
For the Dolphins and Vikings, it is their first trip into the top 10 this season and with how things have been going, it may be a short stay.
New York Jets (7): Losers of two straight and now stuck in a three way tied for their division lead.
Dallas Cowboys (9): Because Tony Romo still cannot win the big game.
Atlanta Falcons (10): The rule in the NFC South this year is that the home team always wins.
The top 10 are after the jump…
|Ups and Downs|
|The Titans are right where they want to be: locked into a playoff spot, and almost locked into a bye and at least one home game in the playoffs. They could rest up and not think twice. Which may not be a bad idea with the Steelers and Colts coming to town in the coming weeks.|
|Bad News: Losing at home to the Eagles. Worse News: Finishing with three more games against opponents with at least eight wins. Worst News: Brandon Jacobs might be hurt. Good News: You’re already in the playoffs.|
|They won precisely the way the Steelers win. It was far from pretty, but you could see it coming the whole game. The Steelers mantra should be “Keep it close… then make it crazy.”|
|They destroyed the Bucs vaunted defense and never let Jeff Garcia find a rhythm. Pardon the cliché, but it was most certainly a statement game for the Panthers. But they still face three teams with winning records to end the season.|
|Anyone that was worried about this team after its 3-4 start never bothered to look down the road. Week 17’s matchup with the Titans will be meaningless for both teams.|
|Unfortunately for the Bucs, they go to Atlanta next week and in the NFC South, home is sacred this season. But the Bucs still have two passable games and should finish with 11 wins.|
|The offense looked a little funky (and not in a good way), but the defense looked as good as ever. This week’s battle against the Steelers will determine the division and perhaps playoff hopes for both teams.|
|They have won six out of seven, are tied for the division lead, and have the easiest of the three schedules remaining: 49ers, Chiefs, Jets.|
|Thanks to those pesky 49ers, it still is not official. But the Cardinals are just about a lock for the league’s third playoff spot already. Finishing against Seattle in three weeks should be a cakewalk.|
|The winners of three straight, the Vikes have a one-game lead for first in the NFC North. Trouble is, they face three teams at 8-5 or better (including the 11-2 Giants) in their final three games.|