How Low Can Browns Go in Latest NFL Power Rankings?


November 4, 2009

How Low Can Browns Go in Latest NFL Power Rankings? The Patriots were on a well-deserved bye in Week 8 of the NFL season, but that didn't stop the rest of the league from getting at it on the gridiron.

In fact, some teams improved their standing with impressive wins — like the Eagles, Ravens and, yes, even the Titans.

On the flip side, some teams just can't seem to get it right. I'm talking about you, Lions and Browns.

Check out this week's NFL Power Rankings, where we run through each NFL team from best to worst.

1. New Orleans Saints (last week's ranking: 1)
(7-0, first in NFC South)
For the second straight week, the Saints showed that they're far from a perfect team. But for the second straight week, they showed that their offense is simply unstoppable at times and that they can win even when they play far from perfectly.

2. Indianapolis Colts (2)
(7-0, first in AFC South)
The Colts had a bit of a struggle on their hands against the Niners as Peyton Manning and his vaunted offense were held to 18 points. But they found a way to get the W, their 16th straight regular-season win.

3. Minnesota Vikings (6)

(7-1, first in NFC North)
Say what you will about Brett Favre, but he looked doggone impressive firing the ball all over the field against the Pack back in Green Bay. Oh, and Adrian Peterson is pretty good, too.

4. Denver Broncos (3)
(6-1, first in AFC West)
The Broncos finally met their match, falling at the hands of the Ravens in Baltimore. Upcoming home matchups with the Steelers, Chargers and Giants will be very telling when it comes to the playoff aspirations of rookie coach Josh McDaniels and his squad.

5. New England Patriots (4)
(5-2, first in AFC East)
The Pats have been hotter of late than the Broncos, but their Week 5 loss in Denver has them slotted just below. Tom Brady and the vastly improved New England defense celebrated the bye week with a few days off, yet something tells me the Patriots will be ready to face the Dolphins and their Wildcat formation Sunday at Gillette.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (5)
(5-2, tied for first in AFC North)
The defending Super Bowl champs are coming off their bye week as well. And it's no surprise that they're currently favored by three points — even on the road — Monday night against the 6-1 Broncos.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (13)
(5-2, tied for first in NFC East)
The Eagles soared past the floundering Giants 40-17 last week. I think it's safe to say that Donovan McNabb is healthy again and is enjoying the speed and skill of youngsters DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy.

8. Cincinnati Bengals (8)
(5-2, tied for first in AFC North)
The Bengals neither gained nor lost ground during their bye week. They do face an intriguing matchup on Sunday, however, as they face the Ravens, who are coming off their enormous win over the Broncos.

9. Dallas Cowboys (11)
(5-2, tied for first in NFC East)
Yes, the Boys pounded the largely defenseless Seahawks this past weekend, but Tony Romo has looked terrific the last three games and Miles Austin is turning into a legitimate No. 1 wideout. Maybe that ridiculous video board is worth it after all.

10. New York Giants (7)
(5-3, third in NFC East)
The Giants' theme song over the last three games? Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'." After kicking off 2009 as the NFL's most complete team, they've fallen off the rails. Yes, injuries have played a major role, but so has Eli Manning's recent willingness to throw the ball to the other team. He has thrown six picks in the last three games. In the previous five games, he threw a total of two.

11. Baltimore Ravens (16)
(4-3, third in AFC North)
It's been an up-and-down campaign for the Ravens so far. But Sunday's 30-7 assault on the previously unbeaten Broncos was another significant "up." If Greg Mattison's defense continues to manhandle good teams like it did, Baltimore will be a force to be reckoned with in the second half.

12. Atlanta Falcons (12)
(4-3, second in NFC South)
Atlanta showed some positive signs in its Monday night loss in New Orleans, including its early pass rush and Michael Turner's productivity (finally!) on the ground. But for the third straight game, Matt Ryan made some poor decisions: Over that period, he's tossed seven interceptions.

13. Houston Texans (15)
(5-3, second in AFC South)
Not only is Matt Schaub the league's leading passer with 2,342 yards, but the Houston defense has been steady as well, limiting teams to just 16 points a game over their last three victories. Owen Daniels' injury could negatively impact Schaub and the passing game and Steve Slaton's fumble-itis has proven worrisome, but Ryan Moats' three scores on Sunday showed a real willingness to step up when needed.

14. Arizona Cardinals (9)
(4-3, first in NFC West)
The division-leading Cards have looked dangerous at times, but with both Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston ailing, opposing defenses can focus on Larry Fitzgerald and effectively prevent Kurt Warner from throwing deep downfield. Hence, a 34-23 loss to Carolina. Said Warner: "We just didn't bring our A-game."

15. Green Bay Packers (10)
(4-3, tied for second in NFC North)
Aaron Rodgers has been good for much of this season. It's hard to throw with much consistency, though, when you're on your back, something Rodgers found out this week as he was sacked six times by the vengeful Vikings at Lambeau.

16. San Diego Chargers (17)
(4-3, second in AFC West)
LaDainian Tomlinson scored a season-high two touchdowns against the Raiders on Sunday. Receiver Malcom Floyd, too, impressed his coaches enough (two catches, 64 yards) that they cut veteran wideout Chris Chambers on Monday.

17. Chicago Bears (20)
(4-3, tied for second in NFC North)
Despite some injuries on the defensive side, the Bears looked very solid in shutting down the wretched Browns offense. Chicago was also helped by one of Matt Forte's better games of the season so far: 90 yards on the ground, 31 more in the air and two touchdowns.

18. Miami Dolphins (21)
(3-4, third in AFC East)
Even with Chad Henne at the helm, the Dolphins' offense can put up points, thanks in no small part to the Wildcat. Both Henne and the run-oriented formation will be tested in a divisional clash with the red-hot Patriots on Sunday.

19. San Francisco 49ers (18)
(3-4, second in NFC West)
Despite losing 18-14 in Indy — the team's third straight setback — the Niners made it clear that they'll be in just about every game this season. The problem lately has been on offense, where Alex Smith has reclaimed the starting job behind center thanks to the ineptitude of Shaun Hill. If Smith continues to get more and more comfy with rookie wideout Michael Crabtree, however, things could turn around quickly.

20. New York Jets (14)
(4-4, second in AFC East)
The Jets managed to stifle Miami's Wildcat offense, but were then undone by two 100-plus-yard kick returns. It's a good sign for the future of this franchise that rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez bounced back with an excellent game — 20-for-35, 265 yards, two scores and zero interceptions — after two absolute stinkers.

21. Carolina Panthers (24)
(3-4, third in NFC South)
The Panthers played their best game of the season on Sunday, stopping the high-flying Cardinals 34-21 in Arizona. Much of the credit should go to DeAngelo Williams, whose 158 yards on the ground were a season high. The defense stepped up its game, too, intercepting Kurt Warner five times.

22. Buffalo Bills (22)
(3-5, fourth in AFC East)
The Bills played well for two weeks under backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, but that came to a crashing halt in Week 8 against the Texans, who held him to 117 yards in the air and picked him off twice. Buffalo will now use the upcoming bye week to recover from its numerous injuries, including the one to starter Trent Edwards, who could be back behind center on Nov. 15 in Tennessee.

23. Jacksonville Jaguars (19)
(3-4, third in AFC South)
"It is insulting, ugly and embarrassing," said Jags coach Jack Del Rio of his squad's defense after rewatching tapes of their 30-13 loss to the previously winless Titans.

24. Seattle Seahawks (23)
(2-5, third in NFC West)
Coach Jim Mora was none too pleased with his squad after they rolled over during their 38-17 loss to the Cowboys. "After the game, coach Mora was very blunt about our performance," said quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. "He basically said, 'Listen … if I feel like I've got to make changes, I'm going to make changes. And if that means firing people, I'm going to fire people.' So we've definitely been put on notice that the scrutiny is going to go up." Yeah, I'd say it's about time.

25. Washington Redskins (25)
(2-5, fourth in NFC East)
"I feel sorry for the fans," said Redskins owner Dan Snyder on Tuesday. "We just feel terrible. We're disappointed. We're embarrassed, and we hope to get it going soon." And this was following the team's bye week! I can't wait to hear what he says after the team loses this weekend in Atlanta.

26. Tennessee Titans (30)
(1-6, fourth in AFC South)
Congratulations are due to the Titans, who spanked the Jags 30-13 for their first win of the season. Vince Young played well after team owner Bud Adams "suggested" he get the starting gig. Good call on agreeing with the boss, coach Jeff Fisher!

27. Oakland Raiders (26)
(2-6, third in AFC West)
The Raiders kept it close against their division rivals from San Diego, but this is quite simply the worst offense in the league. Period.

28. Kansas City Chiefs (28)
(1-6, fourth in AFC West)
Thank goodness for the bye week. The struggling Chiefs got some time to rest. And no one had to watch them play.

29. St. Louis Rams (32)
(1-7, fourth in NFC West)
Kudos to the Rams, as well, for earning win No. 1 of 2009. Still, I'm not sure that beating the Lions really counts as an official win anymore. It's like Syracuse beating a Division II team in a preseason basketball game. (Oops!)

30. Detroit Lions (27)
(1-6, fourth in NFC North)
Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse in the Motor City, the Lions up and lose to the hapless Rams. Some players are already worried about Matthew Stafford's situation mirroring Joey Harrington's unfortunate tenure in Detroit. That's a bad sign.

31. Cleveland Browns (29)
(1-7, fourth in AFC North)
In the Browns' 30-6 loss in Chicago last weekend, starting quarterback Derek Anderson went 6-for-17 in the air for 76 yards. His quarterback rating was 10.5. That is not a recipe for success in the NFL. And how often are NFL GMs escorted off the premises?

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (31)
(0-7, fourth in NFC South)
With the Rams and Titans finally winning, the Bucs not undeservedly fall into the NFL basement. (Thanks, bye week!) Let's be frank, this is a team that may not win a game all season long. At least their uniforms aren't as bad as they were back in 1976.

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