by Dave Schroeder - www.twitter.com/GulfSportsDave
1. Packers (3-0) – I still contend that it's almost impossible to repeat in the NFL. But the Pack are honestly better this year.
2 .Saints (2-1) – True to form, my NFC Title Game picks sit atop of the Power Rankings. Trust me, the Saints are better than any of our remaining 3-0 teams.
3. Bills (3-0) – Down 21-0 to the Patriots? How could the Bills possibly win? Well by intercepting Tom Brady as many times as Brady was intercepted all of last year (4) of course. I'm impressed.
4. Patriots (2-1) – The Patriots have shown they are beatable. But now I expect them to play angry for a full month. Sorry Raiders.
5. Lions (3-0) – The only reason the Lions have suffered such a long playoff drought is because they always get off to poor starts. This year, they have a great thing going…don't mess it up Detroit!
6. Texans (2-1) – This team is great, they just have no killer instinct. If the game is close, I'm taking the other team every time.
7. Ravens (2-1) – Two blowout wins…and a loss to the Titans. Who are you?
8. Jets (2-1) – I have not yet found the respect I need to have for Oakland. Subsequently, I don't respect the Jets after losing to Oakland.
9. Cowboys (2-1) – Last week I ripped you for beating a mediocre team on the rise. This week I applaud you for putting Rex Grossman back in his place (you have to beat at least one of the Rex's don't you?).
10. Buccaneers (2-1) – Beating Atlanta is a big step in the rugged NFC South.
11. Giants (2-1) – Eli Manning is adjusting well to his crazy cadre of receivers. Injuries have slowed NY, but the G-men are now picking up some steam.
12. Steelers (2-1) – Even Tony Dungy couldn't come up with a logical way for the Colts to compete with Pittsburgh before the game. But Indy did compete. Either the Indy run defense is vastly improved, or Pittsburgh has some big issues.
13. Eagles (1-2) – I'm starting to think all the things that went right for Mike Vick last year are going to go wrong this year. The 49ers smell blood. This week won't be easy.
14. Raiders (2-1) – Remember what I said above about not respecting the Raiders? There are very few 2-1 teams below Oakland. Yes, Al, the Eagles are better than you as well. I don't care what your record is. That's why this is a Power Ranking, not a win-loss report.
15. Bears (1-2) I'm trying not to fault you too much for losing to my #1 and #2 teams. But I am just not sold on your offense. Jay Cutler may be better than I give him credit for, but your offensive line doesn't give him a chance. And what happened to that vaunted "D" the last 2 weeks?
16. Redskins (2-1) – You probably belong higher, but Rex Grossman (the real MVP of the Colts win in Super Bowl XLI) is your quarterback. I can't pick you in a marquee matchup. The only teams you will beat are the 2nd and 3rd tier teams.
17. Chargers (2-1) – Winning ugly. Kansas City was outscored 89-10 in their first 2 games. Somehow you let them compete with you in your house. If you had lost that game… let's not even begin to go down that road.
18. 49ers (2-1) – I don't think the Jim Harbaugh turnaround has taken full effect. Therefore, I don't believe San Fran beats Philly. But I'm open to new ways of thinking… state your case this weekend.
19. Browns (2-1) – It was a point of discussion in the preseason. The Browns don't play the Steelers or Ravens until late in the season. And until then, their schedule is reallllly easy. Subsequently, Cleveland will be in the playoff discussion all year. But are the Browns really that good? Wins over my Colts and the Dolphins haven't done anything to answer that question.
20. Falcons (1-2) – You are still a good team, but you're in some serious trouble. Get well against Seattle.
21. Titans (2-1) – How are you 2-1? I don't get it. And 2-1 with Chris Johnson averaging a league-worst 2.1 yards per carry.
22. Panthers (1-2) – Cam Newton didn't pass for 400 yards, but he led the Panthers to their first win in the "Expansion Bowl" against the Jaguars.
23. Jaguars (1-2) – I don't think you are a bunch of pushovers, but I don't think you are any good either.
24. Cardinals (1-2) – You will be VERY competitive in the NFC West, but not competitive in the big picture.
25 Broncos (1-2) – I still think other teams should respect the Broncos. Denver isn't an easy win. But, at the same time, nothing will come easy for the Broncos this year either.
26. Rams (0-3) - Get it together. Sophomore slump or Comeback of the Year? (Fallout Boy reference)
27. Seahawks (1-2) – Do I have to talk about them? It's not contractually required? Good. Then I'll just move on.
28. Bengals (1-2) – Andy Dalton shows promise, but he has also shown me he's not quite ready for the harsh reality of NFL football. Every team is good. Playing at TCU, Dalton grew accustomed to playing against a few garbage teams every year.
29. Colts (0-3) – Did you see what my Colts did to Pittsburgh! Boy, that would have been a sweet win. Peyton Manning is back (as a coach), and I think his mere presence makes Indy more competitive.
30. Dolphins (0-3) – Chad Henne and Reggie Bush! What? You're not excited by that star-studded duo? Hmm. Me neither.
31. Chiefs (0-3) – Your near win more of a failure on San Diego's part than a success on your behalf.
32. Vikings – Here's the one thing I struggle with when making the Power Rankings. Should I rank teams on how competitive they are? Or should I rank them by who I think has a better chance of winning actual games? The Vikings are exciting and competitive. But I would never pick them to win an actual game at this point. Andy Reid looks like a genius these days, and Donovan McNabb looks like a junk part, scrapped out for a newer model.