NFL Week 4 SuperPower Rankings

Were they overrated, or were the teams they faced underrated? Were they underrated, or were the teams they faced overrated?

My Consensus Power Rankings, like it or not, have two fatal flaws: an over-emphasis on record and an over-emphasis on the preseason. Like college football polls, come to think of it.

Because the comments I stick on the consensus rankings are based on the comments the sports sites make, I can’t make comments on whether they’re right. But let’s look at all 32 teams in the order of the Consensus Rankings (or, for the purposes of this post, the top 8) and see if they’re overrated, possibly underrated, or neither. Potential upset picks (which I’m 4-0 on) loom.

Patriots: 4-0 against the Jets, Chargers, Bills, and Bengals. All four are 1-3. Overrated.
Colts: 4-0 against the Saints, Titans, Texans, and Broncos. The wins over Tennessee and Houston were on the road and were struggles, the other two were romps. Nawlins is 0-3, Denver is 2-2 but both wins were over teams thought to be awful. As for the Titans and Texans, both have only two wins apiece. The Texans just lost to freakin’ Atlanta. Overrated.
Cowboys: 4-0 against the Giants, Dolphins, Bears, and Rams. The Dolphins and Rams suck, the Bears might be overrated at 1-3, and the Giants are 2-2 with their only two losses against unbeatens. Not coincidentially, the Boys’ closest win is over the Giants at home. We know Cowboys > Giants and Packers > Giants, but we don’t know, really, where the Giants stand.
Packers: 4-0 against the Eagles, Giants, Chargers, and Vikings. All except the Giants are 1-3 (the Chargers’ loss to KC shows the loss to GB was more them sucking than the Packers being good), but the win over the Giants – in the Meadowlands! – was a romp. So, Packers > Cowboys. On the other hand, the victories over Philly and San Diego were by a touchdown or less, so they’re still overrated.
Steelers: Wins against Buffalo, 2-2 Cleveland, and 2-2 San Fran. Latter two were romps. Loss to Arizona, also 2-2, by a touchdown, in the desert.
Seahawks: Wins against 3-1 but overplaying Tampa Bay, 1-3 Cincy in a tight one at home, and 2-2 San Fran in a romp in San Fran. Loss to Arizona. Damn near impossible to read.
Titans: Somewhere between 2-1 Jacksonville (#8) and Indy, both teams with good records. Of course, Jacksonville’s two wins are over Atlanta and overrated Denver, so who knows where they stand? And could New Orleans still be better than their 0-3 start against three teams in the top 10 of the Consensus Rankings, overrated as Tampa Bay is up there? More expertise like this going into the picks for this week after I slip to 7-7 picking mostly favorites. (But both underdogs I picked won. Whoda thunk that? I mean, 9 underdogs winning?)

As promised last week, my upset special is Kansas City over Jacksonville, taking a cue from KC’s shocking upset. As if the Jags’ poor out-of-bye record wasn’t enough, it’s at Arrowhead. A more daring upset is needing-a-win Miami against a potentially over-performing Texans squad.

Upset Special of Week 4

The web site is updated with the lineal title changes and the Week 3 SuperPower Rankings, which reveals teams that really divide the rankings, with some having them at #9 while others have them in the 20s. The Panthers are 7th on CBS and 21st in Cole’s Yahoo rankings; the Bucs are 19th in ESPN and Robinson’s Yahoo rankings but 9th in NBC; the Eagles are 9th in Cole and 21st in NBC.

The Colts merged the NFL lineal titles this week and play a Broncos team next that I think is overrated. The loss to Jacksonville should have exposed them – they should not have been anywhere near the top after such close wins over two teams everyone thinks are awful – but they’re still no lower than 12th in any list. People are thinking it says more about the Jags, who move up 10 spots to 8th in the SuperPower Rankings. Jacksonville has a bye this week, but I just might pick the Chiefs against them. Which brings me to my picks, where I’m 3-0 on upset specials. I thought this one was fairly obvious – just about any team could have upset the Broncs the way they were playing. Evidently not everyone agreed.

This week I’m picking the #20 Lions over the #11 Bears. The Bears are facing problems beyond the QB position. If the offense can’t get going, even with Griese, the Lions offense could overpower the vaunted Bears defense. All my other picks are here.

Enter NBC Sports, Exit Yahoo Sports? finally joined the power ranking party, so I will be kicking out the MSNBC/ rankings when I release the new SuperPower Rankings tomorrow.

I’m tempted to kick out the Yahoo rankings as well… on the one hand, they’re a duo of rankings, and I have a policy of always having an odd number of rankings, to minimize ties. Their duplicity was the sole reason I included the MSNBC rankings in the first place; the addition of rankings renders them downright superfluous. On the other, I did include the Yahoo rankings for the first few weeks; to get rid of them would quite possibly reduce the reliability of the whole rankings. And they are among the 8 major multi-sports web sites, and according to Alexa rankings, among the top 5 among those 8, unlike upstart

Only one way for me to be sure: a new Da Blog Poll! Scroll down to the new poll and let your voice be heard for the next week. (Unless I get a flurry of votes to start, the Yahoo rankings will be included for the Week 3 Consensus Power Rankings.)

NFL Week 2 SuperPower Rankings

New England dominated the Chargers on Sunday, but clearly it hurt the Chargers more than it helped the Patriots.

Like college football polls, people don’t like dropping teams when they don’t lose. New England barely took any spots away from the Colts, only passing them in MSNBC and SI, despite the Colts struggling against the Titans. However, the margin between the Colts and Patriots was so thin last week that it’s enough for the Pats to pass the Colts in the SuperPower Rankings, with added help from passing the Chargers in CBS for #2 and breaking the tie in USA Today.

Meanwhile, the Chargers slip after being the only other team in the top three in every single ranking before the season and after Week 1. By itself, having the offense struggle against the mighty Bears D and falling to the Patriots shouldn’t reflect too badly on the Chargers, and indeed the Chargers don’t fall that far (no fall in Fox and only a one-spot dip in ESPN), but the Chargers didn’t look like the third-best team in the nation against the Patriots. They fall to sixth in four rankings, eighth in the SI rankings, and fifth in the two Yahoo rankings, with the Steelers (in perhaps a bit of a hasty jump given the quality of their opposition), Broncos (also dubious given their reliance on last-second field goals against lowly Buffalo and Oakland), and Cowboys (the new #3) being the chief beneficiaries. The Chargers should be able to take a breather and allow people to get a true gauge of the state of their offense against the Packers.

Outside the top six, the Bears and Ravens remain strong while the surprises at 2-0 – the Packers, Niners, Texans, and Lions – divide the group. The first three are generally thought to be for real; the Lions, who have defeated two lousy teams in close games, aren’t. The Packers have the benefit of three of the four teams directly ahead of them in last week’s SuperPower Rankings losing, which basically guaranteed them a ticket to the Top 10. The Texans round out the Top 10 with the Niners close behind. One really divisive team is the Cardinals; three lists have them 15th or 14th, five within a spot of 20th, and one of the Yahoo lists has them as low as 24th.

The Bengals take a massive slip after their D played awful against the Browns. Either the D is going to be a massive seesaw from week to week or their strong performance Week 1 was more due to an iffy Ravens offense (they did lose McNair in the middle of the game). Which in turn, doesn’t reflect well on the Jets D. The Seahawks also fumbled away their Top 10 placement this week, setting up a game between teams that need recoveries from surprising losses, and the Saints take a big tumble after falling to lowly Tampa Bay – an upset I called, by the way.

At the bottom, the Browns’ win leaves the Falcons with the bottom spot all to themselves, although the Chiefs may have something to say about that. The Chiefs’ drop is mostly attributable to a number of surprises from the bottom; in addition to Cleveland, the Bucs won and the Raiders were a dubious timeout away from doing the same. The Dolphins and Bills also have to curse their former fellow cellar-dwellers, including Arizona’s stunning upset of the Seahawks.

Read the complete Consensus Power Rankings through Week 2 of NFL action here.

Your Hub for All Things Football

I’ve added a new section to the web site – Morgan Wick Sports – that will serve as a home base for the Lineal Titles, the SuperPower Rankings, and the College Football Rankings. This week’s SuperPower Rankings are now available there. Go to

The NFL lineal title history is now located there as well, and the ATH Drinking Game is now here.

Da Blog in LA Recap (what prodigious output!)

For the most part, my week in LA consisted of little more than hanging out around my dad’s house. I had some enlightening conversations with him about heavy topics and briefly caught up with some family, but not much happened.

Some catchup from the week that was:

  • NFL Lineal Title news: Carolina picked up the core Lineal Title off the Rams. They face Houston next week. The Colts will be defending against the Titans next week. If Houston and the Colts win unification would come Week 3. Atlanta and New Orleans are rooting for Carolina and Tennessee to win respectively.
  • After a week of no CFB lineal changes we get changes galore this week. Florida held on to the Princeton title against Troy, while LSU demolished Virginia Tech to retain the 2004 Auburn title. But Boise State falls to Washington while BYU loses to UCLA, making unification between the 2006 Boise State and 2004 Utah titles likely. UCLA plays Utah next while Washington plays Ohio State; the latter has a very high risk of averting unification. Unification is certain, however, if both teams retain.
  • SuperPower Rankings will start being hosted on the web site tommorow. They are currently delayed; Sporting News is joining the race but SI appears to be dropping out and if USA Today has any power rankings ongoing they don’t have this week’s up yet. My Week 2 picks are partly dependent on the SuperPower Rankings and are similarly delayed.
  • The voting-method-for-100-greatest-movies poll received no votes whatsoever in almost two months. I’m ashamed of you.

NFL Preseason SuperPower Rankings

In the same vein as my 100 Greatest Movies Project, here’s my NFL Power Rankings based on the Power Rankings of most of the leading sports sites. I include ratings from the following sports sites: ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, USA Today. I’m willing to take in NBC Sports, Yahoo, and Sporting News if they choose to take part in this excersize. One point per rank; #1=1, #2=2, so on. Lower scores score higher. The asterisk indicates a Lineal Title holder.

Note: The Fox Sports rankings occured at the start of this month; the others, right after the draft. Among other things, it explains why they rank the Falcons near the bottom when the others put them in the middle of the pack.

Team Name TW (LW) ESPN CBS Fox USAT Comments
Patriots 1-T 1 2 2 2 1 Should be a lot scarier with Randy Moss.
Colts 1-T 2 1 1 1 3 Don’t sleep on SB champs, or overstate impact of losses.
Chargers 3 3 3 3 3 2 Maybe the most talented team in the NFL.
Saints 4 6 7 4 4 4 One of the NFC’s best teams only improved. The D is still an issue.
Ravens 5 4 6 5 7 5 Expect McGahee to be an immediate help on offense.
Bears 6 5 5 7 5 6 A lot of question marks but the SB defense is still there.
Broncos 7 7 4 6 6 7 Made some impact additions in offseason. Will Cutler be enough?
Eagles 8 8 8 12 8 9 If McNabb’s healthy, they could be a powerhouse.
Seahawks 9 11 15 8 9 10 They need a healthy Alexander to remain top dog in a tougher division.
Bengals 10 10 10 9 17 8 Bengals underperformed last year, but D still an issue.
Cowboys 11 9 9 13 14 11 The good news is they dumped Parcells. The bad news is they dumped Parcells. All eyes on Romo.
Jets 12 12 16 10 11 12 Revis, Harris, Jones are impact additions, but still not enough D.
Steelers 13 13 11 15 12 13 Will Tomlin get the ’05 Steelers or the ’06 Steelers?
Jaguars 14 14 12 11 18 14.5 All eyes are on the QB position after a mediocre ’06.
*Rams 15 18 17 18 10 18 The Rams made sure to get better in the offseason. Will it be enough?
Panthers 16 16 21 16 16 14.5 Good draft, not much else. All eyes on Delhomme with Carr looking over shoulder.
49ers 17 15 19 14 22 16.5 With improving young players, could contend in West and win in ’08.
Giants 18 17 14 19 21 20 All eyes on Manning and Brandon Jacobs.
Falcons 19 19 18 30 20 16.5 Will probably stink without Vick, but they still have strong pieces.
Titans 20 21 29 22 15 19 Young will have a lot of weight on his shoulders without more offensive help.
Cardinals 21 22 13 20 30 22 “No, this really is the Cardinals’ year, really!”
Chiefs 22-T 20 26 17 26 21 The QB question still looms, especially with good but not SB-carrying D.
Bills 22-T 23 20 21 23 23 Went with youth by dumping vets and hoping Losman improves.
Vikings 24 25 23 29 31 25.5 Good defense and Peterson is good RB, but weak WRs and is Jackson ready?
Packers 25 24 22 23 25 24 Favre may be getting an absolutely awful offense. Retire already!
Dolphins 26 26 24 27 19 28 Will Green provide the pick-me-up the team needs?
Lions 27 30 27 26 13 29 The WRs are meeting their potential and Kitna can carry the team, so they could surprise.
Buccaneers 28 27 25 24 29 25.5 A boatload of QBs with other questions going ignored.
Redskins 29 28 28 25 24 27 Campbell must perform or Gibbs could be running back to NASCAR.
Texans 30 29 30 28 27 31 Schaub and Green will help but the OL is still nonexistent.
Raiders 31 32 31 31 28 32 D is good, but even with Russell they were likely to struggle.
Browns 32 31 32 32 32 30 Young team with two top draft picks that could be a big contender… in ’08.