Wednesday October 7th, 2009

NFL Power Rankings
21Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 24
Unlike their results against the Colts at home in Week 2, the Dolphins' ball-control offense paid dividends against the Bills and was just the kind of approach with which first-time starter Chad Henne could win. But if Miami hopes to make it two in a row at home against the Jets on Monday night, offensive coordinator Dan Henning needs to open it up a bit and let Henne have a bigger role in the game plan.
 
22Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 21
For a second season in a row, injuries are starting to become the story of the year in Seattle. It's true that every team in the NFL gets hurt. But when you get hurt, and who gets hurt, can make or break a team's season. With two home games on tap against Jacksonville and Arizona the next two weeks, the Seahawks season hangs in the balance. Fight back to .500 and there's real hope heading into Seattle's Week 7 bye. Split them, or lose them both, and the bleak days will have arrived.
 
23Washington Redskins
Last Week: 28
It's good to see Sherman Lewis back in the league after a four-year-plus absence, but I can't be convinced it's a very good development for head coach and play-caller Jim Zorn. I do believe Daniel Snyder just hired his potential interim head coach.
 
24Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 19
You may scoff, but I can't help but take note of the fact that Tennessee hasn't won a game since stomping on the Steelers' beloved Terrible Towel last December in Week 16. They're 0-6 since. There's a lesson in that, folks. Just don't mess with the Terrible Towel. And while we're at it, Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck last Sunday dropped into his best T.O. and told the media, "We play the defenses that are called." If you think that's not exactly a vote of confidence for new defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil, you're correct.
 
25Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 26
With home against Washington, at Tampa Bay and home against Buffalo ahead for the rested and hopefully refreshed Panthers, let's see if any season-saving occurs in the next three weeks in Carolina.
 
26Detroit Lions
Last Week: 25
Just as they did on the road in Week 1 at New Orleans, the Lions gave the Bears all they wanted last week in the first half at Chicago before letting things slide in the second half. The 1-3 record may not feel all that great, but Detroit has at least been competitive every week, and that's where things start in a rebuilding process of this scope. First, you have a shot to win each week. And then eventually, if all goes as planned, you win more than your share.
 
27Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 18
It's just not happening for the Bills, and that's going to spell another coaching change in Buffalo. Last week in Miami, where was the Bills team that gave New England all it wanted in the opener? Bad teams never seem to bring winning intensity two weeks in a row.
 
28Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 27
If you're the Chiefs, you've got to be sick to your stomach that you somehow lost to this Raiders team in Week 2. At home, no less. The Raiders have once again quickly reverted to ineptitude.
 
29Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 30
When you stop and think about how badly the Chiefs, Bucs, Browns and Rams are all playing this year, do we have another 0-16 season in the making in 2009? And here's the really scary part: Do we have more than one? Move over, Lions.
 
30Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 31
As it turns out, in the NFL's infinite wisdom, limiting the Bucs to only seven games in their home market this season was a shrewd and merciful move for Tampa Bay fans. But it probably wasn't the best product to try to be selling to the league's London-based fans.
 
31Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 32
If you're Eric Mangini, I'm guessing those days of being dubbed "Mangenius" and making guest cameos on The Sopranos seem like a very, very long time ago.
 
32St. Louis Rams
Last Week: 29
The Rams have been shut out twice in four games, and scored just seven points in another game. They're averaging six points a week, a pace that won't crack 100 points (96) for the whole season. I knew it was going to be a slow start to the Steve Spagnuolo era, but this is absolutely brutal.
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