By Don Banks
October 27, 2010
NFL Power Rankings (cont.)
21 Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 21
Here's what no one seems to be talking about regarding Brett Favre's ankle: How is it No. 4 was able to do his running and jumping crazy-man celebration thing after he thought he threw that game-winning touchdown pass to Percy Harvin in the final seconds, but then he could barely walk up the tunnel moments later? Just sayin'.
22 Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 27
I'm thinking if the Raiders can rush for 328 yards and five touchdowns every game, it really won't matter who starts at quarterback in Oakland. Darren McFadden is averaging 111.4 yards rushing per game, and already has topped his career-best season with 557 yards.
23 Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 22
Carson Palmer finally looked like the Carson Palmer of old (412 yards, three TDs, no INTs) and the Bengals still couldn't win because Mike Zimmer's defense was scorched for 452 yards in Atlanta. The Bengals are one more loss from being a non-factor in the AFC North. But for the record, we agree with everything Zimmer said when he unloaded on ex-Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino last week.
24 Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 23
Two desperate and disappointing teams meet in Dallas this week, and I'd love to listen to the pregame conversation between the embattled Jack Del Rio and the beleaguered Wade Phillips. I'd say there's a decent chance both are defensive coordinators somewhere in the league next year. And good ones, at that.
25 San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 24
Watching the Chargers finding new inventive ways to self-destruct against the Patriots on Sunday was like having a flashback to that three-point New England upset in San Diego in the 2006 AFC divisional playoffs. Playing the role of the careless Marlon McCree this time was the careless Richard Goodman.
26 Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 30
The Brownies have beaten the defending Super Bowl champs three years running (Giants in 2008, Steelers in 2009 and Saints in 2010) and that's kind of a cool feat. The record doesn't really show it, but Eric Mangini and his staff have done some pretty strong work so far this season, and I'm sure Mike Holmgren has noticed.
27 Denver Broncos
Last Week: 25
The Broncos come within a play of knocking off the Jets, and then suffer an abject humiliation at home against the hated Raiders. Go figure. All I know is that this week's Broncos-49ers game in London could set back the NFL's efforts to sell the game in Europe for the foreseeable future.
28 Detroit Lions
Last Week: 28
The Lions have been competitive all season and now they get quarterback Matthew Stafford back in the lineup for a home game against improved Washington. Keeping him healthy against a Redskins defense that played inspired ball at Chicago should be Detroit's top priority.
29 Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 26
If he does nothing else right this year, Jerry Jones deserves credit for trading up to draft Dez Bryant. I don't care if Dallas does have a couple of other quality receivers in Miles Austin and the emerging Roy Williams, Bryant is a game-changing talent.
30 Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 31
For one week at least, Carolina got the kind of game from Matt Moore that it thought it could count on all season long in 2010.
31 Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 32
I'm not saying the Bills should bypass taking a quarterback in the first round of next April's draft. Yet. But if Ryan Fitzpatrick keeps playing this well, there's at least a discussion to be had on the topic.
32 San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 29
The 49ers are switching Smiths at quarterback (from the injured Alex to the previously third-string Troy), but I can't imagine that's going to fix what ails San Francisco. Mike Singletary is out of answers, and it has become painfully obvious that his time is done.
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