By Don Banks
October 13, 2010
NFL Power Rankings, Week 6 (cont.)
21 Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 12
You know how every team says the bye comes at exactly the right time for it? I don't think Cincy's bye this week is particularly well-timed for Carson Palmer's taste. He needs to erase the stench of that late-game meltdown against Tampa Bay, and he needs to erase it quickly. But it's going to sit in his gut and churn away until the Bengals play at Atlanta in Week 7.
22 Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 20
By the time the Vikings take the field against the Cowboys Sunday in the Metrodome, it'll be exactly nine months since these two teams met in the NFC playoffs. Since then, they've won a combined two games, and lost seven. I've been calling this one the Desperation Bowl all week, but it still doesn't even begin to tell the entire story. Fortunately I'll be on hand Sunday in Minneapolis, and my hunch is the losing locker room is not to be missed.
23 Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 19
At the NFL owners meeting in Chicago on Tuesday, Jerry Jones said he feels like his Cowboys are "losing time here,'' and that the time is now for Dallas to kick it up a notch or three and start winning. It all sounds so simple when you listen to Jerry explain it in that distinctive way of his, but quite candidly, to steal one of Jones's favorite expressions, it ain't that easy.
24 Denver Broncos
Last Week: 22
Since starting last season 6-0, the Broncos are 4-11 under head coach Josh McDaniels. If that trend should continue over this season's final 11 games, I don't think it's guaranteed that McDaniels gets a third season in Denver. I've said this before, but maybe it's his next head coaching job that McDaniels succeeds in.
25 Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 25
It has been ugly on the road thus far for Seattle, and now comes a trip to Chicago, which is playing some legit defense for coordinator Rod Marinelli. The Seahawks really need newly acquired rusher Marshawn Lynch to hit the ground running against the Bears, which hopefully slows down the Chicago pass rush and buys Matt Hasselbeck room to work.
26 St. Louis Rams
Last Week: 24
Reality bites this week in St. Louis, where as predicted in last week's rankings, the Rams got served some serious payback by the winless Lions last Sunday. And I'm still not sure what got into Steve Spagnuolo with that game-opening onside kick attempt in Detroit. It seems everybody wants to be Sean Payton these days.
27 Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 27
The Raiders get to invade Candlestick Park this week, and it's always eventful when the bay area rivals clash. Maybe Alex Smith and Jason Campbell can meet at midfield before the game and talk about what went wrong for them in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Or is there enough time for that in the pre-game?
28 Detroit Lions
Last Week: 29
I checked with the league and it's in the bylaws that you can't accuse a team that has won three games in three seasons of running up the score against you. Even if the final is 44-6. I would expect some sort of fine to be levied against St. Louis in the days ahead.
29 Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 28
Really, Eric Mangini? Colt McCoy to start his first game in Pittsburgh, against these particular fire-breathing Steelers? Talk about breaking a Colt's spirits. Why not just sacrifice Brett Ratliff on the altar of Dick LeBeau and move on to Week 7?
30 San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 30
I'm glad to hear John Madden call Mike Singletary out on his sideline "coaching'' of Alex Smith. I used to think Singletary was a skilled motivational speaker and a head coach in training. Now I'm questioning if I've overrated Singletary's motivational skills.
31 Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 31
Expecting John Fox to win and make chicken salad out of the chicken-you-know-what that Jerry Richardson's cost-cutting ways has rendered the roster is not remotely fair. But I'll say this much: Carolina is well positioned for a 2011 lockout.
32 Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 32
Did I read that right, the Bills' 92-year-old owner, Ralph Wilson, saying he realizes he might not be alive by the time Buffalo turns it around? Now that's a sense of urgency to win now that makes everyone else's pale by comparison.
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