Naveenan Thanendra continues his Power Rankings of the NFL after the first quarter of the season, with reigning champions the Giants featuring in part three.
So most power rankings are delivered following week 1 and are delivered on a week-by-week basis. However, I have decided to make my assessment following the first 4 weeks of the season so that I can get a better grasp of the teams and this is my assessment of how things have played out thus far.
Those that must improve:
11) Philadelphia Eagles 3-1
No one, I repeat no one has any idea how the Eagles have managed to achieve a 3-1 record. Winning their 3 games with a combined margin of 4 points, the Eagles have played poorly and grinded their way to those wins. While some would say that because it is early in the season, it shows championship pedigree to win when you are playing poorly, the displays they have put on (especially that in week 1 against the Browns) show that the Eagles have several issues that need addressing if both Michael Vick and Andy Reid want to retain their jobs for next season.
12) Denver Broncos 2-2
Last season, Tim Tebow and the Broncos defence seemed as if they were following the script of a fairy-tale (minus the ending). Only problem was that John Elway’s hatred of Tebow’s quarterback play was evident to all. So what do they do? They manage to bring in one of the greatest quarterback’s of all time for what should be his swansong. However, it has looked anything but. The Broncos have started the season as if they want to repeat, if not better the feat’s achieved last season and have never been completely out of any of the games they have lost. If this team can improve week-on-week while becoming a bit more familiar with one and other on offense, then there is no reason why the Broncos cannot win this division.
13) Green Bay Packers 2-2
Last season the offense was second to none, but their defence left a lot to be desired. This season it is the defence that are on top of their game with the offense not quite firing on all cylinders. Greg Jennings is in his contract year and it is inexplicable how his deal has not been renewed yet. I’m sure the day that this contract situation is resolved; the Packers offense will get their act together. Until then, they will need to stop dropping so many of Rodgers’ laser like passes and make sure they stay within touching distance of the Bears and Vikings.
14) New York Giants 2-2
It seems a familiar cycle now: play inconsistent football for most of the season, place Tom Coughlin on the hot seat, play a must win game, win it and then go on an unprecedented run deep into the playoffs with a solid D and an unflappable Eli Manning. That has been the formula for the Giants’ last two Superbowl wins, and they have started this season in much the same way, even if they have been hampered with injuries. I think a few more weeks will be required to make a true assessment of this Giants team, but one thing is for sure – David Wilson must learn to hold on to the football if he wants to keep his job as running back for the NY Giants.
15) Washington Redskins 2-2
Robert Griffin III, every part the slam-dunk of a first round pick he was touted to be. His quarterback play has been superb and he seems to have all the intangibles and talent that Cam Newton demonstrated in his rookie season. If that wasn’t enough, in Alfred Morris they have found a genuine heir to Clinton Portis’ former throne as running back for the Redskins. However, they must stop using the read option as a matter of urgency. While Tebow was able to pull it off last season, it only looks like it is going to end RG3’s season through injury sooner rather than later. RG3 has demonstrated that he is more than comfortable under centre so it is important that they let him drop back and pick apart an opposition defence in the more conventional way.
image: © Ted Kerwin