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Carucci Power Rankings.............

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Old 09-14-2004, 10:40 PM   #1
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Carucci Power Rankings.............

Some teams already matching hype


By Vic Carucci
National Editor, NFL.com


(Sept. 14, 2004) -- It's only one week, but several NFL teams already showed that they are capable of living up to considerable preseason hype.


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The New England Patriots maintained their Super Bowl-winning profile, which is why they remain atop our weekly team rankings. The Philadelphia Eagles demonstrated the instant explosiveness they gained from the acquisition of Terrell Owens, which is why they edged up the poll.

The Minnesota Vikings provided early evidence of why they should be taken seriously as a contender -- and why they deserve to move closer to the top of the rankings. The Denver Broncos showed that there is, indeed, life after Clinton Portis and why giving him up was not too great a price for Champ Bailey. Their impressive opening-day win against Kansas City caused them to soar from 11th to fourth in the poll.

Meanwhile, the Washington Redskins took us back in time, with Joe Gibbs once again leading them to victory, while also giving every indication that they equally prospered from the Bailey-for-Portis swap.

One club that fell woefully short of its preseason hype on opening day was the Baltimore Ravens, who had no defensive or offensive answers for the supposedly inferior Cleveland Browns.

This is how the top 12 looks from here:


Deion Branch and the Pats continue to smile at their top ranking.
1. New England (1-0; unchanged): Remarkably, this team has gotten better since winning the Super Bowl.

2. Philadelphia (1-0; 3): The Donovan McNabb -Terrell Owens Show is off to a great start, and will need to maintain that form against the Vikings.

3. Minnesota (1-0; 4): Daunte Culpepper wasted no time showing he is a more complete quarterback and laying the foundation for his MVP case.

4. Denver (1-0; 11): It's a cliché, but that Broncos running back factory just keeps churning them out.

5. Indianapolis (0-1; 2): Bouncing back from the season-opening loss in New England will be difficult to do in Tennessee.

6. Tennessee (1-0; unchanged): The Titans probably should have had an easier time with the Dolphins; there will be nothing easy about facing the Colts.

7. Green Bay (1-0; 10): Ahman Green 's legs and just enough of Brett Favre's arm could take the Packers a long way.

8. Seattle (1-0; 9): The Seahawks are off to an impressive start, but they need Shaun Alexander back in the lineup as soon as possible.

9. Kansas City (0-1; 5): New coordinator, same problems on defense.

10. Washington (1-0; unranked): Joe Gibbs never really left the NFL; he just went for a long drive … in a circle.

11. St. Louis (1-0; unranked): It wasn't pretty, but thanks to Marshall Faulk, the Rams at least have started on a winning note.

12. Baltimore (0-1; 8): Are the Ravens that bad ... or are the Browns that good?
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Old 09-14-2004, 11:06 PM   #2
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Ravens are still way too high for a team who's offense is having legal troubles.
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Old 09-14-2004, 11:11 PM   #3
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and who just got their asses handed to them on a platter by the browns..
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:11 AM   #4
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the browns have been itching for that game all offseason. I wouldnt worry about just one game, the ravens still have a good team.
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Old 09-15-2004, 03:34 AM   #5
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What do the Ravens see in Boller?
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Old 09-15-2004, 06:00 AM   #6
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a QB that isn't very good.



seriously though, if he had boldin and fitz to throw to, he'd be doing a bit better.
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Old 09-15-2004, 08:50 AM   #7
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Billick won with Dilfer... he must feel that he can win with anyone.
Boller isn't as good as Dilfer and you're right, he has nobody but Heap.

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a QB that isn't very good.

seriously though, if he had boldin and fitz to throw to, he'd be doing a bit better.
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Old 09-15-2004, 09:20 AM   #8
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I have to agree a little more with this power ranking than the ESPN ranking that was posted yesterday. I would make a slight change:

1) Patriots
2) Philly
3) Minnesota
4) Denver
5) Indy
6) Seattle
7) Titans
8) KC
9) Packers
10) Skins

Teams 2-4 (philly, minn. & denver) are very close. Any one of them can be sub-ed for the other.
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Old 09-15-2004, 09:25 AM   #9
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I"m still not sold on Denver. I wanna see what they can do against a team that isn't ranked 30th in defense.
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Old 09-15-2004, 09:46 AM   #10
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I have to agree with you about your doubts about Denver's offense. But their defense is strong. As you can tell by my name, I strongly believe in the old saying 'strong defense wins championships'. That is why on my list I have dropped a few slots teams like Indy, KC and Packers. They have two of the top three Qb's in the league (Farve & Manning) and strong offense's, but their defense's are weak.
I think some sports writers fall in love with great QB's because it sells papers. Some in the press were awful in how the week prior to the superbowl, they bad mouthed the Pat's vs. Panthers. They said there were no stars and it would be a boring game. It ended up being a great game.
You could tell they really wanted Indy vs. Philly.
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Old 09-15-2004, 11:40 AM   #11
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I think the Titans should be higher, love their defense and I think it will work wonders for the Skins this year (since Fisher and Williams pretty much run the same stuff).

1) Patriots
2) Philly
3) Minnesota
4) Titans
5) Seattle
6) Denver
7) Packers
8) Skins
9) Indy
10) KC
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:02 PM   #12
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I'm not sold on Denver either. Thier QB is still Mr. Jake "INT" Plummer. Griffin is good but this guys is gonna get nailed and won't last a whole season. Did anyone see him try to block a DE? He just flew.
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:16 PM   #13
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Anyone see the left handed pass by Plummer that got picked?

Amazing he's been in the league this long and he still pulls crap like that.
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:31 PM   #14
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Mike Shanahan told Jake Plummer after throwing that INT. " What goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas."
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:44 PM   #15
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i cant believe that ravens are that high. Are they a good football? defensivly yes.......offensivly no. Every year there divisionwhich is worst in football helps them out. I think this is the year that the ravens dont get saved by there weak division. I think boller has talent but when you dont have anyone to throw too its kinda tough to put up numbers.
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