While there are many power rankings out there based as much on hype, expectations, and too often, unrealized and inaccurate projections, at Football Reporters Online, we prefer to rank NFL teams on what’s actually happened, taking into account only how teams have performed on the field and who they’ve played. At F.R.O., you won’t find yet another power ranking that doesn’t tell you much. Instead, here are the F.R.O. NFL Performance Rankings:
Through Week 9:
#1 SAINTS [8-0]: New Orleans is averaging 37.9 ppg and has won 7 games by double digits.
#2 COLTS [8-0]: 16-0 for the 2007 Patriots? How about 17 straight regular season wins and counting for Indy?
#3 STEELERS [6-2]: After a 1-2 start, Pittsburgh has won 5 straight to keep pace with the hot Bengals.
#4 VIKINGS [7-1]: Minnesota is positioning itself well for the playoffs, already at 5-0 in the NFC.
#5 PATRIOTS [6-2]: All those defensive defections? No problem. New England is allowing just 14.4 ppg.
#6 COWBOYS [6-2]: Dallas didn’t impress much in its 3-2 start, but has played very well since.
#7 BENGALS [6-2]: Cincinnati is looking like the comeback team of the year after a 4-11-1 season in 2008.
#8 BRONCOS [6-2]: After a 6-0 start, Denver has come crashing back to reality losing twice by a combined 58-17.
#9 CHARGERS [5-3] : After a 1-3 start, San Diego is heating up, going 3-0 since as the defense has stepped it up.
#10 CARDINALS [5-3]: Arizona should be a little better. The Cards are 4-0 on the road but just 1-3 at home.
#11 EAGLES [5-3]: Philadelphia has as inconsistent as any team, but remains in the playoff hunt halfway though.
#12 FALCONS [5-3]: Atlanta is 5-0 against teams with non-winning records, but 0-3 against winning teams.
MIRED IN MEDIOCRITY:
#13 TEXANS [5-4]: After a 2-3 start, Houston has played much better going 3-1 since, taking Indy to the wire.
#14 GIANTS [5-4]: Big Blue has gone from the NFL’s elite at 5-0, to four straight losses and trying to find itself.
#15 BALTIMORE [4-4]: Baltimore won three, then lost three, crushed Denver at home, but then lost at Cincy.
#16 JETS [4-4]: Gang Green started 3-0, but has gone 1-4 since, seemingly a myriad of different ways to lose.
#17 BEARS [4-4]: Chicago didn’t lose at home until last week (3-1), but has just one road win (1-3).
#18 PACKERS [4-4]: Minnesota (0-2 vs. the Vikings) and a bad loss at previously winless Tampa has cost Green Bay.
#19 JAGUARS [4-4]: Narrow three-point wins over the lowly Rams and Chiefs have kept Jacksonville alive for now.
#20 PANTHERS [3-5]: After an 0-3 start, Carolina went 3-1 and looked great, but just for a half, in New Orleans.
#21 49ERS [3-5]: It’s all fallen apart for San Francisco, which has lost four straight after starting 3-1.
#22 DOLPHINS [3-5]: Miami began 0-3, but has become very competitive with the wildcat and Chad Henne.
#23 BILLS [3-5]: Starting just 1-5, Buffalo surprised the Jets and Panthers on the road, but lost to Houston at home.
LOOKING TOWARD THE 2010 DRAFT:
#24 SEAHAWKS [3-5]: Seattle was down 17-0 to Detroit last week before rallying to barely stay alive… for now.
#25 TITANS [2-6]: After 6 losses including a 59-0 embarrassment, Tennessee has finally awoken with a pair of wins.
#26 RAIDERS [2-6]: Oakland beat Philly and was competitive twice against San Diego, but has been bad otherwise.
#27 REDSKINS [2-6]: Washington has yet to score over 17 points, and has only narrow wins against two bad teams.
#28 CHIEFS [1-7]: Kansas City took Dallas to OT but has lost twice to Oakland by identical 13-10 scores. Enough said.
#29 RAMS [1-7]: Despite a win in Detroit and road losses by just 2 and 3 points, St. Louis has been outscored 221-77.
#31 BUCCANEERS [1-7]: Throwback uniforms and Josh Freeman at QB ended the NFL’s longest losing streak at 11.
#30 BROWNS [1-7]: St. Louis has company. Cleveland has been outscored 209-78. The win was ugly, 6-3, at Buffalo.
#32 LIONS [1-7]: Detroit has allowed under 26 points just twice while failing to score 20 points in half its games.