According to Senior Analyst, Pat Kirwan, the Baltimore Ravens were placed 6th in NFL.com's Power Rankings. The trailed from the top, in order, Pittsburgh, New England, Philadelphia, New York Giants and Indianapolis. While being rated 6th overall out of 32 teams is a pretty impressive start to the season, after last year I'm just not satisfied.
The rankings certainly don't mean anything now, compared to what they'll mean at the end of the season, but as Kirwan states,
"A team ranked in the bottom quarter of this list is sure to make the playoffs; conversely, a team perched up in the top quarter is sure to fall."
As far as his ranking of the Ravens, while I agree with his commentary, I still think the team could have been ranked higher, and as easily high as fourth place. I have no problem with th Steelers derservedly getting top billing, but the next two teams are based on pure speculation. Yes, Philly did make it to the NFC Championship Game just like our Ravens did the same in the AFC, but didn't we demolish them? And while the Patriots with Tom Brady were unbeatable in 2007, which Tom Brady will be at the helm in 2009? I'd definitely put both of them in the top ten, but not in the top five. The Colts are perennially in the top five and they did sort of take care of us last year, so I can see them in it until the end, with or without Marvin Harrison. The New York Giants pushed us all around the Meadowlands and were the favorite to make the Super Bowl, and with their new wide receivers, should be right up there near the top of the rankings.
I also was surprised to Atlanta (7th) and San Diego (8th) ranked so high, and Arizona (9th) and Tennessee (10th) so low. I think you could easily put the Cardinals and Titans in the top five, behind the Steelers, Giants, Colts and Ravens. You could even argue the Cardinals should be ahead of Baltimore and I probably wouldn't argue that, as their passing attack could give us fits. So that would put my Top Ten as:
2. New York Giants
3. Indianapolis Colts
4. Baltimore Ravens
5. Arizona Cardinals
6. Tennessee Titans
7. New England Patriots
8. Philadelphia Eagles
9. San Diego Chargers
10. Atlanta Falcons
The next ten teams in the rankings could slip into the bottom half of the top ten, depending on whom you favor rebounding from last year. The Chicago Bears have a new QB and new hope, the Dallas Cowboys hope their troubles are now gone, and the Miami Dolphins fans hope last year wasn't a freak show.
But for now, let's focus on the Top Ten, and tell me your thoughts on the Ravens positioning between Kirwan's analysis and my objections.