Get your skis shined up, grab a stick of juicy fruit, this week's power rankings are gonna move ya!
Huh, huh? Remember the old juicy fruit ads, with that jingle? They predated the extreme sports craze by a few years. I'm totally sure what, if anything, extreme sports or juicy fruit gum has to do with NFL power rankings, but hey, a weekly feature needs a change of pace. That, and the TST power rankings roundup is always extreme to the max! ...or something like that.
Let's go to the rankings.
Football Outsiders (via Fox Sports) - 14
I find myself less and less dubious of the rankings, rankings of all kinds, put out by the gang at FO. Sure, they have to generate readers, sell ads, and all that other jazz that makes us dubious of the other, bigger media outlets, but for some reason, analyzing and ranking things using solid quantitative methods. It just seems so reasonable. There's a secondary lesson here: I'll buy anything marketed under the guise of science. Where's my Right Guard with power strip?
The FO ranking points out something very interesting for the upcoming Rams-Chargers game: the Rams are tops in the league defending against tight ends. This is important to note because San Diego and rookie QB Phillip Rivers rely heavily on TE Antonio Gates for their passing game. In fact, he leads the Chargers in total receiving yards and receiving TDs. See, now that's the kind of info I like to get out of my power rankings.
ESPN - 14
Why do I go back to ESPN? It's consistently disappointing, 90% of their content is locked behind the paid-subscription wall, their on-air personalities are insufferable, and Bill Simmons works there. Like the battered spouse syndrome, you keep going back because you're afraid to leave and don't know where else to turn. They're also something of the 2000 lb gorilla in the sports media world; although, that's changing slowly. They also have power rankings, power rankings that put the Rams in the 14th spot this week. The same power rankings put the Falcons 9th, the Giants 6th, and the Seahawks 11th. They did offer much due praise for Will Witherspoon, "he's a big reason the Rams' D is giving up 5.5 fewer points per game." That, and a big reason the Rams are number one in the league defending against tight ends.
Pro Football Weekly - 17
Seventeen. Whatever. I can't put my finger on it, but there's a connection between PFW and ESPN, similar site design, synergy links to ESPN content/features, and illogical power rankings. It stinks, I tell ya, stinks!
CBS Sportsline - 16
They're not exactly scientific, but the writers at Sportsline are pretty up front about their rankings. Do I disagree? Yes. The Falcons don't deserve the 7th spot, sorry. There's a rant here about the fair-weather fan punditry surrounding Mike Vick, but I'll save it for later. Brevity is truth, and Sportsline rankings say it all with this, "They come off the bye week with the news that Seattle will be without their starting quarterback for a while. That means it's time to make a push in the division."
I'm adding a couple more to the TST rank list, including a weekly rotating spot.
Yahoo - 7
Well, this obviously is the best ranking system of them all. It must be. They're quite open in questioning whether or not the Rams deserve this spot, noting that much will be proven over the next few games. Yes indeed.
Sports Illustrated - 13
The SI rankings pointed out something that failed to cross my mind, are the Chargers really a 9 point favorite over the Rams? Something tells me it may be worth putting some loose change on the Rams this week.
Week 8 Guest Ranking
Gridiron Grumblings - 13
GG offers no commentary, and their rankings are based on the normal NFL stats, points scored, points allowed, etc. It's not the most exciting rankings system, but their commentators beat ESPN's any day.