Nfl Week 8

October 27, 2002|By KEN MURRAY

POWER RANKINGS

Team Ken Murray's comment

1. Philadelphia (6) Duce Staley, running game are back.

2. New Orleans (7) Joe Horn passed through Baltimore, CFL.

3. Denver (3) Brian Griese has quieted his critics, for now.

4. Green Bay (5) Packers, Brett Favre got lucky.

5. San Diego (9) Defense tenacious even without Junior Seau.

6. Miami (1) Ray Lucas was his own harshest critic.

7. San Francisco (4) Steve Mariucci made the right call.

8. Oakland (2) So much for the improved defense.

9. Tampa Bay (8) Rob Johnson gets another chance.

10. New England (10) After the bye, a return to the running game?

11. Buffalo (12) Travis Henry beginning to make an impact.

12. Pittsburgh (15) The Bus won't run through Baltimore today.

13. Indianapolis (11) Offense remains dysfunctional.

14. Ravens (16) Chance for another statement game.

15. Arizona (17) Dave McGinnis is using smoke and mirrors.

16. Atlanta (18) Wait until Michael Vick knows what he's doing.

17. St. Louis (23) Rams rediscovered the magic of Marshall Faulk.

18. Jacksonville (14) Curious coaching by Tom Coughlin.

19. N.Y. Giants (19) Could tie for first with a win Monday night.

20. Kansas City (20) Awesome offense, outrageous defense.

21. Chicago (13) Time to circle the wagons ... in Champaign.

22. Dallas (21) Quincy Carter's era lasted 15 starts.

23. Cleveland (25) Andre Davis was second-round steal.

24. Carolina (22) Could've had Joey Harrington.

25. Washington (24) Steve Spurrier's education continues.

26. Tennessee (26) Kevin Carter is making a comeback.

27. N.Y. Jets (31) Chad Pennington had two easy marks.

28. Detroit (30) Woefully mismatched vs. Buffalo's passing game.

29. Seattle (27) It's must-win time for Mike Holmgren, Seahawks.

30. Houston (29) David Carr hasn't thrown INT in nine quarters.

31. Minnesota (28) Deadline nearing on unsigned OT Bryant McKinnie.

32. Cincinnati (32) Joe Germaine warming up for inept Bengals.

(Last week's ranking in parentheses)

THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH

Cowboys RB Emmitt Smith: If Smith is going to break Walter Payton's record at Texas Stadium, it'll have to be today against Seattle. He always rises to the occasion.

Bills WR Eric Moulds: The Bills have the No. 2 pass offense in the league. Today's opponent, the Lions, have the 29th pass defense. Look deep.

Falcons QB Michael Vick: Eager to play against his cousin, Aaron Brooks, Vick (right) will have ample opportunity to make big plays on the Saints.

THE HONORS

Game of the week: Broncos at Patriots. Neither team can afford a loss, and the Pats are working on a three-game skid. Old college mates, Brian Griese and Tom Brady, face off.

Dog of the week: Bucs at Panthers. Carolina likely will feed rookie QB Randy Fasani to DT Warren Sapp. The only thing that keeps this close is Bucs QB Rob Johnson.

Upset of the week: Broncos over Patriots. Mike Shanahan's Denver offense is finally rolling. The Patriots need to re-establish the run, but this probably isn't the day.

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