Team Rankings

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September 19, 2004|By Chris Harry | Chris Harry,The Orlando Sentinel

Rankings are a compilation of opinions of eight NFL writers from Tribune Company papers across the country (last week's ranking in parentheses):

1. Patriots (1) Unanimous No. 1, but we'll keep an eye on that defense.

2. Eagles (3) Unanimous No. 2, but we'll keep an eye on T.O. (that's what he wants).

3. Seahawks (4) Big win in Big Easy, but another cross-country trip (Tampa) won't be easy.

4. Colts (2) If Edgerrin James could hold onto the ball, Colts would be No. 1.

5. Vikings (12) Always dangerous on offense, but now with a competent defense.

6. Packers (7) Still Brett Favre's team, but Ahman Green is Pack's best player.

7. Broncos (9) We'll hold off for now on anointing Quentin Griffin as another Clinton Portis.

8. Titans (10) Titans lost twice to Colts in '03, but can open two-game lead today.

9. Chiefs (8) Chiefs are the best half-a-football team in the league.

10. Panthers (6) Skinned Cats will find that karma and luck don't carry over to a season.

11. Jets (13) "Pennington" rhymes with "can win again" ... sort of.

12. Ravens (5) Ray Lewis needs to turn some of that anger on teammates (re: Kyle Boller).

13. Redskins (16) Joe Gibbs is back. By look of these Redskins, he was never gone.

14. Rams (19) Potential sign of the apocalypse: celebrating comeback win vs. Cardinals.

15. Steelers (15) Jerome Bettis (1 yard, three TDs) on pace for NFL's first 16-yard, 48-TD season.

16. Falcons (18) Struggled to beat the foul 49ers, but alone atop the NFC South.

17. Jaguars (24) Best team in a cloudy Sunshine State?

18. Browns (23) Jeff Garcia makes plays that Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb could not.

19. Cowboys (11) Cowboys lost, but Keyshawn Johnson caught nine for 111 yards - so at least he's happy.

20. Lions (22) Charles Rogers has Ki-Jana Carter-like luck. All bad.

21. Buccaneers (21) Maybe that offense needs to age a little bit.

22. Bengals (17) Curtis Martin (191 yards rushing) exposed Bengals as soft vs. run.

23. Raiders (28) Rich Gannon's pocket looked more like a sausage grinder.

24. Bills (14) No way a Gregg Williams defense lets that last drive happen.

25. Saints (20) Jim Haslett's team really knows how to answer the critics.

26. Bears (25) Nothing like a home loss to the mighty Lions to kick off a new season.

27. Chargers (30) Ah, the genius that is Marty Schottenheimer.

28. Dolphins (27) Fiedler? Feeley? It's almost Funny.

29. Cardinals (32) Cardinals have lost 14 straight road games, dating to Oct. 6, 2002.

30. Texans (26) Cue the Dom Capers Watch.

31. Giants (29) Maybe Tom Coughlin should fine himself.

32. 49ers (31) 49ers will be in this position all season.

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