Power Rankings: A Small Step in the Right Direction


Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

When the season has been as brutal as it has for the New York Giants, winning any game is something to be happy about despite how pathetic the team may have looked while doing so.

The Giants were able to pick up their first win of the season quite easily against the lowly Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football.

The defensive results were excellent as the Vikings offense was held scoreless. The Giants offense didn’t turn the ball over. The special teams were flawed this past week but I’m not willing to nitpick this week.

It certainly wasn’t a pretty victory for the Giants and I get the feeling if they were playing just about any other team in the league they would have lost.

But they weren’t and the Giants are on the board with a victory. Their schedule lightens up a bit over the next few weeks giving them the opportunity to get something going.

They are going to need to play better, especially this weekend in Philadelphia.

The Giants are in strictly must-win mode and beating the Eagles heading into their bye can really spark this team going forward.

ESPN.com Rank: 29 (31)

Ranking the Giants this week is relatively easy and it was for the group over at ESPN.com.

They moved them up two spots jumping both the win-less Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Vikings they just beat.

It is no coincidence that the Giants’ first win came during the week they finally won the turnover battle. In fact, they probably would have had a few more victories if they won the battle in other games. Easier said than done for the Giants this season.

What were they thinking: I never like it when a team drops in the ranking while they were on a bye. This week two teams on a bye, the New Orléans Saints and Oakland Raiders, both dropped two spots despite not playing a game.

I understand teams may win that rank behind them, but if the team was better the prior week and did nothing to change that opinion so there is no reason to drop a team in the rankings.

FoxSports.com: 29 (31)

Like ESPN.com, Brian Billick has the Giants ranked in the sweet spot at 29.

But more importantly than that he poses a terrific question which I have wondered as well; what has happened to the chemistry between Eli Manning and his top two targets, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.

In the past when the Giants defense has struggled and the Giants running game was ineffective they have still been able to rely on moving the ball through the air.

Nicks use to catch everything thrown in his direction and Eli would rarely miss his mark. They both haven’t being good at either recently and it was glaringly clear on Monday. Eli missed a wide open Nicks in the end zone and Nicks dropped a couple easy grabs.

After a fast start to the season, even Cruz has appeared nonexistent. They are crucial to the success of the Giants offense and must get it together. If they can, and with the rise of Rueben Randle, the offense can get keep the Giants in every game.

What were they thinking: Coach Billick has made himself a good list this week. There isn’t a lot to disagree with his rankings.

If I had to choose something it would be not giving the Indianapolis Colts their due diligence this week.

Coming off a big win over the Denver Broncos this week, it should have been easily to place them ahead of the Broncos, even if it was for just one week.

The Colts now sit in fourth in the rankings, the two teams sitting in front of them, the Seattle Seahawks and Broncos. The Colts have beaten them both already.

CBSSports.com rank: 28 (30)

Pete Prisco has the Giants ranked higher than anyone as he moved them up two spots to 28. In the process he did something I’ve already mentioned I dislike and that is dropping the Raiders behind the Giants despite being on a bye this past week.

He mentions the defense played well in their victory and I would have to agree. Though Josh Freeman was highly inaccurate and missed a lot of open receivers, it did seem as though the Giants front was getting more pressure.

It was probably the best game I’ve seen Justin Tuck play this season. Jon Beason has been an excellent addition and really has played well since coming over in a trade.

The defense has a long way to go but there were signs of hope following that victory.

What were they thinking: This might be the easiest one I’ve done since I started writing these articles. Prisco actually dropped the Indianapolis Colts one spot in his rankings this week.

The Colts just beat the previously unbeaten and number one team in the rankings in the Broncos. As I have mentioned already, they’ve beaten the Seahawks whom he has ranked second.

The Colts also have a win over a team he had leap-frog the Colts this week in the San Francisco 49ers.

The even more amazing thing is that he actually mentions all of that in his write-up. Yet he focuses on the fact that they lost to the San Diego Chargers two weeks ago.

That lost mattered then, it doesn’t matter now. That ranking is a Giant head-scratcher and show of disrespect to a team who deserves much more.