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Fun With Power Rankings

I stumbled across ESPN's preseason power rankings for 2005 the other day. I see a lot of fans from all teams get themselves into a tizzy over where their team rates in these polls, but how accurate are they really?

Six of the top ten teams didn't make the Playoffs.

The eventual NFC Champion was number fifteen.

Three of the four NFC division winners started twenty-fifth or lower.

So did one of the two NFC Wild Card teams.

On the eventual Super Bowl Champions, the power rankings had this to say about their second year quarterback:

The Steelers and QB Ben Roethlisberger have struggled some on offense in the preseason. While it's just the preseason, some folks in Pittsburgh are starting to get a little edgy.


Power rankings are meaningless. They only reflect the opinion of one writer who has no way of telling how teams will respond to challenges and which players will be injured. In most cases, these preseason rankings will not deviate much from the previous year's final standings. The NFL rarely plays out that way, though.

If you think the Jets are too low in one of these rankings, don't get angry. Just laugh. Games are decided on the field, not in the brains of football writers.