Rams rise in AP power rankings; Pats, Pack, Broncos 1-2-3
NEW YORK (AP) The St. Louis Rams will get a better idea of how strong they really are in the AP Pro32 power rankings this weekend, when they visit the unbeaten Green Bay Packers.
The Rams made the biggest jump in the latest power rankings, improving nine spots to No. 10 in voting by the 12 media members who regularly cover the NFL. St. Louis is 2-2 after handing Arizona its first loss of the season.
”With victories over Seattle and Arizona already this season, the future is now for the young Rams,” voter Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News said.
The New England Patriots, Packers and Denver Broncos remained 1-2-3 for the fourth week in a row, while the Atlanta Falcons moved up two spots to fourth.
The Patriots had seven first-place votes and 379 points; the Packers five first-place votes and 377 points; and the Broncos 352 points. The Falcons, after their win over Houston, moved ahead of Cincinnati and Carolina. The top six teams are unbeaten.
Under new coach Dan Quinn, Atlanta is one of the big surprises through the first quarter of the season.
”Raise your hand if you Atlanta at 4-0,” ESPN analyst Herm Edwards said.
Added Newsday’s Bob Glauber: ”Say hello to running back Devonta Freeman, who scored three touchdowns and made it six scores in the last two weeks.”
The Jets (3-1) advanced five places to No. 9 after a win over Miami in London, while the Kansas City Chiefs fell seven spots to 20th after a loss to Cincinnati.
”Defense, running, and (Brandon) Marshall,” NBC Sports’ Tony Dungy said in summing up the Jets.
Tampa Bay (1-3) replaced Chicago at No. 32, with the Bears rising from last to 26th after their first win of the season. San Francisco is 31st.
”Bucs find another way to lose,” Fox Sports’ John Czarnecki said of Tampa Bay’s 37-23 loss to the Panthers.
The Patriots (3-0) had a bye, and play at Dallas on Sunday.
”Admit it Rex, these guys are pretty darned good,” the Tampa Tribune’s Ira Kaufman said of the Patriots.
As for the Cowboys (2-2), still playing without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, Foxsports.com’s Alex Marvez said, ”Unless quarterback Brandon Weeden can summon his inner Danny White, it’s not going to be pretty Sunday against New England.”
The Packers and Broncos also won Sunday, Green Bay topping the 49ers and the Broncos edging the Minnesota Vikings.
”There’s more to the Packers than just Aaron Rodgers,” Gosselin said. ”Green Bay’s defense has 13 sacks over the last two weeks.”
And it appears the Broncos are more than just Peyton Manning.
”Defense has playmakers everywhere you look,” Czarnecki said.
AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL