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Inside the NFL

The Times' Rankings

November 30, 2002|Sam Farmer

SAM FARMER'S NFL RANKINGS AND COMMENTS:

*--* Rank Team (rec.) Comment (last week's rank) 1 TAMPA BAY (9-2) The Buccaneer defense is far and away the best in the league. (1) 2 OAKLAND (7-4) Biggest mistake in Chief history: Letting go of Gannon. (7) 3 MIAMI (7-4) Ricky Williams reminded Chargers he has quickness to match his power. (10) 4 GREEN BAY (8-3) Now Packers have huge psychological hurdle in Tampa Bay. (3) 5 DENVER (7-4) Take away a couple of bad throws and Beuerlein looked solid. (2) 6 PHILADELPHIA (7-3) Can A.J. Feeley be the next Marc Bulger? (12) 7 ATLANTA (7-3-1) Circle the date: Falcons play at Tampa Bay in eight days. (9) 8 SAN FRANCISCO (7-3) The 49ers are looking wobbly for the first time this season. (5) 9 INDIANAPOLIS (7-4) Clearly, Vanderjagt has pulled out of his kicking slump. (16) 10 NEW ENGLAND (7-5) Patriots have won four of five since four-game tumble. (11) 11 PITTSBURGH (6-4-1) Steelers have blown big leads in consecutive home games. (14) 12 SAN DIEGO (7-4) Chargers need to tackle better, patch holes in coverage. (4) 13 NEW ORLEANS (7-4) Six trips into Cleveland's red zone net one touchdown. (6) 14 N.Y. JETS (6-5) Jets are on a roll, but Oakland will be a major test. (19) 15 CLEVELAND (6-5) Brown defense has done a good job lately of forcing turnovers. (21) 16 TENNESSEE (6-5) Steve McNair had all four of Titans' turnovers vs. Baltimore. (13) 17 ST. LOUIS (5-6) Rams' easiest path to playoffs is winning division, which remains possible. (8) 18 KANSAS CITY (5-6) Priest Holmes deserves a better defensive effort. (15) 19 BUFFALO (5-6) Bills can still score a lot, but their defense isn't playoff-worthy. (17) 20 BALTIMORE (5-6) Ravens understand what it takes to beat Tennessee. (22) 21 N.Y. GIANTS (6-5) Some people consider loss to Houston a new Giant low. (18) 22 DALLAS (5-7) Emmitt Smith showed Redskins he still has some life in those legs. (29) 23 JACKSONVILLE (5-6) Brief flirtation with the playoffs is likely kaput. (20) 24 SEATTLE (4-7) Seahawks are young, but they have shown flashes of improvement. (26) 25 WASHINGTON (5-7) Injury to insult: Jeremiah Trotter out for the season. (23) 26 MINNESOTA (3-8) Vikings have the league's worst turnover differential, minus-19. (24) 27 ARIZONA (4-7) Plummer should nix the no-look, behind-the-back laterals. (25) 28 CHICAGO (3-8) It took Detroit's boneheaded overtime decision to end Bear slide. (30) 29 HOUSTON (3-8) Texan line should hook David Carr up with free massages for life. (31) 30 DETROIT (3-9) Lions have lost consecutive Thanksgiving games for first time since 1992-93. (27) 31 CAROLINA (3-8) Panthers are more active in the courtroom than on the field. (28) 32 CINCINNATI (1-10) Most vexing thing about the Bengals is they keep a lot of games close. (32)

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