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Inside the NFL

The Times' Rankings

October 19, 2002

SAM FARMER'S NFL RANKINGS AND COMMENTS:

*--* Rank Team (record) Comment (last week's rank) 1 MIAMI (5-1) Tough to maintain this pace with receivers hurt and Fiedler out. (3) 2 OAKLAND (4-1) Jerry Rice has ravaged the Chargers over the years. (1) 3 SAN DIEGO (5-1) Chargers know they can win despite a slew of mistakes. (7) 4 TAMPA BAY (5-1) Even without Dungy, Buccaneers have one of the league's best defenses. (5) 5 NEW ORLEANS (5-1) Saints are phenomenal in the red zone: 19 touchdowns, nine field goals. (8) 6 SAN FRANCISCO (4-1) Injuries to S Zack Bronson and RB Terry Jackson hurt 49ers. (4) 7 GREEN BAY (5-1) Packers are so hobbled, they're using linebackers for their dime packages. (10) 8 DENVER (4-2) Broncos, who need big points in K.C., haven't topped 30 in almost a year. (2) 9 PHILADELPHIA (3-2) Eagles have given up 19 sacks in first five games. Here come the Buccaneers. (6) 10 KANSAS CITY (3-3) Chiefs have given up 2,580 yards, on pace for league record. (9) 11 BUFFALO (3-3) Drew Bledsoe leads the NFL in passing yards with 2,016. (13) 12 INDIANAPOLIS (4-1) Colts have matched the best start in club history since moving to Indianapolis. (15) 13 JACKSONVILLE (3-2) Jaguars were starting to come together, but injuries could change that. (12) 14 PITTSBURGH (2-3) Jerome Bettis is looking more and more like the Bus of old. (18) 15 CHICAGO (2-3) Bears have been riddled with injuries, including Jim Miller and David Terrell. (14) 16 ARIZONA (3-2) David Boston has quietly faded out of the picture. (17) 17 NEW ENGLAND (3-3) Tom Brady has five touchdowns, seven interceptions in last three games. (11) 18 BALTIMORE (2-3) Raven defense played remarkably well without Lewis, McCrary. (16) 19 ATLANTA (2-3) Return of Ray Buchanan gives Falcons a respectable nickel back. (24) 20 DALLAS (3-3) Receiver Antonio Bryant is rounding into one of the league's best rookies. (25) 21 CAROLINA (3-3) Now we'll really see how Chris Weinke deals with adversity. (19) 22 SEATTLE (1-4) Seahawks are 1-4 for the first time since 1996. (21) 23 TENNESSEE (2-4) Looks as if Jevon Kearse won't be back until Nov. 10 against the Texans. (28) 24 ST. LOUIS (1-5) Believe it or not, folks are still talking playoffs in St. Louis. (29) 25 N.Y. GIANTS (3-3) Even loaded with veterans, Giant offense can't get on track. (20) 26 DETROIT (1-4) So far, Joey Harrington has exceeded expectations. (26) 27 CLEVELAND (2-4) Browns have lost nine of 12, and Butch Davis has to be getting nervous. (22) 28 MINNESOTA (1-4) Mike Tice on boring team: "The explosive days of Viking football are over." (31) 29 WASHINGTON (2-3) Patrick Ramsey took a big step backward in last week's fiasco. (23) 30 HOUSTON (1-4) Texans have no ground game; they've rushed for one touchdown. (30) 31 N.Y. JETS (1-4) Defense is not only lousy, but the players don't like one another. (27) 32 CINCINNATI (0-6) On pace to set record for fewest points scored and most points given up. (32)

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