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Inside the NFL

The Times' Rankings

September 14, 2002

SAM FARMER'S NFL RANKINGS AND COMMENTS:

*--* Rank Team (record) Comment (last week's rank) 1 NEW ENGLAND (1-0) Patriots have proven they can score, and often. (6) 2 GREEN BAY (1-0) Ahman Green should test solid Saint run defense. (4) 3 ST. LOUIS (0-1) Giants have played Rams tough in St. Louis. (3) 4 PHILADELPHIA (0-1) Defense sorely misses Jeremiah Trotter. (1) 5 SAN FRANCISCO (1-0) Terrell Owens took a Week 1 hiatus. (5) 6 DENVER (1-0) Broncos followed Patriots' (black and) blueprint to beat Rams. (10) 7 PITTSBURGH (0-1) Five turnovers in a humbling loss to Patriots. (2) 8 OAKLAND (1-0) Run defense hasn't looked this good since 1998. (11) 9 N.Y. GIANTS (0-1) Michael Strahan always plays well vs. Rams. (8) 10 NEW ORLEANS (1-0) Donte Stallworth is a star in the making. (18) 11 MIAMI (1-0) Great start for Norv Turner; most points since 1995. (12) 12 CHICAGO (1-0) Mike Brown is making huge plays once again. (13) 13 TAMPA BAY (0-1) Gruden's offense takes time to digest. (7) 14 TENNESSEE (1-0) If Eddie George is truly back, Titans are in great shape. (19) 15 WASHINGTON (1-0) Spurrier passed his first test, but now his team faces tougher foe. (14) 16 N.Y. JETS (1-0) Return game is spectacular; run defense is soft. (17) 17 BUFFALO (0-1) Drew Bledsoe was dazzling in his debut. (15) 18 INDIANAPOLIS (1-0) Peyton Manning: 0 interceptions after throwing 23 last season. (16) 19 CLEVELAND (0-1) Plastic bottles, helmets, what will Clevelanders toss next? (9) 20 SAN DIEGO (1-0) Charger defense smothered Corey Dillon. (24) 21 KANSAS CITY (1-0) Once traded for almost nothing, Priest Holmes is exceptional. (25) 22 ATLANTA (0-1) Not only did Vick run, he threw touch passes like a 10-year pro. (23) 23 JACKSONVILLE (0-1) Defense broke down in crunch time. (26) 24 MINNESOTA (0-1) "Randy ratio" is one thing, but Vikings need a better ground game. (27) 25 ARIZONA (0-1) Cardinals blew too many chances in the red zone. (28) 26 CAROLINA (1-0) Conservative game plan suits Rodney Peete. (31) 27 SEATTLE (0-1) Hard to believe, but Mike Holmgren could be on shaky ground. (21) 28 HOUSTON (1-0) After beating Dallas, even 1-15 would be a success. (32) 29 DETROIT (0-1) Defense consistently puts Lions in a hole. (30) 30 BALTIMORE (0-1) Chris Redman looked OK, but his was a virtuoso performance. (29) 31 CINCINNATI (0-1) Same old Bengals, with a twist--zero offense. (22) 32 DALLAS (0-1) Too bad Quincy Carter's receivers can't catch shoe-top passes. (20)

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