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Inside the NFL

The Times' Rankings

September 28, 2002

SAM FARMER'S NFL RANKINGS AND COMMENTS:

*--* Rank Team (record) Comment (last week's rank) 1 NEW ENGLAND (3-0) Kansas City scare should resonate with Patriots. (1) 2 DENVER (3-0) Broncos are 3-0 for the first time since 1998. (2) 3 OAKLAND (2-0) Tennessee has always given the Raiders problems. (3) 4 PHILADELPHIA (2-1) Eagles averaging nearly 35 points a game. (4) 5 NEW ORLEANS (3-0) Showed character in comeback against Bears. (5) 6 SAN FRANCISCO (2-1) Terrell Owens has most big-play potential in the game. (6) 7 MIAMI (3-0) Offense is still prone to sputtering at times. (10) 8 GREEN BAY (2-1) Packers shouldn't have let Lions keep things close. (7) 9 TAMPA BAY (2-1) Gruden or no Gruden, defense is well ahead of the offense. (12) 10 N.Y. GIANTS (2-1) Light on offense and generally unimpressive against Seattle. (8) 11 SAN DIEGO (3-0) Chargers get first big test Sunday when Patriots come to town. (13) 12 CHICAGO (2-1) Blowing a big lead can really bruise the psyche. (9) 13 ST. LOUIS (0-3) Where is Isaac Bruce? He disappears for long stretches. (11) 14 PITTSBURGH (0-2) Steelers need to do something to patch holes in pass defense. (14) 15 BUFFALO (1-2) Despite the loss, Drew Bledsoe looked great against Denver. (15) 16 CLEVELAND (2-1) Tim Couch is holding onto his job ... for the moment. (17) 17 INDIANAPOLIS (2-1) Peyton Manning looked good against Texans. But who doesn't? (19) 18 TENNESSEE (1-2) Most erratic team in the league. (16) 19 ATLANTA (1-2) Michael Vick does just about everything well, yet that's not enough. (22) 20 N.Y. JETS (1-2) Vinny Testaverde is looking his age. (18) 21 JACKSONVILLE (1-1) Jaguars catch a break by playing host to sagging Jets. (20) 22 CAROLINA (3-0) Yes, they're undefeated. But they have the league's softest start. (24) 23 KANSAS CITY (1-2) Now that they nearly stunned Patriots, Chiefs could shock Dolphins. (23) 24 MINNESOTA (0-3) Fighting between Culpepper and Moss has to worry Vikings. (21) 25 ARIZONA (1-2) Jake Plummer is back to his gambling ways. (25) 26 SEATTLE (0-3) Defense looked a lot better last week. (27) 27 WASHINGTON (1-2) Spurrier has the scheme but lacks the players. (26) 28 DETROIT (0-3) High-flying New Orleans could be in for a surprise this week. (32) 29 HOUSTON (1-2) David Carr is taking a beating. (29) 30 BALTIMORE (0-2) Broncos at Ravens on Monday night? Please pass the remote. (30) 31 DALLAS (1-2) Philly pounding was humiliating to an already humbled team. (28) 32 CINCINNATI (0-3) Is it possible to rank the Bengals even lower? (31)

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