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NFL Power Rankings: Hello, any greatness out there?


As the scores came trickling in from the late games Sunday afternoon, I looked to one of my media buddies in the Heinz Field press box and asked an obvious question:

Are there any good teams in this league?

The NFL loves parity.

They must be full of love then today.

There is one undefeated team left -- the Kansas City Chiefs. And if anyone believes the Chiefs have a chance to stay that way, they're nuts. The Chiefs play at Indianapolis and then at Houston the next two weeks. Besides, are they really that good?

The top spot in the CBS Power Rankings this week goes to the Baltimore Ravens. But think about it. They were just over a minute away from being 2-2. They got a last-minute touchdown pass to beat the Steelers to get to 3-1. And they got beat up at Cincinnati for their only loss.

So are they really that good?

The Falcons are in the second spot, not because they escaped with a miracle 16-14 victory over San Francisco on Sunday but because everybody else lost in front of them. At 3-1, Atlanta's only loss came in overtime to Pittsburgh, but scraping by a winless San Francisco team?

A case could be made for the New York Jets to be the top team, thanks to three-game winning streak, but since Baltimore beat them in the opener they can't be there. They sure are playing well.

The Steelers might actually be the best team, now that Ben Roethlisberger is back, but after losing to the Ravens they fall to the No. 6 position.

The first month usually brings us a dominant team. Instead, it's brought mass chaos. Just when you think a team is emerging -- see the Chicago Bears -- they go out and play a game like the Bears did Sunday night against the Giants.

Or just when you Indianapolis is ready to make their strong push to another 12-victory season, they lose on a 59-yard field goal to a Jacksonville team that has been outscored by 40 points in four games.

What we've learned after four weeks is that anything is possible in this NFL. That's the way the league likes it.

That's why television ratings are so high.

That's why fans love it.

That's why big casinos get built. And why my picks make me sometimes want to do the Chuck Cecil (one-fingered peace sigh) to all of you who complain about them.

So again I ask: Is any damn team any good in this league?

Not yet, they aren't.


Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.

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