'07 rankings: Top heavy

Past rankings: Preseason | 1 | 2

After another dominating performance, the Patriots firmly hold on to the top position. In fact, neither writer made any changes in his top 3. However, the Week 3 results did spark a lot of movement throughout the rankings.

Find out which team made a gigantic leap to ninth place in Jason Cole's rankings and who now occupies dead last in Charles Robinson's.

TOP 12

Robinson rankings

New England Patriots

Indianapolis Colts

Dallas Cowboys

Pittsburgh Steelers

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Tennessee Titans

San Diego Chargers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Denver Broncos

Seattle Seahawks

Cole: Three consecutive weeks of scoring 38 points should be enough to prove New England is ridiculously good on offense, but enough about the team that won't lose for awhile. The really interesting debate is over the No. 3 and No. 4 spots. Baltimore has shown flashes of excellence on defense but not enough offense. Pittsburgh has been consistently excellent on defense, but the Steelers haven't been tested by a great quarterback or offense yet. Big props to Dallas, but the game I can't wait to see is Oct. 14 when New England visits the Cowboys.

Robinson: If anyone was questioning the legitimacy of Dallas going into last week, they shouldn't anymore. That's the best offense in the NFL, and Marion Barber is on his way to becoming a fixture as one of the league's elite running backs. Is Pittsburgh for real? The fast start is encouraging, but we may not know if the Steelers are legit until the Seattle game on Oct. 7. The Packers really have come together, but they need to get Vernand Morency healthy and ready for Chicago on Oct. 7. And although the Bears got thumped by Dallas, Brian Griese is on his way. All he has to do is not be inept, and the Bears quickly will forget the loss to the Cowboys.

MUDDLED MIDDLE

Robinson rankings

Houston Texans

Washington Redskins

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

San Francisco 49ers

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Detroit Lions

New York Jets

Minnesota Vikings

Cole: OK, Detroit and Tampa Bay still don't quite seem to be serious, but just about every other team in this group conceivably could get into the top 12. The funny part is that the Lions and Bucs could get there pretty quickly, which is a testimony to how jumbled the entire league is at this point.

Robinson: Houston hung tough with Indianapolis and looks legitimate, but the injuries are piling up. There are bound to be some lumps between now and when Andre Johnson returns. The Eagles jumped all over an overrated Detroit team, but this week's game against the Giants could be a legitimate defining moment. With a brutal schedule coming up, Philadelphia can't afford to fall to 1-3 before the bye. Tampa Bay still is hard to figure. Two wins over combined 0-6 teams isn't all that impressive. But if they can knock off Carolina on the road this week, the Bucs take the driver's seat in the NFC South.

BOTTOM OF THE PACK

Cole rankings

Washington Redskins (2-1)

Oakland Raiders (1-2)

Buffalo Bills (0-3)

Kansas City Chiefs (1-2)

Minnesota Vikings (1-2)

Cleveland Browns (1-2)

New York Giants (1-2)

Miami Dolphins (0-3)

St. Louis Rams (0-3)

Atlanta Falcons (0-3)

Robinson rankings

New York Giants

New Orleans Saints

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Miami Dolphins

Kansas City Chiefs

Oakland Raiders

St. Louis Rams

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Cole: Man, do I really have the Raiders at No. 24? Is there something wrong with me? What's going to happen when I don't get all that hate mail I've grown to adore from Oakland fans (by the way, try something different than "Raider Hater." It's getting old). OK, the Raiders are looking fairly reasonable, but keep the expectations under control. As for the Falcons, now they have another star player (DeAngelo Hall) acting like an idiot. It just gets better and better for Bobby Petrino.

Robinson: Only Buffalo is keeping New Orleans from having the worst defense in the league. The early bye might be a blessing for the Saints. Clearly some major adjustments are needed. But with Carolina and Seattle coming up, 0-5 seems like a very real possibility. Oakland's icing of Cleveland's potential game-winning field goal is karma, and proof that there needs to be a rule about taking timeouts milliseconds before a field goal attempt ensues. With J.P. Losman out for at least a few weeks, the Bills have fallen into total chaos. The schedule looks pretty unforgiving. The only winnable game might be against Cleveland in December.