Rol's super-duper power rankings
Welcome to a new round of power rankings. Since all of the top 4 had a bye week and none of the teams below blew anyone's mind, there are no changes at the top. Numbers in parantheses indicate changes in ranking. The grade shows the probability of a Super Bowl win.
1. New England Patriots - (-), Grade: 5/5
2. Dallas Cowboys - (-), Grade: 4/5
3. Atlanta Falcons - (-), Grade: 4/5
4. Kansas City Chiefs - (-), Grade: 4/5
5. Pittsburgh Steelers - (-), Grade: 3/5
The Steelers showed off their strengths in a convincing win against Miami, but said win by a high margin didn't really surprise anyone. The Dolphins weren't a high quality opponent, so there's no reason to be more hyped about the Steelers' chances to win the Super Bowl now. Big Ben suffered an ankle injury late in the game, but he expects to play. He doesn't move much, so such an injury isn't really detrimental to Pittsburgh's chances either. The Steelers celebrated a blowout win against the Chiefs in Pittsburgh earlier this season.
6. Seattle Seahawks - (+1), Grade: 3/5
The Seahawks took care of business against the Lions. Their ground attack and defense impressed, plus they seem to have the referees on their side, an advantage that shouldn't be underestimated. They beat the Falcons in the regular season in Seattle and their roster has a lot more playoff experience than Atlanta's.
7. Green Bay Packers - (-1), Grade: 3/5
Green Bay drops not only because they suffered a clear defeat at the hands of the Cowboys in the regular season, but also because three of their starters (Nelson, Montgomery, Martinez) got injured to a degree that will probably sideline at least two of them in the divisional playoffs. While the Packers still have enough offensive depth to compensate for the loss of Nelson and Montgomery (Cobb is finally healthy again after many weeks of limited playtime, Michael gets better integrated with each passing week), the defense doesn't have the same luxury. With already shaky cornerback play, the loss of a linebacker hurts. The fate of this team rises and falls based on the quality of Aaron Rodgers' play. He has been on a hot streak with 22 TDs to 0 INTs in the last eight games, but the first 25 minutes against the Giants were abysmal.
8. Houston Texans - (+4), Grade: 1/5
Houston's defense is Super Bowl ready, but their offense is far away from that, despite a mistake-free performance against the Raiders. Consistency has been a major problem all season long. The Texans were shut out (27-0, I believe) in Boston in the regular season and that was before Brady took over at QB. This is the textbook example of an uphill battle.
Overall, the teams ranked 2nd through 7th aren't far apart, so every team has a realistic shot at advancing to the championship game. Only Texans@Patriots looks like a clear affair this coming weekend.