Friday's Power Rankings; Panthers get no love


1. Falcons: "Confident, rested Falcons must guard against letdown when visiting improved Rams." (Sando)

2. Patriots: "The Patriots went 3-1 against the AFC North, with just the one bad day against Eric Mangini." (Clayton)

4. Ravens: "There's no shame in a last-second loss to Atlanta at the Georgia Dome." (Walker)

32. Panthers: "Panthers face the NFL's toughest remaining schedule and could finish 2-14 easily." (Sando)

Fox Sports

1. Jets: "Here you go. The Jets are ranked at No. 1 this week. That could change soon because the NFL is truly a week-to-week league. Out of all the teams I considered for this spot, the Jets are the one team to have shown they are deserving of being here. We'll see if they can sustain that success going forward. If they can't, I guess I'll continue to be the kiss of death."

2. Falcons: "I loved offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey's game plan against the visiting Ravens last week. He attacked Baltimore's weakness in the secondary. Part of being a good coach is understanding what you need to do to win each week. Atlanta, however, needs to show that it can win on the road."

5. Ravens: "It's puzzling why veteran WR Donte' Stallworth hasn't been used in the passing game more since his return from a broken foot. Stallworth is the lone deep threat the Ravens have on their 53-man roster. They really need him on the field more so defenses will have to use an extra defender down field.

32. Panthers: "There really isn't much hope left on the horizon for the rest of the season for this team. The one piece of good news came in the form of rookie QB Jimmy Clausen, who made some good throws during last week's loss at Tampa Bay. There's no reason why he shouldn't start the rest of the way, unless the concussion he suffered last week prevents him from playing."

NFL Fanhouse

1. Patriots: "Tom Brady put on a clinic at Pittsburgh on Sunday night. But more encouraging than that for the Patriots was that their line won the battles in the trenches almost all night against a physical Steelers team. Brady had time, Ben Roethlisberger did not, and that was one of the differences in the game."

2. Eagles: "Be afraid of Michael Vick. Against the Redskins, Vick threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more -- and that was before halftime. The Eagles set a franchise record for first-quarter and first-half points, and did everything right while trashing division foe Washington Monday night. A date with the Giants next week gives the Eagles a chance to solidify themselves as the class of the NFC East, if not the entire conference." -- Michael Katz

8. Ravens: "There was something troubling about how Baltimore lost Thursday night -- there's no shame, of course, in losing at Atlanta. But watching the Falcons march down the field in the final seconds for a game-winning touchdown showed that there are some flaws in the Ravens' defense."

32. Panthers: "With a 1-8 record and an anemic offense that has been blasted by injuries, it's obvious that a change needs to be made. Is John Fox a lame-duck coach that will keep his job through the end of the season, or will he be ousted earlier for an interim coach?" -- KB

1. Patriots: "The really bad news for the rest of the league is the Patriots have learned how to win on the road again. After going 2-6 away from home last season, New England is already 3-2 this year on the road, with impressive victories at Miami, San Diego and Pittsburgh. And with only trips left to Detroit, Chicago and Buffalo, a 6-2 road mark is not out of the question."

2. Jets: "The Jets are winning without dominating anyone, and that can either lull a team into a false sense of security or foster the belief and resourcefulness that allows the game to always go long enough for them to figure out a path to victory. My hunch is New York has developed the latter. I know this much: Santonio Holmes has become the guy Mark Sanchez looks for in those game-deciding moments."

6. Ravens: "Do I think Roddy White got away with a push in the waning moments of the Ravens' loss at Atlanta? Of course. White even admitted he did. But that shouldn't completely overshadow how the Falcons drove 80 yards against Baltimore's defense with the game on the line. That should be the real front-burner issue in Ravens-land."

32. Panthers: "This must be the longest season of coaching John Fox has ever logged. No quarterback. No offense. No hope. It all adds up to almost no wins."