NFL Power Rankings: Explaining my votes

Three games is still a small sample size, but it’s big enough for me to start adjusting some of my preseason expectations as I cast a ballot in the ESPN.com NFL Power Rankings.

I liked Atlanta, Philadelphia and St. Louis in the buildup to the season. All three rank as disappointments so far. I’ve got the Falcons down 10 spots, the Eagles down 10 spots and the Rams down eight.

Meanwhile, I kick myself for underrating the Raiders. They are legit and jumped eight spots after the win over the Jets.

The Bills, the best story in the NFL so far, also vaulted eight slots.

Reminder: I have just one of five ballots. You’ll find a roundup of all of them here. And mine is also below. I welcome your comments in my mailbag or via Twitter, just please make them based on what I’ve done, not what the full panel has done.

Here’s the AFC South:

The one thing that stood out to me regarding AFC South teams is that Ashley Fox has the Texans 18th.

"I really look at 8-18 as being virtually interchangeable at this point," she said. "They are good, but not yet great teams. All have the potential of moving up significantly, or falling off. I penalized the Texans because they have beaten two of the worst teams in the league in Indianapolis and Miami, and then collapsed against one of the best. But they certainly could be back in the top 10 in a matter of weeks."

Reasonable, I think, so go easy on her, Houston.

As for my complete ballot, the number in parenthesis is where I had the team ranked last week.

  1. Green Bay (1)

  2. New England (2)

  3. New Orleans (4)

  4. Baltimore (6)

  5. Detroit (9)

  6. Houston (5)

  7. N.Y. Jets (3)

  8. Pittsburgh (10)

  9. Tampa Bay (11)

  10. Buffalo (18)

  11. Oakland (19)

  12. San Diego (14)

  13. N.Y. Giants (17)

  14. Tennessee (16)

  15. Dallas (13)

  16. Washington (15)

  17. Atlanta (7)

  18. Philadelphia (8)

  19. Chicago (12)

  20. Arizona (20)

  21. Carolina (24)

  22. Cleveland (28)

  23. Jacksonville (22)

  24. San Francisco (25)

  25. Seattle (31)

  26. Denver (26)

  27. Cincinnati (27)

  28. St. Louis (20)

  29. Miami (23)

  30. Indianapolis (29)

  31. Minnesota (30)

  32. Kansas City (32)