Week 16 power rankings: Beast dethroned

As families across the nation gather to celebrate the holidays, they have but one question: Why did the Eagles remain No. 5 in the ESPN.com Week 16 Power Rankings? Surely a win over the Mike Singletary-led 49ers on a frozen Linc field should give the Eagles a little bump, but alas, it was not to be. Let's take a look at how the four teams from the fabled NFC East finished in this week's power rankings:

5. Philadelphia Eagles: NFC West blogger Mike Sando had the presence of mind to rank the Eagles fourth, two spots ahead of the Vikings and one place ahead of the Cardinals. The other three panelists had the Eagles at No. 5.

10. Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys' win over the previously unbeaten Saints helped them move up one only spot. Jeff Chadiha hurt them with a No. 10 vote, while the other three panelists had them at nine.

12. New York Giants: The Giants were rewarded for blowing out the Skins with a two-spot surge. Sando, an NFC East enthusiast, gave the Giants their lowest ranking at No. 13. Tom Coughlin was quoted by one tabloid saying, "Could someone please explain why the NFC West deserves its own blog?"

27. Washington Redskins: Obviously frustrated by the Skins' regrettable performance on "Monday Night Football," Sando stuck it to Jim Zorn with a No. 29 ranking.

It's difficult for me to say this, but the NFC East has fallen from the top spot in the power rankings. The AFC South had an average ranking of 12 from Sando, which allowed the division to surpass the Beast. The AFC South had an average ranking of 13.0 and the NFC East checked in with a 13.4. After running the numbers, I'm pretty sure Sando's mistreatment of Zorn's Skins is what knocked the NFC East out of the lead. Please use the comments section to express your thoughts on Sando's voting habits.