Power Rankings: No. 21 Carolina Panthers

A weekly examination of the Panthers’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 23 | Last Week: 27 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The voters obviously were impressed by Carolina's 38-0 victory over the New York Giants, moving the Panthers up six spots to a season-high 21st in the Power Rankings.

They had a lot to be impressed by even if they weren't impressed by the winless Giants, who dropped nine spots to 29th.

The defense, ranked 11th in the NFL, in particular was eye-catching. The Panthers (1-2) held Eli Manning and the then-No. 1 passing offense to 119 yards. They sacked Manning seven times, six in the first half.

They had Manning so shaken at one point that he threw the ball at his running back's feet to avoid another hit.

The offense had its moments as well. Quarterback Cam Newton passed for 223 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for 45 yards and a touchdown. DeAngelo Williams had 23 carries for 120 yards, moving him to third in the league in rushing.

With speculation that head coach Ron Rivera's job was at risk a week after losing 24-23 in the final seconds against Buffalo, Carolina posted its most lopsided win in franchise history.

The voters obviously were impressed.