Reed, McAlister set Ravens apart

From quarterbacks to special teams to coaching (always a huge factor in the postseason), Scouts Inc. ranks the playoff teams 1-12. After ranking the teams, we assigned a value (one point for first, two for second, etc.) and added the categories together. The Chargers, the team with the lowest total, top our power rankings.

Unit rankings: Overall | QB | RB | Rec. | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST | Coaching

1. Baltimore: Led by Pro Bowl free safety Ed Reed and left corner Chris McAlister, the Ravens easily are the best. Rookie SS Dawan Landry has stabilized the secondary and exceeded expectations. He has five interceptions and finished fourth on the team in tackles. Right corner Samari Rolle has been somewhat inconsistent, and teams continue to attack him.

2. Philadelphia: The Eagles have a talented secondary led by Pro Bowl FS Brian Dawkins and left corner Lito Sheppard. Sheppard and Dawkins combined for 10 interceptions. Right cornerback Sheldon Brown is a good player with good cover skills. Second-year strong safety Sean Considine upgraded the secondary when he replaced the struggling Michael Lewis in Week 7. Considine is a physical player.

3. Chicago: The Bears' secondary does a great job of creating turnovers. The Bears have good cover corners in starters Charles Tillman, Nathan Vasher and third corner Ricky Manning. Rookie FS Danieal Manning has been a pleasant surprise. SS Chris Harris has made a good transition from FS to SS after the season-ending injury to Mike Brown. Look for SS Todd Johnson to return to the starting lineup to play opposite Danieal Manning.

4. San Diego: The Chargers have a talented secondary that can be exposed if San Diego doesn't provide a consistent pass-rush. Left corner Quentin Jammer is easily the Chargers' best cover corner. Right corner Drayton Florence has a tendency to get out of position and give up big plays. SS Terrence Kiel is a physical player who is better versus the run than pass. FS Marlon McCree has stabilized the secondary with his ability to handle calls and make adjustments.

5. New England: The knee injury to SS Rodney Harrison, who won't play Sunday, is a major blow. Harrison's leadership qualities and communication skills will be sorely missed. The Patriots lack a shutdown corner even though Asante Samuel has had an amazing year with 10 interceptions. Ellis Hobbs is a young, ascending player who has a chance to develop into a solid front-line player. Artrell Hawkins and James Sanders can be exposed in deep zones.

6. Seattle: The Seahawks have a talented secondary and their ranking could be higher. However, the Seahawks have big concerns this week because Marcus Trufant, Kelly Herndon and Jimmy Williams are injured. Backup SS Jordan Babineaux is expected to replace Herndon at left corner, and rookie Kelly Jennings will replace Trufant. FS Ken Hamlin provides good range and playmaking skills and has been one of the few bright spots. SS Michael Boulware is best suited near the box versus the run. He can be a liability in coverage.

7. New Orleans: The Saints have the fourth-ranked pass defense in the NFL. However, they finished 23rd against the run. Starting LCB Mike McKenzie is still a solid playmaker and easily the Saints' best corner. Right corner Fred Thomas is an experienced player with declining skills. FS Josh Bullocks is a young, ascending player who can make plays versus the run and pass. Backup SS Jay Bellamy has replaced the injured Omar Stoutmire, who is a stopgap player with declining skills.

8. New York Jets: If the Jets play more man-to-man concepts, expect Justin Miller and David Barrett to start at corner. If the game plan is designed to play more zones, Hank Poteat will start opposite Barrett. SS Kerry Rhodes is a highly productive player who easily could have been in the Pro Bowl. FS Erik Coleman is a solid player with limitations in coverage.

9. Dallas: The Cowboys have struggled in coverage. Starting left corner Terence Newman has been the most consistent corner. Right corner Anthony Henry is best suited as a Cover 2 corner. SS Roy Williams is best suited up near the line of scrimmage as an extra defender in the box. FS Pat Watkins has been up and down in his rookie season.

10. Indianapolis: The Colts are average at best. Neither Jason David nor Nick Harper is a No. 1 corner. Rookie SS Antoine Bethea has been a pleasant surprise. He finished the season third on the team in tackles with 90. FS Bob Sanders has battled a nagging knee injury throughout the regular season but is expected to play in the playoffs.

11. Kansas City: The Chiefs have experienced cover corners in Ty Law and Patrick Surtain. Law is a big, physical corner who continues to play at a high level. Surtain is still a solid complementary corner to Law. KC lacks speed and range at safety. FS Greg Wesley and SS Sammy Knight are active versus the run, but both are liabilities in coverage.

12. New York Giants: The Giants finished 28th against the pass. Starting right corner Sam Madison has good instincts and loves to take chances in coverage, but has declining skills. R.W. McQuarters is a stopgap player who is a better backup. Third corner Corey Webster was placed on injured reserve this week. FS Will Demps is a smart, instinctive player who has struggled in deep zones this season. SS Gibril Wilson is a physically gifted player who plays the run better than the pass.