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SI Power Rankings by Don Banks

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NFL Power Rankings

1

Last Week: 3 Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)

After covering Steelers wins the past two weeks, I can't say they've dazzled me in the first 58 minutes or so of each game, but they have an impeccable sense of timing when it comes to getting things done at crunch time. Or as head coach Mike Tomlin put it after his club's 13-9 last-minute win in Baltimore, "There was an overwhelming sense that 'We have to do this.' The guys felt the urgency of the moment.'' It's mid-December, and that urgency of the moment stuff can carry a team a long way at this point. It's starting to look a bit 2005-ish in Steel-town.

2

Last Week: 4 Carolina Panthers (11-3)

Here you go, Panthers. Here's your big shot. Don't disappoint us. We believe in rewarding the winners here in the SI.com NFL Power Rankings, and Carolina has won three in a row and seven of its past eight. And now comes the largest stage of the season: A Sunday-night game at the home of the defending Super Bowl champions, with the NBC cameras rolling and the all their talking heads talking. But the Panthers are working without a net of sorts, because while a win locks up the No. 1 seed, a loss means they haven't even punched a playoff ticket yet.

3

Last Week: 1 Tennessee Titans (12-2)

There's suddenly an almost palpable sense of unease surrounding the Titans. No Albert Haynesworth for at least two weeks. No magic coming forth from Kerry Collins' right arm of late. And now Pittsburgh's blocking the path to the AFC's top seed, which has seemed bound for Tennessee all season long. The Titans wouldn't be the first juggernaut to lose their way in the season's final month. Think of Dallas last season, or the Colts in 2005. It's very hard to keep the tank full over the course of 17 long weeks in the NFL.

4

Last Week: 2 New York Giants (11-3)

Such disrespect for Tommy Coughlin's men in blue. But truth be known, I considered jumping the red-hot Colts over the Giants in the No. 4 slot, based on them winning in overtime over New York in that colorized ESPN production last Saturday night. I couldn't do it, even thought I think that Unitas kid is going to be pretty good.

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"Don't disappoint us."

It's like they build us us just to knock us down

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Like the Panthers are more undeserving of some spot? Like they haven't won 11 games?

Gee thanks for the spot.

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Hey Banks...take your #2 spot and shove it where ....well use your imagination.

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Let's not pretend like we haven't choked in the past after being given some recognition.

Isn't that what all this "under the radar" lovefest is all about?

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Let's not pretend like we haven't choked in the past after being given some recognition.

Isn't that what all this "under the radar" lovefest is all about?

chocking up as nothing to do with recognition we just sucked at that game a coicendence maybe, but getting the spot light is not for the lose.

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Hey, I agree with you. I don't believe in any of that radar sh*t either.

It's just that all season, people on the huddle prayed that the media didn't mention them too much because if their team was on the radar, they would 'suddenly' do awful. But when somebody gives them recognition and tells them not to disappoint him because of it, people are suddenly saying "omguh, what's that supposed to meanz we're a good team, we deserve it waahhh".

I'm just saying people should make up their mind. People support the 'under the radar' superstition, but when somebody in the media thinks the same way they do, they get offended. sh*t makes no sense.

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"Don't disappoint us."

It's like they build us us just to knock us down

I think that it's just a little reference to SI picking the Panthers to win the Super Bowl two years in a row, a few years back.

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Hey, I agree with you. I don't believe in any of that radar sh*t either.

It's just that all season, people on the huddle prayed that the media didn't mention them too much because if their team was on the radar, they would 'suddenly' do awful. But when somebody gives them recognition and tells them not to disappoint him because of it, people are suddenly saying "omguh, what's that supposed to meanz we're a good team, we deserve it waahhh".

I'm just saying people should make up their mind. People support the 'under the radar' superstition, but when somebody in the media thinks the same way they do, they get offended. sh*t makes no sense.

I agree, the huddle gets pretty rediculous with how much they care about what the media heads are saying. Its as though they like the Panthers purely because they can constantly bitch about not getting credit, but then say that they like being under the radar. I honestly don't give a poo either way, I only care about winning.

However, I don't like the little shot he made at us, we have been about as consistent as any team not named the Titans. SI writers seem a bit salty after we destroyed their predictions the last four weeks it seems.

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Hey Banks...take your #2 spot and shove it where ....well use your imagination.

He's a smart-ass

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I agree somewhat with what he said, although I don't think winning or losing to the Giants really defines anything. And we could easily be in the playoffs by the time the game starts.

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