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Posted: Wednesday November 25, 2009 11:04AM; Updated: Wednesday November 25, 2009 11:04AM
Don Banks
Don Banks>NFL POWER RANKINGS
NFL Power Rankings (cont.)
21Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 18
I've kind of lost track of the John Fox hot-seat reading at this point, but that loss at home to Miami last Thursday night was yet another indication of the inconsistency factor in Carolina this season. You just don't know what you're going to get from week to week from these Panthers, and that's always a reflection on the head coach. Fox can't be feeling comfortable. After all, team owner Jerry Richardson essentially fired his two sons earlier this season.
 
22New York Jets
Last Week: 22
I know there's no back-off bone in Rex Ryan's body, but for the good of the kid's tattered psyche, he needs to get rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez out of there for a while. Let him take a little mental health break and then re-insert him into the lineup for the last two weeks of the season. If he can finish strong, that's most of what he'll remember as he heads into the first offseason of his NFL career.
 
23Chicago Bears
Last Week: 23
I have to admit I watched Donovan McNabb's little post-game chat with the beleaguered Jay Cutler and wondered if all that unsolicited advice was going in one ear and out the next? Cutler doesn't seem like the type to take too much guidance, even from a veteran NFL survivor like McNabb. Unless of course they were talking where to go in McNabb's hometown of Chicago for good seafood, and then never mind.
 
24Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 27
I'm wracking my brain trying to figure out how I visited Chiefs training camp this year and don't remember even hearing about second-year linebacker Andy Studebaker, who had two interceptions and four tackles in that upset of the Steelers, which doubled as his first NFL start. It's a great name for a linebacker, although I shudder to think what Chris Berman will do with it in highlight clips.
 
25Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 28
Two very big wins for Raiders head coach Tom Cable last week. First, to get JaMarcus Russell eased out of the lineup over the wishes/demands of owner Al Davis, and then for his guy at quarterback, Bruce Gradkowski, to spark Oakland to an upset over the Bengals. But is it a case of too little, too late for Cable?
 
26Washington Redskins
Last Week: 24
I guess the only really important question that remains for the Redskins at this point is whether Mike Shanahan wants them as much as they want him? He'd get his money and his total control in Washington, but he'd also be climbing into a pretty tough division with a team that's old in spots and thin on talent in others.
 
27Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 26
So the Bills finally got the big game they paid for from Terrell Owens and what did it get them? Just another long plane ride home, stewing about a narrow loss that should have been a win. That game alone should be enough to convince Buffalo that signing Owens was just a desperation move, not the addition of a winning piece of the puzzle.
 
28Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 25
Any way you slice it, rookie linebacker Aaron Curry has had a low-impact first season. Curry has just two sacks and 41 solo tackles, and recently he has been playing in base packages only, with no role in Seattle's nickel coverage units. That's not much bang for the buck for the No. 4 overall pick.
 
29Detroit Lions
Last Week: 31
Every year at this time we have to listen to the murmurs coming from the folks who want to take the Thanksgiving game away from the Lions and rotate it around the league. For the love of Pete Rozelle, just leave Detroit be. What else do the Lions really have to cling to other than their Thanksgiving game tradition? It's a small (turkey) bone to throw them. There's no injustice here. It's just a football game.
 
30St. Louis Rams
Last Week: 29
Of course the Marc Bulger era is all but over in St. Louis. The Rams need a fresh start at the game's most pivotal position, and if you can't talk yourself into taking one high in next year's quarterback-rich draft, you don't really want to. It's time to start seriously evaluating the biggest decision the Rams will make in years.
 
31Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 30
Well at least now Jim Bates and Jeff Jagodzinski go can go out and grab a beer together and talk about their days as Bucs coordinators under rookie head coach Raheem Morris. And I do mean days. Weeks at most.
 
32Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 32
So where's that no-huddle offense been all season in Cleveland? And why did it take the Browns 10 games to give it a try? Were they waiting until they were desperate and needed a spark? Because in that case, August would have qualified.
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