Pompei's NFL power rankings

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1. Texans (3 last week): They have outscored opponents by 76 points this year, which tells you something about all three phases of their game.

2. Falcons (2): It has been difficult for opposing offenses to hang with the Falcons' offense, which is averaging 30 points per game.

3. 49ers (5): This team has had more dominating victories than any other.

4. Ravens (4): Well, what do you know — they can play defense, too.

5. Patriots (8): They have the most explosive offense in the NFL, and as long as they take care of the ball it could keep getting better.

6. Bears (9): Their defense has become one of the best offenses in the NFL.

7. Cardinals (1): There is much to question, but we still have to respect their 4-1 record.

8. Steelers (16): Their victory over the Eagles could have been a turning point. The Steelers might be starting to come on.

9. Eagles (6): Unless Michael Vick starts taking better care of the ball, the Eagles will continue to drop.

10. Giants (10): We will find out everything we need to know about the Giants on Sunday when they visit the 49ers in an NFC championship game rematch.

11. Packers (7): How many losses that are "exceptional" can we grant the Packers before we start believing they are what their 2-3 record says they are?

12. Vikings (13): They have done everything the good teams do except convince everyone they can do it for 16 games.

13. Chargers (11): They lost on the road to the Saints but appear to have the running game going: That's something to build on.

14. Bengals (12): Good teams don't lose at home to the Dolphins. The Bengals need more offensive consistency.

15. Rams (27): The Rams above .500? That's enough to make a front office guy faint.

16. Seahawks (17): Being the worst team in the NFL's best division isn't so bad, if that's what the Seahawks are.

17. Broncos (14): We know they can score, but they need to be able to score before they are out of the game.

18. Cowboys (15): They took last Sunday off. Some will tell you they also took the previous Monday off as well.

19. Redskins (18): Keeping RGIII standing and bringing down opponents may be conflicting interests. But the Redskins need to protect the QB.

20. Lions (19): Tom Lewand is right: They are better than 1-3. They will show us how much better in their next two games against the Eagles and Bears.

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