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Anybody read this CBS Powerranking?


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Sorry if posted already...


Take a look at the top 10 of the CBSSports.com Power Rankings. You will see many of the same teams you saw there last season (although a few had scares to open the season). And they'll all be around again next season, and the year after that if there is football in 2011.

The reason is simple, and it isn't coaching, it isn't personnel men, it isn't money.

It's quarterbacks. For all the wacky gimmicks that come into this league -- by the way, how did the Wildcat look Sunday? -- the game is decided by the guys throwing the football.

The NFL has always been a quarterback-driven league, now more than ever.

Of the teams in this top 10, only the Tennessee Titans play without a guy you would consider a franchise quarterback, but Kerry Collins has been reborn and he did come into the league with quite a pedigree, considering he was a high first-round pick.

• Bleacher Report: Power groupings

The rest of the quarterbacks in the top 10 read like a list of the league's best. Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Drew Brees, et al.

It shouldn't be a surprise.

The NFL rules changes have made that position an even higher priority. How good does it feel to be the Atlanta Falcons with Matt Ryan or the Baltimore Ravens with Joe Flacco, knowing full well they will be around for the next 10-15 years?

That's staying power. It also why those two teams will hover near the top of any rankings for the next decade or so.

A lot of prognosticators thought the Falcons would take a step back this season. When I mentioned during a trip to South Florida this summer for training camp that the Falcons wouldn't, but the Dolphins would, my buddy, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, printed it in his blog. Dolphins fans lit me up.

Want to take it all back guys after the Falcons won Sunday?

The Falcons are better for one reason: Their quarterback can do what yours can't, which is throw the ball down the field.

That's why Atlanta is in the No. 6 spot this week. The Falcons are that good. They play Carolina on Sunday and that's a perfect game to show the difference between a team that has a quarterback and one that doesn't.

Carolina's Jake Delhomme has been picked off nine times in his past two games, counting the playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals last January. The Panthers don't pass well enough, and thus they can't be a deep playoff team.

Atlanta can, and will.

Ryan is just one of the many premier quarterbacks in our CBSSports.com Power Rankings. If the first weekend taught us anything, it was that the value of this type of passer is still great.

We saw four of them -- Roethlisberger, Brady, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers -- win with scores late in the fourth quarter, and overtime for Roethlisberger.

We saw Brees throw six touchdown passes to put him on pace for 96. We saw why they are so valuable.

It's about staying power. That's what premier quarterbacks give to a team, and those who try and piece together a team around one who isn't a franchise passer can only look on with envy and hope.


That sounds great after all the years .... B)

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