Well I am at home sick today. Thought I d write a post with a little power ranking list as well as some thoughts. Here goes!
Here is a team that flew thru the regular season, and flirted with a perfect record. And... there defense didn't even play well. A year before this was considered one of the better defensive teams. I think there struggles were a little overblown. They gave up a lot of yards to teams that had to play aggressive to keep up. But they still got a lot of turnovers. The only difference between last year and the super bowl team tho was the injury to there safety and the loss of there DT to free agency. Well they get there safety back, and added a big DT in the draft. They also got a guy I really think the Broncos should have paid: C Jeff Saturday. He ll be a good addtion to there line. This is in my book clearly the team to beat.
Well this team was the number two team at seasons end and I have them in the same spot. They got more weapons on offense thru free agency with Brandon Lloyd and Anthony Gonzales. Then drafted all defense in the draft. That has to make them better. On the other hand, I think there divison got a little tougher and they lost a key part of there offensive line in Matt Light. But its hard to put any other team above them at this point.
Everything went wrong last year for the Eagles, yet they finished strong. They got some help in the middle of there defense and have a whole offseason to gel. There is a fine line in the league betweeen winning and losing. I think the things that went wrong last year, go there way this year. Its a tough division. But when I look at there strong running game, speed of there recievers, and versatility of Vick. They are gonna be tough to stop. And I think the defense improves as Nnamdi Asomugha plays more to his strength in man to man coverage. The coverage will be better and the blitzes will be more effective. They have to stop the run better than they did last year tho.
4. New Orleans Saints
The Saints have had a nightmare of an offseason. And for that reason, many people are writing them off. But Drew Brees will be playing next year, and the offense will be solid. They made some nice additons to there defense as well. They lost Vilma but added Chris Lofton. They also took our run stuffer Broderick Bunkley for help up the middle. I think this team starts slow. But I have no reason to believe they wont get it going and be one of the best teams at seasons end
This is where it gets tough for me. Rankings 5-10 could go in a lot of different orders. I put Denver here because of Peyton and the improvements to the secondary. I see them reailistically being one of the elite teams. I dont think it s gonna start that way. It will be a tough start. Its gonna take some time to gel on both sides of the ball. And the toughest part of the schdule is the first half. But if they can get out of it with there head abvove water, I feel good about the second half of the season.
The Steelers are getting older, but as long as Troy Polamalu is healthy I have a lot of confidence in the D and the system they run. The offense seems to be going back to running the football more and I think thats a good thing for them. I love what they did in the draft. They picked one of the most highly touted gaurds to come out in a long time with David DeCastro. Why so many teams passed on a guy that so many spoke so highly of, I dont know. But the Steelers know how to draft. It may not be a sexy pick. But it sounds like the smart one. Then they got another solid offensive line prospect with the second pick. I see an improved running game with the new OC Todd Haley and some big plays out of the Play Action fake to Wallace.
They didnt seem to have a great offseason. They lost Mario Williams on Defense, then released one of the best gaurds in the game to generate cap space. I dont think its smart to mess with an offensive line that is considered the best when it comes to run blocking. I would take a good OL over Arian Foster. They didnt lose much in the running game when Foster was hurt and Tate took his spot. Just my opionion. But this is still a very complete football team on both sides of the ball. They were still solid with a third string rookie qb. With Schuab back and healthy, they will own there divison and look to have some home field advantage in the playoffs.
8. San Fransico 49ers
This may seem low for a team that was ever so close to being in the super bowl. They had what was considered the best defense in the league, and they return all 11 starters. They added Randy Moss to the recieving corps, which if nothing else will help them in the red zone. This certainly could be a super bowl contender again. But my gut says other wise. I dont think things could have gone better for them last year. I just think that Alex Smith may turn the ball over a little more. And some of those close wins they got last year, will be close losses this year. Just my gut.
Really? The defending champs are ranked 9th? Ill tell you why I think that. This team looked horrible last year until they got hot at the end of the year. The same thing happened in 07 when they won that super bowl. They have not been consistent over the last five years. There running game was not great last year. And Coughlin relies so much on it. I ve always thought that Elis abilities have been harnessed a little under there system. Last year he had great passing numbers but that was because the running game was so bad they were forced to pass at the end of halves and games. Eli and the recivers bailed them out of a number of games. On the defensive side they have a nice D- line with a good pass rush and good size to disrupt passes at the line of scrimmage. But besides that I wouldnt say they are great at LB or the secondary. I see them coming out of the gates hot, then cooling down. The division is really tough. I wouldnt be shocked if they finish behind Philly and Dallas. I ll put them behind Philly and ahead of Dallas now, just because they have the better qb.
10. Chicago Bears
I have some friends who are Chicago Bears fans and they have been crying for the last several years for good legit wide recievers. Well they got Brandon Marshall and drafted Alshon Jeffery. We ll see how it goes for them. That definitlely makes them better. It still is amazing to me that they have not done much over the last several years to solidify there Offensive Line. That could still haunt them. But there defense is tough and now they have playmakers on offense. They were looking really good last year before the injury bug hits them. If things go there way they could easily be a contender out of the NFC.
11. Dallas Cowboys
I see good things out of the defense this year. They brought in Brandon Carr in free agency, and made a big move to get the best corner in the draft, Morris Claiborne. They have one of the best pass rushers in Demarcus Ware. I think the improved coverage will allow Rob Ryan to be more aggressive at getting pressure on the qbs. On offense they have good playmakers. For some reason I see things going there way this year. I think Romo has a really solid year.
12. Baltimore Ravens
I could be dead wrong on this one. But they lost a lot this offseason: A solid OL, LB, DE, and Terrel Suggs is gonna be gone for most of the season. Ray Lewis is a year older. But simply for the fact that this is the Ravens and they should have been in the super bowl last year, they have to be at least #12. And they did bring in Courney Upshaw who could help fill the void during Suggs injury. But Pittsburgh and Cincinatti will be tough to handle this year. Cincinatti may leap over them in the division.
13. Detroit Lions
There offense will fly over a lot of teams. Stafford is really solid when healthy, and has one of the best WR's in the league with Calvin Johnson. I still dont trust there defense tho. There secondary is weak. And it seems like they all take turns gettng into trouble with the law. Some would rank these guys higher, but with an injury prone qb, penalty and prison- prone defense. I dont see them as better than a lot of teams on this list.
14. New York Jets
A lot of people have looked down on there offseason moves. But I personally think they did a lot of good things. Now they may continue to be dysfunctional and inconsistent. But I think that they win a few more games this year. They added some help at safety, and drafted a potentially good pass rusher in Coples. Ryan will fit him into the scheme somehow. Then they draft one of the better WR's of the draft. And bring in a player that to me perfectly fits.. Tim Tebow. Now some people think there decision to extend Sanchez and bring in Tebow suggests they dont know what they are doing. I seem to disagree.. I think Sanchez is terrible. But he can be ok if he doesnt make mistakes. And what risk is there to bringing in Tebow? Lets see.. Last year there was no unity in the locker room, Mark Sanchez lacked confidence, and they went 8-8. Maybe bringing in Tebow doesnt help. But does it make it worse? I personally think he can add some life and unity to the team. And the change of pace offense will keep teams off balance and be tough to prepare for... Something tells me this team will figure it out this year.
15. Atlanta Falcons
These guys are always a good team, but just cant get over the hump in the playoffs. They have a nice balance on offense with some good recievers. The addition of Asante Samuel has to make them better defensively. They have a very good combination of corners. I think they will be tough. But I still dont know if they can get over the hump.
Well there you have it. I have had plenty of time to browse the internet these last couple of days as I recover from my little illness. Thanks for letting me let off some steam and give my EXPERT opinion! haa Let me know where I am off! Interesting to look at some of the other teams offseason decisions. And look at who the Broncos have to compete with. We'll see how it all pans out!