Our friends at SI.COM have come out with their official Offseason Power Rankings in which they rank each NFL team 1-32 as they stand right now and give you a brief explanation as to why they put them in that particular slot.
While it's true that all of us Denver Broncos junkies want the Broncos to be #1, and to be perfectly clear, they really should be seeing the last snap of a football game from 2015 had the Broncos victorious with gold confetti dropping on them, all the main stream media seem to throw shade on everything related to Denver. Why? Because Denver doesn't have a quarterback is why.
Apparently the national guys think that it's the name on the back of the jersey and not the play of the player that determines if you have a quarterback or not. Hell, we might as well roll Roger Staubach out onto the field so the Cowboys can have that Hall of Fame quarterback presence out there and boost their rankings. That's basically how the media treats quarterbacks. It's all about the name, not the productivity. And as I type that, maybe a spry 74 year old QB can outperform an overweight Tony Romo? At least Roger might still have the ability to bend down and place a snap for a field goal in the waning seconds without blowing out the seams of his jersey pants.
Let me put the bias against Denver into perspective. Name me another team that has twice as many Super Bowl appearances as they do players in the Hall of Fame? That's what I thought! NO RESPECT! And no, I'm not counting players like Jerry Rice as a Bronco in the Hall of Fame simply because he technically was on the team for a nano-second.
Onto the rankings: (per SI.com)
1. Arizona Cardinals - They claim that the Cardinals are one of those teams built for a super bowl. I agree. They say anything less is a disappointment. I also agree. Where they lose me though is at their #1 ranking. That's like ranking the Bengals #1 overall. Wake me up when their QB doesn't crap his pants in the playoffs and then I'll start taking them seriously. To steal a verse from Deadpool, "I wear red so people don't see me bleed. Look, he has the idea, he's wearing brown pants." That is Carson Palmer. Until he no longer has to wear brown pants in the playoffs to hide the fact he's, well, you know, I won't trust him or the Cardinals in the playoffs. Period.
2. Carolina Panthers - They say it took a historically good defense to SLOW the Panthers down. Slow the Panthers down? You're joking, right? Slow them down? How about drop a freaking nuclear bomb on them! The second the Broncos took a 1 point lead on the Panthers, that game was over, and the last I checked, the Broncos have 9 of the 11 starters returning with adequate players to fill the void if not improve the positions of those dearly departed. Slowed the Panthers down? Yeah, like we slowed Aaron Rodgers down, SMH
3. Pittsburgh Steelers - Sure, they have a good offense, especially with Bell (suspended), but can you trust the Steelers to put up "Star Wars" numbers in back to back years? I mean, a lot of things worked in their favor last year, and the last I checked, their defense didn't get any better. Can they capture lightning again? Perhaps. I'd have them Top 5 for rankings, so this is reasonable for the Steelers. No real arguments by me other than they are a tad bit too high.
4. New England Patriots - Brady this, Brady that. They'll already be at the front of the pack once Brady returns and then lights the NFL ablaze. Yeah yeah, we've heard it. We get it, you and every other media outlet loves the Patriots. So too does Von Miller and Derek Wolfe though. Look, I'm not gonna sugar coat things. I was the only person on the MHR staff that back in 2014 when the Chiefs schooled the Patriots said that they'd rip off 12 in a row and go to super bowl. Why did I say that when everyone else was laughing and calling the Patriots frauds? Simple: The Pats thrive on doubters. The more people doubt, the better they get. For this reason alone, the Pats should be #2 or #3 in the power rankings. Brady or not, Bilichick will drink some blood, rattle some chicken bones, and find the proper amount of voodoo to be 4-0 or 3-1 by the time Brady comes back, only to finish the season 14-2. Basically what I'm saying is this: Don't think that just because Brady is gone that the Pats will take a step back. That's fools gold right there.
5. Denver Broncos - Obviously I think this is too low. This is a slap in the face actually. What have the Broncos done to be so disrespected? What? Have the 739th ranked passer from 2015 retire? That alone should boost them up from world champs to, well, world champs at #1 in power rankings is what! Manning gone is addition by subtraction. We could have literally had a scarecrow wearing an orange jersey lead us to the Super Bowl and we'd be victorious. So having a living, breathing human being back there is an improvement. Just imagine how bad Brock must feel knowing that the tee retrieval kid on kickoffs would have been a better option than Manning, and yet Brock didn't get the start. Addition by subtraction for both of our QBs last year. The Broncos should be #1 until otherwise proven different. Everyone ripped Elway for bringing in Kubiak and look how that turned out. The Broncos are slammed and slandered up and down every media outlet, yet all they do is win. You'd think they'd catch on after a while. Like I always say, "You can lead them to logic, but you can't make them think."
6. Cincinnati Bengals - The Bengals have a great defense and some pieces on offense. How they play without Hue Jackson is the sticky point for SI.com and its the sticky point for me as well. That and I don't trust Dalton in the playoffs any more than I trust Carson Palmer. Again, don't wear brown pants and then we'll sit you at the adult table. Until then, back to the kiddy table you go!
7. Minnesota Vikings - Hold the phone. They said that Mike Zimmer has molded this team into the New Englands of the NFL in consistent playoff teams? Ok, I'll give him this, he's had them make the playoffs, but c'mon guys, you can't take a 1 year wonder (fine, 2 year wonder) and start comparing them to a team that has done it 13 times in 15 years. You just can't. The Vikings have as many seasons in the playoffs as the Pats have had out of the playoffs.
8. Kansas City Chiefs - SI says that Alex Smith is primed to have this team be dominant because, well, because surely he will. For a guy who they admit has never thrown for more than 23 TDs in a single season (Sanchez has a season high of 26 for reference), I'm not sure how they expect this year to be any different than years past. Captain Checkdown will still be Captain Checkdown. The only thing more silly than expecting THIS YEAR to be the year Smith blows up is expecting this year to be the year Andy Reid stops looking like the Kool-Aid logo.
9. Green Bay Packers- They have them this low because Jordy Nelson is on the PUP list and we all saw how tragic the Packers offense is without Nelson. Somehow, I can't find any faults in SI's logic on this one. Until Nelson proves to be 100% and until the Packers start clicking again on offense, they are too leaky on defense and offense to scare many.
10. Seattle Seahawks - Basically as long as Wilson, Sherman, Carroll and company are together, they are the champs regardless of what actually happens on the field. I get it, I really do, the Seahawks are strong with the bandwagon jumpers, and the main stream media is no exception. Just like 90% of the population in Washington lived their lives blissfully unaware an NFL team actually resided in their state until 2012, the MSM is no different. When they pick a darling, boy do they stick with them, and Seattle is their darling. I'd place Seattle right around 10th as well. I do like Wilson, but I really want to see how they perform without Lynch, even though they looked decent enough last year without him.
11. Oakland Raiders - Whatever. Honestly, what.the.f.ever. People have picked them to be in the playoffs every year since 2003. So keep picking them, it's worked out so brilliantly in your favor. The Raiders .300 w/l record is worst in the NFL since they last made the super bowl (epic fail btw), so keep picking them and we can all keep enjoying feasting on these clowns for years to come.
12. New York Jets - Foles gets cut and a few hours later Fitzy signs his contract. Are they related? Yes they are, even though nobody says they are. The Jets were a choke job away from the playoffs last year which means that Fitz's rally beard will push them over the hump. If there's anything more moppy than his beard, its his current hairdo.
13-32 who cares? These are the teams not projected to make the playoffs based off the fact that 12 teams do. Sorry Brock, no playoffs for you. Sorry Malik, none for you either.