Saturday, September 10, 2005

NFL Power Rankings

I don't know why, but I like rankings. I will be updating them every week. Feel free to comment.

1. Colts (2004 record: 12-4): They should get the home-field advantage, beat whomever shows up for the AFC Championship and then find themselves in Detroit against an overmatched NFC team.

2. Eagles (13-3): As Andy Reid goes, so do the Eagles. The off-season circus is behind them and they remain the class of the NFC. It won't be as easy this year, but the Philly will make its fifth consecutive NFC title game.

3. Panthers (7-9): Carolina comes all the way back from its post-Super Bowl stupor to the NFC championship game against the Eagles in 2005. The defense leads the way all year.

4. Patriots (14-2): The loss of Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel as coordinators and Tedy Bruschi (stroke) is a lot to take. New England will be good, but as the hunted they will suffer some setbacks.

5. Steelers (15-1): Will the real Ben Roethlesberger please stand up? If it is the playoff quarterback, Pittsburgh will be hurting. The running game is suffering through injury and old age. It will be left to the defense to carry this team.

6. Falcons (11-5): Michael Vick and a good defense will lead the Falcons. Once again there will be no homefield advantage and that will hurt in the playoffs. Vick will continue to develop as a passer.

7. Jets (10-6): Chad Pennington needs to stay healthy and take control of the team. Curtis Martin will do his job. Adding Ty Law to the defense will help, especially against the Patriots.

8. Vikings (8-8): Losing Randy Moss seems to be addition by subtraction, but that is a lot of offense to replace and the pressure falls to Daunte Culpepper to make it up with the no-names. The defense is improved and that will help.

9. Chargers (12-4): Was last year for real? LaDainian Tomlinson is the best in the league. Drew Brees has to prove his 2004 campaign was no fluke. The AFC West continues its fall from the top, but it will be very competitive.

10. Ravens (9-7): "Defense, d-fense ..." And they will need every bit of it. Kyle Boller is still struggling. They won the Super Bowl XXXV with that formula and they can get back to the playoffs following it again.

11. Cardinals (6-10): From worst to first for coach Dennis Green. Kurt Warner changes teams again and he is the key to the Cards' success. Unlike with the Giants, he will have top receivers to catch his passes.

12. Bills (9-7): The Bills finished last season with six wins in seven games. They are headed in the right direction. Starting quarterback J.P. Losman is the question mark. The defense is strong.

13. Chiefs (7-9): Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson give the Chiefs hope. The defense takes it all and throws it away. They have a chance to improve because the rest of the AFC is coming back to the pack.

14. Broncos (10-6): Will fight for a wild-card spot, but mediocrity will prevail. Aside from coach Mike Shanahan, there is little to get excited about. One thing is for certain, the Broncos will run, run, run.

15. Cowboys (6-10): It's put up or shut up time for coach Bill Parcells. Adding Drew Bledsoe helps and receivers will catch the ball. Julius Jones will be theman out of the backfield making life easier for coach and QB. Improved defense will allow 'Boys to challenge for the wild card.

16. Rams (8-8): Mike Martz has outlived his usefulness with the Rams. The running game should improve as the Marshall Faulk era is over. "Big Game" Tory Holt will have fewer big games and the defense will give up points.

17. Seahawks (9-7): A disappointment last year, will be hard pressed to improve. It is possible the whole NFC West could finish 8-8. Coach Mike Holmgren needs to make a statement. His legacy is tarnished.

18. Packers (10-6): A bad defense will mean that quarterback Brett Favre will be playing from behind. Not a good formula for success. He may throw 30-35 touchdowns to talented receivers, but he is sure to have 20-plus interceptions to talented cornerbacks.

19. Jaguars (9-7): The Jags must get over the inconsistencies of beating Indy one week and losing to Houston the next. QB Byron Leftwich is coming back healthy and the defensive line has been updgraded. Should be in hunt for wild card.

20. Raiders: (5-11): The defense looks better than last year, but that's not going to help the offense. The Raiders tradition of throwing bombs is not going to work in today's game. Kerry Collins to Randy Moss will happen, but not near enough.

21. Giants (6-10): A team on the rise. They won't get far this year because of the Eagles and Cowboys, but they will be better than the Redskins. Tiki Barber and a healthy Jeremy Shockey should take some pressure off Eli Manning.

22. Saints (8-8): A sad story and no telling what happens with this team. There is no way the Saints are the 22nd-best team, but having no home field really hurts. Here's hoping they surprise.

23. Bengals (8-8):
Same story, different year. Expectations in Cincy are that the Bengals will make the playoffs. Don't believe it. They will be in the hunt until the last week of the season.

24. Lions (6-10): They have to get better with all of that offensive talent. Don't they? It all falls on the shoulders of Joey Harrington and that's the problem. Steve Mariucci is a quarterbacks coach, he has to get it done this year.

25. Buccaneers (5-11): The Bucs should improve with the addition of Cadillac Williams at running back, but Brian Griese and Chris Simms are not playoff-caliber quarterbacks. The defense is not close to that of the Super Bowl team three seasons ago.

26. Bears (5-11): A good defense is the place to start. Does anyone have a clue what to expect from quarterback with Kyle Orton at the helm? Lovie Smith has his hands full.

27. Texans (7-9): For the fourth straight season, David Carr will be looking protection. The defense has been rebuilt. Every year the team has improved since coming into the league. That may stop this season.

28. Redskins (6-10): How does a team with such a great defense only win six games? The offense is terrible. Patrick Ramsey gets his last chance. The new NFL slapped around Joe Gibbs last year. He will have to adjust his play calling.

29. Titans (5-11): The Titans are in a tough division and open with a tough schedule (Steelers, Ravens, Rams and Colts). The defense has been retooled, and quarterback Steve McNair is coming off a year of injuries. A tough season for Jeff Fisher.

30. Browns (4-12): Romeo Crennel has come in and decided there wasn't much he liked. Changes were made, but improvement will not be seen in Year One. It will be a struggle.

31. Dolphins (4-12): Gus Frerotte or A.J. Feeley? That's no Ginger or Mary Ann. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams will make the running game go. Coach Nick Saban has changed the offensive and defensive philosophies. It is a rebuilding process. Don't expect much.

32. San Francisco (2-14): Ugh!


At 12:42 AM, Blogger Robert Tatum said...


Everyone has the Colts as a sexy pick to win it all. However, have they improved their defense? Can they beat NE when it really counts? I don't see how you can rank the Colts ahead of both the Eagles and the Patriots!

Robert Tatum

Super Bowl 40 or Bust

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