NFL Preseason Power Rankings

Steve O Speak

By Fanspeak Contributing Writer Geoff Nelowet:

  1. New Orleans Saints: They just won the Super Bowl. They’re the best until proven otherwise.
  2. Minnesota Vikings: Assuming Brett Favre comes back, this team is one of the most talented top-to-bottom in the NFL.
  3. Dallas Cowboys: Their D looked dominant late last season, and Dez Bryant should fit right in on offense.
  4. Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore should be looking at an elite offense for the first time in years. Anquan Boldin and Donte Stallworth were much needed assets.
  5. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers is shaping up to be one of the best quarterbacks in football.
  6. San Diego Chargers: They’re solid every year, but they haven’t made any drastic improvements. They need to find an every down back, and hopefully rookie Ryan Matthews is the answer.
  7. New York Jets: If I were to pick a team most likely to not reach their expectations – the Jets would be it. They look good on paper, but Mark Sanchez is still a question mark.
  8. New England Patriots: I have a feeling Tom Brady and the Patriots will be ranked much higher than this by week 8 or so.
  9. Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons could be a huge (but obvious) sleeper this season. Matt Ryan had what looked like a down year last year, and he could have a Pro Bowl type season ahead of him.
  10. Indianapolis Colts: It’s bound to happen at some point. Age, a few injuries, bad luck. This team can’t win 12 games each season forever.
  11. Philadelphia Eagles: This is another team that could potentially jump the rankings fairly quickly. Kevin Kolb needs to be average for this team to make the playoffs.
  12. New York Giants: They had a dismal year last season. This year’s defense can’t be that bad again, can they?
  13. Cincinnati Bengals: It’s hard to tell how good or bad this team will be. They made solid draft picks in Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham, but will they be difference makers? Pittsburgh and Baltimore will likely be better than the season prior.
  14. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger must be motivated this season. If not, he probably shouldn’t be playing football.
  15. Houston Texans: It’s hard to see this team improving much. No one will be overlooking them, and Matt Schaub is a constant injury scare.
  16. Tennessee Titans: By week 8 they’ll be ranked somewhere between 1 and 32 depending on Vince Young.
  17. San Francisco 49ers: They could win their division, but that’s not saying much.
  18. Carolina Panthers: Who is their QB? It’s hard to see them doing any better than third place in the NFC South.
  19. Chicago Bears: Sleeper alert – there are no expectations for Jay Cutler and the Bears this season.
  20. Arizona Cardinals: I honestly don’t see it with this team. Matt Leinart has not shown that he’s NFL-capable.
  21. Denver Broncos: The holiday is over for Josh McDaniels. The Broncos looked putrid after their 2-8 finish to ’09.
  22. Miami Dolphins: Again, sleeper alert – this team is talented on both sides of the ball, and Brandon Marshall should add another dimension to their offense. They were a tough 7-9 team last year.
  23. Seattle Seahawks: They play in a weak division. They could somehow end up 9-7 with luck on their side.
  24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Maurice Jones-Drew is an animal, but not much else is going for the Jags.
  25. Washington Redskins: McNabb looks good on paper, but he doesn’t have many options on offense, and the line is still a huge question mark. The defense will also be taking a step back with personnel that don’t quite fit a 3-4 and Albert Haynesworth off pouting.
  26. Cleveland Browns: They’re rebuilding. Colt McCoy could be the quarterback of the future.
  27. Oakland Raiders: Even with Jason Campbell, it’s hard to predict success for an organization that’s run so poorly.
  28. Buffalo Bills: This franchise has to be on the verge of relocating.
  29. Kansas City Chiefs: The Matt Cassel era is just about over.
  30. Detroit Lions: Matt Stafford has a lively arm. The Lions could win a few games that they’re not supposed to.
  31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: There’s little chance that this team sees serious improvements. Josh Freeman is a long way away from being a solid NFL QB.
  32. St. Louis Rams: This is a weak roster. Chris Long, taken second overall in the 2008 draft, is looking like a mediocre player.

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