This list is a reflection, without bias, ranking the NFL’s 32 teams from the 2007 Season. These rankings are coming out a week after the Super Bowl to avoid team-changing trades, exiting free agents, retirees and incoming players to remember who was better in ’07.
I devised a ranking system based on points to further support the lack of bias in these rankings. The accumulation of points in this system comes by:
Win = +1.0 Loss = -1.0
Entrance = +1.5 Bye = +0.5
Win = +2.0 Loss = -1.0 Super Bowl Win = +5.0
* Tie in rankings goes to strength of schedule, squad and/or how well the team finished their season.
1. New England Patriots, 21 pts. 18-1 with one loss at the wrong time, but the Pats still broke records, overcame controversies and awed NFL fans everywhere. They had the best QB, WR threats and experienced defense throughout ’07 to rank #1.
2. New York Giants, 18.5 pts. A fantastic finish after a questionable start to 2007. A win in the Super Bowl defines their destined ’07. The Giants matured so much since last season’s “Ballin” and so did their coach PERIOD
3. Green Bay Packers, 13 pts. Favre definitely proved he can still do it all. Grant picked up the slack when the team needed it. Kapman and the Packers D (at every position) became heavily intimidating, and HC McCarthy set his leadership in stone for GB.
4. Indianapolis Colts, 11 pts. Manning and the Colts were shadowed by the Pats regular season, and the Colts faltered before they could make an impact where it counts.
5. Dallas Cowboys, 11 pts. Wade couldn’t win his first playoff game but the â€˜Boys had an excellent season behind Romo, Barber, T.O. and their powerful D.
6. San Diego Chargers, 8.5 pts. Turner turned the team around; inspired by their fans and teammates affected by Cali’s blaze. Cromartie, Rivers, Tomlinson Merriman and Jackson are a future worth looking at for NFL fans.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars, 8.5 pts. Monster D-Line, monster O-Line, quick & experienced RBs, and a great QB to start a roll for the Jags into next season.
8. Seattle Seahawks, 6.5 pts. Nagging injuries slowed the Hawks but a much improved pass rush should keep Seattle ready for more in ’08.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers, 4.5 pts. A great start but worse finish, and now they decide to keep the grass again in Heinz:At least Parker and Holmes ran well in good weather on grass.
10. Tennessee Titans, 4.5 pts. Vince didn’t exactly suffer the Madden Curse, and LenDale proved his worth. The D stepped up to the challenge and led the team to the playoffs with Collins and Co.
11. Cleveland Browns, 4 pts. No playoffs but a heck of a record while great play in the AFC. The awesome team was finally built and started to play on time. Anderson’s connection with Edwards is undeniable. Will the Crennel era truly be allowed to begin in Ohio?
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2.5 pts. (Tampa D) + (Galloway + Hilliard + Garcia) = Good + (Graham) = Much better.
13. Washington Redskins, 2.5 pts. Coaching decisions set â€˜Skins back on a year they wished they had back with such a great but aging team. God bless Sean Taylor, his family and friends.
14. Minnesota Vikings, 0 pts. Tarvaris Jackson improved behind a great O-Line, RBs and trusted D. AP is calling for 2,000yds in ’08.
15. Arizona Cardinals, 0 pts. Recovered well with injury to Leinart a week after his wining, and a refurbished Edge and Dansby were worth watching. The Warner to Fitzgerald+Boldin hookup were quite nice, but when’s a TE going to step up for Arz?
16. Houston Texans, 0 pts. The most IRs, the most turnovers, Sage Rosenfels throwing to Kevin Walter & Andre Johnson, and Ron Dayne & Darius Walker carrying the rock YET they still improved every game and finished 8-8.
17. Philadelphia Eagles, 0 pts. Forget the early part of ’07, do you remember the end? 5-3 in their last 8 with close losses to the Patriots, Seahawks and Giants.
18. Cincinnati Bengals, -2 pts. Disruptions, injuries and faults led to the downfall of the â€˜07 Bengals. Nothing to do but look forward to next season. But really, when’s the management going to change for the better? I’m sure 85 wants to know. So does Cincy. Who dey think they are? Two seasons ago the media wondered why there were so many criminals on the Bengals? Who scouted them? Who’s responsible for the crew of crims?
19. Chicago Bears, -2 pts. Which would you use for your franchise? A) Grossman, Griese, Orton. B) Benson, Peterson. C) None of the Above? (That’s what I thought.) At least their 2-0 finish was promising.
20. Buffalo Bills, -2 pts. Jauron improved the Bills greatly from last season but they still have their kinks to work out. I’m very impressed with Lynch and the Bills desire to improve on D even when stunned with various injuries. K.O. is on schedule and the Whitner-Simpson safety combo can be in effect for ’08.
21. Carolina Panthers, -2 pts. Vinny half-did it but Carr couldn’t. Delhomme’s return should be worth looking forward to but what happened to Deangelo’s promise other than one game with a few good plays? From Foster’s ’07 performance, can he really be the back of their future? Plenty of needs were only covered up to be exposed before the ’07 season began and crumpled. They better not do the same this offseason.
22. Detroit Lions, -2 pts. Millen’s still there but their multitude of backs paid off. Kitna dealt with hits (& concussions) yet still proved his heart. But they were inconsistent overall on D and O.
23. New Orleans Saints, -2 pts. Disappointing after a great ’06. Brees improved but not in time, plus an 0-2 finish tanks the Saints to bottom 10. Mario Williams had a good time beating up Reggie and the Saints too.
24. Denver Broncos, -2 pts. Remember early in ’07 they were barely pulling out wins? Well that was with WRs Javon Walker and Brandon Marshall. Then Walker went down and Marshall proved his #1 status. But the Broncos never really picked up the slack they began to give in Week 1.
25. Baltimore Ravens, -6 pts. Best memories: McGahee, the Pats loss, the aging yet still enthusiastic D, and Ed Reed’s ST returns.
26. San Francisco 49ers, -6 pts. Just wait for next season:that is if Alex Smith is really the QB SF expects him to be. Gore’s knees are holding up, and the D can still be promising with players returning in ’08.
27. Atlanta Falcons, -8 pts. Harrington was efficient but couldn’t pull out wins. Redman could throw all over but that was after ex-HC Petino left the team. Norwood isn’t all he was in the ’06 preseason but that could be Dunn’s presence lingering over.
28. New York Jets, -8 pts. Mangini’s a hero in my books, Pennington still has it but Clemens may be worthy of starting in ’08. Rhodes, Revis, Harris, Coleman, Cotchery, Mangold, Ferguson and Smith are the Jets real future.
29. Kansas City Chiefs, -8pts. A 9-Loss streak to finish ’07. QB controversy not worth making a controversy out of where Gonzalez suffered but Bowe flourished for what it was from Croyle.
30. Oakland Raiders, -8 pts. Russell should have been in months before December. Culpepper showed promise and McCown’s interception prone abilities reminds me of the Raiders from ’06. When are they going to improve? Michael Bush and (insert Rhodes, Fargas or Jordan) may not be enough, so should they go for a Long line or McFadden?
31. St. Louis Rams, -10 pts. 3-13 could have been caused by Pace and other important pieces’ injuries. Yet they never showed promise finishing with 4 straight losses on the wheels of Jackson. -175 net points.
32. Miami Dolphins, -14. Their franchise was saved perfection in two ways. ’72 kept perfect and ’07 avoided it in losses thanks to Mr. Camarillo. Injuries to Green, Thomas, and Crowder hurt all season long throughout â€˜07. Was Ted Ginn, Jr. really worth the pick over Brady Quinn in last season’s draft? For the answer, ask the worse team from 2007.