The NFL regular season is finally upon us. In a scant 48 hours we’ll all be huddled around the television with baited breath as Drew Brees takes on Brett Favre to kick off the 2010/20111 campaign! There hasn’t been much change to the Training Camp Edition Power Rankings, but a few teams have shuffled up. Remember as always folks that this is by no means a barometer of how good a team is, but more how they’re trending on any given week.
1. New Orleans Saints. The Saints went 2-2 during the preseason, but with an average total of 32 points per game, there’s nothing to suggest this high powered offense won’t pick up where it left off.
2. Indianapolis Colts. The Colt’s went 0-4 for the preseason. Normally this might be cause to drop them a slot or two for lack of effort, but let’s be real, the Colts phone it in for the preseason every year and do just fine.
3. Green Bay Packers. Green Bay went 2-2 and at one point put up 59 points on the sleep walking Colts. A lot of people have been screaming overrated at the Pack, but until proven otherwise this team has all the makings of a title contender.
4. Minnesota Vikings. Can Favre rekindle the magic for one more go around? Time will tell.
5. Baltimore Ravens. This may be the hardest team to handicap in all the NFL. With one of the strongest most reliable wide receiver stables in the league one would think the Ravens may just be unstoppable (seriously, who do you double team?), but with questions on the O-Line, lackluster play from the linebackers and a haphazard patchwork secondary, it’s impossible to really know what to expect.
6. Dallas Cowboys. If this team finds cohesion, watch out.
7. Cincinnati Bengals. The most underrated team in the NFL. Could be scary good if Chad and Terrell can quit their bro-mance long enough to focus on football.
8. New York Jets. Not quite sold on the Jets. Revis will take some time to get up to speed but obviously the team is much worse off without him.
9. San Diego Chargers. A solid QB keeps this team afloat and in the top ten.
10. Atlanta Falcons. Will be better than people expect.
11. Miami Dolphins. Henne to Marshall? Could be the start of something good.
12. New England Patriots. Starting to look a lot better than previously expected. Contract turmoil surrounding both Brady and Moss could be an interesting sub-plot to keep an eye on. Welker’s return a much needed boon.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers. Dixon has officially been tabbed for the 1st four weeks. Ben loses his captaincy and his respect. He will do his damndest to regain both.
14. Houston Texans. If the defense can bring consistency, wins will follow.
15. San Francisco 49ers. If Alex Smith can keep Vernon Davis happy, the team will be decent. Otherwise it will struggle to break even.
16. Philadelphia Eagles. Will the perennially popular NFC East be renamed the Dallas Cowboys and the Also Rans by season’s end? The Eagles are poised to make some waves.
17. New York Giants. People may be too hard on Eli, but I just don’t believe he can make the Giants elite.
18. Washington Redskins. If the skins can get some tread out of their RB group and keep McNabb upright they might just break even on the season. Here’s to hoping Tennessee really wants Haynesworth back as bad as some people are saying.
19. Tennessee Titans. Chris Johnson will dominate, this much is true, but how’s the passing game going to look?
20. Detroit Lions. Lions have begun to look better by the day.
21. Chicago Bears. All the money in the world may not have made this team much better. Cutler still appears shaky.
22. Arizona Cardinals. Derek Andersen Experiment Take Two. The Leinart era ends with a whimper and a limp, much as it began. Keep all eyes glued to Max Hall.
23. Seattle Seahawks. Seahawks cut top wideout Houshmandzadeh and trade emerging star Wilson to the Ravens for a bag of magic beans…
24. Carolina Panthers. I still have no clue what this team is about this year.
25. Denver Broncos. Who would have thought that Kyle Orton would look pretty ok? Guess we won’t be seeing white smoke from the Vatican after all. Pope Tebow the First shall have to wait and learn.
26. Kansas City Chiefs. Matt Cassel has a lot to prove.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars. Will struggle not to finish dead last in their division.
28. St. Louis Rams. Signs of life from the Gateway City!
29. Cleveland Browns. Perhaps the change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered for Jake Delhomme.
30. Oakland Raiders. Let’s see if they can stay healthy. To win games, the O-Line is going to have to improve quickly.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Too young in too many places.
32. Buffalo Bills. Could be facing an 0-16 season.