As the epic showman ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair said often, “To Be The Man, You Gotta Beat The Man.”
Every power ranking out there won’t give the Giants top 3 consideration. While this power ranking will abide by that philosophy, I find it odd that the Super Bowl champ is summarily disregarded as a viable heir apparent to the crown. We’re still… still… still annointing the Patriots a championship game berth with top dog in the NFL status despite the tremendous choke job in the big game. Such is life.
Below are my power rankings based not on Patriot pandering or safe bets. Well, maybe some of it. But as much as the game is about stats, numbers and records, it’s also about trends, tribulations and trial by fire. Despite the previous years performance, history tells us that certain teams in certain situations coming off certain last games will forever dictate their future.
To be honest, toward the end of the rankings, I couldn’t find much to say about the bottom rung teams. I’m not going to sugar coat what I find to be really, really bad teams. I’d like nothing better than the Falcons or Raiders to prove me wrong. I won’t lose any sleep waiting for it, however.
Health concerns notwithstanding, the Colts are still ferocious. Even a marginal Indy team is a lock for the playoffs. Overall, the team is in its twilight. The window is closing. Expect this to be their last major push into the postseason.
San Diego Chargers
Another team not only battling other NFL teams, but the Bolts are battling time. This could very well be their last best chance to make it to the dance in the foreseeable future. They have the tools, they have the talent.
New England Patriots
Flawless regular season, took a dump in the big game. History tells us that the Super Bowl loser doesn’t fare well the next year. The resurgence of Randy Moss has come and gone. Expect the Pats to be humbled early, make the playoffs, and get sent packing.
New York Giants
Super Bowl champions. They are until proven otherwise. To make it they way the Giants did, I refuse to minimize their efforts and think that this season will be any different. No one wins it all by luck.
Jaguars bring a promise of a new day. They remind me of the Panthers a few years ago. This relative adolescent franchise has made great strides. It won’t be enough to get over the hump… yet.
One of the oldest teams. Still, no Super Bowl appearance. Even though the uniforms are the same, the Browns are still, for the most part, an expansion team that has had glimmers of hope since its inception. Injuries in the offseason have taken some wind from their sails. Mixed with a fluke or no fluke guy behind center makes this team one to watch come September
Steelers have been right there for years. Super Bowl ring not too long ago, Big Ben still doing his thing… they have a chance in an ever-growing softer division.
Why are the Cowboys so hyped up? Never mind, I know. It’s the Cowboys. Win a playoff game, and then I’ll give you some respect. Romo is unproven. T.O. is a meltdown away from sending this team spiraling down to the toilet. Toughest division in the NFC.
A running back coming off a stellar season. Can he keep it up? Will this unproven quarterback make it? In a decidedly weakened division sans Favre, it should be a very Vikings year.
The best of the worst doesn’t mean much. The West was a punching bag last year. Seattle made some moves, dumping their Madden cover guy for a cast-off. Can anyone have the same success as Alexander? Is Hasselback really the guy? The answer to one of those questions is no.
Green Bay Packers
Will he or won’t he. Favre is in, Favre is out, Favre wants back… this type of mess only hurts a franchise. You have a kid ready to take the helm of one of the most storied franchises in the league from one of the best quarterbacks ever to play in the league, and now he’s wondering if he’s going to lose it all because one of the greats doesn’t want to hang ‘em up?
McNabb is not the same guy that took the Eagles to four strait NFC title games. You can tout Brian Westbrook as much as your feather loving heart desires, but he is not and will not be one of the elite running backs in the league. No top tier threat at wideout in a killer division, the Eagles will come up short.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints are such a coin flip. A great story post-Katrina, Drew Brees, Reggie Bush… what’s next? A seemingly open division could mean big things for New Orleans. Plus Shockey? It’s a wild formula.
Last season, man did they start well. The rest, was, for lack of a better term… crap. Solid core, but a tough crowd to compete with in the NFC East.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I just don’t know. Seemingly a Frankenstein-type team held together with duct tape and hope. Will Brett Favre come over? If so, the team will be marginally better.
St. Louis Rams
Losing their first 8 games was due to a complete and total aberration. Injuries decimated the Rams. There is no way they will go 3-13 again. In a weak NFC West, they could run toward the playoffs with ease.
For the past few years the Bengals have been that formerly bottom feeder team with new hope. Carson Palmer has had glimpses of greatness, but with unruly wide outs and a mean division, they will miss the playoffs again.
Vince Young. Potential. Proven nothing. Can’t see him taking the Titans on his back and riding to the postseason.
Don’t expect much on offense. Defense will keep them in games, but ultimately, they need help.
Franchise receiver wanting out? This franchise must be cursed.
San Fransisco 49′ers
‘Mad’ Mikey Martz comes in and now has former Ram Isaac Bruce, easily the best wide out on the team. Not to dump on the Hall Of Famer, but when Bruce is the best on the team, it’s time to take some time and figure out if you ever want to be a prestigious franchise again.
Bad team in a porous division. Can you name more than three people on the Panthers?
Shanahan looks five years older after every season. They will still produce stud running backs, but that won’t get you anywhere. They have no prospects, and no chance.
Better than terrible is still bad.
Kansas City Chiefs
In Larry Johnson, we trust.
Sometimes I forget that they are a team.
Their website is nice.
New York Jets
Is Chad Pennington still playing?
Move to Canada.
Darren McFadden should invest his money.