NFL Power Rankings 2.0

NFL Power Rankings: June 29


My last power rankings had Indianapolis at #1 and New England at #2. In some places around the world I’m sure it is illegal to put a team that posted the second undefeated season in NFL history and a team that went a combined 18-1 at #2 in the first power rankings for next season.

I also broke another rule of mine when I put the defending Super Bowl champions at #7. Usually I put the defending world champs #1 in my initial power rankings but after reviewing the NFL’s crazy offseason I decided that Michael Strahan’s retirement, as well as everyone else getting better will probably be too much for New York to repeat.

And since I just said that, they probably will repeat.

Anyways, I’ve now composed my second edition of power rankings. Check it out:

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# +/- Team Comment
1 Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning is the NFL’s best player, and I know this because I’ve even ranked him such. I just feel like Marvin Harrison will be back, and paired with Reggie Wayne they will return as one of the NFL’s top receiving duos. My early pick to win the Super Bowl.
2 New England Patriots Alright trivia time. Is it worse to have a player who threw a record breaking 50 touchdowns as the NFL’s second best QB or having a team that went 18-1 and lost in the Super Bowl as the second best team in the league?
3 Dallas Cowboys Terry Glenn’s contract situation is starting to cause a very uncomfortable stir in Big D. Just remember Cowboys fans, Dallas went 13-3 without Glenn in the regular season last year.
4 San Diego Chargers In case anyone noticed the Chargers were the only NFL team with three players in my top 20 rankings.
5 +2 New York Giants Michael Strahan’s retirement hurts the defensive line somewhat but as the veteran said in his final speech, it’s time for the other guys to show what they can do.
6 Jacksonville Jaguars The Jaguars are just absolutely loaded with talent. It will be fun to see if Fred Taylor can have another great season at his age. I believe watching Maurice Jones Drew run the ball has refueled some of his fire.
7 -2 Pittsburgh Steelers This is a team that has won the Super Bowl and knows how to handle adversity. Remember last season when Cleveland proved to be some unexpected competition in the AFC North? Pittsburgh won the division anyways.
8 +4 Green Bay Packers The Packers could be anywhere from 8-14 on this list in my opinion but how much will Brett Favre’s retirement really hurt them? I have no idea but does anyone really know?
9 Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia has been very consistent for the last five years or so. Last season was a disappointment but they have too much talent to miss the playoffs again. Expect the Eagles to be as strong as ever in 2008.
10 +3 Cleveland Browns The Browns have cracked my top ten. Wow. If you had told me this after the draft last year I would’ve told you it would be a few years. Let’s see if they can keep it up and become a consistent top NFL franchise.
11 -1 Seattle Seahawks Does anyone else feel that by losing Shaun Alexander to free agency the Seahawks actually improved? It means they will rely less on Alexander, and Julius Jones should be at least a little of an upgrade.
12 +2 Tennessee Titans I love their defense, but Vince Young has really got to start developing into more of a passer. He still relies on his legs entirely too much in a league where one hit can put you out for a year in the snap of your fingers.
13 -5 New Orleans Saints I admit that New Orleans was probably ranked too high in my initial power rankings, but I love their offense and I see a big bounce back year coming for the Saints this year.
14 -3 Washington Redskins All four NFC East teams are ranked in my top 14. Jason Campbell continues to develop and Clinton Portis is among the NFL’s best 10 running backs. The defense has a lot of talent. This team is going to help make the NFC East as competitve as ever.
15 +4 Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson has already become one of the best running backs in the league. The offense needs to continue to grow under Tavaris Jackson.
16 Arizona Cardinals Arizona is in the top half of my power rankings, and that means I probably just lost a lot of readers. Every year a team comes from nowhere to win a NFL dvision. The Cardinals are slowly building something in Arizona and I am picking them to win the NFC West.
17 +1 Houston Texans Want to know how tough the AFC South is? Their four teams are all ranked in the top 17. Houston is very tough, and I expect them to challenge for a playoff spot again.
18 -3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Before Tampa Bay can really compete for a playoff spot they have to figure out who their QB is. That along with Carnell Williams returning healthy from his ACL injury would make the Buccaneers an instant NFC contender.
19 -2 Denver Broncos Everyone in the AFC West, including Denver, is trying to find a way to catch up to San Diego in the divsion. Jay Cutler has a lot of work to do to prove he can be successful in this league.
20 Cincinnati Bengals Carson Pamer is ranked #8 in Pete Prisco’s Top 50 list (Sportsline.com). He’s a great QB but #8? I love Palmer but I don’t think he’s quite that good. If Cincy can find any defense then they will be playing for a chance to win the AFC North late in the season.
21 Chicago Bears It’s a make or break year for the Bears.  The Rex Grossman/Kyle Orton experiement will either finally fail completely causing Chicago to draft a QB in 2009, or the Bears will work themselves back into the mix in the NFC.
22 +1 Buffalo Bills I really think Buffalo is an up and coming team in the AFC but the conference is loaded with talent already, meaning there isn’t much room for a young team like the Bills. In a few years we might be talking about how great a duo Trent Edwards and Marshawn Lynch are. Both looked great in year one (for rookies) to me.
23 +1 Carolina Panthers Carolina is better than people think they are. Remember this same offense, led by Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith, played for the Super Bowl just a few years back. There’s no reason to believe they can’t find that magic again. It’s unlikely but not impossible.
24 -2 Detroit Lions Jon Kitna will wear out his welcome in the Motor City quickly if he continues to come up short of his 10 win guarantee.
25 +5 Kansas City Chiefs I think I had Kansas City a little too low in my initial rankings. I’m no Brodie Croyle fan, but Larry Johnson is still one a premiere running back. KC should contend for a playoff spot.
26 -1 St. Louis Rams Last year was just embarrasing for a team I thought could be very successful in 2007. Instead I watched them start poorly and struggle the entire year. I don’t expect that to happen again, and neither do Rams fans.
27 Baltimore Ravens I’ve read reports that Troy Smith is looking nice in Baltimore right now, and will probably start on opening day. If he plays well then the Ravens might be in a position like Cleveland is now with Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn. Joe Flacco or Troy Smith? I’m sure this is a problem the Ravens hope develops.
28 -2 San Francisco 49ers This is probably Alex Smith’s last chance to impress anyone on the West Coast. He is very inconsistent and is really hurting the reputation of future NFL players like Tim Tebow, since both ran Urban Meyer’s college system.
29 New York Jets The Jets had a very disappointing year after making the playoffs in 2006. Eric Mangini impressed during his first season but another bad year might mean a very hot season in the Big Apple.
30 -2 Oakland Raiders I like the direction that Oakland is going. If both JaMarcus Russell and Darren McFadden develop into stars then the Raiders will be back in hurry. It’s just a big IF.
31 Miami Dolphins Early reports make it look like Josh McCown will probably be starting for Miami on opening day. If the Jason Taylor situation works out then the Dolphins D-line will be as strong as ever.
32 Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan is going to need lots of time to develop in Atlanta but before they can truly be competitve they need to surround their young QB with many weapons.

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