NFL Power Rankings: Training Camp Edition

Now that both Peyton and Eli Manning have won their Super Bowl rings the NFL’s attention will swap to a new cast of players that have not yet reached and then won the big game. Peyton was said to fold under pressure early into his NFL career, but broke free last season when the Colts beat the Bears in the Super Bowl. Eli led his Giants past the NFC’s best, Dallas and Green Bay, before beating a team that many thought was unbeatable.

So who’s feeling the heat now?

How about a man named Tony Romo? We all remember last season in the wildcard playoffs when Romo dropped the snap on a game winning field goal attempt and Dallas lost to Seattle 21-20. This past season Dallas won the NFC and the right to have homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. That didn’t do them any good, because they lost to New York (a team they had already won twice against) at home 17-14.

Tony Romo and the Cowboys have not won a playoff game in a decade.

Donovan McNabb is another guy on the hot seat. A lot of people want him out of Philadelphia anyways and he still hasn’t won a Super Bowl after leading the Eagles to the NFC Championship four straight seasons.

Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers have both been very good during their NFL careers, Brees more than Rivers, but neither has played in a Super Bowl. Both have played in championship games, Brees in the 07 NFC Championship game and Rivers in the 08 AFC Championship game.

Then there’s the question of when the pressure starts to mount for guys like Derek Anderson. Anderson had his breakout season in Cleveland last year but is still probably closer to losing his starting spot to Brady Quinn than competing for a Super Bowl.

Does all this talk affect our power rankings? Not much, but if you are interested in seeing a NFL quarterback hot seat chart let me know and I will make one up for the site.

Now onto the rankings:

1Indianapolis Colts

The Colts over the Patriots, I’m sure I will get some flack for that. San Diego put them out in the playoffs but you have to figure Manning will lead them back.

2New England Patriots

18-1 last season, but now they have to face something they’ve never faced before. Losing a Super Bowl, can the Patriots recover mentally?

3Dallas Cowboys

If Tony Romo can perform in the postseason like he does in the regular season then Dallas will be playing for the Super Bowl.

4San Diego Chargers

They are loaded with talent but when you play in the same conference as Indy and NE talent just isn’t enough.

5Pittsburgh Steelers

Big Ben knows how to get to the Super Bowl. If he hopes to get back Santonio Holmes is going to have to continue developing into a top receiver.

6Jacksonville Jaguars

If only this team didn’t play in the AFC South. The Jaguars have become one of the NFL’s most consistent franchises.

7New York Giants

I’ve never had a Super Bowl champion ranked this low but the NFC is weak and top to bottom the Cowboys are just better than the Giants.

8New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees is one of the NFL’s première QBs but he can’t do it alone. The Saints need their defense to improve in a hurry to get back to the top of the NFC.

9Philadelphia Eagles

A lot of experts like this team to make the playoffs after missing them last season. I agree with that statement, they just have too much talent.

10Seattle Seahawks

Not sure what to expect from the Seahawks this year. No Shaun Alexander but still enough talent to be the overwhelming favorite in the NFC West division.

11Washington Redskins

How good is the NFC East? I have the four teams ranked 3-11. This is partly because the NFC is the weaker conference and partly because of the division’s strength.

12Green Bay Packers

The Packers begin their first season without Brett Favre in the time I’ve been alive, and they fall to #12 because of it.

13 Cleveland Browns

The Browns came just one game from the playoffs last season and look to compete for them this season. I expect them to go around 8-8.

14Tennessee Titans

This is really a huge year for Vince Young and his time to develop into a passer. If Tennessee is ever going to win with him then his time is now.

15Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Can the Bucs win the NFC South again? Jon Gruden hopes he can find his QB and that whoever that guy is can lead his team. Good luck.

16Arizona Cardinals

Shhh…..don’t say it too loudly but I actually like Arizona to win the NFC West this year.

17Denver Broncos

Denver always finds a way to field a winning football team. Playing the Chiefs and Raiders four times it shouldn’t be hard to win 8-10 games again.

18Houston Texans

If Houston played in the NFC then they’d probably be a playoff team every season. In the AFC South 8-8 is good enough for the cellar.

19Minnesota Vikings

It look Adrian Peterson just one season to become the NFL’s best running back. Now if he could only find the QB to make the Vikings real contenders.

20Cincinnati Bengals

The offense is still explosive. The defense is still the problem here. Can Cincy turn it around in time to become contenders in the AFC?

21Chicago Bears

We’ve been saying the same stuff about the Bears for years and it’s still the problem in Chicago. Can Rex Grossman finally become the answer at QB? Probably not. The guy has had three years.

22Detroit Lions

Jon Kitna is guaranteeing that the Lions will win 10 games again this year. Good luck Jon.

23Buffalo Bills

Trent Edwards will begin the season as the starter for Buffalo. His development will show the Bills success.

24Carolina Panthers

Steve Smith needs to get back to the top of his game. Of course that means Jake Delhomme will have to get the ball to him.

25 St. Louis Rams

The Rams have too much talent to limp through another season.

26San Francisco 49ers

Alex Smith is probably looking at his last opportunity to show he is a NFL caliber quarterback.

27Baltimore Ravens

If Joe Flacco doesn’t turn their offense around then Baltimore is in trouble. Another four years waiting for another QB to develop…well that would be terrible.

28Oakland Raiders

JaMarcus Russell handing off to Darren McFadden. If both become what Oakland believes they can then the Raiders are an up and coming franchise.

29New York Jets

The Jets have to find their quarterback before they can even get a sniff at the postseason.

30Kansas City Chiefs

Living in Alabama I will be the first to tell you that Brodie Croyle is not the longterm answer at QB for the Chiefs.

31Miami Dolphins

Yes the 1-15 team from last year isn’t even last in my power rankings. Bill Parcells will turn them around, and they start one spot at a time.

32Atlanta Falcons

I love the pick of Matt Ryan. Michael Vick is no longer the face of their franchise. A great first step.