It may be a little early in the season to start any sort of meaningful power rankings but with the CBA in place we can once again start looking forward to the football season. My Power Rankings will be released periodically throughout the preseason and then every Tuesday during the season. They will of course be subjective and debate about them is welcomed. Let me know what you think about your team and any changes you would make.
Since Superbowl XLV the Packers have arguably got better. Jermichael Finley, Nick Barnett and Ryan Grant will all be back, Derek Sherrod and Randall Cobb are two very talented rookies who could have an immediate impact and Aaron Rodgers will have one more year of experience under his belt. Cullen Jenkins is a FA and I think that he should be given the money he deserves as he is an exceptional DE.
Any team with Drew Brees and Sean Payton will be fully prepared lockout or no lockout. This team has lots of veterans who have won a Superbowl and will be desperate for a second ring. Mark Ingram and Jimmy Graham could really light up the scoreboard this year.
Similar to above Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are two of the very best ever, this Pats team already has a great offense and what was a very young defense last year could be one of the better units in the league in 2011.
So close and yet so far last year. The Steelers always have a chance with a top 5 QB and a top 5 defense.
I wouldn't be too worried about Peyton Manning's neck. Remember back in 2009 when he missed all of training camp and preseason with an injured knee.....I seem to remember a 4th league MVP award and a Super Bowl appearance.
This is a pivotal year for the Ravens, Joe Flacco must step up and prove he is a legitimate top tier QB, Ray Lewis has to prolong his career another year, Ed Reed must stay healthy and the Ravens must overcome the Steelers.
Matt Ryan has been steady so far in his young career but with Michael Turner likely to start breaking down and the front office trading away everything but the kitchen sink to get Julio Jones , Ryan must step up. Also the defense conceded 48 points against the Packers in the last game of the 2010 season, lets hope there isn't a blueprint on how to beat them.
Somehow they keep making the playoffs and going further than most people expect. I am still a massive skeptic of Mark Sanchez and don't think they can win a Superbowl with him.
I can't think of any player more electric than Michael Vick, it is bound to be another season of entertainment in Philly. Free Agency will be very interesting to watch, if they are aggressive and land Nnamdi Asomugha and a stud DE they could be serious contenders.
10. Houston Texans
Wade Phillips will make this defense better and the offense can score points, with both the Titans and the Jags rebuilding the time is now for this team.
Watch this team start slow and open up 2-4 then go ahead and win 10 straight to end the season 12-4. Then Nate 'Choke' Kaeding will miss 4 chip shots in the playoffs.
12. New York Giants
The NFC East is going to be very competitive this year....outside of Washington....and if the Giants can get back to the type of defense they had when they won the Superbowl they will be serious players in the NFC.
13. Dallas Cowboys
Jason Garrett must be having some sleepless nights, the weight of expectation on this team is huge and I am not sold on the 2011 'boys right now, I would take Philly and NYG over them.
14. Chicago Bears
Jay Cutler took a lot of criticism last year but his offensive line was a revolving door of sacks. Lovie Smith and his Cover 2 will be as good as ever and Mike Martz will have had a year with all of the offense. As long as he doesn't get Cutler killed like last year this team has the talent to challenge the Packers.
15. Detroit Lions
I am a massive believer in Josh Freeman, they are in a tough NFC South but it wouldn't surprise me to see them in the playoffs.
17. St. Louis Rams
Sam Bradford and Josh McDaniels will put up points and Steve Spagnuolo and his Defense will be even better than last year. Chris Long and Robert Quinn could be an exceptional DE tandem. Plus the NFC West is awful.
Matt Cassel - Charlie Weis = regression! Jamaal Charles cannot carry the ball 350 times a season. This team will get found out in 2011. If you want to see why, check out their schedule from week 10 onwards.
19. Miami Dolphins
The defense will be back and one of the better units in the league, Dolphin fans are praying that Chad Henne can improve otherwise this could be another painful season for them.
20. Buffalo Bills
I actually think Ryan Fitzpatrick is pretty good, so is Stevie Johnson and between Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller they have a pretty good backfield. Plus they played well down the stretch at the end of last year.
If David Garrard plays a full season this team may go 7-9 or 8-8 again and have to settle for another season of mediocrity. I would start Blaine Gabbert as soon as he is ready because you will never win a Superbowl with Gerrard under center.
22. Oakland Raiders
So let me get this straight....the raiders went 6-0 in the division and nearly made the playoffs yet Al Davis fired his head coach. Right.....
The college football fan and NCAA 12 fan in me is praying for Jim Harbaugh to run the Pistol with Colin Kaepernick. This is a rebuilding year for the 49ers but as Seattle proved last year rebuilding in the NFC West means challenging for the division.
24. Denver Broncos
Once Tebow gets given the full time starter job he deserves he will turn some heads, sure his ball accuracy isn't the greatest but did you see that comeback against Houston and who else can make a play like this?!
25. Cleveland Browns
I believe in the Madden Curse and Peyton Hillis runs like a freight train so it wouldn't surprise me to see him go down in week 3-4. I hope he doesn't because he is awesome but if he does I can't see the Browns doing much in the AFC North.
26. Tennessee Titans
27. Seattle Seahawks
I loved watching this team beat the Saints in the playoffs but unless Pete Carroll has some sort of magic up his sleeves this team is not going to be better than the 7-9 of last year.
I for one cannot wait to see the Icon that is Cam Newton "entertain" me this year.
All 3 teams in the NFC North are better than them right now. No one is going to fear Christian Ponder's arm, it could be a long long season for Adrian Peterson.
If Rex Grossman is named the starter it will be official that Mike Shanahan has lost his marbles.
32. Cincinnati Bengals