Well the new NFL season is upon us and I believe I shall do a power ranking. But first I have just a few bullet points I want to rant about.
•Tim Tebow… ugh. His supporters make it seem as though he is being bashed because he is a Christian. Allow me to put it on record, I think he’s an awful quarterback due to his mediocre arm strength, horrible pocket presence, and lack of accuracy.
•Lance Briggs, really bro? This isn’t like Matt Forte wanting a better deal, this is flat out greed and making yourself a distraction to the team.
•I don’t know what Roy Williams has on Mike Martz but there has to be a reason this drop machine was handed the top receiver label without earning it.
•If reports out of Indianapolis are true it saddens me that Peyton Manning aka the league’s best pitchman won’t be starting the season opener. Doesn’t seem like football season without the frantic pre-snap movements from # 18.
•Cam Newton will be alright. Will he break rookie passing records? No. But I predict he’ll be a poor man’s Vince Young and the Panthers will be in the 5-6 win range.
Alright now what you all begrudgingly came for, the rankings as brought to you by the Chocolate Puma.
32. Cincinnati: A rookie quarterback, a rookie number one receiver, and arguably the worst owner in all of football leads to a very long season in the Queen City.
31. Cleveland: Not a horrible team, just young and inexperienced. A lack of depth hurts this team but some building blocks for the future in Joe Thomas, Joe Haden and Colt McCoy.
30. Carolina: Rookie quarterbacks on a team in transition never fare too well. Jeremy Shockey and Greg Olsen will provide a good security blanket for Newton but his struggles will be plenty this season.
29. Washington: No running game, a choice of Grossman/Beck as your starter leads to a season where Mike Shanahan better be as smart as he thinks he is or it will be a disaster of epic proportions in DC.
28. San Francisco: Pro: John Harbaugh is your head coach and could be the innovative mind the west coast has been craving for years. Con: Alex Smith is your starting quarterback.
27. Denver: Team should be improved defensively with the additions of Von Miller and Broderick Bunkley and the return of Elvis Dumervil.
26. Seattle: Tavarris Jackson as the starting quarterback here almost singlehandedly negates the signing of Sidney Rice and Zach Miller.
25. Buffalo: Losing Lee Evans hurts, but Stevie Johnson will thrive this season with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Losing Paul Posluszny hurts that defense immensely.
24. Miami: Whoa boy, Chad Henne is your starter. Breathe it in. The only reason that they are ranked this high is because of my irrational belief that they can recreate a 7-9 mark since they have such a good offensive line.
23. Arizona: Not sold on Kevin Kolb but this guy is streets ahead of the guys they had play quarterback last year. Also throwing to Larry Fitzgerald is not a bad thing. Also Patrick Peterson is going to possibly be the most dynamic player in his draft class.
22. Tennessee: Kenny Britt is healthy, Chris Johnson is happy. However they either have uber vet Matt Hasselbeck starting or a player in his NFL infancy in Jake Locker. Also a new coach leads to a season in transition.
21. Oakland: Darren McFadden, Louis Murphy and Jacoby Ford are all solid players. Jason Campbell is a solid quarterback and he finally is running the same offense two years in a row.
20. Jacksonville: David Garrard is a boring but efficient quarterback although this year I expect to see major regression and Blaine Gabbert will eventually start a game this season. Maurice Jones Drew for all his chirping regarding the toughness of other players is an effective player when he himself stays on the field.
19. Vikings: I will probably be cursed by the NFC North gods for this one but Donovan McNabb is all but done. He will not be terrible but clearly his best days are behind him. All Day is going to be all-world again but the receivers not named Percy Harvin leave much to be desired.
18. Kansas City: Matt Cassel will likely miss the season opener and big play tight end Tony Moeaki is done for the season. The defense led by Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali however are young, aggressive and will definitely be a bright spot.
17. St. Louis: Sam Bradford had an amazing rookie season and will excel with Josh McDaniels calling the plays; the real question is whether or not Steven Jackson stays healthy.
16. Dallas: Tony Romo is healthy, but in my opinion the real question is whether or not Felix Jones can stay healthy. Dynamic when on the field but in the past few years that has been a rare sight.
15. Chicago: It pains me to put my Bears this low but let’s be real. The offensive line has a ceiling of average this season; the receiving corp wasn’t upgraded unless you are on the Roy Williams kool-aid. The defense will definitely hold up its end of the bargain but the returners of the Bears will feel the pain of the new kickoff rule.
14. New York Giants: The secondary was hit hard with injuries but the line will provide pressure and that could force teams into bad throws and turnovers. Eli Manning is not elite, but he’s not bad. A motivated Brandon Jacobs is scary and this could be the year Mario Manningham breaks through.
13. Detroit: That’s right I am on the bandwagon that this is the year the Lions make the jump. Matt Stafford (if healthy, seriously this should be this guy’s middle name) can easily have 20-25 td passes this season. Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew, Jahvid Best are all going to be very effective or in Johnson’s case be downright disgusting.
12. Buccaneers: Josh Freeman is one of the best young quarterbacks out there, in group right below Joe Flacco etc, Lagarette Blount will continue to run hard and my high school classmate Quincy Black will make a big jump from 61 tackles with Barrett Ruud no longer on the team.
11. Indianapolis: This position is based on Peyton Manning missing a few games but coming back later. That said this is clearly the year for the inevitable downfall of this consistent franchise.
10. Houston: With that said, why not put the Texans in front of the Colts? Matt Schaub is healthy and Gary Kubiak’s zone blocking scheme will keep the running game afloat until the return of Arian Foster.
9. New York Jets: The defense is amazing; Revis and Cromartie might be the second best db duo in the league behind those fellas in Philly. The offense is the real question. I don’t buy Plax coming in and being as good as Braylon Edwards was last year.
8. San Diego: Phillip Rivers is an elite quarterback and with his number one target back for a full season expect 4,500 yards passing from this kid. If Ryan Matthews can give them a running game the AFC West is theirs for the taking.
7. Falcons: This team is so consistently highly ranked I am sure they will be overrated given that their biggest acquisition is arguably a rookie receiver in Julio Jones. Ray Edwards however will certainly help that defense and cause more turnovers.
6. New Orleans: The defense is average at best but this team hangs its hat on its offense. The running game is what worries me about this team.
5. Baltimore: Defense? Check. Run game? Check. If they get more consistent play from Joe Flacco it is not out the realm of possibility of Ray Lewis and the boys could be holding the Lombardi trophy at the end of the season.
4. New England: The additions of Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth while controversial doesn’t hurt this team and I expect these two to have bounce back seasons under the Svengali of the NFL Bill Belichek. Tom Brady will do what Tom Brady does and drive me crazy as I am forced to begrudgingly respect his game.
3. Philadelphia: The defense has become the thing to see in Philly. With the signing of Nnamdi Asoughma and Asante Samuel already locking down half the field, if teams can’t run on them it’s game over.
2. Pittsburgh: Troy Polamalu is probably the only defensive player in the league who could legit win the MVP. Harrison, Farrior and the rest of the defense also do the damn thing. With Roethlisberger, Mendenhall and the gang the offense is nothing to play around with.
1. Green Bay: This one saddens me the most. As a diehard Bears fan nothing would make me happier than putting them at 32 and claiming they would go 0-16. That would be a lie. Aaron Rodgers has ascended to the elite of quarterbacks in the NFL. Their defense led by Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson will definitely give teams fits this year. Also I have to put them at 1 as they are the defending champions. Ugh, I think I need to go shower.