Power Rankings: I Am Not A Homer


The Landry Hat brings you the first Power Rankings of the year. A few surprises and I do detour from my early predictions, but this is what I felt today.

Don’t call me a homer because I have the Dallas Cowboys at the top. I don’t see how anyone can argue they aren’t a powerhouse with the additions and signings made in the offseason.

Dallas Cowboys
The addition of Adam Jones should be huge for a reeling secondary that lost the big games for the Cowboys last year. Add to that the huge contract extensions for the big names, and the Cowboys should be ready to punish opponents this year.
New England Patriots
Whatever. I mean, the team lost a few defensive backs and that could cause problems but the offense is still powerful. I wouldn’t be shocked though if later during the year I drop these guys a little farther down the pole.
Cleveland Browns
Laugh all you want, if the defense improves even slightly, this is the team to watch out for in the AFC. Granted, no one knows if Derek Anderson can repeat his break-out season last year, but if he does, watch out for the Cleveland Browns, who just happen to be the Cowboys first opponent.
San Diego Chargers
Quietly, the Chargers remain atop the AFC. LT, if healthy, is still the best running back in the game. Add a defense that can hit and sack, and an offense that must rely more on the shaky arm of Phillip Rivers, and they could finally bring home the Lombardi. Rivers’ play is key for this team.
Pittsburgh Steelers
Don’t think Rashard Mendenhall will have an impact in his first season? Think again. Giving the Steelers a two-back system is as dangerous as giving Donovan McNabb two great receivers. The Steelers like to run and they do it well. Couple that with a quarterback who looked awesome last year, and the Steelers are rising.
Jacksonville Jaguars
Bad-ass defense. Scary, at times. They also have a quarterback who doesn’t seem to throw interceptions. But who does he throw to? With the news that his chief receiver is a coke head, the impact could be far greater than Jags fan think right now. But, still, that defense can win games.
Houston Texans
They did look good last year. Matt Schaub really seemed like the real deal when healthy. He has a good set of receivers and they did well in the draft. Could they finally make the playoffs? Yes. And I think they can actually win one or two, as well.
Seattle Seahawks
So Shaun Alexander is gone. Julius Jones couldn’t take the full load in Dallas so who says he can in Seattle? Maybe the change of scenery will help. But they still have a decent defense. And Mike Holgrem and coach. They should make the playoffs.
Indianapolis Colts
OK, so I had the Colts performing poorly in my prediction last month. Am I backtracking? A little. It’s the Colts. I was more or less trying to grab attention with it more, but I do not think the Colts will be as dominating offensively as they have been. I may be wrong, but I just don’t see it happening.
Minnesota Vikings
The biggest problem for this team is the quarterback position. Tavaris Jackson is a joke. Adrian Peterson is not. Neither is the defense on this team, or the offensive line. We’ve seen crappy quarterbacks win Super Bowl (Trent Dilfer, Mark Rypien), so it can be done.
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers? Is he the real deal? He sure looked good against Dallas last year after he warmed up. I don’t know. Without Favre, this team loses something, and that something has a lot to do with winning and loving the game. This team could easily go 3-13 as it could go 11-5.
New York Giants
I won’t lie and say this team doesn’t worry me. It does. But like the Packers, I see this team still running high on its improbably Super Bowl win and falling hard once the season gets rolling. I am sorry but Eli Manning is just a lucky quarterback. He got lucky. I don’t expect to see him not be the same old quarterback who throws interceptions late in the game to lose it. It’s a craps shoot for these guys.
Arizona Cardinals
I know, I know. Every year for the past 5 years someone has said this is the year the Cardinals finally do well. I like the new coach. I like what he did last year. Notice that no receiver left this team. Notice the defense did improve a little. It’s possible. It’s possible.
Buffalo Bills
Hey, there was a time last year when the Bills were on a roll and had a chance to make a playoff run. The game against Dallas last year was unbelievable. Can Trent Edwards lead this ball team? If he can, they have the players surrounding him to make some teams squirm. .
Tennessee Titans
I am not a believer in Vince Young, but even worse is he doesn’t have a receiver to throw to. Their receiving corps is ridiculously bad. In fact, I see this team having an epic bad year because they did nothing to help Vince. And I also think the kid is overrated, so, go figure.
Philadelphia Eagles
Donovan McNabb likely won’t play the entire season, which means Kevin Kolb-y Beef and Cheddar will have to show what he’s got. And that means the Eagles will probably fall farther down this chart as we get closer to the season. McNabb, or Kolb-y Beef just don’t have the top guys to throw to and that means something in the NFL.
New Orleans Saints
One-year wonders? Not sure. I am sure the Saints fans would love to see someone on the other side of Colston who can catch like Colston, but that didn’t happen. So, you have Reggie Bush who really needs to kick it into third gear, and a quarterback, Drew Breese, who needs to recover from a crappy season last year. If that happens, they sure did look awesome two years ago, didn’t they?
Carolina Panthers
Who is going to quarterback this team? The Panthers remind me a little bit of a poor man’s Jaguars. They have a slightly better offense, but a slightly less attractive defense, and it sort of evens it out a little bit. But, who can have the breakout season for the Panthers to bring them back to the glory days of success?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
No one knows how this team made the playoffs last year. Joey Galloway and Jeff Garcia? The rotating backfield overachieved and somehow they got there. Not this year.
Detroit Lions
When Jon Kitna is your quarterback you can expect a roller coaster season that ends in tears. Poor Lions.
Washington Redskins
Listen, Jason Campbell has to play better in the red zone for this team to improve, but I don’t think he will. Don’t be surprised if the Redskins fans start moaning to see rookie Colt Brennan throw the Hail Mary’s in games that don’t matter anymore because the Redskins go on a 6-game losing skid.
Cinicinnati Bengals
It is really unfortunate because there was one time when we all thought the Bengals were truly rebuilding. Not so. I have no idea what it will take to bring this team back to those special days but the players are there on offense to cause some problems. It’s that defense that stinks. Did they do enough in the draft to help? Heck, we won’t know until three or four years.
New York Jets
I really do believe that the Jets could be a surprise team next year. There is a nucleus there that could bring respectable numbers, but they really do have a tough division and a tough schedule.
St. Louis Rams
Not the same team anymore. Even with a healthy Stephen Jackson and a recovered Marc Bulger, I still see the Rams in a major rebuilding mode.
Denver Broncos
On the decline. Big time.
Chicago Bears
If the Bears didn’t have as many injuries on defense as they did last year, I don’t think they would have been quite as bad. But the damage is done, and Lovey Smith did absolutely nothing to address the quarterback position. In fact, giving Wrecks an extension drove some people berserk.
Baltimore Ravens
No Quarterback. Old defense. New Coach. Recipe for disaster.
San Francisco 49ers
Another team many predicted to compete last year slapped everyone around with a horrible season. The 49ers lacked everything last year, despite having the players who were supposed to shine. It was dark in San Fran.
Oakland Raiders
They have a new running back who everyone raved about. But they are still the Raiders run by a scary, weird, creepy, asshole.
Kansas City Chiefs
Even with a healthy Larry Johnson, Brodie Croyle sucks. It is funny listening to Chiefs fans talk about how this is going to be Croyles year. Are they serious? They are so drunk watching this team, they have no idea how seriously bad he is. He is awful. So are the Chiefs. HOWEVER, they did have the best draft of any team. Rebuilding for sure.
Atlanta Falcons
Watch their rookie quarterback choke. I honestly cannot think of one player on this team who is good. Maybe I am just being too cruel.
Miami Dolphins
Maybe 2-15 since they do have most of the Dallas Cowboys second team players starting for them next season.