Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Power Ranking Number 1: Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts where the favorite going into last years Super Bowl and many think that they will be back again this season. The biggest reason is the best quarterback in the NFL right which is Peyton Manning. Manning has been doing it for so long as such a high level no one thinking anything will be different this season. He also is getting back another weapon on offense in wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez who missed all of last season after injuring his knee in the first game of the season. Because of his injury both Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie step up in the passing last season. The Colts number one receiver Reggie Wayne still is a great receiver and last season he caught 100 passes for 1,264 and 10 touchdowns. Another big time weapon for Manning is tight end Dallas Cark who last season who also caught 100 passes for 1,106 and 10 touchdowns. Running back Donald Brown goes into his second season and him along with Joseph Addai make a nice one-two punch running the football and also being able to catch the ball out of the back field.

Defensive end Dwight Freeney is the leader on the defense and wasn’t 100 percent healthy in the Super Bowl last season. The Colts drafted defensive end Jerry Hughes to add more depth and more passing rushing to their defense and he could be Freeney possible replacement down the road. Linebacker Gary Brackett resigned in the off-season and the Colts need his leadership and experience in their defense to be able to make another Super Bowl run. Safety Bob Sanders is an outstanding player and a difference maker in the secondary when he is healthy but that is the key him being healthy.

The Colts have all the talent on both sides of the ball to make it back to the Super Bowl, but many of the Super Bowl loser in the past haven’t even made the playoffs the following year after they lost the Super Bowl, I don’t think that will be the case with the Colts.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Power Ranking Number 2: New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints are the defending Super Bowl champs and return most of their starters that helped them win the Super Bowl last season. Quarterback Drew Brees is the man that makes the offense go and last season he complete over 70 percent of his passes and threw for 4,388 yards and 34 touchdowns. Running back Reggie Bush hasn’t put up big numbers in the regular season but in last years playoffs he made some huge plays and showed why he was the number two pick overall five years ago. Running back Pierre Thomas is a work horse and can make plays running the football or in the passing game. Wide receiver Marques Colston has been one of Bress’ main weapons in the passing game since Brees came to New Orleans. Wide receiver Robert Meachem come on strong last year having a career year catching 45 passes and 9 touchdowns, and the Saints expect his growth to continue. Devery Henderson is a big play waiting to happen in the passing game.

Defensive end Will Smith is the Saints best pass rusher and last season he had 13 sacks, the Saints added defense end Alex Brown in the off-season who had 6 sacks last season with the Bears to add in the pass rush department. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma has been a welcome addition to the Saints the past two season and is one of the leaders on defense. Safety Darren Sharper had an outstanding season last year and many thought he should have been defensive players on the year since he had 9 interceptions and returned 3 of them for touchdowns and also had 15 passes defended. There was some question this off-season if he would come back to the Saints since he was a free-agent, but in the end he did up resigning and he is one of the main reason that the Saints might be able to repeat.

The Saints had an outstanding season last year on both sides of the ball, their offense has been good for a while but the defense under defensive coordinator Greg Williams has really stepped up and become a very good until in the NFL. The Saints have a shot at back to back Super Bowl wins but they need to stay healthy, it should be a good time all season down in New Orleans.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Power Ranking Number 3: San Diego Chargers

True the San Diego Chargers have some players that are thinking about long hold outs in wide receiver Vincent Jackson & offensive tackle Marcus McNeill that could last until the tenth week of the season. But the Chargers still do have on of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Phillip Rivers and one of the best tight ends in Antonio Gates. With Jackson most likely holding out for a long time wide receiver Malcom Floyd will have to step up and become the number one receiver and former first round pick Buster Davis will have to show that he isn’t a first round bust. The Chargers drafted running back Ryan Mathews in the first round this year and expect a lot out of him running the football and also will use him in the passing game and they still have do everything back Darren Sproles.

On defense the Chargers play a 3-4 defense and hope that outside linebacker Shawne Merriman signing his offer sheet and comes out and had a lights out season, but there is still a possibility that he could get traded something before the seasons starts. If that happens that is why last year in the first round they drafted outside linebacker Larry English to along with the other outside linebacker Shaun Phillips. With the trading of cornerback Antonio Cromartie that means that former first round pick Antoine Cason starts this year opposite Quentin Jammer. The Chargers had a hard time stopping the run last season and are counting on rookie Cam Thomas to be an anchor at the nose tackle spot since they lost Jamal Williams to the Denver Broncos.

The Chargers are a very talents team and also play in one of the weaker divisions in all of the NFL in the AFC West so they should win the division again this season with no problem and then it is on to the playoffs where the last few seasons things haven’t gone they way the Chargers expected them to. The Chargers are hoping the Jackson, McNeill and Merriman don’t hold out into the season, but if they do they have people they fell can replace them, but it does hurt their depth. But expect the Chargers to be in the Super Bowl hunt no matter if those three are with them or not.

Power Ranking Number 4: Minnesota Vikings

Vikings fans don’t worry quarterback Brett Farve is coming back for the 2010 season to hopeful lead the Vikings to a Super Bowl victory and then ride into the sunset like John Elway did years ago. But don’t expect to see Farve until the second or third pre-season game in camp with the Vikings, and they will give him all the time he needs for his ankle to heal, but they know without Farve their Super Bowl dreams are down the drain. True, the Vikings have a great running back in Adrian Peterson and he will be the focus on their offense no matter if Farve returns or not, but Farve making the passing game go. The Vikings have some outstanding receivers in Sidney Rice, Bernard Berrian, last year’s offensive rookie of the year Percy Harvin, and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. They also have a very good offensive line that open holes for Peterson and does a good job pass blocking for Farve beside the NFC Championship game where Farve hurt the ankle.

On defense they have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL lead by defensive end Jared Allen who has a great motor and goes 100 percent all the time and has some very good pass rush moves. Pat Williams and Kevin Williams line up at defensive tackle and make up the Williams Wall which is one of the best defensive tackle combo and is very hard to run against. Middle linebacker EJ Henderson come back from injury which cased him to miss the final four games of the season and the post season. Despite having a very good cornerback in Antoine Winfield, the Vikings secondary is the weak point on their defense and are hoping by adding cornerback Lito Sheppard in the off-season that will help somewhat.

The Vikings season comes down to one thing, Brett Farve and how he plays at 41 years old. Will he be the quarterback that was one game away from the Super Bowl and helped Sidney Rice get to the Pro Bowl and Percy Harvin win rookie of the year, or will father time catch-up to him? Vikings are hoping that he can repeat the 2009 season but make his last game of his career be in Cowboy’s Statium walking off the field holding the Lombardi Trophy.

Power Ranking Number 5: New York Jets

The New York Jets who where one game away from the Super Bowl last season brought in a number of veteran players to help them be able to get to the Super Bowl this season and hopeful win it. On offense they traded for wide receiver Santonio Holmes who will miss the first four games of the season because of a league suspension because of off the field issues. They also traded for cornerback Antonio Cromartie and signed future Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson as a free-agent as well as outside linebacker Jason Taylor. Second year quarterback Mark Sanchez is still the key to the offensive success and with the addition for Holmes and still having wide receiver Braylon Edwards and tight end Dustin Keller still on the roster will help his development. Running back Shonn Greene really come on in the playoffs last season and with the addition of Tomlinson is should aid in his development. Helping both Greene and Tomlinson is one of the better offensive lines in the NFL.

Cornerback Darrelle Revis is the best cornerback in the NFL and some think he might be the best defensive player in all of the NFL. He is a shut down corner with the ability to take away half the field and allows the defense to do many things with their blitz scheme. Getting nose tackle Kris Jenkins back from injury that cost him the final 10 games of the season and the post season will be a huge help to the Jets defense. Linebackers Bart Scott and David Harris are keys to the Jets defensive success and adding outside linebacker Jason Taylor should help the pass rusher.

Head Coach Rex Ryan made a very good impression with the Jets fans and organization in his rookie year as a NFL head coach, but needs to be able to follow it up with another great season in 2010. He has the talent on both sides of the ball but they key will be Sanchez having a good season and not having a sophomore slump.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Power Ranking Number 6: Dallas Cowboys

America’s Team the Dallas Cowboys are still looking for their first Super Bowl win after the Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin era. Will it come this season? Well Cowboy fans sure hope so and if they went to the Super Bowl it would be a home game since the Super Bowl this year is at Cowboys Stadium. Quarterback Tony Romo got another receiving weapon this April when the Cowboys drafted Dez Bryant in the first round. Bryant will play along side the other Cowboys receivers in Miles Austin, Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton. But Romo’s favorite target in the passing game is tight end Jason Witten. Their running game is a three head monster in Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice.

Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware is the best player on a very good defense and two years ago he had 20 sacks and last season he followed that up with 11 sacks. In 2010 he should be again tops in the NFL in sacks. Anthony Spencer the Cowboys other outside linebacker came on last season with 6 sacks. Keith Brooking was a welcome addition to the linebacking core and provided leadership to the overall defense. Cornerback Mike Jenkins really stepped up his game last season to give a good cornerback opposite Terence Newman.

The Cowboys final won a playoff game last season, but lost to the Minnesota Vikings after beating Philadelphia in the first round. Owner Jerry Jones won’t be satisfied by just winning one playoff game he expects the Cowboys to get to the Super Bowl and win it this season and they have the team that could do it.

Power Ranking Number 7: Baltimore Ravens

The plan of the off-season for the Baltimore Ravens front office was to get quarterback Joe Flacco some more weapons in the passing game to go with the Raven great running game. Well the mission was accomplished by adding wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Donte' Stallworth, Boldin provides Flacco sure hands and the ability to run after the catch and Stallworth provides him speed to stretch the defense. Running back Ray Rice had an outstanding season but running and catching the football and last season he combined for a total of 2,041 yards all purpose, and the Ravens don’t expect to catch as many passes this season and think that will allow him to be even more effective running the football.

Ray Lewis is the heart and soul of the Ravens team and defense and last season he had 134 total tackles and 3 sacks and it doesn’t look that Lewis has lost much of a step despite being 35 years old. Defensive line Haloti Ngata is a force on the line and has the ability to play up and down the defensive line causing mismatches against the offensive line. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs is the Ravens pass rusher that teams game plan against and in the second round in this years draft the Ravens feel the might have found another passer rush team will have to pay attention to in Sergio Kindle.

With the additions that the Ravens have made this off-season the have one of the better all around teams in the NFL, their only weak spot on their team is in their secondary but if they can get good play there they could have a chance to go to the Super Bowl.

Power Ranking Number 8: Green Bay Packers

There are many people that think the Packers can be a legitimate threat to make it to the Super Bowl this season, and most of the reason relies of the right arm of quarterback Aaron Rogers who had an outstanding season last year. He is a good athlete and has the ability to make all the throws. Running back Ryan Grant is a solid NFL running back who has the ability to break long runs and pound the ball inside. Greg Jennings is the Packers big play wide receiver and is one of the better route runners in the NFL. Tight end Jermichael Finley has a chance to be a special players in the NFL and last season caught 55 passes for 676 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Last season cornerback Charles Woodson was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year by The Associated Press having a great season last year he intercepted 9 passes and returned 3 of them for touchdowns. Outside linebacker Clay Matthews had a great season as a rookie last year with 10 sacks and the Packers are expecting even more from him this season. The question marks for the Packers this season on defense is how fast with cornerback Al Harris coming back from his knee injury that he suffered last season and who else can they find to rush the passer on the outside beside Matthews?

The Packers are a good young team with a lot of talent who made it to the playoffs last season and should have a good shot at going back again as a wild card team as well as possible winning the NFC North Division. They will need to beat the Vikings and Brett Farve this season to do so, which they weren’t able to do last season.

Power Ranking Number 9: Miami Dolphins

Quarterback Chad Henne goes into the season as the starter and the Dolphins are hoping that by adding a big play wide receiver in Brandon Marshall that will take his game to the next level. He needs to cut down on the interceptions that he throws and make better decisions, last season he threw 14 interceptions and only 12 touchdowns. Running back Ronnie Brown is coming back from a foot injury that caused him to miss the finally 7 games of the season last year and the Dolphins are counting on him being back to one hundred percent. Back-up running back Ricky Williams rushed for 1,121 yards and 11 touchdowns last season and provides and the Dolphins and excellent one-two punch with Brown.

On defense two outstanding linebackers are gone in Jason Taylor (Jets) and Joey Porter (Cardinals), but the Dolphins did bring in Karlos Dansby as a free-agent and drafted Koa Misi. The Dolphins expect Misi to start at one of the outside linebacker positions and Cameron Wake to start at the other. Wake had 5.5 sacks last season and the Dolphins expect him to improve on that total. Last season Sean Smith and Vontae Davis where rookies and played in all 16 games, now that they both have a year under their belt the Dolphins are expecting even bring things then last year from the both of them.

The Dolphins should have both a good offense and good defense and have a nice mix of veteran players to go along with their young players. Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland have done a nice job of building this team and they have a chance to be very good this season.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Power Ranking Number 10: New York Giants

Yes Eli Manning has a Super Bowl ring, but he didn’t play well the second half of the season last year causing the Giants to miss the playoffs last year. He will need to rebound this season if the team has a chance to get to the playoff this season. In the passing game Manning has a number of weapons including wide receivers Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks to go along with tight end Kevin Boss. The Giants running attack was lacking this past season and both Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs need to step it up this season or you could see the Giants looking for a running back in the 1st round in next years draft.

On defense the Giants have possible one of the better defensive lines in all of the NFL and helped that by drafting defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in the first round to go along with Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Mathias Kiwanuka, Chris Canty and Barry Cofield. The Giants are still looking for a replacement for middle linebacker Antonio Pierce and are hoping to find one in training camp. The Giants big free-agent signing this off-season was safety Antrel Rolle and they are also hoping to get back safety Kenny Phillips who is coming off-season knee surgery.

The Giants have the talent on their team to be a playoff team and make some noise in the post-season, but they need more consistent play from both quarterback Eli Manning and their defense as a whole.

Power Ranking Number 11: New England Patriots

Could the New England Patriots who have been a dominate team in the AFC for the past decade be the third best team in there own division the AFC East? Well yes it is possible and that is where I place them behind the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins, but they are still one of the better teams in the AFC and in the NFL. The offense and the team is lead by their quarterback Tom Brady who is one of the best in the NFL. Wide receiver Randy Moss is going into his final year of his contract with the Patriots and wants to prove to them and the rest of the NFL that he deserves a new long term deal. Wide receiver Wes Welker is coming off a major knee injury in the last regular season game last season and isn’t expect to be 100 percent until sometime later in the regular season.

On defense the Patriots over the years have move the veterans out and replaced them with younger players and we saw in the playoffs last season against the Baltimore Ravens that just didn’t workout. Nose tackle Vince Wilfork is still the anchor of the defensive line and one of the more veteran players on that team. Linebacker Jerod Mayo is one of the more talent players in the NFL and look for him to take his game to another level this season. Cornerback Devin McCourty was the teams first round pick and they are hoping that he can be the player in the secondary that Ty Law was for them years ago when they won their first Super Bowl.

The Patriots still have one of the best head coaches in the NFL in Bill Belichick and one of the best front offices that have been able to find good young players as well as veterans and mesh them together to produce a win team year after year.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Power Ranking Number 12: Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off wining the AFC North Division and are looking to try to repeat the same in the 2010 season. Quarterback Carson Palmer started all 16 games this past season something he didn’t do in 2008. The Bengals need him to do that again this season for them to have a chance and they got him a few more weapons in the passing game to go along with wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. The signed free-agent wide receiver Antonio Bryant and drafted tight end Jermaine Gresham both should help open up the passing game and also give some more room for running back Cedric Benson. Benson had an outstanding season last year rushing for 1,251 yards and 6 touchdowns in only 13 games.

On defense Antwan Odom was having a great season with 8 sacks in the first 6 games before he hurt his knee causing him to miss the rest of the season and he should be a welcome sight to the defensive line this season. Keith Rivers and Rey Maualuga are two outstanding young linebacker who are really coming into their own in the Bengals defense and look for big things this year. Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall might be the best starting cornerbacks in the NFL and that allows the Bengals defense to play a lot of man on man coverage’s and blitz their linebackers to put pressure on the quarterback or to stop the run with run blitzes.
The Bengals might have overachieved a little last season but they are a good football team and have added pieces and their younger players have gotten another year of experience. The question is with the first place schedule can they rise to the level of competition and win the AFC North again this season.

Power Ranking Number 13: Houston Texans

Wide receiver Andre Johnson might be the best wide receiver in the NFL right now he has great size, speed, and hands and has the ability to make plays, and has a quarterback in Matt Schaub that can get him the ball. But for the Texas to take the next step and be a playoff team like they can be on offense they need to be able to run the ball more effectively. Running back Steve Slaton had a rough year last year so that is one of the reasons that the Texans drafted Ben Tate in the second round, and they will be battling it out in training camp and the pre-season to see who starts. Tight end Owen Daniels returns from a knee injury that caused him to miss eight games last season and getting him back should help the offense out.

On defense they have the defensive rookie of the year in linebacker Brian Cushing, but he will miss the first 4 games of the season because of a positive test on performing enhancement drugs. Defensive end Mario Williams is a very good player but needs to make a few more plays and get a few more sacks this season for the Texans to compete for a playoff spot. Linebacker DeMeco Ryans is an outstanding linebacker and a Pro Bowler that sometimes gets overlooked national, but not by offensive coordinators. They drafted cornerback Kareem Jackson in the first round and he should help out the secondary since they lost cornerback Dunta Robinson in free-agency to the Atlanta Falcons.

The Texans had their first winning season in franchise history last season and they should be even better this season. They open the season with the Indianapolis Colts and if they can beat them it should jump start their season.

Power Ranking Number 14: Philadelphia Eagles

The Donovan McNabb era is over in Philadelphia and now Kevin Kolb is not the quarterback of the future he is the quarterback of the present for the Eagles. Brian Westbrook is not in Philadelphia anymore and LeSean McCoy takes on the roll of starting running back. Things have changed in Philadelphia and now it is the young players chance to shine. Wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are game changing wide receivers with speed and athleticism, and tight Brent Celek is a stead tight end who is one of the better receiving tight ends in the NFL. The young skills players are all around Kolb it up to him to make it happen this year.

On defense last year long time defensive coordinator Jim Johnson pasted away and it seemed like the Eagles defense never really recovered from the lost of him. Linebacker Stewart Bradley is coming back from a knee injury that caused him to miss the full 2009 season and he should be a welcome addition to the defense. They drafted defensive end Brandon Graham in the first round to help the pass rush and other defensive end Trent Cole. They also traded from linebacker Ernie Sims a former 1st round pick of the Detroit Lions who should bring more speed to their defense. With Bradley coming back and the additions of Graham and Sims the Eagles defense should be better this season.

The Eagles should be in the hunt for a playoff spot this season like always but them being a Super Bowl contender isn’t as likely as in the past because we don’t know what to expect from Kolb as a full time starter, but as always it should be interesting in Philadelphia.

Power Ranking Number 15: Atlanta Falcons

Quarterback Matt Ryan hopes to have a bounce back season this year and be able to stay healthy and lead the Falcons back to the playoffs. He has a good running game and good offensive weapons to be able to do that. Running back Michael Turner missing five due to an ankle injury and needs to stay healthy because he is the workhouse for the Falcons offense running the football and really helps out Ryan in the passing game with the play action. Wide receiver Roddy White and tight Tony Gonzalez are the two main weapons in the passing game that Ryan looks to get the ball to.

On defense, defensive end John Abraham provides the pass rush and he needs to return to the player he was in the 2008 season when he had 16.5 sacks not the player he was last year when he only had 5.5 sacks. The Falcons did improve the secondary by signing cornerback Dunta Robinson to a big time contract in the off-season and with that they hope it will improve the pressure on the quarterback. Outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon was the Falcons first round pick and he should improve the overall defense and he is a good against the run and good in pass coverage.

The Falcons where able to get to 9-7 last season, but failed to make the playoffs, they are a good team with a solid coaching staff and expect this season to be more like the 2008 season then last year.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Power Ranking Number 16: Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears offense starts and end with the play of quarterback Jay Cutler, and last season that play wasn’t very good and he needs to play better this season if the Bears want to have a chance to make the playoffs. The Bears brought in Mike Martz as offensive coordinator to help Cutler and open up the Bears offense. Running back Matt Forte production dropped in his second season going from a 1,200 rusher and 12 total touchdowns to a 900 yard rusher and only 4 total touchdowns, he will need to step it up in his third year in the NFL. That is one reason that they signed running back Chester Taylor in the off-season and he will be given a number of carries this season. Wide receiver Johnny Knox had a good rookie season as a receiver and a kick return and end up going to the Pro Bowl as a kick returner. But the Bears still need some receivers to step up this season and make plays for Cutler.

On defense they brought in defense end Julius Peppers as a free-agent and expect him to provide a pass rush of the edge. They get back middle linebacker Brian Urlacher back who missed most of the season last year because of a wrist injury and he should also help the defense. But there are still some major question marks in the secondary and they will need to find some playmakers back there.

The Bears offense should be better this season and so should the defense, the team hasn’t made the playoffs since they lost the Super Bowl, four years ago but they can make a run at it this season, but they need to stay healthy.

Power Ranking Number 17: Pittsburgh Steelers

QB Ben Roethlisberger was suspended by the NFL for the first six games of the season with the possibility to get the suspension reduced to the first four games. Even if that is the case and he misses only four game he still will miss 25% of the regular season. Offensive tackle Willie Colon will miss the whole season because of injury, and the Steelers offensive line last season wasn’t on of their strengths, and that was the reason of drafting Maurkice Pouncey in the 1st round of Aprils draft. Wide receiver Hines Ward is a staple in the Steelers passing game and the Steelers expect a lot out of second year wide receiver Mike Wallace this season. Running back Willie Parker is gone so the Steelers running game is all up to Rashard Mendenhall this season.

On defense the strength of their defense in their starting linebacking core with
LaMarr Woodley, James Harrison, James Farrior, and Lawrence Timmons, and they brought back Larry Foote to provide some depth. In the secondary they trade to bring back cornerback Bryant McFadden which helps the secondary out a lot since that was one of the weakness on the team last season.

Wide receiver Santonio Holmes was traded to the Jets this off-season and Roethlisberger is out at least the first four week of the season, quarterback Byron Leftwich will have to keep the team a float, but don’t be surprised in the Steelers miss the playoff for a second straight year.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Power Ranking Number 18: Tennessee Titans

Fantasy Football players don’t worry running back Chris Johnson will be with the Tennessee Titans week one of the season. Johnson is the heart and sole of the Titans offense and had a historic season last year only in his second year in the NFL. The team switched to quarterback Vince Young and he led the team back to an 8-8 final record for the season. Young will open the season as the starter and the team expects him to continue to develop to a better all around quarterback.

The Titans drafted defensive end Derrick Morgan in the first round and expect him to provide some pass rush help to the team since they lost defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch in free agency. The defense added linebacker Will Witherspoon as a free-agent and expect to take the place of Keith Bulluck who is still a free-agent and could possible return to the Titans. Cornerback Cortland Finnegan needs to stay healthy as he 3 games last season, all games the Titans lost.

Head coach Jeff Fisher has the longest tenure as head coach with one team among active head coaches in the NFL and needs to keep winning and there are some whispers around the NFL that he is on the hot seat in Tennessee. If this team plays like they did the last 10 games of the season in which they won 8 games, Fisher won’t have to worry about his job in 2011.

Power Ranking Number 19: Washington Redskins

Quarterback Donovan McNabb has gone from the face of the franchise of the Philadelphia Eagles to the face of the Washington Redskins, he will make the Redskins a better team but get them to the playoffs that is a stretch. He still is one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, but doesn’t have a ton of weapons around him to help him out. Running Back Clinton Portis and wide receiver Santana Moss have been the Redskins offensive stars for the past few years and McNabb and the Redskins are hoping that they still have some magic left in them. To help out Portis and the running game, the Redskins brought in Larry Johnson and Willie Parker, both who have seen better days as featured running backs, but the team is hoping that they still have some gas left in the tank. The wide receiving core has some young players in Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, but both haven’t lived up to where they where drafted but the Redskins are hoping the McNabb can help their development. Tight end Chris Cooley is still the Redskins best receiver when it comes to catching the football and look for McNabb to use him often in the season.

The saga between the Redskins and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has been well documented, he will be a Redskin when training camp opens up and they hope he can be the dominating player that he has been in the past. Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo was the Redskins best rusher last season and had 11 sacks and they expect him to even be more productive this season going into his second year in the league. Linebacker London Fletcher is still a very productive player who doesn’t get the resignation that he deserves.

By getting McNabb the Redskins have done two things, one it has made them a better team and two it has weakened the Philadelphia Eagles. Right now it doesn’t make them a playoff team, but they are heading in that direction.

Power Ranking Number 20: Carolina Panthers

The biggest question is when does the Jimmy Clausen era start in Carolina, true Matt Moore might start out training camp as the starter but Clausen is the future in Carolina and is possible a franchise quarterback. Another big question is this head coach John Fox’s last year in Carolina, he is on his final year of his contract and has been given a contract extension.

The Panthers have one of the best running back combinations in Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams and this season like in the past will focus their offense on running the football and they should be very effective doing so like always. Steve Smith is there only proven wide receiver but they did draft Brandon LaFell out of LSU who could be a good rookie wide receiver to keep your eye on.

On defense they lost defensive end Julius Peppers in free-agency and linebacker Thomas Davis could be out the season with a knee injury, but they still have linebacker Jon Beason who is one of the most productive linebackers in the NFL. The Panthers are hoping that second year player defensive end Everette Brown can take up some of the pass rushing slack from losing Peppers along with rookies Greg Hardy and Eric Norwood. Cornerback Chris Gamble is the leader and best player in the Panthers secondary and will need to have an outstanding season if the Panthers are able to compete in the NFC South.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Power Ranking Number 21: Jacksonville Jaguars

The offense starts and ends with running back Maurice Jones-Drew, and he had a heck of season last year and the Jaguars need that again this season. Many people wanted to run quarterback David Garrard out of Jacksonville this off-season but the Jaguars stuck with him, and he needs to repay the front office and coaching staff faith in him by leading them back to the playoffs. Wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker had a break-out season last year and need to keep the momentum rolling in 2010. The Jaguars need to find other wide receiver to take the pressure off of Sims-Walker and if they can do that they should have a very good balanced offense.

People are still killing the Jaguars for drafting Tyson Alualu with the 10th overall pick in this past Aprils draft, but they are hoping that he will provide pass rush on the inside to a team that was lacking it last year. Defensive end Derrick Harvey needs to step it up this season or he could be label as a first round bust. Trading for middle linebacker Kirk Morrison could prove to be one of the Jaguars better off-season moves. Rashean Mathis is still one of the better cornerback in the league but need to stay healthy this season as he missed 6 games last year.
The Jaguars we right in the hunt to make the playoffs last season and then they lost 5 out of the their last 6 games to but the coaching staff on the hot seat this year, they need a return to the playoffs this year or head coach Jack Del Rio might be looking for another job.

Power Ranking Number 22: San Francisco 49ers

This is a make or break year for quarterback Alex Smith, he will be the starter going into the season and has a number of weapons around him including wide receiver Michael Crabtree, running back Frank Gore, and tight end Vernon Davis all who have been very productive players for the 49ers in their short careers so far. The 49ers added two offensive linemen in the first round of the NFL draft this past April to really help improve their overall offense and expect both offensive tackle Anthony Davis, and guard Mike Iupati to start. The 49ers traded for wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and hope that he can help on offense and be a deep threat that he was coming out of Ohio State, but they are also looking for his help in the return game which could turn out to be very valuable.

On defense the team is lead my linebacker Patrick Willis who is an outstanding overall linebacker who can run sideline to sideline making plays. He is the unquestioned leader of the defense and even the team, and the 49ers need another big season out of him. The 49ers are expecting the outside linebackers Parys Haralson and Manny Lawson will provide even more of a pass rush this upcoming season then what they did last year. Cornerback Nate Clements only played in 7 games last season and the 49ers need for him to play more then that this season and be that shut down type cornerback that they know he can be. The 49ers drafted safety Taylor Mays out of USC in the second round and hope that he can be that Ronnie Lott type of physical enforcer over the middle.

The 49ers won three out of their final four games last season and are hoping to be able to ride that momentum in the 2010 season where they are expecting to win the NFC West and get back to the playoffs which they have missed for a number of years.

Power Ranking Number 23: Arizona Cardinals

Quarterback Kurt Warner retired, they traded wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the Baltimore Ravens, the lost linebacker Karlos Dansby and safety Antrel Rolle in free-agency, some big time loss for a team that two years ago went to the Super Bowl and have won back to back division titles. They still have one of the best wide receivers in the game in Larry Fitzgerald and have a very good young running back in Beanie Wells. But there is a huge question mark at quarterback with Matt Leinart battling for the starting job against Derek Anderson, who the Cardinals signed in the off-season as a free-agent. The Cardinals feel like wide receivers Early Doucet and Steve Breaston can pick up the slack for Boldin. They also feel like they will be more of a run first offense without Warner at the quarterback position.

On defense with the lost of free-agents they brought in linebacker Joey Porter and safety Kerry Rhodes to help fill some of the void on defense. They still have cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and defensive tackle Darnell Dockett who both are one of the best players at their positions. They drafted defensive linemen Dan Williams in the first round who many thought would have been drafted much higher. The Cardinals are still trying to make the switch to the 3-4 defense and with the additions they have made they feel like this season they will be playing that more so as their base defense.

The Cardinals this season won’t be that high flying offensive attacking team that throws the football all over, they will be a more physical team that runs the football more and looks for the big play off of play action in the passing game. Can the Cardinals win the division for a third season in a row, yes, but they have come back to the pack.

Power Ranking Number 24: Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have gone for a regular playoff team to a team that picked in the top ten in the NFL Draft last year. They have a new head coach in Pete Carroll who was given total control of the football operations, now the question is can he get them back to the playoffs. They have a veteran quarterback in Matt Hasselbeck who if he stays healthy can still be one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. He does have some offensive weapons around him in veteran wide receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Deion Branch and they expect rookie wide receiver Golden Tate to be a playmaker as well. Tight end John Carlson is one of the better receiving tight end in the NFL catching 51 passes last year and 7 touchdowns. The Seahawks did trade for quarterback Charlie Whitehurst just in case Hasselbeck can’t get to his old form. The running back position is a little unsettled, but they like what they have is Justin Forsett and they did trade for Leon Washington and hope he can be the game changer he was with the Jets before he broke his leg.

On defense defensive end Patrick Kerney retired, leaving a void on the defensive line that they hope third year player defensive end Lawrence Jackson can pick-up. They have a solid linebacking core with Lofa Tatupu and Aaron Curry being the leaders of that unit and hope that Curry will make a big jump in his second year. Marcus Trufant is Seattle best cornerback and they add safety Earl Thomas in the first round of the NFL draft this past April and hope he can be a ball hawk in the secondary like he was at Texas.

The Seahawks have the ability and talent to win what is considered a down NFC West division, if Hasselbeck can stay healthy and his weapons can make plays for him the Seahawks will be in the hunt for the division.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Power Ranking Number 25: Oakland Raiders

The JaMarcus Russell era in Oakland is over and many people are very excited to see that end and the Jason Campbell era being. Now will Campbell make the Raiders a better team the Russell yes, but good enough to fight for the division that is to still yet to be seen. The Raiders have some good running backs in Darren McFadden and Michael Bush but they need McFadden to step-up, stay health and play like the player they expected him to be when they drafted him in the first round a few years ago. He can be an explosive, game changing player, and with more consistent play at quarterback hopeful that will help him as well.

People have been killing the Raiders for drafting Darrius Heyward-Bey as the first overall wide receiver in the 2009 NFL Draft and he really needs to step-up his game and be the player that the Raiders expected with his homerun hitting type speed. The Raiders do have one of the more underrated tight end’s in Zach Miller and he should be able to help Jason Campbell in the passing game.

On defense they drafted linebacker Rolando McClain in the first round and expect big things from him this season. Defensive linemen Richard Seymour is back for his second season with the Raiders and should help their transition to the 3-4 defense. Nnamdi Asomugha is a shut down type cornerback and one of the best in the NFL.

The Raiders will be better this season and in a down AFC West they could make some noise and with Campbell at a place where he is wanted he could excel.

Power Ranking Number 26: Detroit Lions

Two years ago this team didn’t win a game, but it seems like with the last two drafts and the off-season moves this team is head on its way up. Many people feel that quarterback Matthew Stafford is on his way to being a franchise quarterback and the Lions have surrounded him with offensive weapons, adding the like of rookie running back Jahvid Best, wide receiver Nate Burleson and tight end Tony Scheffler to go along with one of the league’s best wide receivers in Calvin Johnson. Stafford missed some games last season because of injury and the Lions hope that by adding offensive guard Rob Simms to the offensive line that will help. The Lions offensive line hasn’t been one of the league’s best in recent history and that is why many thought that they would draft an offensive tackle in the first round this season.

With the number two overall pick in this year’s draft they drafted Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh who many believe was the best overall player in the 2010 NFL draft. Bring in the likes of defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and defensive tackle Corey Williams will be a huge help on the defensive line. The Lions secondary is still a question mark but they did trade for cornerback Chris Houston and brought back veteran cornerback Dre Bly to go along with second year player Louis Delmas.

So will the Lions win the Super Bowl, I highly doubt that, but could they be one of the most improved teams in the NFL, that is more likely.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Power Ranking Number 27: Denver Broncos

In the past two off-season the Broncos have traded away their two best players in quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Brandon Marshall and are hoping that this year’s two first round draft picks can replace them in quarterback Tim Tebow and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. Thomas is still recovering from a broken foot that he suffered in pre-draft training and the question will be will he be one hundred percent by the start of the season. Kyle Orton right now is the starting quarterback but many don’t expect Tebow will be the starter sometime this season. Running back Knowshon Moreno had a good but not great rookie season rushing for 937 yards and 7 touchdowns and the Broncos expect him to have a better season this year being his second year in the NFL.

On defense Elvis Dumervil is the Broncos best pass rusher on the team and made the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker smoothly leading the team with 17 sacks and the Broncos will need him to have another outstanding season this year. In the secondary the Broncos have a veteran bunch with Champ Bailey, Brian Dawkins, and Andre Goodman and they provide the team with the leadership on the defense, they are getting a little older and don’t make as many plays as they did in the past, but they are all very good players still. Linebacker D.J. Williams is one of the better overall linebackers in the NFL, but the defense needs some younger players like linebacker Robert Ayers, linebacker Jarvis Moss and cornerback Alphonso Smith to step up there game.

Head coach Josh McDaniels needs to have a better finish to the 2010 season then he did to the 2009 season where they lost 8 out of their last 10 games, or his job could be on the line.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Power Ranking Number 28: Kansas City Chiefs

Last marked the end of the Larry Johnson era in Kansas City as the running back was released but what it did was provided more carries for running back Jamaal Charles who in the last four games of the season had 658 yards rushing and four touchdowns and the final game of the season rushed for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns alone. In the off-season the Chiefs added free-agent running back Thomas Jones to give them a very good one-two punch at the running back position. With Jones and Charles running the football the Chiefs hope that will help quarterback Matt Cassel development.

One thing that the Chiefs offense does lack is some big play ability from the wide receiver position, true they have Dwayne Bowe, but he is a more physical receiver then a game breaker. That is one reason they brought in running back Jones is to allow Charles more opportunities in the passing game to make plays with his speed and quickness.

The Chiefs have been in the process of changing their defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4 for the past two seasons, and some of their parts on defense don’t really fit that scheme so it has been a work in progress. Glenn Dorsey who was the fifth overall player drafted in 2008 has moved to defensive end but is much more of a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense. Tamba Hali who made the switch from defense end to outside linebacker did well with 8.5 sacks last season and the Chiefs are counting on him for even more this season. This year’s first round pick Eric Berry should help the secondary and should make plays as the starting free-safety.

Look for the Chiefs to be an improved team this season on the field, but don’t expect many more wins than last season.

Power Ranking Number 29: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay last season drafted what they believe will be their franchise quarterback in Josh Freeman, and now he needs to show that he has the ability to be that. He started the final nine games of the season and he won three of those games, including back to back wins on the road against Seattle and New Orleans. The Buccaneers organization feels like the two rookie wide recivers that they drafted in Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams will really help Freeman in his development as a quarterback and they already have one of the league’s best tight ends in Kellen Winslow.

With the third overall pick in this year’s past NFL draft the Bucs draft defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to help their defensive line and then in the second round they drafted defensive tackle Brian Price and they are hoping that these two defensive tackle can be a great combo for years to come. Barrett Ruud is a great middle linebacker that can make plays all over the field but needs some help from the other linebackers.

In the secondary cornerback Ronde Barber is one of the all time great Buccaneers players and is a possible Hall of Fame player but he didn’t have an interception last season and the Bucs hope he can make more plays this season. One of the up and coming players in the Bucs secondary is cornerback Aqib Talib who last season had five interceptions and the Bucs expect him to be a possible Pro Bowl player in 2010.

The Bucs have a chance to do something but a lot of this seasons hope rest of the past two first round picks in quarterback Josh Freeman and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

Power Ranking Number 30: Cleveland Browns

This team will go as far as quarterback Jake Delhomme will take them, can he be the player that lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl or will he be the player he was last season when he threw a ton of interceptions, that is the biggest question mark. Running back Jerome Harrison had a great end of the season last year, in the final three games he rushed for over 125 yards in all three of those games and against Kansas City he rushed for 286 yards and 3 touchdowns. He will team-up this season with rookie running back Montario Hardesty who is a bigger more physical running back then Harrison.

There wide receiver core has some question marks but I really like rookie Carlton Mitchell out of South Florida and think that he could be a real steal for them in this past draft. Second year wide receivers Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie need to step it up and the Browns brought in veteran Bobby Engram to help them out with that.

On defense defensive linemen Shaun Rogers is there best player and he needs to show that week in and week out for the Browns defense to have a shot. Their first round pick Joe Haden should help out the secondary. The Browns need to find some players to rush the passer and hopeful in training camp they can find some diamonds in the ruff to be able to do that.

Team President Mike Holmgren still has a lot of work to do with this team to make it a consistent winner and there are some question marks about Eric Mangini job status so he needs the Browns to win this season or the Browns might be looking for a new head coach come the 2011 season.

Power Ranking Number 31: St. Louis Rams

Yes, Rams fans you do have the number one pick in this past April’s NFL draft in quarterback Sam Bradford and a Pro Bowl running back in Steven Jackson but besides that there isn’t much more to look forward to, but the good thing is that this is a team on the rise. If Bradford can get into camp on time and start week one of the season he has the ability to be a very good quarterback in this league. When I look at Bradford he reminds me of Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons and we have seen what Ryan has been able to do for the Falcons and they have a big physical running back in Michael Turner just like Rams do with Jackson. The offensive line is young and improving and should be helped out with the return of last year number two overall pick Jason Smith going into his second year and second round pick rookie Rodger Saffold as the book end offensive tackles.

The biggest question on offensive is the skill players besides Jackson, sure wide receiver Donnie Avery is a good receiver but is more of a number two receiver then a number one, they did draft wide receiver Mardy Gilyard out of Cincinnati and wide receiver Laurent Robinson is coming back from a season end injury he has last season and both of those players should help.

On defense last year’s second round pick James Laurinaitis had a great rookie season and he is someone to build a defense around. Everyone in St. Louis is hoping that third year player Chris Long has a breakout season this year and the Rams where able to keep their best secondary player in safety O.J. Atogwe.

The Rams aren’t a playoff team and still lack talent, but they are a team on the rise and if Bradford can be that franchise type quarterback that everyone thinks he can, watch out for the Rams in a few seasons.

Power Ranking Number 32: Buffalo Bills

Well it might be a long season in Buffalo, New York this year for the Bills and their fans. Terrell Owens last season provided some excitement, but he is gone. They drafted running back C.J. Spiller this past April, but it might hard for him to make the electric runs that we saw last season at Clemson without much of a passing threat and a lack of a great offensive line. But the Bills are resting there season hopes on Spiller and other running back Marshawn Lynch who many thought that the Bills would trade this off-season but haven’t yet.

The Bills are switching from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense with new head coach Chan Gailey. Because of that is looks like one of the Bills best players on defense Aaron Schobel is going to retire then try to play outside linebacker in the new 3-4 defense. The defensive switch will also hurt defensive tackle Marcus Stroud who will be asked to either play nose tackle or defensive end which either aren’t his natural positions.

The biggest question mark surrounding this team is who will be the quarterback when they open the season week one against the Miami Dolphins. Many people thought that they would draft Jimmy Clausen with their first round pick, but they pasted on him. So going into training camp you have Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Brohm, and rookie Levi Brown all fighting for the starting quarterback spot.

Look for the Buffalo Bills to be possible have the number one pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Pre-Training Camp NFL Power Rankings

1. Indianapolis Colts
2. New Orleans Saints
3. San Diego Chargers
4. Minnesota Vikings
5. New York Jets
6. Dallas Cowboys
7. Baltimore Ravens
8. Green Bay Packers
9. Miami Dolphins
10. New York Giants
11. New England Patriots
12. Cincinnati Bengals
13. Houston Texans
14. Philadelphia Eagles
15. Atlanta Falcons
16. Chicago Bears
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
18. Tennessee Titans
19. Washington Redskins
20. Carolina Panthers
21. Jacksonville Jaguars
22. San Francisco 49ers
23. Arizona Cardinals
24. Seattle Seahawks
25. Oakland Raiders
26. Detroit Lions
27. Denver Broncos
28. Kansas City Chiefs
29. Tampa Bay Bucs
30. Cleveland Browns
31. St. Louis Rams
32. Buffalo Bills

UNC LB Sturdivant caught with marijuana

Something to fill back when the NFL combine comes up and the drug testing part of the process get out there. North Carolina linebacker Quan Sturdivant, who has a mid-round grade right now for next year’s NFL Draft was cited for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana on Saturday in Albemarle, North Carolina.

Sturdivant court date is on August 2, the question now is how he deals with this situation will have a lot to deal with how NFL teams and scouts feel about him and his draft status. Was this just a one time mistake or is this something that is a habit? Let hope that it was just a one time mistake.

North Carolina head coach Butch Davis and the university have not made any comments if this will cost Sturdivant any playing time this season.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

BYU RB Harvey Unga Pro Day

Former BYU RB Harvey Unga worked out for 20 teams at his Pro Day today. He has entered his name into the NFL Supplemental Draft that will be held on July 15. He measured in a 6-1 244 pounds, and ran a 4.65 40 yard dash, a 4.51, short shuttle, and a 7.40 three-cone drill. He also had a vertical jump of 35 inches and a broad jump of 9-foot-6-inches. Unga was dealing with a right ankle injury that caused him not to perform as well as he would have liked.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

DT Price-Brent works out for scouts

Illinois defensive tackle Joshua Price-Brent worked out for 18 teams. He measured in at 6-foot-1 ¾ and 321 pounds. He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.38 seconds, with a 7.71-second three-cone drill and a 4.74-second short shuttle. The Illinois product also had an 8-foot, 10-inch broad jump, a 29-inch vertical jump and did 22 reps of 225.

There where 18 teams that where at Price-Brent workout and has a good shot at being a late round pick in July 15th NFL Supplemental Draft.