Oh everyone does it and let’s be realistic for a moment. It means absolutely nada. ProFootballtalk.com has the Miami Dolphins ranked low 20′s behind the St. Louis Rams for crying out loud and only a few notches above the New York Jets. Does that make them wrong? No, it makes it their opinion and we all know what opinions are like and we all know that everyone has one. So with that I will say this, here is my opinion and yes I have one and admittedly can be one as well.
32 – Jacksonville Jaguars – They finished with two wins last season and it’s possible they could repeat that again this year.
31 – Cleveland Browns – The Browns are better than this but they have a lot of question marks at the QB position and a team will only go as far as the QB position unless they have a great defense. Cleveland’s defense is o.k. but it’s not great.
30 – Oakland Raiders – I probably could have put them one spot lower and they probably deserve to be one spot lower but frankly, it would be too much trouble to swap them out with the Browns so if you even bothered to read this, mentally swap them with the Browns. I promise it will be the last one…at least until the next one…but it is the Raiders.
29 – Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals believe they have it all figured out now but Carson Palmer is not actually a solution and in fact I am no longer sure that he is even an answer to a trivia question any more. So your guess is as good as mine.
28 – New York Jets – The Jets have what could be a very good defense but unfortunately they also have an offense that could be one of the worst in the league. Frankly I don’t think they have a clue as two which one of their immature QB’s will start. Mark Sanchez believes it will be him but Geno Smith will likely throw a temper tantrum if it is not him. Or he will just say that he will not show up on Sundays.
27 – Buffalo Bills – This is a hard one to call. They have some contributing playmakers on offense but they are going to rely on Kevin Kolb at QB. That wasn’t a misprint FYI. Defensively they are a pretty good team but again, they are going to rely on Kevin Kolb to play QB. Here in case you think you misread that, Kevin Kolb.
26 – St. Louis Rams – Sorry but drafting a speedy little slot receiver and signing Jake Long doesn’t make you a high ranked 20. It makes you a mid-round 20 with a LT who hasn’t made it through a full season in two years and a WR who might get hit so hard he never walks again (I say that with no intention to jinx him). The Rams lost their number 1 WR from last year and frankly I didn’t see major changes to encourage me that they will make a leap and bound impression this year. Sorry Jeff Fisher but I think you have a little more work to do.
25 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Bucs’ could climb a lot higher and quickly. They played much worse than they are but their defense has some gaping holes and frankly their offense underperformed last year. In fact, it’s a lesson that the Dolphins should be using as a model as what to avoid this year. The Buc’s spent heavy last off-season and finished 7-9. Miami spent nothing and finished the same.
24 – Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles imploded last season and already Desean Jackson is debuting his rap album instead of wrapping up his off-season. Distraction could be the premier ticket in Philly this year as a QB controversy is already brewing and the wheels on this train haven’t even been put back on yet.
23 – Kansas City Chiefs – Hey a lot of other “Rankings” have the Chiefs higher but I don’t see where a coaching change, a number 1 overall right tackle, and a trade for a back-up QB is reason to get all warm and fuzzy. Not yet. Especially when you have to face Peyton Manning twice a year. Hey I have no problem with K.C. and I hope they climb much further than this on their way to knocking off the Broncos but it’s a pre-season ranking and frankly, I want to see a little bit more.
22 – San Diego Chargers – The Chargers got beat up in the off-seaon losing a few of their depth and a starter as well. Yet we are to believe once again that a coaching change is enough to rally the troops and secure Phillip Rivers as a legit elite QB to lead the team. Yep and I will draft him with one of my first three picks in my fantasy draft. Along with Ryan Mathews as my RB.
21 – Carolina Panthers – Which Cam Newton will show up this year? A returning HC in Ron Rivera but actually I am hoping for a lot of success for this team if for no other reason that the fact that the offense is led by Mike Shula. Yes that Mike Shula. I never root against a Shula…unless he is playing a Dolphin.
20 – Tennessee Titans – The Titans have an aging Chris Johnson who still thinks he can run for a 1,00o yards. They have an improved defense but they still have questions on both sides of the ball and a tough division. They could go up or down quickly.
19 -Miami Dolphins – This is a good spot for Miami. They spent a lot and have a second year head coach but guess what? Spending money does not equal success and they will now need to prove they can win as a team and that is a lot easier said than done. They should climb higher as the pre-season moves on but their opening 2013 regular season schedule is one of the toughest if not THE toughest in the entire league. It’s downright brutal.
18 – Detroit Lions – Their defense needs to improve but they still have Calvin Johnson and the addition of Reggie Bush should give Matt Stafford another outlet receiver for sure.
17 – Dallas Cowboys – Da “Boyz” are really not so much “Da Boyz” anymore as much as they are the “Romo-sideshow”. It seems that every year they are more and more about what Tony Romo has or hasn’t done. So far he has done next to nothing. Yet the team and the owner still believe in him so we will see but I get the feeling this will be the last year that Jerry Jones wants to wait around and “see”.
16 – Washington Redskins – Yes they made the Playoffs last year but does anyone outside of Washington really think they are a contender for the playoffs in pre-season? O.k. besides those that live outside of D.C. in Va and northern N.C.? Exactly. Besides, RGIII may not even be ready for opening weekend.
15 – New York Giants – Seems the entire NFC East is slotted here, oh wait they are. Well almost, way to go Philly you freaking losers. Totally screwed it up for everyone. The Giants are the Jekyll and Hyde of the division. You simply don’t know which team they are going to be and that is worrisome. They could be completely in the basement mid-season and win the Super Bowl. So where do you slot them? I chose 17.
14 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Ummm, they play in a division with the Browns.
13- Minnesotta Vikings – Remember way back when, when I said I wouldn’t swap out a team mentally with another? O.k. so if I were, this would probably be it. I don’t see the Vikings moving up this year but may in fact drop down. The team is run on the legs of Peterson who frankly I don’t see putting up the numbers he did last year. And since he won’t I don’t see the Vikes making the playoffs which means they won’t climb higher in the power rankings. Just saying.
12 – Chicago Bears – Brandon Marshall, Jay Cutler, Martellus Bennett…yep the three of them should successfully keep the Bears ranked around 14 all season long.
11 – New Orleans Saints – Last year they missed the playoffs, this year they likely won’t. This is a case of a HC making a difference. Sean Payton won’t be watching the games from home this year on trying to slip into the stadium unnoticed dressed as a member of the clergy. He will get to walk the sideline and visit the coaches offices to makes sure no one is filming or taking notes about the bonuses they will be passing out to…ooops sorry, I can’t talk about that.
10 – Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals will be HBO’s Hard Knocks this year. Teams will get to see them up close and personal. And they won’t see much. The Bengals are good solid football team and should get better.
9 – New England Patriots – Sorry but I realize that many feel the Patriots are still the “queens” of the AFC but with Rob Gronkoswki working on his shoulder and Aaron Hernandez working on his case the Patriots have like no offense. Who? Danny Amendola? Yeah, did really well in St. Louis but broke his collarbone twice last season and was put on IR.
8- Indianapolis Colts – While they won’t have their coaches medical infliction to rally around this year the Colts will not have a lot of changes to their roster and should be able to have a solid season but I don’t believe they will be better than last season.
7 – Baltimore Ravens – It’s hard to drop the Super Bowl Champions down 8 spots but let’s be honest their defense cut chopped to pieces. It’s a whole new look in Baltimore and someone will need to step up and become a leader.
6 – Houston Texans – The Texans are a legit contender to the Broncos this season but Matt Schaub has to remain healthy.
5- Green Bay Packers – Last year was not what the Packers envisioned. They will need to play more like a team instead of the dysfunctional units they had become last year. They had everything going for them but suddenly became a product of their own ego’s and that’s rare for the Packers.
4 – Atlanta Falcons – Oh so close. Matt Ryan won his first playoff game but couldn’t get to the big show. Tony Gonzalez came so close that he came back out of retirement for one last shot.
3 – San Francisco 49′ers – Helluva Super Bowl but now the young QB has to prove that it was no fluke. It’s so much harder to get back when teams have so much more film on you…film when you are not wearing a Dolphins hat.
2 – Denver Broncos – Peyton Manning was stellar as a horse last year and they added Wes Welker which should give him even more reasons to be happy. The Denver defense looks improved as well. The Broncos are in position to make a statement.
1 – Seattle Seahawks – Going into pre-season the Hawks to me are the most stacked team in either conference. They have solid receivers and a monster defensive front. Can they put it together 100%? We are going to find out but on paper they look like the real deal for sure.