By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN’s NFL Power Rankings
Just like the college polls that are much debated each year, this is not an exact science and I am sure I will get my share of thought provoking comments and or e-mails.
1. Colts: They are the champs, so as Rick Flair says “In order to be the man, you have to beat the man”. Woooooooo!!!!
2. Patriots: New daddy Tom Brady should be very happy with his team’s pickups, but watch injuries to an older defense.
3. Ravens: I love the attacking defense that Rex Ryan has built. If Air McNair can turn back the clock, look out.
4. Chargers: They had the best record in 2006, but Norv Turner scares me. Could be moving up because of the plethora of talent on offense and defense.
5. Saints: An offense that is scary when it comes to multiple pieces including their two-head running back monster of pounder McAllister and darter Bush.
6. Eagles: With McNabb back they are automatically one the best in the NFC, but they need to sure up their run defense without Trotter.
7. Bears: They would be rated higher, but inconsistent quarterback Rex Grossman is either going to the Pro Bowl or Toilet Bowl week by week.
8. Cowboys: Will be carried by an attacking Wade Phillips defense, but is Tony Romo ready for every team planning weekly to stop him and his aging WRs.
9. Steelers: Under new coach Mike Tomlin, they are looking to rebound from a Super Bowl hangover year. Health will be a key as Ward and others are battling injuries.
10. Broncos: Will need to lean on big daddy running back Thomas Henry and upcoming quarterback Jay Cutler. Question marks on defense other than CB Bailey.
11. Panthers: With John Fox on the hot seat, look for them to rebound by leaning on their defense and running game.
12. Seahawks: I believe they have one last year to defend their NFC West dominance, but age, injuries, and complacency are factors.
13. Jaguars: Another team with a coach on the hot seat. They better hope that quarterback Byron Leftwich improves on his modest pre-season numbers.
14. Cardinals: I know I have said it for a couple years, but this is the year I promise that the Cards challenge the Seahawks. Opponent’s winning percentage is only 46%.
15. Rams: Must lean on perennial Pro Bowlers OT Orlando Pace, RB Steven Jackson, and QB Marc Bulger. However to move up the list they will need to show more on defense.
16. Bengals: A fantasy football player’s dream (talent at QB, RB, WR), but can they make their talent equate to wins on the scoreboard.
17. Titans: When you have Vince Young, you can count on being in every game. Will miss “Pacman” though as their defense needs to show me they can play without him.
18. Giants: Too Much Fighting, Too Much Inconsistency from Manning, No Barber. I can go on and on — Sorry Tom Coughlin.
19. Jets: I like their attacking defense led by Safety Kerry Rhodes and LB Jonathan Vilma, but I need to see more on offense. They will not be sneaking up on teams in ’07.
20. Bills: Too many defections on defense in the off-season and Dick Jauron does not inspire confidence.
21. Redskins: Mr. “Monopoly Money” Daniel Snyder is trying to buy a title, but they don’t have enough.
22. Dolphins: New Coach, a 37-year-old fragile QB, and an aging defense does not sound like a good equation.
23. Packers: Favre may believe this team has a chance, but with big question marks at RB and on defense this maybe a long year. Don’t let the four-game winning streak at the end of ’06 fool you.
24. Lions: Kitna says that he will throw for over 4,000 yards again and try and break Manning’s touchdown mark (49). But come on, where is the defense?
25. Chiefs: With LJ arriving late to camp watch his hammies, I’m not sure that Huard or Croyle are the answer at quarterback and I won’t get started on their defense.
26. Texans: This unit still has work to do, but they do have some firepower on offense with Schaub, Green, Jones, Daniels, and Johnson.
27. 49ers: Even with all of the money that they spent on defense, I still don’t see enough for them to be this year’s breakout team.
28. Buccaneers: Sure they have a zillion quarterbacks, but they are aging on defense and at the WR position. Gruden will need to work the “scowl” overtime to get these guys going.
29. Falcons: The cloud of Michael Vick will be over this team all year and does anyone think Joey Harrington is a playoff quarterback.
30. Vikings: This group should be exciting with RB Adrian Peterson (My Rookie of The Year pick), but they don’t have a quarterback yet.
31. Raiders: Culpepper will be reborn, but there are too many holes and not enough fingers in Oakland.
32. Browns: With Romeo Crennel on the hot seat, I don’t even think “Golden Boy” Brady Quinn can save this team from being at the top of the draft.
TOMMORROW: BASN’s 2007 NFL predictions.