Toro Times preseason power rankings is official. With it being mid June and an NFL Lockout currently depriving us all the exciting free agency news concerning player changes and team additions that would still be abound via the internet.
We felt it our duty here at Toro Times to put together and release our thoughts on preseason power rankings/final standings. We all know by now that one team that is annointed with high expectations coming into the season usually falls on their face due to an injury or sometimes mulitple injuries. Last year it was the Dallas Cowboys but who will it be this year. Lets Hope that its not the Houston Texans.
So without further ado here is your heaping helping of premature preason power rankings. Enjoy!
1. Cincinnati Bengals- Bengals look to revert back to the bungled days of yesteryear. Unless they bring in a wiley veteran at QB then this could be a long season for Andy Dalton and the Bengals.
2. Carolina Panthers- The Panthers got there guy in Cam Newton & Newton will probably help management sell some tickets but with every anew in Carolina ticket sales may be the only positive that comes out of this year.
3. Tennessee Titans- No one wants torching the word “rebuild” in Nashville but wake up people! It’s happening.
4. Washington Redskins- The Redskins defense will keep this team in plenty of games to end up 8-8 but with the newly annointed John Beck at QB an 8 win season isn’t likely.
5. Denver Broncos- Basically a new starting young QB in Tim Tebow plus a new coaching staff usually yields a not so good outlook on the season. Denver will definitely try to run the ball to take the pressure off of Tebow. Will they be successful is the question?
6. Arizona Cardinals- Another long season for Larry Fitzgerald and as it stands the Cardinals still haven’t cured their quarterback ailments so they sit here at number six.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars- Jacksonville has some young talented players in key positions but that’s just it they are young and need to learn to play in this league still. Odds are this will be both Coach Del Rio’s last year with the team and David Garrard’s last year as the Jaguars starting QB.
8. Seattle Seahawks- Seattle clearly over-achieved last year to everyone outside the state of Washington. The Seahawks also really didn’t do anything in the draft to get better so unless they pull a rabbit from a hat in free agency we see them falling into the hat.
9. Minnesota Vikings- Frankly Minnesota finishes a little worse than last years record due to the Christian Ponder maturation process.
10. Cleveland Browns- The Browns slowly inch their way up the power rankings this year as the team improves over last years performance. Let’s not forget the Madden curse either…Ack! Scary.
11. Miami Dolphins- The Dolphins have the potential to finish higher than this and as a team are not as bad off as the popular consensus may feel that they are but if they let both Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown walk away then the rest of the offense will sputter even more so than it did last year. Let’s not forget the often volatile Brandon Marshall could tear the team apart at any moment.
12. New York Giants- You can’t help but feel like the Giants are in a tailspin. The team is set at quarterback and wide receiver but Ellie is not his brother Payton and this year it will show.
13. Buffalo Bills- There’s a lot of excitement about this years team in B-Lo & with plenty of reason for there to be. The Fiztpatrick to Stevie Johnson connection flourished last year and should continue to do so under Head Coach Chan Gailey.
14. St. Louis Rams- The St. Louis Rams are not ready To turn the corner just yet. The team is still young and hasn’t learned to finish off an opponent. Expect some sophomore slump bumps & bruises for Sam Bradford. Rams finish about where they did last year.
15. Oakland- The most penalized team in the league yet again. Still the Oakland Raiders won the 8 games while also sweeping the division champion Kansas City Chiefs. Unfortunately Jason Campbell is a feasible back-up but a back-up is not going to carry your team much further than 8-8.
16. Detroit Lions- Another young, up and coming team in the Lions. Calvin Johnson is a beast and the defense looks to be even better this year. As long as Matthew Stafford can stay healthy the Lions will be better this year. Stafford’s missing 19 of 32 career games seems indicate that he won’t but if he does then the Lions over take the Vikings in the division once again and could push the Bears for second place in the NFC North.
17. New Orleans Saints- Two years removed from a Super Bowl championship the Saints showed signs of weakness last year. Being beaten by Cleveland and the Buccaneers while at home have the indices trending down on the Saints. 28th in rushing last year the Saints are hoping to remedy the situation with Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram.
18. Chicago Bears- Here was a classic case of the ball bouncing in all the right ways for a team. The Bears finished the season where not many outside of Chicago expected the team to finish and that was with a trip to the playoffs. This year the ball doesn’t bounce there way.
19. Tampa Bay- Young quarterback Josh Freeman is poised to be a star in this league and the rest of the Buccaneer team is ready to follow.
20. Indianapolis Colts- One just gets that feeling that the Colts are about to begin a slide toward mediocrity. Payton is recovering from a second neck surgery and they still haven’t cured the ailing running game. Houston will push them for the division title this year.
21. New England Patriots- Finishing 25th in total defense last year the Patriots find a way to get into the playoffs again but get beat in the first round by an even better playoff team.
22. San Francisco 49ers- The Niners make the biggest jump this year in power rankings only because much like the Seahawks did last year by winning the NFC West they end up atop the rankings board regardless of their average at best record. Niners keep Alex Smith on the payroll and win the division.
23. Dallas Cowboys- The Cowboys get Tony Romo back and a new aggressive defensive coordinator and they get back their claim as one of the top teams in the NFC.
24. Houston Texans- Wade Phillips will improve the 28th overall defense by at least fifteen notches and fans will be clamoring for Coach Kubiak’s extension. Thought we’d never see those two words in the same sentence.
25. San Diego Chargers- Tops in defense and one of the top teams offensively but Coach Norv Turner can’t get over the hump to get the Chargers back into the playoffs.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers- Pittsburgh proved through the first four games of last year that they can win with anyone under center. The defense plays well this year but not well enough to help them get back to the Super Bowl.
27. Kansas City Chiefs- A powerful running attack and the addition of a rookie wide receiver that could help take the double teams away from Dewayne Bowe. Kansas City looks poised to turn the corner.
28. Atlanta Falcons- Atlanta wagered the next couple years draft on getting a guy in Julio Jones who they believe was the last piece needed to get them to the Super Bowl unfortunately it’ll take a little bit better defense than the Falcons currently have.
29. Green Bay Packers- Aaron Rodgers…Enough said!
30. New York Jets- The Jets lose a few key pieces to free agency but Rex Ryan reloads and schemes to fit the players he’s got to work with to get it done but just a bit short of the bowl game. The Jets are now officially a joke.
31. Philadelphia Eagles- Michael Vick’s style of play will lead him to miss a few but the Eagles will get back to the playoffs and Andy Reid gets the Eagles into the Super Bowl.
32. Baltimore- Joe Flacco finally proves his few critics wrong and the Baltimore Ravens end to eleven year hiatus from the Super Bowl. Ray Lewis retires on top.
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