Toro Times with an updated preseason power rankings is official. With the NFL Lockout over and free agency frenzy coming to a crawl. It wouldn’t surprise us one bit to see the NFL seriously look into waiting until a week before training camps open in order to capitalize on ratings and news generated by the massive feeding frenzy that pumped back in all that was lacking during the offseason and NFL Lockout purgatory.
We felt it our duty here at Toro Times to put together an updated release of our thoughts on preseason power rankings/final standings. We all know by now that a 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 since making major additions to upgrade the secondary finally have the Texans with playoff expectations.
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. Tennessee Titans- No one wants to mention the word “rebuild” in Nashville but wake up people! It’s happening.
3. Carolina Panthers- The Panthers got there guy in Cam Newton. DeAngelo Williams resigned and also picked up added help at tight end. Williams resigning and the acquisition of Greg Olsen from the bears seem to indicate a utilization of twenty-two personnel in Carolina. Keeping the ball on the ground and limiting throws for Newton to two talented tight ends could be a recipe for at least four wins for the Panthers.
4. 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 or free agency to get better other than signing Sidney Rice. Without a proven QB to throw the ball it could be a long season.
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. Plus add in the Tebow/Orton QB controversy all season if Denver holds true to the trading of Kyle Orton is dead claim.
6. 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. With all the wide receiver additions in free agency Washington could be looking to go run-n-shoot. (That’s a joke)
7. Minnesota Vikings- Frankly Minnesota finishes a little worse than last years record due to the Christian Ponder maturation process. Donavon McNabb won’t save them.
8. Arizona Cardinals- Another long season for Larry Fitzgerald and as it stands the Cardinals and Kevin Kolb get aclimated to one another.
9. San Francisco 49ers- The Niners kept Alex Smith on the payroll and Micheal Crabtree’s foot looks like it could continue to bother him all year. New Coach/new staff.
10. Cleveland Browns- The Browns slowly inch their way closer to mediocrity 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. Recently signed Reggie Bush isn’t an upgrade over Ricky and Ronnie together. 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 and 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. 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.
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. The Raiders haven’t been big movers and shakers in free agency either.
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 and ex-lightning bolt Darren Sproles.
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. The loss of starting safety Danieal Manning and O-lineman Olin Kreutz only compounds the situation. 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. Dallas Cowboys- The Cowboys get Tony Romo back and a new aggressive defensive coordinator but haredone very little in free agency to this point. Finish better than last year but a bubble team when it comes to making the playoffs.
22. St. Louis Rams- Expect some sophomore slump bumps and bruises for Sam Bradford. Rams made some key additions on both sides of the ball. Bringing in safety Quintin Mikell and Mike-Sims Walker to help out Sam Bradford has the the Rams taking the NFC West this year.
23. 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.
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. With the additions of Jonathan Joseph and Danieal Manning there is an excitement level in Houston that has no bounds. How much will losing Vonta Leach affect the run game in Houston.
25. 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. Recent trades to acquire Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco only help so much.
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 trade Braylon Edwards for Plaxico Burress in 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- With the splash the Eagles have made in free agency and of course 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. Can Vonta Leach help Ray Rice achieve what Arian Foster accomplished last year in Houston?
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