Updated Preseason Power Rankings: Houston Texans Hold Fast
By Joe Owens
1. Cincinnati Bengals- Bengals look to revert back to the bungled days of yesteryear. Andy Dalton is already having his growing pains. Over under on Bengals win this season is two wins. We’re betting the under.
2. Tennessee Titans- No one wants to mention the word “rebuild” in Nashville but wake up people! It’s happening. Add a Chris Johnson hold-out to the mix.
3. 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.
4. Carolina Panthers- It’s shaping up to have Cam Newton as the opening day starter. Look for lots of run and play action passing to tight ends Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey.
5. 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. Seattle takes the biggest fall from last years finish.
6. Denver Broncos- Orton is the starter in Denver. Denver will try to run the ball in order to keep opposing offenses off the field but the passing game will be the Broncos strong suit.
7. 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)
8. 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. RWe just dont believe the potential will show up. Sorry Fin Fans.
9. Minnesota Vikings- Donavon McNabb won’t save them.
10. Arizona Cardinals- Another long season for Larry Fitzgerald and as it stands the Cardinals and Kevin Kolb get aclimated to one another.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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. Kerry Collins at back-up QB won’t save the season. Houston will push them for the division title this year.
14. 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.
15. Cleveland Browns- The Browns slowly inch their way closer to mediocrity this year as the team improves over last years performance. Forget the Madden curse. Greg Little is this years version of Tampa Bay ’s Mike Williams.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. Dallas Cowboys- The Cowboys get Tony Romo back and a new aggressive defensive coordinator but done very little in free agency to this point. Secondary looks just as bad as last years.
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. 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.
21. New York Giants- You can’t help but feel like the Giants are in a tailspin at times.
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. 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 but they still have a way to go.
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. San Diego Chargers- Tops in defense and one of the top teams offensively. Coach norv Turner has them ready to fire out the gate.
28. 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 but not as far as they want to go.
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. 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.
32. Baltimore- Joe Flacco finally proves his few critics wrong and the Baltimore Ravens end an 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 ?
follow us on twitter @ToroTimes and like us Facebook