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Peter King MMQB (1 Viewer)

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There might be a Lito Sheppard trade between now and training camp, and Jerry Jones might pay dearly for Chad Johnson before Labor Day. But it's May, and the offseason personnel side of the business is mostly over.

Now that every team has done just about every significant thing it can do before opening day, let's see how the power structure has changed in the league since the end of the year.

The short answer: Not much, other than the rise of Jacksonville, Carolina and the Jets. But you might find a surprise or two in the first 2008 ranking of the teams from one through 32 -- get ready to send in those we-don't-get-no-respect e-mails, Giants fans -- just eight days after the draft. Read and react:

THE HO-HUM SECTION

1. New England. No team fixes the startlingly bad things as well as New England. And what sticks with me from last season is how porous the offensive line was against the Giants in the Super Bowl, and how poorly Richard Seymour played in the postseason. Tom Brady was pressured significantly -- an ungodly 23 times in the championship game -- while Seymour had zero sacks and zero quarterback pressures in the three playoff games. The line, which allowed 1.3 sacks per game in the regular season, and Seymour are better than that.

Some might read into New England's draft approach as arrogant. Quarterback in the third round, dealing another third-round pick for a 2009 second-rounder, no offensive linemen. I view it as a confident team doing what's best for the long haul. The Patriots' response to almost getting Brady killed in the Super Bowl -- basically, doing nothing on the offensive line in free-agency or the draft -- tells me Dante Scarnecchia, New England's offensive line guru since the Hannah years, will figure out a way to seal the cracks.

2. Indianapolis. Because we don't know what's going to happen in the Marvin Harrison case in Philadelphia -- and even if he makes a clean break of the shooting allegations before July, we don't know if he's going to be healthy enough to be a force again -- we'll leave him out of the fate of the Colts for now.

Jake Scott migrating to Tennessee is a loss, as was the defection of second tight end Ben Utecht to Cincinnati. But a guard's a guard and a backup tight end is replaceable. The Colts did re-sign guard Ryan Lilja and starting tight end Dallas Clark. Underrated rotational defensive end Josh Thomas also re-signed, so there wasn't a lot of Colts pillaging this offseason.

Dwight Freeney should come back healthy from his Lisfranc injury; his presence in the postseason would have made a big difference in the loss to San Diego. The bottom line with my top two teams is this: Bill Belichick and Tony Dungy are still there. Scott Pioli and Bill Polian are still there. Brady and Peyton Manning are still there. They went 31-5 last year. The opposition might be chipping away, but these are still the two best teams in football.

NOW IT GETS A LITTLE INTERESTING

3. Jacksonville. "Why'd they let Marcus Stroud go?'' Jags fan Jonathan Papelbon asked me a couple of weeks ago. Long story. Ankle surgery, four-game suspension last year, age (29), unwillingness to pay him big money anymore. Now the underappreciated Rob Meier's going to have to plug the gap there. I think he can, and I think Jack Del Rio will scheme around the loss of Stroud.

What I like about the Jags is that they've addressed their pass-rush need with the daring trade-up for Derrick Harvey -- who will have to be good right away -- and they have a quarterback of the future who's not a worry. David Garrard was pure guts in beating Pittsburgh on the road in the playoffs, and he was pretty good in a playoff loss at New England, with confident scoring drives of 80 and 95 yards. Jacksonville people are more sure than I am that Raider import Jerry Porter will be a reliable receiving weapon for them. I'll have to see it to believe it because I've seen too much inconsistency from him.

The Jags had a good defense last year, allowing 19 points a game. If Harvey's a DeMarcus Ware-type presence as a rookie, which scouts think he can be, they could morph into a premier defense and be serious Super Bowl challengers in an impossible conference.

4. Dallas. The Cowboys still need a receiver; the thought of Patrick Crayton playing crunch-time minutes in a playoff game has to be a nightmare to any Cowboy fan. But there's not much else they need to win the NFC.

I'm assuming Pacman Jones will be reinstated, though I have no inside information; and if he does play, he'll be a huge threat on the other side of Terence Newman. If he doesn't, rookie Mike Jenkins' development will have to progress faster than Wade Phillips would like. Otherwise, the Cowboys haven't changed much. Explosive offense with a power running game, pressure defense with what could be a much better secondary. That's how you win in the NFL.

5. San Diego. I kept thinking: Why not put the Chargers over the Colts? They beat Indy at Indy in the playoffs and were the better team. The Colts aren't that much better on offense (only five touchdowns better, in fact, last year), and San Diego's free-agent losses (Michael Turner, Drayton Florence) were offset by the drafting of Antoine Cason and Jacob Hester. I think the key is this: I've got to see Philip Rivers perform at a high level consistently to think this is a Super Bowl winner, particularly in a conference as tough as the top-heavy AFC.

6. New York Giants. This is a team that caught fire at the right time and rode the wave to a title. Was it the best team in football in 2007? For the last two games of the year, yes. For the rest of the season, not even close. But the last two games of the season are the biggest.

Funny how a season progresses: In Weeks 9-14, the Giants went 3-3, losing three times by double digits and winning by six, five and three points. Then, ka-boom.

Moving forward, the Giants will be fortunate if Michael Strahan plays. I think he'll retire because he always said he was playing for a ring, and now he's got it, and a cushy Fox job awaits. But the Giants will still be able to kill the passer if he does because Mathias Kiwanuka will be back healthy.

Eli Manning had a charmed postseason, but he's got to be more accurate than 56.1 percent for the Giants to be better than 14th in scoring offense, which they were a year ago. The encouraging thing about Manning is that the day after the Super Bowl, he was already talking about the things he needed to do to get better. Smart, because he knows he has to be more consistent to be a top quarterback. This should be a maturing offensive team and a threatening team on D.

7. Minnesota. I can hear you all out there saying, "Too soon." Well, here's my question: What year in recent NFL history hasn't a Green Bay (2007), New Orleans (2006), Chicago (2005) or Pittsburgh (2004) jumped from nowheresville to Super-Bowl contention?

The Vikings do have a totally unproven passing game, but they still outscored Philly, Washington and Denver last year with the best running game in the league for about half the season. Minnesota had the biggest (by far) edge in average rushing margin per team last year, rushing for 5.3 yards a tote while surrendering 3.1 yards per carry. And though I don't love the Jared Allen signing for the long haul (too dangerous), I love it for 2008. Allen's quickness on the turf of the Metrodome ... scary. Maybe 20-sack scary.

8. Green Bay. This pick is predicated on two assumptions: That Aaron Rodgers is almost as good for 16 weeks as he was for one half in Dallas last November and that Ryan Grant's last eight weeks of 2007 are no mirage. If Rodgers can play and Grant can stay upright for 16 weeks, this is an 11-win team, or better.

I don't worry about the loss of defensive tackle mainstay Corey Williams to Cleveland because of the depth Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy have built. And I don't worry about the loss of Brett Favre sending Green Bay into a tailspin. Late last year Rodgers told me, "I'd be worried about playing now and the team accepting me if I hadn't seen it on the faces of these players. I think they trust me to be able to win football games for us.'' I do, too.

9. Cleveland. How can a draftless team improve? Because this team had its draft in free-agency. A couple of things worry me, as they should every Browns fan. Will Shaun Rogers be a player for half the season and an unproductive blob the other half? I don't know. And will Kellen Winslow hold out or do something Chad Johnson-ish to ruin the great karma of the NFL's new national TV darlings?

This team has five prime-time games for the first time since Paul Brown prowled the sidelines and Jim Brown was a runner, not a protester. "I think our guys will like it,'' said GM Phil Savage. "I think they'll take to the challenge.''

Nice words and maybe even true ones. But Cleveland's opponents -- like Dallas on opening day -- will think they're going to have to play really well to beat the Browns. In other words, Cleveland's not going to catch anyone by surprise. The pressure's on. I think leader types such as Willie McGinest and Jamal Lewis, who have been there before, will help keep heads on straight.

10. Carolina. Surprise. Take your leap-of-faith pill and follow me. Jake Delhomme threw 35 balls with some velocity the other day at mini-camp, his first good throws in a team drill since he wrecked his elbow last year. Jonathan Stewart and his surgically repaired turf toe should be ready to pound defenses by Labor Day. Julius Peppers can't be as bad this year as he was last year. (This team had 23 sacks last year. Peppers should contend for two-thirds that number himself every year.)

So I'm counting on the offensive line, fortified by the deal for rookie tackle Jeff Otah, to be better, and I'm counting on Peppers to put significantly more pressure on the quarterback. There is no way a John Fox team should give up 30 points five times, as it did last year, and I expect a more competent offense to possess the ball more this year. It has to for Fox's team to grind out some wins, and it will with the brawny Stewart in the backfield.

ROUND UP THE USUAL SUSPECTS

11. Philadelphia. The story's the same as ever in Reid-land: Donovan McNabb has to stay upright for 16 games for this team to have a chance to play deep into January. He's missed two, four and seven starts in the last three years. That's partly why the Eagles have fallen considerably short of their second Super Bowl appearance in the McNabb era.

Two assists for him this year. Lorenzo Booker's a better alter-ego to Brian Westbrook than Correll Buckhalter has been. And DeSean Jackson, even at 170 pounds soaking wet, should be a bit more of a stretch-the-defense third or fourth receiver than McNabb has had. If Jackson does nothing else, at least he'll spice up the blah return game (8.1 yards per punt return and 21.7 on kickoffs is no way to win ball games). Oh, and it would be nice if McNabb's tackles could block the Giants.

12. Pittsburgh. This has nothing to do with the toughest schedule any of us has ever seen -- all 10 non-division foes were .500 or better last year -- because if it did, the Steelers would be slightly lower. I worry about the Pittsburgh offensive line, and I worry about the pass-rush. Both areas broke down while the Steelers lost four of their last five (two to Jacksonville at home) in the last month of the season.

But I think they'll be at least as good as they were last year, all things considered. Ben Roethlisberger (32-to-11 touchdown-to-interception differential) was terrific last year, and he could be better with a big target, rookie Limas Sweed, roaming down the seam on third downs. And a Parker-Mendenhall-Davenport rushing trifecta means the Steelers should have a run-pass percentage more like 55-45 than the 51-49 of 2007. A dominant running game has always been a Steelers staple, and it has to return for Pittsburgh to control the ball against the best teams in the league, most of whom the Steelers will face this year.

13. Buffalo. I like Trent Edwards having a full season to play quarterback; I like Paul Posluszny returning to anchor a young defense; I like Marshawn Lynch older, stronger and wiser. I even like the ability and cockiness of first-round pick Leodis McKelvin to win a starting job by October ... and I'm tempted to like a 6-foot-7 receiver who caught 16 touchdown passes in that non-passing-hotbed of Indiana University last fall, second-round pick James Hardy. This is an interesting team. If the youth plays at a B level, the Bills could win 10 games.

14. New York Jets. If Eric Mangini learned one thing from all those years with Bill Belichick, it's pressure or perish. Pressure the quarterback well or go 4-12. And the Jets' pressure was pathetic last year. The guys who were supposed to rush the passer (Bryan Thomas, Shaun Ellis, Keyon Coleman and Victor Hobson) combined for 11 sacks.

This year the Jets should have three sacks a game, easy, with first-rounder Vernon Gholston and expensive free agent, Calvin Pace, coming from the edge and Kris Jenkins pushing the pile and drawing attention in the middle. ("I want to thank the Jets for getting that guy out of our division and out of my hair,'' Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden said last month.) One other thing, Jets brass: Give Kellen Clemens a chance to be the quarterback; don't put him through an eight-game trial. Don't you know what you have in Chad Pennington by now?

15. Seattle. I'm one of the few people who actually liked their draft. I loved them taking the best blocking back in college football (WVU's Owen Schmitt), the best long-snapper in college football (Tyler Schmitt of San Diego State) and a tackle (Red Bryant) for their defensive-line rotation.

Seattle did addition by subtraction by totally re-doing its backfield, and though Julius Jones is not a top-10 back, he's a hard runner who won't take 15 seconds to pick a hole the way Shaun Alexander did last year.

Not sure how the Mike Holmgren swan-song will work; generally a guy who says he's retiring at season's end spends more time than he should thinking about golf in Scottsdale. We'll see how the Holmgren/Jim Mora dance works over the next eight months.

16. New Orleans. Now we're getting to the "if only'' area. If only the Saints had gotten Jeremy Shockey, if only Reggie Bush were a more complete NFL back, if only they had Leodis McKelvin on an island this fall instead of Jason David, Randall Gay or Aaron Glenn ... you get the picture.

But this is still a team that, with the right breaks and good health, could easily win the NFC South. A quarterback, good lines on both sides of the ball and good-enough receiving weapons make New Orleans a threat every Sunday. But this team has to get off the roller coaster. The Saints started with four losses, followed by four wins, and ended the season with two wins followed by two losses. By the way, Drew Brees threw for 4,423 yards and 28 touchdowns last year ... and no one thought he played that well. That guy is one heck of a quarterback.

17. Tampa Bay. The Bucs might be the only team to open training camp with more quarterbacks than it will have wins at the end of the year. (By the way, could Gruden please put Chris Simms out of his misery and send him somewhere where he'd have a chance to play?) It's a pretty dangerous thing to rely on Jeff Garcia to make it through a full season and know that Brian Griese is warming up in the bullpen.

That's the reason I don't trust Tampa Bay to be an 11-win team. I don't trust the cast of thousands at quarterback, even with Gruden coaching 'em up. I do like a couple of things. The addition of center Jeff Faine shores up the weakest spot on the offensive line. (Other than Alan Faneca, Faine was the best guard/center who moved in free-agency.) And the return of Warrick Dunn should provide six or eight chances to break one every game. And I don't care about the terminally unhappy Brian Kelly being gone.

18. Washington. I can't think of a team in the NFL with more questions. With a big need at pass-rusher, the Redskins stayed out of the free-agent market totally and went receiver-tight end-receiver on their first three draft picks. I don't know if Jason Campbell is the long-term answer at quarterback; certainly the Redskins don't know either. Can Jim Zorn head-coach? Who knows? The one thing I do know is I like Dan Snyder getting off the Steinbrenner-esque spend-spend-spend merry-go-round and becoming a guy who just might be learning how to build a team. Might, I said.

THEY COULD WIN TEN OR SIX

19. Houston. Logic says an 8-8 team that finished 3-1 with a young quarterback and maturing defense should be ready to take the next step, particularly with a salty old hand like Alex Gibbs taking an underachieving running game into his capable hands this spring and summer. But Matt Schaub -- efficient (.664) but inexperienced in his half season at the helm -- is really still an unknown, as is the 28-year-old offensive coordinator who will mentor Schaub, Kyle Shanahan, the youngest coordinator in the league. We'll have to see the progress first to believe the Texans are much improved, particularly in a division and conference as tough as the one they have to conquer if they hope to play in January.

20. Tennessee. I want to like Vince Young, and his improvement from 52 to 62 percent in accuracy from his rookie year to his second season helps a little. But this is the year he's got to start being consistent if the Titans are going to make the playoffs again and again. He threw nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions last year.

He needed a good wide receiver this offseason and was given Justin McCareins in free agency (drops too many balls) and another running back in the draft, the fleet Chris Johnson. One more thing about Tennessee. If you think I've dropped them for no reason, think back to last year. The Titans were 7-6 entering the home stretch. They beat playing-for-nothing Kansas City by nine, the playing-for-nothing Jets by four, and the truly playing-for-nothing Colts by six. Those are the breaks of the schedule.

21. Arizona. Paul Zimmerman wanted me to put the Cards higher. But I don't know who's playing quarterback, nor how good that quarterback will be. I don't know how much Edgerrin James has left coming off a 3.8-yards-per-carry season. I do know a defense that allowed a gaudy 399 points will be a little better because of the arrival of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at corner. But every year for the past three or four, some wise man in the media (I think it was me two years ago) says, "This is Arizona's year.'' And in the last four of those Arizona years, the Cards have gone 6-10, 5-11, 5-11 and 8-8.

22. Baltimore. Joe Flacco's got a big arm, the biggest in the draft this year. He may make it as a rookie starter, but not many kids from Delaware step in as rookie starters in the NFL -- never mind rookie starting quarterbacks.

What worries me about the kid is this: He doesn't have the most self-confident air about him, and what happens if he starts slowly and feels the hot breath of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed on his neck?

It'll be up to one of the most positive coaches ever to walk an NFL sideline, John Harbaugh, to make sure the spotlight isn't too big for Flacco. The Ravens are in a tough spot. They need to bring Flacco along slowly to build his confidence, but with a defense built to win now, they can't take it too slow with him. It'll be an interesting chemistry experiment in Baltimore this year.

23. Denver. Just whom exactly do you count on in Denver? The courageously diabetic quarterback? The who-knows-what-to-believe star wideout Brandon Marshall? Or the coach who might be running out of tricks with his magic wand?

The Broncos gave up 26 points a game last year. And just how embarrassing must it be to surrender more than 30 to Houston, Chicago and the Oakland Raiders, for God's sake, all in the span of 18 days? The Broncos' most important acquisition to help that defense has never started an NFL game. Niko Koutouvides will play middle 'backer after backing up strong linebackers for four years in Seattle. Not too much pressure on him, is there?

24. Cincinnati. Talked to Marvin Lewis the other day (more on that conversation in the Tuesday column), and he sounded very much like this is going to be a No-More-Mr.-Nice-Guy season. It was right about that time that Kentucky authorities said starting linebacker Ahmad Brooks had a June court date for allegedly punching a woman in the face.

Hey. Look on the bright side. At least Chad Johnson hasn't opened his mouth this month. Yet.

Lewis made it clear the Bengals were drawing a line in the sand with Johnson, which is just another reason to think this could be a season of distractions that could once more derail the Bengals. By the way, this super offense, with the great receivers? Outscored by five points last year. Hard to imagine Cincinnati turning it around this year.

25. Chicago. It's become fairly easy and fashionable to pile on the Bears for going three straight drafts -- 28 picks in all -- without picking a quarterback, despite going three consecutive years in the NFL's bottom quartile in team quarterback rating.

Beginning on Oct. 9 the Bears will play five top-10-caliber defenses in a seven-game midseason stretch (Vikes, Titans, Packers, Vikes, Jags), and by the end of that period I'll be stunned if Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton don't have every Chicago fan looking skyward and asking, "Why didn't we draft Chad Henne in the second round?''

You also have to be worried about the health and the holdout of Brian Urlacher, which is quite a dilemma. Do you pay a guy who's such a great leader but who also might be entering a fragile state of health? Lovie Smith will have to lord over an unsettled team.

GET YOUR NORMAN VINCENT PEALE SPEECHES READY

26. Detroit. I give up. Every year I think this has to be the season Detroit finally gets over the hump. Nope. Won't get fooled again. Lions are staring down the barrel of 6-10. But there's something different in Detroit, I think. It's Marinelli-ball. We're not seeing the quick fixes of the past.

Coach Rod Marinelli doesn't worry that he might lose his job; well, maybe he does, but his moves sure don't show it. He's going with a sea change at offensive coordinator, from the liberal Mike Martz to the conservative Jim Colletto, changing blocking schemes and three or four starters. And he may have five new starters on defense.

One thing Detroit really should do: Find out if last year's second-round pick, Drew Stanton, can play quarterback in the NFL. That's a question the Lions must answer for 2008.

27. Miami. I don't know who's playing quarterback, who's catching the ball or if Jason Taylor will ever speak to the great and powerful Bill "Oz'' Parcells. But you ask the people who know Parcells the best, and they'll tell you they like the way he's shaking up the bottom of the roster, and he's on his way to building a team that will give the Patriots a game soon. To do that in 2009 or '10, the Dolphins have to discover if they've got their quarterback of the future on the roster now. Best chance to be The Man, of course, is second-round pick Chad Henne.

28. San Francisco. When Mike Nolan took over the coaching job here three years ago, what do you think he'd have said if you told him: "Mike, in the year that decides if you stay or get canned, there's a good chance Shaun Hill will be your starting quarterback and Isaac Bruce your key receiving weapon?'' Heck, Bruce was old when Nolan took the job. And I can guarantee you Nolan had never heard of Hill when he took over.

Strange days in San Francisco, especially with the arrival of Mike Martz to retool a horrific offense that scored in single digits in six of the final 13 games last year. Hill will try to beat out Alex Smith, the former first pick in the draft, and my guess is Nolan thinks Hill is better. To get into the playoffs looks like a 50-foot putt on an undulating green for the Niners.

29. St. Louis. Look on the bright side: I talked to a personnel guy the other day who said, "Chris Long was the top player on our board. The Rams have no idea what a great player they're getting.'' I like the Long pick because he'll be driven every-day he is on this planet to prove his legions of doubters wrong.

Jake Long would have been a better pick for this team, but that's a moot point because he wasn't available. Orlando Pace can't make it through a year healthy, and Alex Barron is a below-average player ... those are your bookend tackles, the guys who have to keep a relatively frail (for a quarterback) Marc Bulger upright for 16 weeks. Unless Bulger makes it through the year unscathed, I'd be surprised if the Rams won six games.

30. Oakland. We're beating a dead Darth Vader to say it's broke, and Al's not fixing it. Winning 4, 5, 4, 2 and 4 games over the last five years (New England won 18 last year; Oakland's won 19 in a half-decade) should tell you something. But it doesn't tell the Raiders anything, except, "Let's keep doing what we've been doing and see what happens.''

For this year, maybe JaMarcus Russell throwing to Javon Walker will get it done, though you can't count on Walker with his injury history to play 16 games. And maybe DeAngelo Hall and Nnamdi Asomugha will form the best cornerback tandem in football and repel big days from Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers. Maybe. The best thing Oakland could do is hand the team to a good coach (I vote for Lane Kiffin) and let him build the team his way. It can't be any worse than what's happening now.

31. Kansas City. Glee and happiness over the great draft, and rightfully so. But two things to remember before the ticker tape starts flowing past Crown Center: Jared Allen's gone. And there's no apparent starting quarterback.

Tamba Hali could emerge as a super-rusher with Tank Tyler and Glenn Dorsey occupying bodies at defensive tackle, but that won't happen overnight. The odds are less likely that Brodie Croyle will emerge as a middle-of-the-pack quarterback. The Chiefs will be looking for the best quarterback in the draft next April.

32. Atlanta. No one said it would be easy. When you need 12 to 15 new starters, you're basically dealing with a construction job like an expansion team. Now the Falcons have their quarterback, they hope, and their left tackle, they hope, in Matt Ryan and Sam Baker, respectively -- though there's universal doubt about Baker's ability to play left tackle in the NFL. Arthur Blank will need patience here. If he really believes Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith are the men for this reconstruction, he's got to give them three or four years to get it done ... minimum.
There are a few interesting selections...for meJacksonville at 3, Minnesota at 7, and Cleveland at 9 all seem a little high...although I hope he's right about Minnesota (or he has them too low)

 
I just started reading this but thanks for posting it. I think there is some good things to think about in here, also gives a better understanding of what teams are trying to accomplish. Nice thread.

 
Very solid list, but I'll list a few that I disagree with...

Underrated

- Seattle needs to be ranked higher than #15 because the NFC West is brutal and they're 'all in' this year. Like the new backfield and added depth along the defensive line.

- Denver has some issues but they are more likely to earn a playoff spot and finish in the bottom 10. Should be higher than #23 especially considering teh Chiefs fall and questions in Oakland.

Overrated

- Minnesota has a lot going for them but without reliable play at the quarterback position they will lose too many games where they outplay their opponents.

- Buffalo at #13. I agree with everything King typed but I'm still putting them around #20.

 
I stopped reading after he called the Colts DE Josh Thomas underrated.

Josh Thomas is average at best! My cat can generate more pressure on a QB than Thomas can.

He is porous against the run as well. He'll be lucky to make the rotation this year.

Colts addressed this need in the draft.

 
I disagree with him.

I'd go New England No. 1......but why should Indy be No. 2? They lost to the Chargers at home with the Charges all banged up. Indy is capable of beating them, but as far as lists go, the Charges deserve to be ahead of them.

Jacksonville lost to NE and it wasn't all that close. I don't buy they're the 3rd best team in the NFL.

Dallas lost at home vs. the Giants who then went on to beat NE, they deserve to be the team to start the year off as No. 1 in the NFC.

My list:

1. New England

2. New York Giants

3. San Diego Chargers

4. Indianapolis Colts

5. Dallas Cowboys

6 Jacksonville Jaguars

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

8. Cleveland Browns

9. Green Bay Packers

10. Seattle Seahawks

 
since lots of people are predicting the 2008 vikings to be the 2007 packers or 2006 saints that come from nowhere, i don't see how it fits the bill. seems to be more like those preseason cardinal love fests.

 
I disagree with him.I'd go New England No. 1......but why should Indy be No. 2? They lost to the Chargers at home with the Charges all banged up.
Need I remind you that Indy was missing Freeney and Marvin Harrison?The better team won that day, but make no mistake about it, the Chargers have a ways to go to be considered a pre-season top 2 team.Show some consistency then I'll agree.
 
since lots of people are predicting the 2008 vikings to be the 2007 packers or 2006 saints that come from nowhere, i don't see how it fits the bill. seems to be more like those preseason cardinal love fests.
I agree, every year some team is blown out of proportion..and for no good reason.Usually the team that's going to do something out of the blue is actually getting no positive hype like the Giants of last year. I can't tell you how many times I heard on ESPN that the Giants were going to be horrible and no matter how good Eli Manning plays, they're going to be no good.They freaken won the SB.Same the year before when the Saints were good. People weren't pimping them prior to the season.I'm not sure who it's going to be this year, but if Jackson is still the QB, it won't be Minnesota.
 
I disagree with him.I'd go New England No. 1......but why should Indy be No. 2? They lost to the Chargers at home with the Charges all banged up.
Need I remind you that Indy was missing Freeney and Marvin Harrison?The better team won that day, but make no mistake about it, the Chargers have a ways to go to be considered a pre-season top 2 team.Show some consistency then I'll agree.
Marvin Harrison hasn't been a threat in 2 years, I am not buying that. Freeney they missed, no doubt.However, they had Ladanian Tomlinson, their QB out and Gates playing on one leg........on the road.The Chargers started the season off horribly because they were still adapting to a new coaching scheme.The better team won because the Chargers have a better offensive line and defensive line than the Colts. If that game were in SD, the Colts probably would have lost by 20 points.BTW, I have the Chargers at No 3.
 
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I expected my Rams to be in the bottom half, but not the bottom 3. Ouch. If the line is healthy the Rams are at least 8-8. If they are pulling guys off the street again, I want the coach fired as well as the line coach and the strength and conditioning coach.

 
I disagree with him.I'd go New England No. 1......but why should Indy be No. 2? They lost to the Chargers at home with the Charges all banged up. Indy is capable of beating them, but as far as lists go, the Charges deserve to be ahead of them.
So by that rationale, why do you have the Pats ahead of the Giants?
 
The Jets as the 8th best team in the AFC. Wow. All they really need to do then is beat out Pittsburgh and Buffalo to make the playoffs. Wonder who'll be under center... I vote CHAD.

 
Marvin Harrison hasn't been a threat in 2 years,
You may want to recheck that. Go back and look who the #1 WR in 2006 was and get back to me.
2008 minus 2006=2 yearsEdit to add: It'll be 2 years since he was himself or the Marvin we knew heading into this season. To me, even before he was hurt last season he didn't look like the guy we've seen in the past.

 
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Marvin Harrison hasn't been a threat in 2 years,
You may want to recheck that. Go back and look who the #1 WR in 2006 was and get back to me.
2008 minus 2006=2 years
Umm, 2008 hasn't occurred yet (the season, that is). Marvin Harrison was the #1 WR in 2006. He barely played in 2007. 2008 has yet to happen.Harrison hasn't been a threat for 1 year, not 2.

ETA--Not to mention the context of your reply as it pertained to Indy missing players in the playoffs. Your reasoning why it wasn't a huge loss was that Marv hasn't been a threat in 2 yrs, i.e. for 2 yrs up to that point.

 
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Marvin Harrison hasn't been a threat in 2 years,
You may want to recheck that. Go back and look who the #1 WR in 2006 was and get back to me.
2008 minus 2006=2 yearsEdit to add: It'll be 2 years since he was himself or the Marvin we knew heading into this season. To me, even before he was hurt last season he didn't look like the guy we've seen in the past.
Fuzzy math! :thumbup:
 
Marvin Harrison hasn't been a threat in 2 years,
You may want to recheck that. Go back and look who the #1 WR in 2006 was and get back to me.
2008 minus 2006=2 yearsEdit to add: It'll be 2 years since he was himself or the Marvin we knew heading into this season. To me, even before he was hurt last season he didn't look like the guy we've seen in the past.
Better to own up here and move along.Harrison played 3 meaningful games last season:

Week 1 4/83/1

Week 2 6/87/0 Road game against division rival Tennessee

Week 3 6/53/0 Road game against division rival Texans

Prior to that in '06, want those stats?

 
I disagree with him.I'd go New England No. 1......but why should Indy be No. 2? They lost to the Chargers at home with the Charges all banged up. Indy is capable of beating them, but as far as lists go, the Charges deserve to be ahead of them.Jacksonville lost to NE and it wasn't all that close. I don't buy they're the 3rd best team in the NFL.Dallas lost at home vs. the Giants who then went on to beat NE, they deserve to be the team to start the year off as No. 1 in the NFC.My list:1. New England2. New York Giants3. San Diego Chargers4. Indianapolis Colts5. Dallas Cowboys6 Jacksonville Jaguars7. Pittsburgh Steelers8. Cleveland Browns9. Green Bay Packers10. Seattle Seahawks
i thought we were predicting for 2008 not rehashing last year.
 
I disagree with him.I'd go New England No. 1......but why should Indy be No. 2? They lost to the Chargers at home with the Charges all banged up. Indy is capable of beating them, but as far as lists go, the Charges deserve to be ahead of them.Jacksonville lost to NE and it wasn't all that close. I don't buy they're the 3rd best team in the NFL.Dallas lost at home vs. the Giants who then went on to beat NE, they deserve to be the team to start the year off as No. 1 in the NFC.My list:1. New England2. New York Giants3. San Diego Chargers4. Indianapolis Colts5. Dallas Cowboys6 Jacksonville Jaguars7. Pittsburgh Steelers8. Cleveland Browns9. Green Bay Packers10. Seattle Seahawks
i thought we were predicting for 2008 not rehashing last year.
Yeah, but last year was 2 years ago! :lmao:
 
Marvin Harrison hasn't been a threat in 2 years, I am not buying that. Freeney they missed, no doubt.

However, they had Ladanian Tomlinson, their QB out and Gates playing on one leg........on the road.

The Chargers started the season off horribly because they were still adapting to a new coaching scheme.

The better team won because the Chargers have a better offensive line and defensive line than the Colts. If that game were in SD, the Colts probably would have lost by 20 points.

BTW, I have the Chargers at No 3.
Ummm.... how about when the game was in San Diego. Sunday night game - I was there. Chargers had all their horses but if there wasn't a kicker choking, the Colts would have one despite one of the worst performances by Manning ever. So which one counts?

I;m not saying the Chargers aren't a really good team. But it's not like they ran the Colts off the field in San Diego last year when they had the chance.

 
I expected my Rams to be in the bottom half, but not the bottom 3. Ouch. If the line is healthy the Rams are at least 8-8. If they are pulling guys off the street again, I want the coach fired as well as the line coach and the strength and conditioning coach.
:confused:
 
I disagree with him.I'd go New England No. 1......but why should Indy be No. 2? They lost to the Chargers at home with the Charges all banged up. Indy is capable of beating them, but as far as lists go, the Charges deserve to be ahead of them.Jacksonville lost to NE and it wasn't all that close. I don't buy they're the 3rd best team in the NFL.Dallas lost at home vs. the Giants who then went on to beat NE, they deserve to be the team to start the year off as No. 1 in the NFC.My list:1. New England2. New York Giants3. San Diego Chargers4. Indianapolis Colts5. Dallas Cowboys6 Jacksonville Jaguars7. Pittsburgh Steelers8. Cleveland Browns9. Green Bay Packers10. Seattle Seahawks
Sounds like someone who looks at last year with a higher weight than they should.
 
Marvin Harrison hasn't been a threat in 2 years, I am not buying that. Freeney they missed, no doubt.

However, they had Ladanian Tomlinson, their QB out and Gates playing on one leg........on the road.

The Chargers started the season off horribly because they were still adapting to a new coaching scheme.

The better team won because the Chargers have a better offensive line and defensive line than the Colts. If that game were in SD, the Colts probably would have lost by 20 points.

BTW, I have the Chargers at No 3.
Ummm.... how about when the game was in San Diego. Sunday night game - I was there. Chargers had all their horses but if there wasn't a kicker choking, the Colts would have one despite one of the worst performances by Manning ever. So which one counts?

I;m not saying the Chargers aren't a really good team. But it's not like they ran the Colts off the field in San Diego last year when they had the chance.
They both do. I was in the corner that the Chargers weren't going to come out firing last season like many thought. They had an revamp in coaches, many experts thought it would actually take 2 to 3 years for them to all get on the same page. So, expecting them to click like the 14-2 team they were the year before was actually ridiculous.They seemed to get better as the year went on and peaked at the end, unfortunately they lost some of their stud players if you're a SD fan.

I'm also in the corner that you win games in the trenches, especially playoff games. San Diego outplayed Indy in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

Look guys, it's a preseason list and I have San Diego 3 and Indy 4.

 
I disagree with him.I'd go New England No. 1......but why should Indy be No. 2? They lost to the Chargers at home with the Charges all banged up. Indy is capable of beating them, but as far as lists go, the Charges deserve to be ahead of them.Jacksonville lost to NE and it wasn't all that close. I don't buy they're the 3rd best team in the NFL.Dallas lost at home vs. the Giants who then went on to beat NE, they deserve to be the team to start the year off as No. 1 in the NFC.My list:1. New England2. New York Giants3. San Diego Chargers4. Indianapolis Colts5. Dallas Cowboys6 Jacksonville Jaguars7. Pittsburgh Steelers8. Cleveland Browns9. Green Bay Packers10. Seattle Seahawks
Sounds like someone who looks at last year with a higher weight than they should.
It's a preseason list, you go off of last year, make some analysis on draft picks, coaching moves etc.....it's subject to change as we see and hear more information as the season comes. Personally, I'd like to see Dallas move up the list but why should they be ranked higher than the Giants besides the fact I like them better?
 
Marvin Harrison hasn't been a threat in 2 years,
You may want to recheck that. Go back and look who the #1 WR in 2006 was and get back to me.
2008 minus 2006=2 yearsEdit to add: It'll be 2 years since he was himself or the Marvin we knew heading into this season. To me, even before he was hurt last season he didn't look like the guy we've seen in the past.
Better to own up here and move along.Harrison played 3 meaningful games last season:

Week 1 4/83/1

Week 2 6/87/0 Road game against division rival Tennessee

Week 3 6/53/0 Road game against division rival Texans

Prior to that in '06, want those stats?
No, I don't want those stats and it looks to me like you're going to get a steal in Marvin Harrison this year if he plays as you'll have plenty of shots at getting him anywhere near he was in 06.1 season ago, at the time he plays again in the regular season, 2 chronological years.

He played football at the level you're talking about Sept of 06 thru say Dec. of 06.

He'll start this year Sept of 08, that's 2 chronological years or pretty close to it.

My problem with Harrison (besides this legal issue) isn't that he can't come back from this latest injury. I don't think that's anyone's real concern, I think it's his age. I didn't think this would turn out to be some huge issue in this thread by mentioning 2 years but somehow it has. 2 years for someone his age does mean something, to me it hasn't been 1 year since he's dominated. I see your point, it's been only a season but I'm looking at his age and it's been awhile since chronologically since he's been the NO. 1 guy.

I think those saying it's only been 1 year since Marvin was NO. 1 are looking at the glass half full, which is fine and maybe you get a steal in the draft.

 
I disagree with him.

I'd go New England No. 1......but why should Indy be No. 2? They lost to the Chargers at home with the Charges all banged up. Indy is capable of beating them, but as far as lists go, the Charges deserve to be ahead of them.

Jacksonville lost to NE and it wasn't all that close. I don't buy they're the 3rd best team in the NFL.

Dallas lost at home vs. the Giants who then went on to beat NE, they deserve to be the team to start the year off as No. 1 in the NFC.

My list:

1. New England

2. New York Giants

3. San Diego Chargers

4. Indianapolis Colts

5. Dallas Cowboys

6 Jacksonville Jaguars

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

8. Cleveland Browns

9. Green Bay Packers

10. Seattle Seahawks
you are a NE homer, right? :rolleyes: my guess: King was implying that Jacksonville's age makes them a top 3 team. They are a young team with a terrific defense and g-r-e-a-t offensive line..

NE is a very, very old team in NFL terms. that defense belongs in an assisted living facility. they've lost some key players, losing Asanti will definitely hurt..

They still are one of the best teams in the NFL, don't get me wrong..

but they can't run the ball, they've lost speed at the WR position ( Stallworth), they have TE problems, they have an O-line that gave up WAY too many sacks in the playoffs, they're coming off a devastating SB loss and the spying stuff just won't go away..

However, they do play a weak schedule in 2008, but will that be enough?!

 
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pizzatyme said:
I stopped reading after he called the Colts DE Josh Thomas underrated. Josh Thomas is average at best! My cat can generate more pressure on a QB than Thomas can.He is porous against the run as well. He'll be lucky to make the rotation this year.Colts addressed this need in the draft.
How did they address it in the draft? Didnt they spend all of their draft picks on centers?
 
My only complaint is the joke that is having the Jets and Buffalo tagged well ahead of Houston/Tenn. Umm, that AFC South is actually...you know...good. And the AFC East is, :rant: :thumbup: to say the least.

Edit: sorry, just now realized I wrote "AFC" instead of "AFC South"

 
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My only complaint is the joke that is having the Jets and Buffalo tagged well ahead of Houston/Tenn. Umm, that AFC is actually...you know...good. And the AFC East is, :X ;) to say the least.
He's got 3 NFC South teams ahead of the Titans and Texans too. Both those teams won 3 out of 4 vs their NFC South opponents last year (Tenn lost by 3 to Tampa.) The AFC South MANHANDLED the NFC South last year, drop CAR, NO & Tampa down.
 
I stopped reading after he called the Colts DE Josh Thomas underrated. Josh Thomas is average at best! My cat can generate more pressure on a QB than Thomas can.He is porous against the run as well. He'll be lucky to make the rotation this year.Colts addressed this need in the draft.
How did they address it in the draft? Didnt they spend all of their draft picks on centers?
Marcus Howard OLB that will move to DE in the Colts scheme. He is in the mold of Mathis.
 

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