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Thursday, July 26, 2012

NFL Preview Part 1- Power Rankings

With training camps beginning this week, what better time to begin previewing the 2012 NFL season. In part one, we will discuss the teams at the bottom of the NFL rung according to me. Here is part one of my NFL power rankings.

Teams playing for next year

#32 Jacksonville Jaguars- This team on paper is the worst team in the NFL. Blaine Gabbert is their presumed starting QB. He was the worst QB in the league last year.  QB, Chad Henne, formerly of the Dolphins, was brought into compete with Gabbert. So, yes, it is safe to say the Jags have the worst Qb depth of any team in the NFL. This is only the most important position in pro sports. No big deal. Jacksonville also has a new head coach in Mike Mularkey. Mularkey, did not exactly impress in his prior head coaching stint for the Buffalo Bills. Also, the Jag's best player RB Maurice Jones Drew is holding out for a new contract. And their top draft pick, WR Justin Blackmon, has yet to sign his rookie contract. But he did manage to get a DWI, right after being drafted. This has the makings of a long year for the Jaguars.

#31 Indianapolis Colts- The Colts were the worst team in the NFL last season. This team showed life at the end of the regular season though. And drafted a supposed "cant miss" prospect in QB Andrew Luck. The Colts won't be good next year. But they should be better than the Jaguars. This year is all about developing Andrew Luck.

#30 Cleveland Browns- The Browns have yet to win a playoff game since their re-birth. There is no reason to expect that to change this season. The Browns will likely have a 29 year old rookie QB leading the team. Only in Cleveland would this be attempted. They do have rookie RB Trent Richardson to help shoulder the load. All signs point to him being a stud. But, remember, this is the Cleveland Browns we're talking about. So, the chances of him being a bust are higher than if he were on any other team.

#29  Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Buc's quit on their coach last season, finishing with a 4-12 record. So, ownership decided to bring in a hard nosed coach named Greg Schiano?? Schiano, the head coach of Rutgers, couldn't even compete in the Big East. How is going to compete in the NFL? The Buc's did spend a bunch of money this off-season. So, they have that going for them. But, I don't see this team buying into Schiano's coaching style. Plus, they play in the second best division in football- the NFC South.

#28 Minnesota Vikings- This will be the third straight rebuilding year for this team. This year is all about second year QB Christian Ponder. They need him to develop into an above average QB this season. Nothing else really matters for this team. It would be nice to see improvement in the pass defense, which was the second worst in the history of the NFL last season. But Ponder's development or lack thereof, will be the story of this season for the Vikings.

# 27 St Louis Rams- The Rams had an abysmal year last season-winning just two games. Their QB, Sam Bradford, fell into a deep sophomore slump. And their defense couldn't stop anybody. I believe Bradford will bounce back this season. Also, this team plays in the worst division in football. So, they should at least be able to win some divisional games this season. This season is all about Bradford and getting him back to his rookie year form.

#26 Washington Redskins- The 'Skins have invested all of their future in rookie QB, Robert Griffin III. Trading away, a multitude of high picks to the Rams, in order, to move up in the draft and select him. Because anytime you can mortgage your future on an undersized, injury prone QB who had one good college season, you have to do it. Especially, if you're Dan Snyder.

#25 Miami Dolphins- The Dolphins had a horrible start to the season. But down the stretch, they actually played like a real football team. In fact, they were one of the better teams in the AFC the last 6-8 weeks of the season. If they can build on that this season, they may be a sleeper team in the AFC. Odds are QB Matt Moore regresses, as does RB Reggie Bush, and the Dolphins finish with 5-7 wins like usual.

 #24 Oakland Raiders- The Raiders made a terrible trade, in which, they gave away multiple high draft picks for QB Carson Palmer last season. Palmer, who hasn't been good in years, played like crap last season. This team also had to let go of many players in the off-season, because of salary cap problems. This could be another long year in Oakland.

#23 Kansas City Chiefs- The Chiefs hung around in the AFC West for far longer than they had any right to last season. With star RB, Jaamal Charles, returning from injury, the Chiefs should be better, right? Well, they hired Romeo Crennel as their head-coach. So, all bets are off on this team. Crennel, is one of the worst head coaches, I have ever seen.

#22 Seattle Seahawks- The Seahawks are an improving team, who appear to be just a year away from being an NFC playoff contender. They might even sneak into a wildcard spot if they get consistent QB play from Matt Flynn. What worries me about that scenario, if I were a Seahawks fan? Flynn, has yet to be named the starter. And their are rumblings, that Tarvaris Jackson out-performed him in minicamp. If you've seen Jackson play QB before, you know that is not a good sign for Flynn's future success.

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