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Saturday, July 28, 2012

NFL Preview Part 3- Power Rankings/The Playoff Teams

For Part 2 click here Power rankings part 2
For Part 1 click here Power rankings part 1

Here is the third and final part of my NFL preseason power rankings. These are the teams that will make this seasons playoffs. Book it.

#12 Carolina Panthers-  Cam Newton is poised to become a top 5 NFL QB this season. He has all of the qualities you would want in a modern NFL QB; Speed, power, arm-strength, smarts. He is is the total package. The Panthers also have a solid offensive line, and a good group of skill position players. This young team will make the playoffs this season. Especially, if they can get their defense to improve a little bit.

#11 Tennessee Titans- Running back, Chris Johnson, will rebound back to elite status this season. And along with that, the Titans will make the playoffs. This is a young team on the rise. If they had gotten anything from their running game last year, they would have made the playoffs. This year they will.

#10 San Diego Chargers- This is a make or break year for the Chargers organization. From Coach, Norv Turner, to QB Phillip Rivers, everyone is on notice in San Diego. This squad has too much talent to continue to underachieve. Look for Rivers to have an MVP type season. And for The Chargers, to win the weak AFC West Division. San Diego has the pieces to make the Super Bowl. The big question will be, can they finally put those pieces together?

#9 San Francisco 49ers- I'm not as high on this team as most people. Yes, they were a couple of fumbled punt returns from representing the NFC in last years Super Bowl. But they were also incredibly lucky during the regular season. They won a ton of close games, which has a tendency to even out the next season. The Niners should win their division, because it is filled with bad teams. But, I do not seem them making any noise in the playoffs this season.

#8 New Orleans Saints-  The Saints will be playing this season with a chip on their collective shoulders, due to the "Bounty Scandal." They will be without their Head Coach, Sean Payton, and star Line Backer, Jonathon Vilma, for the whole season. Despite those facts, I believe in Drew Brees, and the Saints offense, enough to suspect that they will win the NFC South Division. There is still a lot of talent on this team.

#7 Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers have one of the best coaches in the NFL in Mike Tomlin. Because of that, they are good every year. This is an older team, but it is hard to pick against Tomlin. They have a stout defense still. And they receive solid QB play from Ben.(If the announcers don't have to say his last name, than, I, don't have to type it.)  Of all the teams I have in the playoffs, this is the most likely team to miss out, in my opinion. The AFC is just so weak. And the Steelers always make a run, which makes it tough to count them out.

#6 Houston Texans- I'm not completely sold on the Texans. But they are clearly the best team in their division, which happens to be the worst division in the NFL. If, and this is a big if, the Texans can keep QB Mat Schaub and WR Andre Johnson healthy, they should earn a bye in the AFC. I mean, they get to play the Colts and Jaguars a combined four times. That should be four wins right there. I don't see them making a run in the playoffs though. The Ravens and Patriots are definitely better than them.

#5 Green Bay Packers- The Packers were upset at home last year in the playoffs. Despite that, they still had great season. Aaron Rodgers is the best QB in football. And they have a great all-around offense. What holds them back, is their atrocious defense. If they can shore their D up, they could be making another Super Bowl appearance. (I still hate the Packers with a passion. I think I hate the Packers, more than I like the Vikings. Clay Matthews, is the most overrated player in the league. I could go on, but I'll stop.)

Conference Championship teams-

#4 Baltimore Ravens- This may be the last year for the Ravens to make the Super Bowl. They are getting old on defense. Really old. But I can't pick against Ed Reed and Ray Lewis. Two of the best players of all-time at their respective positions. They are also both great leaders. If Joe Flacco can improve, even just a little bit. This Ravens team may finally win an AFC Championship game. Ray Rice may be the best RB in football. This team has it all. And it would not surprise me one bit, if they win the Super Bowl this season.

#3 NY Giants- The defending Super Bowl Champions. The Giants will be better this season. Remember, they were just 9-7 last year. This years edition of the Giants will be deeper than last seasons. And Eli will have the confidence of winning another Super MVP. The last time this team won the Super Bowl, they were better the following season. There is a team in their division, who may just be a tiny bit better than them though.

#2 Philadelphia Eagles- The Eagles are the most talented team in the NFL. That is a given. They have the most athletic QB(Mike Vick), the best all-around RB(LeSean McCoy), a great WR corps(DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin) and a star studded defense. This team should be competing for the Super Bowl this season. Their biggest weakness is their coach, Andy Reid. He has no idea of how to use his timeouts or manage the clock. But this team is talented enough to overcome him. What they can't overcome, is an injury to Mike Vick. If Vick can stay healthy, the Eagles have a great shot at winning the Super Bowl. Of course, Vick is injury prone. So, we will see.

#1 New England Patriots- The Patriots, runners-up last season, will be the AFC favorites. They spent this off-season loading up on defense. Which was sorely needed, as last years Patriots squad could not get off the field on third down situations. This season should be different, with the talent they have acquired on the defensive side of the ball. No one will be able to stop this offense either. The Pats' added a couple of new WR's in the summer. This should give QB Tom Brady a much needed deep threat. Which was the only thing this offense lacked last year. This team has to be the favorite to win it all this season. Brady, and coach Belichick, want to win another Super Bowl together, before their championship window closes. Especially, after last seasons disappointment in the Super Bowl. This will be a team on mission to dominate the NFL.

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