NFC Preseason Rankings
Well, it looks football is just around the corner. Time for Dante's NFC Divisional Rankings. Just to prove I don't have any sort of East Coast bias (even though I do), I'm going to start with the NFC West:
1. Seattle Seahawks - I don't like putting an NFC Super Bowl team at #1 due to their spotty season afters lately but they've been selling fake Arizona hype for so long that I just can't buy it again this year.
2. Arizona Cardinals - Like I've already said above, on paper this team looks better this year than they probably ever have but I'm not buying into it. I do put them at #2 though for reasons outlined below.
3. St Louis Rams - I expect the Rams to do some good things in the next few years now that they have a coach that actually cares about defense instead of just making them the whipping boy but it'll take some time. They're still better than...
4. San Francisco 49ers - This team is bad and it's not getting better any time soon. Alex Smith will be an NFL bust but that won't matter because the rest of the team is so pitiful nobody will notice.
1. Chicago Bears - The Bears will only be hurt by the health of Rex Grossman, but that's ok because he hasn't played a full season yet and he's not going to this year. He'll break his leg eating a ham sandwich and be out for 12 weeks. Their defense is top notch and isn;t going to get worse any time soon.
2. Green Bay Packers - Brett Farve will have a terrible year but so will the rest of this division.
3. Minnesota Vikings - Well, at least they got rid of any talent the team has ever had over the last two to three years so when they lose a lot of games, they have an excuse.
4. Detroit Lions - I couldn't for the life of me remember the other NFC Norht team. I had to look the Lions up on ESPN because I was drawing a blank. They're that good.
1. Atlanta Falcons - It's an odd-numbered year. That's all Atlanta needs to do well. There are so many question marks in this division. It'll probably be one fo the more competitive divisions this year. Mora has finally figured out the only way to win with Vick is bulk up the defense at all costs, even if it means ignoring the offense somewhat. I think it's a sound strategy and will pay off when Vick's inevitable injury comes.
2. Carolina Panthers - They would be #1 but I just don't see them getting the run support they need out of their oft injured running backs. If one of their running backs can stay healthy, they can easily be #1.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - I get the idea that Gruden just doesn't care as much now that he's won a Super Bowl. I like Sims (which is interesting because I was firmly pro-Applewhite) but he still has a long way to go. He does have great support around him. Maybe Buick (he's not a Caddy in NFL terms just yet) can string together an entire season without getting tired now that he's had a full year of NFL training under his belt.
4. LA Saints - There's a reason San Diego was willing to give up Brees for some guy who's barely played. The Saints will figure it out sooner or later in the season. They're still not back to pre-hurricane condition and they weren't exactly great then. It also won't help that their first game back in their own stadium will be against a team that owns them. If they can win that game they might be able to climb out of #4. If not, it's the same old story with the Saints.
1. Dallas Cowboys - I hate TO. He's a good player though and he has some stiff competition from Glenn. It's going to be hard to cover both of them. There are finally enough passing targets that Dallas can get a good running game going. And defense hasn't been a big issue in Dallas as long as the offense is productive.
2. NY Giants - Eli Manning and Brandon Jacobs are only going to get better. This is a tough division but I think the Giants have enough youth and enough experience on this team to make things happen.
3. Washinton Redskins - The Redskins are a good team but they're saddled with quaterbacks who are either too old, too green, or just plain awful. This is not the year for the Redskins to excel. They'll do the same thing they did last year: start with a bang, suck in the middle, and pick it back up in the end.
4. Philadelphia Eagles - That team needed TO and after they lost him they didn't do much to replace him. That leaves the Eagles in trouble. This is probably going to be the most talented division in the NFC this year and the Eagles will be the odd man out.