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Steve Wyche preseason Team rankings


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1. Chargers -- The Bolts run game improves with rookie Ryan Mathews, and they play just two playoff teams in the first 10 games.

2. Ravens -- WR Anquan Boldin plus RB Ray Rice plus QB Joe Flacco makes this offense as fearsome as the defense.

3. Cowboys -- This team boasts enviable depth. If it can survive its early schedule -- including a highly anticipated rematch with Minnesota in Week 1 -- watch out.

4. Colts -- The beefed up offensive line should help, and the returns of WR Anthony Gonzalez and S Bob Sanders add more firepower on both sides.

5. Packers -- A second season playing the 3-4 defense and a better offensive line with the addition of rookie tackle Bryan Bulaga make this the team to beat in the NFC North.

6. Bengals -- The defense might be the most physical in the AFC. Carson Palmer needs to regain his form. He has more wide receiver (Antonio Bryant) and tight end (Jermaine Gresham) threats.

7. Falcons -- CB Dunta Robinson and rookie LB Sean Weatherspoon change the tenor of the defense. RB Michael Turner is already in shape to return to form.

8. Saints -- Like Indy's Peyton Manning, N'awlins' Drew Brees will have the Saints in the thick of things. The O-line is really good and DE Alex Brown should improve the defensive front.

9. Vikings -- Even if Brett Favre is back, there's no telling if he'll be as money as last season. Minny has to be better in all areas, especially in the secondary.

10. Jets -- Something about all their high-profile moves seems like there's a trap door ready to sink the ship, but Rex Ryan can coach with the best of them, giving N.Y. an edge in the AFC East.

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11. Patriots -- The Pats could start slow, but by the end of the season when Wes Welker is back and some of the young players have their footing, New England could be fearsome.

12. Texans -- Losing LB Brian Cushing for four games hurts. Adding CB Kareem Jackson and RB Ben Tate helps. Matt Schaub needs to take the next step, and Houston needs to win in the division.

13. 49ers -- QB Alex Smith doesn't have to do anything great. He just can't make mistakes. If he keeps improving, San Francisco should win the NFC West.

14. Titans -- The youth movement should benefit the Titans. Some common ground needs to be found with RB Chris Johnson, otherwise his contract demands could be a distraction.

15. Giants -- Defensively New York should be better, but there aren't any assurances of that. The running game and the offensive line play could determine if this is a playoff team.

16. Dolphins -- Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan will have the defense better and unpredictable. WR Brandon Marshall will change the dynamic of the offense. QB Chad Henne is the key.

17. Eagles -- The switch to QB Kevin Kolb and the overall youth push could help chemistry but cause the team to take a step back. Not a radical one. Philly should get better as the season progresses.

18. Cardinals -- The offensive identity will turn more to the ground game to ease the pressure off Matt Leinart. Ken Whisenhunt is an excellent coach, but this transition could stall things.

19. Steelers -- S Troy Polamalu's return will re-ignite the defense, but the Big Ben/QB situation could disrupt the offense -- and team chemistry. They may miss the playoffs for the second straight year.

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20. Seahawks -- Coach Pete Carroll has re-energized the troops and QB Matt Hasselbeck is really dialed in, but there are still a lot of holes that need to be plugged.

21. Raiders -- Oakland could emerge as a playoff team, but that's if QB Jason Campbell shows that he's that type of quarterback. He's an upgrade from JaMarcus Russell, but he's still a question mark.

22. Buccaneers -- Tampa Bay could be this season's sleeper team -- if the rookies all step up. That's asking a lot. They should be a lot better, especially on offense, but not quite yet.

23. Jaguars -- Another possible sleeper. The young O-line should be better as should the offense as a whole, but the defense still is unsettled. Not good in a division where offense is king.

24. Broncos -- Forget the Tim Tebow hysteria, Denver has to fix its defense and hope that OT Ryan Clady rebounds from a knee injury. QB play, of course, is an issue.

25. Redskins -- Donovan McNabb should make the offense better, but the line is still unsettled. The change to a 3-4 defense disrupts a solid unit that doesn't have all the parts for the switch.

26. Chiefs -- A unified coaching staff and better players should help, but a lot depends on QB Matt Cassel. Rookie S Eric Berry could be a difference-maker.

27. Bears -- Jay Cutler will be much better, but will the running game and offensive line improve too? It also hurts to have defensive uncertainties in this division.

28. Lions -- A solid draft class in '09 and the potential of the '10 class, as well as some nice free-agent additions should help. They're still far away overall.

29. Browns -- Cleveland seems to have made upgrades, but you can't win if you don't have a quarterback, which they don't.

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30. Panthers -- There is bad karma in Carolina. There is still talent and a lot of gritty players, but a lame duck coach and underlying morale issues could undermine this season.

31. Rams -- First overall pick Sam Bradford is going to take some lumps, but he'll also make some plays. St. Louis still lacks too much talent.

32. Bills -- RB C.J. Spiller was a nice draft choice, and he could be a bright spot if he ever gets room to run. New coach Chan Gailey will have to work miracles to make something of this offense.

Steve Wyche must really liked what he saw when he was down here... I think we are a top 10 team anyway.

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It is interesting that the Bengals are ranked just ahead of the Falcons. We have the Falcons filter, and the Bengals are willing to give guys a second or third or fourth chance. In just this off-season they signed Antonio Bryant, Pacman Jones, and Matt Jones.

I wonder which approach will work?

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Cowboys -- This team boasts enviable depth. If it can survive its early schedule -- including a highly anticipated rematch with Minnesota in Week 1 -- watch out

lol..dont minnesota vs the saints in week 1?..dont think this guy even looked at the schedules

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lol..dont minnesota vs the saints in week 1?..dont think this guy even looked at the schedules

You are correct. He also should have looked at his own rankings before he labeled their early schedule as something they must survive.

Dallas plays @Washington week 1, then they play Chicago, @Houston, and Tennessee. In his own list, he ranked them 25, 27, 12, and 14. Average rank 19.5.

He ranked Atlanta's first four opponents 19, 18, 8, and 13. Average 14.5.

Maybe he got his notes mixed up between the Saints and the Cowboys because they Minnesota and a tough first three games, and then it gets easier. Saints first three are Minnesota (9th), 49ers (13th), and the Falcons (7th). After that early schedule they get the Pathers (30th), Arizona (18th), Tampa (22nd), and Cleveland (29th).

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(Yawn.) All these rankings show is that we are in the football doldrums and Wyche probably had a deadline to meet, so he came up with a quick list. I doubt it took Wyche more than 20 minutes to come up with this. (And having the Cowboys play the Vikings in Week 1 illustrates the careful research that went into these rankings. I'm sure this news came as a surprise to both the Vikings and Saints.) Really, unless some player does something notable in his extracurricular activities, what is there to write about football in June?

Stay tune for another staple of hack sports writers when they get stuck for an article: getting a list of the NFL draft picks of three or four seasons ago, note which late round players became stars, note which first round players became busts, and then lambast teams with, "Team X could have had star player A but instead chose bust player B." Cheapest thing a sports writer can do.

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Lol, I don't really think anything else needs to be said.

The Chargers, who have proven time and time again that they can't win in the playoffs, are #1.

The Cowboys and Packers above the Saints and Vikings?

The Saints, Super Bowl champs, being #8 after not losing anyone? lol

The Falcons, being above the Saints? Again, lol

The Jets who have added a number of pieces drop to #10?

There aren't 10 teams worse than the Raiders and Bucs.

That includes the Panthers at 30, again lol

This could possibly be, from top to bottom, the biggest joke of "power rankings" I've ever seen.

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Guest Gritz

This could possibly be, from top to bottom, the biggest joke of "power rankings" I've ever seen.

Then you didn't see Peter King's which had the Panties over the Falcons.

I wouldn't rank the Falcons over the Saints at this point.

It has to be proven on the field.........

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