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Rick Gosselin's first 2010 power rankings


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http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/football/cowboys/stories/061410dnspogosselinnflrankings.3a223bc.html

Eight of the last 11 Super Bowl losers failed to qualify for the playoffs the following season. None of those eight, however, had Peyton Manning as their quarterback.

So don't look for the Indianapolis Colts to take a step backward in 2010 despite that heart-thumping Super Bowl defeat to the New Orleans Saints.

The Colts were the NFL's best team last season with a 14-2 record. Manning was the league's best player, capturing the MVP award a record fourth time.

The Colts reached the Super Bowl despite the absence of Pro Bowl safety Bob Sanders for 17 of the team's 19 games because of a torn biceps muscle. Indianapolis also played 18 games without starting wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez, and starting cornerbacks Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden combined to suit up for only 16 of a possible 38 games.

Still, the Colts won their first 14 games to claim the AFC's home-field advantage. Indianapolis then shut it down, losing the final two games of the regular season while playing their reserves. The Colts then paddled both wild-card teams – Baltimore and the Jets – to reach the Super Bowl.

Now Sanders, the NFL's 2007 Defensive Player of the Year, is back. So is Gonzalez, who caught 57 passes in 2008, as is Hayden. Indianapolis used its first-round draft pick to add yet another undersized speed pass rusher – TCU's Jerry Hughes. He's a future Pro Bowler in Indy's defensive scheme.

On paper, the Colts are a better team than the squad that finished 16-3 a year ago and took a lead into the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. That makes Indianapolis the favorite to win it all in 2010. So put the Colts atop The News' annual off-season rankings.

No team has played a Super Bowl on its home field. The Colts are a year away from having that opportunity when Indianapolis hosts the 2014 Super Bowl. But the Cowboys have that chance this season.

The defending NFC East champions finished second in the NFL in offense last season and allowed the fewest points in the NFC on defense.

So pencil in a Colts-Cowboys Super Bowl in February.

1. Indianapolis

The Colts were the AFC's best team a year ago despite getting nothing from their running game (No. 32 in NFL) and a disappointing 34 sacks from a pass rush that features two Pro Bowl edge rushers (Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis). Peyton Manning had to shoulder more of the burden than usual, and he responded. He used 2009 to develop two young wideouts into playmakers (Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon) and led seven fourth-quarter, come-from-behind victories. The Colts also overcame 65 games lost by starters because of injury to win the AFC.

Final 2009 ranking: 2

2. Dallas

Only the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints had a more prolific offense than the Cowboys in 2009. The arrival of WR Dez Bryant gives the Cowboys the best offense in the NFL. QB Tony Romo, HB Marion Barber, WRs Miles Austin and Roy Williams and TE Jason Witten all have been to Pro Bowls, and first-round draft picks Bryant and HB Felix Jones have Pro Bowl potential. The Cowboys will need all of that to survive a schedule that includes games at Indianapolis, Green Bay, Houston and Minnesota. The Saints also visit Cowboys Stadium.

Final 2009 ranking: 5

3. Baltimore

The Ravens have always won with defense. They reached the AFC semifinals last season with the NFL's third-ranked defense and figure to be even stronger in 2010 with the additions of pass rusher Sergio Kindle and nose tackle Terrence Cody with their first two draft picks. But the offense is no longer just a spare tire – not with the emergence of Ray Rice as a Pro Bowl running back and the arrival of WR Anquan Boldin this offseason in trade. They will help accelerate the development of QB Joe Flacco, who passed for 3,613 yards last season.

Final 2009 ranking: 11

4. Green Bay

The Packers finished sixth in the NFL in offense and second in defense last season with the youngest roster in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers emerged as a Pro Bowl quarterback, and Green Bay re-emerged as a playoff contender, winning seven of its final eight games to qualify as a wild card. Twenty-one of the 22 starters return with only Aaron Kampman defecting in free agency. First-round draft pick Bryan Bulaga bolsters the blocking front.

Final 2009 ranking: 6

5. San Diego

LaDainian Tomlinson was the face of the franchise for the last decade. But he left this off-season after averaging only 3.3 yards per carry and gained a career-low 730 yards. The Chargers had already transitioned to a pass-first attack with Pro Bowl QB Philip Rivers and went 13-3 in 2009 with that approach. San Diego used a first-round draft pick on RB Ryan Mathews to balance the attack.

Final 2009 ranking: 3

6. Minnesota

Pencil Brett Favre in at quarterback. Officially, he remains undecided on his future. Unofficially, Favre underwent ankle surgery last month to restore his mobility. Don't look for Favre to walk away from football following a 4,202-yard, 33-TD passing season. But he's 40. When do his wheels start to wobble? The 21 other starters are back from a team that finished 12-4 and played into overtime in the NFC title game. This team has unfinished business.

Final 2009 ranking: 4

7. Atlanta

The Falcons return all 22 starters from a 9-7 team, and young QB Matt Ryan has another year under his belt. A healthy RB Michael Turner will energize the NFL's 16th-ranked offense; he missed five games because of injury last season. Coach Mike Smith addressed the NFL's 21st-ranked defense by signing CB Dunta Robinson in free agency and using his first two draft picks on that side of the ball (OLB Sean Weatherspoon, DT Corey Peters).

Final 2009 ranking: 15

8. New Orleans

The Saints enjoyed a magical season in 2009 – starting with a 13-game chase of perfection and finishing with a first-ever Super Bowl championship. But can New Orleans rebottle that magic? Offensively the Saints will be fine with Drew Brees at the controls. But defensively the Saints took a hit with the free-agent defection of LB Scott Fujita.

Final 2009 ranking: 1

9. Houston

The Texans have never made the playoffs in their eight years of existence. But Houston has strung together three consecutive nonlosing seasons, highlighted by a 9-7 finish in 2009. The Texans have a Top 5 offense, featuring the game's best WR in Andre Johnson, and some defensive standouts in DE Mario Williams, LBs DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing and SS Bernard Pollard.

Final 2009 ranking: 13

10. NY Jets

The Jets reached the AFC title game last season with a rookie quarterback. They are sparing no expense to take the next step, signing RB LaDainian Tomlinson and DE Jason Taylor and trading for WR Santonio Holmes and CB Antonio Cromartie. Gone is 1,400-yard rusher Thomas Jones, which will put greater pressure on QB Mark Sanchez.

Final 2009 ranking: 12

11. New England

Tom Brady is still taking the snaps, but the Patriots have become vulnerable. They have slipped from 16 victories in 2007 to 11 in 2008 to 10 in 2009. Age has caught up with the Patriots, and perennial Pro Bowlers Richard Seymour, Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel and Asante Samuel have moved on.

Final 2009 ranking: 10

12. Cincinnati

Mike Brown can't resist signing troubled-but-

talented players. Last season, the Bengals added RB Cedric Benson and DT Tank Johnson and won a division title. This off-season Cincinnati signed WR Antonio Bryant and CB Pacman Jones. But it's QB Carson Palmer and CBs Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph who lead a contender.

Final 2009 ranking: 8

13. NY Giants

Last October, the Giants were 5-0 and looking every bit the best team in the NFL. But a 3-8 finish left them out of the playoffs. So which team is the real Giants? The defense collapsed, so New York sought some patches by drafting DE Jason Pierre-Paul and signing safety Antrel Rolle.

Final 2009 ranking: 20

14. Tennessee

The ball is back in the sometimes shaky hands of QB Vince Young, but bank on the Titans calling plenty of handoffs to get the ball into the hands of NFL rushing champ Chris Johnson. The Titans took steps to improve their 28th-ranked defense by drafting pass rusher Derrick Morgan and signing LB Will Witherspoon.

Final 2009 ranking: 18

15. Miami

The Dolphins needed some dramatic moves this off-season to close the gap on New England and New York in the AFC East. So Miami traded for mercurial WR Brandon Marshall and signed veteran Pro Bowl LB Karlos Dansby in free agency. But the continued development of QB Chad Henne will determine if the Dolphins can contend.

Final 2009 ranking: 21

16. Philadelphia

Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook carried the Philadelphia offense most of the 2000 decade. Both are gone. Kevin Kolb replaces McNabb and LeSean McCoy takes over for Westbrook. Coach Andy Reid bolstered the rest of his roster with 13 draft picks, including elite pass rusher Brandon Graham and versatile safety Nate Allen.

Final 2009 ranking: 7

17. San Francisco

Mike Singletary has the 49ers pointed in the right direction for the first time in a long time. All 22 starters are back from an 8-8 team, and the 49ers will be bigger and more physical up front with top two draft picks OT Anthony Davis and G Mike Iupati. Free-agent CBs William James and Karl Paymah bolster the pass defense.

Final 2009 ranking: 17

18. Pittsburgh

The Steelers are growing old on defense and must play at least the first four games of the season without franchise QB Ben Roethlisberger because of an NFL suspension for violation of the personal-conduct policy. Pittsburgh will try to re-establish its identity as a running team.

Final 2009 ranking: 14

19. Carolina

The long-time faces of the offense (QB Jake Delhomme) and defense (DE Julius Peppers) departed this off-season. Now the focus is on RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. The Panthers will go as far as their legs can carry them. Matt Moore replaces Delhomme until rookie Jimmy Clausen is ready.

Final 2009 ranking: 16

20. Arizona

The Cardinals were a perennial noncontender before QB Kurt Warner arrived. He promptly delivered them back-to-back division titles and a first-ever Super Bowl appearance. But Warner retired, turning the offense over to Matt Leinart. How valuable is a franchise quarterback to a team? We'll find out.

Final 2009 ranking: 9

21. Buffalo

The Bills hired Chan Gailey as head coach and gave him a dynamic offensive weapon in first-round draft pick C.J. Spiller. The NFL's 30th-ranked run defense will be bigger up front with the signing of ILB Andra Davis in free agency and the drafting of DLs Torell Troop and Alex Carrington.

Final 2009 ranking: 24

22. Chicago

The Bears made the biggest splash in free agency, signing Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers. But it will go for naught if QB Jay Cutler doesn't reduce his turnovers (a league-high 26 interceptions). The Bears hired Mike Martz as offensive coordinator to straighten Cutler out.

Final 2009 ranking: 23

23. Jacksonville

Defensive deficiencies cost the Jaguars in 2009 so they restocked the front seven. Jacksonville drafted DE Tyson Alualu in the first round, traded for MLB Kirk Morrison and signed former Pro Bowl pass rusher Aaron Kampman.

Final 2009 ranking: 22

24. Detroit

Coach Jim Schwartz addressed the offense in his first season by drafting QB Matthew Stafford and TE Brandon Pettigrew. This season, the focus is on defense. The Lions drafted DT Ndamukong Suh and signed Pro Bowl DE Kyle Vanden Bosch.

Final 2009 ranking: 31

25. Washington

The Redskins will be an old team this season. Veteran Pro Bowlers Donovan McNabb, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker have been added to the roster along with former first-round draft picks Philip Buchanan, Adam Carriker, Joey Galloway and Vonnie Holliday.

Final 2009 ranking: 29

26. Denver

In Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow, the Broncos have unprecedented depth at quarterback. But Denver traded away two of its three leading receivers in WR Brandon Marshall and TE Tony Scheffler. An old secondary isn't getting any younger.

Final 2009 ranking: 19

27. Kansas City

Aspiring to be the Patriots, the Chiefs hired New England personnel director Scott Pioli as GM. In 2010, the Chiefs hired two coordinators who helped the Patriots win Super Bowls – Charlie Weis on offense and Romeo Crennel on defense.

Final 2009 ranking: 26

28. Seattle

Pete Carroll was a tremendous success in the college game. At Southern Cal, he could recruit the nation's best players and stack All-Americas two-deep. But he could recruit 25 players each year in college. He only gets to draft seven each April in the NFL.

Final 2009 ranking: 28

29. Cleveland

New president Mike Holmgren brings a rich history of aerial success to a franchise that has historically succeeded running the football. The Browns will have to run out of necessity in 2010 with aging Jake Delhomme at quarterback.

Final 2009 ranking: 25

30. Tampa Bay

QB Josh Freeman gives the Bucs a chance on offense and rookie defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price give them hope on defense. But a young team and the NFL's youngest head coach will continue to struggle in 2010.

Final 2009 ranking: 30

31. Oakland

JaMarcus Russell is out and another disappointing first-round quarterback is in. After cutting Russell, the Raiders acquired Jason Campbell in a fire sale from the Redskins. Oakland will again wear out the NFL's best punter – Shane Lechler.

Final 2009 ranking: 27

32. St. Louis

The selection of former Heisman Trophy-winning QB Sam Bradford was a great move for the future of the franchise. But rookie quarterbacks tend to struggle. Troy Aikman went 0-11 as a rookie and Peyton Manning 3-13.

Final 2009 ranking: 32

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Respected as in he doesn't know football?

I am sorry, but until someone beats the Saints they are number 1 you can't even argue about it. They man handled the Colts and both are bringing back most of their starters.

Once again ******** ranking.

Falcons should be 10 or 9, you can't say since they are bring back injured players that never seen the field and classify them as super stars.

Not knocking them, just stating the truth.

Edited by Laugher
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Respected as in he doesn't know football?

I am sorry, but until someone beats the Saints they are number 1 you can't even argue about it. They man handled the Colts and both are bringing back most of their starters.

Once again ******** ranking.

Falcons should be 10 or 9, you can't say since they are bring back injured players that never seen the field and classify them as super stars.

Not knocking them, just stating the truth.

Wow. I think Rich is high. Putting the Aints at 8? They won the Superbowl, until otherwise addressed, they are the team to beat. Riding Peyton's jock like a pony, disgusting. And don't get me started with Dallas.

I think that it is justifable why he has the Saints listed where they are listed, and I agree that they dont deserve a #1 ranking even if they won the superbowl, they got alot of breaks last year, and Laughter they didnt man handle the colts, they barely beat the Colts, it was a close game.

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I think that it is justifable why he has the Saints listed where they are listed, and I agree that they dont deserve a #1 ranking even if they won the superbowl, they got alot of breaks last year, and Laughter they didnt man handle the colts, they barely beat the Colts, it was a close game.

What game were you were watching man? The Saints held the ball most of the game. The Colts got many breaks last season also. The Patriots 4th down try on their 30 yard line come on now. They almost lost to the 49'ers, the Saints beat the Jets just like the Colts. The Texans were beating the Colts for 3/4 quarters, but for lucky breaks the Colts won. Football is won on lucky breaks, every team has them.

The Saints won fair and square and until proven otherwise they are number 1. You can have a hatred for the Saints all you want, but when the Falcons went to the SB, you mean to tell me they didn't have lucky breaks?

Edited by Laugher
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Cowboys are a solid #2 IMO. I also agree the Saints shouldn't get number one. There is a great argument as to why they should be top 5 but not number 1. They lost Fujita and Sharper won't be the same after microfracture. HUGE loss.

I don't read to much into anyone's pwr ranking, no matter their reputation. The only one that matters is the one at the end of year.

Edited by vabchbirdlover
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What game were you were watching man? The Saints held the ball most of the game. The Colts got many breaks last season also. The Patriots 4th down try on their 30 yard line come on now. They almost lost to the 49'ers, the Saints beat the Jets just like the Colts. The Texans were beating the Colts for 3/4 quarters, but for lucky breaks the Colts won. Football is won on lucky breaks, every team has them.

The Saints won fair and square and until proven otherwise they are number 1. You can have a hatred for the Saints all you want, but when the Falcons went to the SB, you mean to tell me they didn't have lucky breaks?

YOu must be a Saints FAn, because the superbowl was a close game, it was no beat down by either team.

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Respected as in he doesn't know football?

I am sorry, but until someone beats the Saints they are number 1 you can't even argue about it. They man handled the Colts and both are bringing back most of their starters.

Once again ******** ranking.

Falcons should be 10 or 9, you can't say since they are bring back injured players that never seen the field and classify them as super stars.

Not knocking them, just stating the truth.

Ever heard of Michael Turner? He missed 5 games last season... and don't forget about Ryan missing a couple of games. I think you were referring to Jerry and Moore. They have never seen the field but I bet both will have a very good impact this season if they stay healthy.

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Ever heard of Michael Turner? He missed 5 games last season... and don't forget about Ryan missing a couple of games. I think you were referring to Jerry and Moore. They have never seen the field but I bet both will have a very good impact this season if they stay healthy.

Yes I know them every team has injuries, sorry you lost them, with them who knows you would have won another game and got into the playoffs.

Bottom line you didn't, not knocking them, but everyteam has injuries, it's called tackle football not 2 hand touch. we had all three of our rb's miss 2 games a piece. Half our starting defense miss half the games, but we found a way to win. Of course I was talking about Moore and Perry, Perry's injury is a tough one to come back from, but just like your not worried, we aren't worried about Sharper because hes helping Jenkins at FS.

Thing is the Saints should be #1 until beaten.

Edited by Laugher
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Gosselin just doesnt know football.

Pumping out those 8 kids and doing that terrible reality tv show must have given her brain damage.

I mean, come on, who with eight kids has time to really study football? She needs to strap

on the pads and get out there with the big boys. Can you see her coming across the middle as WR?

WHAP!!! DeCoud would knock her out. I mean, she was in pretty good shape when she did that

"Dancing with the Stars" bullcrap, but she's nowhere near football shape. Maybe we should bring in

the Octo-mom and let those two go at it like sumo wrestlers in the trenches. Can you imagine....

Huh?....Who?.....RICK Gosselin???

Who the **** is Rick Gosselin? :rolleyes:

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nobody should. Its just good offseason discussion. But all power ranks dont have the same clout

Really, I assume by that you mean this guy's is a more accurate/realistic predictor?

Don't know bout that. Just saying that trying to rank teams before TC/preason games is a

crap shoot, at best. FWIW - The following link from 1 yr ago is from your very own,

Rick Gosselin:

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/stories/061109dnspogooseranks.44197ec.html

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What game were you were watching man? The Saints held the ball most of the game. The Colts got many breaks last season also. The Patriots 4th down try on their 30 yard line come on now. They almost lost to the 49'ers, the Saints beat the Jets just like the Colts. The Texans were beating the Colts for 3/4 quarters, but for lucky breaks the Colts won. Football is won on lucky breaks, every team has them.

The Saints won fair and square and until proven otherwise they are number 1. You can have a hatred for the Saints all you want, but when the Falcons went to the SB, you mean to tell me they didn't have lucky breaks?

Im pretty sure thats not the breaks hes talking about. The NE 4th and 3 wasnt a break, it was a play by their (Colts) defense. It has nothing to do with getting a break. And just because a team has a better T.O.P doesnt mean they dominated the game. Right up until the pick 6 by Peyton the game was close. At no point before that could any person say the Saints won the game.

And why bring up the Colts "almost" losing to the 49ers? You "almost" lost to the Dolphins and Redskins while losing to Tampa. "Come on man" :rolleyes:

Yes I know them every team has injuries, sorry you lost them, with them who knows you would have won another game and got into the playoffs.

Bottom line you didn't, not knocking them, but everyteam has injuries, it's called tackle football not 2 hand touch. we had all three of our rb's miss 2 games a piece. Half our starting defense miss half the games, but we found a way to win. Of course I was talking about Moore and Perry, Perry's injury is a tough one to come back from, but just like your not worried, we aren't worried about Sharper because hes helping Jenkins at FS.

Thing is the Saints should be #1 until beaten.

And the Saints should just be crowned number one because they won the Super Bowl? So if during the offseason Brees and Sharper decide to retire and Colston demands a trade they should still be number one no matter what? Dosent make much sense to me. Teams get better or worse during the offseason.

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LOL, I do however think that Gosselin probably added a little bit more explanation as to why he has them ranked the way he does, but all in all powers rankings have no merit.

Power rankings are a desperate attemtpt to make a conversation when there is nothing going on to talk about. I can dig it. But they are completely worthless.

As for this guy's reasoning - let me tell you something about Scott Fujita. That guy is about as dime a dozen as it comes in this league. We are talking about as average as a football player comes. Being on a Super Bowl champion suddenly makes guys look better than they are. This guy is nothing special, at all.

So, the idea that losing Scott Fujita could be the main reason that the Saints go from the best team in the league, and make no mistake, they were the best team in the league last year, to the 8th best team, well, sorry, I don't respect this guy's opinion because it is STUPID.

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Power rankings are a desperate attemtpt to make a conversation when there is nothing going on to talk about. I can dig it. But they are completely worthless.

As for this guy's reasoning - let me tell you something about Scott Fujita. That guy is about as dime a dozen as it comes in this league. We are talking about as average as a football player comes. Being on a Super Bowl champion suddenly makes guys look better than they are. This guy is nothing special, at all.

So, the idea that losing Scott Fujita could be the main reason that the Saints go from the best team in the league, and make no mistake, they were the best team in the league last year, to the 8th best team, well, sorry, I don't respect this guy's opinion because it is STUPID.

I dont think that is the main reason, I think overall it was a decent article with good reason, especially the top 10

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I dont think that is the main reason, I think overall it was a decent article with good reason, especially the top 10

I just think the guy is out of his mind. He says the addition of Dez Bryant gives the Cowboys the best offense in the NFL? The Cowboys were 2nd in yardage last year, but they were 14th in the league in points scored. Does Dez Bryant really make the Cowboys offense the best in the league? Is he going to close that 149 point gap between the Cowboys and Saints offense all by his lonesome? I don't know.

By the way, where does this clown work anyway?

Edited by Peyton
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I just think the guy is out of his mind. He says the addition of Dez Bryant gives the Cowboys the best offense in the NFL? The Cowboys were 2nd in yardage last year, but they were 14th in the league in points scored. Does Dez Bryant really make the Cowboys offense the best in the league? Is he going to close that 149 point gap between the Cowboys and Saints offense all by his lonesome? I don't know.

By the way, where does this clown work anyway?

Writer for the Dalass morning news :ph34r:

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