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NFL Power Rankings has Jets No. 1 pre-training camp


RFlagg
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When you do your first set of NFL power rankings as training camps open, the tendency is to make it an exercise in looking backward, at the season that wrapped up almost six months ago. After all, what else do we have to judge by other than the most recent games and results?

But of course that's all wrong. At this time of year we should be looking forward, and trying to figure out where the NFL landscape has changed without any games -- other than the hiring, firing and personnel acquisition kind -- having been played.

So here's an early attempt to divine the relative strengths and weaknesses of teams as they report to camp, and keep in mind these aren't predictions of what will be in 2010 as much as they're a snapshot of where I perceive teams are right now in late July. As always, your results may vary. Of that I'm sure. (2009 records in parentheses.)

NFL Pre-Training Camp Power Rankings

1. New York Jets (2009 record: 9-7)

Normally I'm not the type to buy the hype, but with the Jets so clearly going all-in when it comes to their 2010 season, why not play along and add to the self-created pressure on which Rex Ryan and his players seem to thrive? Let's see if they thrive on it this year. That'll be the tricky part. Handling all the Super Bowl expectations that come with a roster built to win -- and win big -- now. Of this much we are certain: After the offseason personnel spree they went on, the Jets mercifully can't trot out that tired no respect/underdog spiel they rode so far last season.

2. New Orleans Saints (13-3)

If I had to, I could probably come up with some very cogent reasons why the Saints will never duplicate their success of 2009 as defending Super Bowl champions. For starters, few teams repeat these days. But there was nothing all that fluky about the Saints winning last season, so I don't see them suffering anything resembling the classic post-Super swoon. As camp convenes, I believe there's not a more confident squad in the league than Sean Payton's club, and I think New Orleans is going to ride that wave for quite a while longer.

3. Baltimore Ravens (9-7)

I liked almost everything about the Ravens offseason, from Anquan Boldin signing in March to Marc Bulger signing in June as a potentially shrewd insurance policy on the health of Joe Flacco. But what really has caught my ear is the sense of urgency that prevails on Baltimore's roster. It's a hungry team, with an intriguing blend of youth and experience in almost all of the right spots. Bigger things are in store this year for the Ravens than just the AFC's sixth seed in the playoffs and another January road trip.

4. Indianapolis Colts (14-2)

I can hear the Colts fans now: How can the Jets and Ravens, two teams Indy beat soundly in the AFC playoffs in January, start this season ranked ahead of the defending AFC champs? It's a fair point, and yes, I did see both of those games, thanks for asking. All I can say is that was then and this is now. The Colts' Super Bowl window isn't closed, so let's not overreact. And I'm not making the same mistake I made last preseason, believing that Indy would finally miss the playoffs. But I don't see where the Colts really improved this offseason, and the status quo can sometimes be the enemy in the NFL.

5. Green Bay Packers (11-5)

I like the Packers and I like them a lot, even though I strangely don't hear a ton of optimism coming from the Cheesehead fans I live amongst these days in Madison. True, there's not enough pass rush on hand and the age and health of Green Bay's cornerbacks is worrisome. But if the Pack can protect Aaron Rodgers, this team is going to score enough to overcome a lot of its issues. As the Saints proved last season, a high-scoring offense and opportunistic defense can earn you a parade.

6. San Diego Chargers (13-3)

Can't see the Broncos, Raiders or Chiefs making the Chargers sweat out the division title and that means San Diego will be back knocking on the door again in January. For all its talent, this is a team that needs to grow some guts in the playoffs, because the Bolts can't be wasting 11-game winning streaks against a lesser opponent like last year's 9-7 Jets. I'm looking for big things from rookie running back Ryan Mathews in San Diego, and it says here he'll produce from day one.

7. Minnesota Vikings (12-4)

Brad Childress's team has improved by two wins in each of the past three seasons, but that's an impressive trend that's about to end. The Vikings with Brett Favre back under center will again be capable of beating anyone. But I detect the balance of power in the NFC North shifting east toward Green Bay.

8. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)

If you're a Cowboys fan, you'd better hope Wade Phillips's guys don't get all caught up in the chatter about Dallas trying to become the first team to play a Super Bowl on its home field. Don't go there until its time to hoist the NFC title trophy. They'll be plenty of time to beat that topic to death after that. The Cowboys only concern should be building on last year's success, and popping in a tape of that playoff meltdown at Minnesota should be all the motivation they need.

9. Atlanta Falcons (9-7)

I wasn't surprised the Falcons look a step back last season after their big 2008, but I'm equally convinced the pieces are back in place for a rebound playoff run this year. Atlanta plays New Orleans very tough, and with a sense of health restored this year, the Falcons have the kind of talented roster that could cause a lot of problems for the defending champs in the NFC South.

10. New England Patriots (10-6)

The days of the vaunted Patriots being able to win six or seven games a year just by throwing their Flying Elvis-festooned helmets on the field are over. Perhaps they've never really been the same since the Giants peeled back the green curtain on them in the Super Bowl a few years back. But swagger or no swagger, the cupboard isn't exactly bare in New England. They've still got some playmakers, but the reality is they just don't do all the same little things that consistently added up to victory after victory.

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Isnt this Don Banks' power rankings? Hes from SI, not NFL.com. Like his colleauge, Peter King, hes a f**king moron. He says he doesnt "buy the hype" for the Jets, but this is the same guy that put the Packers #1 last year because of their pre-season efforts.

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The Jets are doing exactly what Washington, Oakland and Dallas have been doing for years - buying every big name in the league and trying to Yankee their way to a championship.

Funny, but most of the teams who have won the SB in the last decade have built their teams using a recipe of young, intelligent, talented draft selections and sparsely sprinkled with solid veteran talent and leadership through free agency.

We'll see if the Jets are more successful than Snyder, Jones and Davis with this approach. I'm curious to see how their year turns out.

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LOL I cant wait to see how they react when the jets fail.

My thoughts exactly, especially with Darrelle Revis, David Harris, & Nick Mangold all threatening to hold out if they don't get new deals. Not to mention LT coming in and thinking he should be the starting RB after the team dropped Thomas Jones. I just see too much turmoil, not to mention an overrated Mark Sanchez, for this team to be good.

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The Jets are doing exactly what Washington, Oakland and Dallas have been doing for years - buying every big name in the league and trying to Yankee their way to a championship.

Funny, but most of the teams who have won the SB in the last decade have built their teams using a recipe of young, intelligent, talented draft selections and sparsely sprinkled with solid veteran talent and leadership through free agency.

We'll see if the Jets are more successful than Snyder, Jones and Davis with this approach. I'm curious to see how their year turns out.

^^^^This! ;)

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The Jets are loaded... ON NAMES! Sanchez is not that good of a QB and will definitely slump this year. Braylon Edwards is worse then Jenkins, Jericho is their #2 WR for the first 4 games until Holmes returns. Ok not real intimidating. Shonn Greene may have had a good year spelling Thomas Jones last year but I don't think he is ready to carry the load and it pains me to see LT struggle this much. Disgruntled OLinemen spell trouble. Yea they have a good defense but we still beat them in NY. Cromartie is a big name but not a big player. Scared of contact. Kyle Wilson will eventually take that spot. Leonard is a good safety but who is opposite him? And adding Jason Taylor at 35 years old isn't saying much. Just as much as trying to land 36 year old T.O. If Super Bowls are won by the names of the players, then the Jets have won... this offseason. But just like DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said, they are staring 8-8 in the face (9-7 if somebody lays down again)

I think we are the 5th best team in the NFC as of now because you automatically have to put the Saints ahead of is. Midseason I see us ahead of NO and challenging for the #1 seed. Not homerism but we have an ideal schedule and should capitalize on it.

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I'm not buying the Jets hype .....I don't think Sanchez is near ready to lead them to the promised land ...

I agree. He showed a few (very few) flashes last year. The problem is that only two teams in the last decade (Ravens and'05 Steelers )have one with sub par QB play. And those teams had dominate defenses. Jets Defense is great but I am not willing to say they are dominant just yet.

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So, with Ryan (and Flacco) all they could talk about was 'sophomore slump' in thier 2nd seasons but with

Sanchez it's Superbowl? :rolleyes:

The Jets will be good, but i give most of that credit to the defense and Rex Ryan.

I dont see them as a #1 ranked team, and i dont see them #1 after the season is over either.

Thier schedule is pretty tough this year vs. the NFC North.

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So, with Ryan (and Flacco) all they could talk about was 'sophomore slump' in thier 2nd seasons but with

Sanchez it's Superbowl? :rolleyes:

The Jets will be good, but i give most of that credit to the defense and Rex Ryan.

I dont see them as a #1 ranked team, and i dont see them #1 after the season is over either.

Thier schedule is pretty tough this year vs. the NFC North.

I look for a solid Jets defense, but Dirty Sanchez is not a 5 year veteran, and the league

has learned his tendencies.

Their defense and running game is the glue to this team.

I say 8-8 season.

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Original Article

But there was nothing all that fluky about the Saints winning last season, so I don't see them suffering anything resembling the classic post-Super swoon.

Oh really?

Check their turnover ratio and ask yourself if you think a +11 can be pulled down by the Saints again. After discarding the outliers (GB and Phi) the Saints were sitting at the top of the league. Thats awfully high for a team based around offensive superiority. If you ask me, they had tons of breaks go their way in that department. Luck or not, thats one of the key factors in them dominating the league last season.

It wont happen again. That writer needs to check the definition of "fluky" again and put more thought into the point he is trying to make.

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Don Banks is a tool box....

The Jets don't belong any higher than we do......they're looking at an 8-8 +/-1 season.

They made it to the AFC Championship game with a rookie QB and the best defense in the league.

Give your head a shake, unbelievable. We have back to back winning seasons and people act like we're a contender.

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They made it to the AFC Championship game with a rookie QB and the best defense in the league.

Give your head a shake, unbelievable. We have back to back winning seasons and people act like we're a contender.

We? Make up your mind who you root for:

Atlanta+Falcons+v+Carolina+Panthers+wCb8OqjQsQ7l.jpg

More of that is coming you little ******. Try not going 44 years again between having back to back winning seasons. And try selling out your stadium you pathetic fair weather bandwagon scumbags. Dogfights every Saturday at the Shitdome?

falconstampa1119-cc25.jpg

**** you, get smacked FAILcons. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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