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ESPN Training Camp power rankings

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by PackisBack, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. PackisBack

    PackisBack Cheesehead

    Jul 1, 2010
    Im just going to post my opinion on the top ten teams for fear of writing a novel that's all speculation anyway.

    1. Colts: Why, after virtually nothing to speak of during the offseason (other than the rumor here and there that Reggie Wayne isn't happy with his contract - which shouldn't help matters) are the Colts number 1? Has Peyton Manning really proved to be that good of a player that he makes them a super bowl favorite on his own? Wasn't this the case last year when he threw the game-losing pick 6 in the moment that he supposedly excels in every game? I have nothing against him, he's a great QB, but we have seen a QB develop a game-losing INT syndrome before *cough*Favre*cough*. Colts are not number 1.

    2. Saints: I agree the Saints are still a top 5 team, they have talent spread across the board and I'm still waiting for Reggie Bush to be superman so I would personally give the Saints the 1 spot on this list. They did win the Superbowl, and the most important parts of their team (Sean Payton and Brees) are still there and they are more experienced at winning big games now. Additionally, it was their defense that won them not only the NFC Championship game (see: Favre getting knocked on his *** 1000 times) but the Super Bowl as well (aforementioned Peyton Manning pick 6). Saints are number 1.

    3. The Queens: We all know why they are ranked this high so I won't speak that name here. Other justifications include:

    • They may have better pass protection and run blocking this year
    • EJ Henderson, Winfield, and Griffin will be back at some point
    • Adrian Peterson got 4.5 yards a carry last season doing every bit of the work on his own, imagine what he could do if they ever blocked for him
    • The loss of Chester Taylor will be offset by the addition of Toby Gerhart
    Do I agree with them at the 3 spot? Yes, under one condition. If you know who comes back, there's no denying they are a better football club, better than most. There are multiple teams in the league with more talent than the Vikings overall but a terrible QB is keeping them out of the playoffs (49ers, anyone?). If everyone is healthy and playing, the Queens are still a threat.

    4. Cowboys: For what seems to be the 34912523468th year in a row now, the Cowboys are ranked much, much higher than I think they should be. I mean really, 4th? Consider how bad they were blown out by the Vikings in their last game. What have they done since that time? You mean they lost their Pro Bowl left tackle when Romo already had protection issues? What sense does that make? Their biggest move was adding T.O. 2.0 in Dez Bryant; they must expect him to have Randy Moss-like rookie numbers because they have little else to show as far as improvement goes. When their new LT is going against the likes of CM3 and Jared Allen, they will be sorry they didn't find themselves a better replacement. Cowboys are top-10, but not top-5.

    5. Ravens: The Ravens deserve every bit of this number 5 spot and honestly the number 4 spot the Cowboys somehow slipped in to. Towards the end of last season, the offense was already finding quite a groove. Derrick Mason looked like their version of Donald Driver, and Ray Rice is quickly on his way becoming the next Marshall Faulk. The addition of receivers Anquan Boldin and Donte Stallworth really solidify this unit offensively provided those 2 contribute...well...anything really. Flacco will throw for 4000 yards and Ray Rice from Rutgers will run for at least 1200. Scary considering they lost no one permanently on defense.
    My one concern is if Ed Reed starts the season on the PUP list. We all know what happens to the Steelers when they lose Polamalu, even for a short time. Luckily for the Ravens, I believe they have a much better defensive unit overall than the Steelers with Ngata, Suggs, Ray Ray, and did I mention their top 2 draft picks Mt. Cody and Sergio Kindle? Watch out, this team is going places.

    6. Our beloved Pack: There's one reason the Packers are not a top 5 team on ESPN's list: their obvious love for Jerry Jones and his Dallas gang. Drop the Cowboys, move the Ravens and Packers up one slot.

    The key to our season rests on the shoulders of our O-line and D-line. Our biggest problems were protecting from and creating pressure on the QB. Our coverage will survive another year provided we can generate enough pass rush. CM3 and Brad Jones are both well above the average for a 3-4 OLB, and will do just fine if the D-line opens up enough holes for them. Subsequently, C-Wood and Tramon will handle things on the back teamed up with Nick Collins and Morgan Burnett. (take that with a grain of salt, if Bigby wows everyone in TC and preseason he will still have the starting job, I just think that's very unlikely)
    Also when we're not in base defense where will our pass rush be coming from?
    On the O-line, we looked good towards the end of last season when the unit was finally cohesive and not some patchwork line that was put together an hour before gametime. (slightly exaggerated -but not much) Additionally, we have what look to be our starters for the future for most of the line, and if anyone goes down with an injury we won't be shuffling EVERYONES position just to fill one spot.

    Also, punter. Please for the love of God find a punter that can kick further than me.

    7. Jets: The only way the Jets are not as good as last year is if Alan Faneca was the equivalent to Lebron in Cleveland (which I don't believe is the case). That aside, they have Sanchez who will be more experienced (and did go with the team to the AFC championship game - notice I said went with not "lead") and I don't believe there will be any drop off at running back. I have faith that LT can produce much like Ricky Williams as a backup, and that Shonn Greene will be a seamless, and also younger and quicker replacement for Thomas Jones. The scheme is still the same, the O-line is still intact (save Faneca but he was old anyway), and they picked up a nice young CB in the draft to replace Lito Sheppard. Oh wait, they have Cromartie too? WAIT, you mean they're both opposite Darelle Revis?!?!? I rest my case.

    Also, Sanchez has weapons: Holmes was a super bowl MVP, after all. Braylon Edwards just needs to put some Stickum on his gloves, and Cotchery is the Donald Driver of that team. Extra points sleeper: Dustin Keller (pick him up on your fantasy team)

    8. Falcons: What? You're saying a team in the same division as the super bowl champs that couldn't stop Michael Vick in his only real game last year is a top 10 team? Sure Michael Turner is back, but I'm not convinced he wasn't a one-year wonder. Remember, he was on a team prior to the Falcons and couldn't win himself a significant role there. Additionally, the Falcons tried to run the ball this past season with a slew of backs to no avail, where was the blocking at? I'm not sold on Matt Ryan yet, he had a good rookie season, but so did Joe Flacco and Flacco is now leaps and bounds above where Ryan is. Tony Gonzalez will only be so good, he's not getting any younger, and their only truly reliable weapon after that is Roddy White (whom I do have faith in, but not enough to carry a team.) There is talent in that club, but after a mediocre season you can't expect Sean Weatherspoon to instantly turn this team into a serious playoff contender. Falcons are not a top 10 team.

    9. Patriots: Much like the rankings of our 1 and 2 teams, this rank is 95% based on the duo of head coach and QB. I have no doubts about the abilities of Belichick and Brady, however I do have concerns about an injured Wes Welker and an aging Randy Moss. As always, their defense does not have to be pretty, as BB is a "bend but don't break" mentality guy. I believe he will get the job done on defense, and if the offense is anyhwere near as good as the 2007 team, they deserve this number 9 spot without a doubt.

    Extra Points: Jerod Mayo is an up and coming star in this league, don't be surprised to see him as the face of another franchises defense in the next few years if BB can get a nice amount of draft picks for him.

    10. Chargers: Finally some reality in sunny San Diego. The offseason rankings had this team at number 2. The team who had virtually no pass defense, the team who Shawne Merriman has been talking about getting traded off of forever now, the team that lost its Hall of Fame RB (although I don't put too much emphasis on that, Ryan Matthews/Darren Sproles is a good combo), the team that may not have its number 1 receiver for part, possibly all, of the season. There are too many questions here to deserve a top 10 ranking. How do you sort out the pass rush/pass defense issues. Cromartie is still a talented player, albeit lazy and troublemaking, and his loss is still another hole you have to fill somewhere else. The real question is: Is Philip Rivers really good enough to carry his team like Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning do? To that, I say no, and conclude that the Bolts don't deserve a top 10 spot at this time.

    How would I rank the top 10 teams before TC and preseason? (considering no one should really put too much into any of these rankings, of course)

    1. Saints
    2. Colts
    3. Vikings
    4. Ravens
    5. Packers
    6. Jets
    7. Bengals
    8. Patriots
    9. Cowboys
    10. Dolphins

    I may choose to finish this list and justify my rankings later, but I've not non-football related things to attend to. (I know, terrible right?)
  2. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

    Dec 22, 2008
    I can't really dismiss any preseason rankings that puts us in the top 8, because IMHO the top 8 are interchangeable. I do have my own rankings, but it's irrelevant.
  3. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

    May 2, 2010
    Good write-up. Very good.

    Couple of nitpicks:
    #1- We killed the Ravens last year, on primetime. It wasn't close.
    #2- I think Matt Ryan is without question better than Joe Flacco.
    #3- Jets went further than the Ravens in the playoffs, and I know the Ravens have added Boldin, but the Jets had more positive additions than the Ravens did, plus you'd expect Sanchez to be a lot better than he was last year. And year #2 of Rex Ryan's defense in NYJ, one would expect them to be even better. Same case as us with Dandy Dom.
  4. 3irty1

    3irty1 Fear the Dreads!

    Mar 12, 2009
    Yeah, The New Jersey Yets should be higher, and we all know Dallas should be dropped from the list altogether... You mentioned the Vikings domination, how about our little Easter Egg we almost dropped on them? They couldn't get a field goal on us until our back-ups came in. I also agree we should be above the Ravens, but as RS said, the first 5-8 are always interchangeable given a bad day here or a good day there.
  5. PackisBack

    PackisBack Cheesehead

    Jul 1, 2010
    Yeah my list is in no way how things will turn out, just an average joe's opinion on it haha.

    I ranked the Ravens higher than us solely based on my opinion that their offseason was stronger than ours. They are looking like a team with many similarities to the Pack and I honestly think it will be a GB/BAL superbowl.

    I'm not sold on Matt Ryan. Give me another solid season back from the injury and with Michael Turner I'll change my mind, but for now he's unproven. Granted what Matt Ryan did he did without a defense like Baltimore's, but last year really raised questions for me.

    The same goes for my feelings on the Jets. They did well getting to the championship game but that's when they found out they needed better QB play and they didn't get it. If you're worth anything in the AFC, you should know that at some point in the playoffs you're gonna have to shoot it out with either Brady Manning or Rivers. We'll see what he does this season. Their defense will definitely be better though.
  6. G0PackG0

    G0PackG0 Cheesehead

    Jul 19, 2010
    NFC north is going to be a good division this year!

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