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Gil Brandt's 2012 Power Rankings

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by FrankRizzo, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

    May 2, 2010
    He's a smart man.


    At this time of the year, properly ordering teams in a Power Rankings is about as easy as completing a third-and-15 in the playoffs. It's just so hard to predict how each team will perform in this league from one year to the next.

    Going back to 2000, 74 teams have made the playoffs after failing to crack the postseason the year before. This includes the 2003 campaign, when eight such teams made the playoffs (and the prior season's Super Bowl participants, Tampa Bay and Oakland, went a combined 11-21). The least amount of new teams we've had during this span is five (2002 and 2010). So, your chance of making the playoffs in consecutive seasons is less than 50 percent.

    And obviously, it's also extremely difficult to repeat as Super Bowl champions. Hence, my placement of the New York Giants at No. 6 in these rankings. During my tenure with the Cowboys, we played in five Super Bowls and won a pair, and I know how difficult it is to sustain that kind of excellence into the following season. There are just so many distractions after winning a Super Bowl -- public appearances, enhanced media attention, etc. -- as well as roster turnover. It's impossible to bottle the magic that's present in every championship run.


    After giving up the most yards in the NFL in 2011, the Packers drafted for defense in April, spending their first six picks on that side of the ball. Green Bay's moving its top pass rusher, outside linebacker Clay Matthews, to the right side, with rookie Nick Perry manning his old spot on the left. Perry possesses speed, quickness and competitiveness -- three characteristics that equal success for pass rushers. On offense, left tackle is still a question mark. Marshall Newhouse, who allowed a team-high 11 1/2 sacks last season, begins the season protecting Aaron Rodgers' blind side.


    The Patriots most likely will be favored in all 16 of their regular season games. Like the Packers, though, left tackle is an area of concern. With Matt Light's retirement, Nate Solder will take over on the left side in his second NFL season. And also like the Pack, New England also spent its first six draft picks on defense. After all, the Pats are coming off a season in which they ranked 31st in total defense. But as long as you have Brady and Belichick, you can't be too worried.

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