The dull, boring-for-the-fans preseason is finally over, and now the NFL is all for real. The defending champs looked sharp in the preseason, but Seattle has history clearly set against them as they try to repeat as World Champions. The White Horses from the Mile High City are stacked on both sides of the football. But can Denver win when it counts the most? And which teams are the most likely challengers to last season’s NFC and AFC champs? Folks, take a deep breath, fill your gas tanks, stock up on coals and prepare for an exciting long haul, as the NFL season is finally here. Here's my first NFL top ten.
1: Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks didn’t look like a team that took an off-season break. Yes the odds are clearly stacked high against the Seabirds trying to repeat. But Pete and his gang of ferocious defenders can even out some of those odds with home field. Big game to open the season against the NFC North favorite - Thursday vs Green Bay Packers.
2: San Francisco 49ers – People kind of started jumping off the 49ers as the San Fran offense did not look too good this preseason. I’m not jumping off this team any time soon. I still think San Francisco is an elite team in the NFL. This week @ Dallas Cowboys.
3: Denver Broncos – The White Horses got better on defense. And Denver should be as good as they were a year ago on offense. But there is not another team in the league that is Super Bowl win or bust. I’m not sure Peyton can handle that pressure. He has not in the past! This week vs Indianapolis Colts.
4: New Orleans Saints – The Saints upped their defensive intensity by adding the top safety interceptor in Jairus Byrd. New Orleans does not have a glaring weakness. Now the Saints need to get off to a hot start beginning this week in the ATL against the desperate Dirty Birds. This week @ Atlanta Falcons.
5: Green Bay Packers – The Packers look like the cream of the crop in the NFC North and with a huge road win over Seattle this week, the entire country will claim that these Cheese Heads are as legit as they have been since they won it all! This week @ Seattle Seahawks.
6: New England Patriots – The Patriots still look like the far best team in the AFC East and NE is still among the best in the NFL. How many more seasons do the hood and pretty boy have together? You can best bet when Bill and Tom are done, the Patriots might be as well too! This week @ Miami.
7: Baltimore Ravens – If there is a team in the AFC that is going to be serious threat to the Broncos and Pats I think it is the Ravens. Baltimore has everything they need to make another Super run. A big opening week win over the Bengals would be a good start. This week vs Cincinnati.
8: Indianapolis Colts – The Colts are going to be a good team but can Indy really threaten the elite teams in the AFC? I don’t think they can. But that does not mean that they are not a good team. Hey Indy prove me wrong this weekend! This week @ Denver.
9: Arizona Cardinals – The Cards have a great defense and they are pretty sound on offense. If the Red Birds from the desert can get off to a better start this season they might be in the right place at the right time come January. This week vs San Diego
10: Philadelphia Eagles – Among the weakest division (NFC East) in the NFL, the Eagles look the best. Kind of like if you had four bad pairs of shoes and you wore the one that looked the least-worst. Does that make any sense to you? This week vs Jacksonville.