OK, the long, boring, and over-priced preseason is over. The NFL finally gives their fans real action at full price after ripping them off for the last five weeks. How will the defending champs do? Are the Saints going to be alright without the best play caller in the game today? And are the Eagles going to fly or get shot down? Let’s take a look at my top ten as we enter the first week of the season.
1. Green Bay Packers – The Packers are the team to beat, in my opinion. 15 wins in the regular season and then they got pounded at home by the G-Men. This team is loaded on both sides of the football, but their biggest obstacle might very well be the monsters of the midway! This week vs. San Francisco / next week vs. Chicago.
2. New England Patriots – Yes, there is no other team in the AFC to place above Tom B and the Pats. Fear the hooded sweatshirt...his club from clam chowder land are still the tops in the American Football Conference. The Pats have played in three Super Bowls in New Orleans. Could they make it four? This week vs. Tennessee / next week Arizona.
3. Baltimore Ravens – If the Saints should have won the NFC, then the Purple Birds should have won the AFC. Baltimore is going to be the class of the AFC North and the best team with a shot to knock off the Patriots. This week vs. Cincinnati / next week @ Philadelphia.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – I’m still buying the Eagles. Every time Andy Reid has had his back in a corner he has come out on top. Clearly the Eagles have to win and win big this season, or there will be big changes in the City of Brotherly Love. A week two tilt with the Ravens could be a preview of the Super Bowl. This week vs. Cleveland / next week vs. Baltimore.
5. New Orleans Saints – I still believe that this team is going to be a strong contender. The odds-makers have the Saints winning 12 games this season. The Saints are a team that represents a city that loves the role of an underdog. Although the Black and Gold are no longer underdogs from what has taken place this off-season, this team and their city are ready to take on the world! Who Dat! This week vs. Washington / next week @ Carolina.
6. San Francisco 49ers – The additions of Brandon Jacobs, Mario Manningham, and yes, even Randy Moss, are far too great to overlook. This club does not need much offense to win a lot of games, and that is good, because I’m still not sold on Alex Smith. And by the noise from this past off-season, neither are the 49ers! This week @ Green Bay / next week vs. Detroit.
7. Chicago Bears – Drafting Alshon Jeffery and picking up Brandon Marshall give the Bears a chance to have the best offense in team history. We already know that the Bears match-up better with Green Bay than any other team...and with a little more offense, these Monsters of the Midway could be doing the Super Bowl Shuffle one more time in the place where the shuffle was born! This week vs. Indianapolis / next week @ Green Bay.
8. New York Giants – The G-Men have the cards stacked against them as being the defending champs. But the last time NY was coming off a title season they followed it up by going 12-4 and picking up the top seed. That season ended with a divisional loss to Philly. I think these G-Men are going to be good again, and I’d bet money that ole Eli wins one more...maybe even two! This week vs. Dallas / next week Tampa Bay.
9. Houston Texans – This team seems to be the sexy pick in the AFC. I’m not ready to make that less-than-bold statement. However, there is no true weakness on this team, and they no longer have to deal with Peyton Manning in their own division. This week vs. Miami / next week @ Jacksonville.
10. Atlanta Falcons – Ok my logic here is that if the Falcons get off to a 2-0 start, they will be red hot and ride that wave the entire season. However, they could easily be 0-2 going into week three of the season. Until Matt Ryan wins something of value, he’s no matty ice! This week @ Kansas City / next week vs. Denver.
The Saints will only go up as that will be their lowest ranking. I forgot the name of the big guy on Fox that played for Baltimore. Anyway, he was on Mike and Mike this morning and he was defending the Saints. He said the stuff the Saints are going through will only unite them and make them play better.
Rod Guidry in Sacramento
Believe if the 49es intend on throwing the ball more. It will translate into more interceptions for Alex Smith. I can't wait for the re-match as I live in 49er/Raider country. I also look forward for them playing the Raiders. I know I will get those 2 games on TV.
Rod Guidry in Sacramento
I personally think the Niners are overrated. They won a lot of their games last year against lowly ranked teams. Their schedule will be much tougher this year. If the Saints would not have had 5 turnovers it would not have been close last year. I am tired of the 49ers criticism of the Saints about the so-called bounty. Just beat them for us Saints fans out here.