Thanks to those at ESPN and USA Today that couldn’t wait any longer, the NFL Power Rankings are back! Sure there are NBA Playoffs and Stanley Cup Playoffs going on (and I guess the start of the baseball season), but we needed to find a way to think about football months before the preseason even starts. That said, lets take a quick look at them.
The rankings between the two sources are pretty similar, with more of the slight differences coming at the bottom half. The non-playoff team ranked highest in the power rankings is the Cleveland Browns, up at 8th. Now I realize the Browns made a lot of good off-season moves and are a young team that showed a lot of promise last year, but I think that this is a little high. Granted, I think they are a good bet to win the Super Bowl, based solely on odds (around 30-1 at most sites), but I would not rank them this high. Derek Anderson has only had one good year and too many teams go up and down in the NFL to expect the same type of season from him. I could see the Browns winning the AFC North, or I could see them going 8-8, I’d personally rank them in the 12-15 range.
Overrated - Browns, Eagles, Bucs, Ravens
Underrated - Titans, Cardinals, Panthers, Lions
Then again, the whole idea of ranking teams before training camp has even started seems asinine. If you look at the text next to the team names (on each sites rankings page), about half of them say “there’s a lot of uncertainty here”, meaning “I don’t really have an idea”. Yeah, I can predict who I think will finish where, but is there a real point before the season starts? The only bold predictions worth making at this time are Super Bowl picks (and my problem there is I hate the most popular super bowl picks, so I’ll predict Jags over Saints (but Pats and Cowboys are the clear favorites (you can freeze all my internal organs before I make the Cowboys my preseason pick to win anything other than most collective jail time))).