Blog Entry

NFL 2009 Power Rankings

Posted on: May 24, 2009 2:24 pm
Edited on: May 29, 2009 11:54 am
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NFL 2009 Power Rankings

 1. New York Giants – The Giants did very well refortifying their roster in free agency and the draft. Injured starters on the D-line are back. DE Osi Umenyiora is healthy. WR Hakeem Nicks was drafted to replace Plaxico Burress. The defense will be dominant and they won’t miss Plax one bit. I firmly believe that the Giants would’ve been in the Super Bowl without the injuries and Plaxico saga. The Giants are my Super Bowl favorites for 2009.

 2. Pittsburg Steelers – Last year’s Super Bowl champs are the second best team heading into the season. Not much has changed and like the Giants, they plugged their holes well. The Steelers could’ve used some help on the O-line. But this O-line got them to the Super Bowl. OL Kraig Urbik was drafted in the third round. But the defense is the highlight of the team. The Steelers have a good chance to repeat as champions.

 3. New England Patriots – The Patriots managed and 11-5 record without QB Tom Brady last year. Even with Brady, that record may still have been 11-5 and they would’ve still missed the playoffs. Brady is back. Coach Bill Belichick did the usual roster improvements in free agency and not only addressed short-term deficiencies in the draft, but the long-term ones as well. The Patriots will win at least 11 games and they will go deep into the playoffs.

 4. Philadelphia Eagles – Eagles fans had to be frustrated last year. The Eagles have maintained a core of a team that has allowed them to reach the playoffs in 7 of the last 9 seasons, and they did it the ugly way last year. Well there will be no shortage of talent for 2009. The Eagles grabbed playmaking WR Jeremy Maclin in the draft and rebuilt their O-line. The defense will be fine without S Brian Dawkins. The Eagles will be a Super Bowl contender but they will need to get by the Giants to go all the way.

 5. New Orleans Saints – Anybody that saw the Saints play defense last year would say that this ranking is too high. But I think they turn the corner here. The Saints grabbed DB Malcolm Jenkins in the draft and he will be their centerfielder. This is the year the Saints defense comes together. The Saints already have a Super Bowl caliber offense. They will win 12 games this year and go deep into the playoffs.

 6. Minnesota Vikings – When you have Adrian Peterson and an elite defense, playoffs are always a possibility no matter who the QB is. 2009 will be no exception as long as QB Sage Rosenfels gets the start. The Vikings can win 10-12 games with their division. But I foresee another first round exit unless the QB situation continues to improve. Calling Brett Favre.

 7. Indianapolis ColtsPeyton Manning always gives you a chance to win. It’s everything else that holds the Colts back. GM Bill Polian tried to fix the “everything else” in the offseason. NCAA leading RB Donald Brown was added in the draft along with two run stuffing DT’s in Fili Moala and Terrence Taylor. It looks like there will be less emphasis on Peyton to win games on his own. The Colts look to run a lot and to stop the run as their formula to success this year. They will have some growing pains on defense but may still challenge the Steelers and Patriots for a championship.

 8. Arizona Cardinals – Last year’s reigning NFC champions will find it tough to repeat as the Giants and Eagles get stronger. The Cardinals drafted RB Beanie Wells to balance out its pass-heavy offense. Kurt Warner and Company is capable of winning games in the same fashion as Manning’s Colts. The Cardinals should hope that they won’t have to battle the distractions with WR Anquan Boldin, DT Darnell Dockett and LB Karlos Dansby. But the Cardinals are a capable Playoff team as they proved last season.

 9. Tennessee Titans – The offense gets upgraded with draftees WR Kenny Britt and TE Jared Cook. The defense gets DT Sen’Derrick Marks. But Marks inconsistencies will not offset the loss of Albert Haynesworth. The Titans will not win 13 games this year but they should make the playoffs.

 10. San Diego Chargers – Norv Turner doesn’t get any respect. But should he? The Chargers will return to form this year. Not in the form of RB LaDanian Tomlinson, but with the pass rush of OLB’s Shawn Merriman and Larry English. The pass defense will be better. That alone will improve the Chargers 8 win total from last year to 10+ wins in 2009. The Chargers also capitalize on a weak division that is in a state of flux.

 11. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens have always got by with a dominant defense. They might have struck gold last year with QB Joe Flacco and RB LeRon McClain. Neither were probably expected to make the impact that they did in their rookie years. There were changes to that dominant defense, more so than in the past. Gone are LB Bart Scott and CB Chris McAlister. They also lost key blocker, Lorenzo Neal. These details will prevent the Ravens from winning 11 games like they did last year.

 12. Chicago Bears – The Bears have a good defense. But it is not the elite defense that took them to the Super Bowl in recent years. The acquisition of QB Jay Cutler adds another element of respectability to this team. There is are no WR’s in Brandon Marshall or Eddie Royal. We will have to wait and see if WR’s Earl Bennett and Juaquin Iglesias pick up where the other two left off. Nonetheless, the Bears should be good for 10+ wins.

 13. Carolina Panthers – The Panthers X-factor on offense will depend on QB Jake Delhomme. One year removed Tommy John surgery, Panthers fans should hope that Delhomme will return to Super Bowl form. Another factor hindering the Panthers is a defense that broke down later in the year. That same defense returns to full strength, but will they break down again and will Julius Peppers become a distraction?

 14. Atlanta Falcons – QB Matt Ryan and his Falcons won’t be sneaking up on anyone this year. Teams will key in on RB Michael Turner and the inexperience on defense will cost them a few games. The Falcons got a treat in TE Tony Gonzalez. But like the Ravens, the Falcons will not win 11 games this year but could still sneak into the playoffs.

 15. Miami Dolphins – Like the Falcons, the Dolphins will not be sneaking up on anyone this year. Opponents will key in on the Wildcat. GM Bill Parcells continues to bring in hard working, blue collar type players. This team is solid but will not take anyone by surprise. The Dolphins will struggle to win 11 games in a tough conference.

 16. Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys may struggle to surpass mediocrity. Ridding themselves of WR Terrell Owens was a smart move, but they may need more firepower on offense and defense to defeat division rivals Giants and Eagles. The Cowboys will stay at medicrity and will need the Giants and Eagles to falter in order to make the playoffs.

 17. Buffalo Bills – The Bills definitely brought more attention to themselves and the city of Buffalo in the off season with the acquisition of T.O. But the loss of Jason Peters may offset the effectiveness of the signing. The Bills upgraded WR and pass rush in the offseason but it may not be enough in a very competitive division. The Bills will be fortunate to win 9 games.

 18. Houston Texans – The Texans themselves are in a very difficult position. They too, are saddled in a very competitive league. While the Texans has no shortage of star players (DE Mario Williams, WR Andre Johnson, LB DeMeco Ryans, RB Steve Slaton to name a few), they must face the Colts and Titans twice a year. Like the Bills, the Texans will be lucky to see more than 9 wins. A healthy QB Matt Schaub just might make a difference.

 19. San Francisco 49ers – The 49ers don’t get any respect. It’s understandable since they haven’t made the playoffs since 2003. But they’ll turn the corner this year. No B.S. about how the QB’s are unsettled with Alex Smith and Shaun Hill. Hill will start. And his game management style fits the defense that helped the team win 5 games out of their final 8. The 49ers should win at least 9 games and finish over 0.500 for the first time since 2003.

 20. Washington Redskins – The Redskins are the unfortunate victims of being stuck in one of the best divisions in football. They might challenge the Cowboys for third best, but that’s about it. DT Albert Haynesworth can’t save this team on his own. QB Jason Campbell may not have what it takes to run coach Jim Zorn's offense. The O-line was not addressed. The Redskins will struggle to win 8 games.

 21. Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals off season looks good enough on paper. But it seems that most of the players acquired come with some sort of character concerns. This ranges from LB Rey Maualuga in the draft to DT Tank Johnson in free agency. Add that to holdovers RB Cedric Benson and WR Chris Henry and you have a powder keg waiting to explode. The Ravens and Steelers still top the division. The Bengals will struggle to win 8 games.

 22. Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jaguars share a similar situation with the Bengals. Only 2 years ago, the Jaguars were challenging the Colts for the division. That honor now goes to the Titans. The Jaguars are focused on the core component that makes their team successful. They spent their first 3 picks on linemen this year and their top two picks last year. QB David Garrard is looking to make a comeback, but the Jaguars will struggle to win 7 games as the lines on both sides gel.

 23. Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks battled a rash of injuries. The injuries were so bad that it razed their depth as well. Many experts are predicting that the Seahawks will rise to the top of the NFC West again. I disagree. The Seahawks will continue to battle injuries. QB Matt Hasselbeck will not last the entire season. RB Julius Jones is not the future of this franchise and OT Walter Jones will be one year older. The team needs to get younger and it is time to rebuild. The Seahawks may improve to 6 or 7 wins, but their reign over the NFC West came to an end last year.

 24. Green Bay Packers – The good news is that if QB Aaron Rodgers can stay healthy, the passing game will continue to remain one of the best. The bad news is that the Packers lack the defense and running game to support Rodgers. The run game is spotty at best. RB Ryan Grant better bounce back. The defense is also transitioning to a 3-4 scheme and will need time to adjust. The Packers will find themselves struggling to win 6 games this year.

 25. New York Jets – Tough division. Something has to give. The Jets go into the season matched up against the Patriots, Dolphins and Bills twice each. Rookie QB Mark Sanchez may be the future franchise QB, but his contributions will not materialize this year. The Jets will regress and struggle to win 6 games.

 26. Oakland Raiders – The Raiders are in an interesting position. They have been rebuilding for the last 3 seasons. The first of three previous first round picks, QB JaMarcus Russell (2007) is surrounded by RB Darren McFadden (2008) and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (2009). But did the Raiders do enough to help the defense? 2009 is the time to capitalize on Broncos and Chiefs teams that are in the midst of rebuilding. Winning 6 would be considered progress for this franchise.

 27. Denver Broncos – The Broncos won 8 games by outscoring their opponents to compensate for a weak defense. The key component to that offense (Cutler) is gone. New coach Josh McDaniels will rely on more of a systematic approach on offense and defense to get by. There have been a lot of personnel changes on both sides of the ball. The Broncos will struggle to win 5 or 6 games as the team learns its new identity.

 28. Cleveland Browns – Like the Jets, the Browns find themselves in a tough situation. Their division gets stronger and the Browns go from one former Patriots assistant coach to another. It’s hard to tell if Mangini will be effective. The QB situation is unsettled, RB Jamal Lewis needs help and the defense will have to survive Mangini’s tweaks. The Browns will struggle to win 5 games.

 29. Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs hired former Patriots GM Scott Pioli to turn the team around. Pioli has tagged Matt Cassel as the savior on offense and will rebuild the defense around rookie DE Tyson Jackson. Everything from personnel to coaching philosophies are being changed from the previous regime to the current one. The Chiefs will struggle to win 4 or 5 games this year.

 30. St Louis Rams – The Rams are another team starting from scratch. New coach Steve Spagnuolo will install his defense. But does he have all the right personnel. Like Hasselbeck in Seattle, QB Marc Bulger will struggle to stay healthy with the Rams. This is another team that needed to get younger and the house cleaning has already started. The Rams will struggle to win 4 games.

 31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Buccaneers will go from mediocrity to bottom of the pack as they search for a franchise QB. Their defense broke down late last season and the defensive line needs more work to return to dominating form. This will not be the same Buccaneers that have ridden the coat tails of their defense for the better part of the last ten years. What will their new identity be? The Bucs will struggle to win 4 games.

 32. Detroit Lions – Not much explanation is needed here. Matt Millen is finally gone and the real building process can begin now. New GM and coach combo, Martin Mayhew/Jim Schwartz have the unenviable task of undoing the damage that Millen brought upon them in the last 9 years. It won’t be tough to improve on 0-16. But anything more than 4 wins will be a tall order.

 

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Category: NFL
Comments

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2009 3:42 pm
 

NFL 2009 Power Rankings

A couple of more misses that the posters above have reminded me of...

-Jets- Ryan has takent the D to a whole new level. I wasn't high on Sanchez and I admit that I penalized the team for this more than I gave them credit for. Even after a close loss to the Dolphins, this team is in the better half of the league.

-Bengals- Who would've thought? They were one fluke play away from being undefeated. The defense picked off from last year and Carson Palmer shows why he is a franchise QB. They have a ton of good WR's even without Housh and Cedric Benson's resurgence all have contributed to the success of this team. They've beaten tough divisional opponents in the Steelers and Ravens. The Bengals deserve to be mentioned in the top 10.



Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2009 3:37 pm
 

NFL 2009 Power Rankings

Great read thrash.  The top is right on in my opinion but I'd move the last 8 around a little.  I'll start from the bottom.  Lions, Rams, Broncos, Buccaneers, Raiders, Browns, Chiefs, Bengals.  Your breakdowns are perfect I just think that these teams will end up a little bit differently.  The Bengals are done and they may be even lower that I think.  It's to bad cause I like Marvin Lewis. mr49ersfans, the Bengals have been surprisingly good and have even exceeded my expectations.



Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2009 3:35 pm
 

NFL 2009 Power Rankings

But still, great post!  I agree except I don't know about Giants at #1, more like #3.  I like the Saints at #5 and the Bucs at #31!  Good job.Stujo, you have to give props to the Giants right now. They haven't skipped a beat yet. The Saints are playing great defense. DC Gregg Williams was a great pick up. This week's showdown between these two teams should be fun to watch.



Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2009 3:25 pm
 

NFL 2009 Power Rankings

Hey Thrash like your rankings for the most part, I do have some concerns. I think the Bills drop out of the top 20.  Losing a key offensive lineman and picking up a known ball hog will not do for team karma.  I think the quarterback there won't be able to control or deal with TO and will force balls to him leading to turnovers.  They have a good running game but will miss their starter for first 3 games.  Hey Newstew. You were right about the Bills. They are definitely bottom 10 of the league. I'm not sure if karma was the reason but they've shown almost nothing on offense since week 2.

I think the  Redskins might fall lower than 20.  I can't imagine that their quarterback situation is going to get any better.  Cambell can already sense that the team mistrusts his abilities and with no help on the OL he's going to be pressured.  Seeing how they hitch their hopes to running the ball I expect them to wear out their runners in the 2nd part of the season and drop.  Haynesworth has never had to play a full season and will miss games for the Skins too!  You'd think they would have learned from Jerry Jones that you can't buy your way to the Super Bowl.  Team chemistry will not mesh with the high paid new additions.  You are also right about the Redskins' problems. However, they've managed to eek out 2 wins. So my ranking above for them is justified. That could definitely change before season end as I have them capped at 8 wins. They are capable of losing more.

I thought Atlanta might drop due to the sophmore jinx but adding Tony Gonzalez gives Ryan a steady  target to drop the ball to over the middle.  Might clear out some of those backers for Turner to do more.  They have  a tougher schedule playing both NFC East and AFC East teams out of their division.  That may stun them a bit too! 

They've beaten the Panthers and worked over our 49ers. The Falcons could possibly be a top 10 team. So both you and I have them ranked too low right now.

I think Carolina will make the big fall.  Delhomme's last game was horrible and I think everyone will be waiting for him to do it again.  They have great running back tandems but without getting some pass help I think Steve Smith  will be rioting for more catches.  I think Jake doesn't have it  in him and that will drop them down.You were right about the Panthers. They only have 1 win so far. Delhomme is the easy target but I think the real reason is that they are missing their two starting DT's. Keoumotu is out for the year before the season even started. This adversely affects their run D in a huge way. It showed towards the end of last season and it's been a problem since the season began. Had I known that they were going to have this problem again, I wouldn't have picked them to win their division.





Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2009 3:16 pm
 

NFL 2009 Power Rankings

Rams at the #32 team. Lions i have at #27. Cheifs up to #20. Reasoning: Lions added so much Stafford and Calvin Johnson instant smash. They added 39710 defensive players. They'll squeeze 4-5 wins out. Rams on the other hand, icky. They have Steven Jackson and 1 good OL, and a young "potentially" good OL. They dont have Holt or Pisa now. There in rebuild stage. Cheifs got Cassel, and Bowe to pass too. With Larry Johnson running healthy, Dont forget a vetran LB core and Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson up front now. With all young corners with a year under there built, in a weak divison they'll make a push.xpmar9x, the Lions are showing improvement every week. I ranked them at #32 but also said that they would cap out at 4 wins. They are currently on pace for 3-4 wins right now. As for the Rams being ranked #30 instead of #32? If the team is ranked anywhere in the bottom 5, you can pretty much consider them downright bad. As for having the Chiefs at #20? Right now they're closer to my #27 ranking than #20. Cassel has not played up to his contract. That was expected because he is not surrounded by the same supporting cast he had with the Patriots. Right now, the Chiefs are no where near challenging the Broncos and Chargers for the division, especially after losing to the Raiders.

Redskins are a top 10 team. Haynesworth is a run-stopper. Add in Orakpo to the mix, with a good D already. Portis is a #1 runner, and targets like Santana Moss, Randel El, Cooley... and rookies last year Fred Davis, Devin Thomas, and Malcom Kelly with a solid OL. They'll be great.
Redskins aren't looking like a top 10 team. That's primarily because of offense. I'm having a hard time believing that they will climb to the top 10 at this point.

The Jets are a little better than you have them. They lost Coles thats it. Sanchez in, and there defense is looking nice with Bart Scott in there with Rex running the show.You were right about this one. I didn't give the Jets and Sanchez enough credit. I primarily under rated the Jets defense and O-line which are probably the two biggest reasons why Sanchez is having a successful start. I grossly under rated the Jets and should've also listed them as a "whiff" on my reply above.

The Titans up 1. Haynesworth is gone, o well. We brought in Jovan Haye (buc's old starter) and Sen'Derrick Marks, along with a 2nd round rookie Jason Jones last year who got 3 1/2 sacks when he started against the steelers. With Kenny Britt and Nate Washington added in the passing game and Jared Cook. With Bo Scaife and LenDale White on contract years they'll put up numbers. Don't forget Keith Bulluck and Kerry Collins aren't getting any younger. They WANT a championship, this is more than likely Bullucks' last year. Chris Johnsons goals are leading rusher and league MVP. Do we finally have what it takes?I don't think it's a major difference between ranking them 8 or 9 from the get go. However, I didn't think they would be 0-5. The defense is playing like their in the bottom 5 of the league. What's bothersome is that the offense failed to show up in the last game. Are they losing confidence?





Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2009 2:53 pm
 

NFL 2009 Power Rankings

The Giants won't miss Plax one bit?  Please.  NY's offense is going to have a very tough time replacing the combined productivity of Plax and Derrick Ward.  Their defense should be a top 5 defense...I just really think there are huge questions marks as to where they'll get their offense from.  Silentphart, so far so good. Giants passing game looks pretty good with Manningham and Smith. It also looks like Bradshaw took over where Ward left off.

You were right about the defense though.



Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2009 2:39 pm
 

NFL 2009 Power Rankings

Five games into the season and just wanted to revisit my previous power rankings.

What I was right about...

-Giants- They're 5-0 and getting it done without Plax and Ward. I thought that Eli was under rated coming into the season. he's been inconsistent but the talent was always there. Manningham and Smith stepped up. Rookie Nicks is working his way into the picture. Eli doesn't even need a TE anymore. He's haveing so much success throwing to his wideouts. The defense plays lights out even after getting hit with injuries.

-Eagles- The Eagles were a dangerous offensive team before the offseason and got better. The one constant is TE Brent Celek. Now they have a ton of big play guys making plays like Jackson and Maclin. The offense didn't skip a beat when McNabb was out.

-Saints- I stated above the defense would be the x-factor for this team. In the Saints' last two games, they haven't had to have Brees throw for TD's. The Saints got it done by defense and running the ball well.

-Buccaneers- I had a feeling the Bucs were going to be a bad, bad team. Not because of losing Garcia, but because their defense was giving up way too many rush yards up the middle towards the end of last season. The Bucs have allowed an average of 158 ypg on to opposing teams this year. What surprises me is how many big plays they've also given up through the air. There are a few good players in there but overall, the defense needs a lot of work.

-Seahawks- The Seahawks' fans that actually read this probably hated me for this ranking. I said that Hasselbeck would not last the entire season. The Seahawks are 2-3. The 3 losses happened while Hasselbeck was out. You don't think Seahawks' opponents know this? The Hawks are the 10th worst team on this list. They are ranked as the 11th worst team on NFL.com. So this ranking is just about right for them right now.

Where I whiffed...

-Cardinals- I really thought the Cards would be off to a better start. They are less than a game behind the 49ers, but I really believed that they should've won that game as favorites. Right now, they should be ranked somewhere between 16-20. The Cards haven't got their run game going like I predicted them to.

-Titans- This was a gross miscalculation on my part. I did not think the Titans' defense would struggle as much as it has. It's hard to say what effect missing Haynesworth has without a healthy secondary, but Haynesworth was a big part of the pass rush as well. Unless the Titans rip off 11 straight wins, my ranking will not be justified.

-Denver Broncos- Here is another one of my major miscalculations. Rather than being in the bottom 6, the Broncos have managed to stay unbeaten and are currently in the top 6. Give Nolan and McDaniels' credit for dealing with much adversity with this team. I couldn't have seen it coming if it was right in front of me.

-Raiders- I really thought they could win at least two of their first five games. I also thought they would show more on offense and defense. I have them ranked 26th, but they should really be 32nd because they haven't shown anything since week 1.




Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: May 29, 2009 10:14 am
 

NFL 2009 Power Rankings

Great read thrash.  The top is right on in my opinion but I'd move the last 8 around a little.  I'll start from the bottom.  Lions, Rams, Broncos, Buccaneers, Raiders, Browns, Chiefs, Bengals.  Your breakdowns are perfect I just think that these teams will end up a little bit differently.  The Bengals are done and they may be even lower that I think.  It's to bad cause I like Marvin Lewis. 



Since: Sep 2, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2009 11:47 am
 

Very subjective at this point

But still, great post!  I agree except I don't know about Giants at #1, more like #3.  I like the Saints at #5 and the Bucs at #31!  Good job.




Since: Sep 16, 2008
Posted on: May 25, 2009 4:12 am
 

NFL 2009 Power Rankings

Hey Thrash like your rankings for the most part, I do have some concerns. I think the Bills drop out of the top 20.  Losing a key offensive lineman and picking up a known ball hog will not do for team karma.  I think the quarterback there won't be able to control or deal with TO and will force balls to him leading to turnovers.  They have a good running game but will miss their starter for first 3 games. 

I think the  Redskins might fall lower than 20.  I can't imagine that their quarterback situation is going to get any better.  Cambell can already sense that the team mistrusts his abilities and with no help on the OL he's going to be pressured.  Seeing how they hitch their hopes to running the ball I expect them to wear out their runners in the 2nd part of the season and drop.  Haynesworth has never had to play a full season and will miss games for the Skins too!  You'd think they would have learned from Jerry Jones that you can't buy your way to the Super Bowl.  Team chemistry will not mesh with the high paid new additions. 

I thought Atlanta might drop due to the sophmore jinx but adding Tony Gonzalez gives Ryan a steady  target to drop the ball to over the middle.  Might clear out some of those backers for Turner to do more.  They have  a tougher schedule playing both NFC East and AFC East teams out of their division.  That may stun them a bit too! 

I think Carolina will make the big fall.  Delhomme's last game was horrible and I think everyone will be waiting for him to do it again.  They have great running back tandems but without getting some pass help I think Steve Smith  will be rioting for more catches.  I think Jake doesn't have it  in him and that will drop them down.

Thanks  again for your  posts, enjoy them as always.  You do very good work!


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