Top 10... Bottom 5
The third week of preseason is finished. This is generally considered to be a "dress-rehearsal" for the regular season where the starters play a significant portion of the games. Considering off-season moves and the meaningless pre-season games to date, here is where we stand:
1. Green Bay Packers: Until the champs get beat they are #1. The fact that they don't have 42 people on IR (yet) is a bonus. They kept their core players and added key depth in the offseason.
2. New Orleans Saints: We will be hearing stories all dang year about how "Camp Brees" prepared the Saints. We will become sick of these stories. We will claw our eyes out after the 101st story about how Brees paid for trainers. Abrayo Franklin will be a key part of addressing the Saints' weakness on run D.
3. New England Patriots: Made some interesting moves in the offseason. Looked good until Suh destroyed their offensive line. Most importantly, they still have Tom Beiber at QB and Darth Hoodie as HC.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers: I'm a big believer in the Super Bowl Loser's Curse so the Steelers could drop quickly. But they kept all of their key personnel from last year and Omar Epps is still the coach.
5. Baltimore Ravens: Ozzie Newsome continues to work his magic in player evaluation. The addition of Lee Evans is going to boost their offense. And holy crap - Vonte Leach blocking for Ray Rice? Doesn't seem fair. If they burn Cam Cameron at the stake I will move them to #3.
6. Philadelphia Eagles: The Dream Team. They made a huge addition to their pass defense with Asmougha and DRC. They gave Vick enough money to fund another kennel. They unloaded Alex Smith 2.0 for a #1 despite Andy Reid throwing a challenge flag on the trade. They're top 10 until week 5 when Vick gets injured.
7. New York Jets: I originally had them at #1 after Rex Ryan told me they had won the last two super bowls and already won this year's SB. Then I looked at the stats and noticed they didn't even win their own division last year.
8. San Diego Chargers: They were #1 in offense and defense last year. That has to count for something even if they are coached by Norv Turner. Philip Rivers continues to be an elite QB in spite of being a douche.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The offense has started slow in the preseason and the defense made the Dolphins look like a professional football team. But I still believe in Jaaaaaaash Freeman the football god.
10. Houston Texans: Their offense is still fantastic and it looks like Wade Phillips will bring their defense up to at least average. If Arian Foster falters Ben Tate looks every bit as good.
Missing the cut:
Atlanta Falcons: I think the Saints and Bucs hold Atlanta down this year
Indianapolis Colts: I just have a bad feeling about them this year
28. Cincinnati Bengals: Also known as "49ers East". Dalton is a future star but this year is going to be tough. It doesn't help the Benson will be serving jail time soon. Bengals fans really didn't need this affirmation of a stereotype.
29. Denver Broncos: Despite getting Dumervil back and adding Von Miller the donkeys are still starting two rolls of toilet paper at defensive tackle. Even Tebow's direct line to Heaven can't fix that.
30. Buffalo Bills: Well, at least Maybin is gone. Unfortunately so are Poz and Lee Evans. Steve Johnson tweets will continue to entertain.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Sweet Jesus.
32. Carolina Panthers: Will the Panthers use the #1 pick on a QB two years in a row? On the plus side, the ridiculous contracts for DeAngelo and Charles have caused other players to hold out. What the #*%$ was the lockout about Mr. Richardson? You were one of the biggest hardliners trying to scale back salaries.