• 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:

    Top 10
    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

    Bottom 5
    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.

    Comments 37 Comments
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      Well done. I'd have Atlanta over Tampa, and Baltimore slightly lower, but I like it.
    1. Nancy's Avatar
      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.
      I'm already sick of them. They need to lose the first few so people will shut up about it. I mean, the Bengals had "Camp Jordan Palmer" and nobody is crowing about that.

      Panthers still belong at the bottom until some other team proves itself to be even worse. This will be no small task, as I think the Panthers may have peaked with pre-season game one and the defense appears to be working hard to attain the level of ineptitude so spectacularly demonstrated in the past by the offense. I do think that Richardson did the right thing by signing Williams and Charles Johnson for far more money than either is worth. That sounds silly, I know, but this team is desperate for decent experienced players.
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      How close did you have this pre-season's darling the Detroit Lions to the top 10? Do they make your top 15? The Colts have all their eggs in Peyton Manning's basket. Are the some of the eggs cracking? Tampa Bay making the top 10 over Atlanta is just about a toss up in my mind. I think everyone else's darling Houton is on the rise.
    1. souza's Avatar
      On ESPN this morning they reported San Diego as having the 2nd best odds on Bodog to win the Super Bowl... about spit out my cereal.

      Relating to these rankings...

      My top 10
      1. Packers
      2. Pittsburgh
      3. New England
      4. Philadelphia
      5. Baltimore
      6. NYJ
      7. Atlanta
      8. San Diego
      9. New Orleans
      10. Indianapolis

      Bottom 5
      28. Cleveland
      29. Seattle
      30. Carolina
      31. Cincy
      32. Buffalo
    1. trh5001's Avatar
      How is jacksonville not in the bottom five?
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      As always, I base my standings on what happened during real football games.

      Top 10:

      1. Green Bay Everything Clem said and more. Hopefully a good dose of Disease of More and Suh on a rampage can crimp this offense. The Defense is just as good, but we still have to see what happens without Cullen Jenkins and with Charles Woodson one year older. They just might have to downgrade that defense from ridiculous to just awesome.

      2. Pittsburgh One fumble away from having 7 Lombardis. They still have the master of the "pull something out of his ass" at QB, still have the bookends OLB from hell, and the second best doctor after Gregory House.

      3. New England Brady chose a bad time to remember how to throw Ints. I don't think that will happen again. Fat Albert with Big Vince is probably the most amount of beef on the DL you will ever see. Questions remain on what hairdo Mr. Bundchen might rock this year...

      4. Eagles They shored up their Secondary with the unpronounceable experience and the RC dude. Michael Vick's and Desean Jackson's Madden stats are off the charts.

      5. Bears. Not a homer pick! Seriously! They did make the NFC championship game, and we get to play the "Nobody believes in us card"? Plus, our QB lost weight and the dumb blond he was dating...

      6. Jets As long as Santonio Holmes is out there bailing out Mark Sanchez and his wild heaves, they have a shot. That, and the annoying fat guy who likes to lick toes make them a tough out.

      7. Ravens Now with Vonte Leach! Maybe Cam Cameron's world famous "run up the center's butt" play will work better with Leach pushing ? Though we might have to call in a search party if Ray Rice get's lost in Bryan Mckinnie's folds of flesh...

      8. New Orleans Saints: Playoff team, stocked up on every position of weakness except WR, which means that the #5 guy on the wideout depth chart is going to be Brees' favorite target. Additional bonus: with Sproles in the lineup, Brees actually looks 6'4"

      9. Tampa Bay Jaaaaash Freman is so amazing that he can bypass even my own rules that only playoff teams can be top 10. Also: Dequan Bowers will prove every team that passed him up was a fool! A fool I say!

      10. Indianapolis Rumors of their demise have been greatly exaggerated. Until I actually see Manning miss a game, they have to be a top 10 team.

      Bottom 5

      28. Buffalo: How it pains me to see studs like Kyle Williams languish under the reign of Buddy "I'll sign 6 kick returners" Nix. Specially in the year of the touchback.

      29. San Francisco And yet again Alex Smith. The comedy potential is awesome! And they decided they could weaken their best unit (their front 7), and not shore up anything else. Over/Under on Clem's liver: week 3.5


      30. The Seattlle Seahawks Tarvaris Jackson without AP to make his life easier? Not even the 12th man will be able to put up with the stinkitude coming from the Northwest.

      31. Cincinatti Bungles Skill positions are useless without people in the trenches. Of course, Mike Brown will make bucketloads of money this year with the excuse that he is rebuilding.

      32. Carolina Kitties The Jimmy Newton see-saw will be awesome to watch. I believe Jerry Richardosn was unaware that he has until 2014 to fulfill the Cap requirements. Remember that he was a wideout when guys like Night-train Lane would decapitate pass cathers.
    1. brauneyz's Avatar
      MuscleMan, that was awesome! And thank you for inserting the DogKilla joke so I wouldn't have to. Tommy Bieber thanks you too.

      BTW: Turk, you are still missed.
    1. Amy's Avatar
      Top 10: Everyone
      Bottom 5: Everyone.

      It's the preseason. When the games matter I'll start ranking. Until then, it's just Practice.
    1. msclemons's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by trh5001 View Post
      How is jacksonville not in the bottom five?
      The league seems a little bottom-heavy this year. We might have to change it to Top 5... Bottom 10.
    1. damgenius's Avatar
      I don't think the crack about Vick buying another kennel was needed. That comment is so 2008.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      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.

    1. KabaModernFan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      Though we might have to call in a search party if Ray Rice get's lost in Bryan Mckinnie's folds of flesh...
      Don't think I haven't seriously considered this as a possibility.

      And awesome job Clem, can't wait to see how good they get once the regular season starts.
    1. Phil McConkey's Avatar
      That's a great list clem. I do think there will be one or two teams that come out of nowhere to have a big season. I'll go with Detroit to bust into the top this year.
    1. Caleb Miller's Avatar
      I'm with Lap on the Lions-- or maybe it's just the part of me that really, really likes to see very rare things happen on this planet. It would be nice to someday talk to our kids about possibly the greatest RB of all time, Barry Sanders, and when they ask who he played for maybe they won't grimace with some version of bitter beer face and write him off (since very often young fans equate current success with historical success) but I digress...

      LOL @ calling Philip Rivers a douche-- we had the same agent, and..... no comment Pretty good list overall, I would switch NO and PITT, and probably take out TB in favor of ATL. I am not at this point buying what the Bucs are selling, and the same bad feeling you have about IND I have about the Eagles. The bottom is pretty obvious... and speaking of-- a little FYI: Tavarius Jackson was a backup QB @ UArkansas with me and couldn't hit the broad side of a barn [even then] with his VERY strong arm, so he transferred to Alabama St. so he could play. He was still drafted in the 2nd round. Where's the drug testing protocol for NFL scouts in the new CBA?!?!
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      Caleb, I have to say, it's really refreshing to get honest opinions from an ex-player, especially one so recently removed from the game. Great stuff. As for the list, like I said, I also think Tampa is too high, and Atlanta too low. As for Philip Rivers, he's OBVIOUSLY a douche, but IMO a top 5 QB who was completely screwed by the ST of the Chargers last year.
    1. Ragar's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Miller View Post
      Where's the drug testing protocol for NFL scouts in the new CBA?!?!
      Probably with the same ones who decided to run 40-yard dash, cone drills, etc. in shorts instead of in pads and helmets, becasue watching a track meet is exactly how best to evalueate football players.

      Lions appear to be the that hit or miss team this year. They are going to either justify everyone's expectaions and make the playoffs, or be the disappointing Texans
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      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.
      That's pretty hilarious. And absolutely fantastic job, Clem.

      Anyway, this is a top 10/bottom 5 for this year, correct? Time to get a little predictive up in here.

      TOP
      1. Pittsburgh Steelers- Homer pick? Maybe, but call it a hunch. I see an MVP season from Big Ben. Especially since he gave his typical off-season boiler to Peyton Manning.

      2. Philadelphia Eagles- I know, no defending champs in the top 2? Blasphemous. It's a new year, people. It's also nearly September. The Eagles are already everyone's darlings, and that should continue all the way into October, when the boys of summer make their championship push. Unfortunately, this isn't baseball, and the season doesn't end in October. They'll do enough to get to January, then falter when it matters, just like every other season. We've seen this script before.

      3. Green Bay Packers- They're the defending champs, so I guess they're supposed to be on the list.

      4. Detroit Lions- Yeah boy! You have to admit, that looks good, doesn't it GoBig?

      5. Dallas Cowboys- Because my espn memo told me so.

      6. San Diego Chargers- Because my espn memo told me so.

      7. Denver Broncos- Because 7 is biblical, and so is Tim Tebow. I hear Chuck Norris rocks a Tebow jersey.

      8. New York Jets- Clem analyzed them perfectly, I have nothing to add.

      9. Houston Texans- Because this is finally their year!!! (again)

      10 (tie). Washington Redskins- Hey, they've looked as good as nearly anyone in the preseason. Evidently they're mad at the Eagles for taking their "boys of summer" title away from them. My prediction for this season's break out team (of the first two weeks.)

      10 (tie). Buffalo Bills- Why not? (that's not rhetorical, that's an open invitation. Let the loathing begin.) I do think they'll be better, however, and will climb out of everyone's bottom 5 by the end of the 2017 season.

      10 (tie). San Francisco 49ers- This is the year Alex Smith finally fulfills his promise. I can feel it. How 'bout you, Clem? You drinkin' the kool-aid?

      BOTTOM
      28. Miami Dolphins- Sparano is the odds on favorite to be the first to get the axe.

      29. Chicago Bears- They won't be this bad, but I can unfortunately see them falling from first to worst this season.

      30. Cincinnati Bengals- (Breaking out my inner Zach Morris...) There's no hope with the dope (Mike Brown. OK, maybe that one didn't need to be clarified).

      31. Jacksonville Jaguars- But at least their fans are loyal. No fans travel like Jaguars fans.

      32. New England Patriots- I mean, did you see them get dismantled by the Lions????
    1. SpartaChris's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by damgenius View Post
      I don't think the crack about Vick buying another kennel was needed. That comment is so 2008.
      And still funny today.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Top 10

      1) Packers - I hate that I just can't make myself HATE this team.
      2) Ravens - Lee Evans gives this offense a legit deep threat. Add in Leach at FB to plow the way for Rice and that defense, and this may be the year Baltimore gets past the...
      3) Steelers - Like freaking death & taxes, the Steelers are a constant
      4) Saints - Added a top notch running attack to Drew Brees' arsenal and shored up the middle of their 'D' by adding Franklin.
      5) Patriots - Don't let the film from the game vs. the Lions fool you. Those were not the Patriots you were searching for.
      6) Jets - New found ability to close in the red zone with Plax makes these guys pretty scary. Now if Rexy can just avoid stepping on his tongue... Fat chance. Too soon?
      7) Falcons - Matt Ryan will light it up this year with White and Jones. Book it.
      8) Chargers - Simple: their special teams cannot possibly be as bad as they were last year.
      9) Colts - Peyton is still Peyton. Slow start but they will come barrelling in late.
      10) Buccaneers - I believe in Josh Freeman. And that defensive line looks pretty damn good. Nice run game. Young and not injury prone.

      Bottom 5

      28) Broncos - Even God is sick of hearing about Tim Tebow. No running game whatsoever, subpar receiving corps, Swiss cheese defense, fairly tough division. 3-13 to 5-11.
      29) Bears - Lots of unhappy players. Weak head coach. Too many former HCs on the staff. Oh yeah there is this: Bad Martz and Jay Jay's Pick Six Revue coming to an NFC North city near you!!
      30) Bengals - Decades of buffoonery in the front office and a rookie QB will manifest in a 2-14 to 4-12 season.
      31) Bills - Ineptitude personified
      32) 49ers - Inexperience at HC and monumental idiocy in the front office = 1-15 to 3-13.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      4. Detroit Lions- Yeah boy! You have to admit, that looks good, doesn't it GoBig?
      You know that crack is bad for you, right?
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