2010 NFL Power Rankings: The Initial List
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1. New Orleans Saints
Until someone takes them down, New Orleans is the top dog. They are explosive on offense, make plays on defense, and have one hell of a coach.
2. Dallas Cowboys
A home Super Bowl? Dallas is perhaps the league’s most talented team, but the Cowboys have got to show they can step up when expectations are through the roof.
3. Indianapolis Colts
We don’t really like the Colts in 2010, but with Peyton Manning at quarterback, they are always going to be in the hunt.
4. Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers is the real deal. If the Packers’ two-year old 3-4 defense gels this season, watch out. This could be the Cowboys’ toughest opponent all year.
5. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are the Cowboys of the AFC: loaded with talent, but yet to take that next step.
6. Minnesota Vikings
Brett Favre may be the most annoying player in the NFL right now, but as long as he comes back, Minnesota is going to be in the playoffs.
7. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens always draft well, but now they finally brought in a play-making wide receiver to aid Joe Flacco. If the offense can put up top-five points, they will be nearly impossible to beat.
8. New York Jets
The Jets are this year’s sexy Super Bowl pick, but let’s slow down a bit. While their defense is ridiculous, this is still a team with a second-year quarterback.
9. Houston Texans
Yes, the Houston Texans at No. 9. This team has less holes than you might think. If they can get even average play from their secondary, this team will be in the playoffs.
10. New England Patriots
The door may have closed for New England. Coach Belichick has had success with veterans in the past, but at a certain point you need youth. They are only this high because of one man: Mr. Gisele Bundchen.
11. Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan will rebound in 2010 and the addition of cornerback Dunta Robinson will really help Atlanta.
12. Philadelphia Eagles
Quarterback Kevin Kolb is obviously the key to Philly’s success. We think he will put up pretty big numbers (including in the interception category).
13. San Francisco 49ers
The Niners have been close to breaking out for a couple of years now. The transition to a spread offense will help them immensely. Still, they have to win a lot of close games because they don’t have much explosion on offense.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers
Even with Big Ben out for 4-6 games, the Steelers are a good (not great) football team. Leftwich can hold down the fort for the first month of the season.
15. Miami Dolphins
Henne has the big arm necessary to get Brandon Marshall the ball. This team will take big strides this season.
16. New York Giants
The Giants’ defense soured on them last season. They made an obvious attempt to improve it through the draft, but it probably won’t help much in 2010.
Click below to see the second half of our Power Rankings.
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