Preseason team rankings

Nfl Week

September 10, 2006|By Bill Ordine | Bill Ordine,SUN REPORTER

(Last season's record in parentheses)

1. Indianapolis (14-2)

The Peyton Manning-era Colts may be the best NFL team to never make the Super Bowl.

2. Carolina (11-5)

Coach John Fox boosted the offense in the offseason with receiver Keyshawn Johnson.

3. New England (10-6)

As long as a team has a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback, it's a threat to win it all.

4. Seattle (13-3)

Most of the pieces from last year's NFC title team are still in place.

5. Pittsburgh (11-5)

Can the offense recover from the loss of Jerome Bettis and Antwaan Randle El?

6. Dallas (9-7)

Will Terrell Owens destroy team chemistry, or put the Cowboys over the top?

7. Denver (13-3)

If Jake Plummer repeats his 2005 regular-season performance, the Broncos will threaten.

8. Miami (9-7)

Despite Thursday's opening loss, the Dolphins could be ready for a return to glory.

9. Cincinnati (11-5)

If Carson Palmer stays healthy, the Bengals will be 10-6 or 11-5.

10. Washington (10-6)

A sluggish preseason should make the Redskins worried.

11. Chicago (11-5)

The defense was so good last year, the Bears still won without a hint of an offense.

12. Kansas City (10-6)

The Chiefs are still high octane on offense, but also still looking for a defense.

13. New York Giants (11-5)

The Giants could return to the top of the NFC East if Eli Manning becomes more consistent at quarterback.

14. Jacksonville (12-4)

How did the Jaguars win 12 games with Byron Leftwich out for five games?

15. Ravens (6-10)

Obviously, a healthy Steve McNair is the key because he gives the team direction and hope on offense.

16. Philadelphia (6-10)

The Eagles have a questionable receiving group and a shaky Plan B if running back Brian Westbrook gets hurt.

17. Tampa Bay (11-5)

The Buccaneers are getting old where it's bad (on defense) and young where it can be bad (at quarterback).

18. Arizona (5-11)

With Edgerrin James in the backfield, the Cardinals could finally make a playoff run.

19. Atlanta (8-8)

Michael Vick has to take next the next step as a quarterback for the Falcons to improve.

20. Minnesota (9-7)

The Vikings are likely to get worse before they get better.

21. San Diego (9-7)

The Chargers are solid but too much depends on untested quarterback Philip Rivers.

22. Cleveland (6-10)

The offensive line is in trouble and quarterback Charlie Frye is inexperienced.

23. San Francisco (4-12)

Coach Mike Nolan seems committed to staying the course with second-year quarterback Alex Smith.

24. St. Louis (6-10)

The Rams will be looking for new direction as they transition from "The Greatest Show on Turf."

25. Green Bay (4-12)

Most fans would like to see Brett Favre lead a competitive team in what could be his final season, but the odds are against it.

26. Detroit (5-11)

Maybe Mike Martz is a much better offensive coordinator than head coach.

27. New Orleans (3-13)

This season is more about civic revival than simply winning football games.

28. Tennessee (4-12)

A young defense should improve but whoever starts at quarterback knows he's only baby-sitting the job for Vince Young.

29. New York Jets (4-12)

The Jets drafted for two or three years down the road when they concentrated on the offensive line. That means a lot of losses now.

30. Oakland (4-12)

Do Aaron Brooks and Randy Moss even like each other? Will it matter?

31. Houston (2-14)

The only records on the horizon for quarterback David Carr is in getting sacked - 208 times in four seasons.

32. Buffalo (5-11)

General manager Marv Levy is a smart guy with a Phi Beta Kappa key. He'll need to be an absolute genius to get the Bills to .500.

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