11. San Diego Chargers
Phillip Rivers is dangerous with or without Vincent Jackson. Rich Bisaccia takes over the special teams which performed like the starboard bow of the Titanic.
12. New York Giants
How come when you’re talking about the best QBs in the game, Eli’s name never comes up? Don’t answer that. Think defense. It’s not at the ‘07 playoff level but probably good enough to make a run for the division.
13. Kansas City Chiefs
Everybody repeat after me “losing Charlie Weiss was huge!”
14. Tampa Bay Bucs
Why do I get the feeling that last year was one of those ‘everything went right’ campaigns like when the Browns went 10-6 in 2007?
15. Dallas Cowboys
The Super Bowl came to town and it didn’t include them. Jason Garrett has the job now and it’s time to produce. They have plenty of talent to work their way into the playoff field. Whatever happens it should be fun to watch.
16. Houston Texans
After spectacularly underperforming on defense, they have their injured players back, with the top coordinator on the market in Wade Phillips. They desperately need their front seven to be deep and healthy to pick up the slack for whoever they play in the back end. There’s more than enough firepower for the offense. The schedule is no picnic with the Colts, Saints and Steelers in the first four games.
17. Oakland Raiders
Hue Jackson has Al Saunders running the offense which could use a boost in the passing game. But Darren McFadden is a handful and the defense has talent. They were 8-8 but the schedule gets upgraded.
18. St Louis Rams
Sam Bradford looks like the real thing but there aren’t enough weapons not named Stephen Jackson. Steve Spagnuolo’s defense gets even better with Robert Quinn
The big question is will Pete Carroll be forced to vacate that division title. Oh wait, he’s safe at this level.
Their defense makes them a threat to win any Sunday. Someday, they’ll come up with a semi-adequate replacement for Dan Marino. That day has not yet arrived.