2011 NFL Power Rankings

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1. Green Bay Packers
The Super Bowl Champions only went 10-6 before their post season run but they now get injured players back (I know they didn’t workout during the lockout but c’mon). By MARC VANDERMEER, SportsRadio 610
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2. New England Patriots
I hate to say “as long as Brady and Belichick are there…” but…
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3. New Orleans Saints
What happened at Seattle is unacceptable. They managed to hang on to Greg Williams in the coaching carousel. The division is getting tougher but they’re not going away.
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4. San Francisco 49ers
Jim Harbaugh oozes leadership and it’s easy to imagine him doing good things as an NFL coach. But not this year.
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5. Pittsburgh Steelers
They still have most if not all of the tools they’ll need to get back to the Super Bowl. So what if they had trouble covering Green Bay. Everyone does.
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6. Baltimore Ravens
People eating crab cakes often complain about Joe Flacco not being this or that. Luxury problem. Sure they should be more explosive for all the weapons they have. Sure the defense needs retooling. But they’re still playoff ready and a big problem for whoever they play Sunday afternoons.
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7. Buffalo Bills
Their defense has not exactly drawn comparisons to the ‘85 Bears. And Ryan Fitzpatrick won’t make anyone forget about Jim Kelly or Joe Ferguson. They went 4-4 down the stretch but are 1-11 in the AFC East the last two years. Ouch.
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8. Detroit Lions
Mathew Stafford has to stay healthy. Get used to reading that sentence in every piece about the Lions. They’re hardly “all set” on defense but they’re getting there.
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9. 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.
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10. Chicago Bears
Didn’t they HOST Green Bay in the NFC title game? Jay Cutler won’t be riding the bike in September. We think.
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11. 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.
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12. 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.
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13. New York Jets
This is an organization that could be on the verge of a title. They certainly have holes to fill but they can run and take pressure off Mark Sanchez and the defense should do the rest.
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14. Atlanta Falcons
See # 3 explanation on Pittsburgh. They’re loaded and extremely dangerous.
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15. 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.
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16. Cincinnati Bengals
Even though Palmer, Ocho and T.O. are out, there are still some groceries left in the cupboard of a team that won the division just 19 months ago. But there’s way too much work to do at quarterback to give them much hope.
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17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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?
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18. 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.
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19. Tennessee Titans
With a coaching change and a rookie quarterback in Jake Locker, this is going to be a trying season. The pluses include Chris Johnson and a defense that’s still peppered with useful players. You could make a case that they should be ranked higher.
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20. Washington Redskins
It didn’t work out with Donovan McNabb. Rex Grossman and John Beck will battle for the QB job. Mike Shanahan is 30-34 since Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith left his side.
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21. Kansas City Chiefs
Everybody repeat after me “losing Charlie Weiss was huge!”
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22. Philadelphia Eagles
All they do is win. It may not be enough to keep people happy in Philly but Andy Reed has a record that makes most NFL fan bases salivate.
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23. Carolina Panthers
They play in the tough NFC South and have a rookie quarterback that few people think will come out of the gate hot. My friend John McClain wonders if they will take Andrew Luck if they end up with the number one pick again.
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24. Cleveland Browns
They have a solid ground game and Colt McCoy is, at the very least, interesting. Pat Shurmur is their 3rd coach in four years. There’s some talent here but there’s more in Baltimore, Pittsburgh and maybe even (gasp) Cincinnati.
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25. Jacksonville Jaguars
With three weeks to go, they controlled their destiny in the division. Then they finished 8-8 and drafted a quarterback. It could be a long year. It could also be a 10-6 season. The Jags are like that. But drafting a first round QB when you’re already paying big bucks at the position is never a good sign.
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26. Seattle Seahawks
The big question is will Pete Carroll be forced to vacate that division title. Oh wait, he’s safe at this level.
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27. Denver Broncos
John Fox didn’t suddenly forget how to coach. Kyle Orton can still contribute. But this isn’t going to happen overnight.
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28. Minnesota Vikings
The defense isn’t what it was in ’09 but there’s plenty left. If it weren’t for that one, bothersome need for a quarterback, we might have something here.
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29. Arizona Cardinals
Hard to believe a year ago we were talking about them going for a third straight division title with Matt Leinart taking over. Ken Whisenhunt is now employing his third defensive coordinator since taking over in 2007. A deal for Kevin Kolb could get them in the race in the NFC West.
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30. 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.
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31. Miami Dolphins
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.
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32. Indianapolis Colts
They’re healthy at linebacker now. The secondary is good enough. Freeney and Mathis are still there and the offensive line is coming together. At some point they have to run the ball. Or do they?
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