Ranking the top 5 teams in the NFL and picking the Super Bowl winner

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passes the ball during NFL football organized team activities Thursday, May 25, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

Now that clubs have set their rosters for 2017, I’m ready to rank the five best teams in the NFL. I rank them in ascending order.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers. Last season, the Steelers offense ranked 7th in the NFL without wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who was suspended all year. Bryant averages 17.3 yards per reception and one touchdown every 5.4 catches. The NFL reinstated him on April 25. He will hurt defenses who double-cover Antonio Brown as the New England Patriots did when they beat Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship.

4. Oakland Raiders. The Raiders spent their first two draft picks on defensive backs who will improve their pass defense which ranked 32nd in net yards per attempt last season. They also added Marshawn Lynch who will improve their offense which ranked 6th in the NFL. Those are big improvements. The biggest one, though, will be offensive coordinator Todd Downing. He replaced Bill Musgrave, whose formations were predictable and vanilla (has he ever heard of a bunch set or sending a receiving in motion before the snap?). Musgrave’s lack of creativity allowed opposing defenses to shut down the Raiders’ best weapon, Amari Cooper, for long stretches of games. With Musgrave gone, Cooper will have the best season of his career.

3. New York Giants. Eli Manning turns 37 in January. Next season may be the Giants’ last opportunity to make a Super-Bowl run with him as their quarterback. They already have an excellent defense — it ranked 2nd in points allowed last season. And they should have an excellent offense after signing wide receiver Brandon Marshall and drafting tight end Evan Engram this offseason. The Giants will win the NFC East and go to the NFC Championship, but won’t go to the Super Bowl.

2. Green Bay Packers. The Packers have improved since they went to the NFC Championship last season. They upgraded their worst position — cornerback — by signing Davon House and drafting Kevin King in the second round. They also upgraded their offense which ranked 8th in the NFL by signing one of the best tight ends in the league — Martellus Bennett. Aaron Rodgers finally has enough talent around him to take the Packers to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2011.

1. New England Patriots. The Patriots won the Super Bowl last season and now they’re even better. They signed defensive end Kony Ealy, and traded for wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who had at least 1,100 receiving yards and scored at least eight touchdowns each of the past two seasons. A large gap exists between the Patriots and the rest of the NFL.

Good teams that didn’t make the Top 5

Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons lost nine coaches this offseason, including their most important coach, Kyle Shanahan.

Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys still are good, but they didn’t improve their roster this year and they lost two starting offensive linemen.

Super Bowl prediction: Patriots over Packers.

This article has 128 Comments

  1. Memmorial Day and Freedom of Speech– (This site’s).

    My Father was a paratrooper in Korea. My Brother served on board a battleship.

    I would like to thank all of the vetrans who fought for our right of free speech, esp. pertaining to this site’s.

    However, some speech on this site should be scrutinized in light of Friday’s double stabbing death on board Portland’s Metro service by Jeremy Christian.

    A woman and friend on board Portland Metro were accosted by a blatant racist (police have since documented this by reviewing his social media accounts that displayed Nazi sympathies and Portland Transit Authority’s video–where in the two prior nights he was seen harassing a blackwoman and another person).

    Jeremy Christian approached two women and told them to go back to Saudi Arabia.
    One was Muslim , the other was not. The two heroes who stepped in to protect them were stabbed to death.

    Perhaps the University of California at Berkely’s President should be given a medal of honor for forseeing violent events to come as the Donald Trump ‘Free Speech’ tour goes city to city–nationwide–throughout this summer. He cancelled the Trump, University of California event.

    Which brings us full circle to this website and our use of free speech, more specifically, a poster by the blog name: Sebnynah.

    Time and again, Seb used his gun phrases last year to the boiling point of some posters. CassieBaalke and Prime are two examples of posters who would jokingly say, “Seb shot himself in the foot,” hoping a little humor would nudge him to stop.

    It didn’t. And this year, Seb has doubled down.

    Just above he wrote this:

    sebnynah says:
    May 29, 2017 at 10:45 am
    “you must be referring to TrollD, he is the one fantasizing about breaking into gun safes and creating nightmares.”

    I never once wrote what Seb says I did. Seb lied, and turned my phrase around on me.
    What I wrote occurred after the Aldon Smith arrest at his house party where his gun safe was discovered that included some semi-automatic weapons. My comment was that Seb would like to be invited to that party to break into Smith’s gun safe and create nightmares (kind of like he’s doing now to his neighbors every time he changes sparkplugs to his chainsaw in his driveway).
    I was hoping to drive home the point, much like Cassie and Prime, by going overboard on a gun reference to get Seb to reflect on his writing axioms.

    Of course, the since named, ‘narcissst’, Seb, now is tripling down on his gun references.

    Which brings me to Seb’s view of himself as this sites ‘civil rights sherriff’.

    Seb, you are no rights sherriff.

    If you were concerned about rights, you would stop with your gun references and violent gun scene descriptions.
    Now we have a weapons nut who committed a violent act in Portland Oregon, in a prelude to upcoming events this Saturday in one of Trump’s free speech rallies–an event Portland’s mayor is trying to get the Federal Government to cancel.

    We can only thank the University of California at Berkeley’s President for cancelling one of these Trump ‘rallies of violence.’ Now we may have to ask Grant, to review the free speech on of some posters on this site.

    1. How rediculous your comments are. Free speech is the greatest right we have and the first thing dictators get rid of. The whole point of freedom of speech is to allow speech that others disagree with. Maybe you should stick to football as you appear not to know anything about the constitution.

      As for Seb, you can solve your problem by abandoning this web site.

    2. TrollD, here is some more free speech.
      .
      TrollD, you said those things and you cannot hide from the truth. I also remember you doubling down recently, talking about using Aldon’s assault weapon. I merely want the Niners to stop shooting themselves in the foot, and you went hysterical. You even joked about shooting just after Orlando, and I questioned if you had a shred of decency.
      .
      Believe it or not, there are many gun references in the game of football. Pistol formation, Rifle a pass. Shotgun snaps. Shooting oneself in the foot is non lethal, very painful, self inflicted and preventable.
      .
      Recently, I have been using the phrase- ‘Reduce the unforced errors.’ . This is because of your sick and twisted obsession over guns.
      .
      Since you cast aspersions over my gun beliefs, I will set the record straight. I am for a Well Regulated Second Amendment. In civil society, there is no need for people to own machine guns. I fully support the right to bear arms for sportsmen and hunters. I also think people have the right to protect themselves, ideally with a double barreled shotgun or small caliber handgun.
      .
      I am opposed to assault weapons, because they are designed to kill many people quickly. Previously, there was a ban on machine guns, but assault weapons blurred the definitions. I do not think an assault weapon is a good weapon for self defense. I also believe lowering the caliber in handguns will reduce lethality. I oppose large clips and propose designing ammo with a short shelf life so people cannot hoard. Every person with an assault weapon should have the opportunity to exchange it for a less powerful weapon. People who insist on owning one should have to safeguard it in a community armory. People who want to own an assault weapon should join a well regulated militia, with proper training. Every gun should be secured in tamper proof gun vaults.
      .
      While I have discharged weapons, I have never owned a gun and do not plan to.
      .
      TrollD, you keep on disparaging me, but I guess I will have to defend myself, and when I bring up words you have written, you will not look too admirable. Better get used to it, because you are the nut job who fantasized about breaking into gun safes and creating nightmares, just because I want the Niners to stop shooting themselves in the foot.

      1. I don’t know who you are but one thing is for sure: you know zip about guns. And an AR15 is not a so-called “assault rifle.” It is an Armalite Rifle and was first designed as a hunting rifle. It isn’t automatic and the overwhelming gun deaths are between gangs and almost never involve AR-type rifles.

        1. I do not claim to be a weapons expert, but I am talking about assault weapons that can be converted easily from single shot to automatic. Armalites have 30 shot clips, which should be unnecessary for self defense.

          1. Again, you know butkis about this. They are magazines, not clips. And the use of an AR15, Ak47, SKS, etc in shootings is infinitesimal compared to handguns and even knives. Please do not comment on guns if you don’t know what you are talking about.

            1. “There is no practical reason why a civilian would need an AR-15 or similar military-style weapon”

              AP: After one of his officers is ambushed by a teenager wielding a semiautomatic AR-15 and fired at 26 times, Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty tells The Oklahoman, “There are just more and more assault rifles out there, and it is becoming a bigger threat to law enforcement each day. They are outgunned.” The Police Chief states that he sees “no practical reason” why a civilian would need an AR-15 or similar military-style weapon.

              “There is no reason that a peaceful society based on the rule of law needs its citizenry armed with 30-round [ammunition] magazines,” states Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck during a news conference.” Such magazines transform a gun “into a weapon of mass death rather than a home protection-type device,” Beck notes.

              Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda states, ”In my opinion, [AK-47 rifles and other high-powered semiautomatic assault weapons] exist for one purpose and one purpose only and that is to kill.”

              A 2010 survey by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) of 164 police departments serving 100,000 or more people finds that 37% have seen an increase in the use of assault weapons in street crime. 38% report seeing an increase in the use semiautomatic firearms that accept high-capacity ammunition magazines in street crime.

              After a birthday party shootout involving a semiautomatic AK-47 in which two young people were killed and 10 wounded, Miami Police Chief John Timoney tells ABC News, “For me it’s a no-brainer. These are weapons of war. Under no circumstance do they belong in the cities of America. Now police officers are facing-and citizens are facing-these assault weapons. If we don’t stop it now, what’s it going to look like 10 years from now? Rambo becomes reality.”

              1. For the few incidents you cite there are literally millions of AR15s and the like in the hands of law abiding people like myself. Hey, the purpose of a 22 rim fire single shot is to kill so what is the point? And the 2nd amendment is the second one because it is there to protect the 1st Amendment. I live in Mendocino County. We have a hugely armed population here, from all spectrum of society. There are 3500+ CCW (concealed carry) permits held by men, women, old, young, rich, poor, whites, blacks, Latinos, First Nations, LGBT etc folks here. The local IDPA club has sent some of the best shooters to the State finals and often wins the whole thing. This is a rural area and police are few and far between. There have been too many instances where trimmers kill growers or punks from the cities come up here looking to knock someone off and steal their weed harvest and cash. But now you best be careful which dirt road you choose and which home you wish to invade because a lot of country folks got wise and got armed.

              2. I’m all for the constitution, however our forefathers were also wise enough to give us the power to amend it for obvious reasons. They understood that what was best for country 226 years ago, might not be the same centuries later. Does a person continue to wear baby clothes as they grow into adulthood?

                The Bill of Rights protects free speech and the right to bear arms, but not as absolute rights without sensible limitations and restrictions. The Supreme Court certainly recognizes that the 1st amendment has it’s limits. For instance, crying fire and inciting panic inside a movie theater is not considered protected free speech. The same goes for inciting violence through speech.

                When the 2nd amendment was written, single shot muskets were the rifle of choice. Why should we, as a society, consider the 2nd amendment as absolute? The United States was intended to be governed as a society. A collective of now 50 states. If, as a society, we come to the conclusion that sensible, yet limited, gun control laws makes our society better, why should individual rights supercede the common good?

              3. FNQ, your arguments sound reasonable, but times change. Gun violence is spiraling out of control, and we have the equivalent of a Vietnam War casualty toll every 2 or 3 years, if one includes suicides.
                .
                In 2015, there were 374 mass shootings, or more than one per day on average. There were 64 school shootings, or over one per week on average.
                .
                Citing Everytown For Gun Safety, 93 people die every day due to guns. About 12,000 homicides are committed with guns. 62% of firearm deaths are suicides. On average, 7 children are killed each day by guns. For every person killed, 2 are injured. Each month, 50 women are shot and killed due to domestic violence with guns, America’s gun violence rate is 25 times higher than other developed country. Japan, with strict gun laws, actually had zero deaths one year.
                .
                The founding fathers wrote the Second Amendment considering the technology of that day which only included flintlocks. Now, with a flick of a switch, we have machine guns equipped with 100 round magazines.
                .
                If that is the price we pay for the right to bear arms, some will say that it is too high a price.
                .
                I used to live in Mendocino, and walked many times in the forest on old logging roads. Now, a friend up there is afraid to do that, due to the clandestine pot farms.
                .
                If we want to go back to original intent, every citizen should be allowed to own a flintlock.
                .
                I want a WELL REGULATED Second Amendment.
                .
                Instead, the carnage continues.

  2. I’d agree with most of this. I would swap Dallas and NY. Eli is done. I’m not sold on the Raiders being a top 5 team yet either. Could be their year, could also be a step back this season as well. I’d like to see a bit more consistency from Carr and I’d be hesitant to assume that Lynch will really bring that much to the team.

    1. The Giants won 11 games, beat Dallas twice last season and improved this offseason. I think Eli has one good season left.

      1. Their QB’s are on opposite trajectories. The Giants still don’t have a run game to take the pressure off of Eli nor have they shored up that offensive line. Eli has one season left and I question just how good it will be.

        1. Manning got sacked only 21 times last season. Perkins is good enough and McAdoo’s system is predicated on getting rid of the ball quickly.

          1. What exactly did we see from Perkins last year to suggest he’s “good enough?” McAdoo’s offense might help get the ball out quick but it stinks in terms of scoring points, ranked 26th in points per game. With Eli a year older, no improvement to the run game or offensive line you can’t expect that offense to be any better then it was last year, which wasn’t very good at all.

            1. Perkins averaged 4.1 yards per carry. That’s good enough. You don’t need a great running back to make the playoffs.

              The offense will score more points with Marshall and Engram. Marshall in particular will make a big difference.

              The Giants have a very good defense, they won 11 games last season and they will be better next season.

              1. Don’t think you can label a rookie RB that was only fed the ball 112 times and barely managed a 4 yard avg with zero TD’s good enough. That rookie performance can hardly be considered ‘good’ so I don’t see how you can assume he’s going to be good enough.

                “Marshall in particular will make a big difference.” Maybe, his first year with the Jets they went from 17.7 to 23.4 ppg but in his second year they dropped to 17.2 ppg. He had 100 receptions his first season but only 59 last. He did the same thing in Chicago. Had 100 receptions his first season and then 60 the next. So if they get a motivated BM then they might be better if he’s not motivated then you can’t expect much of an improvement.

              2. How many goal line carries did Perkins get? He was definitely better than Rashad Jennings.

                Good thing next year will be Marshall’s first with the Giants. He seems motivated to win a Super Bowl — that’s why he signed with New York.

              3. Let’s keep it in perspective, we’re not disagreeing that the Giants will be a better team but they were a 26th ranked offense and an 11th ranked defense, what they’ve done in the off season hasn’t propelled them into the top 5 of the NFL.

              4. The defense ranked 2nd in points allowed. Only four teams had better records than the Giants last season.

              5. Yea and? The first time they played was week 1 when Romo went down and Dak had to finish the game, they lost by one point. The second game was a 7-10 stalemate. Division rivalries are always close and can go either way.

              6. The Cowboys offense ranked 5th and had a lot of trouble against the Giants’ terrific defense.

              7. “Grant Cohn says:
                May 30, 2017 at 2:04 pm
                The Cowboys offense ranked 5th and had a lot of trouble against the Giants’ terrific defense.”

                Uh huh, yea so the Giants have a decent defense. That doesnt make them a top 5 team.

              8. My record is good. I correctly predicted the Super Bowl winner last season.

                Basing your opinions on other sports writers opinions is the worst form of sports journalism.

              9. “Grant Cohn says:
                May 31, 2017 at 8:21 am
                My record is good. I correctly predicted the Super Bowl winner last season.”

                Yea you were really setting yourself apart when you predicted the Patriots would win the SB last season :)

                I didn’t post those links to suggest you should follow your peers I did so to show that your view although potentially correct is very much in the minority. Most people don’t seem to agree that the Giants are a top 5 team. Some do, most don’t.

              10. Well sorta close:

                Coffee’s for Closers® says:
                August 25, 2016 at 1:00 pm

                SUPER BOWL: New England Patriots over Dallas Cowboys

                For the record I’ve correctly guessed the 49ers win total the past 3 seasons. How about you?

              11. No, I didn’t predict that. I explained a scenario where that could happen but my original prediction when the schedule came out was 2 wins. Man I gotta go find that one now too. Crap I wish it let me go back more then two pages at a time. :)

              12. What about the lazy King Solomon prediction, and how I would react when he wasn’t taken?

              13. Although I think you are partially right, I think I’ve only gotten the last couple years right.

              14. “Razoreater says:
                May 31, 2017 at 4:31 pm
                What about the lazy King Solomon prediction, ?”

                I made a few, which one was that again?

                You’re still getting that “lazy prediction” comment wrong. The lazy predictions were the mock drafters that were predicting ST not because they were researching the team but because they were just going with the popular pick. You’ve always assumed that I meant picking Thomas was a lazy pick.

              15. Nope, I never took it that way. I took it just as you described it. You didn’t think there was a chance in hell they’d take King Solomon…..

              16. No, I just wished like hell that they wouldn’t take him. I vehemently disagreed that he was a top 10 pick but did I say they would never take him? I really don’t remember that but I’ll go back and if I can find the actual quotes.

              17. Alex and I agree he’s got a year left as the starter. After that it’s Pat’s team for the taking.

              18. I’m very curious to see what happens if Mahomes gets his chance if Alice gets dinged or if Andy plans to insert him during the playoffs to get them over the hump. Similar to the way Harbaugh did with Kaepurnicus….

              19. Barring injury and being forced to play him to finish a game I don’t see him stepping on the field short of clean up in a blow out.

                Will he start the season as the #2? He could be inactive for the first half of the season.

              20. Will he start the season as the #2? He could be inactive for the first half of the season.

                Can’t happen when you spend the draft capital to move up into the top ten. Pressure will be too great, especially if Alice keeps uncocking the trigger….

            2. Oh, it was the one where you attributed all the King Solomon predictions were just lazy picks, and how you were afraid I might melt down when the 49ers declined to take him. I believe you were extremely confident they would select a DB at 2….

              1. Ah, I was pretty confident they would take a DB @2 and they probably should have. :)

                Don’t think you can call your potential reaction to them taking him or not a prediction but if you want to be my guest. I think I said a couple comments to that order to give you a hard time.

              2. Well, I was extremely confident he was their target long before he was the mocker’s pet.

              3. We know. You got your cookie, now what have you done for us lately? :)

              4. Look at you Sebrazor. Always looking for that pat on the back.

                Unravelling, snivelling and looking to combat.

                Coo coo!

              5. Not about cookies but vindication is sweet, especially after all the sour pronostigations. The point is, none of us are right 100% of the time. So when you play the prediction game, chances are you’re going to be eating crow soon rather than later….

              6. There’s prime time sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. Explains the brown stain on the tip.

              7. No one here is sooner to admit when they’ve blown a guess then myself, im my harshest critic…well after Nick at least these days. I justify all of my self promoting by all of the self hating I do as well ;)

            3. Grant Cohn says:
              May 31, 2017 at 4:41 pm
              “Coffee’s for Closers® says:
              April 14, 2016 at 5:26 pm Edit
              W
              L
              L
              L
              L
              L
              W
              L
              L
              L
              W
              L
              W
              L
              W
              L
              5-11”

              Dang, there’s no arguing with that. I’m gonna keep looking for what I’m thinking of then because I can distinctly remember calling them a 2 win team before the season started.

              1. Well I’ve gone searching and I’ll be darned If I can find what I was thinking of. I really wasn’t trying to be a lying bastard but apparently I am. Oh well. Good thing I didn’t make any bets on it.

    2. You make a good case for the Giants Grant and I do think they will be better than Dallas this year who I think takes a step backward. Way too hard to rank teams right now, but your list looks pretty solid.

      1. Thanks. Defenses will have trouble trying to cover Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and Shane Vereen on third down.

        1. With Eli throwing to them, for good and bad. Eli will have good targets, but he has a propensity to throw picks.

    3. Oh yeah, FOOTBALL! It sure took quite some time before I got to read something about football. It would be nice if we could stick to that and keep away from personal attacks. And please don’t start arguing about who started it!

  3. Way too early for this. Injuries and cuts yet to happen.

    Raiders will not be as good as last year. KC still taking that division.

    NE will not repeat, only once have they gone to back to back SBs. Superstar qbs one year have known to fall off and fall off hard the next (Favre and Manning are two, had amazing years then crap the next). You’re banking against age and father time, and he’s undefeated as they say.

    Packers, nope. Not a complete team.

    Giants, double nope. Again, father time. And last year vs GB they showed the teams true spirit (and not even talking about the boat incident but that does make you wonder).

    Pitt, nah. Ben is waiting to get injured again. He’s lost mobility. He considered retirement.

    This year seems to be a year where a surprise team, or teams, will take the crown. I’m not sure who, but those other teams will all step back.

    But again, its May 30. Lets all have this talk on August 30.

  4. 1. Patriots 2. San Diego Chargers–Joey Bosa gives the D a boost. 3. Raiders
    4. ATL 5. Steeleers.

    SuperBowl: LA Chargers vs. Green Bay

      1. JR,

        Perhaps your not familiar with this:

        These 4 sleeper teams are poised to break into the 2017 NFL playoffs
        Los Angeles Chargers
        Source: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/05/nfl-2017-playoffs-predictions-sleepers-buccaneers-titans-chargers-eagles

        TomD’s Take: JR, While I’m sorry for your loss (Chargers to LA), lashing out at me won’t improve your health. Perhaps buying a game and bus ticket on game day to watch your beloved Chargers in LA may prove cathartic.

        Your friend, TomD.

  5. I think the Steelers fade a bit…early playoff exit at best. Same with the Giants. Seahawks will enter the playoffs strong, whether we like it or not. I agree with eMJay, let’s look at this again at end of training Camp.

    A Seahawks/Raiders Super Bowl would be interesting.

      1. I beg to differ. They traded back and amassed a boatload of picks. Gilliam, for them, may be addition through subtraction. Earl Thomas will be back. Rawls is a beast and Prosise may open eyes. If their O line improves, the offense will improve, and coupled with that defense, they will be a formidable opponent.
        .
        Ya gotta give the devil his due. It is no wonder the Seahawks have been in the playoffs. Good players, good coaching, and smart ownership.
        .
        However, I hope this is the year that the Niners can split some of the games with their division rivals this year.

  6. I’ll be interested to see if the Packers’ D has improved enough to contend; DBs weren’t the only problem.
    We’re reacting to teams on paper, but it’s pretty hard not to like Pats’ chances.
    NFCW Az may give ‘hags some competition, and Pats own theirs, but the other divisions have plenty of spoiler opportunities by knocking each other off. AFCW, for instance.

        1. “but I find it hard to get behind a team led by Sam Bradford…”

          Nobody will blame ya either.

    1. I agree Scooter. Defense needs to improve, but the Bucs look loaded offensively. NFC South will feature a lot of shootouts this season imo.

      1. Yeah, the D isn’t great. Looking forward to seeing what Winston can do with the much improved weapons though. Impressive they managed to go 9-7 last year with basically just Evans as a threat.

      1. People were saying similar things about the Raiders last year. Much improved roster that could compete for a playoff spot, but going to be difficult because they have the Chiefs and Broncos in their division.

        Despite finishing 2nd in their division they had a 12-4 record. I think the Bucs can easily be a 10-11 win team this season, even if they don’t win their division. All depends on Winston’s progress as a QB, and keeping some of their star players healthy.

        1. True, sounds like they did well in free agency and had a solid draft. I mocked Chris Godwin several times.

  7. The Steelers will win the AFC. They added Juju to an already potent offense. They also drafted TJ Watt. I agree that the Falcons will take a step back (might miss the playoffs). You make good points about GB.

    Unfortunately, I’m predicting Steelers over Packers in the SB. If Pitt can’t do it on thier own, the refs will help them. Why? Because thier starting QB (rapist) will hint at or announce that this is his final season.

    1. The refs will help the Steelers win the Super Bowl because they want to help a rapist QB? I’ve read that 10 times and it still makes zero sense.

      1. In the same way they cheated us by helping the Ravens. They honored Ray Lewis throughout his final season even though he was involved in a murder (allegedly of course).

        1. The 49ers-Ravens Super Bowl was one of the worst officiated games I have ever seen. Bad calls were made on both sides. As much as I’d like to agree with you that the 49ers lost because of the officiating, we really beat ourselves. Yes, the refs could have called interference or defensive holding on any one of the passes to Crabtree at the end but we were boneheads for not being more creative. We had a much better team than the Ravens but we played a horrible 1st half. If we had played as good as we should have, those bad calls wouldn’t have mattered.

          Lewis transgressions occurred at the beginning of his career in 1999. He pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and his companions were found innocent because of self-defense. He had 13 years to build the respect of his peers, coaches, and owners. Although he was a fierce competitor, he was beloved by many by the time he retired. Roethlisberger is a completely different story. He was accused of rape in 2009 and again in 2010. He is not looked at in the same way as Lewis was.

  8. 5. Seahawks
    4. Raiders
    3. Steelers
    2. Falcons
    1. Patriots

    Green Bay is not even a .500 team without Rodgers and they’re defense is doo doo. Dallas choked last year.

    SB: Patriots v. Seahawks

    I just can’t bring myself to rank the Giants in the top 5. Eli Manning is all smoke and mirrors.

  9. I like this analysis but do not believe the Patriots win it all this year. Easy to forget despite Brady and Belicheat’s acknowledged talents, the Pat’s have gotten enormous breaks over the years. The Tuck Rule, Wilson’s fastball down the middle to a Pat’s defender (or a bad play call?) and then the Falcons offense suddenly becomes comatose, (whether it was Shanny or a team effort it was not the Pat’s D that did it). So the saying is “Better lucky than good” and the Pat’s sure can’t disagree. But this year, good ain’t going to be enough and the law of averages say some other team is going to be the lucky one. I like the Raiders chances. They’re solid now – and they’re due. (Last year’s bad luck loss of Derek Carr was deal killer.)

    1. You can say that the Patriots were lucky but for their 2 SB wins that you attribute to luck, I’ll refer you to the 2 SB’s that they lost to the Giants. The 1st one was the helmet catch and the 2nd one was when Manningham made that unbelievable sideline catch. The Patriots were much obviously a better team than the Giants both times. I think the “luck” balanced out

      The key to beating the Patriots in the AFC is to get home-field advantage in the playoffs.

  10. Grant I have no reason to debate your 2017 ranking, but as a casual observer, I wonder how long Martavis Bryant’s next suspension will be. What’s the success rate for players returning to the NFL after a one year suspension?

    1. I like that scenario as well. I think Gallman gives that offense a nice compliment to Perkins in the backfield, not to mention the addition of Marshall at WR. Their defense is Super Bowl caliber. If Ben can stay healthy, I doubt anyone stops the Steelers offensively, so if their defense takes the next step, it could be towards Minneapolis….

  11. Power rankings as of today:
    1. Patriots
    2. Packers
    3. Falcons
    4. Seahawks
    5. Steelers

    Super Bowl: Seattle over Oakland

  12. .the steelers are always injured and have a qb on his way out. Replace with Atl. They are still better than Pitt.

    The raiders are a top 5 team but still not a super bowl winner until they get a secondary and draft picks aren’t going to help. LYNCH was losing a step 2 years ago. He will help but not that much.

    The giants??? Ha haaaaaaaa! Replace with Dallas and maybe Philly this year.

    Green Bay??? See raiders. Replace with Houston who will again have the far best defense in the league with a healthy Beast of a d-lineman this time. No need to mention his name.

    New England is done. They will make the playoffs but will not win it again.

    Houston vs Dallas. Re lone star state bowl.

  13. Packers have DB questions. Steelers and Giants have aging QBs. Raiders will face stiff competition in their division. Pats will fade due to their division improving. Houston has the best D, but huge QB question marks. Cowboys may have a sophomore slump. Tampa has to face the Falcons and Panthers 4 times.

    Up and comers? Carolina will be back, Seahawks might have fixed their O line. Raiders with Lynch will be intriguing, and the Titans could dominate their division. Sure, the Pats are the favorites, but their QB may be showing his age.

  14. Pfft anyone can be lazy and pick the top 5 teams, real men go all 32:

    Patriots
    Steelers
    Packers
    Cowboys
    Chiefs
    Falcons
    Raiders
    Giants
    Titans
    Colts
    Texans
    Cardinals
    Dolphins
    Bucs
    Redskins
    Vikings
    Panthers
    Lions
    Ravens
    Broncos
    Seahawks
    49ers
    Eagles
    Saints
    Bengals
    Chargers
    Bills
    Jaguars
    Rams
    Bears
    Jets
    Browns

    1. Browns won’t be at the bottom. They have a lousy coach — ask the Raiders — but they will still be something like 6-10. Jets will suck, so will the Rams. I think the Colts, Ravens and Seahawks will have lousy years. Saints might be a surprise, Falcons will probably tank…

  15. Have a couple posts waiting for moderation. There’s a couple of self nudes in those links but nothing not worth sharing. ;)

  16. Sleeper? Az Cardinals.. Top RB in NFL. If injured players revert to form, young players play to potential, and rookies pan out… Special teams cost them 4 W’s last year.

    1. Palmer has been steadily declining, and Gabbert is Gabbert. Cant anoint a team with big question marks at QB.

      1. When Bruce Arians was asked to comment on the Gabbert signing he said: Gabbert’s never had anyone to throw to. Not trying to make any predictions but I found that comment interesting. Arians is no fool. I think he’s one of the best and Cardinals could have some surprises in store this year.

        1. I remember Gabbert having Hyde to throw to on a simple swing pass, and missing completely.
          .
          He also mentioned that Kaep was scary, and presented a formidable challenge to counter because he could beat you with his arm or legs.

  17. Made a mistake on my original SuperBowl Prediction, so am changing way before opening day:

    1. Patriots 2. ATL 3. LA Chargers 4. Raiders 5. Pitt

    SuperBowl—ATL vs. LA Chargers

  18. Lol. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/06/02/raiders-new-offensive-coordinator-sees-no-need-for-big-changes/

    ““I think there’s a certain amount of, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’” Downing said, via ESPN”

    Posted By Grant Cohn on May 30, 2017
    “The biggest one, though, will be offensive coordinator Todd Downing. He replaced Bill Musgrave, whose formations were predictable and vanilla (has he ever heard of a bunch set or sending a receiving in motion before the snap?). Musgrave’s lack of creativity allowed opposing defenses to shut down the Raiders’ best weapon, Amari Cooper, for long stretches of games. With Musgrave gone, Cooper will have the best season of his career.”

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