EDITOR'S NOTE 4:40PM: Since the Redskins and Giants kick off Thursday night, this will be the last call for submissions of power rankings. We've got 10 so far, so anybody else, feel free to contribute. If you're interested but not registered, you can register by either "Signing Up" on the top left of the front page, or going into the comments for this post where there's an option for registering. The more submissions the better. I'll close polling tomorrow by lunchtime pacific time I'm thinking.
Back in July we put together our first community power rankings for the new season. Now that the preseason is over and 53-man rosters are pretty much set, it's time for the next set of power rankings. While preseason records don't tell us much, there were some intriuging performances. Notable among those would be the 4-0 Detroit Lions. Of course Atlanta went 3-1 last preseason and finished 4-12 for the year, so take it all with a grain of salt, right?
So, for those who don't remember how it worked, here's the thread we used for the pre-training camp rankings. It's NFC only and all you need to do is rank them 1-16. We had 12 voters last time, so hopefully we can get some more this time around. The more the merrier. For now I'm plugging them into an Excel spreadsheet and figuring out the aggregate rankings, which will be posted later this week. If somebody is interested in handling this on a week to week basis I'm accepting volunteers.
I'll give some thoughts on each team, but it is not required from you guys. Also, I'll bump this up to the top of the posts once or twice over the coming days to keep the ballots coming in:
1. Dallas Cowboys (13-3): Quite simply, they're the team to beat until proven otherwise.
2. Seattle Seahawks (10-6): I had them 6th before training camp, and even though preseason doesn't prove anything, I'm impressed so far. The teams I had ahead of them have too many question marks.
3. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Hopefully Hurricane Gustav doesn't keep them out of New Orleans for too long. The talent is definitely there to make a run in the NFC
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7): Cadillac is down again, but Earnest Graham should be able to handle his business. Throw in a tough defense and the battle with the Saints for the division title should be fun to watch, thus I've got them tied for third (what a cop-out right)?
5. Philadelphia Eagles (7-9): Their receivers are dropping like flies, meaning DeSean Jackson might get a chance to really shine this season. As long as they've got McNabb and Westbrook with that defense they're going to be fine. Look for a bounce back season from Reggie Brown.
6. Green Bay Packers (13-3): Now that the Favre distraction is over, Aaron Rodgers can get to business of leading this team. Even if he struggles, they've got one heck of a ball-hawking defense.
7. Minnesota Vikings (8-8): I'm convinced Tavaris Jackson is gonna cost them this season. However, having Adrian Peterson and that defense could cover up that fact.
8. Washington Redskins (9-7): They went 3-2 in the preseason with a points differential of -45. Simply amazing.
9. Carolina Panthers (7-9): In the last ranking I mentioned Williams starting at RB. Could be an impressive platoon with Jonathan Stewart. I actually think I'm under-rating the Panthers, as I think they could very well make the playoffs.
10. NY Giants (10-6): Losing Osi Umenyiora is really gonna hurt that defense. A struggling defense means more responsibility on Eli's shoulders. I'm not holding my breath, as I think they're officially low man on the NFC East totem pole. The only reason they're not lower is because they're the defending champs.
11. Arizona Cardinals (8-8): The Cardinals and 49ers are two teams that could do most anything this season and I wouldn't be shocked. We'll see what Warner can do with this high octane offense.
12. San Francisco 49ers (5-11): I wanted to move them higher, but I just don't know where yet. The offense showed life, the defense should be fine, but again, anything could happen this season.
13. Chicago Bears (7-9): Orton may have looked great against the 49ers, but that defense got slapped around. If the defense struggles this year, they're going in the tank.
14. St. Louis Rams (3-13): You know they're psyched to have Steven Jackson back in the fold.
15. Detroit Lions (7-9): There's no way their 4-0 preseason is indicative of the coming regular season.
16. Atlanta Falcons (4-12): Their offense is really going to struggle this year, but they're looking to the future. Matt Ryan will take his lumps and I'm sure Falcons fans hope he doesn't follow in the footsteps of David Carr and Alex Smith.