Pete Prisco has released his pre-season Power Rankings over at CBS SportsLine, where he has the defending Super Bowl Champion Colts sitting at the top of the league. Buffalo falls in at #20, which is in the area that they finished last season, at least record-wise. My thoughts on the power rankings follow:
I can debate anyone all day about how the Pats are the most overrated team in the NFL (they're #2 in Prisco's rankings), but clearly the are out-overranked by the Dallas Cowboys also strikes me as a team that is a bit overrated. Prisco hits the nail on the head - which Tony Romo will we see in '07? The brilliant stretches or the moments of frustration? I don't think this team is as good as a lot of people think - they play in a tough division and should contend for the playoffs, but I don't see them being a Top-10 team in the NFL.
The #13 ranking went to the Arizona Cardinals. Yes, folks - the Arizona Cardinals. That's just ludicrous. You're telling me that the Cardinals rank 7 spots ahead of the Bills? Ridiculous. That team also has a second-year quarterback, and while their O-Line should be better and increase the effectiveness of the offense as a whole, the defense still has a ways to go. This is not close to a playoff team yet, in my humble opinion.
There are a few teams that aren't getting the attention they deserve yet, or aren't getting enough attention. The New Orleans Saints are, to me, the team to beat in the NFC. They've added a good mix of veteran and young talent on defense (B. Simmons, J. David, K. Kaesviharn, U. Young just to name a few) and the drafting of Robert Meachem will make an explosive offense absolutely lethal. This team is going to dominate football games in 2007.
I hate to say it, but the Tennessee Titans are way underrated as the #29 team in the league. I agree with Prisco's view that the Titans have not made any strides to get better. They let Travis Henry walk and replace him with a rookie whose college production was only about 800 yards better than mine. With that said, I will never bet against Vince Young. He's not a sound quarterback, he doesn't have mind-boggling stats, but the dude just wins. That's enough for me to elevate them to a Top-20 status.
Finally, it's time to be a homer. I love being a homer. The BUFFALO BILLS are vastly underrated, people! This is a team that is going to fly under the radar all year. People focus too much on the big-name losses of Clements, Fletcher, Spikes and especially McGahee. What they fail to notice is that our offense is much improved as a group, which will allow J.P. Losman to further mature as a quarterback. Our defense is deep along the defensive line and talented (if inexperiened) in the back seven. Give our defense a few weeks to get their feet under them, and I don't see our production slipping too much from '06 to '07. I see the Bills surprising people this season and finishing second in the division. I don't see us as a playoff team - there are just too many good teams in the AFC at this point that are more experienced - but we will contend. Mark it down.
Thoughts on the initial power rankings?