The start of a new season is upon us and so today we bring back one of last year’s most enjoyable (and mocked) features: the NFL Top 10. Each Tuesday, I’ll power-rank the top 10 teams in the league and explain why I’ve got ’em where I’ve got ’em. Be sure to vote in the poll at the end to let your opinion known. Here we go…
#10: NY Jets (11-5 last year): Once you wash the throw up out of your mouth, just know that I’ve got the Jets lower that most everyone else. I truly believe they’ll take a step back this season, but a second straight trip to the AFC Championship Game gets them into the Top 10 Week 1.
#9: Houston (6-10): The only team in the Top 10 that had a losing record last year, I think that Houston (with new DC Wade Phillips) is ready to make moves–especially with the injury to Peyton Manning giving them an early-season edge. We’ll see them in person Week 2 at Sun Life.
#8: Baltimore (12-4): A perennial Top 10 team, the Ravens will be tested right off the bat, hosting division rival Pittsburgh on Sunday. Will this be the year they get over the hump/Steelers?
#7: New Orleans (11-5): I spent all of 2010 saying I wasn’t that high on the Saints and I looked foolish until they collapsed at Seattle in the playoffs. They’re a good team but they’ve had a lot of turnover in the backfield and I’m not entirely sure what to expect. Playing in one of the toughest divisions in football, too.
#6: San Diego (9-7): Another early-season opponent for the Fins, the Chargers have been notorious slow-starters the last few years. They host Donovan McNabb and the Vikings Week 1, so that should be a win. Last year, if not for one of the worst special teams seasons in history, they’d have won a few more games and who knows what could have been.
#5: Pittsburgh (12-4): As usual, here are the Steelers. The schedule is set up for them to get off to another hot start and I’d expect nothing else. A Week 1 win at Baltimore would be impressive and not particularly shocking.
#4: Atlanta (13-3): The #1 seed in the NFC last post-season, the Falcons came crashing down to earth in the playoffs as they got slammed by the eventual champs in the Divisional round. Still, with the addition of WR Julio Jones, I expect them to cruise to double-digit wins again.
#3: Philadelphia (10-6): Ah, yes, the “dream team.” Philly is clearly the class of their division and have what should be essentially a tune-up this week at St. Louis. Expect points. A lot of points.
#2: New England (14-2): The Pats had the best record in the NFL last year and I don’t expect them to step back much at all. A great test for the Dolphins on Monday night–can’t wait!
#1: Green Bay Packers (10-6): Gotta put the defending champs at the top, right? Right. The Packers peaked at the right time after sneaking into the playoffs last year. We’ll see if that momentum continues here in 2011.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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