2010 NFL Preview: Ranking the Eight NFL Teams in the Three Biggest States
The 2010 NFL season is less than three months from kicking into swing.
In an effort to cope with the offseason pain, I have conducted a list of power rankings designated in the three biggest states in terms of combined land and population.
While New York boasts a couple of perpetual contenders, I’m the type of guy that loves fun under the sun, especially in the summer.
So without further ado, I present my predictions on how the eight teams in the three largest states will unfold at the end of the ’10 season.
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers finished with a 9-7 record in 2008 but fell apart like a $2 suitcase last season. Nevertheless, better things are expected on the horizon.
For the last seven years the team that finished last in the NFC South has recovered to make the playoffs and win the division the following year.
In spite of this, the Bucs are very young, still rebuilding, and trapped in an arduous division, so barring planet realignments, a repeat of the appalling trend will come to an end this season.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville shocked the world by selecting DT Tyson Alualu with the 10th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft last April.
Alualu will significantly alleviate the bleeding that has been a constant occurrence on the Jaguars’ defensive front.
Immersed in a division with three playoff contenders, the Jaguars will observe a corruptive downfall in ’10 overflowing with heartache and misfortune, before they inevitably rise in 2011 for playoff contention. Think of it like global warming, it’s supposed to get cold before it gets hot. Only this isn’t a hoax.
6. Oakland Raiders
Oakland hasn’t seen the playoffs since 2002, undergoing five different head coaches and a 29-83 record over the last seven seasons.
The main reason was perpetual poor draft selections, but they finally fixed the issue in last April. Furthermore, Oakland found terrific steals with every pick that fit their necessities. If this team can figure out how to win at home, a playoff berth won’t be out of reach.
5. San Diego Chargers
Before blood starts shooting out of your eyes, I’ll point out the fact that everyone said I was senseless for claiming the Giants would miss the playoffs this time last year. I stuck to my word the entire season, even when the Giants were going into Week Six undefeated.
The Giants finished the season in dilapidation, losing five of their last 11 games by 20 points or more.
So what’s the connection between the 2009 Giants and the Chargers of the upcoming season?
Overrated electrification drawn in from the media, sky-scraping expectations, superstars still as holdouts, colossal distractions, and an inexplicable outlook for its division rivals.
Deviating from popular opinion, the AFC West is far from already being decided and is available for the taking by anyone not named Kansas City. Call me crazy, but the Chargers have witnessed a loss of power via recent discharges, and this is my honest 100 percent gut feeling, which never fails when I know beyond a shout of a doubt.
San Diego will sure enough be a tough contender, but I wouldn’t be the least surprised if they didn’t make the postseason cut.
4. Miami Dolphins
A year following the groundbreaking 1-15 to 11-5 turnaround, the Dolphins flipped back to a losing 7-9 record in ’09.
But while the entire front seven was chock-full of players on the verge of the retirement, Miami fortified its needs, using seven of their eight draft picks on defensive players.
QB Chad Henne shows a ton of promise, so it all depends on Brandon Marshall. The difference could be from getting in as a wild card team or receiving the kiss of death and aimlessly falling short.
3. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers come off their best season since 2003.
They’re poised to strike gold this season with Kurt Warner and other stars no longer involved with the Arizona Cardinals.
It’s a do-or-die year for QB Alex Smith, and I believe he will excel with an emerging offense at hand in All-Pro tight end Vernon Davis and up-and-coming Michael Crabtree.
Moreover, Smith will have excellent protected vision to spot his open receivers, and the hard-hitting defense will smash the opposition to smithereens with the new additions.
2. Houston Texans
The Texans come off their first winning record in team history, and the best is yet to come. Houston is on a quest to prove that “America’s Team” is not the preeminent team from the Lone Star State.
Houston led the league in the passing attack in ’09 with Matt Schaub throwing a passing frenzy, yet their receiving corps is even stronger.
Steve Slaton has resolved the fumbling issues, entering ’10 completely healthy with complementary assistance via second-year pro Arian Foster and rookie Ben Tate.
On defense, the secondary has improved substantially with Bernard Pollard receiving help from second-year veteran Glover Quinn and rookie Kareem Jackson. Furthermore, DeMeco Ryans and company will pick up the slack during Brian Cushing’s four-game suspension.
Albeit Mario Williams is one of the top defensive linemen in the league, Antonio Smith and Connor Barwin merged together actually outshined Williams’ excellent numbers in ’09. The Houston Texans will make the playoffs this season—I guarantee it.
1. Dallas Cowboys
Analogous to the “Super” Chargers, the Cowgirls seem to always be repeat Super Bowl favorites prior to the initiation of every season.
Parallel once more with San Diego, Dallas has had difficulty in winning games in the playoffs. However, the Cowboys had a sensational draft with their first four picks, filling voids and nabbing steals with every selection.
Houston could purloin Dallas of the title as the most paramount team from the three biggest states, but until they duel in preseason and then again in Week Three of the regular season, the Cowboys will rightfully remain at the top spot of the list.
Verse of this Piece
“Everyone who hears my words and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. It rainded hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock.”—Matthew 7:24-25| 2010 NFL Power Rankings, 2010 NFL Preview, America's Team, Houston Texans