View Full Version : Power Rankings: Steelers ... Hey, I was only eight off

02-09-2009, 06:46 PM
Power Rankings: Steelers ... Hey, I was only eight off
By Pete Prisco
CBSSports.com Senior Writer
Updated Feb. 9

At the conclusion of the NFL season, it's always fun to look back at how the Week 1 CBSSports.com Power Rankings looked -- and then mock myself, and give you guys a freebie.

I can tell you this: The Pittsburgh Steelers, who won Super Bowl XLIII, weren't the top team in the rankings.

The Steelers weren't even in the top five.

Shows what I know.

The top five before the season looked like this: Colts, Patriots, Saints, Chargers and the Cowboys.

Nice going. Three of the five didn't even make the playoffs.

The Steelers were eighth to start the season, which I have to say is higher than most predicted.

Remember how the Cleveland Browns were the chic pick to win the AFC North? I never bought into that.

Here's what I wrote about the Steelers then:

"Let's not forget that they won the division last season, not the Browns. The big key here is how well the offensive line plays. I think it shows improvement, which will help keep Ben Roethlisberger much more upright this season."

Do I get a little credit?

As for the Arizona Cardinals, the team the Steelers beat in that wonderful Super Bowl, I had them in the No. 15 spot.

My comments for the Cardinals went like this: "They will be a team that gets better as the season moves along as their young players improve. Better get team early. Kurt Warner is more than capable as the starting quarterback. Just look at his history."

I'd have to say I kind of hit that one -- even if I was reluctant to put them in the top 10.

Like the NFL teams already have, we've moved on from the 2008 season. The league's scouting combine is next week. Free agency opens at the end of the month and the draft is in April.

Oh yeah. We're also readying for the Will-Brett-play-or-not circus.

But before we move on, we'll give you one last batch of our CBSSports.com Power Rankings, just so you can get a good laugh at how wrong I was to start the season.

Power Rankings

Current Team Previous
1 Steelers Trends 3
The champs look stacked again for 2009. They do need to fortify their offensive line, especially with left tackles Max Starks and Marvel Smith unrestricted free agents.
2 Cardinals Trends 11
As long as Kurt Warner comes back, they have a real chance to win the division again and possibly be back in the Super Bowl. We saw their talent rise to the top in the playoffs. They will have two new coordinators.
3 Ravens Trends 7
As Joe Flacco continues to grow, so will this offense. They need to score more in 2009 and they will. What do they do with Ray Lewis?
4 Eagles Trends 9
The Andy Reid-Donovan McNabb duo is back for another season, and that's a good thing. They have to figure out a way to throw it vertically better and they need more from their running game.
5 Giants Trends 2
The biggest offseason decision will involve receiver Plaxico Burress. Do they bring him back? Word is Tom Coughlin doesn't want him, but others do.
6 Titans Trends 1
They have to make a decision on Kerry Collins. Are they committed to him as their 2009 starter? You would think they are, but it will cost them.
7 Colts Trends 5
Now coach Jim Caldwell takes over a talented team that was hit hard by injuries. The Colts will again be a contender in the AFC, even without Tony Dungy.
8 Panthers Trends 4
Is Jake Delhomme the answer? He didn't look like it in the loss to the Cardinals. That's a tough decision this team has to make. The Julius Peppers and Jordan Gross situations are worth watching.
9 Falcons Trends 6
They took a major step forward in 2008 -- surprisingly -- but they should be back in the playoffs again. They need to fix a few problem areas, like defensive tackle, safety and tight end. But the pieces are in place.
10 Chargers Trends 14
The interesting thing to watch for the Chargers is how they handle the LaDainian Tomlinson situation. Does he take a pay cut? If not, does he come back? One thing's for certain: This is Philip Rivers' team now.
11 Patriots Trends 12
Tom Brady is expected back, which will make them a Super Bowl contender again. They lost offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to the Broncos, a move that could be felt, but shouldn't be as long as Brady is back.
12 Dolphins Trends 8
Here's an early prediction: They will be the step-back team this year like the Cleveland Browns were in 2008. The schedule is much tougher in 2009.
13 Vikings Trends 10
Who plays quarterback? Do they really think Tarvaris Jackson is the answer? They should make a run at Byron Leftwich.
14 Cowboys Trends 13
Owner Jerry Jones decided to stick with Wade Phillips and that will make for a tension-filled season. Does T.O. return? He should.
15 Buccaneers Trends 15
Raheem Morris takes over for Jon Gruden and that is welcomed by a lot of players. Morris did a smart thing hiring Jeff Jagodzinski as offensive coordinator. He will get the ball down the field. Now all he needs is a quarterback.
16 Jets Trends 16
Will he or won't he? Is Brett Favre playing again? If the Jets are lucky, he's done. New coach Rex Ryan should hope Favre is gone. Ryan will get the defense playing better.
17 Texans Trends 17
They have a chance to be this year's Cardinals. They have the tools on offense and they have young talent on defense. They just need to fill in some of the holes on defense, like safety.
18 Bears Trends 18
Kyle Orton heads to camp as the starter at quarterback, but you can bet there will be competition. They are expected to sign a veteran player. Having Lovie Smith become more involved in the defense is needed.
19 Saints Trends 19
The addition of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will help that side of the ball that has held this team down for some time. They also have to decide on who will be the feature runner.
20 Broncos Trends 20
Josh McDaniels comes to the Broncos with a reputation for offense and he has a heck of a guy to build around in Jay Cutler. The defense is the problem with this team. It has to be improved.
21 49ers Trends 21
New coach Mike Singletary has to decide what to do with his quarterback position. Is it Shaun Hill or Alex Smith or somebody else? It has to be better, whoever it is.
22 Bills Trends 22
Dick Jauron received another year, but he has to win in 2009. The key is Trent Edwards. Was his good start last season an aberration or did his injuries play a factor in him tailing off?
23 Packers Trends 23
Aaron Rodgers proved he could be the guy to take this team to a Super Bowl in his first year as a starter. Now they need to give him more help -- especially on both lines.
24 Bengals Trends 24
They fixed the defense somewhat in 2008, and getting Carson Palmer healthy again will help fix the offense. This might be a team to watch in 2009.
25 Redskins Trends 25
Can Dan Snyder continue the fiscal responsibility he showed last spring? If he's smart he will. The key for Washington has to be the growth of Jason Campbell. He needs to do more in 2009 -- or it will be his last as a starter.
26 Jaguars Trends 26
They need to spend the offseason fixing their offensive and defensive lines. New general manager Gene Smith faces a challenging year. Is David Garrard the answer? They'll find out.
27 Raiders Trends 27
Al Davis decided to stay with Tom Cable as the coach. Considering the owner, who else would take this job? Cable did show well in the final month.
28 Seahawks Trends 28
Jim Mora takes over for Mike Holmgren and he has to hope like heck this team can stay healthier than it did last season. The key will be quarterback Matt Hasselbeck returning to his 2007 form.
29 Chiefs Trends 29
I like the hiring of Todd Haley, but now they have to decide who quarterbacks his wide-open offense. Is it Tyler Thigpen or do they draft a passer with the third overall pick?
30 Browns Trends 30
Eric Mangini did so well in New York that Cleveland gave him another job. Why? The good thing is there is some young talent on this roster.
31 Rams Trends 31
Steve Spagnuolo has work to do on both sides of the ball, but the brunt of the work has to come on offense. Marc Bulger has to revert to his pre-contract ways.
32 Lions Trends 32
New coach Jim Schwartz has a lot of work to do. The first priority: Making sure the team drafts Matt Stafford with the first pick in April.

02-10-2009, 08:58 AM
Well at least Pete Prisco came back and busted on himself a little for his power rankings. But hey at the beginning of the season everyone had the Cowgirls, Cheatriots, Colts and Chargers as the sexy picks. Like they always say, it's not how you start the season, it's how you end it.

02-10-2009, 09:24 AM
maybe my math is bad..but wasn't he 7 off? The Steelers weren't 0.

02-10-2009, 11:00 AM
Shows how much the power rankings mean. They just go off the teams record and their own personal opinion.

02-10-2009, 11:08 AM
The top five before the season looked like this: Colts, Patriots, Saints, Chargers and the Cowboys.

And the top 5 going into next season will probably be Pats*, Colts, Cowboys, Giants and Chargers. :yawn: :coffee:

02-10-2009, 11:10 AM
And the top 5 going into next season will probably be Pats*, Colts, Cowboys, Giants and Chargers. :yawn: :coffee:

Are you serious? You already said Patriots and Colts -- do you even need to finish the top 5??

02-10-2009, 01:32 PM
Are you serious? You already said Patriots and Colts -- do you even need to finish the top 5??

Good point - when July rolls around, they really are the only two teams that exist in the knobslobbing media's eyes, right? Well, those two teams along with their annual overhyping of the Cowboys, which is equally nauseating and tiresome.

02-10-2009, 04:00 PM
At least with the Cowboys, it's not all hype; there's also a healthy dose of "will Romo ever stop being such a choke artist" and "can the team make it through a season without half the players getting suspended."

02-10-2009, 05:02 PM
Could be an all Pennsylvania SB XLIV