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Old 07-22-2005, 11:41 PM   #1
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Default Preseason rankings: NFC

Preseason rankings: NFC
By Charles Robinson, Yahoo! Sports
July 22, 2005

Unlike last year, the status of Terrell Owens doesn't shape the top of the NFC's preseason rankings. With the conference so weak, and the Eagles so deep in talent and experience, even a protracted holdout or trade of Owens couldn't knock them from the top spot.

That's a testament to the Eagles' front office, which has been at the forefront of player development and salary-cap management over the last few years. But it's also an indictment on the rest of the NFC, where poor drafts, age and free agency have robbed the strength from many teams. In fact, the conference has become so thin that a ranking of the NFL's top 15 teams would arguably include only four from the NFC ? Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minnesota and Carolina.

While the conference does have some teams with impressive potential (Detroit, Arizona and Chicago), Philadelphia easily lords over the here-and-now in the NFC.

NFC PRESEASON RANKINGS

1. Philadelphia Eagles ? T.O. or no T.O., the Eagles are far and away the best team in the NFC. They have the best depth, best collection of starting talent and most experience. Granted, the corps of receivers isn't very imposing without Owens, but the Eagles gained an entirely new self-confidence when they reached the Super Bowl without him in the lineup. As long as the contract issues with Corey Simon don't lead to a training camp holdout and a replacement can be found for defensive end Derrick Burgess, the team should be dominant enough to earn another Super Bowl berth.

2. Atlanta Falcons ? It's time Michael Vick developed a passing rapport with someone not name Alge Crumpler. Rookie Roddy White might give Atlanta a speedy deep option, but he's not going to change the fact that Vick has yet to become comfortable with any wide receiver since arriving in Atlanta. Vick is dangerous enough as it is, but forcing defenses to be honest against the pass would make him unstoppable (Didn't we say this last year?). The defense is going to be even better this season. It didn't gain speed with the signings of linebackers Ed Hartwell and Ike Reese, but it got sure tacklers. Also, in the secondary, a healthy DeAngelo Hall is going to work wonders against the pass.

3. Minnesota Vikings ? Randy Moss is gone, and rookie Troy Williamson won't even come close to replacing him. Rather than relying on another receiver to fill the void Moss left, the Vikings need running back Michael Bennett to stay healthy for a full season. Bennett's presence will also be needed to help quarterback Daunte Culpepper get used to the loss of Moss. Don't expect the defense to click immediately. With five major additions, it's going to take time for Minnesota's talent to come together.

4. Carolina Panthers ? Wide receiver Keary Colbert will have his first 1,000-yard season with the absence of Muhsin Muhammad, and the Panthers will rebound nicely from an injury-marred season. But someone has to step up at running back. If DeShaun Foster and Stephen Davis can't go, rookie Eric Shelton will be a big success when called upon. On defense, Ken Lucas and Chris Gamble will be a nice young tandem at the cornerback spots, but the difference-maker will be defensive end Julius Peppers, who will walk away with Defensive Player of the Year honors.

5. Seattle Seahawks ? Wide receiver Koren Robinson's departure is going to be a good thing in the long run. He did far more harm than good to the Seahawks last season ? both on and off the field. But his departure is going to put pressure on Darrell Jackson to be more consistent. It will also force Bobby Engram or Jerome Pathon to become a solid second receiver. If running back Shaun Alexander doesn't report to training camp, Seattle will fall several spots in the rankings.

Rest of the article:http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slu...yhoo&type=lgns
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Old 07-23-2005, 01:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Preseason rankings: NFC

Must admit I dont really agree with alot of the rankings in this article.

1.Eagles - best squad, most talented players - taste of big occasion, better off without T.O.

2.Panthers - Rock solid D - if they can stay healthy on offence I think they are going back to the NFC Championship game

3.Vikings - regardless of 'jelling' time required - the upgrades on D will see the Vikes finally keep early season momentum going to take them comfortably into the playoffs.

4.Falcons - will Vick ever be anything that 99% hype and expectation. If he only going to bust 60yd runs - make him an RB.

5.Rams - still deadly in the dome. One of the teams in the league actually handicapped by their uber-brained coach. Martz actually believes the hype about his own genius - the fact is he bluffs and doubles guesses his way to more losses than his talented side deserves.

ITS PIG SKIN BABY!

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Old 07-23-2005, 01:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Preseason rankings: NFC

I definitely agree with your 1, 2, & 4. I don't think the Falcons should have been listed as #2 in the article. Vick is a great athlete, but well as a quarterback he lacks in my opinion.
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Old 07-24-2005, 03:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Preseason rankings: NFC

i NEVER pay attention to power rankings or any rankings of teams. the so called "experts" never get it right and mess with peoples heads and faulter opinions. the only opinion that matters to me is my opinion, friends and family, experts are never right, unlesss they have the steelers number 1 of coarse :D
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Old 07-24-2005, 06:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Preseason rankings: NFC

Actually...I like those rankings. I would doubt the Falcons at #2, but I can't. They've proven that they're head and shoulders above everyone in the NFC besides Philly. As long as Vick stays healthy they'll be able to win games. He isn't the greatest passer, but the receiving corps is slightly upgraded and who needs to pass when your QB can run the ball for 100+ yards in any game? Alge Crumpler will always be a great target for Vick too.
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Old 07-25-2005, 08:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Preseason rankings: NFC

Quote:
Originally Posted by CantStop85
Actually...I like those rankings. I would doubt the Falcons at #2, but I can't. They've proven that they're head and shoulders above everyone in the NFC besides Philly. As long as Vick stays healthy they'll be able to win games. He isn't the greatest passer, but the receiving corps is slightly upgraded and who needs to pass when your QB can run the ball for 100+ yards in any game? Alge Crumpler will always be a great target for Vick too.
I think the more Vick shows himself unable to take teams apart in the air consistently the less chance there is of him busting 100 yd rushing games as teams will have a contigency plan to cover his run breaks.
Also I would define a breakout passing game for a QB to be 300yds and 2 or 3 TD's (nice round numbers) - this is some 200 yards more of offence than the running numbers plus I dont expect him to take it to the house more than once in any one game.
A QB is there to hit his recievers primarily - I really dont see the position evolving anytime soon.

ITS ALMOST SHOWTIME!

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