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NFC Power Rankings: 10 – 6

This is the second installment of my NFC Power Rankings.  For the first part, click here.

#10  Washington Redskins

The 2009 Redskins team was not void of talent.  Now, Mike Shanahan has added veteran name power with Josh Bidwell, Phillip Buchanon, Joey Galloway, Rex Grossman, Artis Hicks, Larry Johnson, Maake Kemoeatu, Donovan McNabb, Willie Parker, and Ryan Torain.  All of that is in addition to a small rookie class that includes first rounder Trent Williams.  One can’t help but wonder how the Redskins will fare, however, as the past has shown us that Dan Snyder can make one high profile free agent signing after another and things would never get any better.  The circus that has been the Redskins for years appears to be continuing in 2010 with the Albert Haynesworth nonsense and the ridiculous number of running backs on the depth chart.  More of the same, or a new beginning?  It’s hard to say.

#9  New York Giants

The Giants offense is capable, and the addition of highly rated rookie guard Mitch Petrus should help maintain some depth on the offensive line.  The problem lies on defense, however, as a bit of a rebuild has been called for and probably is not complete.  The departures of C.C. Brown, Danny Clark, Kevin Dockery, Antonio Pierce, Fred Robbins, and Aaron Rouse were part of a necessary house-cleaning effort.  The problem, however, is that the additions of Antrell Rolle, Deon Grant, and rookie Jason Pierre-Paul are not quite enough to make up the difference.  Look for the Giants offense to keep them afloat, but for the defense to drag them down into mediocrity once again.

#8 Carolina Panthers

I recently heard Jon Beason say that this is his first offseason that he didn’t have to focus on rehabbing an injury, and instead could focus on getting better.  That’s a scary thought.   The Panthers lost enough guys on defense that one has to wonder how they’ll hold up in the long run, but they should continue to be a somewhat dependable group despite the departure of Julius Peppers.  With an offense that features arguably the best running game around and one of the best (albeit boneheaded) wide outs in the game, the big questions revolve around the quarterback position.  While I wouldn’t classify their quarterback situation as fantastic, there is a certain amount of excitement to having three young guns (Matt Moore, Jimmy Clausen, and Tony Pike) battling it out all preseason for a chance to be the guy.  The drafting of wide outs Brandon LaFell and Armanti Edwards might finally result in less attention paid to Steve Smith.

#7  Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons were an unproven team going into last year, and managed to pull off a 9-7 record despite some of the worst injury luck of any NFL roster.  They have not experienced much turnover this offseason which means that this team could really turn it on in 2010 if the chemistry is there.  Matt Ryan has been compared to Peyton Manning by Tony Dungy, Michael Turner is experienced and has relatively low miles, and Roddy White could very well end up being the best receiver this year.  The defense needed the most help and some could argue that they got exactly what was needed in free agent corner Dunta Robinson, rookie linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, and rookie defensive tackle Corey Peters.  They also snagged cornerback Dominique Franks way back in the fifth round which could prove to be the steal of this year’s draft.

#6  Philadelphia Eagles

Kevin Kolb and LeSean McCoy are not rookies but one has to wonder how they will fare when charged with the duties of replacing Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook.  It seems inevitable that there will be some growing pains.  As long as a few of the Eagles 13 draft picks can produce, then the transition seen in Philly should be somewhat easier, despite the fact that they lost 14 notable players this year.  Perhaps their biggest loss, however, was when legendary coach Jim Johnson passed away.  This is a year of change for the Eagles, and they have tough competition within their own division, but I really think they have prepared themselves well enough to remain in the playoff hunt.

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One Response to “NFC Power Rankings: 10 – 6”

  1. PJD says:

    I’d push the Redskins above the Giants, who I think are in for a letdown year, and drop the Eagles a bit as well. I don’t know how I keep forgetting about the Panthers, but then you ran through that roster and it all makes sense. That’s a rough looking team, no matter which way you look at it.

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