Monday, June 16, 2008

Power rankings compilation, June edition

Well, why not? Sure, it's not the regular season, but I'll still find a way to disagree with/mock the "experts" who like to rank all 32 NFL teams in May and June. I'm sure they're not just doing it as a way to fill space during the looooooooong off-season (unlike the NBA, which I'm pretty sure has a three-week off-season). To make things a little more interesting, though, I'll not only comment on the Vikings' position, but I'll also get on their case about anything else that seems amiss. Apologies in advance if I offend your team's sensibilities. (Unless you're an Atlanta fan. They're still going to be awful.) After all, just because these guys are paid to give half-educated opinions doesn't mean I can't dole out my half-educated opinions for free.

All rankings were issued from May 1 or later. So yes, they are taking Jared Allen and the draft into account. Here they are, in no particular order

AOL Sports John Schaefer says:

9. Minnesota will continue its upward trend and nose out the Pack in a tight NFC North race. The difference? The Vikings have the best player in the division -- Adrian Peterson.

You mean the best player in the division isn't Rex Grossman? (He ranks the Pack at #10.) My "boner" pick for him, though, is the Saints at #8. You know, the team that went 10-6 two years ago but OMG PRETTY OFFENSE. Yep, they're in the top 25% of NFL teams. Amazing what one slightly above-average year will do for your expectations. says:

12. If they settle on a QB, the Vikes could become a playoff team. RB Adrian Peterson is at the top of the list for MVP candidates. (JW)

That prediction's turned in by James Walker; five guys in total handled's predictions, including Pat Yasinskas, who puts Seattle at #8. Yeah, I know, we've been predicting the downfall of the Seahawks for years, but nobody in the NFC West has stepped up. Me, I think winning a criminally weak division every year doesn't qualify you as the eighth-best team in the league.

CBS SportsLine's Pete Prisco says:

24. They have the makings of a deep playoff team with one exception: quarterback. Do you believe in Tarvaris Jackson?

Not really, but I believe in the rest of the team well enough not to put this team at #24. I mean, really? 24? Are you sure these aren't the 2007 pre-season rankings? That'd be enough to qualify as the ludicrous pick, but then he puts the Giants at #3. Yes, they won the Super Bowl, yes, they had some great games in the post-season. But they were only 10-6. They won their post-season games by an average of five points each. They're not going to do it again.'s Vinnie Iyer says:

12. With that Fantastic Four on their defensive front and that Flash in their offensive backfield, watch out.

The D-line is the Fantastic Four? And here I thought Troy Williamson was The Thing, you know "hands of stone" and all. Apart from putting the Giants on top (ugh), Vinnie also has the Bills at #13, just below the Vikings. They were a nice story last year, but they were only second in their division by default.'s Peter King says:

7. I can hear you all out there saying, "Too soon." Well, here's my question: What year in recent NFL history hasn't a Green Bay (2007), New Orleans (2006), Chicago (2005) or Pittsburgh (2004) jumped from nowheresville to Super-Bowl contention?

The Vikings do have a totally unproven passing game, but they still outscored Philly, Washington and Denver last year with the best running game in the league for about half the season. Minnesota had the biggest (by far) edge in average rushing margin per team last year, rushing for 5.3 yards a tote while surrendering 3.1 yards per carry. And though I don't love the Jared Allen signing for the long haul (too dangerous), I love it for 2008. Allen's quickness on the turf of the Metrodome ... scary. Maybe 20-sack scary.

"Too soon." Probably. I just wouldn't have the guts to put the Vikings this high, not quite yet. And as much as I'd like to see it, there's no way Jared Allen is getting 20 sacks. Meanwhile, he puts the Jets, who I don't see above the #20 spot on anyone else's list so far, at #14, just behind good ol' Buffalo at #13. AFC East: powerhouse division?

There are oodles of other power rankings out there -- just Google "power rankings 2008 NFL" (without quotes, of course) -- but I try to stick to the "professional" sources. And hey, if anyone ever wants to pay me to do this sort of thing, I'm all ears.

And sadly, there's no Jason Cole to kick around just yet. That's almost as fun as the regular season itself.

No comments: