NFL Power Rankings: 2011 Playoff Teams Headed Towards a Season of Failure
I'm sorry Texans, Saints and Bengals fans: you are in for a long, disappointing season. All three of these teams are going to come up short from their playoff successes a year ago.
With the draft and frenzy that was free agency in the rear-view mirror and OTAs in full stride, it is time to start sorting out where teams stand for next season.
So, we'll discuss the teams ready to disappoint, and then you can check out the power rankings below.
Will the Texans make the playoffs next season?
Before you start bashing me for being a Texans hater, I want to say that this team would be the defending Super Bowl champions had they not suffered rampant QB injuries. This was the most complete team in football.
They are not anymore. This team was up against the cap and ravaged by free agency.
The offense of this team has thrived with an outstanding offensive line. They lost two starters from that group in Eric Winston and Mike Brisiel, and did little to replace them. They will likely be replaced by Rashad Butler and Antoine Cladwell, and the depth behind them is bleak.
This is going to make life rough for Arian Foster and the injury-prone Matt Schaub.
Defensively, they lost Mario Williams and All-Pro linebacker DeMeco Ryans. They were fine when Williams went down with an injury last season, but the loss of Ryans is going to weaken this defense.
Also, they lost depth in the secondary, and all over the field. This is a team that is ill-prepared to handle injuries, and they will limp to the finish line.
This is a terrible way to approach the season.
The Saints didn't suffer huge losses in free agency. Guard Carl Nicks left for a huge contract, and that is a big loss. But, they brought in offensive line depth and some solid defensive pieces like DT Broderick Bunkley.
But, this is not about free agency for the Saints.
This is about the drama and distractions (which leaves them without their head coach) they suffered during the offseason.
This is going to detract from the team's focus in every preseason workout. It changes expectations, and it will prove to be more than the team can overcome.
Don't get too worked up, Bengals fans. You may be taking a step back this year, but the future is still bright.
This team lost a couple of valuable pieces on their defensive line in Frostee Rucker and Jonathan Fanene, and they did not bring in talent to sufficiently replace them.
This is also a team that will have to adjust going from a cute underdog story to a team that others are gunning for—all while playing in the tough AFC North and dealing with key players in Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, who will be staring at a sophomore slump.
The Bengals spent resources to revamp their secondary, but they are in a division where teams will be looking to pound the ball. They are going to have a hard time stopping it.
Langford's NFL Power Rankings for April 30th
7. Houston Texans
10. Detroit Lions
12. Dallas Cowboys
13. Atlanta Falcons
15. New York Jets
17. Seattle Seahawks
18. Buffalo Bills
20. Chicago Bears
22. Tennessee Titans
25. Oakland Raiders
26. St. Louis Rams
27. Cleveland Browns
29. Miami Dolphins
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