My Top 10 NFL teams for 2008:
The Colts are returning every key player from last season, including re-signing the best defensive player in the game, Bob Sanders, and one of the best young Tight Ends in the league, Dallas Clark.
They will also have Dwight Freeney back after he was injured for over half of last season.
Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. Will this be the year he wins his second Super Bowl?
New England Patriots
The only thing preventing the Pats from being the #1 team on my list is key losses in the secondary (Asante Samuel and Randall Gay).
They managed to get Randy Moss back, and Jabar Gaffney will easily be able to fill Donte Stallworth’s role as the third wide receiver.
Tom Brady will lead this team to a first round bye in the playoffs and probably the overall #1 seed in the AFC, due mostly to the easy schedule in the weak AFC East.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers recovered very nicely from a slow start in 2007 by winning twelve of their last fifteen games.
They are returning pretty much everyone from last year, and I am expecting to see the Chargers that we saw after week four.
Phillip Rivers should bounce back from an average 2007 season, and LaDainian Tomlinson will lead the way into the postseason.
Tony Romo is now no longer dating Jessica Simpson, and that will save the Cowboys this season…just kidding.
The Cowboys are pretty solid offensively and defensively.
A focused Tony Romo and a well-behaved Terrell Owens is a lethal combination for even the best NFL defenses.
We will see how Marion Barber III responds to being the feature back, but my guess is he’ll be just fine.
New York Giants
The defending Super Bowl champs really got hot at the end of the 2007 season and played the best they had all year in the playoffs.
A lot will depend on whether or not Michael Strahan comes back.
Eli Manning made great strides last year, and I hope that we will see the same Eli that we saw in the playoffs.
The only thing that held the Hawks back from being an elite team last year was the complete lack of a running game.
They solved that problem this season with the acquisitions of Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett, who should be an excellent one-two punch.
Matt Hasselbeck will be himself, a solid quarterback and a solid leader.
They also have one of the best young defenses in the league, led by fourth year middle linebacker, Lofa Tatupu.
The Pittsburgh Steelers may have had the best immediate impact draft of any team this year.
Running back, Rashard Mendenhall, and wide receiver, Limus Sweed, will add some pop to an already capable offense lead by an elite quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger.
Also, the Steelers defense is tough and returning all key players.
David Garrard is evolving into a solid NFL quarterback and has proven to be a capable team leader.
The Jaguars also have one of the best running back duos in the league with Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew.
Their tough, physical play should earn them a wild card berth, even in the toughest division in the NFL.
The Titans are the third team in the AFC South to make my top ten.
Though their offensive output leaves something to be desired, they have a lot of talent there with solid, young running back, Lendale White.
The sky is the limit for the extremely talented Vince Young, and we will see if he can pull it together this season.
The Titans have a rock solid defense anchored by their run stopping defensive tackle, Albert Haynesworth, and veteran middle linebacker, Keith Bullock.
The Cleveland Browns have a lot of young talent on the offensive side of the ball with quarterbacks, Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn.
To throw too, they have wide receiver, Braylon Edwards (who is emerging as an elite wide receiver), and tight end, Kellen Winslow.
They will have their work cut out for them though, the defense ranked in the bottom ten in virtually every category last season.
I think we will see the Indianapolis Colts beat the New England Patriots in the AFC title game, and the Dallas Cowboys beat the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC title game.
The Colts will handle the Cowboys fairly easily in the Super Bowl and Peyton Manning will win his second Super Bowl MVP award.