NFC Power Rankings: Final Regular Season Rankings

Richard ReschCorrespondent IJanuary 4, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS - JANUARY 03:  Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates a touchdown in the second quarter against the New York Giants on January 3, 2010 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

1. Saints (13-3)

They earned a bye week, but they basically took off the last two weeks of the season. Don't be surprised if the Saints start off rusty in their first playoff game, especially since they have a history of starting games off slowly. They are still the favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, but the margin is much much closer than originally thought. (Last Week: 1)

2. Vikings (12-4)

The Vikings absolutely dominated the Giants, which is a good sign, even though the Giants had become a pushover by the end of the season. Favre was hitting his receivers and letting them make plays. As long as Favre and Adrian Peterson are healthy, this team has a great shot to make the Super Bowl. Antoine Winfield needs to get fully healthy. (5)

3. Packers (11-5)

If not for the freak Roethlisberger touchdown as time expired in Week 16, this team would be heading into the playoffs on an eight game winning streak. Even with the loss, they are one of the hottest teams in the land and I would not want to face them this coming week. (3)

4. Cowboys (11-5)

With the big win against the Eagles, the Cowboys have successfully shaken off their post-November struggles, finishing the season 3-2. The last time they faced an NFC East team they had swept in the regular season was against the Giants in 2007, and we all remember what happened there. (6)

5. Eagles (11-5)

With all of their offensive players back healthy, the Eagles laid an egg in Cowboy Stadium. Fortunately, they get a chance to wash away their sins with a rematch this week. Expect a much closer game. (2)

6. Cardinals (10-6)

Did the Cardinals limp their way into the playoffs again, or did they strategically bomb knowing they would face the Packers again this week? Either way, I wouldn't look too much into their late-season swoon, as they basically did the same thing last season. (4)

7. Panthers (8-8)

DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart became the first duo to each rush for 1,100 yards in a season. With a healthy Steve Smith next season, this team is ready to become one of the forces in the NFC once again. They'll go as far as new QB Matt Moore can take them. (7)

8. Falcons (9-7)

The only NFC team with a winning record not in the playoffs. The Falcons finished the season strong and I expect them to be in the hunt again next year. Fans have to be happy with the way they competed down the stretch, but they can't help but be bitter that a couple of key injuries are what kept them out of the playoffs. (9)

9. 49ers (8-8)

Congratulations to Vernon Davis for tying Antonio Gates' record of 13 receiving touchdowns for a tight end. He combines with Michael Crabtree to form a dynamic young receiving duo. (10)

10. Giants (8-8)

Could they beat a Pop Warner team right now? Depends if that Pop Warner team is headed for the playoffs. The Giants were 2-7 against playoff teams and 6-1 against non-playoff teams. (8)

11. Bears (7-9)

Jay Cutler finished the season strong (eight touchdowns, one interception in last two games), giving fans reason to be optimistic. With an improved Cutler and a healthy Brian Urlacher, the Bears could help make the NFC North one of football's best divisions next season. (11)

12. Redskins (4-12)

The Jim Zorn era is over, but as long as Daniel Snyder continues his ADD ownership style, things won't get much better. The organization needs some stability. (12)

13. Seahawks (5-11)

By losing four straight to end the season, the Seahawks have given themselves another top 10 pick in the upcoming draft. This might be the offseason that they decide to rebuild, and they'll have to think long and hard about going in a different direction at quarterback. (13)

14. Buccaneers (3-13)

They have a couple of good young pieces, but this roster is a long way away from competing again. (14)

15. Lions (2-14)

It turned out that the only thing keeping the 2009 Rams from duplicating the 2008 Lions' winless season was the 2009 Lions. (15)

16. Rams (1-15)

The most cliche way to end an end-of-season power rankings is to simply say, "the St. Louis Rams are now on the clock." And that's just fine with me. (16)


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