1. New England Patriots
New England has lost Randall Gay, Asante Samuel, Donte Stallworth and Junior Seau, but they still have the talent to make a clear challenge at being the best team in the NFL. This is more complemented by having the easiest schedule, but Bill Belichick never fails to deliver a postseason team. Though they are the clear-cut No. 1 team, Dallas may give them a run for their money.
2. Dallas Cowboys
This is the most challenging team in the NFC. Tony Romo's second full year at starting QB, Tank Johnson in his first full season at nose tackle after adjusting to the 3-4 Dallas defense last year, and veteran leadership from Zach Thomas with DeMarcus Ware. Combined with the depth and talent at corner with Adam Jones and Mike Jenkins means ridiculous possibilities in Dallas, another go to receiver is the only strict need.
3. Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis has nagging injuries to their best players on the team; Marvin Harrison, Peyton Manning, Bob Sanders, and Dwight Freeney. Their biggest weaknesses are on the defensive front at defensive tackle and their linebacker core is their Achilles heel. However, Tony Dungy always seems to find a way to win as one of the best head coaches in the NFL
4. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are complemented with a good schedule by playing against the Chiefs, Raiders, and Broncos twice. Adding Chris Chambers with Craig Davis gives their receiving core a major facelift, while their defensive line and linebackers are also their weak spot to some degree. They'll struggle to retain the Merriman, Edwards combo they had two years ago.
5. New Orleans Saints
This year the Saints are out to prove they're the real deal, last season we filled their heads with so much hype I'm surprised they could still fit their helmets on. Put Sedrick Ellis and Bobby McCray on their defensive line, John Vilma in the 4-3 scheme he excels in, Jeremy Shockey at TE, and McKenzie, David, Gay and rookie Tracy Porter at CB, wow. Combined with first round pick Meachem and a plethora of receivers, like I said, wow.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars smash mouth coach Del Rio, my favorite, will have a good defensive line, as usual, despite their losses and can hopefully get a shutdown pass defense with Drayton Florence, Brian Williams and Rashean Mathis and spectacular second-year safety Reggie Nelson. Jerry Porter is an athletic receiver who put up 6 TD in Oakland, imagine if he had a good quarterback, combined with Troy Williamson, Reggie Williams, Dennis Northcutt, and Matt Jones, this team has clear potential.
7. New York Giants
Eli walked into last season as a questionable and unconfident quarterback and walked out with a Super Bowl ring out-dueling Brett Favre, Tony Romo, and Tom Brady. They have some serious losses with Michael Strahan, but his proteges Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora will serve well.
Mathias Kiwanuka should step up to the losses of Torbor and Mitchell. And Aaron Ross will need to handle a major load with the loss of Gibril Wilson.
8. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings elite run stopping defense has even gotten more upgrades with Michael Boulware, Madieu Williams, and Jared Allen, which should make this defense one of the most electrifying in the NFL. Hello '85 Bears defense.
Tavaris Jackson has nowhere to go but up, while rookie sensation Adrian Peterson should continue to be a sensation. If Jackson can get a passing game going, they can easily crack the top five.
9. Philadelphia Eagles
One of the NFL's more underrated teams, losing four games by 4 points or less last season, while also playing in the toughest conference in the NFC. McNabb claims to be very healthy, if he can prove it this season, look for the Eagles to come out with a winning demeanor after losing so many close games. They've added Asante Samuel to their pass defense, which should do wonders and put Lorenzo Booker behind Westbrook.
10. Cleveland Browns
The Browns have finally found an offense with Joe Thomas leading the o-line in helping Derek Anderson find Edwards and new speedster Donte Stallworth. Brandon McDonald and Eric Wright look real good at corner and with great seasons as rookies last year they should make up for the loss of Leigh Bodden. With the additions of Shaun Rogers and Corey Williams on the defensive front, it's hard to think of their offense or defense going downhill this season.
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