Another NFL regular season is in the books, but not without controversy. A 7-9 team made the playoffs, while two 10-6 teams were sent home. The NFL needs to make some changes. If a division winner, even at 7-9, is allowed to make the playoffs, fine. I have no problems with that. However, you cannot convince me that a 7-9 deserves a home playoff game.
Either way the 2010 season is in the books and we begin the post season. Outside of Seattle, it appears any team has a legitimate shot at winning the Super Bowl. Green Bay, the No. 6 seed in the NFC, went toe-to-toe with the Patriots, the No. 1 overall seed. It’s going to be an excellent post season and without any further ado, here are the final regular season power rankings.
Teams’ previous ranking in ( ).
1. New England Patriots (1): For the eighth straight week, the Pats top the rankings. They re-wrote all kinds of records this year, including turning the ball over just ten times all season.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (4): Despite trailing the Ravens in the past few weeks’ worth of rankings, the Steelers finish the season at No. 2. Troy Polamalu’s health is arguably the most important thing to watch during the AFC playoffs.
3. Atlanta Falcons (3): In the NFC, the playoffs go through Atlanta. Will Matt Ryan continue his dominance at home?
4. Baltimore Ravens (2): They manhandled New England in last year’s playoffs; will they be able to do the same if they meet again?
5. New Orleans Saints (5): A Week 17 loss shouldn’t derail this team. Nobody wants to face them right now.
6. Chicago Bears (6): They appeared to play hard against the Packers; however they clearly were in no rush on that final drive.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (7): They face Green Bay in round one. They lost in Week 1 to the Packers, but this time Michael Vick is under center.
8. Kansas City Chiefs (8): Kansas City might be the biggest surprise of the season. Don’t be surprised if they sneak out a playoff win or two.
9. Green Bay Packers (9): Possibly the most dangerous six seed ever. Winning three straight road games to reach the Super Bowl will be no easy task.
10. New York Jets (10): If they want to reach the Super Bowl, they need their defense to be better than the other 11 teams.
11. Indianapolis Colts (12): A month ago the Colts were 6-6 and not playing well. They’ve won four straight and with Peyton Manning behind center, they are still capable of a deep playoff run.
12. New York Giants (11): Usually 10-6 is enough to make the playoffs; not this year. An epic meltdown against the Eagles was demoralizing.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14): Again, 10-6 was not enough to make the playoffs this year. Nonetheless, the youngest team in the league had an impressive season.
14. Oakland Raiders (15): Has a team ever swept the division and still missed the playoffs? Well if not, it has now.
15. Jacksonville Jaguars (13): It was a nice run for a team without much talent; they may have a new head coach next season.
16. San Diego Chargers (16): Getting off to a slow start came back to bite the Bolts for once.
17. Dallas Cowboys (18): Dallas went 5-3 under Jason Garrett and if not for a missed extra point may have been 6-2. They will be a force next season.
18. Houston Texans (21): Despite another underachieving season, it appears Gary Kubiak will return next season.
19. St. Louis Rams (17): Sam Bradford nearly made the Rams a Cinderella story in 2010. If he can get any weapons to throw to, the 2011 NFC West champ might actually have a winning record.
20. Detroit Lions (23): The Lions end the 2010 season as one of the hottest teams in the league. If Matthew Stafford can stay healthy, they could be a legitimate contender in the near future.
21. Miami Dolphins (19): A disappointing year for the Dolphins, but in that division it could be a while until they are relevant again.
22. Minnesota Vikings (20): Brett Favre’s career is over. Supposedly.
23. San Francisco 49ers (25): San Francisco was one of the biggest disappointments of 2010. Even at 6-10 they nearly made the playoffs.
24. Cleveland Browns (22): Colt McCoy was a nice surprise. Let’s see if Cleveland can build on 2010 in 2011.
25. Washington Redskins (24): Mike Shanahan’s first year in D.C. was not one to be remembered. Who will be their quarterback next year? Rex Grossman? Really?
26. Seattle Seahawks (27): That’s right, a 26th ranked team not only made the playoffs, but they also host a playoff game. How do you think New Orleans and Green Bay feel about that? Hell, what do you think the Giants and Bucs think about that? The NFL needs to make a change.
27. Tennessee Titans (26): The Titans put up a fight in the final week, but came up short. Is Randy Moss’ career over?
28. Arizona Cardinals (28): The Cardinals were a mess in 2010. How they won five games is still beyond me.
29. Cincinnati Bengals (29): Easily the biggest disappointment in the AFC. Terrell Owens won’t be back in 2011; will Carson Palmer be back?
30. Denver Broncos (30): The Broncos won their first six games of the 2009 season. They won six of their next 26 games after that.
31. Buffalo Bills (31): The Bills are a mess and don’t appear to be going anywhere in the near future.
32. Carolina Panthers (32): Will they take Andrew Luck with the first pick if he declares for the draft?