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NFL Preseason: T. Santorsa's Top 10 Power Rankings

Tony Santorsa@@TonySantorsaSenior Writer IIAugust 2, 2010

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 13:  Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots gains yards against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won 20-10. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

As NFL training camps start across the league, teams began preparing for the upcoming season.

I have thought about this for quite a while, and here are my NFL Preseason Top 10 Power Rankings:

10. Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals were, what some believed, a "surprise" last season. But, looking at this team's defense, they're for real. Virtually nothing has changed for this team defensively. On the other side of the ball, Carson Palmer will be throwing to some quality receivers this season including: Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, and Antonio Bryant. 

9. Atlanta Falcons

For years, back to the Boston College days, I have been a huge fan of Matt Ryan. This year is the year; Matt Ryan will put up some "big" numbers. Word from camp is that Michael Turner is in great condition, so the Falcons running game will be great complimentary to Ryan and the receiving core led by Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. 

8. New York Jets

In my opinion, this is the most overrated team in football. People do not seem to realize that they shouldn't have even been in the playoffs last season. They won their clinching game against the Indianapolis Colts, who subbed in back-up quarterback Curtis Painter mid-game against the Jets. Yes, the Jets have an outstanding defense, one of the league's best. But, I do not believe in quarterback Mark Sanchez and I strongly believe it is a very significant downgrade with Thomas Jones to LaDainian Tomlinson. 

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7. Dallas Cowboys

Looking at this team on paper, they should be a Super Bowl contender. But simply, I do not believe in this team. Tony Romo, in my opinion, is a fraud. He is a "choke artist", and I do not see him leading this team anywhere, no matter how much talent they have. 

6. Green Bay Packers

The Packers have one of the best quarterbacks in the game, Aaron Rodgers, and they have an aggressive defense with a strong running game. Virtually nothing has changed on this team's roster, and it's safe to say this team will be a Wild Card winner.  

5.  New England Patriots

Whenever a team steps on the field with a quarterback like Tom Brady, they have a chance to win. This is the second year of the new and re-built defense, and I feel that they will flourish positively. Coach Bill Belichick has a lot of "young pieces" on the defense, and I believe he will put them in places to succeed. New England has a lot of new and young talent, and I believe this year might be a beginning to a new dynasty.

4. Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore's success will depend on quarterback Joe Flacco, and I have faith in him. Flacco finally has a legitimate receiver in Anquan Boldin, and throw them in with a strong running game led by Ray Rice, this team's offense is pretty dynamic. As we all know, for years the Ravens have had a very strong, ball-hawking defense, and look for them to win the AFC North.  

3. New Orleans Saints

Virtually, nothing has changed on the Saints' roster. So I'd expect success from this team, but I'm not sure if they'll make another magical run. It's just too hard in the NFL to simply outscore the opponent and have your defense depend on turnovers. Quarterback Drew Brees has now solidified himself as an elite quarterback in the league, so look for this team to come out on top in the NFC South. 

2. Minnesota Vikings

Solely depending on quarterback Brett Farve's return, this team is my favorite to win the NFC. When you look at last year's NFC Title game's box score, you'd think that Minnesota had won the game and defeated the Saints, that's how much they dominated. Brett Favre looked like a different quarterback last season. He was turning the ball over less and he was making all of the right throws. With Minnesota's suffocating pass rush and run stop, along with Adrian Peterson, this team is a force to be recking with. 

1. Indianapolis Colts

On paper, this team is as good as it gets. Peyton Manning is an elite quarterback in the game and he has some dangerous weapons on offense. There's not much to say about this team besides that success is expected from this team. With Manning leading the offense and a quality defense, you should expect this team making an appearance in the AFC Title game. 

Like what you see? You can read more of Tony's work and many other sports articles atwww.SportsHaze.com and www.BeantownObserver.com

You can also follow Tony via Twitter @TonySantorsa10

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