Andrewglenn's Blog
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1. Green Bay Packers

Very young, very talented, very accomplished.

2. New England Patriots

Some may argue that they're ranked too high, especially over the Jets, who eliminated them. With Brady, as the league's best quarterback, and Billy B., as the league's best coach, only the Packers rank above the Patriots, in 2011.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

Had Big Ben held back on a couple of throws, the Super Bowl would have ended differently. But it didn't. This is still an elite NFL team, and I expect much of the same in 2011.

4. New York Jets

Back-to-back trips to the AFC title game is impressive, and this team will only get better as Mark Sanchez evolves. I'd really like to see LaDanian Tomlinson return.

5. Baltimore Ravens

An ugly end to last season, but the Ravens are loaded with talent. Under Joe Flacco, this offense will continue to improve.

6. Kansas City Chiefs

There's already some negative predictions about the Chiefs in 2011, but I'm not buying it. Scott Pioli is building a solid team, and at this point, they're still the best in the AFC West.

7. Indianapolis Colts

This is the lowest I've ranked Indinapolis in a pre-season ranking, and that says alot about this team. They are consistently good. This is the first season I don't view Peyton Manning as the league's best passer, but knowing how he plays, he's probably going to shut me up fairly quick.

8. Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons were clearly the best team in the NFC going into the playoffs, but Green Bay exploded in the post-season and ruined their Superbowl aspirations. I think the Falcons are equipped to re-establish NFC dominance, but that means going through Green Bay.

9. New Orleans Saints

The Saints were shocked by the Seahawks in the wildcard, and I think that's put the perception of this team out of proportion. Alot of the things that made this team special in 2009 are still there.

10. Chicago Bears

People forget that Chicago had numerous chances of winning the NFC crown, even with Caleb Hanie at QB. Cutler is under a lot of scrutiny, but I think he's still the quarterback Chicago needs. The Bears will be a contender next season.

February 11, 2011  01:37 AM ET

The funny thing is half of these teams won't even make the playoffs next season. I feel like the Raiders will get better. I think K.C will take a step back. Sometimes you find out that you are not as good as you think you are. I also think that Baltimore, New England, New Orleans, and Indy are on borrowed time. Some of their most significant players have age on them. And the NFL doesn't tend to be kind to the aging player. But still an interesting take.

 
February 11, 2011  10:17 AM ET

The idea that a good chunk of these teams won't make it is commonplace these days. I just don't buy it. I think this year is going to see alot of returns to the playoffs in the AFC, I'd say 5 of the 6. The NFC is more wide open, where I wouldn't be shocked to see a vast change in the playoff picture.

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