this is bull crap
how is this possible
Wednesday, June 21
Power Rankings: Seahawks open at No. 1
We're pretty sure it won't make Steelers fans happy, but the Seahawks open on top after coming up just short in 2005. These rankings were compiled from seven members of ESPN.com's football staff. Each of the seven ranked the teams from 1-32, and the average of those rankings was used to determine our offseason Power Rankings. Of our seven voters, three had Seattle No. 1, three had the Steelers No. 1 and one had the Colts in the top spot.
ESPN.com's Power Rankings
The offseason rankings were determined by a poll of ESPN.com's NFL staff -- writers John Clayton, Len Pasquarelli, Michael Smith, Scouts Inc. insiders Jeremy Green and Keith Kidd and ESPN.com NFL editors Peter Lawrence-Riddell and James C. Black.
The Seahawks lost some key players in G Steve Hutchinson and WR Joe Jurevicius, but most importantly they were able to re-sign the NFL's reigning MVP, RB Shaun Alexander. Losing Hutchinson will hurt, but don't expect it to have too much of an impact on Alexander. He might not be able to match last season's amazing numbers (1,880 yards rushing and 28 TDs), but he'll be in the neighborhood.
As for the Steelers, they lost some key players this offseason (Antwaan Randle El, Chris Hope, Kimo von Oelhoffen). But assuming Ben Roethlisberger really is ready when the season starts, Pittsburgh will be fine. Big Ben is the key at this point. All the reports are positive, but he obviously suffered some major injuries to his face, and until he gets back on the field we really won't know what kind of an impact it might have on his season.
A number of teams made big moves from the last time we ranked them (after Week 17). The Cowboys made perhaps the offseason's biggest move, signing Terrell Owens, and jumped from No. 16 in our final rankings to No. 7 this offseason. The Dolphins, who finished 2005 on a six-game winning streak, moved all the way up to No. 8 (from No. 14) and look poised to challenge the Patriots in the AFC East. Assuming he's healthy, Daunte Culpepper gives the Dolphins the top-flight QB they've lacked since Dan Marino left town.
Anyway, on to the rankings, which we're sure will look completely different after Week 1. You can rank the teams yourself with SportsNation's NFL Power Rankings.
2006 Power Rankings: Offseason
RK (LW) TEAM REC COMMENT
1 (2) Seahawks 13-3-0 Super Bowl losers have struggled in recent years, but the Hawks appear equipped for another run.
2 (6) Steelers 11-5-0 Obviously the injuries to Ben Roethlisberger weren't as serious as they could have been. But as much work as it sounded like he needed on his face, it's not going to be an easy road back.
3 (1) Colts 14-2-0 With the versatile Edgerrin James now in the desert, Dominic Rhodes and Joseph Addai have big shoes to fill.
4 (3) Broncos 13-3-0 Between Jay Cutler and Javon Walker, they've brought in their QB-WR tandem of the future.
5 (9) Panthers 11-5-0 There's some question about how Keyshawn Johnson and Steve Smith will get along. As much as both guys want the ball, they also want to win and the Panthers should do enough of that in '06 to keep both WRs happy.
6 (4) Patriots 10-6-0 Yes, the Pats lost some key players this offseason. But are you really ready to hand the AFC East to someone else with Brady and Belichick still at the wheel?
7 (16) Cowboys 9-7-0 Dallas' offseason was all about T.O. If Owens is the player he was in his first season in Philly (77 receptions for 1,200 yards and 14 TDs), Dallas could be very good.
8 (14) Dolphins 9-7-0 If Daunte Culpepper is as healthy as it sounds, the Dolphins got a steal in getting him for a second-round pick.
9 (8) Bengals 11-5-0 Tough offseason for the Bengals with all the off-the-field issues. On the field it's pretty simple -- Cincinnati's season rests on the health of Carson Palmer's left knee.
10 (12) Redskins 10-6-0 Will this offseason's free-agent spending spree be the one that finally pays off for the Redskins?
11 (10) Giants 11-5-0 A WR (Plaxico Burress) and his QB (Eli Manning) don't have to get along. That said, it'll be interesting to see how Burress responds the first few times he's open and Manning misses him.
12 (11) Jaguars 12-4-0 A little more production from the passing game and they could become serious contenders in the AFC.
13 (5) Bears 11-5-0 The Bears gave up only 12.6 points per game last season and the defense might have to be just as good this year if they want to go back to the playoffs.
14 (13) Chiefs 10-6-0 Larry Johnson is the real deal, but we're curious as to how that aging O-line will hold up.
15 (7) Buccaneers 11-5-0 Chris Simms was solid last year, but the Bucs will need a few more big plays from the passing attack in 2006.
16 (20) Ravens 6-10-0 If he can stay healthy Steve McNair will make the Ravens a better team. But that's a pretty big if.
17 (15) Chargers 9-7-0 A huge part of their success depends on how the offense flows through Philip Rivers.
18 (21) Eagles 6-10-0 With a healthy Donovan McNabb the Eagles should be right back in the mix in 2006. That said, it's hard to see them being as good as they were in 2004 without T.O.
19 (17) Vikings 9-7-0 Steve Hutchinson will obviously help the Vikings. But man, that was a lot of money (7 years and $49 million) to pay for an offensive guard.
20 (18) Falcons 8-8-0 We can't imagine that Michael Vick would be benched, but there will be calls for Matt Schaub if Vick continues to struggle.
21 (24) Cardinals 5-11-0 They had arguably the best offseason. Whether that translates to wins remains to be seen.
22 (22) Rams 6-10-0 Offensive guru Scott Linehan has even more talent to work with than he did in Minnesota and Miami.
23 (19) Browns 6-10-0 The Browns made some solid moves this offseason. Willie McGinest can still play and he's going to be huge in the locker room.
24 (26) Lions 5-11-0 One thing we're pretty sure you won't see Rod Marinelli doing this summer is riding a motorcycle onto the field at training camp.
25 (28) Raiders 4-12-0 Art Shell is clearly a natural fit, but he might have a harder time molding this clay into a winner.
26 (29) Packers 4-12-0 Having Brett Favre return is huge, but inking Ahman Green and Charles Woodson was just as significant.
27 (31) Saints 3-13-0 Sean Payton has made it pretty clear that he's going to get rid of guys who aren't buying into what he wants to do.
28 (23) Bills 5-11-0 Craig Nall, J.P. Losman or Kelly Holcomb? Well, they're going to have to pick one of them, right?
29 (25) Titans 4-12-0 Starting at quarterback, Billy Volek! Uh, let's see how long that lasts.
30 (32) Texans 2-14-0 OK, the NFL draft was almost two months ago, but we're still trying to grasp Mario Williams over Reggie Bush.
31 (27) Jets 4-12-0 When was the last time any one of four QBs on the roster had a chance to be the opening day starter? That's not a good sign.
32 (30) ***** 4-12-0 So Norv Turner is supposed to come in and rescue the offense? Good luck!