FOOTBALL IS BACK TONIGHT: Here’s Where Each NFL Team Stands Going Into 2011

Aaron Rodgers Packers

[credit provider=”Flickr/Chad Davis” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/chadwho1ders/2757160667/”]

After a long lockout and a frenzied free agency period, the NFL preseason starts tonight.Yes, preseason games are meaningless, over-hyped, glorified practices.

But still, football is back!

We went team-by-team to put together our power rankings going into 2011.

We also included official Super Bowl odds for each team, for those of you who are inclined to make a wager from time to time.

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”1-green-bay-packers-1″
title=”1. Green Bay Packers”
content=”They have an elite offence, a big-play defence, and one of the best QBs in the league.

There’s no reason to remove the Super Bowl champions from their No. 1 position just yet.

Super Bowl Odds: 6-1″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d4b0b82ccd1d52f0b1b0000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”2-new-england-patriots-2″
title=”2. New England Patriots”
content=”They looked like a juggernaut at times last year.

But their youth and their inability to generate a pass rush killed them in the playoffs. The youth thing should fix itself, but the the pass rush remains a questions mark.

Super Bowl Odds: 6-1″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ce207884bd7c8106c020000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”3-new-york-jets-3″
title=”3. New York Jets”
content=”Quarterback play is everything.

The Jets’ roster is not substantially different from the one that took them to the AFC Championship game last year. But the Jets can make a huge leap if Mark Sanchez improves the way most start quarterbacks do in the third NFL season.

Super Bowl Odds: 12-1″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ccf89d14bd7c84a530c0000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”4-philadelphia-eagles-4″
title=”4. Philadelphia Eagles”
content=”The Eagles are simultaneously intimidating and fragile.

They have ridiculous weapons at glamor positions like QB, RB, WR, CB, and DE. But their offence line is just as suspect as it was last year, and the defence lacks decent tacklers at linebacker and safety.

Super Bowl Odds: 6-1″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e36a438ecad04273c00000a”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”5-atlanta-falcons-5″
title=”5. Atlanta Falcons”
content=”Trading up on draft day to get Julio Jones showed that the Falcons are going for broke this year.

But without sufficiently addressing a defence that got thinly sliced by Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs, they’re a tier below the cream of the NFL crop.

Super Bowl Odds: 12-1″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d347507cadcbb1c34050000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”6-baltimore-ravens-6″
title=”6. Baltimore Ravens”
content=”At some point, Joe Flacco has to become the top-tier quarterback everyone thinks he ought to become, right?

Baltimore can challenge Pittsburgh, New York, and New England in the AFC if the Delware alum can add a dynamic passing game to the Ravens offence.

Super Bowl Odds: 15-1″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d2b20e449e2aeea42050000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”7-pittsburgh-steelers-7″
title=”7. Pittsburgh Steelers”
content=”Historically, teams that lose the Super Bowl crumble the next year.

With a stale roster and a questionable offence line, Pittsburgh is certainly at risk. But they deserve respect until that letdown commences.

Super Bowl Odds: 10-1″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d3d9da04bd7c8a14a600000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”8-new-orleans-saints-8″
title=”8. New Orleans Saints”
content=”New Orleans lacked a spark in their underwhelming title defence last season.

But you’ve got to think they will have some urgency this year. You don’t know how many good years Drew Brees has left, so they have to mak a run this year.

Super Bowl Odds: 12-1″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b703386000000000039df5d”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”9-chicago-bears-9″
title=”9. Chicago Bears”
content=”The Bears are flying conspicuously under the radar considering they went 11-5 last year and have a legitimate quarterback.

Super Bowl Odds: 40-1″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d3366014bd7c851471a0000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”10-detroit-lions-10″
title=”10. Detroit Lions”
content=”They probably aren’t better than the Colts, Bucs, or Chargers.

But everyone and their mother likes the Lions as the sleeper team this year. So now, they’ll have to deal with expectations for the first time in a long time.

A few preseason injuries didn’t do them any favours.

Super Bowl Odds: 25-1″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4cd38b5b49e2aefd06270000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”11-15-on-the-cusp-11″
title=”11-15: On The Cusp”
content=”11. Indianapolis Colts (15-1)
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30-1)
13. San Diego Chargers (15-1)
14. New York Giants (20-1)
15. Minnesota (40-1)



image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b4dd6250000000000b2818c”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”16-21-can-skyrocket-or-swan-dive-12″
title=”16-21: Can Skyrocket Or Swan-dive”
content=”16. Kansas City (30-1)
17. Dallas (15-1)
18. Houston (25-1)
19. St. Louis Rams (40-1)
20. Oakland Raiders (50-1)
21. Tennessee Titans (60-1)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ce1884eccd1d51576080000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”22-28-low-ceiling-teams-13″
title=”22-28: Low-Ceiling Teams”
content=”22. Cleveland (60-1)
23. Jacksonville (60-1)
24. Arizona (50-1)
25. San Francisco 49ers (40-1)
26. Seattle Seahawks (80-1)
27. Denver (60-1)
28. Miami (40-1)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d2b2da8cadcbbaa37160000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”29-32-better-luck-next-year-14″
title=”29-32: Better Luck Next Year”
content=”29. Washington Redskins (100-1)
30. Cincinnati (100-1)
31. Buffalo (150-1)
32. Carolina (200-1)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dba049b49e2aedd2a040000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”now-get-to-know-one-of-the-most-powerful-people-in-the-nfl-15″
title=”Now get to know one of the most powerful people in the NFL”
content=”An Interview With NFL Agent Joel Segal >>
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e4021796bb3f76d4d00003d”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[/slideshow]