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

Aaron Rodgers Packers

Photo: Flickr/Chad Davis

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.

1. Green Bay Packers

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

2. New England Patriots

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

3. New York Jets

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

4. Philadelphia Eagles

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

5. Atlanta Falcons

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

6. Baltimore Ravens

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

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

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

8. New Orleans Saints

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

9. Chicago Bears

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

10. Detroit Lions

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

11-15: On The Cusp

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)


16-21: Can Skyrocket Or Swan-dive

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)

22-28: Low-Ceiling Teams

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)

29-32: Better Luck Next Year

29. Washington Redskins (100-1)
30. Cincinnati (100-1)
31. Buffalo (150-1)
32. Carolina (200-1)

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