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Saints Rated # 7 Overall by C.B.S.

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Power Rankings: Bucs may be hungry enough to do it again By Pete Prisco SportsLine.com Senior Writer Tell Pete your opinion! On a radio show the other day, the host actually asked for my Super Bowl prediction. Are you kidding ...

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Old 08-05-2003, 01:25 PM   #1
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Saints Rated # 7 Overall by C.B.S.

Power Rankings: Bucs may be hungry enough to do it again By Pete Prisco
SportsLine.com Senior Writer
Tell Pete your opinion!

On a radio show the other day, the host actually asked for my Super Bowl prediction.

Are you kidding me? Now? When each team still has four preseason games left and that season-changing injury is still possible?

All right. Truth be known, my Super Bowl pick probably wouldn't be right if I waited until mid-January.

What I do know is that heading into training camp, I was convinced that there was no way the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be the choice in the NFC. The reason is that it's so hard to repeat, so the easy thing to do is simply dismiss the defending Super Bowl champions.

That was my mindset when I ventured to those plush training camp digs the Bucs use at Walt Disney's Wide World of Sports (think athletic heaven) two weeks ago.

When I left, I wasn't so convinced the Bucs can't repeat. And that's why they remain atop the latest SportsLine.com Power Rankings heading toward the regular season.

Coach Jon Gruden has instilled an attitude that won't let the players live on last year's success. It's gone, way, way in the past. Veteran players like Warren Sapp, John Lynch, Derrick Brooks, Keyshawn Johnson and Brad Johnson will make sure it stays that way.

There is absolutely no hint of complacency. If anything, they are more determined to win it for the second time. Gruden's unofficial slogan is "turning the page." His team has done that, and it's hungry again.

"Once you sat at the king's table and ate that feast, you don't like that carry-out," said Sapp. "McDonald's just don't look the same after you've sat at the world championship table."

Finding out whether the slimmed-down Sapp will be sitting in the king's seat (he'll have to fight Keyshawn to get it) come Super Bowl week is still a long way off. But if the way the Bucs look early is an indication, we might have ourselves a repeat champion.

So they're the pick? Slow down. We have a month of preseason games to play before picking can be done.

Let's just say this: They will be getting far more consideration than a month ago.

They also have plenty of competition. That's the one thing you get from doing Power Rankings. Teams as far down as No. 20 have a chance to get to the Super Bowl this season, which says something for the balance of the league.

Tampa Bay might be eating well now, but there are plenty of teams that are sick of the Big Macs and capable of taking its place, which makes predicting that much tougher for all of us.

The rankings for Aug. 4:

Current Team Previous
1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1
It's highly unlikely they will repeat, but they are off to a good start, and the offense should be better.
2 Philadelphia Eagles 2
The window is closing on this group, so the time is now. All the pieces are there, but what about the hangover from losing to Tampa Bay?
3 St. Louis Rams 8
They will be the bounce-back team with Kurt Warner rounding back to form. The offense will be explosive again.
4 Buffalo Bills 17
The improved defense will make this a serious contender in the AFC East. As long as they don't try to get too conservative on offense, this team can be a Super possibility.
5 Tennessee Titans 5
Another team that might be seeing the window shut. Still have plenty of good players, but with pending cap troubles, the time is now.
6 Atlanta Falcons 10
Does the addition of Peerless Price outside and the maturity of Michael Vick have this team smelling the Super Bowl?
7 New Orleans Saints 6
They have the speed now on defense, so it all hinges on the arm of Aaron Brooks. Winning their division, let alone more, will be tough duty.
8 Oakland Raiders 3
The key to their success will be getting past the Super disappointment and finding edge rushers to attack the passer.
9 Green Bay Packers 7
As long as Brett Favre is still chucking it, they can compete. The defense does have to play better -- and it will.
10 Indianapolis Colts 14
The Colts feel good about the improvements on defense, but we shall see. The offense will be explosive again if Edgerrin James is back to pre-injury form.
11 New York Jets 4
Yes, they had some losses. But aside from Laveranues Coles, who else really matters? If Chad Pennington can improve the deep passing game, they can be a playoff team again.
12 San Francisco 49ers 13
It's time for that young defense to start to dominate, while the offense continues to play at a high level. Dennis Erickson's move toward more vertical passing will help.
13 Miami Dolphins 9
They have Ricky Williams and a good defense, but that passing game has to do a bunch more for this to be a Super Bowl team. They found that out last season.
14 New York Giants 12
If the run defense improves, they can edge out the Eagles in the division. The offense isn't a worry with Kerry Collins at quarterback.
15 Denver Broncos 15
Jake Plummer will prove to be one heck of a free-agent move, and the aggressive approach on defense will help.
16 Kansas City Chiefs 18
Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson is too good a coach not to turn the defense around. We know the offense will score now that Priest Holmes is healthy.
17 Pittsburgh Steelers 11
They have the talent to compete for a Super Bowl, but you have to question whether Tommy Maddox was a one-year wonder and if the defense can rebound from a sub-par year.
18 New England Patriots 16
Some questions on both lines, which isn't a good thing. But Bill Belichick is such a coach who can overcome that.
19 Minnesota Vikings 25
We know the offense is going to score, so if the defense is slightly improved, they could be a sleeper team in the NFC.
20 Baltimore Ravens 20
We know the defense will be good, but the quarterback situation clouds the playoff chances, The feeling here is that QB Chris Redman has potential.
21 Seattle Seahawks 19
The Seahawks are a trendy pick in the NFC West, but the competition is tough in that division. We're not as convinced.
22 Cleveland Browns 22
The quarterback controversy could hurt this team in the long run, while a weak defense has to show improvement.
23 Washington Redskins 21
They spent all that money in the offseason, but they won't be a playoff team if Patrick Ramsey flops, no matter how they try to spin it.
24 Cincinnati Bengals 26
Marvin Lewis will turn this thing around and there is talent on this roster. Jon Kitna is the key.
25 Jacksonville Jaguars 24
The players say this can be a playoff team with a big if -- if they stay healthy.
26 Carolina Panthers 29
Yet another team that has to get better quarterback play to be improved. The defense should again be among the best.
27 San Diego Chargers 23
Who could have imagined this would ever be a team with defensive issues? Can Marty Schottenheimer actually win with offense?
28 Dallas Cowboys 28
Bill Parcells won't be able to turn this thing around in one season. Not with his quarterback situation.
29 Chicago Bears 27
It's only a matter of time before Rex Grossman is calling plays and Bears fans are calling for John Shoop's head.
30 Houston Texans 30
They have to find a way to keep David Carr upright or he may not make it through the season this time around.
31 Detroit Lions 31
They will be better, but not enough to move away from the bottom teams of the league.
32 Arizona Cardinals 32
Too much talent has gone out the door the past couple of seasons for this team to win more than four games. Time is not on the side of coach Dave McGinnis, which isn't fair to him.


[Edited on 5/8/2003 by BillyCarpenter1]
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Old 08-05-2003, 03:24 PM   #2
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Saints Rated # 7 Overall by C.B.S.

Among the many things that bothers me about this list is the Falcons. Do you REALLY rate them so high with the MAIN addition being a slightly better than average reciever? Vick won\'t catch anyone by suprise this year ya\'ll. The Bills at 4? The lambs at 3? As much as I like being in included in the top 10, I can\'t give this list much credibility.

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Old 08-05-2003, 04:08 PM   #3
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Saints Rated # 7 Overall by C.B.S.

Considering that we had the # 1 scoring offense in NFC and the # 1 special teams in the NFL, if, and it\'s a big if, the defense can just be middle of the road, not only can I see the Saints @ # 7 but possibly higher.

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Old 08-05-2003, 04:24 PM   #4
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Saints Rated # 7 Overall by C.B.S.

This list lost me when it placed the Eagles 2nd. I\'m not sold that they\'ll win their division.
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Old 08-05-2003, 08:21 PM   #5
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Saints Rated # 7 Overall by C.B.S.

i agree
i think NYG will win that division
and that list is a little ridiculous
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