||01-03-2012 03:26 PM
Power Rankings are so ghey...Unless you're on top! LOL
1. New Orleans Saints: Of the other explosive offensives in the playoff field (Packers, Patriots, Lions), the Saints actually average almost one full yard more per rushing attempt — and that will come up big in the postseason. Even with the loss of Mark Ingram to injury, the Saints still have a solid trio of backs with Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory and the explosive Darren Sproles. Drew Brees’ record-setting season actually starts with his pre-snap dictations. By shifts, motions and alignments, the Saints find ways to create mismatches for tight end Jimmy Graham and Sproles that will take them deep into the playoffs.
2. Baltimore Ravens: When compiling the Power Rankings, it often comes down to determining who has the best quarterback. That is not the case with the Ravens, as Joe Flacco is, obviously, not the second-best quarterback in the field. But he does have the support of a fantastic defense and an explosive rushing attack. Offensively, Ray Rice is a difference-maker and should get at least 25 touches per game. Pass rusher Terrell Suggs was, arguably, the most dominant defender in all of football this season. Although they are getting up there in age, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed’s experience will carry this defense through the postseason.
3. Green Bay Packers: The Packers headlined my Power Rankings all season long, so why the drop now? I believe their offensive imbalance and charitable defense will finally catch up to them. The Packers employ the league’s worst defense, in terms of yards per game (411.6) but have made up for it by forcing an NFL-high 31 turnovers. But counting on takeaways in the red zone can be a risky business. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is good enough to camouflage some weaknesses in the running game, but the Saints are a better bet, for my money.