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pakowitz 05-19-2004 03:40 PM

Power Rankings: Let's keep things sunny, sonny
 
By Pete Prisco
SportsLine.com Senior Writer
Tell Pete your opinion!


The summer is nearly here, which means it's wind-down time in the NFL. Coaches, front-office personnel and even players will get a break in a month or so before convening for training camp in late July.

It's a time to recharge the batteries, get away from the game for a bit and then come back wired for a long, arduous season.

It's the same for many of us who cover the NFL, which means it's about to be a peaceful time, spent on the beach reading books and hitting that little round ball around the course.

It is not a time for anger, grief or nasty e-mails that feature many who would like to put my 9-iron in a place where the sun doesn't shine.

So why is it time for another SportsLine.com Power Rankings?

My bosses love them.

They provoke reader response, and plenty of hate directed at me. Nothing written on SportsLine generates as much feedback as the NFL Power Rankings.

Because we haven't put out the rankings since February, it's probably time. The offseason is nearly complete, save for June 1 cuts and signings, and the opening of camps is two months away.

The hard part with this batch of rankings is how much to take into account the 2003 season, while also looking ahead to the 2004 season.

We know there are going to be teams that come from nowhere to get deep into the playoffs. History tells us that. And there will be teams that make major falls.

The Jacksonville Jaguars might be one of those teams set to make a big rise. They have made big improvements and they showed well in the second half of 2003. If quarterback Byron Leftwich can make significant improvement -- the guess here is he will -- the Jaguars will compete in the tough AFC South.

But the tough part is ranking them now. Are they a top 15 team? Right now, they are just inside the top 15 at No. 15. Come September, that could change and they could be higher.

In doing these rankings, we had similar troubles gauging some of the other teams on the way up, while also trying to find the teams on the way down.

In a word, these Power Rankings were tricky.

So before firing off the usual nasty e-mails, take into account two things: one is the speculative nature of some of the rankings in a look-ahead mode, while the other is the most important thing of all.

It's nearly summertime. Leave me alone until at least late July or I'll never break 90 again.

P.S.: I need my 9-iron.

The rankings for May 18:

POWER RANKINGS
Current Team Previous
1 New England Patriots 1
They add Corey Dillon and end up with one of the better defensive tackles in the draft in Vince Wilfork. They are the team to beat again, but they won't win it again.



want to see the rest of the rankings? click here:


http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/7340580


saintfan 05-19-2004 04:01 PM

Power Rankings: Let's keep things sunny, sonny
 
We\'re at 10 ?!? :o

This year\'s Panthers...I hope not. They made it to the dance and lost. I wouldn\'t mind that I suppose, but I wanna WIN it baby! LOL

WhoDat 05-19-2004 04:14 PM

Power Rankings: Let's keep things sunny, sonny
 
Haven\'t we been called this year\'s past-cinderella by SOMEONE for the last three years? ;)

I agree with the number 10 ranking. LB and CB are still question marks and the offense needs to play better... BUT, we\'re loaded with talent and if we can\'t make the playoffs this year Jim Haslett should not only be fired he should be stoned in Jackson Square.

I also like his Jags pick. I think I said before the Jags game last year that they were a team on the rise. They may end up better than 15, I\'ll tell you that.

no_cloning 05-19-2004 04:20 PM

Power Rankings: Let's keep things sunny, sonny
 
This year\'s Panthers ... I\'ll take that all the way through the NFC play-offs. When we play the Patriots in the big one I\'ll go what they wrote about them \"They are the team to beat again, but they won\'t win it again.\" Sounds good?

GumboBC 05-19-2004 05:43 PM

Power Rankings: Let's keep things sunny, sonny
 
Quote:

I agree with the number 10 ranking. LB and CB are still question marks and the offense needs to play better... BUT, we\'re loaded with talent and if we can\'t make the playoffs this year Jim Haslett should not only be fired he should be stoned in Jackson Square.
eh? What\'s that you say? Top ten, huh? Sounds like you\'re ready to cross over into the sunshine club - ;) I told you a long time ago, I\'d have you a seat reserved on the bandwagon. :D Leave the WhoTang behind though. LMAO!

I\'ll say this, WhoDat. I agree, if Haslett doesn\'t get us to the playoffs, it\'s time for him to go. It\'s au revoir, adios, Auf Wiedersehen, or in english -- GOOD BYE HASLETT !!



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