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Pre-season Rankings

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Rick Gosselin, the sportswriter for the Dallas Morning News has listed his annual pre-season rankings, and they are as follows: 1- Ind. --- 17-Bal 2- NE --- 18-Dal 3-Phil --- 19-Den 4-KC --- 20-Minn 5-Sea --- 21-Buff 6-GB --- 22-Cinn ...

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Old 06-13-2004, 09:42 AM   #1
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Pre-season Rankings

Rick Gosselin, the sportswriter for the Dallas Morning News has listed his annual pre-season rankings, and they are as follows:
1- Ind. --- 17-Bal
2- NE --- 18-Dal
3-Phil --- 19-Den
4-KC --- 20-Minn
5-Sea --- 21-Buff
6-GB --- 22-Cinn
7-NEW ORLEANS ----- 23-TB
8-Car --- 24-NYJ
9-STL --- 25-Cle
10-TN --- 26-Was
11-Atl --- 27-Oak
12-Pitt --- 28-Chi
13-Det --- 29-SF
14-JAC --- 30-SD
15-Mia --- 31-NYG
16-Hou --- 32-AZ

This is from a guy who normally places the Saints much lower than they should be.
This is his quip about the team that came with the ranking:
"In the last 6 years, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and Carolina, have all gone to the Superbowl- everyone in the NFC south except the Saints. What is puzzling is that New Orleans has as much talent as anyone in the South. With QB Aaron Brooks, HB Deuce McAllister and WRs Joe Horn, Donte Stallworth and Devery Henderson, points should come easy. No. 1 draft pick Will Smith should improve the pass rush. The Saints are overdue. "
Final '03 rank: 16th

[Edited on 13/6/2004 by CatfishDan]

[Edited on 13/6/2004 by CatfishDan]
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Old 06-13-2004, 01:43 PM   #2
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Pre-season Rankings

I can buy them at 7 but there is a lot wrong with his ratings... Dallas??? Redskins??? CIN??? Mia in the top 10. GB will be lower and Carolina will be much lower, Pitt will drop.
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Old 06-13-2004, 06:41 PM   #3
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Pre-season Rankings

I am sure that this is the first of many rankings that will come out. But it did make me happy to see the Saints placed this high. Last year he (along with DR.Z from Sports Illustrated) had them much lower. But then again I don\'t put much into Dr.Z\'s report. He has picked the \'Skins as superbowl bound way too many times.
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Old 06-13-2004, 06:57 PM   #4
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Pre-season Rankings

Nobody will call him a homer as he listed the Cowpokes at 18. As far as the Saints, there have only been a few that have predicted that this team will be anything special. Many have us in the bottom 10. Here are some other views.

ESPN on May 5th released their first power ranking for this year. They have the Saints at #22 which is in the bottom ten in the league
For the complete article:
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/powerranking

James Alder writing for About Football has the Saints as the 4th worse team in the league.
For more: http://football.about.com/cs/news/a/bl_power.htm

Latest edition of Pro Football Weekly has prediction of Saints finishing last in NFC South this year with a 6-10 record.

Another prediction, this one by the ESPN Radio AllNight, has the Saints at 2-6 after 8 games.
For the link:
http://espnradio.espn.go.com/espnrad...storyId=178312 3

UPDATE....They have the Saints at 2-7 after week 10. WOW!
For the link:
http://espnradio.espn.go.com/espnrad...toryId=1783123

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Please forgive but I posted the entire article below that originated this thread. Enjoy!

Another Power Rankings
http://www.cowboysplus.com/
You have to PAY to read the articles so please don\'t mind me posting the whole article

Got the Horses
by: Rick Gosselin

One by one, Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning has shed the layers of criticism that enveloped his NFL career.
The first rap was he couldn\'t beat the Tennessee Titans. The Colts swept them in 2003 to capture the AFC South, and Manning went on to win NFL co-MVP honors.
Then Manning couldn\'t win a playoff game. He disposed of the Denver Broncos in the opening round last January for his first playoff victory in four tries.
Then Manning couldn\'t win in the postseason on the road. He took the Colts to Kansas City and defeated the Chiefs, his first playoff road victory in three tries.
Now the rap on Manning is he can\'t win the big one, having thrown four interceptions in a loss at New England in the AFC Championships Game. That left him 0-1 in title games.
But Jim McMahon lost his first conference game before he became a Super Bowl quaterback. So did Jim Kelly and Brett Favre. Steve Young lost two conference title games and Ken Stabler three before each advanced to his first Super Bowl as a starting quarterback.
Losing conference title games isn\'t so much a blemish on a quarterback record as a rite of passage -- and Manning now has earned the right to play in a Super Bowl. So put the Colts atop the annual off-season rankings by the Dallas Morning News. Here are the rankings:

1. Indianapolis
The Colts won 12 games last yeas with the second youngest lineup in the NFL - a group that grew younger as the season progressed. Four rookies became primary starters for the AFC South champions, and Indy\'s rookie class produced 52 starts. Coach Tony Dungy embraces youth, which is vital for success in a salary-cap world. Having Manning, running back Edgerin James and Marvin Harrison in their primes is another major plus for Indy in 2004. If the Colts can become the Top 5 defense - they finished 11th in 2003 - Manning could be Super Bowl-bound.
Final \'03 rank: 2

2 New England
On paper, the Patriots remain the best team in the NFL. But no team has repeated as Super Bowl champions since the Denver Broncos in 1997-98. History tends to override paper. The Patriots take a 15-game winning streak into the 2004 season and will be stronger offensively with Corey Dillon at running back. New England lost its best blocker (G Damien Woody) in free agency. But Woody suffered a knee in December that ended his season, and the Patriots won the Super Bowl without him. The only indispensable player on the Patriots is QB Tom Brady.
Final \'03 rank: 1

3 Philadelphia
The Eagles have lost three consecutive NFC title games, including the last two at home. This franchise needed to do something dramatic for its players and fans to buy into a fourth consecutive trip to a conference title game in 2004 - and the Eagles pulled it off with the signings of Pro Bowlers Terrell Ownes and Jevon Kearse in free agency. Ownes gives Donovan McNAbb a big-play threat on the flank for the first time in his career, and Kearse allows the Eagles to finally replace Hugh Douglas in the pass rush.
Final \'03 rank: 6

4. Kansas City
The Chiefs won 13 games a year ago and return 21 of their starters. Only right offensive tackle John Tait is gone - and he graded out as the fifth-best blocker on the team. Kansas City has one of the best offenses nad worst defenses in the 2003 playoffs. The Chiefs hope they have found that elusive run-stuffing defensive tackle in 335-pound Junior Siavil, their second-round draft pick. Kansas City also thinks its other defensive tackle, Ryan Sims, has Pro Bowl potential.
Final \'03 rank: 3

5. Seattle
On paper, this is the best team Mike Holmgren has coached since the 1997 Green Bay Packers - and he took that team to a Super Bowl. Matt Hasselbeck is no Brett Favre, but he has developed into a Pro Bowl quarterback. Shaun Alexander is every bit what Dorsey Levens was to those \'97 Packers. But the Seahawks need help on defense, where they ranked 19th in the NFL last season. So Seattle drafted DT Marcus Tubbs in the first round and signed DE Grant Wistrom and CB Bobby Taylor in free agency.
Final \'03 rank: 8

6. Green Bay
In the minds of the Packers, and inability to defend a fourth-and-26 pass in the playoff game at Philadelphia cost them a trip to the Super Bowl.So the clock continues to tick on Brett Favre\'s career. He\'s 33 and on the downside. But the roster is strong enough that Favre no longer has to carry the Packers. Ahman Green is the offensive focal point these days, and MLB Nick Barnett is an emerging star on defense.
Final \'03 rank: 11

7. New Orleans
In the last six years, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and Carolina have all gone to the Super Bowl - everyon in the NFC South except the Saints. What\'s puzzling is that New Orleans has as much talent as anyone in the South. With QB Aaron Brooks, HB Duece McAllister and WRs Joe Horn, Donte Stallworth, and Devery Henderson, points should come easy. No. 1 pick Will Smith should improve the pass rush. The Saints are overdue.
Final \'03 rank: 16

8. Carolina
Stephen Davis and defense went a long way for the Panthers in 2003 - all the way to the Super Bowl, in fact. Davis is back, but four starters are gone from Carolina\'s Top 10 defense of 2004. The only returning starter in the secondary is safety Mike Minter. Jake Delhomme emerged as a big-game quaterback in the playoffs. But he must move from a supporting-cast of player to a full-time feature performer for the Panthers to repeat as NFC South champs in 2004.
Final \'03 rank: 4

9. St. Louis
Kurt Warner is gone, leaving coach Mike Martz (and QB Marc Bulger) without a safety net. In his final two starts of 2003, Bulger lost in Detroit in the season finale and to Carolina in the NFC semifinals. So in a quarterback generated offense, a question mark still hovers over Bulger. In addition, offensive catalyst Marshall Faulk is 31 and defensive catalyst Aeneas Williams is 36. So the window for contention is closing rapidly on the Rams.
Final \'03 rank: 5

10. Tennessee
Having NFL co-MVP Steve McNair at quaterback is a huge edge for the Titans on game day. But the pressure increased on McNair annualy as his cast diminishes. Eddie George is running on fumes and TE Frank Whcheck retired. Elite pass rusher Jevon Kearse bolted in free agency (Philadelphia) as did DT Robair Smith (Houston). Tennessee also traded away McNair\'s second favorite-target (WR Justin McCariens). So it\'s either McNair or bust for the Titans in 2004.
Final \'03 rank: 5

11. Atlanta
The Falcons were the hot team last summer when QB Mike Vick was on the cover of all the preseason publications. But a knee injury in the exhibition season sidelined him for the first 12 games, wrecking Atlanta\'s season. Now Vick is back, and so are the Super Bowl aspirations. But can a first-year coach (Jim Mora) take the Falcons there?
Final \'03 rank: 25

12. Pittsburgh
Even a Top 10 defense couldn\'t save the Steelers from a losing season in 2003. Pittsburgh couldn\'t run the ball and quarterback Tommy Maddox was erratic. Duce Staley was signed in free agency to fix the running game, and the Steelers used a first-round pick on a quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger) to press Maddox this fall.
Final \'03 rank: 20

13. Detroit
The Lions have enjoyed the NFL\'s best off-season. They signed OL Damien Woody, CB Fernado Bryant, and FS Brock Marion in free agency, then used first-round draft picks on the best wide reciever (Roy Williams) and runner (Kevin Jones) in the draft. GM Matt Millen has positions the Lions to be the surprise team of 2004.
Final \'-3 rank: 27

14 Jacksonville
Jack Del Rio put his stamp on the Jaguars defense in his first season as head coach when Jacksonville finished second in the NFL in run defense. He also put quarterback Byron Leftwich on the field as a rookie, whcih should accelerate his developement. So should the selection of WR Reggie Williams with the first-round pick last April.
Final \'03 rank: 23

15. Miami
The defense has been Super Bowl-ready for years. But this may be coach Dave Wannstedt\'s final chance to fix the offense, so he traded for a quarterback (A.J. Feeley) and lead reciever (David Boston) and used a No. 1 draft pick on a blocker (Vernon Carey). If Ricky Williams makes a run at a rushing title, Miami can make a run at the Super Bowl.
Final \'03 rank:13

16. Houston
An offense to contend is in place with QB David Carr, HB Domanick Davis and WR Andre Johnson. The Texans fielded the AFC\'s worst defense in 2004 but drafted a cover corner (Dunta Robinson) and pass rusher (Jason Babin) with their first two picks. Adding free-agent tackles on offense (Todd Wade) and defense (Robaire Smith) toughened up the lines.
Final \'03 rank: 24

17. Baltimore
The Ravens return 21 starters from a team that won the AFC North last season. WR Marcus Robinson left in free agency - but passing is an afterthought in an offense with the NFL\'s leading rusher (Jamal Lewis) and an inexperienced young quarterback (Kyle Boller). The defense remains one of the NFL\'s best with Ray Lewis, Peter Boulware and Ed Reed.
Final \'03 rank: 9

18. Dallas
The Cowboys has pressing needs this off-season at running back and cornerback. With rookie Julius Jones replacing Troy Hambrick at halfback and Pete Hunter replacing Mario Edwards at coerner, there may be greater uncertainty at the two positions now more than there was a year ago. The Cowboys may not have the talent to meet the increased expectations.
Final \'03 rank: 12

19. Denver
The Broncos are moving from a team that relied on offense to one that relies on defense. Mike Shanahan traded his best offensive playmaker (Clinton Portis) for one of the NFL\'s premiere cornerbacks {Champ Bailey}. Also, Pro Bowl TE Shannon Sharpe and WR Ed McCaffrey have retired. Where\'s John Elway when the Broncos really need him?
Final \'03 rank: 10

20. Minnesota
How do you start a season 6-0 and miss the playoffs? The Vikings are still trying to figure that one out. A healthy Michael Bennet will enhance the NFL\'s top offense. This big-play runner missed half of 2003 with a knee injury. Pass rusher Kenechi Udeze should have an immediate impact on the league\'s 23rd-ranked defense.
Final \'03 rank: 14

21. Buffalo
The Bills fielded the AFC\'s best defense in 2003 but missed out on the playoffs because of a lack of offensive playmakers. Halfback Willis McGahee hits the field after spending his rookie year mending a college knee injury, and speedy WR Lee Evans give Buffalo a deep threat. Final \'03 rank: 21

22. Cincinnati
The Bengals lasted until the final weekend in playoff contention in 2003. But coach Marvin Lewis is taking the ball away from veteran Jon Kitna and putting it in the hands of inexperienced Carson Palmer in 2004. Look for the Bengals to take a step backward.
Final \'03 rank: 15

23. Tampa Bay
Jon Gruden won a Super Bowl at Tampa Bay in 2002 with Tony Dungy\'s players. Now six starters are gone from that championship team, including stars Warren Sapp, John Lynch, Keyshawn Johnson, and Super Bowl MVP Dexter Jackson. Let\'s see if Gruden can win now with his own players.
Final \'03 rank: 17

24. NY Jets
Missing quarterback Chad Pennington for the first six games of the 2003 season doomed the Jets who started 0-4 on the way to 6-10. Age doomed New York on defense and cost LBs Marvin Jones and Mo Lewis, CB Aaron Beasley and SS Sam Garnes their jobs. They combined for 63 startsin 2003.
Final \'03 rank: 22

25. Cleveland
The Browns put a quaterback controversy between Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb behind them by signing Jeff Garcia in free agency. But Cleveland still must figure out how to stop the run. The Browns added some size up front in free agency in DE Ebenezer Ekuban and LB Warrick Holdman.
Final \'03 rank: 26

26. Washington
Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs is back with the Redskins. He\'s the fourth head coach Dan Snyder has employed in his six years as owner. If Gibbs doesn\'t work out, who\'s next - Chuck Knoll? QB Mark Brunell and HB Clinton Portis gives Gibbs Pro Bowl-calibur playmakers.
Final \'03 rank: 28

27. Oakland
Norv Turner gets a chance to revive his head-coaching carrer and pump some life into an aging offense. Kerry Collins gives him a strong-armed quarterback in the Tro Aikman mold. Veteran Pro Bowler linemen Warren Sapp and Ted Washington bolster the NFL\'s 30th-ranked defense.
Final \'03 rank: 29

28. Chicago
The Rex Grossman Era began last December when he started in the final three games of the season at quarterback. The Bears also will be very young on defense featuring recent first-round picks Michael Haynes(2003) at end and Tommie Harris (2004) at tackle.
Final \'03 rank: 19

29. San Francisco
Offense has never been a problem for the 49ers. But QB Jeff Garcia and HB Garrison Hearst became salary-cap casualties this off-season, and WR Terrell Owens was traded. All are past Pro Bowlers. Points will be harder to come by in 2004.
Final \'03 rank: 18

30. San Diego
The Chargers have arguably the best player in football, halfback LaDainian Tomlinson. But San Diego\'s other 21 starters nullified him. Rookie Phillip Rivers takes over at quarterback, and San Diego is going to a 3-4 on defense.
Final \'03 rank: 32

31. NY Giants
A 4-12 collapse cost coach Jim Fassel and quarterback Kerry Collins their jobs. Tom Coughlin replaces Fassel and Eli Manning replaces Collins. A league-high nine starters are gone from that disappointing 2003 team.
Final \'03 rank: 30

32. Arizona
The optimism rides with the arrival of Dennis Green as head coach. Can he do for the Cardinals what Bill Parcells did for the Cowboys and Dick Vermeil did for the Chiefs? But Arizona is inexperienced at quarterback with Josh McCown. Final \'03 rank: 31



[Edited on 15/6/2004 by SaintNik]

[Edited on 15/6/2004 by SaintNik]

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Old 06-13-2004, 08:47 PM   #5
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Pre-season Rankings

i\'m glad to see espn and all the others with us so low

that way they\'ll never see us coming until it\'s too late
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