**MIKE VICK HAS BEEN CONDITIONALLY RE-INSTATED. HE CAN BEGIN PRACTICING WITH ANY TEAM, AND COULD PLAY AS EARLY AS WEEK SIX. LET THE BIDDING WAR BEGIN**
Something strange is going on in Philadelphia. The Eagles have opened training camp, top pick Jeremy Maclin hasn’t agreed to a contract yet, but most fans still have their attention planted squarely on the Phillies. What does it take to supplant the Eagles? A first place team, and a hot trade rumor. This will works in July, anyway. Not too sure the Phils can compete with much more than just training camp. Around the country, though, it’s NFL time. And, ESPN has responded with their first set of Power Rankings. Putting aside the fact it is ridiculous to rank the teams during camp…a couple of notes.
The Steelers check in at number one. I’m not buying it. If you beat the Cardinals in the Super Bowl you lose all rights as a defending champ. Plus, Large Ben has this extracurricular incident hanging over his head, teams don’t repeat anymore, and the AFC is just “too damn hard.” That’s a Colonel Frank Slade quote. In homage to the hated technique of the Sports Guy…
The Tom Brady Pats check in at number 2. Bad news for Patriot haters. It’s been a rough decade, and it shouldn’t end any differently. Brady’s knee holds up, and they’ll have a pretty ridiculous offense. Also, the Jets, Dolphins and Bills basically stink. That doesn’t hurt.
The Eagles are sandwiched between the Mannings at number four. The Eli Manning’s are 3, and I’m just not sure about giving the G-Men that much respect. Last year we weren’t sure if the NFC East was the best division in football…or just evenly matched. I’m still not sure. #3 for NY seems a little high for the G-Men, and #4 seems a little high for the Birds. Remember I’m trying to curb expectations this year. Also, I’m a little worried about the new D-Coordinator, and the RB situation that looks like it could blow up in the Bird’s faces with one injury.
Randoms: The Titans are #7. They won 13 games last year remember? Somehow? If they win 10 this year I’ll be impressed.
The Vikings are #9. Is this the Brett Favre Vikings? Do they drop to 12 when Favre signs?
Defending NFC Champs Arizona check in at #12. Seems high. Um, they were 9-7 last year.
The Cowsnitches are #14. I think this is the year that Tony Romo looks confused, and throws about 24 picks. So, basically every game will be like the playoffs.
The T.O Led Buffalo Bills are #21. T.O in Buffalo. It’s just hard to believe. He’s got Trent Edwards throwing to him. I don’t see how it’s going to work, but good luck up there in Buffalo.
DAL? The Lions of course. How long can losing streak go? I just looked at the schedule. I’m going to go crazy and say they beat the ‘Skins at home in Week Three. Deal with that.
I apologize for the people who were hoping for a snack food Power Ranking. Probably some other time.