Thursday, March 21, 2013

March NFL Power Rankings (1-10)

1. San Francisco 49ers: In the wake of their loss to Baltimore in the Super Bowl, San Francisco needed to make minor changes if they wished to ensure a second appearance; instead, Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers went above and beyond during the month of March. San Francisco traded for wide receiver Anquan Boldin with close to no repercussions at all. Signing corner back Nnamdi Asomugha would be the cherry on top.

2. Denver Broncos: The best off-season grade is undoubtedly awarded to the Denver Broncos, who managed to sign wide receiver Wes Welker to a $12 million deal over the course of two years. Wes Welker will join Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Thomas, giving Peyton Manning one of the best wide receiver corps in the league. Manning's stingy offensive line allows few sacks, and Louis Vasquez will only help protect the star. If Denver is able to close out a deal with Elvis Dumervil, then the Broncos may move up to number one in our power rankings.

3. Seattle Seahawks: At 11-5, the Seattle Seahawks exceeded everyone's expectations in 2012. Sophomore quarterback Russel Wilson will only improve in the upcoming season, and now that he has newly acquired receiver Percy Harvin, head coach Pete Carroll has many new options in terms of play calling. Seattle's young defense added two new defensive players in the off season: Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. Bottom Line: watch out for Seattle's front seven by the time opening day rolls around.

4. New England Patriots: For some reason, people think Danny Amendola will be able to successfully replace Wes Welker and the role he played in the New England offense; however, Tom Brady is not happy with the front office, and the release of Welker could potentially lead to chaos inside the Patriots' organization. Hopefully, the Patriots will not be too affected by Welker's departure, and they can regain their AFC East title.

5. Atlanta Falcons: Veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez stated he would retire after the 2012 playoffs. Once the Falcons lost in the NFC Championship games, the first thing on Atlanta's agenda was to bring him back to football. They were successful, and the Atlanta Falcons will have Gonzalez on the roster for another season. The release of veteran running back Michael Turner gave the Falcons the opportunity to add yet another aging rusher, Steven Jackson. It is clear Matt Ryan is ready to take on the 49ers once again in 2013.

6. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers lost Greg Jennings to free agency in the month of March, which could potentially create problems for the Green Bay offense. Teams will now double team Jordy Nelson, something that would not have been possible with Greg Jennings on the roster.

7. Houston Texans: This week, longtime safety Ed Reed officially became a member of the Texans, filling a hole desperately needed in the Houston defense. Reigning defensive player of the year JJ Watt will likely continue to play at an All-Pro level, and hopefully, a new wide recover can be added in April's draft.

8. New Orleans Saints: Now that Sean Payton will rejoin the New Orleans Saints after a one-year hiatus, the Saints once again become legitimate contenders out of the NFC South. Drew Brees eclipsed the 5,000 passing yard mark for the second year in a row, and with the return of head coach Sean Payton, this New Orleans offense has the potential to be lethal. The defense will hopefully be bulked up during this upcoming draft, but otherwise, we see a large upside for the New Orleans Saints in 2013.

9. Baltimore Ravens: Yes, they are the reigning champs, but Baltimore is in desperate need of replacements all across the board. The retirement of Ray Lewis marks the end of an era in Baltimore. Lewis' departure led to the losses of wide receiver Anquan Boldin, safety Ed reed, and linebacker Paul Kruger, along with several other key parts to this team. There is a changing of the guard in Baltimore, and they will need a year or two in order to fully rebuild.

10. New York Colts: Andrew Luck's rookie campaign did not win him Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012, but he was able to revive a struggling franchise, propelling them into the post season. Much was expected to be done by the Colts in free agency, but apart from small additions to their defensive unit, Indianapolis fans have been left disappointed. Apart from Reggie Wayne, the Colts still have the opportunity to add a young wide receiver for second-year quarterback Andrew Luck. As for the offensive and defensive line, the draft may supply them with several key additions.

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