The League

Mark Maske
Staff Writer

Mark Maske

Writes the NFL News Feed blog

Brady's Return Boosts Pats

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It's difficult enough to pick which teams will be the league's best in a season right before the season begins, much less in late April.

But we'll give it a try. If I had to do a set of rankings right now, this would be my top half-dozen:

1. Patriots... Tom Brady presumably will be back, and let's not forget that the Patriots had an unbeaten regular season with him two years ago and managed to be 11-5 without him last season.

2. Steelers... The champs have managed to keep the core of their team intact.

3. Ravens... Joe Flacco will be a year older and a year better, and drafting offensive tackle Michael Oher last weekend gives him some upgraded protection.

4. Vikings... If they can find any kind of decent quarterback play, they very easily could be a Super Bowl team. Is Sage Rosenfels the answer? How about, potentially, Brett Favre?

5. Eagles... They've done some very good things this offseason, from retooling the offensive line (by adding tackles Stacy Andrews and Jason Peters) to drafting a top wide receiver (Jeremy Maclin) and a potentially helpful running back (LeSean McCoy).

6. Falcons... Trading for tight end Tony Gonzalez will make Matt Ryan that much better.

By Mark Maske  |  April 29, 2009; 4:10 PM ET  | Category:  New England Patriots Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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To include the Eagles on this list and not the Giants, given their outstanding defensive and offensive lines and depth at running back is the height of absurdity. McNabb is a head case who has as many personalities as a Hollywood actress on any given Sunday, while drafting a "top" wide receiver who has yet to play a down in the NFL is enough to put the Eagles in a top 6 category? And how many quarterbacks who suffered a devastating knee injury have actually flourished their first year back in the game? Brady is unquestionably a brilliant player, but after reading about his tribulations while trying to heal in what appeared to be a grossly mismanaged medical situation, I'm not even sure he'll be close to 100% when training camp opens. And if you're going to put the Vikings in that top tier category, why not put the Cards up there as well. Heck, they've got Bouldin and Fitzgerald and Warner and a pretty decent offensive line not to mention a vicious hitting defense.

Posted by: dougeee | May 3, 2009 9:52 PM

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