1. Dallas Cowboys- The NFL’s ultimate tease. The ‘Boys appear to be loaded on both sides of the ball, but they haven’t won a playoff game in 12 years. I’m buying them now to appear in Tampa in February.
2. New England Patriots- The Pats lost Asante Samuel and Donte Stallworth in the offseason, but they still went 18-1 last year which is pretty good. They will always be favorites as long as Tom Brady stays healthy.
3. Indianapolis Colts- The greatest regular season team over the last five years. The Colts may begin their fall this year, but there’s no reason to bet on it.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars- Loaded with depth on both sides of the ball. Do they have enough stars to get over the hump? Can they manufacture a pass rush? Will Garrard be a one-year wonder?
5. New York Giants- The Super Bowl champs have big issues at DE with Osi Umenyiora out for the year and no Michael Strahan. Still, they are very well coached and will compete.
6. Green Bay Packers- Great defense. Aaron Rodgers will be a lot better than many think, and the Pack are still one of the best teams in the NFC.
7. San Diego Chargers- All the ingredients of a great team with the exception of a great quarterback. If L.T. stays healthy, they will win their division, but mostly by default.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers- Both lines need repair, but they have Ben Roethlisberger and he can take them a long way.
9. Seattle Seahawks- Underrated defense, solid quarterback, good offensive line. Expect them to win the west again.
10. Philadelphia Eagles- If McNabb stays healthy, the Eagles will be better than people think.
11. Houston Texans- The Texans have all the pieces to take the next step toward wildcard contention, but everyone must stay healthy. Pass rush and the running game are two pretty significant questions that need to be answered.
12. Minnesota Vikings- If Tavaris Jackson can be average, they can be very, very good with a great running game and solid defense.
13. New Orleans Saints- They rebuilt their defense in the offseason, and they are the pick to win the NFL’s worst division.
14. Cleveland Browns- They are talented on offense, but I’m not a believer. They have the makings of a major quarterback problem, and their secondary can’t cover anyone.
15. New York Jets- A motivated Brett Favre with a chip on his shoulder. Excellent offensive line, but not enough talent on defense to be a legit Super Bowl contender.
16. Buffalo Bills- Well coached group, if Chris Kelsay can play up to his contract, they can be a wildcard contender.
17. Carolina Panthers- Delhomme will be back, they received help in the draft on the O-line and at running back. Panthers could compete again for a division title.
18. Tennessee Titans- Tough, well coached team without a reliable quarterback. Titans defense should keep them in a lot of games.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Bucs went 3-7 a year ago against teams outside of their division, and they won their division. This year they won’t be much better, as Garcia isn’t the solution at QB.
20. Arizona Cardinals- Lots of offensive talent, if Warner or Leinart can step up they can have a good record in a weak division.
21. Oakland Raiders- Great defense, young quarterback. Raiders could surprise some people.
22. Denver Broncos- Jay Cutler is the key to their season, if he can get better they can be a solid team. Defensive line must be able to stop the run.
23. Washington Redskins- Somewhat talented group, it will take them a while to adjust to rookie head coach Jim Zorn.
24. St. Louis Rams- Oodles of offensive talent if they can stay healthy. Chris Long and Adam Carriker will make the defense better.
25. Detroit Lions- Is this the year the Lions compete? Probably not.
26. Miami Dolphins- They are building something good down there. They won’t compete for a playoff spot, but they will play teams tough.
27. Baltimore Ravens- Solid defense, rookie quarterback. Not a formula for early success.
28. Chicago Bears- Solid defense, no quarterback. Not a formula for any success.
29. San Francisco 49ers- J.T. O’Sullivan? Really?
30. Cincinnati Bengals- This is the year Marvin Lewis loses his job. Too many distractions, not enough defensive talent.
31. Atlanta Falcons- Coach Smith doesn’t have a ton of talent, but his team will play hard.
32. Kansas City Chiefs- Rebuilt everything but the quarterback position. That was a mistake.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.