Preseason Power Rankings 1.0

Matt Schaub (Getty Images)

Can the Houston Texans finally make the NFL playoffs? Can Matt Schaub stay healthy? Can their defense rise to the occasion?

1) Pittsburgh Steelers: The offensive line injuries are a concern as is the talent in that area. But the running game remains the strength of the offense while the passing game is a bit underrated. The Steelers still have the league's best defense.

Last Ranking: 1

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (depth), G (depth), OLB (depth), S (depth)


2) Indianapolis Colts: Offensive coaches Howard Mudd and Tom Moore will be around this season, so that issue has been alleviated. But can the offense compensate for the departure of veteran WR Marvin Harrison? Expect the defense to be more aggressive under new coordinator Larry Coyer.

Last Ranking: 5

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (veteran depth), DT (veteran depth)


3) New York Giants: Running the ball won't be a problem on offense, but who will make big plays down field with Plaxico Burress out of the picture?

Last Ranking: 3

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (veteran depth), DE (depth)


4) Philadelphia Eagles: The loss of starting MLB Stewart Bradley is huge, no question. Most fans don't understand how the coaches were going to use TE Cornelius Ingram this season, so his loss is bigger than you think. The offensive line injuries are also a concern. Can the defense handle the transition from Jim Johnson to Sean McDermott?

Last Ranking: 2

Needs Still to be Filled: TE (depth), OT (depth), DT (depth)


5) New England Patriots: Getting Tom Brady back behind center is huge. The running game should find more consistency with Fred Taylor. The defense should play more 4-3 looks this season, but can they find a pass rush?

Last Ranking: 9

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (depth), LT (depth)


6) San Diego Chargers: The good thing is LaDainian Tomlinson is healthy as is veteran WR Chris Chambers. The offense obviously will be great, but the defense still looks to have problems in the secondary.

Last Ranking: 7

Needs Still to be Filled: RB (depth), OT (depth), G (depth), DE (depth), S (depth)


7) Atlanta Falcons: The loss of slot WR Harry Douglas is big because the coaches were going to expend his role. The offense still should be solid, but the defense looks to be average again.,

Last Ranking: 6

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (depth), OT (depth), DT (depth), DE (depth), OLB (depth), CB (depth)


8) Minnesota Vikings: Not having Brett Favre behind center certainly makes this team less intriguing. And the offensive line remains a huge issue.

Last Ranking: 4

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), C (veteran depth), OT (veteran depth), DT (depth), OLB (veteran depth), S (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth)


9) Baltimore Ravens: Inconsistency at running game and the lack of depth at receiver remain as issues. But the biggest loss for this team could be the departure of defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.

Last Ranking: 8

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (depth), G (depth), ILB (depth), S (depth)


10) New York Jets: The running game should be the strength of the offense again, but the lack of overall talent at receiver remains a problem, and who will play quarterback?. Defensively, the addition of LB Bart Scott will help as will the transition to head coach Rex Ryan's scheme.

Last Ranking: 10

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (starter/depth), LT (depth), DE (depth), OLB (depth), S (depth)


11) Tennessee Titans: As in years past, this team is built on power running and defense. But at least they've addressed the receiver position. The loss of DT Albert Haynesworth will prevent this team from being elite.

Last Ranking: 11

Needs Still to be Filled: G (depth), OT (depth), DE (depth), CB (depth), S (depth)


12) Carolina Panthers: I was prepared to move them up, but that was before starting DT Ma'ake Kemoeatu was lost for the season due to a torn Achilles' tendon. The offense might have the best running game in the NFL, but the depth at receiver remains an issue. Can the pass rush improve?

Last Ranking: 12

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (depth), OT (depth), G (depth), DT (depth), CB (depth), S (depth)


13) Houston Texans: The Texan offense is easily one of the best in the NFL. However, the defense remains the issue for this team to take a big step. However, the front-seven should be solid. It's up to the secondary to finally do its job.

Last Ranking: 15

Needs Still to be Filled: G (depth), DE (depth), CB (veteran depth), S (veteran depth)


14) New Orleans Saints: Once again, the Saint offense might be the best in the NFL, but the defense is the issue. How much an impact can new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams make this season?

Last Ranking: 13

Needs Still to be Filled: RB (depth), OT (depth), DT (depth), OLB (depth)


15) Arizona Cardinals: The offense should be great again, but the defense is looking shaky. The loss of DE Antonio Smith is bigger than most fans understand and the secondary is an issue.

Last Ranking: 14

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (depth), G (depth), DE (depth), CB (depth)


16) Chicago Bears: The addition of QB Jay Cutler should help improve their passing game immensely. The defense has to find a way to get to the passer better and the secondary must improve in coverage.

Last Ranking: 18

Needs Still to be Filled: QB (depth), WR (depth), MLB (depth), OLB (depth)


17) Dallas Cowboys: Don't underestimate the loss of veteran WR Terrell Owens. Which young receiver will step up and take his place? Veteran Patrick Crayton is more of a slot receiver. The defense has issues in the secondary.

Last Ranking: 17

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (veteran), OT (depth), OLB (depth), CB (depth), S (depth)


18) Miami Dolphins: This could be the one team that surprised last season that takes a step back. The receiver corps looks to be very average again. The defense should be good in the front-seven, but the secondary looks shaky.

Last Ranking: 19

Needs Still to be Filled: OT (depth), ILB (depth)


19) Green Bay Packers: The offense should be one of the best in the NFL, but the defense really looks shaky. Who will rush the passer other than Aaron Kampman? Can he make a successful move to OLB?

Last Ranking: 16

Needs Still to be Filled: QB (veteran depth), OT (veteran depth), DE (veteran depth), OLB (pass rushing depth)


20) Washington Redskins: The passing game must match the running game on production for this team to make a big jump in 2009. Can they finally find a pass rush on defense?

Last Ranking: 20

Needs Still to be Filled: G (depth), DE (depth), S (depth)


21) Seattle Seahawks: The offensive line is clearly not what it once was. Can Matt Hasselbeck bounce back from an injury filled 2008? The secondary was terrible last season, so can the starting four back there show big improvement?

Last Ranking: 21

Needs Still to be Filled: RB (depth), OT (depth), LB (depth)


22) Buffalo Bills: The strength of the offense should be the running game, but finding consistency in the passing game remains an issue. The biggest issue facing this team is getting major improvement from a disappointing defense from last season.

Last Ranking: 22

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (depth), OLB (veteran depth)


23) Cincinnati Bengals: Getting Carson Palmer back behind center is probably the biggest off-season development for this team. The addition of Laveranues Coles shouldn't be underestimated, but the defense remains a question mark.

Last Ranking: 24

Needs Still to be Filled: LG (upgrade), C (depth), DT (depth), DE (pass rusher), CB (depth/nickel)


24) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The quarterback position remains as the biggest issue for this football team. But at least they should be able to run the ball well. Defensively, the loss of Monte Kiffin is huge.

Last Ranking: 23

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (depth), RT (depth), LT (depth), G (depth), DE (depth), CB (depth/nickel)


25) St. Louis Rams: They have a chance to be a big surprise this season if the offensive line additions show up right away. Defensively, expect new head coach Steve Spagnuolo to make an immediate impact with his attacking 4-3 scheme.

Last Ranking: 27

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (depth), G (depth), OLB (depth), CB (veteran depth)


26) San Francisco 49ers: The quarterback position remains the key to the offensive production this season. Defensively, the pass rush must improve.

Last Ranking: 26

Needs Still to be Filled: RB (veteran), OLB (pass rushing depth), CB (veteran depth)


27) Denver Broncos: The decision to trade Jay Cutler could haunt this team for years. The defense is being rebuilt and it may take some time for it to become competitive.

Last Ranking: 25

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), G (veteran dept), DE (depth), CB (veteran depth)


28) Oakland Raiders: The running game should be one of the best in the NFL, but the passing game remains a big issue. The defense remains very average.

Last Ranking: 29

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (veteran depth), DE (depth), S (veteran depth)


29) Cleveland Browns: Lots of youth now on offense and the quarterback position remains up in the air. Defensively, they have to be able to find a consistent pass rush. The secondary remains a problem.

Last Ranking: 28

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (depth), TE (pass catcher), OLB (pass rusher), S (FS/SS depth)


30) Jacksonville Jaguars: The one thing they can do on offense is run the ball. But can they throw it well consistently? Is there enough talent on defense, especially in the secondary.

Last Ranking: 31

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (depth), TE (depth), DT (veteran), LB (depth), CB (veteran depth)


31) Detroit Lions: Injuries at receiver and changes on the offensive line remain issues. The defense should be more aggressive, but proven talent on that side of the ball remains a problem.

Last Ranking: 30

Needs Still to be Filled: G (depth), DE (depth), OLB (depth)


32) Kansas City Chiefs: Their offense should be respectable, but the defense has major issues. Who will be able to rush the passer consistently? It's going to take some time for this defense to become solid.

Last Ranking: 32

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (speed), OLB (pass rusher), CB (nickel)

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