1. Drew Brees can freeze a safety better than any quarterback alive, and that includes Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
There is a reason Brees set an NFL record for the most passing yards in a postseason game (that ended in regulation) on Saturday with 466 against the Lions, and it's not just because Detroit played poorly on defense. Brees is so good at holding the safety with his eyes, then throwing a different direction at the last second, he's become one of the toughest quarterbacks to defend in the history of football. Watch the way he forces defenders to commit, then catches them leaning the wrong way. He may not have the strongest arm, and he may not be very tall, but if you can't pressure him and stay disciplined in coverage, you don't stand a chance against him. (US Presswire /January 7, 2012)
Because doing a full, 32-team list of power rankings is too much work for a Monday afternoon, I will rank the top 11 teams in the NFL after each exciting football Sunday (that's where the "first and 10" comes in). Here's how I rank them entering the Divisional Round:
1. Green Bay:
The Packers will have their hands full with the Giants this weekend. Will rust be an issue early in the game for QB Aaron Rodgers, who hasn’t played since Week 16?
2. New Orleans:
The Saints’ win over the Lions played out pretty much how I expected it to, but that doesn’t mean I don’t remain in awe over the savvy and accuracy of Drew Brees.
3. New England:
I can’t help but think that the Patriots will roll over the Broncos this weekend. Then again, I also thought the Steelers would do that Sunday and look what happened.
The Ravens haven't lost at M&T since Dec. 5, 2010.
5. New York:
The Giants, who shut out the Falcons and got three touchdown passes from Eli Manning, have a chance against the Packers if they can establish the run and their pass rush.
6. San Francisco:
I’m just not sold on San Francisco going deep, but I never said I was good at this prognostication thing.
I was working on a story during the Houston-Cincinnati game, but every time I looked up, Bengals QB Andy Dalton was eating dirt. The Ravens shouldn’t sleep on the Texans.
I guess Tim Tebow had a little magic left after all.
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are studs. If the Lions can add a cornerback and a couple of linebackers to their defense, they will challenge the Packers in the NFC North.
Where do the Steelers go from here? Some key defenders showed their age, the offense line (besides their center) remains suspect and they need to develop a backup QB.
The Falcons tried to push themselves over the hump by drafting Julio Jones and signing Ray Edwards, but that wasn’t enough. Will they make another splash this offseason?
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