SportsNation: Offseason power rankings

Updated: May 6, 2004, 2:04 PM ET

We asked for comments on our offseason Power Rankings and you responded. As always, it's the offseason and everyone thinks their favorite team improved and should be higher in the rankings. Folks in North Carolina were fairly active although a large number of them were actually happy that the Panthers were still being "disrespected."

Anyway, on to some of the e-mails we received.


Blue in Carolina

The Panthers at number 8? What do you all smoke while you are coming up with these rankings? They go 11-5, make it to the Super Bowl, Bring back the bulk of the team intact and you still give them no respect. What a shame. On top of this you put the 5-11 Falcons (Vick is not 100% by the way) on top of the Panthers in your poll as an insult! Maybe, just maybe, Dan Morgan or Julius Peppers will hit Vick hard enough to knock the staff of ESPN out of His rear end and make you see the light. Get a grip.
Stu Ott
Greensboro, N.C.

Good! Thank you! You underestimated the Cardiac Cats last year and you're doing the same again! I find it intriguing why sports writers can't believe we could have two good seasons in a row. Most will concede Fox & the front office have done a good job filling in the holes that free agency created. I think this year's roster looks better than last, especially on D. It's not a dominant front four, but a front seven opponent's offense are going to face this year (depth at LB & DL). I will agree that we won't win as many close games this year, partly because the Cardiac 'Cats will become the Clobber 'Cats this year. If we start out 3-0 this year like we have in the past two seasons, no one is going to stop this team. Please, don't jump on our bandwagon!
Tony Jordan
Crozet, Va.


Respect for the Pats

Could it be? Does someone finally believe in the Pats? Great job on the rankings guys. I basically agree with everything you said, except the chiefs at no. 5. I gotta believe that after finishing the year 4-4 including playoffs, and not filling any holes, that they're on their way back down the standings. Pats and Eagles in the Super Bowl!
Jeremy Rice
Hopkinton, Mass.


Kicked in the head?

Does Peyton Manning have embarrassing photos of the senior writing staff at ESPN.com? The Colts at #3??? They lost a number of key starters in order to stuff Peyton's pockets and you think they'll be better? I don't get it. I also think the Jaguars are going to be far better than you give them credit for.
Sean Gannon
Watertown, Mass.


Requisite drug reference

I recommend the immediate drug testing of all parties involved with this ranking. Are the Niners going to win the Super Bowl....probably not. Are they the #31 team in the league...definitely not. The defensive line is better. The secondary is better. Our linebackers are one of the best sets in the league. Our offensive line has way more depth than last year. Barlow will put up 1200 to 1500 yards this year. Brandon Lloyd will have at least 60 receptions this year and I would bet that Rashaun Woods has at least 80. Did anyone watch the same Tim Rattay that I did last year? I can't wait to watch you try to pull your hoof out of your mouth come December.
Scott Humpert
St. Marys, Ga.


Requisite gambling reference

The Seahawks as the favorites in the NFC West?? Are you kidding me! Every casino in Vegas has the Rams as the overwhelming favorite to repeat. But forget casinos, the Rams and Eagles are easily the favorites to win the NFC. Having the Rams in the middle of the pack is absurd. They are still one of the top teams in the league hands down. They will win the NFC this year because they are too tough at home.
Todd Gampp
Las Vegas, Nev.


For the birds

Eagles-Seahawks-Falcons as 1-2-3 in the NFC? That's pretty bird-brained. There is no way Seattle and Atlanta are better than Green Bay (20 returning starters, including the entire offense) and Carolina (defending NFC Champs). No way.
Steve Stoddard
Burke, Va.


A note from Down Under

Hi there, I think the following on your rankings:

Five going DOWN on your list:
1. Philadelphia Eagles
2. Kansas City Chiefs
3. Atlanta Falcons
4. Baltimore Ravens
5. Tennessee Titans

Five going UP on your list
1. Houston Texans
2. Detroit Lions
3. San Diego Chargers
4. Cincinatti Bengals
5. Minnesota Vikings
Lewis Astridge
Sydney, Australia


Angry Pack

Packers at No. 12??

I just want to say, I can't wait for the season so you guys can eat this set of rankings.

I would also like to know how you justify the rank when they have about 21 starters from both sides coming back, seems like a recipe for a Super Bowl to me.

GO PACK GO!!
Joe Luczak
Orlando, Fla.


Give Carter some love

While I concur with the fact that the Cowboys should be middle of the pack. It's more than just a little annoying to continue to hear about the struggles of Quincy Carter. He's not great by any stretch, but for a QB with no running game, a porous offensive line and no possession receiver. Now there are still questions on the offensive line and who knows about running back, but let's just see what happens with any improvements made this year before we write him off as Kordell Stewart (who did take his team to a conference championship).


Kendall Owens
Forrest City, Ark.