Are the Packers #1?

Whether you’re doing research on which teams to put your money on, or you’re wondering who the powerhouse in your conference is…it’s always nice to know who’s on top. Although the NFL is known for its parity and competitive nature there are teams who have established a wining identity. Yes, teams rise from the depth and become relevant, but the good teams rarely up and disappear.

In this year’s edition of our NFL Top 10 we decided to use stats from the last two seasons. In my opinion stats don’t lie. Of course, NFL teams never repeat their exact performance, but there surely are patterns that withstand the test of time. I loath when some talking-head gives me their top 5 or 10 teams and has absolutely no facts to support their claim. Here, at Quick Fix Sports, we like to give you information to go along with our opinion. To pick our NFL Top 10 teams in 2012 we used a very simple rating system with 3 criteria. Teams earned up to 3 points in each category for a possible total of 9:

• # of Pro Bowlers (2010 + 2011)
• Record (2010 + 2011)
• Playoff Appearances (Last 3 years)

After totaling the QFS Points using our Statistical Analysis…here is our 2012 NFL – Top 10 Teams:

#10 New York Jets

Record – 19-13
Pro Bowlers – 7
Playoff Appearances – 2
Depth Chart

QFS Total Rating – 5

The Jets have had a tenacious and hard hitting defense over the last several seasons. This season will be no different. Everyone, however, is waiting to see what happens in their offense with Mark “Franchise” now sharing the spotlight with “Golden Boy” Tim Tebow. It will be the usual suspects on offense with S. Holmes, D. Keller, and S. Green complementing the two headed QB. Nick Mangold and D. Ferguson will anchor an oline who will look to ground and pound. On defense D. Revis and A. Cromartie are one of the best duos at CB in the league, which should give the D plenty of flexibility in blitz schemes and coverage. L. Landry and J. Bell at safety, to go along with B. Scott at LB make this defense extremely dangerous.

#9 Philadelphia Eagles

Record – 18-14
Pro Bowlers – 8
Playoff Appearances – 2
Depth Chart

QFS Total Rating – 5

Full disclosure here, I am a diehard Eagles fan.  It tore me up to see my boys this low, but the stats don’t lie. The Eagles were 8-8 last season missing the playoffs. Most experts feel they will be much improved in 2012 due to the amount of time they have now had to gel. However, the Eagles have only sent an average of 4 Pro Bowlers a year over the last two and are only 4 games over .500 during that span. Success for this team seems to rely heavily on M. Vicks health. The last time Michael Vick played a full season without missing a game was 2006, so odds are not in his or the Eagles favor. The Eagles offense returns players like D. Jackson, J. Maclin, and Shady McCoy (20 TD’s in 2011). The defense is where a noticeable change has been made over the last few years. The Eagles have Rogers-Cromartie and Asomugha at CB, Babin and T, Cole up front, and recently signed Pro Bowl LB D. Ryans to anchor the middle.

#8 Chicago Bears

Record – 19-13
Pro Bowlers – 10
Playoff Appearances – 1
Depth Chart

QFS Total Rating – 5

Chicago is another team that has made some wholesale changes over the past few years. It seems like a decade ago Rex Grossman and his band of Bears played in a Super Bowl against P. Manning and the Colts. It was only 6 years ago. The new look Bears now seem to have loads of talent; reuniting J. Cutler and B. Marshall, while signing the very talented Mr. Forte at RB. The Bears offense also added WR Alshon Jeffrey from South Carolina to help Cutler and the Bears arial threat. Most of the question with this team now revolves around its battle tested and veteran defense. Urlacher, Briggs, Tillman, and J. Peppers are a solid nucleus, but are they too old? We shall see…

#7 San Francisco 49ers

Record – 19-13
Pro Bowlers – 11
Playoff Appearances – 1
Depth Chart

QFS Total Rating – 5

The San Francisco 49ers have taken leaps and bounds under Jim Harbaugh’s tutelage. Last season they were 13-3 and lost in overtime to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Giants in the NFC Championship Game. The 49ers defense has one of the most special players in LB P. Willis. He is a one man tackling machine who’s relentless and amazingly gifted. Defensive back is also an area of stenght on this team with safety tandem D. Whitner and D. Goldson…to go along with lock down corner Carlos Rogers. The 49ers made some very interesting moves in attempts to spruce up the offense bringing in R. Moss (currently #2 WR), M. Manningham, and RB B. Jacobs. This squad could be elite, but so much is resting on the shoulders, or arm, of QB A. Smith.

#6 Atlanta Falcons

Record – 23-9
Pro Bowlers – 11
Playoff Appearances – 2
Depth Chart

QFS Total Rating – 7

The Falcons are averaging 11.5 wins in their last two seasons. The young team has looked brilliant in the regular season and has broken through into the playoffs, but have yet to advance. No one takes more of the playoff criticism then QB M. Ryan, who has since his arrival been deemed the post-Vick savior. Ryan has played well and now has a plethora of talent around him on offense. Julio Jones and R. White are phenominal WR’s and TE T. Gonzolez seems like an ageless wonder. M. Turner will again carry the load at RB, with J. Rogers lilely to see more action. This defense has been suspect and often injured over the past two season. Filled with mostly no-name players the Falcons did reach out and acquire CB A. Samuel in hopes of creating more turnovers.

#5 Pittsburg Steelers

Record – 24-8
Pro Bowlers – 11
Playoff Appearances – 2
Depth Chart

QFS Total Rating – 7

The first of the Top 5 teams in the NFL is the Pittsburg Steelers. The Tomlin lead Steelers are only two years removed from a Super Bowl loss to the GB Packers. They have gone 12-4 in both of the previous two seasons and have obviously learned how to win. The question with this team is are they on their way down, or will they continue to excel? The core players on defense, T. Polumalu, J. Harrison, L, Timmons, and L. Woodley have been in some wars are are beginning to show wear. The offense has been held together by Big Ben Roethlisberger, who seems to have less weapons then in years past (especially if M. Wallace doesn’t sign). The Steelers will start the season with I. Redman as their starting RB.

#4 New Orleans Saints

Record – 24-8
Pro Bowlers – 11
Playoff Appearances – 3
Depth Chart

QFS Total Rating – 8

The Saints have dominated over the last 2 years and are the first of four elite teams. Only two teams have a better 2-year record then the Who Dat Nation. Brees had a magical 2011 season breaking Dan Marino’s single season passing record, throwing for 5476 yards. However, the Saints went 13-3 losing in the AFC Championship. With weopons like J. Graham, D. Sproles, & M. Colston the offensive juggernaut will be at it again. As in years past, their defense will determine just how far they go. In 2012 the Saints have made an attempt at suring up their tackling by bringing in two tackling machines in LB’s C. Lofton (Falcons) and D. Hawthorne (Seahawks). DT’s S. Ellis and W. Smith should hold it down up front, but there are questions about the Saints thin secondary.

#3 Baltimore Ravens

Record – 24-8
Pro Bowlers – 13
Playoff Appearances – 3
Depth Chart

QFS Total Rating – 9

The Ravens are one of four teams who have been to the playoffs the last 3 years, they are also one of three teams who received a perfect QFS rating. The Ravens have been the most dominant team on the defensive side of the ball for years now. NT Terrance Cody and DT Haloti Ngnata are a combined 700lbs and anchor the front 4. Ray Lewis is old, but he’s still the emotional leader of a very talented group. The offense has received a spark from now #2 WR Torrey Smith, and the recent signing of franchise RB R. Rice. The key for the Ravens will be the play of now 5th year QB J. Flacco. Flacco has played well averaging 22 TD’s and 11 INT’s in his last three seasons, but if he can raise his game the Ravens will be true Super Bowl contenders.

#2 Green Bay Packers

Record – 25-7
Pro Bowlers – 13
Playoff Appearances – 3
Depth Chart

QFS Total Rating – 9

The Packers looked unbeatable for the majority of the 2011 season going 15-1. Most experts picked the Pack to win it all, but no one saw the NY Giants coming. The Giants upset the Packers 37-20 in the NFL Divisional Playoff Game and went on to win the Super Bowl. A. Rogers has put up ridiculous numbers over his last two years throwing 73 TD’s and just 17 INT’s. G. Jennings, J. Finley, and J. Nelson are elite weapons that Rogers makes the most of, but all eyes will be on the running game this season with J. Starks and A. Green in the backfield. Rogers also picked up perennial Pro Bowler Jeff Saturday to anchor his o-line, Saturday was P. Manning’s center in Indianapolis for years. The Packers defense also looks very good on paper with playmakers all over the field. BJ Raji, C. Mathews, AJ. Hawk, Morgan Burnett, D. Bishop, and C. Woodson will lead this star studded D. It’s hard not to imagine this team being impressive again in 2012.

#1 New England Patriots

Record – 27-5
Pro Bowlers – 16
Playoff Appearances – 3
Depth Chart

QFS Total Rating – 9

Quietly the Patriots compiled the best record, the most Pro Bowlers, and most trips to the playoffs over the last few years. A 27-5 record is nothing short of miraculous, and Tom Brady’s numbers (75 TD’s, 16 INT’s) are just stupid. The Pats trounced the Broncos, beat the Ravens, then lost in the Super Bowl in the 2011 NFL Playoffs. The once no name Patriots also sent 8 players to the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons. The 2012 edition will look slightly different on offense with B. Lloyd at the #2 WR and S. Ridley at RB. Brady will also sport the best TE combo in the league with Phenom R. Grownkowsk,i who scored 17 TD’s in 2011, and A. Hernandez who added 910 yards and 7 TD’s. The Zen Master, Bill Belichick, is still in control of a legendary Franchise. The New England Patriots are the NFL’s most successful team and there is no reason to believe that success will not continue.

NFL Top 10 Teams – By the Numbers

Team

Rank

Record

QFS Pts

Playoff App

QFS pts

Pro Bowlers

QFS pts

QFS Rating

Patriots

1

27-5

3

3

3

16

3

9

Packers

2

25-7

3

3

3

13

3

9

Ravens

3

24-8

3

3

3

13

3

9

Saints

4

24-8

3

3

3

11

2

8

Steelers

5

24-8

3

2

2

11

2

7

Falcons

6

23-9

3

2

2

11

2

7

49ers

7

19-13

2

1

1

11

2

5

Bears

8

19-13

2

1

1

10

2

5

Eagles

9

18-14

2

2

2

8

1

5

Jets

10

19-13

2

2

2

7

1

5

 

Notable Snubs

Giants, Cowboys, Texans, Lions, Chargers, Chiefs

 

Want to see the full statistical analysis of each category (pro bowlers, records, and playoff appearances) check out our 2012 NFL Top 10 Teams Statistical Analysis

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