What would you rather do on a Saturday morning than wake up early and read weekly picks and power rankings involving 32 teams that basically are of equal strength and ability to beat, lose to or tie anyone on any given Sunday, Monday, Saturday, Thursday (and some day, when the revenue ceiling needs to be extended to a gazillion bazillion dollars, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday as well)?
CRAIG’S NFL POWER RANKINGS
BEST OF THE BUNCH
Why: The Seahawks have all they need, including the sting of the closing seconds of Super Bowl 49, to return them to the top of the heap once again.
2. Ravens; 3. Patriots (1-0); 4. Packers; 5. Colts; 6. Cowboys; 7. Texans; 8. Broncos; 9. Cardinals; 10. Panthers; 11. Steelers (0-1); 12. Eagles.
13: They have the look of a surprise playoff team. But it’s tough to leap too hard considering there’s a lot that has to be proven first.
THE REST OF THE REST
14. Bills; 15. Chargers; 16. Rams; 17. Bengals; 18. Saints; 19. Chiefs; 20. Lions; 21. Dolphins; 22. Giants; 23. Falcons; 24. Raiders; 25. Jets; 26. Bears; 27. 49ers; 28. Browns; 29. Redskins; 30. Jaguars; 31. Titans.
WORST OF THE BUNCH
32: Buccaneers: It could be a long, long, loooooong year for Jameis Winston.
THREE REASONS FOR VIKINGS FANS TO BE HOPEFUL
1, Teddy Bridgewater has the accuracy, (enough) arm strength, intelligence, personality, poise and work ethic to keep his many supporters from looking foolish for believing in him. Now he just has to prove his many anti-detractors right.
2, Adrian Peterson is back and he’s a tad determined.
3, The defense should take another step following last year’s Year 1 leap under Mike Zimmer.
THREE REASONS FOR VIKINGS FANS TO BE NERVOUS
1, The offensive line has question marks hovering over every starter and little depth. Other than that, …
2, Blair Walsh missed more field goals than he made this preseason.
3, Starting cornerback Terence Newman turned 37 a week ago.
Vikings minus-2 ½ at 49ers: Vikings 23, 49ers 20.
Why?: A number of intangibles are going against the Vikings. A late Monday nighter, on the road, in a team’s new stadium. But the Vikings are the better team and in the second year with a new coaching staff. The 49ers are reeling from heavy losses in personnel and breaking in a new coaching system under Jim Tomsula.
THE OTHER GAMES
Packers minus-6 ½ at Bears: Packers by 10.
Chiefs plus-1 ½ at Texans: Texans by 3.
Browns plus-3 ½ at Jets: Jets by 7.
Colts minus-2 ½ at Bills: Bills by 3.
Dolphins minus-3 ½ at Redskins: Redskins by 7.
Panthers minus-3 at Jaguars: Panthers by 7.
Seahawks minus-4 at Rams: Seahawks by 10.
Saints plus-2 ½ at Cardinals: Cardinals by 3.
Lions plus-3 at Chargers: Chargers by 10.
Titans plus-3 at Buccaneers: Bucs by 6.
Ravens plus-4 at Broncos: Broncos by 3.
Giants plus-6 at Cowboys: Cowboys by 10.
Eagles minus-3 at Falcons: Falcons by 7.
Bengals minus-3 at Raiders: The Pick: Raiders 27, Bengals 24.
Why?: Hey, every 20 years or so, the Raiders should feel like a surprise team that’s getting ready to win. Finally. And a trip to the West Coast is a tough opener for the Bengals.
Final 2014 regular-season Record: Overall: 146-90-1. Versus spread: 125-111-1.