First wave of free agency? Done.
Second wave of free agency? Done. (Call it A.P. -- after Peyton.)
NFL draft? Done.
Now, where does your team stand in relation to its peers?
Well, I'll spoil the surprise and tell you the New York Giants still sit atop the board. Big Blue won seven of its last eight games against the best competition en route to the Super Bowl. The move for linebacker Keith Rivers flew under the radar, but it was a need-based maneuver that fortified one of the Giants' not-so-glaring weaknesses.
So that's No. 1. As for the rest, how does everyone stack up as compared to my last edition of the Power Rankings at the end of March?
Let the dissension commence!
1) A reader, "mrphil49erfan," pulled a Dr. Phil on me, pointing out that I was critically harsh on San Francisco's offensive line in my "NFC West holes to fill" take. True, it's better than viable.
2) The 49ers completely revamped a wide receiver corps that held it back in the playoffs. Randy Moss and Mario Manningham were added in free agency, then the club selected A.J. Jenkins with the 30th overall pick in the draft. The Niners went 1-for-13 on third down in the NFC Championship Game, with Michael Crabtree catching one pass all day.
Sergio Kindle stepped in and balled out. You know what the
Ravens have gotten from the former second-round pick? An all-encompassing nothing. And for all of the
Ravens fans who pointed out that tight end Ed Dickson's last name was briefly misspelled "Hickson" in
the "holes" piece, we caught it. Now if Hickson would just make the tough catches ...
Rest of the NFC South: Improved.
But still ...
Brees > Ryan > Cam > Freeman.