I know these are pretty much useless, but I thought I would post anyway. I am surprised with number 2 in his rankings. ************************************ Power Rankings: Let's keep things sunny, sonny By Pete Prisco SportsLine.com Senior Writer The summer is nearly here, which means it's wind-down time in the NFL. Coaches, front-office personnel and even players will get a break in a month or so before convening for training camp in late July. It's a time to recharge the batteries, get away from the game for a bit and then come back wired for a long, arduous season. It's the same for many of us who cover the NFL, which means it's about to be a peaceful time, spent on the beach reading books and hitting that little round ball around the course. It is not a time for anger, grief or nasty e-mails that feature many who would like to put my 9-iron in a place where the sun doesn't shine. So why is it time for another SportsLine.com Power Rankings? My bosses love them. They provoke reader response, and plenty of hate directed at me. Nothing written on SportsLine generates as much feedback as the NFL Power Rankings. Because we haven't put out the rankings since February, it's probably time. The offseason is nearly complete, save for June 1 cuts and signings, and the opening of camps is two months away. The hard part with this batch of rankings is how much to take into account the 2003 season, while also looking ahead to the 2004 season. We know there are going to be teams that come from nowhere to get deep into the playoffs. History tells us that. And there will be teams that make major falls. The Jacksonville Jaguars might be one of those teams set to make a big rise. They have made big improvements and they showed well in the second half of 2003. If quarterback Byron Leftwich can make significant improvement -- the guess here is he will -- the Jaguars will compete in the tough AFC South. But the tough part is ranking them now. Are they a top 15 team? Right now, they are just inside the top 15 at No. 15. Come September, that could change and they could be higher. In doing these rankings, we had similar troubles gauging some of the other teams on the way up, while also trying to find the teams on the way down. In a word, these Power Rankings were tricky. So before firing off the usual nasty e-mails, take into account two things: one is the speculative nature of some of the rankings in a look-ahead mode, while the other is the most important thing of all. It's nearly summertime. Leave me alone until at least late July or I'll never break 90 again. P.S.: I need my 9-iron. The rankings for May 18: POWER RANKINGS Current Team Previous 1 New England Patriots 1 They add Corey Dillon and end up with one of the better defensive tackles in the draft in Vince Wilfork. They are the team to beat again, but they won't win it again. 2 Denver Broncos 3 The additions of Champ Bailey, Luther Elliss and John Lynch should upgrade the defense -- if the latter two have anything left -- and Jake Plummer will be improved in his second season with the Broncos. 3 Indianapolis Colts 2 The offense is set, but there are still some major worries on defense. Until those are addressed, the offense will be asked to do too much. 4 Philadelphia Eagles 6 The additions of Terrell Owens and Jevon Kearse make this a much-improved team and might allow it to finally get past the title-game curse. 5 Seattle Seahawks 4 Now is the time for Mike Holmgren to get this team deep into the playoffs. All the pieces appear to be there. 6 Kansas City Chiefs 8 If Gunther Cunningham can work his magic with this defense, this again will be a Super contender. That's a big if. 7 Baltimore Ravens 9 The quarterback question still hangs above this group, but we believe in Kyle Boller, especially now that Jim Fassel is on the coaching staff. 8 Carolina Panthers 5 We'll keep them in the top 10 for now, even though we don't think they'll be there when the season starts. They'll be good, but not as good. 9 Tennessee Titans 15 Plenty of questions surround the defense, especially up front, but with Steve McNair at quarterback they still will be a quality team. 10 New Orleans Saints 10 Does this seem high? Probably. But the talent is there to make a legitimate playoff push. Maybe they are this year's Panthers. 11 Dallas Cowboys 11 It all hinges on the growth of Quincy Carter at the quarterback position. Rookie Julius Jones also has to show something fast at running back. 12 Atlanta Falcons 13 By the time the ball kicks off, this might be a team ranked higher. Michael Vick is back, which makes them a playoff contender, but it's the defense that has to be fixed. 13 St. Louis Rams 7 Is this the end of the Mike Martz era? Marc Bulger better be ready to show his tail-off at the end of 2003 was an aberration, not the norm. 14 Green Bay Packers 16 As long as Brett Favre is tossing spirals, they will have a chance to be a Super team. The defense has to play better. 15 Jacksonville Jaguars 23 A rising team loaded with good, young players that could actually be a playoff team. The growth of Byron Leftwich will be the key for this team. 16 Miami Dolphins 14 Yet another team that has major quarterback questions. Plus, the offensive line is rebuilt, and not exactly with five Pro Bowlers. 17 Minnesota Vikings 17 The offense again will be explosive, but the defense has to make major strides to get this team into the playoffs. 18 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 18 They've had a lot of turnover, which will make training camp the real time to put a gauge on this team. One thing's certain: Jon Gruden will have them ready to play. 19 Pittsburgh Steelers 20 The major question is at the quarterback position. Does Tommy Maddox have enough to be a solid starter again or is it time for rookie Ben Roethlisberger? 20 Washington Redskins 21 They've spent a lot of money to turn over the roster, and coach Joe Gibbs is one of the best. But is it enough? 21 Cincinnati Bengals 25 They surprised some people last year, but now they might take a step back playing a first-time starter in Carson Palmer. But it is the right move to play him. 22 Buffalo Bills 24 The defense should again be good, so now it's up to the offense to come alive under new coach Mike Mularkey. 23 Houston Texans 26 They're a year away. Dom Capers and his staff have done a nice job building this thing. They will be in most games again, possibly winning eight. 24 New York Jets 22 The offense will be better with Chad Pennington around for the entire season, but there are a lot of questions on defense. 25 Oakland Raiders 29 Who will play quarterback? Who's the top runner? How will age affect this team? There are some quality young players, but not enough of them. 26 New York Giants 12 It's going to be a tough first year for rookie Eli Manning and first-year coach Tom Coughlin. At least he'll have them playing hard. 27 Detroit Lions 30 Love the direction the offense is taking with third-year passer Joey Harrington and his bevy of skill people. Next year will be their year. 28 Chicago Bears 27 Lovie Smith has a lot of work to do with this team. Is second-year quarterback Rex Grossman ready to assume the full-time starter's role? 29 Cleveland Browns 31 Even with Jeff Garcia in as quarterback, there are still offensive line issues to go with a so-so defense. 30 Arizona Cardinals 32 If Josh McCown is what Dennis Green says he is, this team is ranked too low. We beg to differ. 31 San Francisco 49ers 19 Ken Dorsey or Tim Rattay, whoever starts, has a lot of learning to do. This will be a growing year for the 49ers. 32 San Diego Chargers 28 Marty-ball is in for a long year. We really feel sorry for LaDainian Tomlinson.