MMQB Mail: Early rankings fallout
Steelers fans share their displeasure with being behind Patriots
Everyone seems to have an opinion on Jay Cutler, Bears
Jimmy Buffet fans come out in force to defend Dolphins deal
Well, it had been a quiet little week, except for Favrapalooza. Then I had to go and give my post-draft ranking of the teams, 1-32.
The beefs -- from more than 2,000 e-mails and 17 calls I got, and from the Twitter chatter I've monitored since Monday -- seem to center on four big things:
I ranked the Steelers too low, at two.
I ranked the Bears too high, at four.
I ranked the Saints too low, at 24.
I ranked the Lions too high, at 31.
Let's start with the Steelers being behind the Patriots. Abdul Abdulbarr of Washington writes: "Can you please explain in detail why you feel New England should be No. 1-overall and not Pittsburgh, the Super Bowl champs who beat the crap out of the Patriots in the regular season, and who return basically the same team from last year and Tom Brady is a big question mark for New England. So please, on God's green earth, tell me how can you put New England No. 1''
What would you say, Abdul, if I told you recent history tells us there's a 12-percent chance the Steelers will repeat? Let's look at the Super Bowl winners this decade, and what happened the following year:
2000: Baltimore beat the Giants 34-7, then went 10-6 and lost a divisional playoff game the next year.
One for 8. One Super Bowl winner. One conference champion.
That's my point: History says Pittsburgh's got a steep hill to climb here, and the Steelers may well do it. But the more I watch this game, the more I realize there's a reason teams don't repeat. I love the Steelers, I love everything about the Rooney/Tomlin regime, and I love the leaders on their team. But I respect history, too. And this New England team comes back with a quarterback who I think will be healthy, and a quarterback and a team that will come back hungry to prove they're still a champion. Just my opinion.
Now onto your e-mails, which will have much of the protests of the rankings in there:
TWITTER QUESTION OF THE WEEK: From Ryan Daniels of Alexandria, Va., via Twitter: "Was ranking Chicago fourth related to alcoholism?''
Afraid not. Every year I like to pick one team to make an illogical jump because one or two teams always do. The Bears are my team this year. I think their defense is good enough and Jay Cutler will be a major difference-maker on offense.
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