SportsNation: Power rankings

Well, we knew when the rankings were posted on Tuesday there would be a lot of upset Rams fans and we were right. The overwhelming majority of the e-mails we received concerned the Rams (12-4 last season) being No. 16 in our preseason rankings. Anyway, in honor of Rams fans everywhere, we're devoting a large portion of this week's mail to the Rams.

Ramming speed
What in the world are you guys smoking?

To rank a 12-4 Rams team 16th? Add insult to injury, the Aint's and Bengals ahead of them? You all have gotten a little to smart for your own good. The Rams will have you all eating your words.

Chris Kramer
Chalmette, La.

It's pretty amazing to me that you rank the Rams 16th, behind such intimidating teams like the Cowboys, Jets, Saints, and Bengals. They were 12-4 last year and, unlike say ... the Cowboys, are at least playing with the same QB -- who is a proven winner in the regular season at least. Plus, enforcement of the new illegal contact rule should really open up the Rams' passing game. Can't wait to see the Rams slowly creep up your list and prove the "experts" wrong.

Chris Hutchison
Washington, D.C.

You really think that the Saints and the Jets and 15 other teams are better than the Rams. That's funny. I know everyone hates Martz, but that's no reason to kill a 12-4 team last year, who was a foot away from beating Carolina. Anyway, you should reconsider and put them in the top 10.

Jason Zavarella
Hartford, Conn.

Let me have some of what you guys are smoking!!! You've got the Rams (a 12-4 team last year, a team that only lost 2 starters from last year) ranked 16th? Behind a .500 Cincy team? and a 6-10 Jets team that hasn't proven anything???

Mike MacKenzie
Florissant, Mo.

Laughing out loud
According to your rankings you're predicting the Bucs to finish last in the NFC South. Thanks for the laugh.
Jason Forrest
Halifax, Canada

Look out for Gibbs
I feel as if the Redskins are being completely underrated. We all know that Gibbs won three super bowls when he coached the Skins. Also, no one really knows the offense that he is going to rock the Bucs with. I believe that the NFL needs to look out for the championship contending Redskins this year and prepare for a overtaking of the NFC East finally.

Daniel Larson
Jesup, Ga.

Vick's the man
West Coast offense, new head coach, tough division, etc etc etc. To underestimate Michael Vick, the most dynamic, exciting, and athletic player since Bo Jackson, is a complete joke. Be prepared to eat your words when the Falcons, not the Saints or the Panthers, marches to Jacksonville out of the NFC South. As Mr. Cassius Clay once said, "EAT YOUR WORDS!"

Josh Martino
Atlanta, Ga.

Drinking games
Its clear that the ESPN power ranking posse was donated a truckload of tequila...did anyone else see how low Pittsburgh is ranked?! Ha!

The Steelers have been a near-constant in the NFL playoffs for over 10 years. With Duce Staley and an improving receiving corps (is that even possible?), an offensive line that is rough, we can expect Staley to have over 1600 yards on the ground. The defense is iffy, but if they come around again, the Steelers will be ranked in the top 3 by week 10.

Sycamore, Ill.