1999 NFL Preview
Weekly lineup

 Tuesday, September 7
Call 'em a Jag-ernaut

 Well, we're back for our final NFL ride of the 20th century. Only this time, we won't have Barry, Reggie and King John along for the ride.

While Elway tries to fly the water hazard on No. 17, pro football will have a new sheriff in town for 1999. And we've selected a No. 1 team that's packing plenty of firepower.

Here's our take on where all 31 teams stand entering the 1999 season:

If you've got something to say about the Rankings -- and we're sure you do -- then click here to submit your comments. Selected comments will be published Thursday, Sept. 9.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5)
Explosive offense is Taylor-made for success, and new coordinator Capers should help the defense Dom-inate. But Mark Brunell (left) must stay healthy for the Jags to reach Atlanta in late January.
2. Vikings (15-1) For the Vikes, trying to block out the events of Jan. 17 is like trying to forget "The Blair Witch Project."
3. Jets (12-4) Jets fans now holding round-the-clock vigil, praying for health of Vinny Testaverde.
4. Broncos (14-2) No, Shanahan didn't push the panic button too early. This machine needs a little Griese.
5. Falcons (14-2) If they quit dancing the "Dirty Bird," we'll stop with the Eugene Robinson jokes.
6. Dolphins (10-6) No truth to the rumor Jimmy Johnson will field roster of 53 running backs.
7. Packers (11-5) Brett Favre has joined that round-the-clock vigil, praying for health of his receivers.
8. 49ers (12-4) The running game looks suspect, but then again so does most of the NFC West.
9. Seahawks (8-8) Holmgren changing all this team's bad habits -- like missing the playoffs every year since 1988.
10. Bills (10-6) Despite his magical '98 season, Doug Flutie can't stop looking back over his shoulder.
11. Bucs (8-8) This is the year that will determine if Trent Dilfer can be the quarterback Mel Kiper Jr. thought he would.
12. Titans (8-8) New name, new uniforms, new stadium. Make the playoffs or they'll add new coach to that list.
13. Cowboys (10-6) Somebody's gotta win the NFC East. Don't they? Right? Anyone?
14. Raiders (8-8) Can someone please explain why a .500 team was given the NFL's toughest schedule?
15. Giants (8-8) Commission of scientists still investigating their offensive explosion during preseason.
16. Cardinals (9-7) Yes, we remember what they did in the playoffs. But have you seen their offseason moves and '99 schedule?
17. Patriots (9-7) Pete Carroll still haunted by recurring nightmare where he's trapped in belly of giant Tuna.
18. Steelers (7-9) It's hard to believe this team was one play away from the Super Bowl just 20 months ago.
19. Chiefs (7-9) While we're talking about dramatic falls, K.C.'s drop was huge. And it might get worse before it gets better.
20. Redskins (6-10) No matter how good they look in preseason, we're not falling into the trap of ranking them high again.
21. Colts (3-13) Good news: they might be the NFL's most improved team. Bad news: they still play in the NFL's toughest division.
22. Ravens (6-10) Scott Mitchell? Tony Banks? Brian Billick trying to drive his first car on retreads.
23. Saints (6-10) Next year, Ditka will want to trade all the rest of his picks for a quarterback.
24. Chargers (5-11) Still working to convince Ryan Leaf that Siberia is the ideal site for rehab.
25. Rams (4-12) If Trent Green had not gotten hurt, they'd probably be five spots higher.
26. Lions (5-11) Bobby Ross still expecting Barry Sanders to report any day now.
27. Browns (NR) They've got more talent than a typical expansion team, and the NFL's most rabid fan base.
28. Bears (4-12) Explain to us again why they released Erik Kramer.
29. Panthers (4-12) George Seifert's record winning percentage will come down in a hurry.
30. Bengals (3-13) Continuing to solidify their status as the worst-run organization in the NFL.
31. Eagles (3-13) And you thought Eagles fans were booing loudly on draft day.


Pressure driving Jaguars

AFC: A Furious Chase

NFC: Success is fleeting

Passing the torch

Replacing the irreplaceable

Malone: Ten things to watch in '99

Murphy: How the cookie crumbles

The day that rocked the Rockies

Stats Class: Right on schedule