By Joe Benigno
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1. New York Giants

After all, they are the defending champs with a great quarterback and the game’s best pass rush.

2. Green Bay Packers

15-1 in the regular season. A disaster in last season’s playoff loss to Giants. Still best team in NFC North.

3. New England Patriots

Defending AFC champs, Belichick and Brady are still there. Enough said.

4. San Francisco 49ers

NFL’s top defense added Brandon Jacobs, Mario Manningham and Randy Moss to offense.

5. Houston Texans

Finally won AFC South last year. Need a healthy Matt Schaub to get to New Orleans.

6. Baltimore Ravens

No Terrell Suggs. Tough break for Baltimore, but Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Haloti Ngata are still there — and watch out for rookie Courtney Upshaw.

7. New Orleans Saints

They would be ranked higher, but you have to worry a little about Bountygate fallout. Still have game’s most explosive offense.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

Yeah, I know the defense is getting old. The O-line is shaky, but you know they’ll be good.

9. Detroit Lions

Made playoffs last season for first time in years. NFC North is a tough division but have to love Mega-Arm to Megatron.

10. Carolina Panthers

My sleeper team ready for Cam Newton to lead his guys to playoffs.

Who do you have at No. 1? Let Benigno know in the comments below!

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