It's still mid-August but the dramatic period of free agency is finally over. Which means...
Football is here! The best we can do now is forecast and speculate -- but that's just fine with football fans now that we know we don't have to speculate about whether or not we'll have a season.
At the top of my power rankings stands mighty Green Bay, who won the Super Bowl last season despite a 10-6 wildcard bid. Scary for the rest of the league, the Packer players appear to be better, more mature and fully healthy. Watch out for the typical big guns as well, namely New England, New Orleans, Philadelphia and of course, Rex Ryan's infamous New York Jets.
But don't sleep on upstarts like Tampa Bay and even Houston, which may very well improve on its usual .500/underachieving status and make a serious run at Indianapolis and the rest of the AFC. Lastly -- and I can't believe I'm saying this -- don't sleep on the Detroit Lions. The team once again spent an off season improving and finding younger players for vital positions -- the Lions (who just narrowly missed by top 15 list) are for real. The NFC West meanwhile, is not.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask me questions about anything NFL-related at @206Child for my upcoming mailbag.
Plus, check out my brand new HuffPost sports blog, The Schultz Report, for a fresh and daily outlook on all things sports.