NFL

NFL AM: Week 1 Power Rankings

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We made it through the long, arduous offseason and it’s that special time again.  Power rankings time!  In our power rankings the Super Bowl champ does not get the benefit of the doubt until they lose.  It’s a new season and it will be treated as such.

  1. Seattle Seahawks– The ‘Hawks have a great mixture of balance on offense and an imposing defense without any major holes.  They look like the best team in football right now.
  2. Green Bay Packers– Even without Josh Sitton, the Packers have an explosive offense and a secondary that’s improving.  It should be a good year for the Cheeseheads.
  3. Arizona Cardinals– The only reason the Cardinals aren’t No. 1 is because of Carson Palmer’s postseason showing and the possibility that there could be some carryover.
  4. Carolina Panthers– How does a team that went 15-1 and made it to the Super Bowl drop to No. 4?  No Josh Norman and major questions at the offensive tackle spots.
  5. New England Patriots– The Pats will likely move up the list when Tom Brady returns, but there will be some bumps along the way with Jimmy Garoppolo.
  6. Kansas City Chiefs– The Chiefs are balanced on offense and even without Justin Houston have a stingy defense.  Alex Smith is better than you think.
  7. Denver Broncos– The Super Bowl champs are starting Trevor Siemian at quarterback.
  8. Minnesota Vikings– I’m not sold on Sam Bradford, but let’s not believe that Teddy Bridgewater was a great passer. They still have Purple Jesus and one of the best defenses in football.
  9. Cincinnati Bengals– Loaded roster, but still major questions about the quarterback and head coach.
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers– So many early season losses on offense due to suspensions, but the Steelers still have Big Ben and Antonio Brown and that’s good enough to win games.
  11. New Orleans Saints– This could be Sean Payton’s last year as head coach and Drew Brees has more weapons than ever.  They could surprise.
  12. Washington Redskins– Major questions in the backfield, but they added Josh Norman.  Let’s see if Kirk Cousins is the real deal.
  13. New York Giants– One of the most improved teams in the offseason and if they can hide the right side of their offensive line they’ll be pretty good.
  14. Houston Texans– J.J. Watt should be back in action and they have a very solid roster.  Brock Osweiler will determine whether they win the AFC South.
  15. Indianapolis Colts– It’s a bad roster around a great quarterback.  That should be good enough to win at least half of their games.
  16. Buffalo Bills– Lots of losses on the defensive line for Buffalo, but Tyrod Taylor is better than you think and this could be the best offense Rex Ryan has ever had.
  17. Jacksonville Jaguars– One of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, but major question marks on defense and on the sidelines.
  18. Oakland Raiders– Much improved team, but let’s see how the running back position and the secondary performs.
  19. New York Jets– Great defensive line, but questions at linebacker and quarterback.
  20. Detroit Lions– Lots of questions on the defensive side of the ball and on the sideline.  Let’s see how Matt Stafford does without Calvin Johnson.
  21. Dallas Cowboys– Dallas would be much higher if Tony Romo wasn’t going to miss half of the season.  It will be interesting to see what Dak Prescott can do with a great running game and offensive line.
  22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers– Lots of talent on the roster, but I’m not sold on Dirk Koetter or the offensive line.
  23. Cleveland Browns– This is a probably a little high for the Browns, but they have some exciting pieces on offense and a creative head coach in Hue Jackson.
  24. Los Angeles Rams– Jeff Fisher magic usually equates to 7-9.
  25. Tennessee Titans– Better defense than you think and they will run the ball 40 times each game.
  26. San Diego Chargers– Best quarterback of all the really bad teams.
  27. Miami Dolphins– They have a lot of pieces, but major questions in the backfield and who knows if Ryan Tannehill can really play.
  28. Chicago Bears– There are a lot of questions on both sides of the ball.  How will Jay Cutler play without Adam Gase?
  29. Atlanta Falcons– They have Julio Jones….and not a lot else.
  30. Philadelphia Eagles– It’s a full rebuild around a quarterback who played in the FCS last year. There will be bumps and bruises.
  31. Baltimore Ravens– Super Bowl champs four years ago to No. 31 in the preseason rankings.
  32. San Francisco 49ers– Super Bowl runners up four years ago to the worst roster in the NFL.

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.