NFL Power Rankings: Week 1


The 2014 season of the NFL kicks off this Thursday. Today, we turn in our first NFL Power Rankings of the year.

(All records are from the 2013 season)

  1. Seattle Seahawks (13-3) – Its hard to not have them at the top of the list, they’re the Super Bowl champions and didn’t lose any major pieces. The offensive line is healthy and they are expecting a full season from Percy Harvin. With Russell Wilson ready to move up from game manager, the Seahawks are thinking repeat.
  2. Denver Broncos (13-3) – The Broncos reloaded on both sides of the ball and Peyton Manning is pissed. Expect him to take it out on the league, but not set records this season with a tougher schedule.
  3. New England Patriots (12-4) – Still have Tom Brady and the defense has been the focus of the offseason. The Pats won three titles by playing lights out D and if they can replicate that, then a Super Bowl berth is a real possibility.
  4. New Orleans Saints (11-5) – They had a top five defense last season, and its looks better heading into 2014. Couple that with your typical Drew Brees and this team has a championship on their mind (if they can win on the road).
  5. Green Bay Packers (8-7-1) – An improved defense, a re-focused Aaron Rodgers, and a chance to make a statement on opening night at Seattle. Eddie Lacy is a stud and will help limit the number of dropbacks, and potential hits, Rodgers takes.
  6. San Francisco 49ers (12-4) – On paper, this is a team that could end up in the Super Bowl, but a pathetic preseason is cause for concern. Injuries and suspensions are going to take their toll on this team.
  7. Indianapolis Colts (11-5) – The Colts have a very favorable schedule and an offense that should one of the best in the NFL. If the defense finally comes together, this team could make a deep playoff run.
  8. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) – Weak division and a easy schedule have the Eagles winning the division almost by default. They are going to score a ton of points and look to have an improved defense as well.
  9. Carolina Panthers (12-4) – Cam Newton might not have anyone to throw to, but that defense is going to keep them in just about every game this season. If the receiving corps develops, watch out for the Panthers.
  10. Cincinnati Bengals (11-5) – Another playoff berth and another first round loss last season. Changes in offensive coordinator might help, but Bengals are in a tough division.
  11. Arizona Cardinals (10-6) – Painfully close to a playoff spot last season, the Cards have one of the best defenses in the NFL. The NFC West is so tough, its hard to see the offense being good enough to make the playoffs, but three teams from this division is a real possibility.
  12. Baltimore Ravens (8-8) – Joe Flacco‘s inflated contract nerfed this team last season, and so did injuries. The offense is talented enough to take the team pretty far, and if the defense develops this team will make the playoffs in a weak AFC.
  13. Chicago Bears (8-8) – The offense is going to have to carry this team once again. The defense was awful last season, but some new players should help turn that side of the ball around.
  14. San Diego Chargers (9-7) – The offense took them to the playoffs last season, despite a horrible defense. The defense looks better this season and just incremental improvements will get them back in the playoffs.
  15. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) – Its tough to get a read on a team that is well coached, has an elite QB, and is always competitive. A better offensive line, run game, and defense should have this team with a record above .500 in 2014.
  16. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) – I still can’t get over A) beating just one team with a winning record or B) giving up the lead in the AFC Wild Card game. Keep Jamaal Charles on the field and make sure the safeties don’t play like JV high schoolers and the Chiefs will be set.
  17. Detroit Lions (7-9) – They finally have a coach who won’t tolerate bad penalties and can actually coach a quarterback. With a simpler defense and better offensive scheme, the Lions make the NFC North a tough, crowded division.
  18. St. Louis Rams (7-9) – The defense can keep them in any game but with Sam Bradford already out, there are serious concerns about the offense. That defensive line could win the Rams games single handedly though.
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12) – A sneaky good defense and better QB play has this team as a darkhorse candidate to make noise in the NFC South.
  20. Tennessee Titans (7-9) – They’ll finish around .500, just like every other season. Can Jake Locker stay healthy and play QB? The Titans will continue the experiment.
  21. Miami Dolphins (8-8) – Always sort of average and once again have overhauled the team after last season’s insanity. Linebacker and safety are concerns on defense, but the Dolphins can lock down receiver and rush the passer.
  22. Atlanta Falcons (4-12) – Two things: get to the opposing QB and keep Matt Ryan upright. That’s all the Falcons need to do to have a successful season, the rest will fall into place.
  23. New York Giants (7-9) – Make sure Eli Manning doesn’t throw interceptions and find an identity. This team no longer does anything particularly well and need to find an area of expertise.
  24. Houston Texans (2-14) – Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt are scary, and all the parts for a talented defense are there. But even with Ryan Mallett, the Texans have a lot of questions at quarterback.
  25. Washington (3-13) – There is a lot of concern surrounding RG3. If he regains his confidence and develops into some resembling a pocket passer, this team could be dangerous.
  26. Buffalo Bills (6-10) – EJ Manuel is still staring down his wide receivers. Even Sammy Watkins can’t overcome that kind of attention.
  27. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) – Finishing at .500 would some how be miraculous. The defense is going to be historically bad, worse than last season, and Tony Romo‘s back could be a real cause for concern.
  28. New York Jets (8-8) – Geno Smith doesn’t look all that much better, but he will have more weapons to throw off target to. The defense is solid, but Rex Ryan HAS to be on the hot seat this season.
  29. Cleveland Browns (4-12) – The defense is good enough to keep the Browns in games, at least for awhile. QB is a huge question mark as neither Johnny Manziel nor Brian Hoyer played well enough to truly win the starting spot.
  30. Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1) – They have Adrian Peterson and that’s about it. The division is very tough and the Vikings are either going to start a below average QB or a rookie.
  31. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12) – Start Blake Bortles. Its that simple. You know what Chad Henne can do, and its not good. Get Bortles out there with this young receiving corps and develop that offense now, they’ll be really good in a year or two.
  32. Oakland Raiders (4-12) – Start trying to name more than three starters on each side of the ball. Can you even get to three? This team has first pick in the 2015 draft written all over them.