NFL Preseason Power Rankings
1. Green Bay Packers
I don't want to seem biased here, but Green Bay has a lot of upside this year. The offense is bringing back every starter from last year and the defense boosted the secondary with a first and second round pick. This may be the year.
2. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle finally has a great receiving threat in Jimmy Graham. My problem is that Russell Wilson has yet to sign the big contract. Seattle either needs to get the man under contract or capitalize on him now.
3. New England Patriots
New England should have the top spot. However, I don't believe Brady will be starting the first few games of the season. Without Brady, and with a much weaker secondary, the New England Patriots find themselves the third most powerful team in the NFL.
4. Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis is at this weird stage in their NFL existence where they are not elite but they are more than just good. The defense continues to be a problem for the Colts, so Chuck Pagano is on the hot seat after a string of weak playoff performances.
5. Denver Broncos
The Broncos bolstered the defense, but that has not been the issue. Peyton Manning was a shell of himself last year and will struggle even more with the absence of Julius Thomas. Denver's window for a Super Bowl is closing.
6. Dallas Cowboys
Dallas made their offensive line even better than last year, if that was somehow possible. Greg Hardy will come off his suspension at some point as well. Losing DeMarco Murray and his 1845 rushing yards will be missed. I don't think McFadden can produce across a whole season.
7. Arizona Cardinals
This team was on the verge of a Super Bowl run if any one of their quarterbacks could have stayed healthy for more than ten games. They will be a fully recovered team on both sides of the ball, which will allow these red birds to finally fly.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers were yet another team derailed by injuries last season. They could've won the Super Bowl if Le'Veon Bell had been healthy for the later part of the season. That being said, it will be a more difficult road to the postseason without Dick LeBeau leading the defense.
9. Baltimore Ravens
The players that the Ravens kept were key to making a return to the playoffs. They did lose some stars on both sides of the ball though in Torrey Smith and Haloti Ngata. The Ravens will be hard-pressed to find an easy game in the AFC North.
10. Kansas City Chiefs
I like the Jeremy Maclin pick up a lot because: 1. the Andy Reid connection and 2. it fills what might be the most glaring position need in the NFL. The Chiefs defense also promises to continue it's steady rise into the elite class of play.
11. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals progress as Andy Dalton does, so they continue to be a dominator of the weak and a pretender against real playoff competition. The truth is, Cincy didn't do anything substantial to make themselves much better than last year's team.
12. Detroit Lions
The Lions are rising back into the playoff ranks. I like what Jim Caldwell did with the team last season, and I think with a fully healthy Calvin Johnson, they can be even better. With tough losses across the defensive line though, the heart of the Lions might have just been ripped out.
13. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers would be higher, but the loss of Antonio Gates through the first few games is going to be a real missing element in that offense. With a new running back though, San Diego might finally be able to make a playoff run (HA!).
14. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are another team, like the Lions, that are just continuing to flourish at the right time. They made the playoffs last year in a terrible NFC South, and have the defense to make an honest run at a championship. The offense just needs to finally find a groove behind Cam Newton.
15. Houston Texans
The quarterback situation is still....... crap. At least the defense still has JJ Watt, and that's what is important. Maybe if Watt took some snaps under center, the Texans would be back in the playoffs.
16. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins haven't done anything wrong this off-season. They won the Suh lottery. The only problem is that they lost Mike Wallace, and didn't really find an answer for that position to help Ryan Tannehill's continued development.
17. New York Giants
With the potential loss of JPP, or at least a lowered ability of play, the defense once again becomes the concern with the New York Giants. Hopefully, a second year in McAdoo's system will help Eli limit the turnovers.
18. Philadelphia Eagles
I don;t like the downgrade at quarterback. I don't like the trade of Shady McCoy for a linebacker. The Eagles made a series of weird moves that continue to make them the most interesting little project the NFL has to offer its fans.
19. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings will be a better team. Bridgewater will improve, especially with the new receivers the team brought in. Adrian Peterson will return, and that will at least add another dimension of offensive for teams to gameplan around. Beware the Vikings.
20. Buffalo Bills
Rex Ryan will be a good coach for the Bills. He will bring defensive intelligence and charisma to a city that deserves good football. I just hope he knows what he is doing at the quarterback position, otherwise all the effort will be wasted.
21. New Orleans Saints
I don't think trading away your best offensive weapon to one of your conference's best teams is a good strategy for winning. That being said, the defense is better and the Saints used early draft picks on the offensive side, so they are on the right path to a playoff comeback.
22. St. Louis Rams
The Rams may finally have the quarterback that the franchise has searched for since Kurt Warner. That may not be the case, but at least they solved the Sam Bradford problem with ease and something to show for it. The Rams just need to continue to grind and build their young team under Jeff Fisher.
23. New York Jets
The Jets had the best off-season in the NFL if you ask me. However, they still have plenty of question marks at quarterback. Not to mention, the loss of Sheldon Richardson will hurt their defense, even if it is just slightly.
24. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have fallen off the face of the Earth. Two years ago, it was a prime destination for NFL free agents. Now, it is where players go to spontaneously retire. The 49ers are going to continue their slide from last year.
25. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons still have problems with the defense and offensive line. However, the draft gave them a chance to rebuild somewhat. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are still there though, so at least this team can be entertaining, if not good.
26. Cleveland Browns
The Browns are just the NFL sad sacks. Even when a season shows some potential, it always ends up crashing and burning for Cleveland. They drafted well though, and made some strategic free agency pickups, so there is some hope for the Browns.
27. Oakland Raiders
28. Washington Redskins
This is just a bad situation to be in. The quarterbacking is a joke and the defense is the punchline to an even worse joke. The only thing that makes this team better than the next team is that they can abandon their quarterback.
29. Chicago Bears
The Bears are stuck with that slob, Jay Cutler. He continues to mope his way through his NFL career and still has nothing to show for it. The Bears defense may be slightly better under Del Rio, but turnovers are the problem.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars
I think Blake Bortles will continue to develop nicely. I don;t know about the rest of the team, but at least Bortles will continue to get better. Too bad about Fowler, though.
31. Tennessee Titans
The Titans will be bad because they need time to develop their quarterback. At least they have an offensive line to put in front of their rookie. The defense could use some work next.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs will not be good. I have seen that team in person, they have one of the worst offensive lines I have ever seen. Good luck out their your first season Jameis, you're going to need it.