Sept 24, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate (81) holds on to the game-winning touchdown as time expires against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
The regular season is finally here, football fans! That can only mean it’s time for some NFL Power Rankings! Naturally, things will change, as they always do. For now, here’s where I have everyone as we get cracking in Week One.
32. Houston Texans (2-14) | Previous Ranking: 30 (-2)
It was nothing short of ugly for the Texans in the preseason. You may say that ‘there were injuries’, and ‘it was just preseason’. Despite going 2-2 in the preseason, they were outscored 96-63. That doesn’t apply here. Can newly acquired Ryan Mallett save this team? They have a tough task opening at home against the Redskins.
31. Oakland Raiders (4-12) | Previous Ranking: 31
Matt Schaub looked hideous, and now we’re about to see Derek Carr. Is he the real deal or going to play like a real rookie? They play the Jets in Week One, and we’re not sure who exactly plays in the secondary for them.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12) | Previous Ranking: 32 (+2)
The Jags look promising with their youthful roster, but does it translate on the field in Week One? They have their hands full with the Eagles on the road.
29. Washington Redskins (3-13) | Previous Ranking: 29
They’ll get the benefit of the doubt with RGIII entering the picture, and oh, they play the Texans.
28. Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1) | Previous Ranking: 28
A perfect preseason won’t tell us much, but it’s encouraging for the Vikes. They’ll have a tough task on the road against the St. Louis Rams defense, but then again, they don’t play Sam Bradford.
27. Cleveland Browns (4-12) | Previous Ranking: 27
Bryan Hoyer on the road against the Steelers. Repeat that statement.
26. Buffalo Bills (6-10) | Previous Ranking: 26
Sammy Watkins is a little banged up, but what’s worse news for the Bills is that they play in the Windy City to open the season.
25. Atlanta Falcons (4-12) | Previous Ranking: 25
The Falcons have a unique opportunity to make a statement in the first week of play by attempting to knock off their hated rival, the New Orleans Saints. We’ll see.
24. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) | Previous Ranking: 24
Winless in the preseason, is it time to panic in Big D? They only have to host the 49ers this Sunday.
23. Tennessee Titans (7-9) | Previous Ranking: 23
Mixed bag in the preseason, but we’re anxious to see if this team can stand up to the Chiefs.
22. New York Jets (8-8) | Previous Ranking: 20 (-2)
Playing secondary for the Jets this season are: _____________
21. St. Louis Rams (7-9) | Previous Ranking: 19 (-2)
Despite a potent defense, are you putting all of your faith in Shaun Hill? They do host the Vikes, which could work to their advantage.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12) | Previous Ranking: 21 (+1)
Yeah, yeah. 1-3 in the preseason, and all that other goodness, but with the other teams falling, they have to gain a spot.
19. Miami Dolphins (8-8) | Previous Ranking: 22 (+3)
One of three teams to go undefeated in the preseason, and they have a humongous opportunity in Week One hosting the New England Patriots.
18. Detroit Lions (7-9) | Previous Ranking: 18
The Lions open the season on Monday Night Football, which you can’t say every day. They’re full of weapons, and they allowed the third least points in the preseason.
17. New York Giants (7-9) | Previous Ranking: 17
Despite the flaws in the first team offense, the Giants finished 5-0 in the preseason. No Odell Beckham Jr. from the looks of it, but we’re highly interested to see how Eli Manning fares against the Lions on the road.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) | Previous Ranking: 16
Not the best showing in the preseason, and then the debauchery of Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount. Sure, there were no suspensions that came of it, but the offseason distractions don’t always bode well for a team on the rebound.
15. San Diego Chargers (9-7) Previous Ranking: 15
The Chargers could sway either way, but a Week One date in Arizona isn’t the best way to start your season.
14. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) | Previous Ranking: 13 (-1)
The Alex Smith contract is out-of-the-way, but what about the defense? Most allowed points in the preseason (131).
13. Carolina Panthers (12-4) | Previous Ranking: 14 (+1)
Cam Newton’s a full go, and they’re still the defending NFC South champions, for now. It’s time to see what this secondary is made of, if anything.
12. Chicago Bears (8-8) | Previous Ranking: 12
Should be an easy victory this week, and the keyword being: should.
11. Baltimore Ravens (8-8) | Previous Ranking: 11
No Ray Rice to attack the Bengals in Week One, but one can’t help but feel encouraged from Joe Flacco’s preseason, and the fact the team went 4-0.
10. Arizona Cardinals (10-6) | Previous Ranking: 9 (-1)
Hosting the Lightning Bolts in primetime for their home opener. 6-2 at home last year, and overall, a stellar track record at home.
9. Cincinnati Bengals (11-5) | Previous Ranking: 10 (+1)
Rookie Jeremy Hill helps the Bengals pose a huge running threat for opposing defenses, but they’ll have to play the Ravens in the opener on the road.
8. Indianapolis Colts (11-5) | Previous Ranking: 6 (-2)
I’m giving Andrew Luck the benefit of the doubt, but it’s a bit troubling to not have the Colts produce even one victory during the preseason.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) | Previous Ranking: 8 (+1)
Most points in the preseason, sounds about right for Chip Kelly. They’ll play the Jags in their opener.
6. Green Bay Packers (8-7-1) | Previous Ranking: 7 (+1)
Having to face the defending Super Bowl Champs in your first game is a tall task, but the Packers want to extract some revenge for the ‘Fail Mary’ game.
5. New England Patriots (12-4) | Previous Ranking: 5
See previous rankings. The Patriots are the second best team in the AFC until someone else emerges.
4. New Orleans Saints (11-5) | Previous Ranking: 4
The Saints have their work cut out for them in Week One, having to face their most hated foe, the Atlanta Falcons. If this is their year, they need to start things on the right foot.
3. San Francisco 49ers (12-4) | Previous Ranking: 3
There’s a ton of offseason distractions in San Francisco right now, but the NFC’s second best from a year ago rightfully stays at two, until something happens otherwise.
2. Denver Broncos (13-3) | Previous Ranking: 2
It’s hard to overlook how good the Broncos are these days. Their defense allowed the lowest amount on points in the preseason (37).
1. Seattle Seahawks (13-3) | Previous Ranking: 1
Well, all eyes are on the Seahawks, and they don’t have the world’s easiest game to begin with. However, defending Super Bowl Champs have their rightful spot.
Like our list? Hate our list? Who would you change out, and why?