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NFL Weekly Power Rankings: Week 1

Model: Paola (Photo by Double G Media)

Model: Paola (Photo by Double G Media)

  1. Seattle Seahawks – The most well rounded team in the NFL. When Russell Wilson plays well, they’re hard to beat. With a strong run game to compliment Wilson and the league’s second best defense, they look poised for Superbowl LI.
  2. Green Bay Packers – Any time you have Aaron Rodgers, you’re going to contend for the playoffs. But now equipped with a young and improving defense, the Packers are certainly Superbowl contenders.
  3. Arizona Cardinals – The Cards offense may have finally found the running back they needed to compliment Carson Palmer and their trio of great receivers. David Johnson could make this offense nearly unstoppable. Their defense is pretty good too, with one of the NFL’s best secondaries and what should be an improved pass rush with the addition of Chandler Jones.
  4. Carolina Panthers – Losing Josh Norman hurts, but the front seven is still one of the best around. The return of Kelvin Benjamin gives Cam Newton another freakish target, but one weakness they have is their offensive line. They failed to address it in the offseason after they were dominated by the Broncos defensive front.
  5. Cincinnati Bengals – Still one of the more complete teams in the NFL. No true weaknesses, other than the fact that Andy Dalton has been a consistent playoff choker.
  6. Kansas City Chiefs – Alex Smith is the definition of an average quarterback, but the offense around him is plenty talented. Jamaal Charles is still one of the league’s top running backs. This defense is one to watch out for. Plenty of good young playmakers at every level.
  7. Denver Broncos – The defending Superbowl champs. They managed to keep together most of their championship roster. While poor quarterback play didn’t stop them from winning last season, their situation at the position looks grim. Still the NFL’s best defense though.
  8. Pittsburgh Steelers – If it weren’t for the suspensions of Martavis Bryant and Le’Veon Bell, this offense would contend for tops in the league. Bell, however, will be back after three games. The defense is certainly questionable, but they’re certainly athletic and aggressive.
  9. Houston Texans – Another team with pretty good talent at every level. The play of Brock Osweiler could be the biggest difference maker. He’s only made seven career starts, but they paid him big money in the offseason hoping to solve their longstanding quarterback problems. We’ll see if it pays off.
  10. Oakland Raiders – The team pegged as the NFL’s up-and-coming squad, they certainly have plenty of young talent. Khalil Mack should once again compete for DPotY and the defense surrounding him has continued to improve. The offense, lead by Derek Carr, Latavius Murray, and Amari Cooper, is young and dangerous.
  11. Indianapolis Colts – The return of Andrew Luck makes all the difference for this team. If the offensive line can keep him upright, this offense will be top-tier. The defense is already questionable, especially the pass rush, but it is also dealing with several injuries. They could move up these rankings once they get healthy.
  12. New England Patriots – They would probably be a top five team, but without Tom Brady for the first four games, they will remain lower on the rankings. One he returns they will likely shoot back up, especially with the best group of weapons Brady has had in years, plus a rather solid defense.
  13. Minnesota Vikings – Certainly talented on the defensive side of the ball and they have Adrian Peterson, who is still the NFL’s best running back. Unfortunately, Teddy Bridgewater is out for the season and their replacement is Sam Bradford who is the definition of “eh”.
  14. New York Giants We’ll see if their attempt to rebuild their defense in one season pays off, with so many new additions through free agency. The offense should be electric though, with Eli Manning having his best group of wideouts in some time, led by Odell Beckham of course.
  15. Buffalo Bills – Tyrod Taylor certainly made this team exciting last year. LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins help make this offense a threat to score from anywhere. The defense, led by Rex Ryan, will certainly make plenty of big plays and the pass rush should still be one of the best.
  16. New York Jets If Ryan Fitzpatrick, Eric Decker, and Brandon Marshall can repeat last season’s magic, the Jets will contend for the playoffs. They’ve added Matt Forte, who could be a decent boost for this offense, and the defense is arguably among the league’s top five.
  17. Jacksonville Jaguars – Another team that is up-and-coming, but they’re a bit too young. They’ll be ready to contend for the playoffs within the next year or two, but their inexperience will cost them in a lot of close games.
  18. Baltimore Ravens – They’ll have success on the strength of their defense, especially the front seven, but their offense will ultimately hold them back. Other than his incredible Superbowl run in 2013, Joe Flacco has been rather inconsistent at best.
  19. Washington Redskins – Despite making the playoffs last season and adding Josh Norman to their secondary, this team is poised to take a step backwards. They took advantage of a weak divison to make the playoffs. Kirk Cousins played better than anyone expected and he would have to repeat that success against improved defenses in the NFC East.
  20. Dallas Cowboys – The loss of Tony Romo hurts big time. Ezekiel Elliot should win RotY, especially with that star-studded offensive line in front of him. The defense lacks proven talent, but if they can hold their own until the return of Romo, they have a shot at taking this division away.
  21. New Orleans Saints – The defense has been historically bad in recent years and it’s not going to just improve overnight. As long as Drew Brees is around, the offense will remain potent.
  22. Chicago Bears – Still a work in progress, this roster has several holes. The secondary is weak and the pass rush will be missing their best threat, Parnell McPhee, for the first six weeks. The offensive line is still suspect and their running backs are unproven. Alshon Jeffery is the only true threat on this offense.
  23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The offense should make some exciting plays on the backs of Jameis Winston, Doug Martin, and Mike Evans. The defense still has work to do, but there is some talent there.
  24. Philadelphia Eagles Don’t expect much from this offense. Caron Wentz will be thrown into the fire as a rookie and he’ll be surrounded by young receivers and a shaky offensive line. The front seven is actually very strong, but the cornerback group is going to hurt this team significantly.
  25. San Diego Chargers – They certainly have a talented secondary, but the front seven is weak. Philip Rivers will be quietly good as always and he’s getting back his top target, Keenan Allen, but it won’t be enough to make up for the lack of run defense and pass rush.
  26. Miami Dolphins – There’s some decent players throughout this roster, but they lack the overall talent to compete. Ryan Tannehill needs to take the next step for this offense to be threatening and the defense needs a few more pieces.
  27. Los Angeles Rams – First overall pick Jared Goff has been rather unimpressive, so there should be plenty of eight and nine man boxes for Todd Gurley. This pass rush is still one of the best in the league, but the back end of the defense is questionable after losing a couple key cogs in free agency.
  28. Tennessee Titans – This team could surprise people, but it would take a strong season from Marcus Mariotta, who is going to need at least one of his receivers to step up and become a true threat. Their running back tandem of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry has impressed in preseason, but we’ll see if it carries over in games that matter. The defense needs a lot of work.
  29. Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan hasn’t been as good as he was early in his career and the only receiver he can rely on is Julio Jones. They do have a pretty good offensive line and their run game should allow the offense to score points, but it remains to be seen if the defense will be able to get stops.
  30. Detroit Lions – Matt Stafford always has been and always will be a gunslinger. He’s got decent weapons, but the offensive line may not allow him to get the ball to them. The defense hasn’t been the same since the loss of Ndamukong Suh and will most likely struggle again.
  31. Cleveland Browns – This team has consistently failed to make good first round picks and it has clearly hurt their chances of ever being decent. They’re currently banking on Robert Griffin III regaining form after two ACL tears and, other than Josh Gordon, he won’t have much help. The only talented defender on this team is Joe Haden and he is coming off the worst season of his pro career.
  32. San Francisco 49ers – Not only is this team dealing with Colin Kaepernick’s antics during the National Anthem, but there is just no talent on this roster. Blaine Gabbert is going to be starting for this team. They look poised for the number one pick in 2017 and hopefully they use it on a quarterback.

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