This is the first week of the AtP NFL Power Rankings.
This week is more or less the foundation for the power rankings and a little preview on each of the 32 teams. Each week we will see how it changes and I will explain for the rise or fall. This is not how I think that the teams will end up, it is where I think each team is right now. Enjoy and let me know what you think!
1. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are a good team all around, it will be interesting to see how David Johnson does as the feature back starting this season and if the defense can take advantage of Jimmy Garoppolo in week one. They should be able to and start the season off with a big win against a good team.
2. Green Bay Packers
It is hard to find a weakness with this Green Bay Packers team. The x-factor Eddie Lacy’s production dropped dramatically from 2014 to 2015. He went from 1,100 yards and 9 touchdowns to 758 yards and 3 touchdowns. If he can get back to form, then this team could be dangerous.
3. New England Patriots
Tom Brady might be gone for the next ten weeks, but this is still a really good team. Garoppolo is the beneficiary of probably the best tight end combination that has been seen in a while. Gronkowski is probably the most important piece of this offense and needs to stay healthy for this team to be healthy.
The Seahawks still have a very good defense that will probably have to win some more games for this team. If Rawls or Michael can step up with Marshawn Lynch retiring in the offseason. Look for Wilson to step up and become a better quarterback this season.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton really stepped up last season and showed that he can be a top ten quarterback in this league before his thumb injury shortened his season. AJ Green is still a top receiver in this league, but Dalton needs Tyler Eifert to get back on the field as soon as possible for him to make this team successful.
6. Carolina Panthers
The reigning MVP Cam Newton should come back with a vengeance this season after that poor Super Bowl performance. The addition of Kelvin Benjamin should make Newton even better than he was last season because he now has a legitimate number one receiver on the outside. It will certainly be an interesting rematch in week one.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers
Antonio Brown is probably the best wide receiver in the game now that Calvin Johnson retired. Le’Veon Bell is one of the three best running backs in the league when he can stay on the field. That give Ben Roethlisberger one of the most potent offenses in the league to work with and should make them feared by almost every team they face.
8. Kansas City Chiefs
The idea of the Kansas City Chiefs potentially losing Justin Houston for the season with a knee injury is frightening for fans to hear. They do, however, have a really good team on both sides of the ball and shouldn’t crumble at the loss of a single defensive player.
9. Denver Broncos
The Broncos still have one of the best defenses in the league, but Trevor Siemian is being asked to replace one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. This team needs to run the ball effectively with Anderson and Booker so Siemian can get some breathing room in the passing game.
10. Minnesota Vikings
Adrian Peterson combined with a really good defense make for a good team. Sam Bradford needs to learn this system quickly and utilize some of the weapons that he didn’t have in Philadelphia or St. Louis. The faster Bradford can adjust, the scarier this team can be in the season.
11. Oakland Raiders
David Carr was one of the biggest surprises from the 2014 draft and is knocking on the door of becoming a top quarterback in the NFL. Hopefully Latavius Murray can duplicate his production from last season and give the Raiders a balanced offensive attack.
12. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts had a down year last year with Andrew Luck missing out on so many games. He seems healthy going into this season and should be able to bring this team back up to the level they were at in the 2014 season.
13. Houston Texans
The acquisition of Brock Osweiler might have been the biggest quarterback free agent signing in the league since Peyton Manning to Denver in 2012. Osweiler needs to live up to the hype if the Texans want to have better success then they have in years past. Having a receiver like DeAndre Hopkins and a running back like Lamar Miller should help him adjust.
14. Washington Redskins
Is Kirk Cousins that good? Can Josh Norman adjust to the new scheme? Can Washington find a suitable running back? All of these questions must be answered in a positive way if the Redskins want to win this division again.
15. New York Jets
The front four on this Jets team is one of the best in the game. They should be able to get to the passer and let the secondary capitalize on the opponents’ mistakes. On the other side of the ball, the Jets made the smart choice in bringing back quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. He made a significant impact on this offense last year and can stabilize this offense this season.
16. New York Giants
The Giants spent $208 million in the offseason on free agency in order to fix this team. Olivier Vernon and Janoris Jenkins need to step up to improve this defense. Vernon has averaged just over seven sacks per season and Jenkins has averaged two and a half interceptions, is that worth a combined $81.3 million guaranteed? If they don’t live up to their contracts, it could be rough for the Giants.
17. Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo is out until probably their bye week in week seven. That means rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has to step up in a big way for the team to be successful. Their other important rookie, Ezekiel Elliott has to help out his fellow freshman and live up to the hype that surrounds him. The last time that the Cowboys started a rookie quarterback and running back was in 1969 with Roger Staubach and Calvin Hill, no pressure though.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars
This defense is young and hungry. Myles Jack, Dante Fowler, and Jalen Ramsey can be scary if they are all healthy and on the field at the same time. They also give the Jags a legitimate playmaker in each section of this defense. Hopefully they can get some pressure on opposing offenses and allow Blake Bortles some breathing room in some of these games.
19. Baltimore Ravens
Joe Flacco was having a normal season with a completion percentage of 64.4% before he got injured in week ten last season. Steve Smith Sr. was having a really good season in what was supposed to be his final season. Both are back for this season and should be able to help get this team back on track.
20. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons had a good start last season, but they tailed off towards the end and finished at .500. One of the biggest reasons for the drop off. They only got a combined nineteen sacks on their opponents and couldn’t get enough pressure on the quarterbacks. Now that they are entering a second season in Dan Quinn’s scheme they have the possibility of taking a step forward
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston was impressive for a rookie quarterback last season. He had a passer rating of 84.2 and threw 22 touchdowns to 15 interceptions. Those numbers should improve as he goes into his second season. It was also positive to see Doug Martin play a full sixteen games for only the second time in his four-year career.
22. Buffalo Bills
This defense had a lot of holes going into this offseason and then they lost their first two draft picks in Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland. Lawson could be out for six to eight weeks with shoulder surgery, but there is uncertainty if he will be back this season. Ragland is going to miss the season after he tore his ACL during practice. The Ryan brothers need to figure out how to make this defense serviceable.
23. New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees is still a good quarterback, but at his age, you have to wonder when his arm is going to fall off of his shoulder. They need to balance out with a solid running game with Mark Ingram to preserve Brees’ career before their window completely shuts.
24. Miami Dolphins
Adam Gase needs to work his magic and bring out the potential of Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill has a solid receiving corps, but Arian Foster and Jay Ajayai need to stay healthy and on the field to balance out the Miami offense.
25. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams front seven is one of the best in the league and needs to hold this team up. Jared Goff looks like a third stringer and Case Keenum doesn’t have the receiving weapons to be efficient. Hopefully, Todd Gurley can take another step forward and become an even better running back then he was last season.
26. San Diego Chargers
The never ending fight to get Joey Bosa signed is over and he needs to live up to that contract in order to get rid of the negative stigma that comes with contract disputes. If he doesn’t play up to the contract, then this team could have some problems defensively.
27. Chicago Bears
Jay Cutler had a really good season last year with his highest rating of his career, but his offensive coordinator Adam Gase is now in Miami. If Dowell Loggains can help Cutler duplicate his productivity this season, then this team should be able to jump up the ratings with some surprise wins this season.
28. Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans seem to finally have a respectable running attack since they released Chris Johnson after the 2013 season. DeMarco Murray is only two years removed from his incredible season with the Cowboys and is looking to bounce back from his poor 2015 season with the Eagles. His backup, Derrick Henry, is a big, physical running back that can rotate with Murray to keep the running game fresh.
29. Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford had one of the best passer rating since 2011 and the second best of his seven-year career. He only threw two interceptions after the bye week with a new offensive coordinator in the form of Jim Bob Cooter. He needs to keep that up without Calvin Johnson in order to win some games for this team.
30. Philadelphia Eagles
Let the Carson Wentz experiment begin. Jordan Matthews is entering his third season and has been a really good receiver, but the rest of the receivers need to step up. Wentz also needs his offensive line and running backs to stay on healthy to allow him to progress and success.
31. Cleveland Browns
The only thing that is really good unit on this team is the receiving squad. Everything else around this team has a lot of questions that need to be answered for them to move up the rankings. Hopefully, RGIII can play to the potential that he showed his rookie year in the league.
32. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers had a rough season last year and is competing for the top pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Blaine Gabbert isn’t a quarterback that excites a lot of people and there is no supporting cast beyond Torrey Smith and Carlos Hyde. It will be interesting to see if DeForest Buckner can make an impact and progress as he goes through his rookie campaign.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know below!
My name is Sean, I have been a fan of the NFL for at least 25 years and want to get my thoughts out to the public. Please visit the main site for more posts