NFL Power Rankings and Predictions: Who To Keep An Eye On Heading Into Week One

NFL Power Rankings and Predictions: Who To Keep An Eye On Heading Into Week One

Sep 11, 2016, 2:20:58 AM Sport

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The NFL is back and my life could not be any better. We just endured six, long, boring months without the greatest sport and the 2016-2017 season has officially begun after a 21-20 win for the Broncos over then Panthers on Thursday night. The offseason and preseason have been very eventful for the NFL with detrimental injuries to key players, power issues between league managers and players and many disagreements over PED regulations. Well now all of that is over, and this season will be one of the greatest yet with some of the best talent the league has ever seen. Here are my power rankings heading into week one and the new season.

32. Cleveland Browns

The Browns are notorious for being the team we always have a soft spot for because they are the worst team in the National Football League. Cleveland had their big sports moment when the Cavaliers took home the NBA Championship, but now it is time for them to return to their usual, unsuccessful selves. Even with Robert Griffin III as their new starting quarterback, I have very low expectations for the Browns in a very competitive AFC North division.

31. San Francisco 49ers

Since their playoff runs and Super Bowl loss a few years ago, the 49ers have often been a forgotten team in the NFL until Colin Kaepernick decided to make a huge public statement. Now their name is all over the news! Well soon that will die down as they will probably end the season with a pathetic 5-11 record and come in last in a very competitive division.

30. Tennessee Titans

The Titans are expected to have an average season, and by average I mean average for them, which is bad. Their pathetic 3-13 record from last year will likely be the same this year. With an inexperienced young quarterback and a lack of weapons, they are the least likely team to win the Super Bowl.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are another consistently bad team enduring a "rebuilding period," which has lasted practically four years. Even with an easy schedule, it seems the Jags will struggle yet again.

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

When you face a difficult NFC conference and an even tougher division with the Panthers and Falcons, your playoff hopes seem very slim and that is where the Bucs are headed.

27. Oakland Raiders

Amari Cooper will be carrying a large amount of the Raiders on his shoulders this season as they struggle for playoff hopes. Like last season, they will start off strong and fall short in the end, which is expected when playing against two of the toughest AFC teams in their division: the Broncos and the Chiefs.

26. Detroit Lions

The loss of Calvin Johnson will be the main set back for the Lions this season. Stafford's main option is no longer present and if they can work around that, they could potentially have some success in the season, but unlikely in making the playoffs.

25. San Diego Chargers

Last year, the Chargers finished 4-12, but I, personally, expected a lot more from a respectable quarterback like Philip Rivers. This year I do expect the Chargers to improve because they do have a very decent quarterback and many offensive weapons including Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon, but they still most likely will not playoff success.

24. Miami Dolphins

The addition of Arian Foster to the Dolphins will be a real game changer for the team and relieve some of the pressure on Ryan Tannehill. Unfortunately for them, they are stuck in a very tough division.

23. New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees has had a fantastic career, but I believe it needs to come to an end soon. He is simply not the same player at he the age of 37, and in a way, is holding the team back. Since Jimmy Graham left, the Saints have not been the same and need to rebuild soon.

22. Dallas Cowboys

Poor Tony Romo has had a tough couple of years enduring two major season-crushing injuries. I honestly hope he can recover quickly, so the Cowboys can be somewhat competitive, but if he truly is out for six to ten weeks, it will be a tough season for them.

21. Chicago Bears

When Jay Cutler is your quarterback and you are in a division with two Super Bowl contenders, your future does not look very bright...

20. New York Giants

Honestly I wish I had higher expectations for the Giants. Odell Beckham Jr. and Eli Manning work so well together, but somehow the NFC East, especially the Giants, always fails to disappoint.

19. Los Angeles Rams

New City, New Rams? Hopefully because the Rams could use a change from being consistently okay. Todd Gurley is the best thing for the Rams and hopefully they can take advantage, but one major weapon just is not enough.

18. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts will definitely improve from last year, but the playoffs may be out of reach again. As a member of a terrible division, their only major competition is the Texans who simply have more potential than them, and if they do not win their division, there is no chance they will be a wild card team.

17. Philadelphia Eagles

Let's be honest, they will probably blow it and lose to the Redskins again...

16. Atlanta Falcons

As long as they have Julio Jones they are in good shape. It will not be easy, but a wild card spot is achievable.

15. Houston Texans

The AFC South is a very unpredictable division and the Texans are an unpredictable team. It will be tough matchup between them and the Colts for the division title, but ultimately I believe they will come out on top with star players, J. J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins and promising young QB Brock Osweiler.

14. Buffalo Bills

I am a Tyrod Taylor fan and see a lot of potential in a young quarterback like him. With him, LeSean McCoy, Sammy Watkins and the coaching of Rex Ryan, the Bills have the potential to succeed this year.

13. Washington Redskins

I bet most of you are wondering why I put the Skins up so high on this list. Well, I think the Skins are going to win their pathetic division again this year (but don't worry they will lose in the first round of the playoffs). Kirk Cousins is the best thing for the Skins, and they will have a good season, no doubt (but they will lose opening day to my beloved steelers).

12. Baltimore Ravens

Watching Joe Flacco go down with a torn ACL was very tough to watch last season, but he recovered even faster than expected and the Ravens will be more competitive this year than last. They may not win a tough AFC North division, but they could claim a wild card spot.

11. Minnesota Vikings

If it was not for the injury to Teddy Bridgewater, the Vikings would have been in my top ten. It will be tough for them to overcome, but they will do it and most likely still make the playoffs.

10. Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are going to self-destruct as usual this season. They are too focused on petty problems and not on actually winning football games. They'll make the playoffs but they will not do well once they get there.

9. New York Jets

The Jets will surprise everyone this year as a sleeper team. They have so many valuable weapons such as Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte and Eric Decker who will take them far. With the suspension to Tom Brady and the injury to Gronk, they could even be contenders to win the division.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

My beloved Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to do very well this year, and I hope they do. They arguably have the best offense in the league with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell and should have great success. They will either win their division or get a wild card spot.

7. Green Bay Packers

With a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, how can you not make the playoffs? The return of Jordy Nelson will also help the Packers win their division this year.

6. New England Patriots

With the four game suspension to Tom Brady and the injury to Gronk, the Pats will have a rocky start to the season. There is no doubt they will recover, but a few early losses could be all it takes to knock them off their feet. Yes, they will make the playoffs, but maybe this year will be different, and they won't go as far.

5. Arizona Cardinals

Carson Palmer is a solid quarterback and the Cardinals will have great success again this year. I believe they will be a wild card team because the Seahawks will take the division title.

4. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs always impress me. They are a team that works so well together. Alex Smith, Jeremy Maclin, Travis Kelce and Jamaal Charles carry the offense to the success they have. I believe they will win their division, but their playoff success is unpredictable.

3. Denver Broncos

The reigning Super Bowl Champions will have another great season, but it will not be the same as last without star quarterback Peyton Manning and impressive back up Brock Osweiler. For the Broncos, they do not have to win their division to have great success. If they make it to the playoffs, which they will, they will go far and are a great playoff team.

2. Seattle Seahawks

Even with the loss of Marshawn Lynch, Seattle will go on to win their division and have playoff success. Offense win games and defense wins championships, and the Seahawks have a strong offense centered around Russell Wilson and the best defense in the league. Also, their strong fan base plays a huge roll in their home wins.

1.Carolina Panthers

I want to clarify, I am not saying the Panthers will win the Super Bowl because it is too early to predict, but they have one of, if not the best, offenses in the league with Cam Newton running it and a very solid defense led by Luke Kuechly. They will have another outstanding season as Cam Newton is peaking in his career.


Published by Lia Assimakopoulos

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