I've read them for years, but now I'm taking my first stab at power rankings. What I've learned is that ranking teams is TOUGH. It took me a while to complete. This is the first in a weekly installment.
1.) San Francisco- I can't find a weakness on this team. But I will caution some who've already anointed Colin Kapernick as the chosen one to slow down some. I love his skill set, but let's remember he started all of ten games last year and won't be sneaking up on anyone this year. However, they are immensely talented and have one of the best defenses in football.
2.) Denver- Peyton Manning looks as good as ever and he has a new toy in Wes Welker. I do have some concerns about the loss of Von Miller. But overall this looks like the team to beat in the AFC.
3.) Seattle- One of the best young teams in football with a young, up-and-comer at quarterback and one of the nastiest defenses in the NFL. They will be a contender.
4.) New England- As long as they have Tom Brady and Bill Belichek, this team will always be a Super Bowl contender.
5.) Baltimore- Always give respect to the defending Super Bowl champ. They may not repeat but I think they'll be back in the playoffs in '13.
6.) Green Bay- A consistent run game to pair with Aaron Rodgers and this could be a very scary team in 2013.
7.) New Orleans- The more I understand how this team is wired, the more I am convinced that going 7-9 without Sean Payton was an accomplishment. Payton is the heartbeat of this team. Throw in the fact that Drew Brees spent all offseason here with no distractions, I think this team is back in the playoffs and atop the NFC South. There are still legitimate worries about the new Saints defense however.
8.) Atlanta- It's all about the postseason for the dirty birds. They have one of the most well-rounded teams in the NFL but their playoff problems are a concern.
9.) Houston- All the pieces are there to be a big-time team, they just have to step up and deliver.
10.) Washington- RGIII's knee has been the talk of the offseason. If he comes back the same form, I see no reason why this team can't be NFC East champs again.
11.) Cincinnati- Blue-collar, underrated team with a steady quarterback and one of the most overlooked great assistant coaches in football in defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
12.) Indianapolis- Of all the young quarterbacks that came out last year, I still think Andrew Luck will ultimately have the best career. His sub-60% completion percentage is a bit misleading due to the high amount of deep throws he was asked to complete last year with Bruce Arians. This year he has Pep Hamilton at offensive coordinator and I think you'll see his accuracy sky-rocket.
13.) Pittsburgh- A subpar season in 2012, you got to think the Steelers are hungry for success in 2013. I love the addition of Jarvis Jones. I think he fits the identity of that team perfectly.
14.) NY Giants- Even when the Giants win the Super Bowl, they still don't impress you during the regular season.
15.) Chicago- New head coach, Bears fans are wondering if he can get the best out of Jay Cutler. I'm curious about this team, always feel like they can be a little better than they turn out to be.
16.) Dallas- 16-16 over the last two seasons, thus they sit at #16 on the power rankings.
17.) Minnesota- Best football player on planet earth in Adrian Peterson but the quarterback is a concern.
18.) Carolina- Hopefully Cam Newton has learned that playing quarterback is just as much about intangibles and leadership as it is about physical talent. He has got to control his uneven demeanor. If he can, this team can be a success.
19.) San Diego- Perpetual underachievers. Like the Bears, I always feel like the Charges should be better than what they are.
20.) St.Louis- 3-1-1 against read option teams last year. The big question is at quarterback. Can Sam Bradford step up and be the guy? This may be his last chance.
21.) Tampa Bay- The defense will be immensely better in 2013. But to win in the NFL, you need a play-making quarterback. I question if Josh Freeman is truly that guy.
22.) Arizona- ‘LSU west' will have an immediate impact in the desert. Tyrann Mathieu is a playmaker. Kevin Minter is a tackling machine and Patrick Peterson can do it all. Add all that to the addition of Carson Palmer, it would not surprise me to see this team in the playoffs. But they do play in a tough division, thus they are now at 22.
23.) Detroit- A team with this much talent but only four wins wreaks of a head coach losing control, and it showed with their undisciplined play. The Lions have got to get back the team they were in 2011. They certainly have the offensive firepower to do so. Reggie Bush may make this team nearly unguardable.
24.) Miami- The moves made in the offseason show they want to win now. They have a talented, but young, quarterback and a new deep threat on offense. We'll see if it all comes together.
25.) Kansas City- Andy Reid is refreshed and has an efficient quarterback with something to prove. Don't be surprised if this team ends up much higher on this list by season's end. But for now they sit at #25.
26.) Philadelphia- One of the biggest mysteries in the NFL. With the new fast-paced offense, I can see it going great or terrible. But the truth is for now they are a team coming off a 4-12 season with a new head coach. That's why they are 26.
27.) Tennessee- Make or break year for Mike Munchak and company. They have to show improvement.
28.) Cleveland- I've read reports of quarterback Brandon Weeden's improvement. I have to see it to believe it.
29.) Buffalo- I think Doug Marrone will be a good head coach but I don't think he will have as much success with his rookie quarterback as the coaches who played rookie quarterbacks a year ago.
30.) Jacksonville- Should've signed Tim Tebow. There I said it. In all seriousness, this looks like a rebuilding team with a regime at head coach and the front office.
31.) New York Jets- This team just seems to be in complete chaos. I'm not a fan of any quarterback on their roster either.
32.)Oakland- Worst team in the NFL without question. It really doesn't matter who starts at quarterback, this is a bad all-around football ream.
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