The NFL is back! For many teams, NFL training camps officially open tomorrow (Wednesday) July 24. If your favorite team doesn’t hit the gridiron on Wednesday, don’t worry, they will this week at some point.
The first edition of preseason rankings are always interesting and actually draw more debates than many others. Why? Because every team is 0-0, and you have to consider all the offseason moves, draft picks, and upcoming schedules.
This time of year is like Christmas for NFL fans. Every team in the league has a shot at making the Super Bowl, so why not your favorite squad?
- New England Patriots – They just know how to win. The defending champs are No. 1 as the preseason opens.
- Los Angeles Chargers – Last season a 12-4 record was no fluke. Yes, they are the best team in the state of California.
- Kansas City Chiefs – If QB Patrick Mahomes can replicate even half of his 2018 MVP numbers, they are going to be tough once again.
- New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees doesn’t age.
- Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck is healthy. Thus, watch out for Indy in 2019. Aside from Mahomes, no one threw more touchdowns than Andrew Luck (39) last season.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Not sure why I have them this high. Not confident in Wentz when the chips are down. They will miss Foles.
- Minnesota Vikings – People may be underestimating them. Kirk Cousins should be better in year two of a new system.
- Atlanta Falcons – Will all that talent finally win a Super Bowl?
- Chicago Bears – Defense, defense!
- LA Rams – Defending NFC champs are going to have a tougher go in 2019.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Chip on their shoulder is huge.
- Dallas Cowboys – Put up or shut up time in Big D.
- San Francisco 49ers – Another team that could be dangerous, but it all depends on Jimmy G.
- Green Bay Packers – New coach, new system, same Aaron Rodgers.
- Cleveland Browns – Highest ranking in a long time. The pieces are there, but we have seen this movie before.
- Seattle Seahawks – The dynasty is long gone.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Foles is the answer. Maybe.
- Detroit Lions – Like Cleveland, huge picks ups in the offseason have Detroit ranked much higher than the usual 24 spot or lower to start the year,
- Baltimore Ravens – Post-Joe Flacco era begins.
- Carolina Panthers – Many questions. They haven’t been the dominating team they were predicted to be by many after Super Bowl 50.
- Buffalo Bills – They may have the most underrated defense in the AFC this season.
- New York Jets — Le’Veon Bell will help, but they are in the wrong division to think of Super Bowl titles.
- Tennessee Titans — Do they ever get over the hump and become a force?
- Oakland Raiders — Gruden still dreaming of the MNF team and his old job.
- Houston Texans — Another team that confuses many. Loads of talent, but no postseason thrills.
- New York Giants – Running game, check. Everything else?
- Denver Broncos – They could climb fast if Joe Flacco gets the offense going.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Never sure what to make of this team.
- Arizona Cardinals – The Kyler Murray era begins.
- Washington Redskins – Many, many questions.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Another long year in the ‘Natti.
- Miami Dolphins – The weather should be nice.
Always watch out for longshots
History shows us that just because your favorite team ranks high in the NFL power rankings, or happen to be a Las Vegas favorite to win the Super Bowl, it doesn’t mean they will.
This is why, when teams play a 16-game schedule, every game matters. It is easy to say the New England Patriots are the No. 1 team in the NFL. They deserve to be. They are the defending champs and no matter what other teams did in the offseason, no one can take away the trophy.
While New England is number one, teams like the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions made some major moves as they attempt to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history. Both teams offseason wheelings and dealings have them higher than normal in the NFL power rankings. Now the question is, can they stay there or even climb closer to No. 1 when the games begin?