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NFL Power Rankings Entering the Regular Season

@DarthDbacks gives his NFL Power Rankings a week before the NFL regular season starts, find out where your team is ranked

The NFL Season is nearly upon us. The kickoff to the regular season happens in under a week on Thursday, September 7th, 2023. That game will see the reigning Kansas City Chiefs take on the Detroit Lions in what should be a high-scoring affair. However, prior to that, it’s always a fun time to rank the NFL teams in what are called NFL Power Rankings. I’ve done this before, ranking them according to the dynasty talent on their teams. Now, it’s about the whole team. These NFL Power Rankings will be ranked according to four areas. Those areas are quarterback, the offense as a whole, the defense, and coaching. A bad GM can still create a good team. Look at Steve Keim, who built numerous playoff teams despite being a not-great general manager. With that said, let’s get started below.

32. Houston Texans

The Texans, despite making two top-three selections in the most recent NFL Draft, are not good. They have a first-time head coach in Demeco Ryans, who should instill a positive culture. However, while there is a lot of upside with rookies Will Anderson Jr. and CJ Stroud, it remains to be seen if they put it together in their rookie year. Dameon Pierce, Dalton Schultz, and Robert Woods are not a deadly skill group. The defense and offense are still in the early stages of a rebuild.

31. Arizona Cardinals

The only reason the Cardinals are not ranked last is due to Kyler Murray. He’s an elite quarterback when healthy, though it remains to be seen when he plays. The team has a nice trio in Zach Ertz, Marquise Brown, and James Conner, but the rest of the offense is young and inexperienced. Their defense has been torn down to the studs, leaving star Budda Baker as the lone elite player. They also have a rookie head coach and offensive coordinator. This will be a trying season in the desert.

30. Las Vegas Raiders

I’m not sold on Josh McDaniels being a legitimate head coach. Nor am I sold that Jimmy Garappolo will stay healthy. They have Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams, who will form one of the best duos on offense, but the offensive line and backups are not very good. Their defense is still a work in progress behind Maxx Crosby. This team looks like they want to compete but won’t be very competitive.

29. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts decided to play games with their franchise’s elite running back and lost. Now, rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson lost a crucial player that could have aided in his development and taken the pressure off of him. Their defense is young and inexperienced behind a couple of older star players. Michael Pittman Jr. is the only skill player that’s proven. This team is just too young to be ranked higher.

28. Tennessee Titans

The Titans still have an elite running back in Derrick Henry. They added a WR1 in DeAndre Hopkins. Ryan Tannehill is looking to prove that he isn’t over the hill. However, the Titans have a rebuilt offensive line, a developing player in Treylon Burks, and a defense that doesn’t truly scare anyone. Coach Mike Vrabel will make sure this team is competitive, but it isn’t likely to lead to many wins.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers look like a team that is about to fall apart. They’re old and don’t have many young stars. Their quarterback is Baker Mayfield, who is on his fourth team over the last calendar year. Their head coach doesn’t have a proven track record. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will do their best to carry this team. The same is true for Vita Vea, Devin White, and Shaq Barrett on defense. However, this team is set up for a rebuild.

26. Carolina Panthers

The Panthers might be too low here. They’ve got a proven coaching staff. A strong group of skill players headed up by Adam Thielen and Miles Sanders and a young, fierce defense that played great at the end of last season. Plus, the number one overall pick in quarterback Bryce Young. But they’ve yet to prove they can put it together, so better safe than sorry when ranking them.

25. Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are just old and broken. Cooper Kupp is already dealing with a hamstring injury. It’s a mystery whether Stafford has anything left in that arm/back. Aaron Donald is still amazing, but the defense behind him is young and unproven. Sean McVay has his hands full trying to retool this team into a winner not even two years removed from winning the Super Bowl.

24. Chicago Bears

CLEVELAND, OH – AUGUST 27: Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) throws under pressure during the first quarter of the National Football League preseason game between the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns on August 27, 2022, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

The Bears are a team that could easily vault up or down these rankings. It all depends on how much progress Justin Fields shows in his passing game. With DJ Moore there, it should help Fields develop quicker. However, if he struggles, this team will be dead in the water. They’ve got a litany of young players that will be growing into strong NFL players this year. They’re on the right track, but it could go bad quickly if Fields isn’t up to the task.

23. Washington Commanders

The Commanders have a good defense. They’ve got two capable receivers in Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson. Their offensive line is decent. The coaching staff has a lot to prove besides Ron Rivera. However, they are taking a huge risk that Sam Howell is the real deal. If he falters, this team finishes among the worst in the NFL.

22. Denver Broncos

The Broncos season depends on whether Sean Payton can rejuvenate Russell Wilson’s arm/career. If he can, the Broncos are set up well to be a potential wild card team. If the duo fails, expect a lot of trades to happen. Also, the Broncos defense might not be as good without defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero.

21. Green Bay Packers

The Packers have entered the Jordan Love era. Now, it’s up to fate to see if the Packers can get lucky with a third straight franchise quarterback. They have the offensive line, coaching staff, and defense to sneak into the playoffs. It depends on if Love can prove he’s a legit QB1 and if his skill weapons develop quickly to start the season.

20. New England Patriots

The Patriots are in a weird state. They have a solid defense under Hall of Fame Head Coach Bill Belichek. However, they have zero wide receiver depth, two good running backs in Zeke Elliott and Rhamondre Stevenson, and two good tight ends in Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki. How that all works for the mysterious Mac Jones is yet to be seen. If Mac Jones develops, this team has a shot at playoffs. Otherwise, it’s a long season in Foxborough.

19. New Orleans Saints

The Saints have high hopes for their new quarterback, Derek Carr. With Alvin Kamara, Chris Olave, and Michael Thomas, Carr should be enough to take the NFC South division. However, their coaching staff didn’t really excite anyone last year. Their defense has taken numerous steps back because of salary cap issues. They’re lucky they play in the NFC South, but we need to see Carr succeed there before moving them higher.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 30: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) attempts a reception over Philadelphia Eagles Cornerback James Bradberry (24) in the second quarter during the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles on October 30, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The Steelers have a terrific offensive core around Kenny Pickett, Najee Harris, George Pickens, Pat Freiermuth, and Diontae Johnson. They’ve got a Hall of Fame coach in Mike Tomlin. However, besides TJ Watt, their defense simply isn’t scary. Patrick Peterson heads up their secondary, and he’s in his 30s. With how tough the AFC North is, the Steelers are far behind.

17. Cleveland Browns

The Browns could easily win the AFC North or could easily finish last. It all depends on which version of Deshaun Watson shows up. If he’s the old Watson, the team will be tough to beat. They’ve got excellent skill players in Nick Chubb, Amari Cooper, and David Njoku. Their defense is still formidable behind Myles Garrett. However, they have the worst coaching staff in the division. I foresee a third-place finish for them.

16. Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons might be ranked too high, but I believe in their talent. They have a ton of youth that has taken strides in the last couple of seasons, especially on defense. While I’m not sold on their head coach, they have developed an offense that will work his system to perfection. Bijan Robinson looks to be an even better King Henry. Kyle Pitts and Drake London have elite tools. If Desmond Ridder is just “good,” this team should win the NFC South.

15. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings probably have a top-five offense and have a shot at being a top-ten team. That’s even without Dalvin Cook. Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, TJ Hockenson, and Jordan Addison are a terrific four-some. They would be ranked far higher if they just had a decent defense. This season all depends on their defense.

14. Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks surprised many this year with great play from Geno Smith. They made the playoffs and have developed another team that is good at everything but great at nothing. If their defense improves from last year, they may have a shot at the division. However, that would also mean that Smith can’t take any steps back. Although, it helps to have a great head coach in Pete Carroll.

13. Detroit Lions

Don’t be shocked when the Lions win the NFC North. They have the team, coaching staff, and veterans to do it. Jared Goff proved he isn’t a bridge quarterback last year as he nearly dragged the Lions into the playoffs despite an atrocious defense. Now, they added multiple key players to their defense. It should be much improved. Jahmyr Gibbs pairs with David Montgomery and Amon-Ra St. Brown to create plenty of offense in what should be a good season for Detroit.

12. Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are banking on Todd Monken solving their offensive woes and developing Lamar Jackson to another level. They’ve invested big into wide receiver again with Zay Flowers and OBJ. Mark Andrews and JK Dobbins should help this offense do well. However, their defense isn’t strong enough to support Jackson being out again due to injury or not throwing the ball well. If that happens, this team will find itself in the basement of the AFC North.

11. New York Jets

PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 12: New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17) warms up during pre-season game between the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles on August 12, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

The Jets got Aaron Rodgers to help lead them back to the playoffs. They’ve got an excellent defense under Robert Saleh. They added an elite running back in Dalvin Cook, plus they have Breece Hall. The Jets are stocked with weapons to pair with Garrett Wilson. This Jets team might finally compete for the division title, although Miami and Buffalo will have something to say about that.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars should coast to the AFC South title. Trevor Lawrence is becoming the elite franchise quarterback everyone thought he would be. Doug Pederson has remade this Jaguars offense into a lethal one. Now, they’ve added Calvin Ridley, who could catapult this offense into being top-five. The only area of concern is their defense, but it should do fine to get the division and another playoff win.

9. Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys again have a fearsome regular season roster led by stars Micah Parson, CeeDee Lamb, and Dak Prescott. Tony Pollard has a lot of weight on his shoulders to repeat his magnificent 2022 season. The Cowboys defense will be one of the best. However, their offensive line must stay healthy. So must Brandin Cooks and Pollard because the Cowboys don’t have much depth at the skill positions. Lastly, can head coach McCarthy shut up the critics this year?

8. New York Giants

The Giants are back to their winning ways. Coach Daboll developed Daniel Jones to where he got franchise quarterback money. They have a motivated Saquon Barkley who wants his money. They have plenty of wide receivers and added tight end Darren Waller. This offense will be lethal. Their defense should continue to be strong after adding Bobby Okereke. If not for the Eagles, this team would be the favorite for the NFC East.

7. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are all-in these next two years to win a title. They’ve gone the way of the Rams and acquired a lot of star veterans like Tyreek Hill, Jalen Ramsey, and others. However, it’s all for naught if Tua Tagovailoa can’t stay healthy. The same is true if the offensive line can’t protect him. They’ve got the best wide receiver duo in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Their defense is scary under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. They will contend for the division title with the Bills.

6. Buffalo Bills

The Bills remain one of the best teams in the NFL. Josh Allen is a top-two quarterback. Stefon Diggs is still elite. They added a key weapon in Dalton Kincaid. Their defense will continue to be strong, but not elite, under head coach Sean McDermott. However, this team is light on depth. That could be their downfall this season.

5. Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers are looking to new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to take this offense to the next level. Coach Staley will have the defense soaring once again. Justin Herbert must lead this team back to the playoffs and continue to climb the quarterback ranks. Plus, Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen are all-in to win in what could be their last season with the Chargers.

4. Cincinnati Bengals

CINCINNATI, OH – JANUARY 08: Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (1) talks to quarterback Joe Burrow (9) during a stop in play. In the game against the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals on January 8, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire)

The Bengals are a complete team, minus their secondary. They lost a lot of depth there, and that will be what decides their season. We know Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Joe Mixon, and Tee Higgins will score points in bunches. However, if their secondary doesn’t hold up, this team will fail again in the AFC Championship Game.

3. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs could arguably be ranked number one, especially after winning the Super Bowl. But they lost a lot of players. Their wide receivers are not very exciting. Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes will be the heartbeat and lead the way. Their defense isn’t a force, especially if Chris Jones holds out to start the season. The Chiefs are still elite, but that’s mostly due to Patrick Mahomes and the legendary Andy Reid.

2. San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are going to be a fun team to watch this year. All eyes are on Brock Purdy as he starts his season as the new franchise quarterback after a stunning rookie year. CMC, Deebo, Aiyuk, and Kittle make up probably the best skill group in the NFL, aside from maybe the Bengals or Eagles. Their defense will be devastating to opponents, even if Nick Bosa holds out. Their coaching is elite. This team is a Super Bowl favorite so long as Purdy continues what he did last year.

1. Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles have to be Super Bowl favorites to start the year. They have more depth at every position than any other team. Their trenches are brilliant and deep. Jalen Hurts proved that he’s an elite quarterback. AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith are one of the best wide receiver duos. Dallas Goedert will be a strong tight end. And yet, they lost both of their coordinators. If that proves to be too much for them to overcome, this team could fall to second in their division. However, based on the roster, there’s too much Pro Bowl talent to name.

Do you want to become the best dynasty player you can be? Be sure to use my promo code “Darth” for 15% OFF your subscription to Dynasty Nerds! It makes it only three dollars or so! Connect with me on Twitter @DarthDbacks. I love to talk football, baseball, movies, shows, Star Wars, and Marvel, and interact with the fantasy football community. For more articles of mine, click here.

As always, May the Force be with You…

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