Week 1 NFL Power Rankings

Welcome to our NFL Power Rankings for Week 1 of the 2013 regular season.

Rank

Trend

Team

Record

Summary

1

Denver Broncos

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The Broncos ended last season on a bit of a sour note, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that Peyton & team are still among the elite in the league. With a great addition in Wes Welker, this potent offense just got even more dangerous. A 13 win season is not out of the question.

2

San Francisco 49ers

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Does this team have a weakness? If you were to pick a weakness, you can say that the quarterback is the question mark for this season and I’ll tell you why. Colin Kaepernick came into the scene last season once Alex Smith got injured. He didn’t play the entire 16 game season and that was considered his “rookie” season. This season, we will see what Kaepernick is made of. I predict the 49ers finishing 13-3.

3

Atlanta Falcons

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The Falcons offense is still intact with TE Tony Gonzalez returning for another season and bringing on RB Steven Jackson. The question mark is their defense. They lost some key players on their squad, added some but their pass rush is still a question mark. I predict the Falcons finishing 11-5.

4

Houston Texans

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The Texans finished last season with one of the top offenses and defenses, but just couldn’t quite get past the Patriots in the playoffs. This team is relatively unchanged, and we aren’t sure how much Ed Reed helps or hurts this secondary, but Houston certainly hasn’t gotten any worse since last year. 12 or 13 wins should be within reach.

5

New England Patriots

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Who would have thought that signing Tim Tebow wouldn’t be the biggest piece of drama to come out of New England. The loss of Welker & Hernandez, along with the uncertainty of Gronk puts Brady & Co in a precarious spot. They should be a lock to win the AFC East, but their bid to win a Super Bowl isn’t looking too great heading into Week 1. Still an 11 win team, even if Brady was throwing to air.

6

Seattle Seahawks

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Their defense is still elite, Russell Wilson proved he can win in this league but their question mark is the receiving corps. WR Percy Harvin was suppose to help significantly but he recently had hip surgery and is suspected to miss significant time. Just as Kaepernick, we will see how Wilson handles the pressure of being a second year quarterback. I predict the Seahawks finishing 11-5

7

Green Bay Packers

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Green Bay’s offense is never the issue. It’s the defense that leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. You would think with players like Clay Matthews and Nick Perry that they would be better than what they were last year. Their offensive line and running game was a problem as well but with Aaron Rodgers, you have a chance to win lots of games. I predict the Packers finishing 11-5

8

Baltimore Ravens

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We usually don’t put defending Super Bowl champions this low in the Power Rankings to start Week 1, but not too many teams lose their defensive heart & soul, along with a top receiver and repeat as champs. Still, this team has some valuable weapons and should fairly easily dominate the AFC North. 11 or 12 wins.

9

Washington Redskins

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I never thought I would say this but I predict the Redskins to win the division and finish 11-5. Robert Griffin III should be healthy come the start of the season and Brian Orakpo is healthy again. Their secondary is not the best but I believe that their firepower on offense will aid them.

10

New York Giants

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The Giants is pretty much the same team from two years ago when they hoisted up the Lombardi trophy. I really can’t fully understand why this team is so widely inconsistent. When they are on, they are on and I predict them being on this season. I predict the Giants finishing 10-6.

11

New Orleans Saints

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Sean Payton is back, Jimmy Graham has a chip on his shoulder and Drew Brees is still elite. They have a open tryouts for the left tackle position and third wide receiver, but for the most part the offense is still in tact. Their defense is what everybody can’t wait to see. I see the defense being better than last season but not tremendously better. I predict the Saints going 10-6.

12

Cincinnati Bengals

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The Bengals have been a sexy breakout team for a couple years running now, but with every passing year, our confidence wanes. Dalton & Green are still a great duo, but this team doesn’t really have an identity aside from these two. Hope springs eternal in Cincinnati, but in reality, the Bengals could struggle to reach 10 wins.

13

Pittsburgh Steelers

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Once the toast of the AFC North, the Steelers might not even be the second best team in their division – at least not by our rankings. With one of their top receiving threats gone for sunnier weather (Mike Wallace), Pittsburgh must once again return to their smashmouth running game. Do they have the personnel? We think not, and perhaps an 8 or 9 win season looms.

14

Chicago Bears

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How well Marc Trestman can handle being the CEO of the Bears is still up in the air. The Bears upgraded their offensive line tremendously with stealing Jermon Bushrod from the New Orleans Saints in free agency. They have enough talent to challenge the Green Bay Packers but Trestman has to keep them in line or they will fall apart. I predict the Chicago Bears finishing 10-6.

15

Dallas Cowboys

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This team has extreme talent but for the past two seasons, they have come up so short. If it isn’t Romo, its Dez Bryant and his immaturity. If it isn’t Bryant, it is injuries. If it isn’t injuries, it’s the offensive line. This team for some odd reason can’t get it together to save their lives. But like most teams, the blames falls with the quarterback of the team. Romo has to be better, no way around it. I predict the Cowboys finishing 9-7

16

Carolina Panthers

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The Panthers have lots of talent as well and should be able to compete with the teams in this division. They have enough talent to be a playoff contender but their secondary is suspect, which is not good win facing Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman. I predict the Panthers finishing 9-7.

17

Indianapolis Colts

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Andrew Luck had an amazing rookie year, but we tend to think that the Colts ran into some wins, rather fortuitously, as opposed to winning them straight up – if you catch my drift. We think their “Luck” will run out in 2013, and miss the playoffs by a pretty distant margin. This team will struggle to finish at .500

18

Kansas City Chiefs

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Andy Reid needed a change of scenery, that’s for sure, and with Alex Smith at QB, eager to make the 49ers regret letting him go, this makes for a dangerous sleeper team. Jamaal Charles should thrive in Andy Reid’s screen-loving offense, and we think that the Chiefs could finish second (albeit distant) in the AFC West. 9 wins would be a good goal for KC this year.

19

Saint Louis Rams

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The Rams had the biggest draft pick-up in my eyes with drafting Tavon Austin as well as stealing tight end Jared Cook. The defense is still relatively young but they are one year smarter. Sam Bradford has plenty of weapons at his disposal and a good defense to support him. I just don’t see Bradford answering the bell. I predict the Rams finishing 9-7.

20

Detroit Lions

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This team has tremendous talent. Matthew Stafford has proven to be successful in this league, Calvin Johnson is still Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush is a huge pick up for a Lions team who had trouble running the ball last season. Their secondary, however, is relying on unproven stars. Also, this team has an immaturity problem. I see them scoring points but not stopping anybody. I see the Lions finishing 7-9.

21

Arizona Cardinals

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The Cardinals have improved tremendously with additions such as Bruce Arians, John Abraham, Eric Winston, Rashard Mendenhall and Antoine Cason. Although Carson Palmer isn’t the most successful quarterback, he is definitely an upgrade. The Cardinals defense is still pretty good but they still won’t be about to compete in the NFC with the 49ers, Seahawks and Rams. I predict the Cardinals finishing 8-8.

22

Buffalo Bills

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The Bills had an interesting draft, and definitely improved, but there is still a lot of ground to make up in their own division, let alone the entire league. Until their young draft choices prove themselves, this team will be at or near the bottom of our rankings.

23

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Their defense has improved tremendously with additions such as Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson. Their offensive line is pretty good and their receiving core is good as well. Josh Freeman has been inconsistent his career and the defensive line has questions as well. I predict the Buccaneers finishing 7-9.

24

Miami Dolphins

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Sure, the Dolphins got some upgrades at wide receiver, but there are also a lot of glaring holes on this team. Can Ryan Tannehill bring this team to greatness? 2nd place in the AFC East is very much up for grabs.

25

Philadelphia Eagles

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Chip Kelly’s offense is an obvious question mark for this team. Also, who is the quarterback? The defense is another question mark. Injuries have already plagued this team with losing key players and I’m not too sure how well Kelly’s offense can work. I predict the Eagles finishing 7-9.

26

San Diego Chargers

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The Chargers peaked out a few years ago, and have been in a state of semi-rebuilding for the better part of this decade. Unfortunately, for Philip Rivers, the construction is going pretty slow in San Diego. They will be wrestling with Oakland to stay out of the cellar at the end of the year. 6-7 wins.

27

Oakland Raiders

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There are definite QB concerns in Oakland, namely whether Matt Flynn can be nearly as effective with a group of less than stellar receivers as he was in Green Bay with so many weapons. They will rely heavily on their defense and run game to control the game, which isn’t really how AFC West teams typically play.

28

Tennessee Titans

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There are a lot of things to like about this Titans team, but there are also a lot of things that this team doesn’t do well. They got blown out of some games last year, rendering CJ2K nearly ineffective, as they had to pass so much. Not sure if this team can play out in front for long enough to get their top running back some quality touches, but only time will tell.

29

Cleveland Browns

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Cleveland played much better than their record indicated last year, but unfortunately for the Browns, success isn’t built on near-misses and close games. The Ravens are probably still the class of the division, but Cleveland has as good a chance as any team in the division to make a run at second place.

30

New York Jets

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When a bad team loses, arguably, their best player, it is tough to rank them any higher than where they are now. The Sanchez project continues – for now – but the drafting of a dynamic quarterback could be the writing on the wall for the beleaguered QB.

31

Minnesota Vikings

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The Vikings lost Percy Harvin and picked up Greg Jennings. Some say that’s an upgrade seeing as though Harvin maybe gone for the season. At any rate, Adrian Peterson can take the pressure off any quarterback but I’m not sure the Vikings can compete with the Packers, Bears nor the Lions. Christian Ponder has been more bad than good in his career and I don’t see it getting any better. I predict the Vikings finishing 6-10.

32

Jacksonville Jaguars

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When do you think the Jags will move out to LA? Word on the street is that a decision could come sooner rather than later. They talk about players needing a change of scenery, but this team could definitely use some. They are bad on both sides of the ball.

About Aaron Garcia

Aaron is an avid sports fan who passionately follows the NFL, NBA and MLB, in addition to NCAA Sports. He is an Arizona State University grad who loves the Dodgers and the Patriots.

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