Jan 19, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) is defended by San Francisco 49ers free safety Eric Reid (35) during the second half of the 2013 NFC Championship football game at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 23-17 to advance to Super Bowl XLVIII. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Power Rankings: Who Lands in Top Five?


Debates are raging about which teams belong in the top five of the NFL power rankings.  With free agency and the draft complete, here is a new take.

#1 – Seattle Seahawks

They are the world champions.  That alone earns them high rankings but it is the fact that their roster core is largely still young and secured for the long-term.  Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman aren’t going anywhere.  Michael Bennett is retained and Russell Wilson is due an extension of his own.  This team plays great defense, smart offense and is well coached.  Until proven otherwise, they are the best.
#2 – New Orleans Saints

Great offense is and will remain a thing for the New Orleans Saints because of Drew Brees and Sean Payton.  However the biggest revelation of late is the idea of dominant defense.  After finishing 4th overall last season under new coordinator Rob Ryan, the Saints may have gotten even better thanks to the addition of Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd.  Jimmy Graham is locked up as well.  This team is primed for a championship run.

#3 – San Francisco 49ers

For sheer depth of talent, no roster can match the San Francisco 49ers.  They have an elite defense and a rising star at quarterback in Colin Kaepernick.  On top of that they have an interesting new addition to the receiving corps in Stevie Johnson.  However, the uncertainty around the knee of NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith’s immaturity and a fluid cornerback situation pushes them to the third spot in these NFL power rankings.

#4 – Denver Broncos

They did reach the Super Bowl with a historic offense behind one of the greatest quarterbacks ever.  They also spent wildly in free agency to add Pro Bowlers Demarcus Ware and Aqib Talib to the defense.  Yet nothing can erase the stigma of that 43-8 beating they took from the Seahawks.  Denver is a great team, but also an aging one whose window is narrowing.

#5 – New England Patriots

As long as Bill Belichick is the coach and Tom Brady is the quarterback, the New England Patriots are a threat to reach the Super Bowl.  They made their third-straight AFC championship last season despite running an offense overflowing with youth and a defense decimated by injuries.  Now that youth is maturing and the defense received huge reinforcements with the additions of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner.  Placing 5th in the NFL power rankings is quite strong considering the number of question marks about this team.

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