Who are the early favorites this preseason, and who lands number one in these preseason NFL power rankings?
It’s the start of a new season and right now everyone still has the hope of the ultimate prize of winning the Lombardi Trophy. Only one team will come out successful, leaving 31 teams looking for new answers going into 2020.
Fresh off of winning the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots will not be the number one team in these early-season NFL power rankings, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be there by the end of the season.
The Patriots are one of many teams who could be considered for the top spot in these preseason NFL power rankings, but I went with an under-the-radar pick at number one.
1. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are a very talented team that I believe can make a run for the Super Bowl if all the pieces come together. Their head coach Frank Reich did coordinate an offense in Philadelphia that won a Super Bowl in 2017 and lead the Colts last year to the playoffs after a slow start in his first year.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
If Patrick Mahomes throws for at least 40 touchdowns this year and with the addition of new players on the defensive side, the Chiefs will be one of the favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
3. New England Patriots
At 42 can Tom Brady still get this team back to the Super Bowl? This team usually starts slow and finishes strong but don’t sleep on them either.
4. Los Angeles Chargers
I believe the Chargers can have a top ten offense and defense this year as long as Phillip Rivers keeps playing well for 37 years old. They need to figure out the Melvin Gordon situation soon too so that doesn’t become a distraction.
5. Chicago Bears
The Bears would be higher on my list but they need to find a durable kicker to win close games this year. Their defense should be in the top five again this season, and their offense should improve with rookies Riley Ridley and David Montgomery.
6. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have better offensive line depth this season to protect Matty Ice. The addition of rookies Kaleb McGary and Chris Lindstrom in the first round means the Falcons wanted to make a statement on building a better line. This squad can be dangerous if the injuries don’t pile up like last year and could represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
7. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams lost the Super Bowl but still have a solid team in place for another strong year. The health of Todd Gurley is a big question mark for this team going forward.
8. New Orleans Saints
They lack not having a power runner in Mark Ingram in the backfield. This pushes Kamara into a full-time role and I see him as more of an outside runner and a weapon in the passing game, not a powerful runner up the middle. Drew Brees should still have one more dominant year left in the tank at the age of 40.
9. Dallas Cowboys
If Zeke doesn’t play and ends up sitting out, the Cowboys may be in trouble this year. Can Prescott and Cooper do enough to get this team further without a solid run game? That remains to be seen.
10. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles will finally have a more productive run game but it all comes down to whether or not Carson Wentz will stay healthy this year. Not having Nick Foles to rely on if Wentz goes down could take this team out of the playoff hunt.
11. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are building a new (younger) legion of boom on defense and should be back in the playoff hunt again this year. Losing Frank Clark hurts but first-round pick L.J. Collier should step in and play well.
12. Houston Texans
The offensive line will be what makes or breaks them, giving up the most sacks a year ago. Hopefully, rookies Tytus Howard and Max Scharping can provide help immediately for them. The addition of Duke Johnson should help their running game.
13. Cleveland Browns
They have the pieces in place, now can they execute and finally take the next step to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade? The Browns should have kept Greg Williams on that coaching staff, they seemed to turn things around when he was the interim coach.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers
No Bell, and no Brown, equals no problem for the Steelers. Juju Smith-Schuster and James Conner were fantastic last year and this team should be more focused this season without the drama of Bell sitting out all year.
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15. Minnesota Vikings
One year after Keenum took this team into the playoffs, this team still has the same question mark, can the offensive line hold up all year round. Garrett Bradbury should improve this line a lot and give Kirk Cousins his best offense in his career. Can Cousins be more than a .500 quarterback?
16. Green Bay Packers
They have one of the best quarterbacks in the game but don’t have much talent on offense around him besides Devante Adams. Will Rodgers stay healthy for the whole season as he hasn’t in years past. The defense has some new pieces like Za’Darius Smith and Adrain Amos but loses Clay Matthews so will see how that shapes out.
17. Buffalo Bills
This team could surprise you if the offensive line comes together and Josh Allen takes a step forward in year two. The best signing came with Mitch Morse one of the best players in free agency. The Bills also added John Brown and Cole Beasley in the passing game to help turn the offense around. One thing is for sure is the defense should be rock solid again and they picked a steal in the draft with Ed Oliver.
18. Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson has two rookie wide receivers Miles Boykin and Marquise Brown to open up the Ravens offense. If that’s not enough they added power runner Mark Ingram to the mix.
19. San Francisco 49ers
Can Jimmy Garoppolo play like he did at the end of 2017 since he missed all of last year due to injury? If so this team could be a surprise playoff team in 2019.
20. Tennessee Titans
Mariota needs to stay healthy going into the final year of his contract or the Titans might have to think hard about that contract extension. The Titans have had a solid defense the last couple of seasons and if Mariota’s healthy they have a shot at the playoffs.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars
Nick Foles now has a starting job and needs to prove himself that the Super Bowl win in 2017 wasn’t just a fluke. He will have the same offensive coordinator that he had in Philly the year he went to the Super Bowl, so he knows the offensive game plan already.
22. Carolina Panthers
They went on a six-game losing streak last year and didn’t do much in the offseason to prove they have gotten better this year. Cam Newton’s health is a major concern for this team moving forward.
23. Denver Broncos
Is Joe Flacco better than having Case Keenum at quarterback, we will find out soon enough. Phillip Lindsey was a gem find last year for the Broncos and will be a safety net for Flacco.
24. Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford has decent stats but doesn’t have the wins to back it up. The seat will be getting warm for him this year if he can’t produce more wins. Rookie T.J. Hockenson should be a day one stud on this offense.
25. New York Jets
The Jets made a big splash in free agency signing Le’Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley. There is talent on this team but firing your general manager after the draft after tensions with new head coach Adam Gase spells for disaster in the Big Apple.
26. Oakland Raiders
Derek Carr needs to be more consistent and hopefully, the addition of Antonio Brown helps in the passing game. Jon Gruden will be pressed to move on from Carr if he doesn’t see results soon just like he’s done with moving many other star players.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This is a make-or-break season for Winston as the Bucs could look to land a new quarterback in the 2020 draft that suits Bruce Arians style.
28. Arizona Cardinals
This team should be better than dead last this year, new coach Kliff Kingsbury got the quarterback he wanted all along in Kyler Murray. There’s plenty of other holes still on this roster but Murray can bring some life to this team.
29. Washington Redskins
In a three quarterback battle for the starting job between Haskins, Keenum, and McCoy, I believe Keenum is the best option to start week one for the Redskins.
30. Cincinnati Bengals
Finally, the Bengals have a new coach for the first time in over a decade, can they provide a spark under new coach Zac Taylor. They will have there work cut out with the rash of injuries already on the offensive line making it even tougher for Andy Dalton and company.
31. New York Giants
If it wasn’t for Barkley I wouldn’t think of turning on a Giants game this year. Eli Manning is a good quarterback but he just doesn’t have enough talent around him. Daniel Jones will start before the end of the season once the G-men are out of contention.
32. Miami Dolphins
Rosen and Fitzpatrick set to battle for the starting quarterback, but this team has many holes on it and fans are in for a complete rebuild. The Dolphins could still draft a new quarterback in 2020, leaving Rosen to find a third team in three years.