In My Power Rankings Vol. 1
The first quarter of the NFL season is over and week 5 kickoff is just a few hours away. Before week 5 gets rolling let’s take a look at the first of four power rankings we will do this year. I don’t believe in doing a power rankings every week. In my opinion weekly power rankings are just clickbaits filled with overreactions, much like the first four weeks of the season. There is still optimism amongst most teams and their fans after September, but as we see every year the energy doesn’t last through November and December. Overreactions and overzealous optimism is followed by despair and premature glances at the upcoming draft board. The NFL season is truly a marathon, only the elite get better as the harsh reality of winter creeps up. My rankings criteria are based on how a team has looked, how they've played, what i project, offense, defense, special teams, quarterbacks, and coaching (situation football decisons).
Without further ado, here are the Views From the 22 power rankings Vol. 1:
1. L.A. Rams- I projected the Rams at a 14-2 record prior to the start of the season, I may have sold them short. Goff has seemingly taken the next step as a QB in his young NFL career and head coach and offensive wizard Sean McVay is making a strong case to being the best play caller in the NFL. Aqib Talib is expected to return late in the year just in time for this team to make its run in January.
2. New England Patriots- Convince me they aren’t the best team in the AFC. Their defense you say? Pshhh. Let’s be real. We’ve seen this story all too many times, September for the Patriots is a walkthrough. Until proven otherwise, I have no reason to think this team won’t be playing on Championship Sunday in late January.
3. Green Bay Packers- I believe this is the best team the McCarthy and Rodgers regime has had since its super bowl title at the start of the decade. Running back Aaron Jones and free agent acquisition Jimmy Graham provide security for Aaron Rodgers. I also believe there’s good talent on this defense and some real potential in their very young secondary led by the veteran Ha-Ha Clinton Dix.
4. Carolina Panthers- Yes this team is in my top 5. I admit this is the first team on my list who may move down dramatically in a few weeks, but I love this team. I don’t like anything about this team on the perimeter; the talent is there however the execution and consistency is not. Where I love this team is with their beef. Carolina is the most physical team in the NFL. Teams aren't going to outhit or overwhelm Carolina and I don’t think there are many teams who can go 60 minutes with this team. What ultimately sets this team apart from others is the lethal and explosive combination of Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey as well as Luke Kuechly’s leadership and football acumen on the defensive side of the ball.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars- Defense. Defense. Defense. This defense can matchup with anybody
6. Philadelphia Eagles- They're still the champs, and for that reason alone I can’t go much further without naming this team. The secondary is unorganized and the offensive line which lead them to a super bowl victory has not been the same so far this year. In fact they also seem unorganized and even a bit slower. As Jason Kelce put it, hungry dogs run faster...and this team is playing like they’ve just finished a Thanksgiving meal.
7. New Orleans Saints- The offense, led by first ballot QB Drew Brees, is no concern at all for me. The combination of Ingram and Kamara will carry this team as the weather gets colder. My concern is with the defense. The Saints defense has not played up to par with the expectations we had for them heading into the 2018 season and I have my concerns as to whether they can figure out how to get back to the high level of play they displayed last season.
8. Baltimore Ravens- I thought about putting this team in my top 5. I love everything about this team. My only question is whether the offense can produce at a high level on a consistent basis. The beef and defense is enough to make this team a dangerous matchup in January
9. Kansas City Chiefs- I can see the pitchforks lining up outside Views from the 22 headquarters as I type. We’ve seen this one too many times from Andy Reid teams. Yes General Mahomes has been playing out of his mind the first few weeks, but that’s just it, he’s playing out of his mind. The NFL always finds a way to humble players. While I think Mahomes has all the tools to succeed, I think there are a few weaknesses in his game that’ll continue to get exposed as more film is produced. Lastly, without Eric Berry their secondary will be picked apart by any proficient offense in the AFC, and their run defense ranks towards the bottom of the league.
10. Chicago Macks- The Bears defense is legit. Despite my concerns with their corners I think the safeties and front seven are so good and so dynamic they will mask the deficiencies on the outside more often than not. Offensively, Jordan Howard is a power back while RB Tarik Cohen and TE Trey Burton serve as mismatches and security blankets for Trubisky in the passing game.
11. Minnesota Vikings- They need to play cleaner and more organized defensively, it’s been atrocious the first few weeks
12. Cincinnati Bengals- A high powered offense led by a young secondary and a physical and powerful front seven. The Bengals may finally get a win in January if they can keep this up.
13. Washington Redskins- If Adrian Peterson can keep up his performance as the season progresses then this team will upset some people along the way.
14. Tennessee Titans- New head coach Mike Vrabel has his team playing up to their full potential. The question is how long can they last
15. Denver Broncos- I wish I could put this team higher. The offensive line is playing well, the two rookie running backs are explosive and dynamic, and their wide receivers are extremely talented. Defensively we know what they can do and I expect them to play better. My concern with this team is the Quarterback and the coaching, and the flaws of both were on full display in the 4th quarter of the electrifying Monday night game vs the Chiefs
16. Atlanta Falcons- My biggest concern with this team is their defense. Early in the season they’ve been plagued with injuries to their most important defensive players (Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, and Ricardo Allen). The offense has played much better the last few weeks but they’ve been playing at home, can they travel?
17. Miami Dolphins- The Dolphins got off to a 3-0 start before getting pummeled by New England 38-7. Their first three opponents had plenty of self-inflicted wounds and New England at home isn’t going to make many, hence the blowout. I question whether this team can bounce back and play better or is another underachieving year for them.
18. Houston Texans- This team is truly any given Sunday. The talent is there, the execution hasn’t been.
19. Los Angeles Chargers- Joey Bosa’s return will bode well for a defense which has struggled in the early part of the season. I like the talent on this team; their problem is they continue to add to their best seller “1001 ways to lose a football game.”
20. Pittsburgh Steelers- This team is trending down at the moment, a win this Sunday vs the visiting Falcons will go a long way in a disgruntled locker room
21. Seattle Seahawks- The legion of boom is now extinct, a moment of silence for one of the most dominating defenses in modern football.
22. Indianapolis Colts- The injuries on this team are a mile long at the moment. I do however think this team is trending up. Andrew Luck means everything to this team, and quite frankly Sundays are better the more 12s are on the field.
23. Dallas Cowboys- I firmly believe the coaching staff in Dallas is crippling the development of Dak Prescott. I like the pieces on defense, but this team’s overall success relies on quarterback Dak Prescott and the all pro running back Ezekiel Elliot.
24. Detroit Lions- A model of inconsistency
25. New York Giants- Basically since 2012 they’ve been the Detroit Lions
26. Oakland Raiders- Jon Gruden earned his first win as a head coach in nearly a decade, and the first month of the season has felt as such for Raider Nation
27. Cleveland Browns- This is the highest the Cleveland Browns have ever been on my power rankings. Their previous best was 32
28. New York Jets- The Jets are in danger of ruining Sam Darnold’s career.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- They are who we thought they were.
30. San Francisco 49ers- The loss of Jimmy G unfortunately crashes the 49ers back to the dark side of the NFL moon.
31. Buffalo Bills- I like nothing about this team. They are the worst team in football.
32. Arizona Cardinals- As stated above I believe the Cardinals are better than the Bills, but I can’t put them higher until they get a win.