NFL Power Rankings: Predicting the Most Entertaining Teams to Watch Next Season

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 24:   DeAngelo Williams #34 of the Carolina Panthers and teammate Cam Newton #1 celebrate after Williams ran for a touchdown in the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Let's think outside of the box here, people. Obviously, high-octane offenses such as the Packers, Patriots, Saints and Eagles would be easy choices for this list.

But which teams will surprise everyone and become exciting teams next season? Or, which teams will continue to improve and become even more fun to watch?

You've come to the right place.

It's power rankings, predictions and a whole lot of excitement all rolled up in one.

1. Green Bay Packers (15-1)

2. New Orleans Saints (13-3)

3. San Francisco 49ers (13-3)

4. New England Patriots (13-3)

5. Baltimore Ravens (12-4)

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)

7. Atlanta Falcons (10-6)

8. Detroit Lions (10-6)

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 18:  Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions tries to break free from DeMarcus Van Dyke #23 of the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on December 18, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Now, I know what you're thinking—way to go out on a limb here and predict that a team with Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh will be exciting next year.

Really going out on a limb with that one, big guy.

But hear me out. There is a player in this year's draft that would fit perfectly in Detroit's offense. A player that Bleacher Report's own scouting guru, Matt Miller, has them selecting in the fourth round. A player that would fill a the role that Darren Sproles provides for New Orleans and would make the Lions damn difficult to defend.

I'm talking, of course, about Oregon's LaMichael James. Paired with a returning Mikel Leshoure, James would give the Lions a thunder-and-lightning attack in the running game and make them a headache for defenses when the Lions spread the field with three- or four-receiver sets.

I'm getting excited about watching Lions games just envisioning the possibilities, and I'm not even a fan of the team. Make this happen, Detroit.

9. Philadelphia Eagles (8-8)

10. New York Giants (9-7)

11. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7)

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 11:  A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals makes a catch in front of Jonathan Joseph #24 of the Houston Texans during their game at Paul Brown Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Texans defeated the Bengals 2
John Grieshop/Getty Images

Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and the Bengals offense is only going to get better, especially if they add an exciting running back to their offense such as Miami's Lamar Miller, as our own Matt Miller sees them doing.

With a solid defense and an exciting young offense, the Bengals should stay in the playoff hunt and maybe even compete for an AFC North title next season.

12. San Diego Chargers (8-8)

13. Houston Texans (10-6)

14. Tennessee Titans (9-7)

15. Dallas Cowboys (8-8)

16. Arizona Cardinals (8-8)

17. Denver Broncos (8-8)

18. New York Jets (8-8)

19. Seattle Seahawks (8-8)

20. Oakland Raiders (8-8)

21. Kansas City Chiefs (7-9)

22. Carolina Panthers (6-10)

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 18:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers walks off the field after a win against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Matt Miller has Carolina selecting South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey with the eighth overall pick in the first round.

Adding Jeffrey to an offense with Cam Newton and Steve Smith would make for incredible, high-flying action. Jeffrey goes up and and gets the ball in the vein of an A.J. Green, and adding that element to Carolina's offense would instantly make them a sexy playoff pick.

And a really fun team to watch.

23. Miami Dolphins

24. Chicago Bears

25. Buffalo Bills (6-10)

26. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10)

27. Cleveland Browns (4-12)

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 24:  Joe Haden #23 of the Cleveland Browns reacts on the field during the closing moments of the Browns 2014 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty I
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Matt Miller and I don't agree about everything, of course. He doesn't feel Cleveland should select Robert Griffin, III if he falls to them with the fourth overall pick, for instance. He doesn't think they need a quarterback, they just need more weapons for that quarterback, and he has them drafting Trent Richardson.

It is a well-reasoned argument, but here's where I disagree—Griffin isn't just any quarterback. He's an electric, get-the-fanbase-excited player who will be a high-character ambassador for the organization and has all of the tools to be a franchise quarterback.

I simply don't see how the Browns can pass all of that up to take their chances with Colt McCoy. Especially after watching what Cam Newton did for Carolina this season. Griffin and Newton aren't the same player, of course, but Griffin should provide the same level of excitement.

After all of the crap that sports fans in Cleveland have been put through in recent years, don't they deserve some excitement for once?

28. Washington Redskins (5-12)

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 25:  Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder walks the sidelines prior to the start of a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Note: All of the above is moot if Washington makes St. Louis or Minnesota an offer they can't refuse and trades up to select Griffin.

Then they become the exciting team to watch. As an Eagles fan, I desperately hope this doesn't happen. 

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)

30. Minnesota Vikings (3-13)

31. St. Louis Rams (2-14)

32. Indianapolis Colts (2-14)

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal walks off of the field after Stanford lost 41-38 in overtime against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Gle
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

C'mon—17 weeks of Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck on the same team, and all of the media scrutiny that will follow is going to be entertaining as hell.

Even if, like this year, the Colts team isn't.

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