The 2014 NFL regular season is about to begin, and fans are already looking to the power rankings from the top experts around the web to see where their favorite team enters Week 1.
With the perennial contenders like the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos sitting on top and teams like the Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns bringing up the rear, there is plenty of discrepancies between each list.
Here are the latest power rankings from the top experts around the web and my full breakdown and rankings of every team.
|Week 1 Power Rankings from Around the Web|
|Rank||Pete Prisco of CBS Sports||Bob Glauber of New York Newsday||Matt Miller of Bleacher Report|
|1||Denver Broncos||Seattle Seahawks||Seattle Seahawks|
|2||Green Bay Packers||Denver Broncos||New England Patriots|
|3||Seattle Seahawks||Green Bay Packers||Denver Broncos|
|4||New England Patriots||San Francisco 49ers||New Orleans Saints|
|5||New Orleans Saints||New England Patriots||Green Bay Packers|
|6||Cincinnati Bengals||New Orleans Saints||San Francisco 49ers|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||Indianapolis Colts||Philadelphia Eagles|
|8||Arizona Cardinals||Baltimore Ravens||Indianapolis Colts|
|9||Philadelphia Eagles||Philadelphia Eagles||Chicago Bears|
|10||Atlanta Falcons||San Diego Chargers||Baltimore Ravens|
|11||San Diego Chargers||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||San Diego Chargers|
|12||Pittsburgh Steelers||Carolina Panthers||Cincinnati Bengals|
|13||Baltimore Ravens||Kansas City Chiefs||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|14||Chicago Bears||New York Jets||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|15||Indianapolis Colts||Pittsburgh Steelers||Arizona Cardinals|
|16||Detroit Lions||Cincinnati Bengals||Carolina Panthers|
|17||New York Giants||Atlanta Falcons||Detroit Lions|
|18||Kansas City Chiefs||Arizona Cardinals||New York Jets|
|19||Miami Dolphins||Chicago Bears||Minnesota Vikings|
|20||St. Louis Rams||Detroit Lions||New York Giants|
|21||New York Jets||Washington Redskins||Atlanta Falcons|
|22||Carolina Panthers||Miami Dolphins||Dallas Cowboys|
|23||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Minnesota Vikings||Miami Dolphins|
|24||Tennessee Titans||New York Giants||Kansas City Chiefs|
|25||Dallas Cowboys||Jacksonville Jaguars||St. Louis Rams|
|26||Washington Redskins||Dallas Cowboys||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|27||Minnesota Vikings||St. Louis Rams||Buffalo Bills|
|28||Cleveland Browns||Houston Texans||Cleveland Browns|
|29||Buffalo Bills||Tennessee Titans||Washington Redskins|
|30||Jacksonville Jaguars||Oakland Raiders||Tennessee Titans|
|31||Houston Texans||Cleveland Browns||Houston Texans|
|32||Oakland Raiders||Buffalo Bills||Oakland Raiders|
|Source: CBSSports.com, NewsDay.com and BleacherReport.com|
*Pete Prisco’s Power Rankings via CBSSports.com.
*Bob Glauber’s Power Rankings via Newsday.com.
*Matt Miller’s Power Rankings via BleacherReport.com.
32. Oakland Raiders
While being ranked last is awful, the fact that the Oakland Raiders made the correct decision and will start rookie Derek Carr at quarterback could be a positive sign for the future. Oakland fans are just looking for any glimmer of hope.
31. Houston Texans
New head coach Bill O’Brien is in the process of rebuilding the Houston Texans, but it will take time for success to come. He is already building to the future with a trade for Ryan Mallett, but 2014 could be a struggle as the offense makes the transition to O’Brien’s schemes.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars went out and added running back Toby Gerhart and drafted wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, but rookie quarterback Blake Bortles will not get the start. Expect Jacksonville to struggle under Chad Henne before eventually stepping aside to let Bortles take over his reign as the franchise QB.
29. Buffalo Bills
To the credit of the Buffalo Bills, the team has arguably the most dominant defensive line in the league and a dynamic rushing attack. But Buffalo struggles almost everywhere else, and the hope of Bills fans is that quarterback EJ Manuel grows as a player and can lead the team to a postseason berth.
28. Cleveland Browns
There are plenty of talented players on the Cleveland Browns roster, but whether they can get on the same page is the big question. Without suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon giving the offense a deep threat, how well the team runs the ball with Ben Tate will depict success.
27. Minnesota Vikings
With veteran Matt Cassel getting the start at quarterback, the Minnesota Vikings will have a more balanced offensive attack that will complement the defensive upgrades the unit has made. Losing defensive end Jared Allen to free agency is a big blow, but the team will be looking for younger players to step up and fill the void.
26. St. Louis Rams
After the season-ending injury to quarterback Sam Bradford, it’s hard to imagine the St. Louis Rams being a legitimate threat in the already tough NFC West. Head coach Jeff Fisher has built a good team, but how it handles this adversity remains to be seen.
25. New York Giants
Eli Manning is still one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, but he must do a better job avoiding turnovers if the New York Giants want to climb back into a playoff chase. The franchise needs to improve the offensive line to give Manning time, but the future of the Giants is dependent on how the QB protects the ball.
24. Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans are an enigma. There are talented players across the depth chart, but the team has failed to put it all together on the field. If QB Jake Locker stays healthy and the rushing attack starts to take shape, the Tennessee defense could keep the Titans in contention.
23. Miami Dolphins
After showing improvements in 2013, quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be the gauge of success moving forward for the Miami Dolphins. The team has added weapons at skill positions and given him the chance to succeed. The focus for 2014 will be on whether Tannehill really is the QB of the future for Miami.
22. Washington Redskins
If preseason is any indication of what fans should expect from the Washington Redskins, the team is in serious trouble. With gaping voids on defense and an offensive unit that couldn’t find a rhythm with Robert Griffin III under center, the Redskins could struggle all season.
21. New York Jets
The focus from the New York Jets organization should be on the quarterback position. Geno Smith was drafted to be the player who leads the team moving forward, but he has not lived up to the hype. If he doesn’t perform well early this season, the Jets could turn to backup Michael Vick.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Under new head coach Lovie Smith, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could sneak up on the rest of the NFL this season. With an improved defense and an offense with serious upside, the Bucs could be a threat to take the NFC South.
19. Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys have the firepower on offense to be a contender. The problem is that injuries, suspensions and free agency have destroyed the team’s defense. Romo better be at his best because he will need to rack up big points each week.
18. Arizona Cardinals
Injuries have plagued the Arizona Cardinals on the defensive side of the ball. The franchise has made strides on the offensive side of the ball, but it will be interesting to see how well Carson Palmer and the Cardinals can make up for the team's defensive inefficiencies.
17. Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers defensive unit is one of the best in the NFL. On the other hand, Cam Newton has a lackluster receiver group and a three-headed monster of running backs who hasn’t lived up to the hype. If Carolina doesn’t develop a rhythm offensively, the team is in serious trouble.
16. Detroit Lions
As long as the Detroit Lions have Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush healthy, there are few offensive units in the NFL that can go toe-to-toe with them. Unfortunately, two of the teams who can (Chicago and Green Bay) are in Detroit’s division.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers were once known for their elite defense, but the team is more balanced now. The offense runs through a strong rushing attack and Ben Roethlisberger’s arm, but the improvements on defense should help make the Steelers a playoff contender.
14. Chicago Bears
Under head coach Marc Trestman, the Chicago Bears boast one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL, which will continue to dominate with Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery all healthy. The defense will need to be better in 2014, but the offense will be able to mask many weaknesses.
13. Baltimore Ravens
The expectations are high for Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens offense, but a two-game suspension for Ray Rice will hurt the team early in the season. Injuries in the secondary have fans concerned about Baltimore’s long-term success this season, but there are enough playmakers on defense to make the Ravens a threat in the AFC North.
12. Atlanta Falcons
For the Atlanta Falcons, 2014 is all about staying healthy. The team starts the season with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White and Steven Jackson all close to 100 percent. Atlanta could be one of the biggest surprise contenders in the NFL this season.
11. San Diego Chargers
Led by veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, the San Diego Chargers offensive unit looks to be even better in 2014. There are still questions about how the defense will perform, but the reemergence of Dwight Freeney will be a huge plus.
10. San Francisco 49ers
Injuries and suspensions have stunted the San Francisco 49ers’ performances throughout the preseason and many feel it will carry over into the regular season. With a Week 1 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, the NFL will know if San Francisco is a contender or a pretender immediately.
9. Kansas City Chiefs
Another quarterback who got paid was Kansas City Chiefs starter Alex Smith, according to the team’s Twitter account. With Jamaal Charles ready to carry the workload on the ground and be Smith’s short-yardage answer in the passing attack, Kansas City will be threat in the AFC if the defense lives up to the hype.
8. Cincinnati Bengals
After giving quarterback Andy Dalton a $115 million contract extension, the expectations are through the roof for the Cincinnati Bengals. The franchise boasts a stout defense, but it will be up to the offense to set the pace and lead the team to the postseason.
7. Indianapolis Colts
There are questions about depth on the defensive side of the ball and how well Trent Richardson will run the ball, but as long as the Indianapolis Colts have Andrew Luck under center, the team has a chance to win. The return of wide receiver Reggie Wayne will make Indianapolis a force in the AFC South.
6. Philadelphia Eagles
The high-paced offense of the Philadelphia Eagles is hard to stop. Whether it’s Nick Foles through the air or LeSean McCoy on the ground, Philadelphia has one of the most dynamic offensive units in the NFL. The defense will be key, though, as it begins its second season in the 3-4.
5. New Orleans Saints
While quarterback Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints will always be viewed as an offensive powerhouse (and rightfully so), it is the defensive unit led by Rob Ryan that has made major strides. If the Saints defense can perform an elite level this season, New Orleans will become a Super Bowl contender.
4. New England Patriots
The news that tight end Rob Gronkowski would be able to play in Week 1, via Shalise Manza Young of The Boston Globe, was music to Tom Brady’s ears. The New England Patriots need Gronkowski to stay healthy for the majority of the season if the team wants to be a serious contender for a championship.
3. Green Bay Packers
Led by veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers enter the season with high expectations. After adding defensive end/linebacker Julius Peppers during the offseason, Green Bay will be tested right away by squaring off against the Seahawks on Thursday night of Week 1. No pressure.
2. Seattle Seahawks
As the defending Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks are excepted to be serious contenders once again. With wide receiver Percy Harvin healthy and the defensive group ready to repeat last season’s stellar performance, Seattle is the cream of the NFC crop.
1. Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos may have lost in the Super Bowl to the Seahawks, but the team made wholesale upgrades on defense. By adding DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward, Denver has become as dominant on the defensive side of the ball as it was on offense with Peyton Manning and company.
*Stats via NFL.com.