NFL Power Rankings Week 1: Expert Consensus from Around the Web

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2014

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) warms up prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Houston Texans, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

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
RankPete Prisco of CBS SportsBob Glauber of New York NewsdayMatt Miller of Bleacher Report
1Denver BroncosSeattle SeahawksSeattle Seahawks
2Green Bay PackersDenver BroncosNew England Patriots
3Seattle SeahawksGreen Bay PackersDenver Broncos
4New England PatriotsSan Francisco 49ersNew Orleans Saints
5New Orleans SaintsNew England PatriotsGreen Bay Packers
6Cincinnati BengalsNew Orleans SaintsSan Francisco 49ers
7San Francisco 49ersIndianapolis ColtsPhiladelphia Eagles
8Arizona CardinalsBaltimore RavensIndianapolis Colts
9Philadelphia EaglesPhiladelphia EaglesChicago Bears
10Atlanta FalconsSan Diego ChargersBaltimore Ravens
11San Diego ChargersTampa Bay BuccaneersSan Diego Chargers
12Pittsburgh SteelersCarolina PanthersCincinnati Bengals
13Baltimore RavensKansas City ChiefsPittsburgh Steelers
14Chicago BearsNew York JetsTampa Bay Buccaneers
15Indianapolis ColtsPittsburgh SteelersArizona Cardinals
16Detroit LionsCincinnati BengalsCarolina Panthers
17New York GiantsAtlanta FalconsDetroit Lions
18Kansas City ChiefsArizona CardinalsNew York Jets
19Miami DolphinsChicago BearsMinnesota Vikings
20St. Louis RamsDetroit LionsNew York Giants
21New York JetsWashington RedskinsAtlanta Falcons
22Carolina PanthersMiami DolphinsDallas Cowboys
23Tampa Bay BuccaneersMinnesota VikingsMiami Dolphins
24Tennessee TitansNew York GiantsKansas City Chiefs
25Dallas CowboysJacksonville JaguarsSt. Louis Rams
26Washington RedskinsDallas CowboysJacksonville Jaguars
27Minnesota VikingsSt. Louis RamsBuffalo Bills
28Cleveland BrownsHouston TexansCleveland Browns
29Buffalo BillsTennessee TitansWashington Redskins
30Jacksonville JaguarsOakland RaidersTennessee Titans
31Houston TexansCleveland BrownsHouston Texans
32Oakland RaidersBuffalo BillsOakland Raiders
Source:, and

*Pete Prisco’s Power Rankings via

*Bob Glauber’s Power Rankings via

*Matt Miller’s Power Rankings via

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


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