Composite NFL Power Rankings

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Composite NFL Power Rankings
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Yaaay, it's football season!  Yaaay, it's power rankings time! I may not have the credibility to properly rank the 32 NFL teams, but I can certainly calculate the averages of all the credible Power Rankings, and tell you how I feel about it. 

Here is the 2009 preseason edition of my Composite NFL Power Rankings:

1. New England Patriots

-    ESPN.com 2
-    CBSSports.com 1
-    FoxSports.com 2
-    WhatIfSports.com 2
-    AVERAGE 1.75

My Take: The Patriots don’t have any significant weaknesses, so I would also rank them No. 1 heading into the season.  I cut the sleeves off because it looks awesome, get your head in the game!


2. Pittsburgh Steelers
-    ESPN.com 1
-    CBSSports.com 2
-    FoxSports.com 1
-    WhatIfSports.com 5
-    AVERAGE 2.25

My Take: They get a free pass at No. 1 in several power rankings because they won the Super Bowl, but the Steeler’s O-Line needs to show some improvement this season before I would rank them this high.


3. Philadelphia Eagles
-    ESPN.com 4
-    CBSSports.com 3
-    FoxSports.com 3
-    WhatIfSports.com 1
-    AVERAGE 2.75

My Take: The averages put the Eagles right where I would rank them heading into 2009.  The offensive line should improve with the acquisition of Jason Peters, and Philly had a solid draft to give the team depth at running back and wide receiver. I expect them to make a run at the Super Bowl.

4. New York Giants
-    ESPN.com 3
-    CBSSports.com 6
-    FoxSports.com 7
-    WhatIfSports.com 4
-    AVERAGE 5.00

My Take: With Osi Umenyiora back in the mix, the defensive line should be back to its Super Bowl form.  I expect the Giants to have the best defense in the league, and I would rank them just behind New England.


5. Arizona Cardinals
-    ESPN.com 12
-    CBSSports.com 5
-    FoxSports.com 5
-    WhatIfSports.com 6
-    AVERAGE 7.00

My Take: They should have a good offense once again, but I never rank a team in the top five until it displays an effective running game.

6.  San Diego Chargers
-    ESPN.com 6
-    CBSSports.com 9
-    FoxSports.com 9
-    WhatIfSports.com 9
-    AVERAGE 8.25

My Take: The Chargers quite possibly have the most talent of any team in the NFL.  If their defense becomes dominant again with the return of Shawne Merriman, I think this team could be the favorite to win it all.  I would rank them in the top five at least, and possibly even ahead of the Eagles.

7.  Indianapolis Colts
-    ESPN.com 5
-    CBSSports.com 4
-    FoxSports.com 10
-    WhatIfSports.com 14
-    AVERAGE 8.25

My Take:  The Colts had some major changes this offseason, but the team should be a playoff contender once again, despite the coaching changes.  The roster has been retooled in an attempt to improve on their major weaknesses in the running game and on the defensive line.  They should be a top five or six team.

8. Atlanta Falcons
-    ESPN.com 8
-    CBSSports.com 7
-    FoxSports.com 4
-    WhatIfSports.com 17
-    AVERAGE 9.00

My Take:  If Matt Ryan continues to improve, the Falcons will be a great team.  I would rank them borderline top 10, but I don’t think they’re a better team than the Titans.

9. Tennessee Titans
-    ESPN.com 7
-    CBSSports.com 11
-    FoxSports.com 6
-    WhatIfSports.com 15
-    AVERAGE 9.75

My Take: The Titans had the best regular season record last year, and I expect them to be a contender again in 2009 even though losing Albert Haynesworth is no small matter.  Even if the Titans are significantly worse without the big defensive tackle, Jeff Fisher will fake-punt and onside-kick the team to a 12-4 record.

10.  Minnesota Vikings
-    ESPN.com 9
-    CBSSports.com 17
-    FoxSports.com 11
-    WhatIfSports.com 3
-    AVERAGE 10.00

My Take: Does Brett Favre really help them at all?  Maybe for the first eight games, before his arm tuckers out.  I wouldn’t rank the Vikings in the top 10.

11. Dallas Cowboys
-    ESPN.com 14
-    CBSSports.com 12
-    FoxSports.com 13
-    WhatIfSports.com 8
-    AVERAGE 11.75

My Take:  The loss of Terrell Owens will hurt them some, but the Cowboys still have two good receiving threats, a great quarterback, and an excellent rushing attack.  They also have one of the best defensive players in the game in DeMarcus Ware.  They may be as talented overall as San Diego, and I would definitely rank them higher than 11th.

12. Carolina Panthers
-    ESPN.com 11
-    CBSSports.com 18
-    FoxSports.com 8
-    WhatIfSports.com 13
-    AVERAGE 12.50

My Take:  Carolina may have the best one-two punch in the league at running back, and they also have one of the best deep threats at wide receiver to keep defenses honest.  They’re extremely shallow at defensive tackle this year though, and that could really hurt their defense.  I have them around 15th or so in my power rankings, but they could move up the board fast when the season starts.

13. New Orleans Saints
-    ESPN.com 19
-    CBSSports.com 8
-    FoxSports.com 16
-    WhatIfSports.com 11
-    AVERAGE 13.50

My Take:  The Saints obviously have a stellar offense, but can their defense step up this year?  The release of Jason David hints that they may at least have better pass coverage. I think there are a few more teams that should be ranked ahead of them.

14. Baltimore Ravens
-    ESPN.com 10
-    CBSSports.com 10
-    FoxSports.com 12
-    WhatIfSports.com 25
-    AVERAGE 14.25

My Take:  The Ravens always field one of the top defenses in the league, but their offense is totally dependant on the development of Joe Flacco.  This is about where I’d rank them in the preseason, but they are another team that could move up fast during the regular season.

15. Houston Texans
-    ESPN.com 16
-    CBSSports.com 15
-    FoxSports.com 18
-    WhatIfSports.com 10
-    AVERAGE 14.75

My Take:  Mark it down: the Texans will have the best offense in the league this season.  But I still don’t know if they’ll make the playoffs.

16. Miami Dolphins
-    ESPN.com 15
-    CBSSports.com 20
-    FoxSports.com 19
-    WhatIfSports.com 7
-    AVERAGE 15.25

My Take: Last year the "Wildcat" spread like wildfire.  This year, defenses that can stop it will spread like cream cheese.  I don’t have the Dolphins ranked in the top 20.

17.  Green Bay Packers
-    ESPN.com 17
-    CBSSports.com 16
-    FoxSports.com 14
-    WhatIfSports.com 21
-    AVERAGE 17.00

My Take:  The Pack will be back.  B.J. Raji is already looking like a beast in the preseason, and their offense is only going to get better.  I would rank Green Bay in the top 15.

18. Chicago Bears
-    ESPN.com 13
-    CBSSports.com 14
-    FoxSports.com 20
-    WhatIfSports.com 23
-    AVERAGE 17.50

My Take: Bears fans are leaving frankincense and myrrh on Jay Cutler’s doorstep, but he had much better wide receivers in Denver.  Matt Forte makes that offense dangerous, but I want to see Cutler in action before I rank them any higher than this.  Also, their defense couldn’t generate any pass rush with the front four last year, and blitzing every other down isn’t good for a Tampa-two defense.

19. Washington Redskins
-    ESPN.com 20
-    CBSSports.com 25
-    FoxSports.com 17
-    WhatIfSports.com 12
-    AVERAGE 18.5

My Take: Unless he gets lethargic now that he’s a bizillionaire, Albert Haynesworth is going to make this team really good.  The NFC East is a tough division though, and it will be difficult for them to make the playoffs.

20. Buffalo Bills
-    ESPN.com 21
-    CBSSports.com 19
-    FoxSports.com 15
-    WhatIfSports.com 20
-    AVERAGE 18.75

My Take: The Bills could have an offensive renaissance this season, or Terrell Owens could tear the team apart the moment Marshawn Lynch gets done with his suspension.  I would rank them around 25th.

21. New York Jets
-    ESPN.com 23
-    CBSSports.com 24
-    FoxSports.com 21
-    WhatIfSports.com 16
-    AVERAGE 21.00

My Take: The more touches Leon Washington gets, the more points the Jets will score.  Sanchez is going to have some growing pains, but their defense looks like it will fair well with Rex Ryan’s aggressive style.

22. Cincinnati Bengals
-    ESPN.com 24
-    CBSSports.com 13
-    FoxSports.com 28
-    WhatIfSports.com 19
-    AVERAGE 21.00

My Take: The Bengals are tied with the Jets in their average ranking, but the Jets get the nod since they have a better defense (which, if you hadn’t heard, wins championships).  I think the Bengals will be improved, but I still have them ranked in the bottom five.

23. San Francisco 49ers
-    ESPN.com 22
-    CBSSports.com 27
-    FoxSports.com 22
-    WhatIfSports.com 18
-    AVERAGE 22.25

My Take: Teams with quarterback battles that last several years don’t make my top 25.

24. Seattle Seahawks
-    ESPN.com 18
-    CBSSports.com 21
-    FoxSports.com 27
-    WhatIfSports.com 26
-    AVERAGE 23.00

My Take:  Matt Hasselbeck makes the Pro Bowl every odd-numbered year, so I think the Seahawks will rebound this season.  If Aaron Curry helps improve their defense, I like them to contend for the NFC West this season, and I would rank them higher than 24th.

25. Tampa Bay Bucs
-    ESPN.com 26
-    CBSSports.com 23
-    FoxSports.com 23
-    WhatIfSports.com 24
-    AVERAGE 24.00

My Take:  I like Jon Gruden as a commentator so far, and I like Raheem Morris as a coach.  I would rank them higher than 25th, and possibly in the top 20 overall.

26.  Jacksonville Jaguars
-    ESPN.com 25
-    CBSSports.com 22
-    FoxSports.com 25
-    WhatIfSports.com 29
-    AVERAGE 25.25

My Take: The Jaguars had a bad year in 2008, but I think they’ll rebound this season.  They are usually a good defensive team, and David Garrard is a very underrated quarterback.  He can check down to Maurice Jones-Drew every play and pick up somewhere between four and 100 yards.

27. Denver Broncos
-    ESPN.com 27
-    CBSSports.com 26
-    FoxSports.com 24
-    WhatIfSports.com 28
-    AVERAGE 26.25

My Take: If they can convince Brandon Marshall to play, the Broncos could have a dangerous offense that dictates two-deep safety coverage every down even with Kyle Orton at quarterback.  If Eddie Royal is their only receiving threat, teams will just blitz every play and force 17 or 18 Denver turnovers a game.

28. Kansas City Chiefs
-    ESPN.com 29
-    CBSSports.com 30
-    FoxSports.com 26
-    WhatIfSports.com 22
-    AVERAGE 26.75

My Take: I would rank the Chiefs a little higher than 28th.  The defense is reportedly adapting to the 3-4 scheme very quickly, and I think Matt Cassell will be fairly productive despite the team’s suspect offensive line.

29. Oakland Raiders
-    ESPN.com 30
-    CBSSports.com 28
-    FoxSports.com 29
-    WhatIfSports.com 27
-    AVERAGE 28.5

My Take:  Al Davis is crazy.  However, I read some interviews with Darius Heyward-Bey before the draft, and I really liked his mentality.  I think he’ll be a good player, but he’s still on a bad team.

30. Cleveland Browns
-    ESPN.com 28
-    CBSSports.com 31
-    FoxSports.com 30
-    WhatIfSports.com 32
-    AVERAGE 30.25

My Take: Teams with quarterback battles that last several years go right about here in my rankings.

31. St. Louis Rams
-    ESPN.com 31
-    CBSSports.com 29
-    FoxSports.com 31
-    WhatIfSports.com 31
-    AVERAGE 30.50

My Take: I think the Rams will be better offensively than they have been for some time.  They made a good attempt to improve their offensive line in the off season, and they still have a good quarterback and several decent skill players.

32. Detroit Lions
-    ESPN.com 32
-    CBSSports.com 32
-    FoxSports.com 32
-    WhatIfSports.com 30
-    AVERAGE 31.50

My Take: Obviously Detroit deserves to be ranked last after their 0-16 season, but I think they will get significantly better this year as well.  I say they throw Stafford in the fire and let him duke out some tough wins.  He may lose some confidence when the team struggles, but he can always just throw the ball as far and as high as possible and bank on the fairly decent chance that Calvin Johnson will catch it.

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