With the first game of the NFL season coming fast, it's time to crank out my first power rankings of the regular season to follow up my preseason rankings.
These rankings are based on my expectations for these teams for the upcoming season. The number in parentheses is their ranking from my pre-season edition.
1. New England Patriots (1)
I think the Patriots will be one of the best teams this season. It's scary to think that this offense could rival the historic 2007 Pats offense, but with a healthy Tom Brady, it is possible.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (2)
They start off the season with a game against the Tennessee Titans. I think it will be a tough game, but the Steelers and their D will start the game off right.
3. New York Giants (3)
While following my Giants very closely this off-season and training camp, I know that they can be top contenders this year, even if they don't have that No. 1 guy at the receiver spot yet.
4. Atlanta Falcons (5)
I have huge expectations for Matt Ryan and the Falcons this season. I think they could represent the NFC in the Super Bowl this year, if Matt Ryan doesn't hit that sophomore slump.
5. Philadelphia Eagles (4)
The Eagles made the big pickup of Michael Vick and will be looking for some help from him when he comes back in Week 3.
Although they have been hit hard by the injury bug in camp, if they can avoid it, they will have a very good season.
6. Indianapolis Colts (6)
Peyton Manning and the Colts are looking good for this season, and even without Tony Dungy, they will take a tough AFC South.
7. San Diego Chargers (8)
The Chargers will have a great season this year. I think LT will bounce back, and he and Phillip Rivers will lead the Chargers through an easy AFC West.
8. Tennessee Titans (7)
Like I said with the Colts, I think they will take the AFC South, but it will be close between them and the Titans. They will grab a wild card spot for sure.
9. Chicago Bears (10)
10. Minnesota Vikings (11)
Even though I was pulling for Tarvaris Jackson over Sage Rosenfels and Brett Favre, I still think Adrian Peterson will have a great season. The Vikings will grab a wild card in an NFC North that could go any way, except to the Lions.
11. Carolina Panthers (9)
With the rushing duo of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams leading the team, the Panthers will have a good season unless Jake Delhomme plays like he did in the playoffs.
12. Baltimore Ravens (12)
They are "Wacko For Flacco" in Baltimore, but I am not. And even though the defense lost its coordinator, this is still a Top Five defense.
13. Arizona Cardinals (13)
The defending NFC champions could be a very good team again if Kurt Warner can stay healthy. The passing game with Warner, Boldin, and Fitzgerald will be great.
14. New Orleans Saints (15)
Drew Brees got the nod from me for being the top QB for this season. After putting up 5,000 yards last season, he probably won't do it again but will get around 4,000.
15. New York Jets (14)
I love the Jets with Rex Ryan at the head. They have come in confident and could be very good in the future.
16. Houston Texans (16)
If Matt Schaub can stay healthy this season, they can be very good. That being said, Schaub has never played a full 16-game season.
17. Green Bay Packers (17)
Aaron Rodgers is the starting QB, and some people think he could become one of the league's best this season.
18. Buffalo Bills (18)
The Bills are my surprise team. The only reason that they aren't above the Jets for Week 1 is the absence of Marshawn Lynch.
19. Dallas Cowboys (19)
This could change a lot, because the Cowboys could surprise a lot of people. I do think T.O. will be a huge loss, but they have a very good running game and a good defense.
20. San Francisco 49ers (20)
They do play in an easy division, with the Cardinals and Seahawks posing the only threats to them. I could very well see them going 8-8.
21. Miami Dolphins (21)
Like I have said before, the Wildcat won't surprise anyone this season. That and I don't think Chad Pennington can repeat what he did last season.
22. Washington Redskins (22)
Jason Campbell looked pretty bad in the pre-season. He's playing in a contract year, and this could be the last we see of him in Washington.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (24)
The rushing game will be in the hands of Maurice Jones-Drew this season. With all that, I think the Jaguars will finish around the same they did last year.
24. Denver Broncos (23)
The big loss of Jay Cutler, and Kyle Orton in as QB will impact the team a lot. They have inexperience across the whole team.
25. Cincinnati Bengals (26)
The Bengals look like they will be an all-right team, but they are definitely a work in progress. Marvin Lewis will probably be out after this season.
26. Kansas City Chiefs (25)
They added Matt Cassel, but it will be interesting to see how Cassel does without that Patriots offense.
27. Seattle Seahawks (28)
This is a very low ranking, and I think they will shoot up during the season. I do think that they will have a decent season around 7-9.
28. Cleveland Browns (27)
The Browns are looking into a dismal season this year. Brady Quinn has been named the starter, and even though I think that was the right choice, the Browns offense and defense will both struggle.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (29)
The Bucs have decided on Byron Leftwich as their Week 1 starter. They get the Cowboys for Week 1, and are in an obvious rebuilding stage.
30. Oakland Raiders (30)
Head Coach Tom Cable punched an assistant coach in the face in the off-season. That and the release of Jeff Garcia are signs of a couple of things already going wrong in Oakland.
31. St Louis Rams (31)
The Rams are not looking at a great season, as coach Steve Spagnuolo will start to try to turn this team around.
32. Detroit Lions (32)
They named No. 1 overall pick Matt Stafford as their opening day starter. They are hoping to get the same result that the Ravens and Falcons did last year with their rookies.
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