Pre-Training Camp Power Rankings: 32-11
This is a full 32-team power ranking of the NFL going into training camp. I will also be doing a pre-season edition in August. This is based on how I think they should be ranked going into the season, not how they will finish. Please leave feedback on this list; I would love to hear your thoughts.
32. St. Louis Rams
The Rams are hoping Sam Bradford can provide them with some help right off the bat. The reality is that they are still the worst team in the NFL. Steven Jackson is by himself on offense, and the defense isn't really getting any better. Look for the Rams to have another No. 1 pick to add to their rebuilding process.
31. Buffalo Bills
The Bills have been going backward recently. They have a horrible offensive line, no quarterback, no receivers, and bad personnel for the 3-4 defense. The only hope is at running back, where they have CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson, and Marshawn Lynch.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay is a very young team. The problem is they are not very talented, just inexperienced. Josh Freeman had a very low QB rating in his rookie season, but the team has confidence in him for the future.
29. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs will be bad in the trenches this year and have a shoddy defense. The one hope they have is at running back. Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones make for a great tandem. They also play in a pretty easy division; the only problem is they're the worst team in the AFC West.
28. Denver Broncos
The Broncos are free falling right now and I can't make sense of some of the decisions this team carries out. Losing Brandon Marshall will hurt, and I don't expect Elvis Dumervil to have the kind of monster season he had last year. Kyle Orton had a decent season last year, but throwing in Tebow will just complicate things there. They will duke it out with Kansas City for last place in the AFC West.
27. Cleveland Browns
The Browns started off horribly last season but came on strong while winning their final four games. They upgraded at the quarterback position with Jake Delhomme and Senneca Wallace. Jerome Harrison and Montario Hardesty should make for a nice tandem at tailback. They have some young talent, but are still a year or two away from being good.
26. Detroit Lions
There's no doubt the Lions improved this offseason. However, they were still only 2-14 last year and their offensive line is terrible. If Calvin Johnson can stay healthy they can get something going there, but I think they will be beaten up in the division. They still aren't there yet.
25. Arizona Cardinals
Not only did the Cardinals lose Kurt Warner, but also Anquan Boldin, Karlos Dansby, and Antrel Rolle. That is going to hurt. Matt Leinart cannot get it done as a starting QB in the NFL. Beanie Wells could have a good season, but it isn't enough.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are a very interesting team, and I'm not sure what to make of them. They lost John Henderson, but added Aaron Kampman and Kirk Morrison. They will be victims of the best division in the NFL this season. Maurice Jones-Drew will have another monster season.
23. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders will be one of the nice surprises this season. They finally dumped JaMarcus Russell and picked up Jason Campbell. They drafted Rolando McClain to replace Kirk Morrison, and picked up John Henderson to help the defensive line. If Darren McFadden can live up to his potential, the Raiders will be pretty good.
22. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks' big offseason move was the hiring of Pete Carroll. If everyone can stay healthy, especially Matt Hasselbeck, then they can make some noise. Until further notice, though, they are still going to have a losing record. Justin Forsett could be a nice surprise this season.
21. Chicago Bears
Da Bears are a very unbalanced team. They don't have a legitimate starting wide receiver, and Jay Cutler is an interception machine. Matt Forte was a huge disappointment last year, and the defense is going backwards. The addition of Julius Peppers will help, but it won't be enough to put them over the top.
20. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers have arguably the best rushing attack in the league. That duo consists of DeAngelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart. Both backs rushed for over 1,000 yards last year. Matt Moore will be the starting quarterback as he played well in his limited time last year. Outside of Steve Smith they have no good receivers. They also lost Julius Peppers. Their consistent, two-headed monster at running back will keep them in contention for most of the season, but ultimately they have too many holes to overcome.
19. Tennessee Titans
The Titans are another team that has immense talent at some positions, but then basically nothing at others. Chris Johnson can have a huge decrease in numbers and still lead the league in rushing yards. They have a young and somewhat talented group of receivers led by Kenny Britt. If Vince Young can play as he did last year then this team can make the playoffs. However, I'm not ready to put my trust in Vince Young for an entire season.
18. Washington Redskins
The addition of Donovan McNabb will be a huge boost, but the Redskins still have their problems. Haynesworth is causing problems in the locker room and with the exception of Brian Orakpo, they don't have the proper personel for the 3-4 defense. The offensive line has been upgraded but still needs work. The Redskins right now are a breading ground for old washed up running backs, as they have Clinton Portis, Willie Parker, and Larry Johnson on the roster.
17. Philadelphia Eagles
The only reason I have the Eagles ahead of the Redskins is because they have a much better overall roster, not because I'm a believer in Kevin Kolb. They have a lot of young talent around Kolb for him to succeed, and they have experience as they were a playoff team last year.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are hurting in a lot of areas going into this season. Big Ben is suspended for the first 4-6 weeks and they lost right tackle Willie Colon for the season. The one thing keeping them afloat is their defense and running game. Mendenhall had a big season last year and can continue to dominate. Their defense is aging, but still good.
15. New York Giants
The Giants are a hard team to figure out. They seem to be going in the wrong direction, but have a lot of good young players. I've never liked Eli Manning and still don't, but I think the offense will still be fine. I think the Giants will end up being the last team to miss out on the playoffs, getting beat out by Atlanta in the final weeks.
14. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers could surprise this season. I'm picking them to win the NFC West as well. They have a great running back in Frank Gore, a steadily improving quarterback in Alex Smith, and a solid defense led by the best linebacker in the league, Patrick Willis. I don't think they will win a game in the playoffs, but they will make it there.
13. Miami Dolphins
If Ronnie Brown can stay healthy and Chad Henne can develop into a solid QB, the Dolphins can make a nice playoff run this coming season. The additions of Karlos Dansby and Brandon Marshall should help this team big time. I also believe that outside line backer Cameron Wake is ready to break out, as you can see here: http://www.bleacherreport.com/articles/415211-sleeper-alert-cameron-wake-is-the-real-deal
12. Houston Texans
The Texans have been many people's breakout team for a couple of years now and finally had a winning record last year. If they can maintain a steady running game, their offense will be a force to reckon with. Brian Cushing is suspended for the first 4 games of the season. If they can make it out of that stretch intact, they will be in good shape to make the playoffs.
11. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals had a surprisingly good defense last year despite losing defensive end Antwan Odom for most of the season. Cedric Benson had a long overdue breakout season last year and will look to build on his impressive numbers. Carson Palmer will need to step up this season if they want to repeat as AFC North champs.
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