Heading into the 2011 season, some teams are being vastly overrated or underrated.
The overrated teams may be considered better than they really are due to their offseason acquisitions or the big markets they play in, while the underrated teams may have players most casual football fans have not heard of or play in much smaller markets.
I am here to break down the most overrated and underrated NFL teams heading into the 2011 season, based on the preseason ESPN power rankings.
The 49ers have been ranked an NFC West-low 26th in the preseason ESPN power rankings, a spot which is way to low for them.
San Francisco is one of the most talented teams in their division, and they added star wide receiver Braylon Edwards to join a dynamic passing game that includes Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, and star running back Frank Gore.
The Niners also possess one of the most talented defenses in the NFL, led by star linebacker Patrick Willis.
If the once-great franchise can put it all together under new head coach John Harbaugh and Alex Smith plays like the skilled quarterback that he is, San Francisco could shock the football world and claim a spot in the postseason.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are being significantly underrated in the preseason ESPN power rankings as they come in at a stingy 22nd.
The Jags are coming off a great offseason, in which they drafted their quarterback of the future, Blaine Gabbert, while also considerably upgrading their struggling defense from a year ago.
Jacksonville signed star linebackers Clint Sessions and Paul Posluszny, dynamic safety Dawan Landry, and talented defensive end Matt Roth to free-agent deals. These acquisitions could make the Jaguars defense one of the most feared in the league and Jacksonville one of the major sleepers this season.
The Dallas Cowboys are coming off one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history, but they still possess too much talent to be ranked just 16th in the ESPN power rankings.
With a potent passing attack that boasts the lights of Tony Romo, Miles Austin, and Dez Bryant, and a talented defense led by superstar DeMarcus Ware, Dallas could end up shocking all the experts and prove that one of the greatest franchises in NFL history hasn't lost it's luster.
The defending NFC West champions are being significantly underrated heading into the 2011 season as they place just 19th in the ESPN power rankings.
The Seahawks have huge questions at quarterback as they currently possess former Vikings backup Tavaris Jackson as their starter. This could end up causing a midseason catastrophe, but Seattle has enough talent at other major positions to end up booking their second straight postseason spot.
With the newly acquired Sidney Rice leading a talented corps of wide receivers and Marshawn Lynch leading a solid ground attack, Seattle could end up giving one of the best fan bases in sports a whole lot to cheer about.
The Oakland Raiders shocked the football world last season when they finished 6-0 in the AFC West and competed for a division title.
Many have them as sleepers this year but ESPN has them ranked at a disappointing No. 23.
Oakland possesses one of the best running games in football as Darren McFadden and Michael Bush are known to leave opposing defenses scratching their heads.
The Raiders defense has shown an ability to be one of the most dynamic in the league, and Jason Campbell has unlimited potential at quarterback.
If everything falls in place, the Raiders could end up dominating the division once again, while also booking a spot in the 2011 playoffs.
The Tennessee Titans are being overrated by ESPN as they were placed No. 20 in their preseason power rankings.
Tennessee is coming off an extremely disappointing year, in which they finished last in the AFC South.
The franchise comes into the 2011 season with a lot of questions as star running back Chris Johnson is still holding out. The Titans defense can struggle mightily at times, putting the offense in gaping holes.
The Titans could be in for another disheartening year and could prove that they are not as talented as their ranking suggests.
St Louis is coming off a 7-9 season that saw them finish a game away from the postseason.
They possess a quarterback full of potential and a star running back, but the Rams do not deserve a spot higher than the Cowboys, Texans, and Seahawks, as they simply do not boast the talent those teams possess, on either side of the ball.
Early in the preseason, the Buccaneers have been grouped in with the elite teams of the NFL. They currently claim a spot in the top 12 of the ESPN power rankings and are a sexy pick to do a lot of damage throughout the season.
The Buccaneers have three young, talented offensive weapons full of potential in Josh Freeman, LeGarette Blount, and Mike Williams, but the team is still too young and inexperienced to be Super Bowl contenders in a division that boasts powerhouses like the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints, two teams that have had their shares of growing pains.
The New Orleans Saints are one of the most talented teams in the NFL, but they simply don't deserve the No. 4 spot in the ESPN preseason power rankings.
Coming off a shocking loss to the Seattle Seahawks early in last year's playoffs, the Saints are looking to prove that they are still one of the true powerhouses in the NFL.
Led by former Super Bowl MVP and star quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints boast one of the most potent offenses in all of football.
The New Orleans defense can struggle at times, but they have big-play ability and can perform like an elite group.
The Saints will make some noise this season, but they are not the forth-best team in the NFL right now.
It might seem strange to call one of the worst teams in football overrated, but the Carolina Panther's No. 30 ranking in the ESPN power rankings is just not justified.
Carolina is coming off a dismal 2-14 season, and they did little to improve this offseason. Despite re-signing some of their star free agents, such as Charles Johnson and DeAngelo Williams, the Panthers are relying on No. 1 pick Cam Newton to perform like a star right away.
But with no one to mentor Newton and a team that owns one of the worst defenses in football, the Panthers will likely compete for the No. 1 draft pick again this season.