If you have followed me for a while, dating back to my Troll Jock Sports days (2014), you will recognize these. This is my power rankings where I list each team and rank them, week-by-week. I enjoyed doing this very much, and this was probably my most popular item done with TJS. I have been given permission by my sports mentor and friend Mike Salvitti to continue these here, so here it goes!! Here’s where my power rankings stand headed into the 2015 NFL regular season!
32. Tennessee Titans — I love Mariota and his potential (more so than Winston) but he has nobody around him. Their defense is only improved because it can’t get much worse. Entering this season the worst in the league.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars — The Colts/Texans are thrilled I rank their rivals bottom two of the league. I feel after Jacksonville lost Dante Fowler for the season and them losing Julius Thomas for the first month or so, that will come back to bite them. Obviously, who wouldn’t take that hit of their two biggest offseason acquisitions? All you can hope for is improvement out of Bortles.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — And this makes the bottom 3 of the 2014 season, the bottom 3 headed into the 2015 season. This may show my bias, but I don’t see Winston having a good rookie year. He has weapons, so that helps, and Lovie’s in his second year. But they’re #30 until proven better.
29. Chicago Bears — This team traded away Brandon Marshall and lost Kevin White for an undisclosed time. And it still has Jay Cutler as their starter. Must I even touch on their defense?
28. San Fransisco 49ers — It seems like once they tipped over the Jim Harbaugh domino, all the others seemed to fall in place with offseason losses, detrimental ones too. In a tough division, I see them finishing dead last, and it being an ugly season too.
27. Oakland Raiders — Continuing the trend from 28 with bad fields, I place the Raiders 27th. I have high hopes for youngins Carr, Cooper, and Mack, but I can’t put Oakland higher than this without seeing it work out on the field.
26. Cleveland Browns — This is another team I wanted to put higher, but with QB uncertainty, along with RB uncertainty, along with WR uncertainty, I can’t put a team like this in the top 25 right now. This defense, if Shelton works out, may show flashes though.
25. New York Jets — With this defense, this team can soar up into the Top 10 and surprise a lot of people. But too many question marks with the Jets. Maybe Bowles will prove to be a good thing for Gang Green.
24. Atlanta Falcons — To me, they aren’t much better on offense or defense. They don’t have a tough division, but was this division good to begin with? Doesn’t make Atlanta any better.
23. Carolina Panthers — Speaking of the NFC South, I put the division winners of that division here. If Kelvin Benjamin wasn’t lost for the entire year, this may be different, but I see a bad year for Cam, the offense, and the Panthers. *I’ll continue with these Power Rankings before I’m assassinated by a fellow Carolinian, but delusional Panthers fan*
22. Minnesota Vikings — Everyone’s hyped about Bridgewater and Peterson together. Slow your role. Let’s see how Teddy B handles the Sophomore Slump.
21. Washington Redskins — They’re a step up with offensive line improvement, as well as naming Kirk Cousins the starter. They may be building towards something more than people realize. But doesn’t make them top-2o material.
20. Houston Texans — Yes, the Texans have an outstanding defense, but there’s questions on how this offense will play. Plus, how many times do you see a Hard Knocks team succeed?
19. Philadelphia Eagles — Many feel they are NFC East favorites, but that’s laughable. They may have an All-IR Team in 2015, and you can’t take away your best passer, rusher, and receiver, and expect to win.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers — Pennsylvania guys hate me, but I want to see how this defense does. I believe it’s pathetic, and I’ve been told by SAL it’s going to be pathetic. I’ve seen a bad D with a great O, and it results in 8-8, and that’s why they’re near the middle of the pack.
17. New Orleans Saints — Yes, I’ve ranked the the best NFC South team at number 17. This was a weak division last year, but I think it’s NOLA’s time. They are under the radar and I think they’ll benefit with Peat/Unger, as well as embracing Mark Ingram.
16. St. Louis Rams — I would like to rank them higher, but can’t with this division’s toughness. Also unknown how big Todd Gurley will be for the team, but interested to see how Foles does.
15. Arizona Cardinals — Hate me for this, but I don’t see them having nearly as much success as last year, especially after losing defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Now Palmer’s every move will be critiqued with high standards.
14. New York Giants — Very underrated. The biggest competition in the NFC East. If Cruz and Beckham can play up to their ability, this defense looks good enough to help the offense. Could be Coughlin’s last run, and wouldn’t be surprised to see them play in mid-January.
13. Miami Dolphins — People are setting their expectations far too high for this club. 2-3 years away from really getting things going, and if we learned anything from the Lions, Suh doesn’t make anyone a playoff team and Super Bowl contender. Calm down!
12. Baltimore Ravens — This year’s Carolina Panthers. Lose top receiver, yet have a great defense and a trail mix QB. Could win the division.
11. Cincinnati Bengals — The AFC North is weak this year, just for my own opinion. I won’t be surprised if the Bengals are in the bottom 10 of the league one point this season because of quarterback play.
10. Detroit Lions — Hard to deny this team their success last season, as I called them the Detroit FOOTball Lions because of their kicking game. I think they’re improved with Laken Tomlinson and Haloti Ngata as a suitable replacement for Suh. Had tough exit from postseason last year, so will be interesting to watch this team bounce back, if they do.
9. Buffalo Bills — To me, this is the best team to contend in the AFC East, though all teams could end up doing so. Interesting to see how Tyrod Taylor does in his opportunity to lead a NFL team as the guy. Plus, LeSean McCoy added in the mix, and their defense seems to be good, and not to mention the excitement Rex Ryan brings to a new team.
8. Kansas City Chiefs — Improved their offense, as well as Eric Berry’s return. I don’t know if this team will stick around, but they have Arrowhead Stadium and the Kool-Aid Man in their favor.
7. San Diego Chargers — Everyone’s waiting for this team to make that leap. Can they use the running back committee to help relieve Rivers and boost this team? Will Philip be more motivated than ever to get this team over the hump? A lot of questions, but a promising year ahead.
6. Dallas Cowboys — As a Dallas fan, I’m excited about this season, but I don’t trust our linebacker depth, nor our secondary after Scandrick’s injury. Plus, no team has won the NFC East back-to-back years since the Eagles had four straight division titles from 2001-2004.
5. Indianapolis Colts — I don’t know how they improved this offseason. Andre Johnson and Phillip Dorsett, okay… Frank Gore and Trent Cole, okay… I don’t see anything that shouts “Super Bowl Champs” to me, but they are in weak division. They must get past the Patriots, which they’ve failed to even come close. They’ll blame that on the balls though.
4. Green Bay Packers — Would like to rank this team higher than this, but after losing Jordy Nelson to a torn ACL, it’s hard to. Also, Randall Cobb’s battling a minor injury right now, that hopefully won’t plague him throughout the season. Rodgers may have a great chance to win his second Super Bowl though, the same year the Packers induct Favre in the Hall. How special will it be to surpass Favre’s 1 Super Bowl this year?
3. New England Patriots — But they’re the defending champs? Yes, but you lost Vince Wilfork, Darrelle Revis, Shane Vereen, and your quarterback couldn’t win the pressured games without deflated balls last year. I honestly thought about putting the Chargers ahead of them. I’ll give the Pats the benefit of the doubt, so let’s see.
2. Denver Broncos — Should be someone’s favorite in the AFC as they return most of the players from last year, and Gary Kubiak is coming in. I never liked John Fox. If this team can stay healthy, they can be a force to be reckoned with.
1. Seattle Seahawks — One play from being back-to-back Super Bowl champs. You add Jimmy Graham. Cary Williams might have a better year than Maxwell had for the LOB last year. Truly, if the Max Unger loss doesn’t come back to haunt them, they’ll be better than fine.
So yes, I apparently ranked the Super Bowl 48 teams #2 and #1… You can’t sue me. We’ll see how this season pans out. I’m sure the rankings headed into Week 16 or 17 will look completely different than what I have here before the Steelers-Patriots kickoff. That’s just the NFL for ya!