2017 NFL Power Rankings
1. New England Patriots
No team had a better off-season than the Patriots, and they were already the champs.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
If Ben Roethlisberger and Martavis Bryant can make amends and if they can maintain better overall health of key players, they could give the Patriots a run for their money.
3. Oakland Raiders
Marshawn Lynch is a nice piece, but their success depends on if their defense can get it together this year.
4. Atlanta Falcons
Kyle Shanahan’s departure might end up being a much bigger deal than currently being discussed. He has had success at places, left, and then the team does much worse. But the Falcons deserve a high-ranking until they play a few games.
5. Green Bay Packers
The offensive line is a bit of a concern, but they have been able to scheme around problems in the past.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The hot team for 2017, the Bucs had a great off-season with free agent signings and an excellent draft.
7. Dallas Cowboys
A couple of losses on the offensive line are a concern, but they revamped their defense, and should continue to pound the ball on opposing teams.
8. New York Giants
Will their offense come together with a major free agent signing at wide receiver and adding a dynamic tight end in the draft? Left tackle is still a worry.
9. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks’ rebuilding plan started two years ago, and a lot of young players are entering their second and third year. Their running game and pass protection will need to improve if they can get back to their dominating ways.
10. Kansas City Chiefs
Even after a head-scratching off-season, the Chiefs are still built to win this year. Questionable play calling late in games will have to improve.
11. Miami Dolphins
Adam Gase seems to have stabilized the offense, but Tannehill simply has to be more productive, and their run defense has to improve.
12. Detroit Lions
An injury to their talented new left tackle has been a setback to an otherwise good off-season that included some major improvements to the roster.
13. Tennessee Titans
One of the trendy picks of a team to make a big jump this year, the Titans finally have the weapons needed on offense to establish a dynamic attack.
14. Houston Texans
With terrible QB play last year, the Texans still got to the playoffs behind a superb defense. The coach and young QB need to get in a rhythm in order for this team to take the next step.
15. Washington Redskins
A tumultuous off-season and some roster departures are troubling, but they were very close to being a very good team last year.
16. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals lost a lot of games last year that they should have won. They lost some key pieces to their defense, but were also able to get younger at several positions.
17. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles added a number of veterans to one year deals, so 2017 could be a year with a lot of players playing for big contracts. But was that smart for the long-term?
18. Denver Broncos
Who is the QB and how soon will that position be settled? The Broncos couldn’t run or stop the run last year, and their improvement on both elements will determine their success in 2017.
19. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers added two hybrid rb/wr’s that should help alleviate pressure on their QB. However, their key addition to their offensive line is questionable.
20. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens went all in on defense in the draft, but their problem last year was their offense. They have to find a scheme that works for their
21. Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers were simply a much better team than their record indicated. With additions to the offensive line, they should be able to run out leads better than they did last year.
22. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts had one of the best off-seasons of any team, but the team’s success is going to depend upon Luck’s health.
23. Minnesota Vikings
With a full year to adopt the West coast offense that they put in during the middle of last year, the Vikings are a very difficult team to project. They might have found their next great RB, however.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars
This ranking is based on the assumption that the coaching change and major structural change will finally allow the talented Jaguars to start winning. They had a very good defense last year that only added talent, and played better after firing their coach.
25. New Orleans Saints
The defense made some strides last year, and they have continued to add pieces to it. The question is will they get it together before Father Time catches up with Brees?
26. Buffalo Bills
The front seven of the defense will be interesting to watch, as that will be what this team will be built upon in the near future. The run game will continue to be a focus of the offense, as the assess their QB situation.
27. Cincinnati Bengals
Several years of a talent exodus has taken its toll. The loss of their talented offensive coordinator a year ago didn’t help, either.
28. Chicago Bears
The Bears’ draft was puzzling, to be kind, but at the end of last year they started to play much better. How quickly will Trubisky see the field?
29. San Francisco 49ers
Are the 49ers simply waiting for Cousins in 2018? It appears the case, but they didn’t reach for a QB in the draft, and added a lot of talent in the off-season.
30. Los Angeles Rams
After years of an out of date, predictable offense, the Rams finally made a move at head coach. At this stage, it is wait and see for how the new coaching staff will do.
31. Cleveland Browns
The Browns are in year 2 of the most drastic roster overhaul in recent memory. Will they get their rookie QB on the field this year?
32. New York Jets
The Jets were stuck with an aging and under-performing roster, and have been extremely bold with their rebuilding effort. All eyes will be on the QB play this year.
Also published on Medium.