NFL: Gameday Power Rankings

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The 2013 NFL season is upon us, and here is my first set of power rankings heading into tonight’s opener between the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos, which is a nice top-10 matchup based on these rankings:

 

1.       San Francisco 49ers:  49ers are top to bottom the best team in the NFL.  They may only finish with a 10-6 record, but don’t let that fool you.  This high powered offense is complimented by a powerful defense and an equally committed coaching staff.   MVP:  Aldon Smith

2.       Seattle Seahawks:  The Seahawks and the 49ers are going to slug it out for NFC West supremacy.  The NFC West is the toughest division in football this season and the completeness of the Seahawks and 49ers are exactly what the NFL is looking for.  Two juggernauts within their own division.  MVP:  Russell Wilson

3.       Atlanta Falcons:  Don’t let this one trick pony fool you, because they are just getting started.  With Matt Ryan now knowing what it takes to win the postseason and Julio Jones entering his 3rd season with the Falcons, the only thing standing in the way of the Falcons winning the NFC South is themselves.  MVP:  Matt Ryan

Aug 17, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

4.       Denver Broncos:  Finally, an AFC team.  The Broncos are still very salty after last year’s playoff loss, and 13-3 is not out of the realm of possibility and the Broncos should cruise through the regular season with the additions of Wes Welker and Montee Ball, but the loss of pro bowler Von Miller, and Manning’s inconsistency in the postseason could spell late season drama for the best in the west.  MVP:  Peyton Manning

5.       Indianapolis Colts:  This might be a surprise for some people, but this was an 11-5 team last season and one game away from winning the AFC South.  The only direction the Colts have gone is up and are quietly having a strong, productive offseason.  Look for 2nd year quarterback Andrew Luck to be given more responsibility and not have a sophomore slump.  MVP:  Andrew Luck

6.       New Orleans Saints:  Bring back Sean Payton and all is good in Who-Dat nation.  The Big Easy won’t have a big easy schedule, but look for the revamped Saints to be all in and all back in this season.  Drew Brees will be back to his high powered form, and the Saints defense is younger and improved.  They might be a sleeper to some, but don’t sleep on this team.  MVP:  Jimmy Graham

7.       Cincinnati Bengals:  Arguably the most unpredictable division in the NFL, the AFC North boasts one of the up and comers.  Cincinnati has added offense with Tyler Eifert and Gio Bernard, locked down Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap, added James Harrison, and don’t forget on offense, A.J. Green.  Biggest question?  Can Andy Dalton take the next step?  If he does, look for them deep into the postseason.  MVP:  Geno Atkins

8.       Houston Texans:  Yes, the Texans have beaten the Bengals twice in a row in the post season, but this team started off great last season and ended on a down note.  The Texans have taken a step back with age and lack of defensive playmakers, but the well managed and well coached Texans will be fighting the Colts for AFC South supremacy and another trip to the postseason.  MVP:  Arian Foster

9.       Green Bay Packers:  The Packers have lost a few players, gained a few players and most of all kept the ones they needed to keep.  What does this mean for Green Bay?  Oh nothing, just another dominant winning season and NFC North championship.  The Packers have too many question marks to compete fully with the other NFC elite, but don’t sleep on this recent Super Bowl champ.  MVP:  Aaron Rodgers

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Tags: Baltimore Ravens Denver Broncos NFL Preseason