NFL: Gameday Power Rankings

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Aug 22, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) eludes the tackle of Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) at M

10.   Baltimore Ravens:  It’s hard to make a top 10 power rankings and not include the Ravens.  This team is kind of an enigma at the moment.  Too many questions to rank them any higher, yet the reigning Super Bowl champs could be a number one or two team.  The Ravens may start kind of slow this season, but look for them to take flight during the second half of the season.  MVP:  Ray Rice.

11.   New England Patriots:  The uncanny tumultuous offseason the Patriots have endured, including the Tebow tryout is the reason for not being in the top ten.  Are the Patriots the best in the AFC East?  Yes.  However, they can be beaten by any of the other top 10 teams.  New England will come out strong and try to finish off teams early, but too many questions and not enough answers late in the season will hinder Bellechik and the Patriots.  MVP:  Tom Brady

12.   Washington Redskins:  The health of RGIII and the strength of the Redskins defense will steer the ship for this NFC East contender.  If Griffin can stay healthy and make the plays everyone thinks he can, then this is a top 10 team, no doubt.  Everything depends on what RG3 can do, and if his twice reconstructed knee can hold.  MVP:  Alfred Morris

13.   Dallas Cowboys:  Really this team is interchangeable with the Redskins.  Almost equal as far as explosiveness and with the new contract, Tony Romo will be looking to put up MVP type numbers.  Not so fast though.  The Cowboys have failed to show up in meaningful games the past two years, so until they can get over that hump, they will always be behind someone in their division.  MVP:  Dez Bryant

14.   Minnesota Vikings:  The Vikings are an interesting one.  Tons of talent running the ball, solid defense, good special teams and a tight end who can catch nearly everything.  Biggest question mark?  Christian Ponder.  If Ponder can consistently make plays and not get in the way of Adrian Peterson, then the Vikings have a real shot at winning the NFC North.  MVP:  Adrian Peterson

15.   Pittsburgh Steelers:  The Steel Curtain, getting a little rusty with age.  Since going to the Super Bowl against Green Bay, the Steelers have only gone backwards.  2011, losing to Tebow and the Broncos in the first round of the playoffs, to not even making the playoffs courtesy of the up and coming Bengals.  Losing Mike Wallace on offense, Keenan Lewis and James Harrison on defense, look for Pittsburgh to take a bigger step back.  MVP:  Jarvis Jones

16.   St. Louis Rams:  The Rams look to be improved under Jeff Fisher and Sam Bradford is in a put up or shut up year.  The Rams add Tavon Austin, rookie from West Virginia at receiver and continue to have a dominant defense that has finished in the top ten in the past three seasons.  The NFC West looks to be wrapped up, but not if the Rams have anything to say about it.  MVP:  Sam Bradford.

17.   Chicago Bears:  It is hard to keep Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall out of the top half of the power rankings, but the fall off from last season is leaving a bad taste in just about everyone’s mouth.  New Head Coach Marc Trestman is looking to change the tide, and bring the Bears back to the top of the NFC North.  No more Brian Urlacher, a sketchy offensive line, and a tough schedule is very scary for this Bears team.  MVP:  Brandon Marshall

18.   Miami Dolphins:  Definitely a team on the up and up.  Inconsistent play and not knowing what to expect out of Ryan Tannehill puts this team at 18.  Mike Wallace accompanying Brian Hartline, and a solid defense really help the Dolphins, who might surprise us all and go for a wild card spot.  MVP:  Cameron Wake

19.   New York Giants:  A team that under Tom Coughlin is seemingly in it every year.  Eli Manning is rock steady, but so many injuries early on especially to the offensive line might be too much to overcome.  This is either a 10-6 team or a 6-10 non competitive team.  MVP:  Eli Manning

20.   Kansas City Chiefs:  With the additions of Alex Smith, the running of Jamaal Charles and new head coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs are a second wild card team on a lot of people’s lists.  Part of this is the Chiefs are making the right moves, but if Smith doesn’t produce, then what?  This could be a case of the perfect storm where the Chiefs are a wild card team, or it could be more of the same underachieving group.  Too many questions here.  MVP:  Tamba Hali

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Topics: Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, NFL Preseason

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