Every year, we rank the teams in the NFL, often to many arguments on why the practice is ridiculous. But we still keep on doing it. There is something to be said to see your team ranked top 10, top 5, or as the top team in the NFL.
Week 1 of the 2014 season is near impossible to rank, as many changes in the offseason are impossible to gauge. Some teams will step up into the limelight, while others will regress to have subpar seasons.
So for Week 1, I’m going to keep it simple and rank the teams on how they finished the season last year. It’s what we know and for the most part many teams won’t improve that much.
1. Seattle Seahawks – If you win the Super Bowl and keep your core intact, you’re going to have a good time. Seattle remains No. 1 until unseated.
2. Denver Broncos – The Broncos got whopped upon, but I know they weren’t as bad a team as they showed in the Super Bowl. Since the team is considered improved and still has The Sheriff in Peyton Manning leading them, they remain ranked No. 2.
3. San Francisco 49ers – Lots of offseason issues (injuries, airports, abuse, etc.) could make the 49ers the likeliest team to experience a drop-off, but don’t expect a big one if they do. Grudgingly, the 49ers' front office has kept the team loaded with multiple seven-plus-pick drafts the past few years.
4. New England Patriots – They’re like the San Antonio Spurs, but scandalous. They have their core guys who keep producing despite getting older, and they keep reloading with seemingly odd-ball drafts. They may be a tough team to predict going forward.
5. Carolina Panthers – This is another team likely to regress. They lost a ton of talent on both sides of the ball, and Cam Newton has been a good quarterback but doesn’t seem to be able to elevate his team like a Drew Brees, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning can do.
6. New Orleans Saints – As long as Brees holds the reins, this team will be tough to beat. They have made some defensive improvements but still appear to have some big weaknesses. On offense they will continue to be nearly impossible to stop.
7. San Diego Chargers – With a four-game win streak to finish the season, the Chargers sneaked into the playoffs and got a win over Cincinnati. With a new offensive coordinator, it is hard to say how the Chargers will play going forward.
8. Cincinnati Bengals – This year's underrated team (again?). They have a stout defense and quarterback Andy Dalton is money the first half of the season. Seriously, check his splits. Once they get to the playoffs, this ranking is likely to change.
9. Arizona Cardinals – This is my first big cheat as the Cardinals didn’t make the playoffs, but there is no way the Colts or Chiefs were a better football team at the end of the season. Honestly, only the top three teams were better than Arizona last season and that was by a small margin. Hopefully, despite the personnel losses, this remains true.
10. Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles played awesome football at the end of the season and, like the Cardinals, probably deserve to be ranked higher. But since I can’t predict their team next season I kept them here. They will likely climb as the season unfolds.
11. Indianapolis Colts - The Colts finished the season 4-1 and, despite having a better record than Arizona and Philly, I can’t rank them above either. Their schedule wasn’t near as challenging.
12. Kansas City Chiefs – Winners of 11 games in 2013, they are likely the second team to see a major regression after losing most of their line and some other key players.
12. San Diego Chargers – With a four-game win streak to finish the season, the Chargers sneaked into the playoffs and got a win over Cincinnati. With a new offensive coordinator, it is hard to say how the Chargers will play going forward.
14. Baltimore Ravens
15. Chicago Bears
16. Dallas Cowboys
17. Miami Dolphins
18. New York Jets
20. Detroit Lions
21. New York Giants
22. St. Louis Rams
23. Tennessee Titans
24. Buffalo Bills
26. Atlanta Falcons
27. Cleveland Browns
29. Oakland Raiders
32. Houston Texans
Agree? Disagree? Let's hear your thoughts!