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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

NFL Power Rankings - Week 1

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NFL Power Rankings
Week 1
September 2, 2014

Back at it and better than ever! My oh my is it nice to finally have NFL football to distract us night and day for the next five months. We are kicking off the season in style with our weekly NFL Power Rankings. Be sure to join us each week to see where your team stands.

Why, you may ask, are defending Super Bowl Champs not ranked #1 to kick off the season? Simply put, its just way too hard to repeat in this league. Players leaving from free agency, injuries, complacency, opponents getting up for the chance to knock off the champs, Super Bowl hangover -- all just a sampling of reasons why the Seahawks won't repeat. Don't get me wrong -- they are and still will be a very good football team. They just won't represent the NFC in the big game this year.

Coming in at #1 to kick off the season are the Denver Broncos. They made a very conscious effort this off-season to improve their defense. The additions of Damarcus Ware and Aquib Talib will go a long way toward trying to balance what had been a very offense heavy team. With Peyton Manning back in the fold for another season the offense will still draw all the attention, but at the the end of the day it will be the defense that gets them back to the big game this season.

In a bit of a surprise we have the Green Bay Packers at #2 to start the year. A Rodgers-Manning Super Bowl would be nice now wouldn't it? Rodgers is back at 100%. Breakout star runningback Edie Lacy now has a full season in the offense under his belt. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are both back and healthy. The offense has what it takes to beat some of the great defenses in their conference (Seattle & San Francisco). The big question mark remains on the defensive side of the ball. The Packers spend 3 of their first 5 picks of this year's draft on defense including saftey Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round in an effort to beef up what clearly was a weakness at times last year.

As mentioned before, the Seahawks likely will not repeat but they are still a very very good football team. It will be interesting to see how the defense responds this season after beating team up physically last season. They NFL's emphasis on defensive contact this pre-season was a direct result of what Seattle was able to do to opponents much of last year. The other big question mark appears to be Marshawn Lynch. We held out briefly and those around the team question his desire to play at the same level he has for the past several seasons. The Seahawks kick off the 2014 season at home with a big test against Green Bay. This game could set the ton for a power shift in the NFC.

At #4 this week is the team that never seems to go away in the New England Patriots. Tom Brady and company will once again be in the mix in the AFC. They made some great moves in the off-season to sure up the secondary in the additions of Darrell Revis and Brandon Browner. The big question mark remains who Tom Brady will throw the ball to. Can Rob Gronkowski or Danny Amendola stay healthy for a full season? Will one of the young guys who showed glimpses last season take the next step? Who is the real Brandan LaFell? The sooner they can answer those questions the faster the Pats can get on track and challenge the Broncos for the AFC title.

The New Orleans Saints round out our top five this week. As long as Drew Brees stays healthy the Saints will always be in the mix in the NFC. He is the best quarterback in the NFL at this point in his career and the team goes as he goes. The addition of Jairus Byrd adds a nice spark to the defensive side of the ball. If the defense can bend but not break this season the Saints could surprise some people this season.

Where does your team rank this week?


Rank
Team
1 Denver Broncos
2 Green Bay Packers
3 Seattle Seahawks
4 New England Patriots
5 New Orleans Saints
6 Cincinnati Bengals
7 San Francisco 49ers
8 Arizona Cardinals
9 Philadelphia Eagles
10 Atlanta Falcons
11 San Diego Chargers
12 Pittsburgh Steelers
13 Baltimore Ravens
14 Chicago Bears
15 Indianapolis Colts
16 Detroit Lions
17 New York Giants
18 Kansas City Chiefs
19 Miami Dolphins
20 St. Louis Rams
21 New York Jets
22 Carolina Panthers
23 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
24 Tennessee Titans
25 Dallas Cowboys
26 Washington Redskins
27 Minnesota Vikings
28 Cleveland Browns
29 Buffalo Bills
30 Jacksonville Jaguars
31 Houston Texans
32 Oakland Raiders

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