Finally, my first sports post. With the chaos of Avengers: Endgame it was hard not to write about the MCU (you can check out my rankings of the MCU to this point and my review of Avengers: Endgame here, https://buckytalks.com/2019/05/16/buckyranks-the-22-movies-in-the-mcu/ and https://buckytalks.com/2019/05/22/buckyreviews-avengers-endgame/ ).
With the 2019 NFL Draft and Free Agency period in the past, it’s a great time to look at all the NFL teams going into OTAs. Consider this a power ranking of all 32 NFL teams. I’m just going off my gut and my knowledge of where the teams are headed into the season. Then, I’ll write a couple sentences as to why I think they rank where I put them and how they look going into the 2019 regular season.
32. Miami Dolphins
The acquisition of Josh Rosen is a solid move, although I’m not sure it does the Dolphins any good in his first season with the team. They have a new coach and they just don’t have the talent to win many games this year.
31. Arizona Cardinals
I loved the Cardinals 2019 draft class. No, I’m not a huge Kyler Murray fan either (#HookEm). I think their Day 2 and 3 selections were the strongest parts of their offseason. However, until I see Kyler Murray play for a quarter – half of a season, it’s hard to place them any higher in my rankings.
30. Washington Redskins
The Redskins are in a rebuilding state whether they want to admit it or not. With Alex Smith’s brutal leg injury, the Redskins will have to settle for either journeyman Case Keenum or rookie Dwayne Haskins. Expect this team to struggle and to have a new coach next season.
29. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals actually have a lot of solid talent on the offensive side. AJ Green is still one of the best (when he’s healthy) and Joe Mixon is a young, up-and-coming running back. Their defense still lacks talent though, and with a new coach and Andy Dalton still calling the shots, I don’t have a high ceiling for them at all.
28. Denver Broncos
This may come as a shock to some, but I really expect Denver to struggle this year. They will have an alright defense as long as Von Miller is there, but I don’t particularly like their offense. Joe Flacco has seen his best days, the offensive line greatly regressed, Emanuel sanders is older, etc. Phillip Lindsay is a stud, that’s about it.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers have made yet another coaching change. I was very surprised to see Ariana come back from retirement and I really like him as a coach. I just don’t think Winston is the franchise guy and they just don’t have enough talent to make a push for the playoffs.
26. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders can’t possibly be a worse team than last year, right? That’s TBD, but their offseason was interesting. Antonio Brown is an upgrade, but has baggage. Their draft wasn’t particularly great to me. Mainly because taking Ferrell at #4 is very questionable.
25. New York Giants
The Giants had a crazy offseason, for better or for worse (probably worse). Without the deep threat of Odell, defenses will stack the box in order to stop Barkley. Although I think Barkley will still put up numbers, Eli Manning is still QB. The defense didn’t get better either.
24. Detroit Lions
The Lions have been mediocre for years and I don’t expect that to change this year. I just don’t trust Matt Patricia at head coach. They may not be the worse team, but they will be far from the best.
23. New York Jets
Talent wise, the Jets should be pushing a top-15 ranking. With the poorly timed firing of their GM, I fully expect there to be drama in the front office and locker room. Adam Gase is going down a Chip Kelly path, and Jets fans should be scared.
22. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are a playoff-worthy team most years, but this year I believe they will take a decent step back. Cam Newton isn’t 100% and not the 2015 form of himself and I don’t believe the Panthers got any better. The secondary is still leaky and the offensive line has been struggling. I expect Cam to miss a good chunk of the season and they will be pushing a top-10 draft pick in 2020.
21. Tennessee Titans
The Titans came one game away from a playoff birth in 2018, which was impressive with Mariota missing time. I like the defense and playmakers on offense, but I don’t think Mariota or Tannehill can help this team be better than they have been recently.
20. Buffalo Bills
I honestly think the Bills are a surprise team for 2019. I like what Josh Allen brings to the table and their defense is always solid with Sean McDermott at coach. The only reason why I don’t have them higher is because I don’t know if Josh Allen can stay healthy a full season.
19. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens snuck into the playoffs last season after Pittsburgh completely collapsed. However, I’m not sure Lamar Jackson will be able to make the crucial throws when he needs to. He will be a weapon with his legs, but his arm is questionable. The defense also lost some key players this offseason.
18. Houston Texans
I really like the Texans. DeShaun Watson is already arguably the best QB in Texans’ history and DeAndre Hopkins is a top 5 receiver in the NFL. However, the secondary didn’t get any better and their offensive line was the worst in the league last year.
17. Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings were supposed to be a Kirk Cousins away from a Super Bowl berth last season. They were wrong. Cousins just has never shown up in big games. I don’t think the Vikings got significantly better this offseason either. I expect the Vikings to be able to win some games, but ultimately miss the playoffs
16. Cleveland Browns
The hype train for the Browns is already full. I do think this team has a shot to push for a playoff berth or a division crown. However, I can’t say how good they will be. Baker is a stud and can play good ball in crucial moments, but all we know is this team is good on paper, nothing else. Still, I expect this team to have a basement of 6 wins and a ceiling of 10 wins.
15. Jacksonville Jaguars
It would be naive to think the Jags have no shot at a playoff berth after making it to the AFC Championship game in 2017. Last year, their biggest issue was by far Bortles. They fixed that with Foles. With the talent they have on defense, I would not be surprised to see them on Wildcard Sunday.
14. San Francisco 49ers
This team is hard to rank. If Garappollo actually plays a full season, they should be alright. That’s a big if though. They have the talent on the defensive line now with Nick Bosa to win the tench battle. It’s do or die for Jimmy G though.
13. Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson got a huge deal, and rightfully so. He’s easily been a top 5 QB since entering the league. They don’t really have any huge stars outside of Wilson though. I expect them to push for a playoff berth even though they are in a very competitive NFC West division.
12. Chicago Bears
Khalil Mack made the Bears a playoff team last season. Their defense was easily the best in the league. They did lose their defensive coordinator to the Broncos though. I like what Matt Nagy is doing with the offense, but Trubisky really has to take that big step up this year for the Bears to be serious contenders.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have has a rough offseason. Losing Le’Veon bell and Antonio Brown to the Jets and Raiders, respectively. I think the defense will be solid with the addition of Devin Bush and I think the offense will be okay with James Conner and Juju replacing the aforementioned Bell and Brown.
10. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys made a surprising turnaround last season once they traded for Amari Cooper. Obviously, that was a great trade on their part. Cooper is a legit threat at WR. With Dak entering a contract year, I expect the Cowboys to be neck-and-neck with Philly for the NFC East crown.
9. Green Bay Packers
The Packers had a very disappointing season last year. They missed the playoffs for the second season in a row. However, I believe as long as they are consistently healthy, they should be able to take the MFC North crown back from the Bears.
8. Philadelphia Eagles
Fly Eagles Fly! That’s right, the Philadelphia Eagles are my personal favorite team. I tried to keep a level head with them though. I do expect to get a 100% healthy Wentz to at least start the season. As long as he’s on the field, the Eagles have virtually no holes on the team and can push for another Super Bowl. In Wentz We Trust.
7. Los Angeles Chargers
I almost feel like this may be a bit too high for the Chargers. They are an all around good time, but I just don’t see them making it further than they did last year. They have a lot of players that are injury-prone, but they are great when they play. Also, Phillip Rivers is another year older.
6. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons got hit hard with the injury bug, especially on defense. That was their downfall. They didn’t have an awful season last year, but missed the playoffs regardless. I fully expect them to make playoffs this season, even with a fully loaded Saints team in their division.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes was on fire all last year. He totally carried my fantasy team single-handedly and was arguably my best fantasy draft pick ever. However, I don’t expect him to put up 50 TDs for a second year in a row. There’s a lot going on with Tyreek Hill’s off the field issues and they didn’t get any better on defense. I do expect this team to win at least 10 games.
4. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts were a nice surprise last year. After missing just about 2 seasons to a shoulder injury, Andrew Luck finally had a full season under his belt and didn’t disappoint. Their offensive line was easily the best in the league last year too. With a more balanced defense this year, don’t be surprised if they win the AFC South and find themselves in the AFC Championship game or even the Super Bowl.
3. Los Angeles Rams
After their offensive was completely shut down in Super Bowl III, it’ll be interesting to see how the Rams do this year. I do think they will regress, but still win a slightly competitive NFC West division. I would not be surprised if they found a way back to the big game. McVay is the brightest head coach in the league who will be there for years to come.
2. New Orleans Saints
Saints fans are probably wondering what kind of season-ending heartbreak they will face this year after the last two devastating losses in the postseason. I think that this is their last opportunity for a Super Bowl in the Drew Brees era. I fully expect them to play like it too.
1. New England Patriots
Like this is a surprise. I had a cousin over this weekend and he’s a Dolphins fan. He’s claiming that New England will “suck” this year. Although losing Gronkowski is noteworthy, I will always expect New England to be one of the final teams remaining at the end of the season, until proven otherwise.
So there it is! My ranking of all 32 NFL teams during the 2019 offseason. Who do you think is the best of the best? Give me your rankings in the comment section below!
I’ve been receiving positive feedback on my Endgame post, so I just want people to know what do you want me to write about?? I’ll probably do another sports post here soon, but I am always open to different and new ideas.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend,