NFL Power Ratings for Week One of the NFL
When trying to come up with NFL power ratings, there are a lot of things to consider, especially for week one of the NFL season. Teams in the National Football League have a lot of turnover from year to year in the league, and with the NFL now handing out suspensions like fried whatever at your State’s fair, things are even more in flux.
I decided that it would be good to get my power ratings out there. These can be used for betting of course, but, as always when it comes to placing wagers on sporting events, this information is for recreational purposes only of course. Of course.
If you do want to use these NFL power ratings for predictions for week one, just subtract the two totals in parenthesis, add three points for the home field advantage to the home team and…you have a line that probably isn’t even close. For example, take the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. Say, they were playing in New England, the Patriots have a rating of 29.8, and the Falcons have a rating of 28.2. On a neutral field, that would be a spread of about 1.6, with the Pats being favored over the Falcons. Considering the game is in New England however, we’d add approx. three points making the game -4.6 for New England…you get the idea. So without further blabbing from me…lets get to it.
- New England Patriots (29.82) The New England Patriots are coming off another Super Bowl victory and…I think they may even be better. Brady shows no signs of slowing down, and with a healthy Gronk and the addition of Brandin Cooks, this offense looks like it will just roll to 40 points per game every time out. They just need to stay healthy, otherwise they’ll only score like 35 per game or so.
- Atlanta Falcons (28.16) I’m kind of hesitant to put the Falcons in this spot, as I fear the Super Bowl hangover for Atl. The Falcons also lost their OC and a lot of assistant coaches on the offensive side of the ball, but the defense should be improved and if the offense can even come close to what the Falcons O did last season, Atl will be a tough out every week.
- Dallas Cowboys (26.13) The Dallas Cowboys have a stacked roster, but there are questions on the defensive side of the ball, as well as, yes, some O-line depth questions there in Dallas. With Zeke missing the first 6 games due to suspension it is important for the Cowboys to remain healthy and not get behind the eight ball early on. Fortunately for them, I don’t see the rest of the NFC East doing a whole lot this season so Dallas should still, even Zeke-less be in the driver’s seat for the division.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (25.46) Like the Cowboys, or I guess any team in the NFL for that matter, the Steelers need to remain healthy. Pittsburgh doesn’t have the dominant defense they once had, but the offense has plenty of weapons to make up for it. If Bell, Brown and Big Ben can stay on the field this season, Pittsburgh will be tough, especially at Heinz Field where Ben really plays his best. Also, Bell needs to actually join the team at some point.
- Green Bay Packers (24.81) Aaron Rodgers. The Packers have Aaron Rodgers, who is arguably the best signal caller in the league right now. With Rodgers on the field and healthy, the Packers can beat anyone at any time. Green Bay will lose some games this season they shouldn’t, just like they do every year, but come playoff time expect the Packers to be right in the mix again.
- Kansas City Chiefs (23.76) The Kansas City Chiefs are here in my sixth spot, but I’ll be quick to drop them if they show me signs of regression, especially if there starts to be a QB controversy brewing. Chief fans really want to see their new toy in Pat Mahomes, and if Alex Smith drops a few games early, look for the fans, and possibly the ownership to pressure the staff into making a mid-season change.
- Seattle Seahawks (23.68) I really don’t like Seattle. Like, really. That being the case, Seattle is good at football and Russell Wilson, although weird and off-putting is a pretty good QB I guess. Seattle should be good again I guess. Whatever.
- Denver Broncos (23.13) The question with the Broncos is their QB play. If Denver can get just adequate play from their signal callers, look for the Broncos to compete in the tough AFC West. If Denver struggles under center however, I really could see the Broncos being a six win team and finishing in the basement of their tough division.
- Philadelphia Eagles (22.78) Fly Eagles Fly baby! Actually, I’m not a huge fan of the Eagles, that opening statement was for a select few of my family, who likely won’t read this anyway. Carson Wentz is the story here. The Eagles gave the second year Quarterback plenty of weapons to work with, now its up to him to deliver. If Wentz can come through, the Eagles could compete with the Cowboys for the top spot in the NFC East. Just remember though, this is the Eagles we are talking about…so they’ll screw it up somehow.
- Oakland Raiders (22.57) The Oakland Raiders are coming off a tremendous season, but there are questions heading into 2017. The Raiders had a point differential of just 33 points last season, and they play a much tougher schedule this time around. The Raiders should still be a good team and in contention for the playoffs again, especially with that offense, but I expect Oakland to regress towards the mean a bit this year.
- Arizona Cardinals (21.43) Every team needs to stay healthy of course, but no team needs that more than perhaps the Cards. The Cardinals have an aging…nah, old quarterback in Carson Palmer, and really nobody behind him that can help this team compete. If Palmer and Fitzy can stay healthy, the Cards can compete with Seattle for the NFC West title, but even with Johnson in the backfield, if the Cards get banged up again, the floor is low for this squad.
- Minnesota Vikings (21.26) The Minnesota Vikings started off last season as one of the top teams in the league. I actually think the Vikings were playing a bit ahead of themselves at that time, but now, the Vikings could, if things go well, compete with the Pack for the division. The Vikings will still have one of the top defenses in the league, and Minny now has slingin’ Sammy under center for another year. If the offense can move the ball, the Vikings could shoot up this list quickly and compete for the divisional crown once again. Just don’t let the playoffs come down to a field goal…
- Carolina Panthers (21.24) The Carolina Panthers invested a lot of capital in their first round offensive weapon, Christian McCaffrey. Carolina is saying that they want Cam to stay in the pocket more and try to keep himself upright and healthy this season. I question how effective Cam will be in that role, and at some point I feel you need to let Cam just be Cam and roll with whatever happens from there. Still, this team should be improved from last season and should compete for a playoff spot once again.
- New York Giants (21.16) Meh, I guess. There are a ton of weapons for Eli, but can Eli get them the ball? That is the biggest question surrounding the Giants this year. The defense should be good, perhaps the best in the division, but Eli gon’ Eli so I expect this Giants team to finish right around 8-8 or so and in the middle of the division rankings. Meh.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (20.83) The Bucs have a ton of weapons for Famous Jameis to work with this season. I really like Mike Evans’ outlook on the year and the defense should be improved as well. The Bucs don’t play in the easiest of divisions, but Tampa should be a tough out this year, especially early on when teams head down to Tampa to play in the heat and humidity.
- Tennessee Titans (20.76) I really like the Titans this season, and playing in a weak division, the Titans should have a chance to get some easier wins this year. If the offense can take care of the ball, and the defense play improved, the Titans could crack the top ten of this list by the end of the season and be playoff bound. That’d be nice to see.
- Houston Texans (20.48) The only issue I see with this team is the quarterback position. If the Texans can get, at least competent QB play, Houston should win their division again and own one of the better records in the league. I just need to see it before I believe it, and until then this is where I have them ranked, but that could change quickly if the offense is able to move the ball…at all.
- Indianapolis Colts (20.24) Andrew Luck is the key to the entire Colts season. There is question as to whether or not Luck will be ready for week one, but really the Colts need to look at the bigger picture here. Indy isn’t winning the Super Bowl this season, and if rolling Luck out there when he isn’t ready could hurt his long term success and overall NFL lifespan, then don’t put him out there. Of course, if Luck doesn’t play, YOU don’t play any Colts in fantasy right…right?
- Cincinnati Bengals (20.10) You could probably flip the Bengals and the Ravens here if you want, I don’t care. The Bengals have a lot of big names on their squad, especially skill position players on offense, but the offensive line scares me with this team. The backs are good, but if they are dodging people in the backfield, they will be limited and if Dalton is running for his life all season long, A.J. Green will be limited as well.
- Baltimore Ravens (19.81) Joe Flacco. Flacco needs to start every game this year or the Ravens aren’t winning a game without him. The Receiving corps isn’t spectacular and the defense is so-so. Baltimore has a celing of about 8 wins this year, and if Flacco remains banged up, the floor could be really, really low. I do like Danny Woodhead and if he can stay healthy, he is definitely a fantasy PPR option…so there is that.
- Washington Redskins (19.30) Kirk Cousins needs to tank this season. At least, that is my hope so he is much cheaper for the Niners to sign next year. Actually, I think the Redskins can make some noise, but ultimiately will finish in the bottom of the division, as the ‘Skins just don’t have the talent to compete with the Cowboys or Eagles…they could overtake the Giants for the third spot I guess. That’s something…
- Detroit Lions (18.97) I am way down on the Lions this season, even though this squad made the playoffs last year. The offense has been sluggish at times, and Stafford has made a career out of beating up bad teams, and getting owned by better defenses. Look for the Lions, who were outscored last season, but still made the playoffs, to regress this year.
- Los Angeles Chargers (18.93) I hate the Chargers. Well, I don’t actually hate the Chargers, I don’t think anyone actually hates the Chargers, I just hate that they moved to Los Angeles as I still type San Diego every time. The offense, if the skill position players can stay healthy should be excellent this season, I just have questions about their defense. Still, if this team stays upright all year, the Chargers could be a sneaky pick to steal the AFC West…not likely, but not out of the question.
- New Orleans Saints (18.36) Drew Brees. The Saints are a team that I am fading big time this season, and if Brees regresses, or even gets hurt, the Saints could be in the running for one of the top spots in the draft come next April. The defense is horrible, they lost Cooks, and they signed an aging Peterson…Brees just can’t get hurt and they MIGHT go 8-8.
- Miami Dolphins (18.20) The Miami Dolphins took a big hit this off season when Tanny went down for the year. Miami signed Cutler, and even though he is back with Gase and his offense, Cutler gon’ Cutler so I’m not expecting a lot from this team. I like Gase though, so I wouldn’t mind if he proved me wrong. Plus their uniforms are kind of cool.
- Buffalo Bills (18.04) The Buffalo Bills moved on from the always hurt Sammy Watkins, and in doing so, the Bills set themselves up nicely for next year’s draft. This team is showing all the signs of a team playing for the future, so I’m not expecting much out of Buffalo this season…still, there is some talent there so I don think they’ll get some wins here and there, making them a tricky team to predict this year.
- Los Angeles Rams (14.69) I really like McVay as the new coach of the Rams, and I think he will really help this team, especially their offense improve. I just haven’t seen enough out of Goff yet to put a lot of stock in this offense, but with Donald on the defensive line, the Rams will be in some games this year, and if things go right offensively, I could see the Rams finishing as well as second in the NFC West behind that team that wears the neon green uniforms…seriously, neon green in the NFL. Whatever…
- Jacksonville Jaguars (12.73) Blake Bortles.
- Chicago Bears (12.53) It will be interesting to see how the Bears QB situation plays out this season. Chicago payed good money for Glennon, so they are at least obligated to start him at the begining of the season, but so far Trubisky has played well in the preseason, so if that continues, the Bears may move to the rookie sooner rather than later, making Chicago a tough call right now.
- San Francisco 49ers (10.55) I really like the addition of Mike Shannahan to the Niners and so far, rookie GM Lynch has done equally as well. The Niners finally have “some” talent, but this team is still a year or two away from competing for the division. That being the case, I could see the Niners move up this list some, finishing with 5-6 wins this season.
- Cleveland Browns (10.11) The Browns also have a unique QB situation (much like at lot of the teams at the bottom of this list) and if they can get that figured out and get some competent play out of the position, the Browns could finish, a lot like the Niners with 4-6 wins on the year.
- New York Jets (9.97) The New York Jets are on the clock.
As you can probably tell, assuming you read all of this nonsense is that the quarterback position, and keeping the quarterback healthy are the most important things to a team’s success. Let’s just see who can accomplish that.