Welcome to WCG's new power rankings post.
Yes, I know... power rankings are kind of silly and entirely meaningless, and they are also completely subjective... what one person sees as a strength another might see as a weakness. I get that. My reason for doing this feature isn't "I think I know better," but rather to entertain, hopefully amuse and also to generate friendly discussion and debate (within the site rules, of course).
Lester does a great roundup of the various other power rankings out there. There are a lot of people publishing power rankings, and opinions differ wildly on many teams. Lester sorts that out for us here at WCG, and here's a link to his article this week, be sure to check it out:
Wiltfong: NFL Power Rankings - Just how bad are the Chicago Bears? - Windy City Gridiron - We take our weekly trip around the interwebs to see where various NFL "experts" rank the Chicago Bears in their NFL Power Rankings.
My feature is going to come out later in the week than pretty much everybody else's on the web, because I intend to watch the bulk of every single game I talk about BEFORE posting my rankings (as far as I know, I am the ONLY person doing this in the online media). Gamepass condensed games are the greatest tool ever made for the NFL football junkie. Each game lasts about 35 minutes, and frankly if it's a blowout I skip garbage time (seriously, what could one learn about the 49er's & Rams by watching the second half of that game? Unfortunately, though, I did watch it. I wonder how many of my brain cells it killed in doing so?). I gotta be honest here, I find it rather amazing that people who make their living commenting on the NFL in general don't actually watch every game. I mean, SERIOUSLY, this is what you do for a living, put in the time and effort!
I may not get that done every week, but generally I have them knocked out by the end of Tuesday night. By doing this instead of just watching the highlights (if that) or browsing the box score, I suspect my list is going to look significantly different than most.
OK? Good, let's get right to it then. Here's how I have the league shaking out after week one:
1) Patriots - This is a team that could be 4-0 when Brady returns. Perhaps the most horrifying thing about New England? Next year, they have the second most cap space in the NLF.
2) Steelers - Big Ben is in his prime, the team is strong in all aspects of the game, and they have the best WR in football.
3) Broncos - The Denver D is really, really, really good. It remains to be seen if the Denver offense can keep up.
4) Panthers - If the refs in week one had figured out that hitting a QB in the head is a penalty, Carolina would be 1-0 this week.
5) Seahawks - Their offense did not impress in week one, but the cast of characters is sound.
7) Chiefs - Kansas City absolutely slept through he first two thirds of game one against a mediocre team, but woke up at the last possible second to win.
8) Bengals - The Bengals look like a playoff team again this season... for what good that does them...
9) Vikings - Minnesota has a great defense this year, but the offense is still coming together. This team could move up or down the rankings a LOT following next week's critical contest against Green Bay.
11) Cardinals - The Cardinals did everything it took to win their opening rounder against a good opponent... except for executing a good long snap. Arizona's holder, Butthead Jr., did his best but the timing of the kick was toast.
12) Giants - If I were doing this feature pre-season (which is silly, there's no point in doing a power rating until we actually see teams play live in the regular season), the Giants would be further down the list. Their play in week one puts them solidly in the top half of the league. Will we see Good Eli this year, or Bad Eli? This week it was Good Eli.
13) Texans - Houston's pass rush is monstrous, and so far Osweiler looks fairly solid. In a weak division, this team should be hosting playoff games in Houston this winter. Houston is my sleeper pick right now in the AFC.
15) Jets - Matt Forte did Matt Forte like things, the Jets looked solid but not spectacular, they lost but to a good team in a close game. PFF had Brandon Marshall ranked as the 103rd receiver in the NFL out of 105. Ask me what I think of PFF's ratings sometime.
16) Ravens - The Ravens squeaked out a one-score win, at home, against the Bills, and scored 13 points doing it. Color me "meh". This was one of those games I was annoyed that I had to watch the entire thing of to get my rankings, it was ugly but close.
17) Jaguars - Jax gave Green Bay all they wanted, and darned near pulled out a win against the Packers. They made Aaron Rodgers look average. This team is on the rise. Do I have Green Bay too high? This was CLOSE.
18) Cowboys - Parts of this team are really, really good. Parts of this team are really, really bad. The JerryDome is NOT a home field advantage for Dallas.
19) Redskins - They got the snot knocked out of them by a better team. Expect this team to move up or down next week, depending.
20) Dolphins - Any time you go on the road and play Seattle to a 2 point game, you are pretty good.
21) Lions - They looked good. I'm not convinced.
22) Colts - Their offense is very, very, very good. I would talk about their defense as well if they had one.
23) Eagles - They beat visiting Cleveland. Wentz looked pretty good, but... it was against Cleveland, a D that Hoyer took apart.
24) Bears - The Bears lead after three quarters at Houston, a division winner last year and the odds on favorite to win their division this year. Unfortunately, of course, leading after three quarters isn't good enough.
25) Saints - See Colts entry above.
26) Chargers - Epic first half at Kansas City, knocking the Chiefs around at home. Even more epic total collapse in the last quarter. A 'one for the ages' type collapse.
27) Titans - Growing pains. They are improving, but it's a process. Still, they are up five slots over last year.
28) Falcons - Yeah, I got nothing. I watched the game and saw Jameis absolutely torch their secondary. They did move the ball well, so, there's that.
29) Bills - A team in transition, yet again. I don't know where they will end up, but where they are is not where they want to be.
31) Rams - I find it inconceivable that I am not putting the Rams dead last after the total egg they laid in San Francisco. Embarrassing doesn't even begin to cover it.
32) Browns - RGIII was actually playing well. Then he got knocked out for at least half the season. They had more drops than an apple orchard in October. On the bright side, they have nowhere to go but up... you can't get relegated out of the NFL. Probably.
Here are my "suspicions" about my rankings:
A) Denver slips some in the near future. Just not convinced on that offense. Having said that, they are one of the three AFC teams I can see in the Super Bowl (Patriots & Steelers as well).
B) Kansas City had better figure it out, fast. They went on a 5 game skid early last year, they can't afford to do that again. That was a HORRIBLE performance against a mediocre at best Chargers team for three quarters.
C) Other than the Bears (of course) the game to watch this week is Green Bay vs Minnesota at the new Minnesota Fishbowl. HUGE game for both teams. Rodgers played the opener at 2015 level Rodgers, not "God Level" Rodgers, and Green Bay is just another team without him being a football God. My mind says that Minnesota is the team to beat in the North unless Rodgers returns to his "otherworldly" form. But... Bradford? Hill? I guess we will find out soon.
D) Jax is going up, not down.
E) Chicago will be better later in the year than they are now, if we stay healthy. This week's game is "iffy".
F) Anybody who watches the 49ers vs LA rematch later this year deserves combat pay.
G) The Redskins are not where they should be, but frankly I am not sure if they are worse or better than I have them ranked, so that's where they sit this week.
Well, there it is, good people. What did I get right? What did I get wrong? Spill the Beans, Chicago Bears fans, let's hear what YOU think.
Ken's Note: The above feature contains no butt-hurt generated material. The WCG Power Rankings are a board-certified butt-hurt free zone.