It's time to commence another season but watch out, that Beast Mode might be coming for you through the TV screen!
The unPower Rankings are like your typical power rankings in that I rank the power of all 32 NFL teams, but different because this time the worst is first. Think of it like a mix between the draft order and a power rankings, because in reality, the draft order is infinitely more important in the real world than an arbitrary ordering of teams based on one man's opinion. However, in September, October, November, and December, people seem to care a lot more about the arbitrary opinion.
*to the tune of "Spiderman*
/It's just an opinion, but people care-y.
The Seahawks kickoff the season against the Packers on Thursday, September 4, so this is the last chance to take a stab at each team's power before they start giving us some actual reason to do so! You know by playing games, or whatevah.
Don't forget, these are the UNPower Rankings. That's why you're seeing the Browns on top. Hey, the only list on the internet where the Browns are on top! Go Browns!
1. Cleveland Browns
Even the most ardent supporter of Johnny Football knows that he's in unfavorable situation, not even the starter, has no Josh Gordon, and has an extremely tough schedule. The only question now is what the Browns will do with the number one pick now that they already have their "franchise quarterback."
Rookie QB Derek Carr has looked pretty studly in the preseason but will head coach Dennis Allen throw him in the fire too soon due to Allen's own proximity to a hot seat? Oakland's offseason additions on defense still leave them vulnerable in the secondary.
The preseason's punching bag due to the horrendous play of EJ Manuel, practice fighting, and the twice-hurt ribs of Sammy Watkins. How could this team possibly think they'd be okay without Jairus Byrd?
They were one of the most talked-about teams last year, one of the worst, and maybe the most boring. So, they're like The Walking Dead of the NFL.
The Jags have the benefit of playing in a rather soft division, so that could help keep them out of the top five of the draft next season. But they still seem to be young and inexperienced in some areas while also being old and past-the-prime in others. Will those two groups ever coincide with their best efforts at the same time?
The first NFC team! And a rather surprising one, considering that the Rams were 7-9 last season. But the loss of Sam Bradford means seeing 16 games of Shaun Hill (and probably some other not-yet-known QBs) and they just don't have the talent necessary to help Hill or anyone else out at this time. They also happen to play in a division with three teams that won 10 or more games last year.
Their saving grace is Robert Griffin? That's unfortunate because he hasn't looked good for awhile now.
Despite their 2-14 finish a year ago, the Texans are a great candidate to be this season's Chiefs. However, the only question now is if they're this season's "2012 Chiefs" or "2013 Chiefs" depending on the play of all those quarterbacks that probably aren't good.
How much will the pass defense improve? How many games will AD play in? How many starts will Teddy Bridgewater make? How will they account for the loss of Jared Allen? How many questions do you have to ask about a team before you realize they're questionable?
10. Dallas Cowboys
I believe this will be the final season for Jason Garrett. If he can even make it to the end of the year.
11. Atlanta Falcons
12. Tennessee Titans
A healthy Jake Locker gets them 8 or 9 wins in this division. Is that something we can seriously consider as a possibility?
13. New York Jets
You get the feeling that maybe the Jets are "back" with this defense but how many interceptions does Geno Smith really need to throw to get benched? 30? I think that seems completely doable for Geno Smith.
From the firing of the old coach to the hiring of a new one, to the return of Doug Martin, to the drafting a brilliant young receiver, there's a lot to like here. But then again, we've seen this story from the Bucs before and it wasn't too long ago. (It was last year hehe.)
15. Baltimore Ravens
One of the worst defenses in the NFL, they're stuck in the middle because they have a great quarterback and play in the AFC West, so that's how they wound up 9-7 last season. No reason to think they couldn't do that again but if anything happens to Philip Rivers, they'll be complete toast.
17. Detroit Lions
When will all this talent finally pay off? The replacement of Jim Schwartz with Jim Caldwell may not help a ton but it absolutely couldn't hurt. Stop wasting Calvin Johnson's immense talent.
The loss of Darnell Dockett before the season is enough to make Cardinals fans cry (again), but losing Karlos Dansby to free agency and Daryl Washington suspension is the reason they'll miss the playoffs (again.)
19. Chicago Bears
Jay Cutler should set career-highs this year, it could be the most potent passing offense in the NFC, but the defense... For once, the Bears defense is what's holding them back.
They've still got a great defense and they've got a great quarterback, but perhaps fall just shy of a playoff berth this time around due to their lack of receiving talent. If the Panthers are down five points with two minutes to go and 80 yards to paydirt, is Kelvin Benjamin the answer? And trust me, they'll play in a lot of close games where that question is relevant.
They did absolutely nothing to improve on defense and Robert Mathis was suspended for four games. They're just not that good, but they're in the worst division.
22. New York Giants
The get back to doing what they do best: Going 9-7 and annoying the shit out of everybody in the playoffs. However, the defense was completely legit last year, and I think they might have gotten a little better overall.
23. Cincinnati Bengals My favorite team in the AFC a year ago at this time, the Bengals reminded me that they're the Bengals. Hopefully Geno Atkins remains healthy all season and then they might win a playoff game.
The loss of DeSean Jackson should get more attention than it does, but Chip Kelly knows how to build an offense based around the parts that he has. He has some good ones and the defense could get better too.
25. Kansas City Chiefs
Not my favorite team all-around because the receiving corps is terrible but when you've got an amazing pass rush and Jamaal Charles, you've got more than almost any other AFC team. Almost.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers
It's a return to form for Pittsburgh. They looked pretty good last year after a slow start, now they're ready to take back their place among the AFC elite.
They'll take back the NFC South for the first time in a couple years, and now that they're defense is arguably as good as they're offense, maybe take back the Super Bowl too.
28. Green Bay Packers
When you've got Aaron Rodgers, you've got a shot. Less talked about: Rodgers has been one-and-done in three of his five playoff appearances.
Aldon Smith is out for nine games, NaVorro Bowman may be out for at least that long. It's not good news for San Francisco but Jim Harbaugh knows how to do more than just survive. The 49ers make the playoffs, and by then Smith and Bowman could up to speed.
31. Denver Broncos
At least they learned something from their Super Bowl loss: Go hard on defense, especially in the secondary. They cut some dead weight and added TJ Ward, Aqib Talib, DeMarcus Ware, and Bradley Roby. Last season the Broncos were good, easily the best team out of 16 mostly-bad teams, but this year they could provide a legitimate test for the Seahawks, should they make it that far.
32. Seattle Seahawks
This team was at least 5-percent better than any other team in the league last year. So if they come back to Earth a little, they're still the best team. However, getting Percy Harvin for a whole year would mean that they might actually be going further into space, not the other way around. Maybe that's why they say that Harvin "flies."
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