No Sleep Till Football

Like Brooklyn Except It's Football

NFL POWER 32 – PRESEASON 2015

Better late than never! Like the NFL Power 15, the college Power 15 was a little late but it’s always fun to go back over last season to get ready for the next. Hopefully I can get some previews coming up soon as the college football season is going to be on us a lot quicker than we think!

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope With the Tom Brady mess looking less & less likely a factor for the Patriots season in terms of him missing games, the Patriots deserve the #1 spot for being the defending Super Bowl champs. What’s somewhat interesting to me this year about the Patriots is they have weaknesses along their D-Line, their interior O-Line & cornerback. Maybe that doesn’t matter & if you believe that NFL football essentially comes down to QB play then the Patriots aren’t just favored to win the AFC East, they should dominate the AFC East. As usual, things don’t get interesting for New England until playoff time.
#2 Computer Hope If not for a bizarre play call at the half yard line, Seattle would be looking at being the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions since the Patriots accomplished the feat in 2003-2004. The defense is going to be great again but this year the offense has a new wrinkle with the addition of TE Jimmy Graham. That should take some pressure off Russell Wilson by giving him a legit threat at receiver, but Seattle is hurting a bit on the O-Line. The addition of Graham helps but the loss of C Max Unger hurts. Seattle has done a good job of keeping Wilson upright so far. Now we’ll see how it goes when they don’t.
#3 Computer Hope I’m going with the narrative that Manning was hurt for a lot of last year & that he’s looked great this preseason. Manning has looked so good early that the guy is even talking about playing next year & beyond. The end can come fast to be sure, but it was just 2 years ago that Manning passed for 5477yds & 55TD! In his 3-years in Denver the Broncos are 38-10 with a Super Bowl appearance. Yes it’s not a championship & Manning can’t win that argument no matter what, but until the end comes, I’m going with Manning. Denver’s new approach & the solid defense keeps them at #3 & almost an underdog this year.
#4 Computer Hope Losing Jordy Nelson hurts to be sure especially because Green Bay suffers some depth issues, but the offense is ridiculous at every position so the Packers are sure to score points & score them in bunches. They are also great defensively. The Packers are ready to make a big run but injuries could hurt them a bit & if there is a weakness it’s the D-Line. It helps a bit with Clay Matthews moving inside at LB, but if there is an issue it’s D-Line. The clock is ticking on Aaron Rodgers. Sure he has one Super Bowl ring but the guy is going to be 32 & is widely considered the best QB in the league.
#5 Computer Hope Arguably the 2nd best team in the AFC last season given how the Colts played against New England in the AFC Championship game. The O-Line really stands out for the Ravens & I love how the Ravens went & got Breshad Perriman & Maxx Williams through the draft for Flacco to use as weapons. I think Flacco is actually underrated as an NFL QB. The defense is as good as ever so there isn’t an overt weakness to the team. It’ll be interesting to see the follow up season for RB Justin Forsett. Forsett shined last year in Ray Rice’s absence so he certainly don’t be surprising anyone this season. I really like this team.
#6 Computer Hope The Cowboys are betting that anybody can run behind their offensive line & it looks like Joseph Randle & Darren McFadden are going to try. I think it’s interesting that the Cowboys picked up Christine Michael from Seattle & on talent alone Michael could emerge if the Cowboys want to go one back. The Cowboys don’t look so hot on defense especially their secondary, but the return of Sean Lee & the addition of Greg Hardy & Randy Gregory could serve Dallas really well although there definitely is risk with the baggage they bring to the table. The Cowboys are close & in the 2nd year of Rod Marinelli’s defense they should be better.
#7 Computer Hope The big question for Indianapolis is who in the world is going to play defense? With Arthur Jones getting hurt, the Colts are hurting on defense. Robert Mathis & Vontae Davis are great, but that’s about it. Offensively the Colts got a lot stronger adding Andre Johnson & Frank Gore. It gives Indy some stability at RB & Johnson gives them a big target at WR, something guys like TY Hilton & Phillip Dorsett aren’t. I feel bad for Andrew Luck already. He’s going to live through the Peyton Manning era in Indianapolis which is dissappointing. Another Colts Hall of Fame QB getting screwed by lack of defense.
#8 Computer Hope Even with Le’Veon Bell being 1-2 games, Maurkice Pouncey probably missing 11 games & Martavis Bryant missing the first 4 games, this offense is going to score some points. Pittsburgh has arguably the best triple threat on offense with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown & Bell. I love the drafting of Sammie Coates that gives them another weapon. The Steelers are going to suspect defensively. I like them solidifying the edge rush with Bud Dupree this year & Jarvis Jones last year, but the secondary is rough. It would be great if Ryan Shazier would emerge as good as he was at Ohio State.
#9 Computer Hope Don’t forget that the Eagles went 10-6 last year with essentially no QB play. Sam Bradford if he’s healthy comes in and completely changes that landscape for Philly & he’ll have Demarco Murray behind him replacing LeSean McCoy. I like Josh Huff & Riley Cooper & WR and drafting Nelson Agholor was a solid move. The Eagles are set defensively with no real weak spots to mention. I love their DEs combination of Fletcher Cox & Cedric Thornton in the 3-4 base. TE Zach Ertz is going to get better. The one problem Philly has is if Bradford goes down. Mark Sanchez would take over as QB & I don’t see that helping the Eagles to a championship.
#10 Computer Hope The Cardinals were a different team last year with Carson Palmer went down. This year Palmer is healthy entering the season but the same was said last year as well. If Palmer stays healthy then the Cardinals are the 2nd best team in the West & potentially the 3rd best team in the NFC behind the Packers & Seahawks. Arizona’s back-7 defensively isn’t great outside of Patrick Patterson & Calais Campbell returns at DE. Arizona is a solid team & I love Bruce Arians as a HC, but this is where you start to get into the area of teams that are good & have playoff potential, but aren’t really threats to win a championship.
#11 Computer Hope Two words: Mike. Zimmer. In my mind Mike Zimmer is going to be one of the next great head coaches in the NFL. He was an oustanding DC and he took a rookie QB last year in Minnesota that lost their best player & still guided the Vikings to a 7-9 season that included 6 close losses. You can’t really aruge that the Vikings should have been 13-3 last year, but at the same time, you can make an argument they were closer to 13-3 than you’d imagine. Bridgewater looked good last season & now Minnesota welcomes Adrian Peterson back to the fold which should make Bridgewater look even better. This is a playoff team.
#12 Computer Hope The defense should be insane bringing in Earl Mitchell & Ndamukong Suh while drafting Jordan Phillips to beef up the interior D-Line. Cameron Wake & Olivier Vernon are the DEs in arguably the best front-4 in the NFL! There really isn’t a weakness to Miami’s defense which should be MUCH improved from last year’s unit. Offensively Ryan Tannehill made huge strides last season & is ready to take the next step. Miami drafted Devante Parker & RB Lamar Miller is poised for a huge year. The Dolphins have been patient with Joe Philbin as HC & I think that patience pays off this season. Miami is a legitimate threat to take the division from New England.
#13 Computer Hope In their last 6 games, the Giants averaged 29.2PPG which would have ranked #4 in the NFL had New York maintained that average the entire season. That is what familiarity with OC Ben McAdoo’s system is breeding so I’d expect Eli Manning to have an even greater control over the offense in his 2nd year in McAdoo’s system. Remember too that Victor Cruz missed 10 games & Odell Beckham was a rookie. Combine those 2 with Rueben Randle & Larry Donnell & the Giants all of a sudden have a deadly passing attack with a 2-time Super Bowl winner at the helm! The Giants need a RB & they have issues at LB, but this team is dangerous.
#14 Computer Hope The Chiefs were victim to scheduling issues in each of the past 2 seasons. In 2014 they took advantage of an extremely easy schedule to post an 11-5 record. That led them to a ridiculous loss at the hands of Andrew Luck although I’m not sure KC wins the divisional game either. Last year the schedule stiffened quite a bit & KC still managed a 9-7 record although that was just out of reach for the playoffs. Nothing much changes for Kansas City. Bringing back Justin Houston was a huge benefit & he’ll be destroying QBs all season. I liked bringing in Jeremy Maclin to replace Dwayne Bowe. This is a solid football team that cannot be overlooked.
#15 Computer Hope Almost no difference offensively from 2013 when the Saints went 11-5 & came this close to beating Seattle in the divisional round & last year’s edition when the Saints limped their way to 7-9. The offense scored 13 fewer points, but the defense allowed 120 more points! This season the offense is going to rely on Brandin Cooks become a star to alleviate some of the production lost with Jimmy Graham going to Seattle. Defensively New Orleans has some issues with their back 7. CB Keenan Lewis & S Jairus Byrd are solid but the LBs are a huge question mark along with the DBs opposite Byrd & Lewis. The window for the Payton/Brees era might be closed.
#16 Computer Hope I hate to put everything on Andy Dalton but it is becoming more and more apparent that he’s the weakest link on offense and after Paul Dawson replaces AJ Hawk at LB, Dalton will actually be the worst starter for Cincinnati on either offense or defense. The O-Line is great. The skill position players are great. The defense is great at all 3 levels. It’s hard to think you couldn’t put Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees under center and not come away with 12-14 wins a year. Of course HC Marvin Lewis could also be a limiting factor as well & I’m inclined to believe this. Lewis is entering his 13th year as HC. I don’t think he’s the guy, and neither is Dalton.
#17 Computer Hope I said this at the time, but I think it’s amazing that Rex Ryan essentially took the Jets to the brink of a couple of Super Bowls with his main problem being the fact that he had to deal with Mark Sanchez as his QB. He leaves the Jets to walk into almost exactly the same situation in Buffalo. I’ll give this to Rex heading into the 2015 seasons, he’s gutsy for taking a chance on Tyrod Taylor but I won’t be surprised if this actually pays off for him. I’m not sure Taylor can win a Super Bowl, but the defense is ready & Buffalo has massive talent at the skill positions. If he comes in and can win 10-11 games a year & make the playoffs, Ryan is a hero. He’ll get it done.
#18 Computer Hope Philip Rivers has become a completely different QB under HC Mike McCoy. River has established himself firml as an ELITE QB and now at the age of 34, the clock is ticking on Rivers if he is to get that one last chance at Super Bowl ring. If not he could become another Dan Fouts! I love the Bolts offense coming into the season & really like the idea of them getting a solid running game with Melvin Gordon. The problem with San Diego will be their front-7 defensively. It’s brutal and that doesn’t bode well in a division that has CJ Anderson, Jamaal Charles & Latavius Murray. I hope the Chargers brass give McCoy a lot of time. This is going to be a down year I fear.
#19 Computer Hope Solid team with no overt weaknesses, but I think Jim Caldwell is an organizational killer & I’d be worried if I was a Detroit fan if the Vikings didn’t bolt pass me this offseason. The loss of Ndaumkong Suh is mitigated by the signing of Haloti Ngata & the defense looks strong. Offensively I think Matt Stafford is ready to build on last year’s success which appears to be the best year he’s had as a QB. The Lions can argue they should have beaten Dallas in the Wild Card. Who knows, but if they are going to get better & build on that progress, they are probably going to have to do in spite of their head coach and not because of him. Tough place to be.
#20 Computer Hope Jeff Fisher is widely considered one of the best head coaches in the NFL, but he’s been a HC for 20 seasons in the NFL and he’s only made the playoffs in 6 of those years! It’s interesting how that has worked out. The big news for St. Louis is trading away Sam Bradford & replacing him with Nick Foles. Bradford could never stay healthy anyway so losing him wasn’t a big deal but Foles might not be so hot either. St. Louis drafted Todd Gurley who everyone thinks can be a superstar if he can stay healthy. Defensively I love St. Louis’ front-4 but the back-7 has big time questions. The Rams will be competitive this year but still not good enough for a playoff spot.
#21 Computer Hope Absolutely love Bill O’Brien as HC & believe he’s the guy to make the Texans the dominant team in the AFC South if the Colts don’t get their act together on defense. The Colts are hampered on defense in the same way that O’Brien is hampered at QB. Houston simply doesn’t have one. Brian Hoyer isn’t the answer & neither is Ryan Mallet. The defense should be amazing to watch though. Brian Cushing is healthy as is Jadeveon Clowney. The Texans brought in DT Vince Wilfork and of course JJ Watt is still the best football player on the planet. Even with an outstanding defense, you can’t beat anyone if you can’t score any points.
#22 Computer Hope I like what Chicago did with comletely reorganizing the team. John Fox is a winning coach. He might not be a Super Bowl winning coach but he can win 12 games in a season which woudl be a huge accomplishment for the Bears. Vic Fangio is the new DC & will convert the Bears to a more 3-4 defense which I think will fit their personnel a little bit better. Fangio obviously did a great job the last few years with the 49ers. Adam Gase is the new OC. He devised an offsene good enough in Denver for Tim Tebow to make the playoffs. He then had Peyton Manning so Gase, although young, is a solid offensive mind. Can Jay Cutler step up for this team?
#23 Computer Hope Dan Quinn did a great job coaching the defense in Seattle & now he has his work cut out for him in trying to get Atlanta back to playoff contention. Offensively the Falcons are going to be OK. Matt Ryan needs to quit throwing picks but there are some skill guys here (Roddy White, Julio Jones) and the O-line could be pretty good. The problem will be if Devonta Freeman or Tevin Coleman can give the Falcons a running game. The defense is terrible so Quinn’s biggest job will be trying to get Atlanta to look a bit more like Seattle. CB Desmond Trufant is an elite defender so Quinn will have to build around him & first round draft pick Vic Beasley.
#24 Computer Hope The 49ers have dealt with incredible turmoil this past offseason. HC Jim Harbaugh was shown the door. LB Patrick Willis retired & then his replacement Chris Borland did the same for fear of his own health. The team parted ways with Aldon Smith & Justin Smith retired. They also lost long time starting RB Frank Gore! Amazingly enough, HC Jim Tomsula actually has a decent team. The 49ers have some solid skill position players and the O-Line looks great. The losses on defense were heavy but they still have Glenn Dorsey, Ian Williams, Aaron Lynch, NaVorro Bowman, Tramaine Brock & Antoine Bethea. They’ll suffer because of the losses but don’t overlook the 49ers.
#25 Computer Hope This might actually be too low for Carolina. The O-Line is actually pretty decent & I think the Panthers are going to be able to run the ball. Losing Kelvin Benjamin is a huge loss though & that leaves Carolina with virtually no passing attack. I’m not that high on Cam Newton as a championship QB to begin with, but taking away the guys weapons isn’t exactly fair. Carolina is going to be able to stay in games because of their defense. It’s outstanding with the only weakness being the safety position. Carolina has 9 defensive players that all can flat out play. I don’t know if that can win them another division title but given the state of the NFC South, I wouldn’t be surprised.
#26 Computer Hope Love Amari Cooper pick and signing Michael Crabtree. I think Latavius Murray can be a beast running the football & all of this takes a lot of pressure off of 2nd year QB Derek Carr. Carr should be able to air it out a bit more this season with the receiver he has & the O-Line is good enough to keep him protected. There is a lot to like about Oakland’s offense going forward. Defensively the Raiders are putting together some solid players. I loved the Khalil Mack pick last season & this year I thought grabbing Mario Edwards was a good move. They also have Ian Williams & Justin Tuck. The secondary is a bit questionable but this is the most complete Raiders team we’ve seen in awhile.
#27 Computer Hope This team is basically a QB away from winning Super Bowls. Andre Hawkins is a monster & surrounding him with Brian Hartline & Dwayne Bowe is a plus. The defense is set & is really good. Danny Shelton & Xavier Cooper were home run draft picks to shore up their D-Line in the 3-4 scheme. The big problem is always going to be QB. Cleveland is rolling with Josh McCown & if he doesn’t work out then it’s Johnny Football time! I love Mike Pettine as a coach & want him to do really well. Cleveland would be an amazing place to win, but in today’s NFL you need a QB & the AFC North is too top heavy with Pittsburgh & Baltimore.
#28 Computer Hope I like what Todd Bowles did in Arizona but the parallels to Rex Ryan are just too many. Ryan came to the Jets as the HC after dominating as a DC in Baltimore. He quickly built the Jets into a winner but had to endure subpar QB play to his detriment until he left the Jets. Bowles made his bones as the DC for Arizona where the Cardinals were putting together a championship level defense. Now he comes to the Jets with an even worst QB situation than Ryan faced & is expected to get Miami competing in the AFC East. I just don’t see it. Like Cleveland, there is reason to watch, but the QB play is so limiting.
#29 Computer Hope The Jaguars are a team that can’t afford too much bad luck, but that is precisely what happened when they lost #3 ovearll pick Dante Fowler to injury before the poor kid even signed a contract! The Jags made good on Fowler so hopefully that motivates him to work even harder. Jacksonville showed quite a bit of life last year & I think Gus Bradley can coach the fire out of this game, but it doesn’t appear that Blake Bortles is the answer at QB (or at least not yet) putting Jacksonville in that same category of teams that don’t look completely awful outside of their QB situation. That sort of holds true for all teams without a QB!
#30 Computer Hope This year will certainly be about Jameis Winston and how he plays for the Bucs. There is some decent talent on the edge for him to work with in Vincent Jackson, Louis Murphy & Mike Evans. I’d like to see TB run the ball a bit better but this isn’t a bad fit for Winston. Defensively the Bucs have some players like Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David, Sterling Moore & Alterraun Verner. While I don’t think Lovie Smith is quite the team killer that Jim Caldwell is, I’m not sure how great his upside is either. The Bucs won’t tear it up, but then again they don’t really have to compete in the AFC South.
#31 Computer Hope I think this season will be really interesting for the Redskins. The Robert Griffin III circus needs to be shelved & Jay Gruden is trying to get this done by naming Kirk Cousins the starting QB for the season! That’s a bold move, but in reality the Redskins have a fairly decent team. Ryan Kerrigan is a star on defense & there are legit skill position players on offense such as Desean Jackson & Pierre Garcon. The odd part is that the skill guys have come out in support of Cousins as the QB so you have to wonder just what in the world is going on? I know this much is for sure, the NFL is LOTS better when the Redskins are a factor. I hope they turn it around.
#32 Computer Hope This almost feels too low for the Titans. The team is a mess to be sure & they are starting a rookie QB which typically doesn’t bode well for the team’s winning percentage, but the Titans aren’t all that bad. Mariota is a winner & he’s smar too. I love his humility & I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do well. The Titans are solid up front although they need to work out their issues at receiver. Defensively there are some good pieces here. Brian Orakpo & Derrick Morgan give the Titans an excellent pair of rushers in their 3-4. Jurrell Casey is a solid DLineman & the secondary is pretty good. If Mariota plays reasonably well, Tennesee could be intriguing.
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September 7, 2015 - Posted by | Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Power 32, Preseason, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins

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