No Sleep Till Football

Like Brooklyn Except It's Football

NFL POWER 32 – PRESEASON 2016

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope The Seahawks return virtually intact from a 2015 team that probably gets to a 3rd straight Super Bowl had they not taken the first half off against the Panthers in the divisional round. Seattle was 6-1 in their last 7 regular season games a year ago & I don’t think you can count on another season in which they start 2-4 and 4-5. They’ll look a little different without Beast Mode, but I doubt the results will be any different. I’m curious to see if Carroll keeps the running game paramount.
#2 Computer Hope If you believe QBs are the lifeblood of championship teams then the Steelers are in an interesting position. Big Ben is going to be 34 this year which isn’t necessarily old, but it isn’t young either. He can still operate at a high level & it’s interesting because Peyton Manning just retired & Tom Brady is pushing 40. The young QBs in the AFC don’t appear to be ready to take over just yet leaving a pretty big window for the Steelers. If Ben gets a couple Super Bowls, his legacy is ????????
#3 Computer Hope An absolutely RIDICULOUSLY talented team, Arizona has been hampered by injuries to Carson Palmer the last couple of season which may have cost them Super Bowl appearances both times. I can’t wait to see how the defense changes with the additions of Chandler Jones & Robert Nkemdiche. I also can’t wait to see the video game type numbers David Johnson could post now that he’s the undisputed #1RB, but Palmer is the key. This team isn’t the same with Drew Stanton.
#4 Computer Hope The Packers took Arizona to OT last year for a spot on the NFC Championship game & did it with virtually nothing but Aaron Rodgers on offense. This season Jordy Nelson returns which will also make Randall Cobb better, and Eddie Lacy appears to be in shape for the first time in….forever? Moving Clay Matthews back to the edge will help the defense get a lot more pressure on the QB which is something Green Bay didn’t have last year. Rodgers needs to get that 2nd Super Bowl.
#5 Computer Hope The Panthers led the NFL in scoring last year and they get their #1 receiver in Kelvin Benjamin back after he missed last season with an injury! Carolina has won 3 straight NFC South titles & in those 3 years they’ve amassed a 34-13-1 record. Cam Newton was the MVP of the season and the defense returns virtually intact. It’ll be impossible to repeat a 15-1 season, but even a big drop off still puts them at 11-5. Atlanta & New Orleans pose threats, but Carolina is still tops.
#6 Computer Hope I’m not sure losing Bridgewater is going to be as significant a loss as people imagine. I also think that the desperate move to acquire Sam Bradford tells us something about the injury that nobody is talking about, namely that Minnesota is unsure if Bridgewater will ever be effective again. The Vikings still have a great defense and they still have Adrian Peterson. That will win a lot of games with just a game manager at QB, but I think Sam Bradford can be more than that.
#7 Computer Hope The Patriots have done a masterful job of reshaping the team back to a defense first attitude. It’s not like Belichick has punted defense in the past but the defenses that won New England their first 3 titles were better than they’ve been in recent vintage, and let’s be honest, New England doesn’t win their 4th if the Seahawks had any kind of sense. The sun has to set on Tom Brady at some point but making New England into a defensive team once again is so Belichickian.
#8 Computer Hope Andy Dalton is in for quite a season now that Hue Jackson is gone and he has to deal with the losses of Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Tyler Eifert. Rumor has it that the Bengals are going to be a lot more run heavy early on but the confidence in Jeremy Hill isn’t all that great. Cincinnati still has a solid defense & I love the way Andy Dalton is progressing but I wonder if this is the year losing all those coordinators (Zimmer, Gruden, Jackson) catches up with them?
#9 Computer Hope I made this power rankings before Tony Romo got hurt but I’m leaving Dallas in at #9 because I’m starting to be convinced that Dak Prescott might really be the next Russell Wilson. The situations are certainly different, but Prescott does walk into a situation where he has an ELITE offensive line combined with elite receiver and a tremendous running game. I think Prescott can thrive here & if that happens then we might have actually already seen the end of the Tony Romo era.
#10 Computer Hope Paul Kruger has always been a lot more of a terrorizing pass rusher when he as a running buddy & he couldn’t have found a better one in Cameron Jordan. The Saints will get pressure off the edge. Nick Fairley is a solid DT so the D-Line is in solid shape. I think the secondary will be really good too so I’m not sure why everyone is down on the Saints defense. The offense will be spectacular so a middling defense (a possibility) makes this a possible Super Bowl team. They are good!
#11 Computer Hope With #18 gone in Denver the Chiefs have an opportunity to seize the AFC West assuming Oakland isn’t quite ready and San Diego isn’t quite good enough. The Chiefs are closer than people realize. They play a terrific brand of ball control offense that prides itself on moving the chains & keeping other teams off the field. They were close to New England last season & with a few adjustments, Kansas City is going to be very difficult to handle regardless if Jamaal Charles is 100%.
#12 Computer Hope The Colts are making the same mistakes with Andrew Luck as they did with Peyton Manning. Manning was able to overcome the defensive inefficiencies with the Colts to get one Super Bowl trophy & you have to wonder if Luck will be that…..lucky? If Luck is 100% then the offense become very dynamic especially with a healthy Philip Dorsett. Keep an eye on RB Josh Ferguson as well. He could be huge by the end of the year. The problems of course will exist on defense.
#13 Computer Hope The Bolts were injury riddles last year but I can’t help but think this was a 9-7 team in 2013 & 2014 before last year’s disaster hit. Philip Rivers is an OUTSTANDING QB and I think he’s due for an enormous year given the offensive weapons. I think Melvin Gordon will be better making this a lethal offense. Defensively San Diego already has a solid secondary & they upgraded the D-Line and the LB spot through free agency & the draft. I think they’ll wind up regretting Joey Bosa.
#14 Computer Hope Fans should be excited about the Giants this season. There is upside all over the field and with Tony Romo getting injured in Dallas, there is no reason to think the Giants shouldn’t be the favored team in the East. New York should be greatly improved defensively adding Janoris Jenkins, Olivier Vernon & Damon Harrison to the unit. Jason Pierre-Paul should also be a lot more comfortable this year. Ben McAdoo has the offense humming so it’s all there assuming health.
#15 Computer Hope The 5-11 year the Ravens had last season was their worst since 2007 when Brian Billick went 5-11 and was fired. The following year the John Harbaugh/Joe Flacco era began & Baltimore never suffered a losing season until 2015. The Ravens have significant rebound upside because of their injury issues from a year ago but they almost seem like an afterthought in the AFC. Don’t be surprised if the Ravens are able to jump Cincinnati and get that #5 or #6 seed.
#16 Computer Hope Be very very aware of the Bears. Grabbing Josh Sitton was a masterstroke that improves the O-Line even more. They already signed Bobbie Massie & moved Kyle Long inside. WR Kevin White returns & I think Jeremy Langford is ready to contribute with Matt Forte gone. Defensively the Bears massively upgraded their LBs with Danny Trevathan & Jerrell Freeman. They are also in Year 2 of Vic Fangio’s defensive scheme so expect a lot of improvement. Underrated.
#17 Computer Hope Last year the Jets were the best team in the NFL not to make the playoffs at 10-6. Ryan Fitzpatrick was a bit late in signing this year but if he comes back and can replicate his 2015 season then the Jets have a real chance at getting to the playoffs in 2016. The defense will be solid & adding Matt Forte to the mix offensively could give them another weapon. New England is still around the schedule gets tougher this year but the Jets still should be a strong AFC team all year.
#18 Computer Hope The Bills seem sort of messy at this point but if Tyrod Taylor, Sammy Watkins, Charles Clay & LeSean McCoy all stay healthy, then Buffalo is going to be fine offensively. Defensively I think being in Rex Ryan’s schemes in Year 2 should make the team better. I love their secondary, but Buffalo needs to get a bit better up front. The problem for Buffalo is being able to leap the Jets & Patriots. Neither will be easy & the road to the wild card in the AFC is extremely crowded.
#19 Computer Hope Trevor Siemian? This will be another instance of getting a chance to see what a great defense can provide a team. It’s certainly not comparable, but back in the day didn’t a late round draft pick from a Big 10 college get thrown into the fire of a team that had a pretty dynamic defense & ended up winning 3 Super Bowls? The difference here is that Gary Kubiak is no Bill Belichick but if Siemian can be an average starter, the Broncos might have enough to win the AFC West.
#20 Computer Hope This is probably too low for Houston & the more I think about the Texans the more they seem like a runaway pick to win the South. I can’t overstate how much I like Bill O’Brien as a head coach. For me he’s #3 in the NFL behind Belichick and Mike Zimmer. Jadeveon Clowney looks like he’s finally ready to live up to the hype over a 16-game season and if that is the case then it is a significant game changer not only for Houston but for the rest of the AFC. He’s that much of a force.
#21 Computer Hope Another team I feel like I’m underplaying just a bit, but every team can’t go 10-6! I think Oakland is still a year away despite their big jump last year to 7-9. There can only be so many wins that go around & I think the Chargers & Chiefs will be the class of the West while Denver still has a great defense. The loss of Mario Edwards can’t be overstated which certainly will have an effect on the defense, especially the play of Khalil Mack. They are still a year or two away.
#22 Computer Hope I feel this might be a little too low for the Falcons. It’ll be interesting to see if Atlanta can get  Mohamed Sanu to cash in on his considerable skill set, something he wasn’t able to do in Cincinnati. Tevin Coleman returns to complete Devonta Freeman & the drafting of Austin Hooper was gold in my opinion. The acquisition of Alex Mack is also big. There have been improvements defensively as well. This is a good football team, but the NFC South is exceptionally tough.
#23 Computer Hope It’ll be interesting to see how the Redskins try to balance the offense now that Alfred Morris is in Dallas. Washington is loaded at receiver with Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson & Pierre Garcon, but you’d have to think they’ll need to sprinkle in some play action to take full advantage of their passing prowess. The Giants & Cowboys should be greatly improved this season so let’s see if the Redskins can take them down.
#24 Computer Hope I’ve written about this extensively but Matthew Stafford was a different QB when Jim Bob Cooter took over as OC last year. Remember too that the Lions went 6-2 in their final 8 games and the retirement of Calvin Johnson might actually be a decent thing as Stafford will less pressure to get Megatron the ball whenever he can. I loved that Detroit really upgraded the trenches through the draft. I’m not a huge Jim Caldwell fan but the Lions are a sneaky playoff team.
#25 Computer Hope I think the Titans are a sleeper team to win the AFC South. I’m a big believer in Marcus Mariota and the team looks the part. Defensively I think the front-7 is solid & the Titans can get some pressure off the edge with Orakpo & Morgan. Offensively I think Tajae Sharpe is going to do very well alongside Delanie Walker & Rishard Matthews. Throw in Derrick Henry & DeMarco Murray and there is a lot to like. If Mariota plays well, how do the Titans not win games?
#26 Computer Hope Jacksonville should be one of the more interesting teams to watch this season as they have an offense that can score points and also a lot of new faces on defense that will be exciting to watch develop. I think the Jaguars are still a year away which is why I have them here but a couple of things to watch this year is the development of the defensive rookies & also QB Blake Bortles’ ability to not turn the ball over. I don’t think it can all come together for this season.
#27 Computer Hope The Bucs aren’t awful and they were in the thick of the playoff hunt last year before losing 5 of their last 6 games, but this year should be quite a bit different for the Bucs as I think Atlanta & New Orleans have greatly improved meaning the Bucs could be the worst team in the best division in football. They could be a better team this season but actually finish worse than their 6-10 record from last year. I’m curious to see what Doug Martin does now that he got his payday.
#28 Computer Hope When Don Shula took over the Dolphins in 1970 he was 40 years old and proceeded to walk the Miami sidelines for the next 26 years which included 5 trips to the Super Bowl & 2 Lombardi Trophies. Adam Gase takes over as a 38-year old and the Dolphins would like nothing more than for Gase to remain head coach for the next 26 years. Stability like that is rare but an organization reaps the rewards when it’s found. The Dolphins are a prime example of this.
#29 Computer Hope I feel like I’m underselling the Rams. After the draft it seemed most likely that Jared Goff would be thrown in the fire while Carson Wentz had time to settle in. The opposite has turned out to be true & I think Case Keenum gives the Rams a pretty darn good chance to win games given how good the Rams defense should be combined with a healthy dose of Todd Gurley. Like San Francisco, the Rams get hurt by playing the same division as the Cardinals and Seahawks.
#30 Computer Hope I liked the Eagles a lot more when Sam Bradford was their starting QB but you can’t fault Philly for taking the draft picks in an effort to build for the future. It’s probably not the greatest move to feed Carson Wentz to the lions right away, but high pick QBs don’t have time to sit anymore. I think the Eagles are good defensively and RB Ryan Mathews is a key figure here. Philly’s O-Line is decent so having Mathews stay healthy & effective could take quite a bit of pressure off Wentz.
#31 Computer Hope I obviously have the 49ers not doing very well, but I also think they could be somewhat of an interesting team. Defensively they have some very intriguing players in Arik Armstead, Aaron Lynch & DeForest Buckner. Even offensively they aren’t horrible up front and Carlos Hyde is a very capable runner. If Chip Kelly can get anything out of Blaine Gabbert then SF is an interesting team that could be in games. Unfortunately they play in the NFC West.
#32 Computer Hope Cleveland starts the year with 17 rookies on the 53-man roster which is the most in the NFL. Given the dumpster fire that the 49ers are turning into, the Browns might not actually be the worst team in the NFL & they have a decent shot at starting the year 1-0 with Carson Wentz starting for Philly in the opener. If you are a baseball fan, you can definitely see the fingerprints of sabermetricians running the organization. It’s sort of interesting in theory but baseball isn’t football.
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September 8, 2016 - 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, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Power 32, Preseason, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins

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