Week 1 in the NFL calls for the first 2017-2018 NFL Power Rankings. I’m not that different from my other NFL fan peers. I do believe that it’s going to be a wild NFL Season. Check out my 2017 NFL week 1 power rankings.
2017 NFL week 1 Power Rankings
1. New England Patriots
The Patriots won Super Bowl 51. They face a gargantuan task from a betting point-of-view this Thursday on September 7. The Pats must cover a -8 point spread. I don’t think they will. That doesn’t mean they fall from the top perch. Now, a loss to KC in their first game of the season would send them hurtling down my list.
2. Green Bay Packers
Green Bay and QB Aaron Rodgers can make a statement right off the bat. In Week 1, the Packers face the mighty Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau. Seattle is the second choice in future books to win the NFC. Green Bay is the first choice. If Rodgers carves up Seattle’s defense, there’s a great chance he does, forget it. The Packers are the team to beat in the NFC.
Yes, I’m comfortable saying that after a single game.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
I don’t believe Pitt covers the -9 point spread over the Cleveland Browns on the road in Week 1. I do believe the Steelers have what it takes to get to Super Bowl 52. It starts with finding a player other than Le’Veon Bell to carry the rushing load. If Pitt can do that in Week 1, even if they only beat Cleveland by a point, it’s going to be a big win for Steel Town.
4. Atlanta Falcons
The defending NFC Super Bowl participants have a much tougher schedule to deal with than they did last season. The Saints and the Buccaneers should be improved while Carolina went to the Super Bowl only 2 seasons ago. Still, it’s hard for me to place Atlanta lower than fourth on my first NFL Power Rankings.
Atlanta still has one of the most feared offenses in the league. It’s only a matter of time before HC Dan Quinn puts together a solid defense. I’m bullish on the Falcons and I’m a Saints fan.
5. Seattle Seahawks
I’m not as in love with Seattle as so many other NFL fans are. The Seahawks have a good team. I’m not sure it’s a great team. Seattle’s D might finally take a backward step this season while the offensive line doesn’t appear to be much better this season than it was last season. My Seahawks’ glass is half empty, not half full.
6. Kansas City Chiefs
If RB Kareem Hunt turns into the next Jamal Charles, the Chiefs could win the AFC. Kansas City is that good on defense while TE Travis Kelce might be better than Rob Gronkowski this season. I absolutely love WR Tyreek Hill. He could be the toughest skill player in the NFL to deal with.
7. Oakland Raiders
KC, Oakland, and Denver are 6, 7, and 8 on my Week 1 Power Rankings. Why less love for the Raiders than for KC? Oakland’s offense might be better with Marshawn Lynch at RB than Latavius Murray. The offense might not be better with Beast Mode than Murray.
Also, I’m not so hot on Oakland’s defense. Khalil Mack gets a lot of QB sacks, but the D still ranked 26th in yards allowed per game last season. Is it any better? I don’t know if it is.
8. Denver Broncos
I like the Broncos to have an outside shot to win the AFC West over KC and Oakland. QB Trevor Siemian could turn into a real starting quarterback this season. The question I have is how Vance Jones, Denver’s new HC, stops the Broncos’ D from being a running back’s dream. The Broncos must play much better against the rush in 2017 than the D did in 2016.
9. New York Giants
The Giants’ D could be the best in the NFL. Fantasy wise, it’s a terrible defense because the G-Men don’t get a ton of sacks. Nor do the Giants force a ton of turnovers. The only thing the defense does is force a ton of three and outs.
New York’s offense should be much better this season with a) RB Paul Perkins as their RB1, and b) TE Evan Engram and WR Brandon Marshall taking pressure off Odell.
10. Tennessee Titans
We’ll see right away if Tennessee’s defense has improved. The Titans battle Oakland in Week 1. Oakland’s offense should be a Top 3 unit. The Titans’ offense will look to control the clock against the Raiders’ D with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I love the Bucs’ this season. Again, everything I write about an NFC South team is all true because I’m a big New Orleans Saints fan. Tampa’s offense should be lights out with O.J. Howard at TE, WR Mike Evans, and RB Jacquizz Rodgers. QB Jameis Winston has no excuses.
12. Dallas Cowboys
Dallas fans, like my brother, probably think I’m nuts. I just don’t think the Boys are ready for the season to start. I’m not sold on the defense while Zeke should be out for at least 4 games. Also, QB Dak Prescott won’t be as good this season as he was last season.
13. Houston Texans
Let’s be honest, it all comes down to rookie QB DeShaun Watson. If Watson pulls a Dak, Houston is good enough to win the Super Bowl. If Watson doesn’t pull a Dak, the Texans won’t make the playoffs. We’ll see in Week 1 because the Texans play Jacksonville and their super improved defense.
14. Philadelphia Eagles
I believe the Eagles are better than 14th in the NFL. I just don’t feel that I can put them any higher until they show me something on the gridiron. Carson Wentz has a real chance of moving into elite status this season. He’s that good. The defense should be tough. We’ll see.
15. Detroit Lions
Detroit made QB Matthew Stafford the richest player in the NFL. That should give Staff plenty of reasons, in the form of dollar bills, to play his butt off this season. The key is how well Detroit’s defense defends against the pass. If the Lions are better versus the pass this season than it was last season, who knows?
16. New Orleans Saints
I rank the Saints ahead of the Vikings, the 2 teams battle this Monday, because New Orleans has the better offense while its defense looked fantastic during the preseason. Also, Adrian Peterson should be wound up to punish Minnesota’s D on Monday.
17. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings’ D is proven, though. So, if Minnesota beats the Saints, they’ll jump ahead of New Orleans in next week’s rankings.
18. Cincinnati Bengals
I don’t know about Cincinnati. Their Week 1 game is versus Baltimore. I think they’re better than Baltimore. But, I don’t know. The Bengals feel like a tired organization.
19. Washington Redskins
I can’t move Washington any higher than 19. The reason is because the organization didn’t commit to QB Kirk Cousins. That means something to me. We’ll see if I’m right when Washington battles Philly as a dog on Sunday.
20. Carolina Panthers
I have no faith in a Carolina offense that wants Cam Newton to spend more time in the pocket. Newton has never completed more than 58% of his passes. That’s just crazy talk to tell Cam not to run with the football.
21. L.A. Rams
I might bump the Rams up around 6 spots after they demolish Indianapolis on Sunday. Indy remains a 3-point road favorite even though the chances of QB Andrew Luck playing are doubtful.
22. L.A. Chargers
The Chargers open their season on the road against Denver. Well, technically, every game for the Bolts is on the road this season. Carson is not Los Angeles.
23. Buffalo Bills
I’m beginning to question some of the moves that have occurred in Buffalo. First, they trade away Ronald Darby, one of their starting corners, after trading away Stephon Gilmore, their other starting corner. What? Second, they cut their RB2, Jonathan Williams, because they didn’t resign Mike Gillislee. Double what? We won’t know the effects of those decisions until Week 2 since Buffalo battles the Jets at home on Sunday.
24. Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore’s a prove it to me team. The Ravens must rush the football better. The defense must come together. The Edgar Allan Poes must beat Cincy on the road in Week 1. Only then will I move them up.
25. Miami Dolphins
I’m not a fan of the Miami Dolphins this season. It’s not Jay Cutler. Seriously, it’s not. It’s RB Jay Ajayi whom I don’t think is an every down, every game, running back. Ajayi’s entire reputation was built off 3 games last season. 2 of the games were against the Buffalo Bills.
26. Arizona Cardinals
Zona is too low on my power rankings. Hey, if they beat Detroit on the road in Week 1, I’ll move them up. If they don’t, I won’t.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars
Yeah, I really thought the Jags might be something this season. Then, I came to the realization that Leonard Fournette is an overrated RB while QB Blake Bortles is just bad. Unless the offense rises to the occasion, the Jags are toast. Jacksonville’s defense is going to carry the team only so far.
28. Cleveland Browns
The Browns aren’t the worst team in the NFL. Not in Week 1. The offensive line is plenty good enough for Isaiah Crowell to have a great season. But, why get rid of corner Joe Haden?
29. Chicago Bears
The Bears’ defense doesn’t appear to have come together. The offense? Neither Mike Glennon nor rookie Mitch Trubisky should surprise anyone with excellent play this season.
30. Indianapolis Colts
I might move the Colts to last on my power rankings. It depends on how good Indy makes the Rams look on Sunday.
31. San Francisco 49’ers
The Niners can upset Carolina straight up on Sunday. No, seriously. But, before moving them any higher, I’ll have to see it.
32. New York Jets
The Jets have nada, nothing, on offense. The defense should be respectable, especially with rookie Jamal Adams playing safety, but the offense is horrid. I feel bad for Jets fans.