Here is the deal with NFL Preseason Power Rankings. They are not predictions. If a team projects to have an easy or difficult schedule ahead of them, that does not matter for this exercise. These are very simply a list of how good each team is right this minute.
NFL Preseason Power Rankings
32) Washington Football Team
There has been a ton of bad mojo around the Washington Football Team as of late, and they are light on receivers outside of Terry McLaurin to help Dwayne Haskins in his second year. Washington’s secondary also leaves a lot to be desired, as does their offensive line.
31) Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins‘ combination of head coach Brian Flores and rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa should give their fan base a lot of hope. But it probably will take a while for everything to come together for this team that began last season as overmatched as any NFL team in recent memory.
30) Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers’ offense, under the direction of offensive coordinator Joe Brady, should be well-coached and efficient. And with Teddy Bridgewater under center and Christian McCaffrey in the backfield, that side of the ball should hold its own quite well. But the Panthers defense is just devoid of talent in the back seven, and the defensive line is young, albeit talented.
29) Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars’ defense is a shell of what it once was, but they should have potent edge pass rushers and improved linebacker play. The offense, and Garner Minshew, for that matter, isn’t as terrible as many tend to believe, and Jacksonville has some weapons in the passing game.
28) Las Vegas Raiders
Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock are building the Las Vegas Raiders back up, but there are still concerns all over the defense, and the quarterback situation is a bit unsettling. But Derek Carr could also step up behind an excellent offensive line and with Josh Jacobs as the foundation of Las Vegas’ offense.
27) Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow, the top overall pick, should be able to handle this challenge better than just about any rookie quarterback in recent memory. But he still has very little time to prepare for what awaits him at the NFL level, and his blocking up front probably won’t help his cause. Still, the Cincinnati Bengals were a better team last year than their terrible record indicated.
26) Chicago Bears
Expect Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles to go back and forth throughout the season as Chicago’s starting quarterback behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league. The defense could be great, but it just tough to churn out a winning record with the style of play the Bears will be forced to play.
25) New York Giants
The New York Giants have a first-time head coach in Joe Judge and a second-year quarterback in Daniel Jones. There is progress with this roster over the past few years, but it still has plenty of question marks and flaws.
24) New York Jets
The New York Jets deserve a lot of credit for throwing resources into rebuilding their terrible offensive line, but will that unit have enough time to gel? Meanwhile, the defense is now without Jamal Adams, and few teams are as weak at cornerback and edge rusher in a league where stopping the pass is of paramount importance.
23) Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos are all in on Drew Lock and have surrounded the second-year quarterback with a bunch of enticing, but young, weapons. Vic Fangio’s defense should be formidable.
22) Houston Texans
The Texans’ defense has a lot of concerns, and this team might have a tough time running the ball and controlling the clock. But Deshaun Watson is on the cusp of superstardom, and even without DeAndre Hopkins, there is a lot of receiving options for Watson to work with. But he almost has to play at an MVP level for Houston to be a contender.
21) Atlanta Falcons
It is amazing how much Atlanta’s defense improved in the second half of the season last year. But is that a trend we can trust? Counting on Todd Gurley seems like fool’s gold, and Matt Ryan might lead the entire league in passing attempts.
20) Arizona Cardinals
There is a lot of optimism around the Arizona Cardinals. Some even project Kyler Murray to take a second-year leap in a similar fashion as Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes. However, that seems a little rich. While DeAndre Hopkins at wide receiver will help, the Cardinals’ roster still has plenty of holes.
19) Cleveland Browns
On paper, the Cleveland Browns once again look like they are going the right direction. Their offseason moves were excellent for the type of systems head coach Kevin Stefanski will be installing. Yet again, there is a lot of change here and little time to get everyone working in harmony under an inexperienced head coach.
18) Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings had a tough offseason. The Vikings are going to have to rely on their many draft picks, including first-round picks WR Justin Jefferson, CB Jeff Gladney, and T Ezra Cleveland. That isn’t a good strategy considering the current environment in the NFL right now.
17) New England Patriots
Can Bill Belichick work his magic with a Patriots roster that has been hit very hard this offseason? It is possible, and Cam Newton could certainly rejuvenate his career in New England. But, this team is really poor in their front seven on defense and at the offensive skill positions.
16) Detroit Lions
With Matthew Stafford returning, the Detroit Lions have a chance to be an excellent offense. But the Lions’ defense also could be quite bad. Still, the NFC North is more winnable for the Lions than many might think.