Oct. 15, 2019
NFL Composite Power Rankings: 2019 Week 1
Power rankings, a staple of the NFL fanatic's online diet. It allows those who cover league the chance to gauge the strength (or weakness) of all NFL teams in a way that may not correlate with their win-loss record. And given the considerable input that readers give in respective comment sections, it stirs debate on who is good or bad at that point in time. In many of these instances, it's a singular football writer who makes these rankings, which can lead to some subjectivity to an objective analysis.
So what if some of that subjectivity is minimized?
That is what this power ranking is all about. The Gridiron Eye takes 5 nationally recognized power rankings (Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk; Dan Hanizus, NFL Media; Nate Davis, USA Today; Pete Prisco, CBS Sports; NFL Nation staff, ESPN) and bases a power ranking on the average of those polls. Also noted will be a spread between the highest and lowest ranking each team receives to show consensus, with narrow spreads to denote agreement and wide spreads to show disagreement.
1. New England (1.0 average, 0 spread) This is no surprise. The defending Super Bowl champions, who acquired the highly talented but highly troubled wide receiver Antonio Brown, went out on Sunday Night and make simple work of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are considered conference rivals. If Brown becomes the all around pass catching threat that he has been for a decade while eschewing the drama he incites, the Pats will be a prohibitive favorite to win the Lombardi Trophy yet again... Much to the dismay of NFL fans outside the northeastern United States.
2. Kansas City (2.4 rating, 1 spread) If the Patriots are the Empire, then the Chiefs are considered a new hope. They fell just short in defeating New England in the AFC Championship game in January and spent the spring and summer remaking their defense. With an offense that can practically score at will (even with WR Tyreek Hill out for over a month due to injury), KC is really the only heavyweight in the junior conference who is a credible opponent to the Pats when it matters most.
3. New Orleans (4.8 average, 3 spread) Fans outside of the Big Easy may be sick of Saints fans complaints about the officiating gaffe that marred last year's NFC Championship game, and that criticism of the zebras got fed more fuel to the fire when the officiating crew mishandled a game clock situation where the Saints' offense was shorted 15 seconds near the conclusion of the first half against the Houston Texans. It just barely avoided becoming a serious issue after Will Lutz hit a personal best 58 yard field goal as time in regulation expired to make New Orleans victorious. But to those who view fans of the Fleur de Lis as crybabies, don't lose sight that this is one of the senior conference's best teams. Take them lightly at your own peril.
4. Los Angeles Rams (4.8 average, 7 spread) Good news: the Rams won their road opener against the Carolina Panthers. Bad news: it took much longer than anticipated to close out what was perceived as an inferior opponent. The Rams didn't look particularly crisp, but that could be said about many outfits this week and probably the next. Unless other evidence appears, the Curly Horns still have the NFC West on lock.
5. Philadelphia (6.0 average, 7 spread) The Eagles fell behind to division rival Washington to open their game at The Linc, but spearheaded by returning WR Desean Jackson, Philly rallied back to score a divisional victory over the Redskins. While there is some doubt as to QB Carson Wentz's long term viability, the Eagles look to be in the NFC title picture with Wentz under center.
6. Dallas (6.4 average, 5 spread) Yes, it was against a retooling Giants team, but the Cowboys look good, especially on offense. New coordinator Kellen Moore called a game that put up 35 points and QB Dak Prescott throwing for over 400 yards, 4 touchdowns, and posting a perfect passer rating (158.3). If the Cowboys can continue to post up performanceperformances just close to this, watch out.
7. Minnesota (7.0 average, 6 spread) One of the league's best defenses over the last 3 years flexed its muscle in rendering Atlanta's offense feckless, as the Vikings played old school smashmouth football to coast to victory. Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins only threw 10 passes, making the Norsemen's biggest investment a spectator in the opening week. Consider this an outlier, as the ball will inevitably wind up in Cousins' hands, and the Vikings' fate will ultimately be decided at that time.
8. Los Angeles Chargers (8.0 average, 7 spread) The Bolts survived a surge by Indianapolis at the StubHub Center to win in overtime. If the Chargers were concerned about RB Melvin Gordon's holdout, the play of backfield mate Austin Ekeler may have quelled that. Kansas City better not let off the throttle, as LA could overtake them.
9. Green Bay (8.4 average, 9 spread) The Packers defense has certainly improved after only allowing three points to Chicago, but the offense only putting up 10 points with Aaron Rodgers under center is a little unnerving. But, Rodgers is working in a new offense and it was against a Bears defense well known for clamping down on opposing offenses. So, was the issue offensive familiarity or opposition effectiveness?
10. Baltimore (8.6 average, 6 spread) Ravens stock went up huge after dismantling Miami, so expect a selloff once the world is reminded that Baltimore is in a transitional phase with their offense.
11. Seattle (9.6 average, 6 spread) Just when you think the Seahawks are going away to rebuild, they keep reloading to remain on the fringes of NFC contention.
12. Tennessee (11.8 average, 6 spread) Defeating a much hyped team in the Browns is deserving of recognition. But seeing the fact that Cleveland triggered more flags than a hurricane warning, was it more the Titans or the Browns lost?
13. Chicago (13.0 average, 4 spread) Well, the defense looked good and the offense looked off. If the Bears want to return to the playoffs and be in the running for the conference title, QB Mitch Trubisky will need to produce on his own.
14. Pittsburgh (14.6 average, 2 spread) The Steelers got rid of the drama in dispatching Antonio Brown and letting Le'Veon Bell walk. But they also need to make up the loss of that talent as well. Playing the Patriots on opening weekend didn't help matters.
15. Houston (16.6 average, 9 spread) The disparity in the rankings denote two realities for the Texans. The high side sees the talent of both sides of the ball and their potential. The low side is keenly aware that management could be this roster's undoing.
16. Indianapolis (17.8 average, 7 spread) Reports about the demise of the Colts have been greatly exaggerated. They will be competitive with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. It remains to be seen if they can be in playoff contention.
17. Carolina (18.2 average, 4 spread) Cam Newton didn't play particularly bad, but the rest of the Panthers did. There's plenty of season left, but their doubters will outnumber their believers for the time being.
18. Cleveland (18.6 average, 6 spread) The Browns were hyped like the moon landing, but the premiere of the new Browns came out like a popcorn fart. The lack of discipline is what many saw as this squad's Achilles heel. But the good news is that the upside is still untapped.
19. Buffalo (18.6 average, 6 spread) The Bills pulled out a gutty comeback win over the Jets. But for three quarters, Buffalo showed they have a ways to go to get into the AFC playoff scrum.
20. Atlanta (18.6 average, 11 spread) For a Falcons team many picked as a playoff team enjoying a bounce back season, getting stuffed by Minnesota was not the best first impression to make. With head coach Dan Quinn working to save his job, will he do so?
21. San Francisco (18.8 average, 3 spread) The 49ers winning their match against Tampa Bay was a good way to start the season, but beating the Buccaneers doesn't garner much respect in many circles, either.
22. Oakland (21.8 average, 3 spread) On a positive note, rookie RB Josh Jacobs looks to be the answer behind QB Derek Carr. On a negative note, winning games like they did against Denver will not be as easy.
23. New York Jets (23.6 average, 5 spread) ILB CJ Mosley was a beast in his Gotham Green debut. But the rest of the team did not join him, as evidenced by the Jets losing momentum once Mosley was out with a groin injury.
24. Jacksonville (23.8 average, 11 spread) The Jaguars lost their veteran quarterback possibly for the season. They now will lean on an unknown rookie under center to get them to where they want to go.
25. Cincinnati (24.6 average, 4 spread) Well, the Bengals can take heart that they play well in hostile ground. They just may not have enough ammunition to win those fights.
26. Detroit (25.4 average, 6 spread) After choking an 18 point lead, the Lions should have lost to Arizona. Looking at their next four opponents, having a three score lead won't be a concern.
27. Denver (26.4 average, 5 spread) The Broncos may have solved their quarterback problem, but that is not the end of their troubles.
28. Arizona (27.8 average, 4 spread) Kyler Murray almost brought the Cardinals back from an 18 point comeback. Had they figured out what to do against Detroit's defense three quarters prior, they wouldn't been in the hole in the first place.
29. Washington (28.8 average, 2 spread) The Redskins played better than this rating. But letting Philadelphia off the hook kept them here.
30. Tampa Bay (30.0 average, 2 spread) The Buccaneers hired Bruce Arians to fix Jameis Winston. With 3 picks against San Fran, the Turnover Bakery is still open.
31. New York Giants (30.2
average, 2 spread) The only human being unaware that Big Blue is rebuilding is Dave Gettleman, the team's general manager.
32. Miami (32.0 average, 0 spread) Tanks for the memories. And players on the Dolphins want to make this place a memory.
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