The arrival of Aaron Rodgers vaults the Jets into the top 10 of our NFL power rankings, slightly ahead of the Giants.
Rampant parity has made this a challenging exercise in the wake of free agency and the draft, but here we go anyway:
1. Philadelphia Eagles
The trenches remain elite with the return of C Jason Kelce and DE Brandon Graham and drafting of rookies DT Jalen Carter and Edge Nolan Smith. If D’Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny can stay healthy, Miles Sanders won’t be missed. That Super Bowl window is wide open.
2. Cincinnati Bengals
LT Orlando Brown Jr. will give Joe Burrow more time to throw to Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins whether Joe Mixon returns or not, and if not, Samaje Perine is now in Denver. Rookie DE Myles Murphy will be a quality bookend behind Sam Hubbard for Trey Hendrickson.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
LT Jawaan Taylor helps mitigate the loss of Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie. OC Eric Bieniemy will be missed, and Andy Reid will need rookie WR Rashee Rice to replace JuJu Smith-Schuster. Well … Patrick Mahomes.
DT Javon Hargrove helps Nick Bosa and Fred Warner hold the fort until Brock Purdy is ready to be the point guard for Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle. RT Mike McGlinchey will be missed. DeMeco Ryans is a loss, but new DC Steve Wilks is more than capable.
5. Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen has been gifted a dangerous new weapon in rookie TE Dalton Kincaid and bludgeoning G O’Cyrus Torrence, but MLB Tremaine Edmonds leaves a hole. Allen vows to stop pretending he’s a running back, but we’ll see if James Cook can step up with Devin Singletary gone. Damar Hamlin’s return will be inspirational.
6. Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson finally got paid, and he’ll be slinging the ball now under new OC Todd Monken to OBJ and rookie WR Zay Flowers along with TE Mark Andrews. DT Calais Campbell will be missed.
7. Seattle Seahawks
Geno Smith gets dynamic WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the slot to go with D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, and the RB room is loaded with Kenneth Walker III and rookie Zach Charbonnet. Pete Carroll has added feisty CB Devon Witherspoon opposite Tariq Woolen for a modern-day Legion of Boom behind new DE Dre’Mont Jones and old friend LB Bobby Wagner.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers
The dramatically upgraded OL for Kenny Pickett and Najee Harris includes first-rounder T Broderick Jones and Gs Isaac Semaulo and Nate Herbig, and Mike Tomlin will get the most out of CBs Patrick Peterson and rookie Joey Porter Jr.
10. Los Angeles Chargers
WR Quentin Johnston is another big target for Justin Herbert to join Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, but disgruntled RB Austin Ekeler wants a new contract. Can Joey Bosa stay healthy? Will new LB Eric Kendricks?
11. Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott loses TE Dalton Schultz and Zeke Elliott makes way for Tony Pollard, but he gets a new deep threat in WR Brandin Cooks. DC Dan Quinn gets CB Stephon Gilmore opposite Trevon Diggs. Micah Parsons and Demarcus Lawrence are predators.
12. New York Giants
A second year with HC Brian Daboll and OC Mike Kafka, plus TE Darren Waller, will keep Daniel Jones ascending. Rookie CB Deonte Banks can make an instant impact for Wink Martindale.
13. Detroit Lions
Rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs will be a dual threat and teams with David Montgomery behind Jared Goff’s quality OL, and rookie TE Sam LaPorta replaces T.J.Hockenson. The secondary has been bolstered with CBs Cameron Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley and S C.J. Gardner-Johnson and rookie S-CB Brian Branch. Dan Campbell is primed to bite some kneecaps.
14. New England Patriots
New OC Bill O’Brien will be a godsend for Max Jones…or Bailey Zappe. JuJu Smith-Schuster can replace Jakobi Meyers and TE Mike Gesicki can be a red zone threat. A savage pass rush should help rookie CB Christian Gonzalez flourish. Beware Bill Belichick.
15. Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence and Doug Pederson make a great team and new Go To Guy Calvin Ridley will be impactful.
16. Atlanta Falcons
Yes, Desmond Ridder is the quarterback, but rookie RB Bijan Robinson will help him immensely. HC Arthur Smith is desperate for pass rush, but the additions of DE Calais Campbell, NT David Onyemata, OLB Bud Dupree, S Jessie Bates III and CB Jeff Okudah for new DC Ryan Nielsen are reasons for optimism.
Deshaun Watson will remember how to play quarterback and DT Dalvin Tomlinson, Edge Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, and S Juan Thornhill more than compensate for the loss of Jadeveon Clowney.
18. Minnesota Vikings
Rookie WR Jordan Addison replaces Adam Thielen to take heat off wondrous Justin Jefferson and new DC Brian Flores will bring discipline to a makeover defense that needs it. Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook face uncertain futures.
19. New Orleans Saints
Derek Carr inherits Chris Olave and Michael Thomas but a potential Alvin Kamara suspension looms. Rookie Kendre Miller and TD machine Jamaal Williams are on call. Rookie DE Isaiah Foskey will need to help Cam Jordan rush the passer.
20. Miami Dolphins
Jalen Ramsey and Jevon Holland make for a Dynamic Duo in the secondary. HC Mike McDaniel knows how to scheme for Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. But can Tua Tagovailoa avoid concussions?
21. Washington Commanders
Dan Snyder’s demise is addition by subtraction and Ron Rivera has an upgraded OL and that intimidating DL. But how far can Sam Howell take him?
22. Denver Broncos
If Russell Wilson can be fixed, Sean Payton will fix him. T Mike McGlinchey and G Ben Powers upgrade the OL, and there are receiving weapons galore. If RB Javonte Williams (knee) can return early in season…Bronco Country, Let’s Ride.
23. Tennessee Titans
Ryan Tannehill handing off to Dexter Henry behind rookie LG Peter Skoronski will only get you so far. WR Treylon Burks caught one TD as a rookie. LT Andre Dillard has been an underachiever. Mike Vrabel is a tough out, however.
24. Chicago Bears
Justin Fields will have better targets in D.J. Moore and Robert Tonyan and better protection with rookie RT Darnell Wright. GM Ryan Poles upgraded the defense with LBs Tremaine Edmunds and T. J. Edwards.
25. Carolina Panthers
Rookie QB Bryce Young will be a quick study for HC Frank Reich and have help from RB Miles Sanders, WRs D.J. Chark, Adam Thielen and rookie Jonathan Mingo and TE Hayden Hurst. Lots of youthful talent on defense.
26. Indianapolis Colts
Gardner Minshew is the bridge to Anthony Richardson. Richardson and Jonathan Taylor running behind Quenton Nelson will excite rookie HC Shane Steichen. CB Stephon Gilmore is now a Cowboy.
Can anyone predict how the start of the Jordan Love Era will go? Without Allen Lazard and Robert Tonyan?
28. Houston Texans
Growing pains with rookie QB C. J. Stroud for rookie HC Demeco Ryans. TE Dalton Schultz will help a pedestrian receiving corps. Rookie DE Will Anderson juices the defensive makeover.
29. Las Vegas Raiders
Jimmy Garoppolo, if he can stay healthy, will love throwing to Davante Adams and JakobI Meyers and handing off to Josh Jacobs. Chandler Jones is 33 and if he can’t help Maxx Crosby more than he did last year (4.5 sacks), perhaps first-round pick Tyree Wilson can. Is Josh McDaniels the answer?
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady’s coming back, right? No? Oh well, that means Baker Mayfield and/or Kyle Trask throwing to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. RBs Rachaad White and Chase Edmonds replace Leonard Fournette.
31. Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford is healthier than he was last season, and HC Sean McVay is the goods, but they’ve lost Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Floyd and Bobby Wagner as they pay the price for mortgaging the future for a Super Bowl championship.
32. Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray’s torn ACL rehab could sideline him until midseason, and J.J. Watt and Zach Allen are gone. Long season for rookie HC Jonathan Gannon.