With training camp in full swing, and the first week of preseason football underway, the sports calendar has officially flipped to football season. With that in mind, let’s take a look at our preseason edition of our NFL Power Rankings.
#32 Arizona Cardinals
Coming in last on this list of our preseason NFL power rankings is Arizona. A mere two years ago, the Cards found themselves atop the NFC halfway through the 2021 season. Things have fallen apart since then, and the future looks bleak in the desert.
#31 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa won the NFC South last year, but it was easily the least impressive division title in the league. The Bucs still have some stars on the roster, but too many question marks at key positions, with quarterback being the most notable.
#30 Houston Texans
Houston has become a regular at the bottom of this list over the past few years. With some very exciting young players in the mix, the future looks bright. Not so much this year, though, at least.
#29 Las Vegas Raiders
A year ago today, the future was very exciting in Nevada. However, as the Josh McDaniels saga has unraveled, so has the Raiders’ future. There are enough good players here for a decent season, but the Raiders have not earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to high expectations.
#28 Indianapolis Colts
The Colts had an awful season last year. Now, they will be without arguably their best player, Jonathan Taylor for the forseeible future. Anthony Richardson will be exciting to watch in his rookie season. Unfortunately for Colts fans, not much else will be.
#27 Carolina Panthers
The Panthers have some bright young players, as do many rebuilding teams in this part of the NFL power rankings. Unfortunately, their window for contention looks like it’s still a few years out
#26 Los Angeles Rams
The Rams do still have some talent from that team that won the 2022 Super Bowl. Unfortunately, most of the stars from that team are aging, or playing elsewhere. As the Rams slowly build their future back up, the next couple of years look bleak in LA.
#25 Washington Commanders
With the recent sale of the team, most Commanders fans are currently happy. Washington has a solid defense, but their offense is still putting the pieces together. This team could surprise some people, but it may be a year or two too early to seriously expect playoff contention in the nation’s capital.
#24 Tennessee Titans
The Titans don’t look like a bad team on paper. They still have Derrick Henry, some promising young receivers, and they also just acquired De’Andre Hopkins. However, after a disappointing 2022 season, with a quarterback on the decline, as well as holes on the offensive line, it’s not looking great in Nashville.
#23 Green Bay Packers
The Packers are a tricky team. They seem to be entering a rebuild, but still have plenty of talent. This is a squad that will go as far, or short, as Jordan Love takes them.
#22 Denver Broncos
Just like Green Bay, the Broncos are a difficult team to forecast. Russell Wilson and the offense looked awful last season, but with a new coaching staff in charge, we might see a completely different offense. Injuries in training camp haven’t helped the cause, though.
#21 Chicago Bears
The Bears have a lot of young talent, and they gained a ton of it by trading the #1 pick in this year’s draft to Carolina. They may still be a year or two away from the playoffs, but they might be a dark horse candidate to make some noise in 2023.
#20 New England Patriots
The Pats are a couple years removed from the glory days. Right now, this looks like a team that could sneak into the playoffs, but has a better chance of going 8-9.
#19 Atlanta Falcons
In a year or two, the Falcons will absolutely be playoff contenders. This team has a ton of young talent. As for this year, it largely depends on the play of Desmond Ridder. Although Ridder has upside, it seems doubtful this team can take the next step in 2023.
#18 New Orleans Saints
The Saints seem stuck in NFL purgatory. They won’t be bad enough to get a good draft pick, yet won’t be good enough to make a serious playoff push. They’ve got cap issues, and signed maybe the most average quarterback in football in Derek Carr. This looks like a middle-of-the-pack team.
#17 Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are a lot like the Falcons. They’ve got a nice young core, and seem to be on the come-up. For now, it will all depend on their young quarterback, Kenny Pickett.
#16 Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings won 13 games last season, yet saw an unfortunate exit in the Wild Card round at the hands of the Giants. They also lost Dalvin Cook and Adam Theilen. Compounding on that, Kirk Cousins is in his contract year, and Justin Jefferson is going to need an extension soon. This year will be very interesting for Minnesota.
#15 Seattle Seahawks
Seattle was expected by most to finish towards the bottom of the league in 2022. They didn’t care, though, sneaking into the last Wild Card spot in the NFC and hanging tough with the 49ers in their playoff game, at least for a while. They went ahead and added one of the most exciting players in the draft in Jaxson Smith-Njiba. This offense should be dialed in, and the Seahawks should be expected to make a return to the postseason.
#14 Cleveland Browns
The Browns are a tough team to predict, and they’ve been all across the board on different “way too early” mock drafts this season. This team will go however far Deshaun Watson takes them. There’s a lot of talent, but it all depends on how Watson does in his first full season back in action.
#13 Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers should have won their playoff game last year. Instead, they lost it in the most Chargers fashion possible. This team brings back a lot of the same talent, and might get their first full season out of J.C. Jackson. Expect Los Angeles to make their way back to the playoffs in 2023.
#12 New York Giants
The Giants shocked the football world last season, and even knocked off the aforementioned 13-win Vikings in the playoffs. They went on to add Darren Waller and speedster Jalin Hyatt in the receiving game. New York was also able to retain Saquon Barkely, which was not an easy task. If Daniel Jones can build on his breakout 2022 campaign, the sky is the limit for the G-men.
#11 Detroit Lions
It feels weird ranking the Lions this high in our NFL power rankings, but they absolutely deserve it. Detroit made a huge jump last year, and just barely missed the playoffs. They made some excellent moves during the off-season, including adding C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Cam Sutton, and Brian Branch. They had an excellent offense in 2022, and have built a very formidable defense to pair. Could 2023 be the year we see the Lions back in the playoffs? It looks likely.
#10 Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have gone higher on many other mocks, but I’m not that sold on them this year. They beat up on Tampa Bay in the Wild Card round last year, but yet again couldn’t get past San Francisco. With no real changes this offseason, it looks like another typical early-round playoff exit in Dallas this year.
#9 Miami Dolphins
Miami had a very interesting 2022 season. They started off very strong, but injuries derailed that success. Miami managed to make it to the playoffs, and nearly beat the Bills in Buffalo with Skylar Thompson at quarterback. If the Phins can stay healthy in 2023, they can realistically contend for the AFC championship.
#8 New York Jets
Coming into the off-season, most viewed the Jets as being a quarterback away from true contention. They solved that problem by adding Aaron Rodgers, one of the best quarterbacks in recent memory. This is now a very well-rounded team, ready to make a name for themselves.
#7 Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jags lept onto the scene in the 2022 season, thanks to a breakout year from their young quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Now, this team on the rise adds Calvin Ridley. Fresh off a massive playoff comeback, this team should be near the top of any NFL power rankings list for years to come.
#6 Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are a perennial playoff contender, and 2023 should be no different. Lamar Jackson is sticking around, after all. It also seems his new receiver Zay Flowers happens to be a star in the making. If their new offensive coordinator, Todd Monken, can figure things out — and they stay healthy — Baltimore should be considered one of the best teams in football.
#5 San Francisco 49ers
The Niners’ seem to be in contention every year, yet never seem to get it done. Without a clear plan in place at quarterback, this year may continue that trend. San Francisco has an incredible team outside of the quarterback position, as they have for quite sometime now. As Brock Purdy continues his rehab, and if he isn’t 100% at the start of the season, Trey Lance will have to play well enough to win some games.
#4 Buffalo Bills
Von Miller is still recovering from injury, and Tremaine Edmunds left in free agency. Still, this Bills team is built to contend. They’ve got a sour taste in their mouth after their defeat to Cincy in the divisional round, and will carry that with a vengeance into the 2023 season.
#3 Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals missed repeat AFC championships by the skin of their teeth after a brutal late-hit penalty. They’ll run it back this year with the same core group. The defense did lose some pieces, but the Bengals appear to have some impressive young players, especially in the secondary.
#2 Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles were a holding penalty away from a Super Bowl championship last season, and carry a team just as impressive into this season. The only big change here is at running back. Miles Sanders is gone, and he’ll be replaced by D’Andre Swift.
#1 Kansas City Chiefs
The defending Super Bowl champions don’t belong anywhere else on this list. Even though they have a very below-average receiving corps, they have Patrick Mahomes, so does it really matter? Expect the Chiefs to contend to repeat their title.