2019 NFL Power Rankings

2019 NFL Power Rankings (Training Camp Edition)

There were many surprises throughout the NFL season last year. Plenty of teams took their bumps and bruises, others soared to successful seasons. After ending their playoff drought, the Jaguars regressed and missed the playoffs yet again. After coming off of a magical run with a backup quarterback in 2017, the Vikings failed to have a winning season and missed the playoffs. The Cleveland Browns went from one of the worst teams in previous years to turning in an above-average season by Browns standards. Let’s take a look at the pre-season power rankings as we inch closer to the start of the NFL season.

New Orleans Saints

Projected Record: 13-3

Drew Brees FantasyAfter finishing a season as losers in the NFC Championship game due to a missed pass interference call, the Saints look to rebound and have a successful year as they try and salvage what is left of the aging Drew Brees. With no signs of slowing down, Brees looks to carry this offense to another big year with weapons like Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. Losing Mark Ingram may bode as an issue, but bringing in newcomers like Latavius Murray should help with their depth at running back. With the new pass interference review rule in place, the Saints can rest easy as they don’t have to be concerned about that happening again.

Los Angeles Chargers

Projected Record: 13-3

The Chargers appear to be one of the most complete teams in the NFL. With one of the best defensive lines in the game, they stand to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks. With their stout secondary, they should have plenty of time to rush the quarterback. Relying on the shoulders of Melvin Gordon to carry this backfield, Philip Rivers has plenty of options to throw to as defenses continue to have to drop eight in the box to try and stop the stud running back. With Keenan Allen to take away the bulk of the attention, third-year receiver Mike Williams and returning from injury their tight end Hunter Henry should benefit and have successful years as the Chargers have the potency to make a run for the Super Bowl.

Los Angeles Rams

Projected Record: 12-4

The Rams are coming off a heartbreak loss in the Super Bowl to the New England Patriots. We all know the majority of the country wanted to see this team pull off the victory over the every lustrous Patriots team who have appeared in four Super Bowls in the last five years. The Rams drafted Darrell Henderson out of Memphis to give some insurance to the aging knees of Todd Gurley. Gurley is still a star running back, but the question all season will be how will his knees hold up. This defense has some of the best playmakers in the game, and it all starts with Aaron Donald. They added edge rusher Clay Matthews who will play a role in pestering quarterbacks and keeping guys like Dante Fowler fresh. This defense will be quite the handful to go along with one of the best offensive coaches in Sean McVay.

Kansas City Chiefs

Projected Record: 12-4

The Chiefs ended the year as the most potent offense in the league last year, averaging the most points per game by any team. It was a disappointing way to end the season as they looked to be one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. With an unfortunate offsides call, the Chiefs couldn’t pull off the win against the stubborn Pats. With a possible suspension looming over Tyreek Hill’s head, and Kareem Hunt released before the season was over, they look to try to at least duplicate what they did last year. 12-4 and seems pretty optimistic, but with Patrick Mahomes at the helm, anything is possible.

New England Patriots

Projected Record: 12-4

The New England Super Bowl Champion Patriots will just never go away, will they? All we can do is sit and appreciate the greatness that’s in front of us. Tom Brady is still leading his team to big wins, and the coaching by Bill Belichick is second to none. They lost some of their key pieces in free agency in the likes of Trey Flowers, Malcolm Brown, and Trent Brown, also losing Rob Gronkowski to retirement, they will look to keep the streak alive with their three straight Super Bowl appearances. With Belichick manning the driver seat and Tom Brady sitting shotgun, anything is possible.

Philadelphia Eagles

Projected Record: 13-3

The Eagles came into last year flying high as Super Bowl Champs for the first time in team history. They were flying so high that they forgot they had an entire season to play. Entering the bye week, the Eagles sat as a 4-4 team, looking up at the rest of the elite teams and wondering what they need to do to get back into the playoffs again. Lucky for them they turned everything around and manage to squeak past the Chicago Bears due to a missed field goal by Cody Parkey. This year the Eagles won’t come in flying so high. They’ll be more grounded and come in ready to smack some teams around on the shoulders of their franchise quarterback Carson Wentz. Expect a big season from these Eagles.

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Minnesota Vikings

Projected Record: 12-4

Talk about one of the most disappointing teams of 2018. The Vikings came into the season after seeing their chances at a first Super Bowl slip through their fingertips. They signed their quarterback to a monster contract in the offseason and expected to be right back in the mix for the NFC Championship game again. Not so fast Vikings. They quickly realized they needed to protect that 80-million dollar man. It was clear that they missed their late coach Tony Sparano who they tragically lost during the offseason last year. That may have played a bigger part than people realized. The Vikings have taken their slap to the face and look to return to form and make a run at the franchises first Super Bowl in team history.

Indianapolis Colts

Projected Record: 10-6

Andrew Luck FantasyThe Colts ended the season as one of the more surprising teams of 2018. They turned their 4-12 record into a positive 10-6 record. It was clear that the team needed to make some changes on the offensive line, and drafting star guard Quenton Nelson as the highest drafted guard in the history of the NFL Draft, it quickly turned things around. With good drafting last year and in previous years, young guys like Darius Leonard are becoming stars in the making. This team is quickly turning things back around to becoming playoff contenders year after year.

Chicago Bears

Projected Record: 11-5

Da Bears flipped things around in a massive way. With new coach Matt Nagy at the help, things went from catastrophic to extraordinary in just a year. Mitch Trubisky looks to be making major strides, and with Khalil Mack being a menace on the defensive side, this team looks to pick up right where they left off last year. They signed a new kicker this year, which looks to be the answer to their problems as they ended the year on a very sour note that doesn’t need to be mentioned for Bears fans.

Dallas Cowboys

Projected Record: 11-5

The Dallas Cowboys were a team the relied heavily on Dak Prescott protecting the ball, and Ezekiel Elliott running the ball. Now with a stout defense and a number one wide receiver in Amari Cooper, the team looks to be a bit more complete. They are in a division that is a two-man race between them and the Eagles, and it appears this will be a fight to the end between these two clubs. If this offensive line can remain healthy and keep Prescott and Elliott healthy, they could easily make a run for another division title.

Cleveland Browns

Projected Record: 10-6

The Browns very well may be on their way to their first playoff appearance since 2002 which was their only appearance in team history. With number one overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft Baker Mayfield being a budding star in this league, the team looks to be in good hands with their young stars. Myles Garrett is coming into his own as a pass rusher, and Nick Chubb came on late to the scene last year but made a huge impact on the team. Now they add superstar receiver Odell Beckham Jr to the mix and things in the AFC North just got a whole lot more interesting.

Green Bay Packers

Projected Record: 9-7

Once one of the most feared offenses in the league, now they will turn to their defense to be the strength of this team. Aaron Rodgers still has the talent to play with the best of them, but he isn’t that spry young buck he used to be when he was putting up record-setting numbers. With young stars in the back end in Jaire Alexander and Darnell Savage, as well as veteran newcomer Adrian Amos, they should give time for the Packers new outside linebackers Preston and Za’Darius Smtih to get to the quarterback.

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Houston Texans

Projected Record: 9-7

You don’t have to look any further than the offensive line of the Houston Texans to see what their biggest downfall of the season was. Deshaun Watson was sacked a ridiculous amount of times and opened up very few running lanes for the Houston backfield. They attempted to address this issue in the draft by taking Tytus Howard. That may not have made enough of an impact to get them over that hump of being that elite young team they could be capable of.

Seattle Seahawks

Projected Record: 10-6

Russell WilsonThe Seahawks always seem to find a way to scrap their way into the playoffs. Their offense was spearheaded by their superb rushing attack, which was something that has been lacking since the Beast Mode days. With Doug Baldwin injured last year, it was tough for them to get a real consistent passing game going. With Baldwin now retired, rookie D.K. Metcalf has a really good opportunity to step up with one of the best quarterbacks in the league. We may be looking at the future rookie of the year and a really potent offense all around.

Carolina Panthers

Projected Record: 10-6

The Panthers find themselves in a tough spot with being in a division with two of the better offenses in the league with the Falcons and the Saints. The question will be, can their defense matchup against their offenses. They very well could this year. They added arguably the best pass rusher in the draft as they landed Brian Burns with their first-round pick to go along with some very solid depth all around. They also kept most of their offensive line intact and drafted a solid prospect in Greg Little out of Ole Miss.

Baltimore Ravens

Projected Record: 10-6

It should be fun to watch the Ravens matchup with the AFC North this year. They lost one of the most key players on their defense in C.J. Mosely this offseason which could hurt their defensive production. But on the offensive side of the ball is where they became really interesting. Drafting Hollywood Brown in the first round may have come to a shock to many, but he could be a real weapon for them this season. Justice Hill is also a perfect fit for the Ravens, as he could potentially see quite a bit of work in the passing game, as well as spelling newcomer Mark Ingram. Ingram has always been a better back when he’s had a complimentary piece to work with, so you could see a whole lot different of an offense in Baltimore.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Projected Record: 8-8

The Steelers are a bit of an odd one this year. They’re coming off of an offseason where they have officially lost both of their star players, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. They still have a solid offensive line and JuJu Smith-Schuster is now the overall number one receiver on the team. Their offense shouldn’t skip a beat. They also added stud linebacker Devin Bush in the NFL Draft this spring which will beef up what was a mediocre second level. The thing is, teams in their division got a lot better and this division is wide open.

Atlanta Falcons

Projected Record: 7-9

The Falcons have one of the most potent offenses in the league. With Matt Ryan manning the helm and with weapons like Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, it’s hard not to get excited about this team. However, with the lack of depth, one injury to a key piece on this team could send them into a downward spiral. They also face an uphill climb, as they will have to deal with one of the toughest schedules in the league. They have the talent to hang in many of their games, but they may have a tough time winning the close ones this year.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Projected Record: 7-9

The Jaguars had one of the more frustrating years of any team last year. They went from nearly playing in the Super Bowl, to falling flat on their face. Their defense in the 2017-2018 season is what really carried them and they really didn’t have that much depth or help on the offensive side of the ball. With Leonard Fournette not being 100%, and the lack of consistent play for Blake Bortles, the Jaguars showed that they aren’t ready to be considered a top tier NFL team. Their defense will continue to be what keeps this team in games, but their offense will struggle to win the meaningful games.

New York Jets

Projected Record: 7-9

The New York Jets did a lot to improve their roster this year. They added Kelechi Osemele to their offensive line, Le’Veon Bell to be their workhorse and their quarterback on the defensive side of the ball C.J. Mosley. By all accounts, this team should be vastly improved from last season. Second-year quarterback Sam Darnold appears to be ready to take another step forward in his development. What could hold them back is new head coach Adam Gase.

Detroit Lions

Projected Record: 5-11

There’s always a plethora of hype surrounding the Detroit Lions during just about every offseason. It absolutely can be justified, however, they are in arguably the toughest division in the league. With the Vikings likely to improve, the Bears have found their stride again, and Aaron Rodgers and the Packers able to dominate just about any game, the Lions find themselves in the backseat of the NFC North again.

Tennessee Titans

Projected Record: 6-10

The Tennessee Titans seem to make steady improvements year after year. Each year they seem to be a fringe playoff team and squeak into the playoffs, only to finish the season with a disappointing early exit. Derrick Henry appears to have had his coming out party towards the end of last year. But their passing game has been holding them back. Marcus Mariota hasn’t made the leap the Titans have hoped for out of their second overall pick.

Buffalo Bills

Projected Record: 6-10

The Bills are in an interesting spot this year. They saw quite a few flashes from their big-armed, first-round quarterback Josh Allen last year, and they have a couple of good deep threats in John Brown and Robert Foster to really test that arm. Drafting Devin Singletary and bringing in Frank Gore may be the best moves of the offseason. This gives Singletary time to adjust to NFL life, and he gets two potential future hall of fame running backs to learn from. There are still some question marks that make them a bit of a wild card. Can their offensive line protect their second-year quarterback? Will they be able to open up running lanes? Time will tell.

San Francisco 49ers

Projected Record: 5-11

Overall, the Niners have a lot to be excited about. Jimmy Garappolo is coming back from an ACL tear. George Kittle had one of the best seasons by a tight end last year. Dante Pettis is emerging as a great route runner. They have a deep backfield in Tevin Coleman, Jerick McKinnon, and Matt Breida. They drafted arguably the best edge rusher in Nick Bosa. The offense may not be the question, but the defense is. The first and second levels aren’t to worry too much about, but that secondary as a whole could get shredded this year.

Cincinnati Bengals

Projected Record: 5-11

The Bengals had all the makings to continue progressing. New head coach, really good young running back, solid depth in the receiving corps, and a young and improving offensive line. But with the retirement of Clint Boling and the season-ending injury to their first-round pick Jonah Williams, this offensive line appears to be in worse shape than last year, and last year they were brutal, to say the least. They’re often going to be in negative game scripts, which mean they’ll have to rely on Andy Dalton’s arm, which is scary in itself. You may see more of rookie quarterback Ryan Finley than you really want to, just to see if he has what it takes to be their starting quarterback afterlife without Dalton.

Oakland Raiders

Projected Record: 5-11

Everyone may be surprised if they see the Raiders win five games this year, but when you look at this team as a whole, they have the potential to take the step forward. They were dead last in sacks last year, and they addressed that problem with their fourth overall pick as they draft Clelin Ferrell. Also, landing Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams will help Derek Carr, and rookie running back Josh Jacobs should be able to relieve some pressure from those wide receivers. Overall, this team still has a long ways to go under the regime of John Gruden, but at least they’re on the right track.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Projected Record: 4-12

The Bucs are one of the wild cards this year. Under new head coach Bruce Ariens, they have the potential to win 10 games, or lose 15 games. With the division they play in, it may be closer to the latter. Jameis Winston will need to take a huge step forward in protecting the ball. He has the weapons in the passing game to do so with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and O.J. Howard. Also, running back Ronald Jones will be someone to keep an eye on to see if he can improve on what was a disastrous rookie season. Even though they drafted what looks to be a franchise linebacker in Devin White, losing Kwon Alexander may pose a bigger problem than we are assuming.

Denver Broncos

Projected Record: 3-13

The Broncos are the other wild card. They have the potential to have this record flip-flopped if all the pieces fall into place. But with having to play the NFC North this year, as well as the Chargers and Chiefs twice, we are more likely looking at a losing season this year. Joe Flacco looks to be just a bridge quarterback to Drew Lock and it’s fair to assume we will be seeing Lock well before the seasons over. The defense should still be in good shape, but the question marks are surrounding the offense. They addressed some issues to this offensive line, but have they done enough to hide some of the blemishes in that group?

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Arizona Cardinals

Projected Record: 2-14

This is what is called an experiment year for the Cardinals. With their first overall pick this year, they drafted Kyler Murray in hopes that he will be their franchise quarterback, and by all accounts, he has the talent to do so. That’s not what we should worry about. It’s how horrendous this offensive line is. They suffered their fair share of injuries last year, but this group was in for a complete overhaul. Murray possesses the escapability and speed to mask some of those issues, but will his receivers be able to get open for him? There’s a young nucleus there now that will need time to gel together, but this won’t be the year you’ll see the Cardinals take a massive step forward.

Washington Redskins

Projected Record: 3-13

The Redskins are, well, an intriguing team of the future at best. There’s plenty of reasons to be excited about this team. Drafting arguably the best pro-style quarterback all the way back at 15th overall was a fantastic get for them, as well as receiver Kelvin Harmon in the sixth round. Getting receiver Terry McLaurin, who was Haskin’s former teammate at Ohio State could pose as a sneaky good snag as well. But this team as a whole has a long way to go. Case Keenum is not the answer. Adrian Peterson is aging, though he appears to still have some left in the tank, and Derrius Guice can’t seem to stay healthy, even in the offseason. They may be close to regaining relevance in the league, but they still have some holes to fill.

New York Giants

Projected Record: 2-14

Talk about having some holes to fill, Dave Gettleman may need to rethink his strategy. The offensive line looks better than it did last year, so Eli Manning should have some more time to throw, but Manning’s life in the league appears to be short with Daniel Jones right on his heals, though Jones isn’t the long term answer either. Something Giants fans can look forward to is Saquon Barkley being featured as often as possible in this offense. With no more Odell Beckham Jr, Barkley will be force-fed the ball in both the run and pass game. But having one elite guy on your team does not bode well for future success.

Miami Dolphins

Projected Record: 2-14

It is clear as day the Dolphins are on the tank and rebuild path. There are a countless number of holes on this roster. Your average fan probably couldn’t even name each player in the trenches for them. Dolphins fans may even have a hard time doing so. However, they look to be on the right path at the quarterback position with Josh Rosen at the helm. He wasn’t given a chance to succeed with the worst team in the league last year, but this team won’t be any better. His receiving weapons and offensive line will need to improve before we can get excited about his potential in the NFL, and the Dolphins need to figure out their defense. Until then, Dolphins fans will be in for a long few years until this rebuild is complete.

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