Ah, football season. Its finally here, and so are the official KIRS NFL Power Rankings. This year’s going to be a little different. Last year, teams in our rankings moved up and down solely on wins and losses so a team that only won 5 games could technically be a top 20 team if they won the majority of their games in the last few games of the season. This year, teams will have to earn their spots in the rankings. Beating the Raiders won’t help you jump a team that beat the Broncos…if that actually happens. Also, we’re going to have some feedback with the rankings. Rob DiRe and I are doing rankings and we’ll compare and contrast what we came up with. It’ll be like dueling banjos, except we’re not rednecks and we’re ranking football teams. So here we go…the second annual official KIRS NFL Power Rankings.
32. Oakland Raiders- The Raiders don’t look very good but they look better now that they named Derek Carr as the starter. I don’t think Derek Carr is amazing by any stretch, but he’s gotta be better than Matt Shaub. Rob and I have played with quarterbacks better than Matt Shaub.
31. Cleveland Browns- At this point, I’m not concerned with who the starting quarterback is. I get that Brian Hoyer is more experienced, especially against their first few opponents. The Browns are building and going in the right direction but this won’t be their year.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars – Man its like Rob and I share a brain. We have the same bottom teams in the power rankings. Again, I think the Jags are building the right way but don’t mistake them for a playoff team.
29. Tennessee Titans – This is the first spot we disagree. I don’t think the Titans defense is good at all. I also don’t think they have a good running game. All that matters is that Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter and Jake Locker play well…because they’re on my fantasy teams. As a matter of fact, scratch Locker. I don’t need him until my starter’s on a bye.
28. Buffalo Bills – The Bills are gonna be pretty far down in the power rankings if their defense doesn’t carry them. EJ Manuel isn’t a good quarterback and they picked up a backup that was literally sitting on his couch last week.
27. Houston Texans – My dude Rob has the Texans entirely too high. I’m not sold on Ryan Fitzpatrick just yet and Arian Foster has to prove he’s healthy. Defensively I like them but they aren’t stout on all three levels, despite having JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.
26. Minnesota Vikings – We don’t differ on our opinions about the Vikings. I think the offense can do some good things but the defense doesn’t stir up any confidence.
25. St Louis Rams – The Rams defense is going to score some points and stop some other teams from scoring but the offense is going to have to score some points too. And for some reason, I don’t expect a lot of that to happen with Schotty calling the plays.
24. Washington Redskins – The Deadskins are way higher on Rob’s rankings than mine because I don’t think the defense is very good. Fortunately for them, they play in the NFC East and defense isn’t really necessary.
23. Carolina Panthers – I have the Panthers a little higher. I think Cam has the ability to will this team to some wins and making people around him better…except the running backs. They suck.
22. Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins have a chance to live up to the hype of being called “Eagles South” and their defense is pretty decent. I don’t think they’ll be this far down for the entire season.
21. New York Jets – I’m only really giving the Jets this much credit because I think any Rex Ryan coached defense has a chance to be special. Just keep that man away from the offense and maybe they’ll be alright.
20. Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys are going to score some points. Thats all I have to say about that.
19. New York Giants – The Giants should probably be lower but i’ll admit this is a homer pick. Am I ashamed? Nope. Not one bit. Just be happy I didn’t put them in the top ten.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Someone said the Bucs are gonna lead the league in rebounding. Thats funny…like their offense. Love the defense though. Super underrated.
17. Atlanta Falcons – Hard Knocks is done. Its for real now. You know what isn’t for real? That defense.
16. Kansas City Chiefs – Losing two offensive linemen isn’t going to help Jamaal Charles. And Jamaal Charles needs help. The defense also lost Brandon Flowers but I don’t think they care.
15. Detroit Lions – I might be the only person that really believes in the Lions. I don’t think its enough to win the division but I think Stafford is on deck for a good year.
14. Arizona Cardinals – Remember I said this later on in the season. Carson Palmer is going to surprise people. He’ll turn 35 and put up a really solid year. There’s also going to be a few breakout stars like Andre Ellington.
13. Baltimore Ravens – I don’t blame Rob for being down on the Ravens. We don’t associate anything good being called the Ravens, whether its in Baltimore or Bayside.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers might be back, guys. I’ve got a good feeling.
11. San Diego Chargers – See what I just said about the Steelers? That goes double for the Chargers.
10. Chicago Bears – The defense stinks but that offense is PROLIFIC. Show me a team thats going to stop Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Marc Trestman-tutored Jay Cutler. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
9. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck is about to have an MVP caliber season. Mark my words. Will he win it? Maybe not. But he’s about to have a really good year.
8. Cincinnati Bengals – A top 5 offense plus a top 5 defense equals a playoff team, especially in the AFC North.
7. Philadelphia Eagles – It pains me to say this but there’s a lot of weapons on that offense and they’re going to be scary to watch in the division.
6. New England Patriots – The Pats are much improved on both sides of the ball plus they play in a division that they’ve dominated for over a decade. I don’t see anything changing.
5. San Francisco 49ers – The Niners might drop some but when guys come back from injury/suspension, they’ll be a scary team to face.
4. Green Bay Packers – The Packers are my pick to make the Super Bowl. I don’t know if I’m ready to predict them to win the Super just yet but gun to my head? Yeah, they’re going to win the Super Bowl. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong…but if I am wrong, I just hope its because the Giants win it.
3. New Orleans Saints – The Saints are one of three teams that could represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. The secondary is a little suspect but with their safeties and Rob Ryan’s brain, they’ll be fine.
2. Denver Broncos – If the Broncos have a motto for the season, its gotta be “All In” because thats what they did in free agency. They pushed all their chips to the center of the table. I don’t see another Colts upset this year.
1. Seattle Seahawks – Rob and I (and most people with half a brain) agree that the Seahawks belong at the top of the power rankings. They didn’t lose a lot in terms of personnel and the guys that are going to step up are in good hands with Coach Carroll. Fail Mary Rematch is a good way to start the season.
32. Oakland Raiders- Since our bottom three teams match, let me lump them together and dismiss them quickly. The Raiders have a terrible roster top to bottom, and starting the second best Carr brother is not going to save them.
31. Cleveland Browns- Speaking of players who are not saviors, meet Johnny Manziel. Although, I would feel a lot better about this team if Josh Gordon was playing regardless of the starting quarterback.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars- The Jaguars think they have improved, but they have an awkward blend of youth and veterans, and seemingly not a single player actually in the prime of his career. Also, white running back? Really? Ultimately, its preseason, who knows how bad any of these three can be. They could have been ranked as the bottom three teams in any order.
29. Carolina Panthers- I am down on this team, clearly. The offense is going to be horrific. No one to throw to, no one to block, no one to sucker punch undrafted rookies in practice. These are not your older brother’s Panthers. The front seven is good enough that they should rise from 29, but they are going to struggle to score.
28. Minnesota Vikings- The Vikings with Matt Cassel are easily among the most boring teams in football. In an NFC North where the other three teams should contend, Adrian Peterson and Cordarelle Patterson need to be heroic.
27. St. Louis Rams- R.I.P. Sam Bradford‘s career. Brian Schottenheimer is the worst. I will never forgive him. A dominant pass rush won’t do much for this team when they can’t move the football. Congratulations on completing the worst rebuilding project in recent memory.
26. Buffalo Bills- This team had young talent and draft picks, but threw it away. They could have rebuilt into something, instead of a bunch of bums.
25. Tennessee Titans- First of all, Jake Locker is as bad as any quarterback who is starting week one. Second, Shonn Green is as bad as any running back who is starting week one who isn’t white. Still, they have enough talent to surprise a few teams if all breaks right.
24. New York Giants- Stan is a major homer. He will be this way all season. This team won seven games last year. Kirk Cousins, Matt Barkley, Matt Flynn, Josh Freeman, and Terrelle Pryor started in five of their wins. They only got worse.
23. Kansas City Chiefs- Much like the Panthers, I think the Chiefs will take a huge step back. Their offensive line was torn apart, and they didn’t add anything anywhere to make up for it.
22. Atlanta Falcons- The Falcons had the injury excuse last season. They added no depth at any position. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones can win eight games alone, but both have to be healthy to do so.
21. Houston Texans- Fitting that Stan has the Jets in this spot, because the teams are identical. No quarterback, middling weapons, and a pretty bad ass front seven. Fitzpatrick is bad. He will have to safe with the ball to get any higher.
20. Dallas Cowboys- Should be fun to watch Dez Bryant run around and emasculate corners all year, right?
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Stan is such a homer. The Bucs could steal a bunch of games to start the season, but don’t ever forget that Josh McCown is the quarterback, and he is not good.
18. Baltimore Ravens- This team could just be terrible. Ray Rice and Joe Flacco were worse than Jake Locker and Shonn Greene last year. Where is the deer antler spray?
17. New York Jets- Geno Smith might be awful. They won’t cover anybody. They will probably start 1-6. Good luck to Rex Ryan.
16. Washington Redskins- I can’t even fault Stan for having them so low, but I just am underreacting to everyone overreacting to the demise of RGIII. They should bounce back with a weak schedule.
15. Miami Dolphins- The AFC is truly awful. Someone has to win eight games and miss the playoffs, might as well be my man Ryan Tannehill with a real life line.
14. Arizona Cardinals- Carson Palmer is going to put up the best numbers of any quarterback you would never ever want to start a game for you. The defense is taking a huge step back when they should have beefed up all offseason.
13. Detroit Lions- If they just chuck the ball to giant pass catchers 700 times this season, they might look just good enough to blow a shot at the playoffs in the last few weeks of the season.
12. Chicago Bears- I think the offense will be just good enough to squeak out a playoff spot if healthy.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers play no one and the AFC really stinks.
10. Indianapolis Colts- Switch Andrew Luck out for Carson Palmer and I rank this team 29. And then I delete that and rank them 32. Then I proceed to not watch the Colts. Thanks AFC South for not trying.
9. Philadelphia Eagles- 82 catches, 1,332 yards, and nine touchdowns. That gang better have been dangerous, might cost this team a chance to really go far.
8. Cincinnati Bengals- The NFL is a lot like Game of Thrones–extremely cruel to their gingers. Enjoy your first round loss.
7. San Diego Chargers- I think this Chargers team is looking at eight to ten wins. That is a slam dunk playoff team. This is a really bad AFC.
6. New England Patriots- Stan and I have basically the same top six. The Pats are going to be good. They will feast on that schedule, and be poised for at least another AFC Championship Game.
5. Green Bay Packers- The 49ers will definitely drop off, but I am at a point where I need to see the Packers actually beat the 49ers before I switch these two.
4. San Francisco 49ers- That being said, I think the Packers will be among the best teams in the NFL. The defense is much improved, where the 49ers to a step back (due to injury and suspension). Of course, I think the 49ers will be in the playoffs, and would still favor them in the Packer matchup.
3. New Orleans Saints- This is my favorite team in the NFL this year. Stupid Stan stole my thunder putting them third as well. If anyone is knocking off the NFC West kings, I think it will be the Saints.
2. Denver Broncos- If you haven’t noticed, I am not high on the AFC. The Broncos roll through the AFC again, and should be primed for another Super Bowl beatdown from the Seahawks, Saints, 49ers, or Packers.
1. Seattle Seahawks- This team lost a lot on the depth chart, but they were able to keep the big pieces. Now Brandon Browner, Red Bryant, Chris Clemons, Breno Giacomini, Walter Thurmond, and Golden Tate are all going to hurt at least a little. Still, they deserve to be the favorites. Hopefully, Stan and I start disagreeing at the top soon.