Welcome back, my friends! It’s almost as if football season never ended. In reality, it doesn’t end. Football is a 12 month content machine. It never stops. Maybe you are able to detach from it and live normal lives. That’s not me, though. I spend my days staring at FanDuel, talking myself into burning money on MVP bets in March, and am already scouring the internet hoping to find defensive rookie of the year odds. Yes i’m a psychopath. It’s in my nature.
With the draft wrapping up, the good free agents signed, and Aaron Rodgers finally cast off to get eaten alive by the New York media, lets jump in and do a Power Ranking!
1: Philadelphia Eagles
Super Bowl Odds: +850
The running joke is that the Eagles are building up a pro version of the University of Georgia football team. I see it as a serious thought experiment that people have asked for decades: Can the best college football team beat the worst NFL team? The answer is obviously no. But that doesn’t seem to be stopping the Eagles from building the Bulldog all stars. I genuinely hope that they give Jalen Hurts the day off and let D’Andre Swift run the wildcat offense all day Week five against the Cardinals, one of the most aggressively bad defenses that will exist in the NFL this year.
The Eagles made the Super Bowl last season, and are coming back stronger. They had one of the best drafts of any team. They have enough young players and are good enough at drafting to supplement their high priced veterans. Jalen Hurts is arguably the best quarterback in the NFC and is throwing to one of the best receiving units in football. Outside of a big string of bad luck with injuries, the Eagles have to be the presumptive favorite to get out of the conference and represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
2: Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl Odds: +600
It almost feels like, no matter what happens, no matter who they lose in free agency, no matter how the draft goes for them, the Chiefs have to be ranked as a top two team as long as Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid are on the team.
Kansas City is proof that if you have a good coach and a good quarterback, then a lot of other problems will figure themselves out.
3: Cincinnati Bengals
Super Bowl Odds: +1000
As long as Joe Burrow stays healthy, and his offensive line isn’t an open barn door, then the Bengals are going to continue to be the team that we expect to see in the AFC Championship game against the Chiefs every season. At some point, the team needs to figure out what they are going to do long term with star wide receiver Tee Higgins, but their offense is built to be high powered with the ability to shoulder that potential loss.
You have to appreciate what Cincy did in the draft, getting an absolute steal in Myles Murphy at 28, who had been mocked as high as a top 10 picks in the weeks before the draft. They also snagged two potential starters in the secondary with cornerback DJ Turner from Michigan and Alabama safety Jordan Battle.
4: Buffalo Bills
Super Bowl Odds: +900
Is this the peak of the team? Are they going to be the perpetual bridesmaids, watching Cincinnati and Kansas City compete for the conference championship every year? Until they can break through, it’s hard to say whether this team is really good enough to be the AFC representative in the Super Bowl. The shame of it is, this team would be the second best team in the NFC right now, and because they play in the East, they still wouldn’t be the best team in the NFC East.
Dalton Kincaid, if IF he can stay healthy, should be able to open up the middle of the field much better than Dawson Knox, giving the Bills the ability to run RPO’s more cleanly. Damien Harris is the pass catcher Josh Allen has dreamed of out of the backfield. The offense is very good, and has a chance to be the best offense in the league if a few things break right and the team stays healthy. Until they can get past either of the AFC teams above them, though, they are destined to be the third child of the conference.
5: Dallas Cowboys
Super Bowl Odds: +1400
Second best team in the NFC, and not even the best team in their division. This team is very good, but with one very big question: Who is going to be the running back for this team? Tony Pollard is coming off a major injury and might not be ready by week one. Malik Davis is more of a special teams player. Ronald Jones is shockingly still in the NFL, and not battling for carries in the XFL. They didn’t invest a draft pick on a running back until the sixth round. The offense works when this team is running down opposing defenses throats. They don’t have that right now.
You can’t help but feel like the Cowboys botched the draft by not attacking needs when there were options available. Mazi Smith was an overdraft. Luke Schoonmaker might be a good tight end, but there were better tight ends earlier in the draft that would have been better for the offense.
While the Eagles made huge strides to improve their Super Bowl team, it feels like the Cowboys spent the offseason stuck in neutral a bit, which in the NFC, is still comfortably good enough to be second best in the conference.
6: Baltimore Ravens
Super Bowl Odds: +1800
It is almost completely besides the point that there were free agent signings or draft picks for the Ravens. They resigned Lamar Jackson to the biggest contract in NFL history. Watch the end of the season for the Ravens last year and how stuck in the mud they were with Tyler Huntley at quarterback. Jackson represents the most dynamic player in the NFL when he is healthy. He completely changes the fortunes of the team. They immediately added around him, drafting wide receiver Zay Flowers in the first round, to go with the Odell Beckham signing.
They drafted Trenton Simpson in the third round to fill out their linebacker corps along with Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen, which is traditionally the anchor of the Ravens defense.
If everything falls into place with the new pieces on the offense and defense, this team might have a higher upside than the Bills in terms of teams who could dethrone the Bengals or Chiefs. They just have to keep Jackson healthy.
7: New York Jets
Super Bowl Odds: +1400
The Jets start at seven this year. In 2024, this team won’t be higher than 20th. That is because cause this team is so, so, so, so dumb. They managed to negotiate against themselves in the Aaron Rodgers saga. The Green Bay Packers had zero negotiating power, and still came out with way more in draft capital than anyone expected. Maybe in the future, don’t sign all of the guys the quarterback requests before the quarterback is on the team. Oh, and then don’t publicly say you aren’t trying to get Lamar Jackson, as well.
I would love to play poker with the general manager of the Jets sometime. Oh, and the Packers adjusted the contract of Rodgers to make sure that, if he is a Jet in 2024, his contract will cost 100 million dollars. Just well done. Truly as if Adam Gase never left.
8: Miami Dolphins
Super Bowl Odds: +2500
The Dolphins had a grand total of four draft picks. They did…stuff with them. I actually like Devon Achane on this team, even though he is roughly the eighth running back on the roster, especially after the 49ers randomly cut a running back at some point and this team desperately runs out to sign them.
At the end of the day, this team will live and die by Tua Tagovailoa’s health. Mike White was fine in small doses last year. You don’t want to be entering the second round of the playoffs with Mike White as your starting quarterback. Tagovailoa represents the best option for this team if they are going to be a Super Bowl contender. With major concussion concerns and the possibility that his next concussion will be the last one he is able to suffer before retiring, this team needs to build their offense a little bit differently into a more quick release offense that gets the ball into Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle’s hands and let them do their thing.
9: Seattle Seahawks
Super Bowl Odds: +4500
Can the Seahawks represent the NFC in the Super Bowl? I’ve honestly got money on them winning the conference and winning the Super Bowl. I have a lot of faith in this team. And there is a LOT to like. They drafted a shutdown corner in Devon Witherspoon with the fifth pick, surprising a lot of people, but creating one of the potentially best corner duos in the NFL, along with Tariq Woolen. They also helped their defensive line with the second round pick of Derrick Hall out of Auburn.
What they did on offense, though, could have this team really flying high this season. Even with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett as their top receivers, the team drafted the top wide receiver in the 2022 class, Jaxson Smith-Njigba. And then, even after having last year’s best rookie running back, they drafted Zach Charbonnet out of UCLA, who is a good pass defender out of the backfield. They in the seventh, they drafted Georgia running back Kenny McIntosh, a big time pass catching back who can be used well in RPO offenses.
Even after surprising a lot of people last year by making the playoffs, this team still has their arrow pointing up, and a second masterful draft could be a sign of things to come.
10: Los Angeles Chargers
Super Bowl Odds: +2500
Keenan Allen gets hurt every year. If you play fantasy football, you know this to be fact. He doesn’t even necessarily miss that many games, but he lives with a constant Q by his name in the lead up to game days. The Chargers did well in the first round of the draft to bring in Quentin Johnson from TCU to act as a third wide receiver behind Allen and Mike Williams.
Los Angeles used most of the rest of their draft capital building the trenches along the offensive and defensive line which is good, since they really didn’t do anything in free agency. their big free agent signing was a potentially washed up Erik Kendricks.
The biggest thing the Chargers have going for them right now is that their division is not nearly as good as people thought it was at this time 12 months ago. At this time last year, the Chiefs were still the best team in the division, the Raiders had traded for Davante Adams, and the Broncos had traded for Russell Wilson. Those things are all still true 12 months later, but in that time, everyone, including the Raiders, remembered that the Raiders were going to Raiders all over themselves and that the Russell Wilson trade would ruin the Broncos franchise in the short term…well that, and hiring Nathaniel Hackett, known now primarily as the human embodiment of the “deer in the headlights” look.
The Chargers never make deep runs into the playoffs, because the Chargers cannot stay healthy. Any season. Ever. Maybe this year will be the year, though.
11: San Francisco 49ers
Super Bowl Odds: +950
Some outlets are referring to the 49ers as the best team in the NFC. The NFC might suck, but the 49ers might not even be the best team in their own division. Forgive me for not believing in the Brock Purdy/Trey Lance tandem out in the bay. Losing Demeco Ryans, who is off to coach the Texans, is a big deal. The offense is still loaded, but they are just mashing random parts into the engine to make it run. While there is a chance Trey Lance can still be the second best quarterback in the 2021 NFL draft class, Kyle Trask and Kellen Mond have better chances of making an impact for their respective teams in 2023. And no, i’m not a believer in Brock Purdy as the next Tom Brady. At best, he is the next Matt Cassell, and even that is a sketchy proposition.
Don’t expect a lot of help from the draft, either. San Fran didn’t draft until the 3rd round, and used one of their two picks on a kicker, which ALWAYS works out. I went with caps because there isn’t an agreed upon sarcasm font.
12: Jacksonville Jaguars
Super Bowl Odds: +2500
Every other team in their division had to use an early pick on a quarterback. There is a non-zero chance that Jacksonville could have their division won by Halloween. If they played in the NFC, the Jaguars would be one of the top three seeds. Instead, they play in one of the most talent rich QB conferences in NFL history.
Seriously, look at the quarterbacks in the rest of the AFC: Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes in the West. Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow in the North. Josh Allen and Aaron Rodgers in the West.
Now look at the NFC. No seriously, any input would be appreciated. Who is the best QB in the NFC after Jalen Hurts and maybe Dak Prescott? Jared Goff? Geno Smith? Kyler Murray? Daniel Jones? Derek Carr?
13: Detroit Lions
Super Bowl Odds: +2200
To be honest, I had the Lions where San Francisco is and Detoit where the 49ers are, and then the Lions went and botched the draft so ferociously, I had to drop them.
I actually have a working theory as to what really happened in the first round of the draft. It was pretty universally thought that the Lions were going to go defensive back, and the expectation was that Devon Witherspoon would be on the board for them at six. When the Seahawks drafted him at five, they had no backup plan and traded back. They had initially planned on taking Jahmyr Gibbs at 18, and linebacker Jack Campbell with their first pick in the second round, but because they had no backup plan and no flexibility with their board, they took Gibbs at 12 and Cambpell at 18. Bijan Robinson was the best running back in the draft and one of, if not the best overall player this year. He was there at six. There was no real risk of anyone between 13-17 going running back. Green Bay has Aaron Jones. Pittsburgh has Najee Harris, the Jets have Breece Hall and Michael Carter. The Commanders have Brian Robinson. The Patriots are allergic to drafting first round running backs.
It’s pretty obvious that the Lions weren’t flexible and didn’t adapt. Being inflexible guarantees you two things: you will be bad at yoga, and you might look like an idiot. Those two things can be mutually exclusive.
14: Pittsburgh Steelers
Super Bowl Odds: +6000
This team was a complete disaster last year and still nearly made the playoffs. With an extra year of experience for Kenny Pickett and George Pickens, along with the drafting of Broderick Jones to be left tackle and the trade for whatever is left of Allen Robinson, this team might be as functional on offense as it’s been since Ben Roethlisberger was still functional.
On defense, the Steelers will continue to be the Steelers. Very Good. No team probably rues Lamar Jackson staying in the division more than Pittsburgh, but they are good enough to drag any game into a boxing match. If they can slow down Joe Burrow and Lamar Jackson at all, they have a good chance of getting to ten wins and sliding into a wild card spot.
15: Minnesota Vikings
Super Bowl Odds: +4000
Kirk Cousins is their qb, andI’m putting them at 15 with the caveat that i’ll drop them to 20 if they trade Dalvin Cook. Nobody wants to get caught holding the bag and having to overpay to keep a running back. But nobody wants to get stuck with Alexander Mattison as your only running back, either. They drafted Dewayne McBride in the 7th round, but he has more fumbles in his college career than receptions, so good luck with that.
Oh, and Kirk Cousins is still their quarterback. Nick “More” Mullens is the backup. They drafted future USFL starter Jaren Hall in the 5th round. In free agency, they brought in Byron Murphy and Marcus Davenport to help out, but the line on both defense and offense is nothing to write home about.
Oh and Kirk Cousins is still their quarterback.
16: Green Bay Packers
Super Bowl Odds: +4000
This team is going to live and die by whether Jordan Love can become a league average or better starter. They need him to be surrounded by a top offensive line and playmakers to give him the best odds to succeed. So they spent a first round pick on *checks notes* a defensive end…well okay then. They had their choice of literally every tight end and wide receiver in the draft, and they went ahead and screwed off on that notion.
They brought in very much the not top tight ends Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft and VERY MUCH not the top receiver in Jayden Reed. What were the Packers doing in the draft? It feels like they were grabbing as much s**t as they could throw at a wall to see what sticks. In a crucial year for Jordan Love’s development, this doesn’t seem like the best idea.
That being said, the Bears are somewhere between 1-503 years away from contention, the Lions will find a way to screw this up, and Kirk Cousins is still the quarterback of the Vikingss, so i’m fully prepared to write a playoff preview that includes the term “NFC North Champion Green Bay Packers” in a few months.
17: Las Vegas Raiders
Super Bowl Odds: +5500
Quick everyone, trivia time! When Jimmy Garoppolo gets hurt four games into the season, as he always does, who is the backup quarterback? That’s right, it’s Brian “the lost McCown brother” Hoyer. That has to be depressing. They drafted Aidan O’Connell out of Purdue, who will probably see the field before many of the top quarterback picks in the draft. This will NOT be a good thing.
Tyree Wilson lining up opposite Maxx Crosby will be fun on defense, but this team is very average to ass at most positions. Their offensive line is going to get one of these three monsters of the bad qb lagoon killed. There is a non-zero chance the wheels completely fall off for Vegas for the first time in nearly two years (the wheels always fall off every two years, much like Mark Davis’ hair).
And always remember, their coach is noted Belichick fail son Josh McDaniels. It’s hard when daddy isn’t there to make everything better.
18: New York Giants
Super Bowl Odds: +4400
I love their coach. I love their draft. Everything about this team should scream “next emergent team in the NFC.” But you know what I don’t love? Paying Saquon Barkley. You know what I REALLY don’t love? Paying Daniel Jones. There is a chance that Jones has it all figured out and continues to play like next year. There is also a significant possibility that Jones turns back into a pumpkin now that he has secured the bag. With Barkley, I would never pay franchise tag money on a guy who has played a full season one time. What happens if he gets hurt again? You missed a year making a move in a deep draft class (no Eric Gray in the 5th doesn’t count). What happens if he is good? You are stuck paying him 15 million per year, at least, for 4-6 seasons.
19: New England Patriots
Super Bowl Odds: +5500
Someone needs to explain to Bill Belichick that their offense isn’t magically fixed now that Bill O’brien is back as offensive coordinator of the team. In fact, Bill gets far too much of a free pass for wasting an entire season by letting Matt “the sourest apple on the coaching tree” Patricia be the coordinator last year. Between the nepotism of his slack jawed, mulleted son wandering the sidelines, eating drywall probably, the bringing back of coaches like he is a mother cat bringing his awful kittens to suckle at his teet, or this weird shield the football media puts around and potential criticism, I find it absolutely stunning that people from Boston wonder why everyone hates this team, and by proxy, them.
The team used draft picks to take both a kicker and a punter. They did not, however, draft a tackle. Really hoping Chad Ryland, the kicker from Maryland they took int he 4th round, knows how to do a good pancake block. There is nothing more satisfying than this team potentially coming in fourth place in their division this year.
20: Denver Broncos
Super Bowl Odds: +3500
Most of the scars of what they gave up to get noted quarterbacking albatross and all around dork Russell Wilson have faded. What is left is a team with plenty of wide receivers, but a defense that is not what it was two seasons ago. Can this team be good enough if everything clicks to scratch at a .500 record? With Sean Payton as coach, it’s definitely possible, but you can’t look at this team without realizing that it has a very low ceiling, especially in the division it is playing in.
What’s funny is, even as bad as he is, Wilson would be the third best quarterback in the NFC, and the Broncos would potentially be a playoff team. Alas, they play in the AFC West, where the real teams are. Thank god they only have to deal with Mahomes and Herbert for roughly 12 more years apiece. Then it will definitely be their time. It definitely, maybe, might be their time.
21: Atlanta Falcons
Super Bowl Odds: +6000
Trying to turn into the Eagles isn’t a bad thing. Not having the infrastructure, along with a quarterback that nobody outside of the metro Atlanta era believes in IS a bad thing. Slapping Bijan Robinson into an offense that created a 1000 yard rusher out of Tyler Allgeier last year is going to have fantasy owners salivating. Their two first round picks before this? Wide Receiver Drake London and Tight End Kyle Pitts. The team is trying to will itself into relevance without taking into account they are hyper-limited at the QB position.
Ridder’s net yards gained per passing attempt would have placed him 29th, behind such luminaries as Davis Mills and Matt Ryan version 2022. In case you think i’m cherry picking stats, I am, because it’s fun. Extrapolated out over an entire season, Ridder was on pace last year to throw 8.5 touchdowns over a 17 game season. His QBR was worse than Andy Dalton. I could go on all day, but if you are a Falcons fan, you have already given up on this team too hard to care.
22: Cleveland Browns
Super Bowl Odds: +2800
Sources say that the Browns were attempting to trade for D’Andre Swift before the Eagles got him. Anything you can do to distract from the fact that you wasted the GDP of the country of Palau to sign noted NDA enthusiast Deshuan Watson to be an albatross around the neck of the team as he quarterbacks them to a 7-10 record every year in the toughest division in football.
Draft wise, they didn’t have picks in the first two rounds so they could sign “Dave Krieg with baggage” to be their quarterback. They used their first pick on Xavier Tillman, a wide receiver from Tennessee. Anytime you can draft a guy from a gimmick offense with route running issues, you have to pull the trigger. It’s called the Kevin White effect. They improved on their offensive line, but honestly, that was never their biggest problem.
Their biggest problem is that their owner desperately needs to get Trump back in office so he can get laws passed to deregulate rules on truck drivers being on the road for 20 hours at a time.
23: Chicago Bears
Super Bowl Odds: +6000
Just beyond the team, the fans of the Bears are too dumb to be as cocky as they are. Most team’s fans are defensive, but Bears fans are on a whole other level.
Anyway, the Bears are taking advantage of the fact that everyone says they are in a rebuild by rebuilding as slowly as humanly possible. Instead of taking Jalen Carter in the first round of the draft, ostensibly because of his penchant for street racing. They then drafted two lesser defensive tackles in the second round, and right after that, drafted a cornerback with an assault charge against him. The thought process in this is somewhat baffling.
Justin Fields is fun to make YouTube highlight videos from, but needs to prove he can be a downfield passer and decision maker. He has the best receiving corps he ever had, and a revamped offensive line. If he fails, then the team is going to jettison him, along with every other good player that ever existed before Ryan Poles took over.
24: Carolina Panthers
Super Bowl Odds: +5500
There are pundits who believe that the Panthers can turn it around in one season and contend in their absolute ass pile of a division. While the division is, in fact, a massive, sky reaching pile of ass. It’s also true that the Panthers have a very good defense. Of course, they drafted Bryce Young, who is legitimately 8 inches shorter and 100 pounds lighter than me. If he doesn’t end up injured, it will be purely by coincidence. Adam Thielen is done. Miles Sanders is more likely a system running back than someone who can transcend schemes.
Seeing as the level of ass this division is will most likely roll over into 2024, the Panthers feel like they are one year off from contention. Or never. Who knows. You know who would have really helped this team and Bryce Young? Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore.
25: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Super Bowl Odds: +7500
Who is quarterbacking this sinking pirate ship? Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask? Does Mike Evans get cut as the team has a reset? Does the defense regress? Will a lot of issues on this team that were masked by the existence of Tom Brady come to light?
Honestly, now that Brady is gone, we can all go back to not caring.
26: New Orleans Saints
Super Bowl Odds: +3500
It feels like a natural transition to go from the Raiders to the Saints. Derek Carr is going to be more likable Kirk Cousins down in the bayou now. There will probably be a three game winning streak somewhere early in the season that will cause hot takers everywhere to say that Derek Carr is back and he is going to lead the Saints to big things.
He will then steer the Saints to a 1-4 record over the next five games, including back breaking interceptions, check downs on third and long, and terrible sacks that Carr will take to avoid getting hit.
The Saints invested heavily in the draft on the offensive line, using their first two picks on Byran Breese and Isiah Foskey. They had to do this because they exist in a level of salary cap hell that was impressive for a decade, but now is starting to cause them to lose every person of value they ever drafted.
They might win the NFC South because I suppose someone has to. Who else will win it? The Falcons?
27: Washington Commanders
Super Bowl Odds: +6000
Nobody cares what happens to this team. Human colostomy bag Daniel Snyder is selling. That’s enough for everyone.
28: Los Angeles Rams
Super Bowl Odds: +6000
I know that people have made a lot of jokes about them drafting Stetson Bennett in the fourth round and how old and bad Bennett is. And that’s good, because the jokes are funny. At the end of the day, the Rams sold their souls for a Super Bowl title a couple seasons ago, and their fans probably aren’t stressing too hard about what is going to be a rough few seasons as the team gets it’s house in order, and tries to figure out what to do about their aging, 30 something Georgia quarterbacks.
Cooper Kupp is going to be drafted wayyyyy too far up in fantasy leagues this year based on past reputation. Don’t be that person.
29: Houston Texans
Super Bowl Odds: +11000
Look. I actually like what the Texans did this season. They had to go for it because everyone hates each other in the front office. The coach wanted Will Anderson and ownership wanted CJ Stroud. Nick Caserio, the general manager who has been rumored to be on the outs, managed to make both things happen.
I really do think Demeco Ryans is a good coach and is going to be able to get as much out of this dredged corpse of a roster as possible. Having arguably the best offensive player and best defensive player from any given draft is a good thing. It’s allllllll of the other problems with the roster that is going to hold this team back.
The saving grace is, it won’t take much to be the second best team in this division. Hell, there are only three teams left below the Texans in this Power Ranking, and two of them are from the same division.
30: Indianapolis Colts
Super Bowl Odds: +8500
Anthony Richardson is my favorite quarterback from the draft. He is at least a year and a half away from being ready, though. Every year, we keep trying to talk ourselves in Michael Pittman as a viable top wide receiver, rather than being Allen Robinson 2.0. By the time the Colts are ready to contend if Richardson progresses, most of this roster will be turned over. Has Chris Ballard actually earned the right to try to flip this team again? The team made some great value picks, but they seem like a team eternally destined to top out at 10 wins in a bad division and lose on the first Saturday of playoff weekend.
Competence is all that ownership really wants, anyway. Just the hint of being in contention. Then Jim Irsay can ignore the team and go buy Liberace’s tour plane and turn it into a massive bass guitar, or something.
31: Tennessee Titans
Super Bowl Odds: +7500
The Titans built their offense of the future in the draft, drafting potential cornerstones on offense in left tackle Peter Skoronski, quarterback Will Levis, and running back Tyjae Spears. The issue is, the team is currently aging and bad, and it seems like they are going to roll into the season that way. Skoronski might start the season as a guard. Ryan Tannehill is still around to only tepidly pretend to mentor the rookie QB. Derrick Henry is still around and i’m sure he is thrilled to know the Titans tried trading him during the offseason. Nothing says dominance like a running back going into the season knowing he has to survive until his next contract.
32: Arizona Cardinals
Super Bowl Odds: +18000
It is going to be so epic watching the Cardinals actively try to tank and Kyler Murray throwing 40 spite touchdown passes, all of which are spite caught by DeAndre Hopkins.