Power Rankings: 2013 Season Opener

The PFF team ranks the NFL's 32 teams to open the year.

| 3 years ago
power-rank-2013-WK01

Power Rankings: 2013 Season Opener


power-rank-2013-WK01What better way to kick-off the season than with a set of power rankings based on not seeing a snap of regular season action? Our staff, bolder than ever, is throwing caution to the wind and offering themselves up with this pre-Week 1 edition that will set the stage for the year to come.

It’s been a long offseason and we’re eager to get a look at what the many roster and scheme changes will bring — are teams trending up, falling off, or holding ground from where they ended last year? Here’s where it begins, and every Wednesday throughout the season you’ll find an updated poll that’ll be sure to please some and raise hackles for others.

We start with a table showing the eight ballots — each with every team ranked, 1-32 — and follow with the compiled rankings. Who’s lost their mind before the season has even started? Who has it all figured out? Let us know in the comments below.

 

  BEN GORDON KHALED NATHAN NEIL RICK SAM STEVE
1 SF SEA SEA DEN SF SEA SF GB
2 SEA SF SF SEA NE SF DEN SEA
3 ATL ATL NE SF DEN ATL SEA SF
4 GB GB GB GB BAL GB ATL NE
5 DEN DEN DEN ATL GB DEN HOU DEN
6 NE BAL BAL HOU HOU BAL CIN ATL
7 BAL CIN ATL CIN NO NE GB HOU
8 NYG NO NO WAS SEA NO NE CIN
9 NO NE NYG MIA CHI HOU DAL BAL
10 HOU WAS CIN BAL DAL CIN BAL NO
11 CIN HOU IND TB CIN WAS NO IND
12 DAL NYG HOU KC ATL IND NYG MIN
13 CHI PIT WAS NE KC DAL WAS NYG
14 PIT DAL DAL DAL PIT NYG IND DAL
15 MIN KC CAR CHI NYG CHI CHI STL
16 PHI CHI PIT NYG IND PHI PIT WAS
17 KC MIA DET STL STL KC MIA TB
18 WAS TB CHI CAR WAS MIA PHI PIT
19 MIA BUF MIN IND PHI PIT KC KC
20 IND DET TB PIT MIA MIN MIN CHI
21 BUF IND STL MIN CAR DET CAR DET
22 STL CAR KC NO DET STL ARZ MIA
23 CAR PHI BUF SD MIN CAR STL PHI
24 DET SD PHI BUF TB BUF CLE CLE
25 CLE STL MIA DET SD ARZ TB SD
26 TEN TEN CLE CLE CLE CLE DET CAR
27 ARZ JAX TEN PHI TEN TB BUF BUF
28 JAX MIN SD TEN BUF TEN SD TEN
29 SD CLE JAX ARZ ARZ SD TEN ARZ
30 NYJ ARZ ARZ JAX JAX OAK JAX JAX
31 TB NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ JAX NYJ NYJ
32 OAK OAK OAK OAK OAK NYJ OAK OAK

 

Taken together, this is how it shakes out:

1. San Francisco 49ers

Small consolation for last season’s 5-yards-short bridesmaids, but at 2013’s outset they’re the pick to top our rankings. A full season of Colin Kaepernick, and a particularly determined little brother calling the shots, could hold them here wire to wire.

2. Seattle Seahawks

The 49ers won’t have far to look for a stiff challenge as our No. 2 team also hails from the NFC West. Another team built around a stifling defense and a dangerous ground game, Seattle looks to take the mantle and could have a Christmas present coming in the form of Percy Harvin to put them over the top down the stretch.

3. Denver Broncos

More power out West. As if he needed another weapon, Peyton Manning was handed Tom Brady’s favorite toy in Wes Welker. The Broncos are hoping that addition helps them out-gun the competition while their depleted pass rush finds its feet on the other side of the ball.

4. Green Bay Packers

Despite the last glimpse of the Packers in 2012 being one of them looking lost against San Francisco’s option game, our team has enough faith in Rodgers, Matthews & Co. to set them off with a spot among the top dogs once again.

5. Atlanta Falcons

Just a step off the pace in 2012, the Falcons broke through their habit of postseason one-and-done’s. The question now becomes where do they go from here? Likely as far as their offense can carry them.

6. New England Patriots

Not a new story… Still Brady. Still Belichick. An improving defense and swapped-out parts on offense. It’s worked before.

7. Baltimore Ravens

The defending champs return with a new look after paying Joe Flacco and showing the defense the door. Let the comparisons begin between the title-toting D’s of the past and the 2013 incarnation.

8. Houston Texans

Who else is dying to see what J.J. Watt does for an encore? As fun as that may be, the offense still needs to take a step forward to compete with the big boys.

9. Cincinnati Bengals

Looking to build on their 10-6 record from a year ago, the young nucleus in Cincy has their sights set on a third-straight playoff appearance. Whether Andy Dalton improves could be the deciding factor in that.

10. New Orleans Saints

They’ve got the band back together and rumors have it there may even be a defense in town this time around. Who knows what they’re capable if that’s the case.

11. New York Giants

After watching the playoffs when they’d hoped to be defending their 2011 title, the Giants have to feel like they left things unfinished last year.

12. Dallas Cowboys

O-line worries could be what holds the Cowboys back in a tight division race. That said, our analysts feel there is enough firepower on both sides of the ball to overcome that.

13. Washington Redskins

A repeat in the East won’t be easy, especially now that there’s a book on RGIII and his knee. Others need to step up, especially on defense.

14. Chicago Bears

There’s enough talent here to challenge again in the North. Avoiding a late-season swoon will be a big help and it’s going to be vital that they keep their big players on offense happy and healthy.

15. Indianapolis Colts

The impressive turnaround awaits a second act to prove if it the 2012 version of the Colts was the real deal or just a sizable spike heading for regression. They’ve certainly upgraded the roster.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers

Have they got another run in them? Our analysts are either too generous or too grim depending on your perspective when it comes to a team desperately trying to manage the cap and get younger.

17. Kansas City Chiefs

Having made the big moves they needed to, the Chiefs now need to see if Andy Reid and Alex Smith can breathe life back into the league’s worst team last year.

18. Miami Dolphins

They collected weapons for Ryan Tannehill and gave Cameron Wake a running mate, now they’ve just got to gel before they go and chase down the Patriots. Good luck.

19. Minnesota Vikings

I’m afraid to ask what more Adrian Peterson can do. Truly seems nothing is impossible, even with a passing game that is at best a question mark heading into the season.

20. St. Louis Rams

Can this largely middle-of-the-road lineup put up a fight in the West again? They have certainly given Sam Bradford some weapons to do some damage with, but can he?

21. Philadelphia Eagles

As exciting as it will be to see how the offense of Chip Kelly fares in the NFL, our analysts temper that with concern as to how that defensive unit will play.

22. Carolina Panthers

Looking forward to seeing the impact of Star Lotulelei in the middle of the Kuechly-Hardy-Johnson triangle. Big year for Cam Newton if this team is to contend.

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The team’s re-built secondary could help hide defensive holes, but the pressure is on for Josh Freeman and the O-line to find form.

24. Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson and his inhuman catch radius is a sight to behold, but the Suh-Fairley interior is more intriguing to us. Nonetheless, the success of the team hinges on Matthew Stafford taking his game to a new level. Less yards, but more consistency?

25. Buffalo Bills

An intriguing sprinkling of elite players led by a rookie coach-QB combo should make for some fun Sundays. The rebuild begins (again).

26. Cleveland Browns

The Joe’s (Thomas and Haden) lead this bunch that also features a D-Line in the making that could be worth checking in on. It’s just too soon to buy into a heavily-revamped team.

27. San Diego Chargers

Now Norv-less, can Rivers re-make himself in a new offense? A banged-up corps of receivers won’t help, and it seems a long time ago when we spoke of the Chargers’ golden generation of players.

28. Tennessee Titans

Guard additions of Levitre and Warmack have Chris Johnson flashing back to 2009, but can he deliver in the same way?

29. Arizona Cardinals

How may targets for Fitz? 200? 250? He deserves some make-up time if Palmer can improve upon the ‘arms’ Arizona’s stud has dealt with recently.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars

The rookie right tackle will get the attention, but fans will want to see how much spark fellow youngsters Denard Robinson and Ace Sanders can add.

31. New York Jets

I’m sure this will be a peaceful ride off into the sunset for Rex and his QB.

32. Oakland Raiders

So the draft is going to be in May now? That’s a long time to wait.

 

Follow the team on Twitter: NeilBenSamKhaled, Steve, Nathan, Gordon, and Rick … and the main account as well: @PFF

 


 

  • Jason Williams

    someone give Rick a cookie. #Bears

  • Joel Hatfield

    I guess Tampa wins the “We don’t have a clue what they are going to do” award. Ben ranks them 31st and Nathan has them at 11…

  • kyle

    so how are the skins the 3rd best team in their divison? they have the best qb and halfback combo and probably the best offense, and what weapons do the cowboys have? Dez Bryant and Jason witten? no running game or number 2 guy.

    • David

      I don’t know if you’re referring to a #2 receiver or quarterback, but either way the Cowboys have Miles Austin and Kyle Orton so that pretty much settles the issue. The Cowboys boast a powerful passing game and a strong front 7, I think one could definitely argue they’re the best in the division.

      • Kyle

        Miles Austin is incredibly unreliable. Their offense relies completely on 2 players.

        • Samantha

          Demarco Murray.

  • cags777

    Who the hell are these “experts”? I feel dumber after reading this list.

    • David

      I don’t see anything too glaring. Every team on this ranking seems wholly within the bounds of reasonable speculation.

  • russellwilsonsowndad

    Neil,

    I think I remember you dumping on the Falcons religiously last season, too. But to the point, what’s your rationale for, both here and in the season predictions article, thinking ATL is headed for such a drastic decline this season?

  • Lelouch vi Britannia

    Nathan ranked the Dolphins, Chiefs and Buccaneers over the Patriots.
    Wow. Just, wow.