Training camps have opened, which means the offseason has officially ended and we can get to a time-honored tradition: NFL Power Rankings.
The first exhibition contest—the annual Hall of Fame Game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, OH—takes place on August 1st between the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos. Seven days later is the official start of Week 1 of the preseason.
With the preseason almost here, let’s take a preliminary look at where all 32 teams stand in this way-too-early edition of NFL power rankings.
32. Miami Dolphins
Rookie head coach Brian Flores should have his hands full this season.
Can 22-year-old Josh Rosen eventually take the quarterback reins in 2019? Or will long-traveled veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick—who reportedly has impressed teammates this summer—hold firm on the starting QB job?
31. New York Giants
Three of the New York Giants’ best players from last season—Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon and Landon Collins—will be donning new uniforms in 2019.
It should be a long year for New York, regardless of whether washed-up Eli Manning or rookie Daniel Jones is under center.
30. Arizona Cardinals
It will be intriguing to see the development of No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray under rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury. On that note, can Kingsbury help tailback David Johnson return to superstar form?
29. Cincinnati Bengals
Rookie left tackle Jonah Williams, the team’s 2019 first-round-pick, will likely miss the entire season—a devastating blow to the Bengals and first-year coach Zac Taylor.
28. Washington Redskins
The Redskins managed seven wins last season—an impressive feat given the sheer number of injuries they suffered.
Case Keenum is set to serve as the bridge quarterback to rookie Dwayne Haskins. Head coach Jay Gruden may be forced, however, to insert Haskins into the starting lineup if things go south early on.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bruce Arians, a two-time NFL Coach of the Year winner, has worked his magic in previous offenses. But, can he rejuvenate the career of the immature-but-talented Jameis Winston?
26. Detroit Lions
Detroit’s defense played significantly better after the midseason trade for Damon Harrison.
The offense, plagued by a weak offensive line and a thin receiving corps, could be the team’s fatal flaw.
25. Denver Broncos
The Broncos are counting on Joe Flacco—who looked cooked last year and was ultimately benched by the Ravens—to have a bounce-back season after trading for the 34-year-old over the winter.
24. Oakland Raiders
Antonio Brown gives the Raiders the firepower on offense they have lacked for some time.
Rookie pass rushers Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby will look to revamp a Raiders’ defensive unit that accumulated just 13 sacks last season.
23. New York Jets
The growth of second-year quarterback Sam Darnold should determine whether the Jets have any chance of competing for a wild-card spot, or if they are destined to remain buried at the bottom of the conference.
A motivated and rested Le’Veon Bell might make the Jets’ offense exciting at the very least.
22. Houston Texans
The reigning AFC South champions enter the 2019 season without a general manager. They could be the club that goes from first-to-worst in their division.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars hope their defense returns to their dominant 2017 form. That’s a lot to ask, as is relying on former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles—who has never started all 16 games in a season—to perform at a high level consistently.
20. Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen went 5-6 as a starter in his rookie campaign, despite the lack of offensive weapons at his disposal. Completing only 52.8 percent of his passes and throwing more interceptions (12) than touchdowns (10), Allen used his legs (eight rushing TDs) to keep the Bills’ offense competitive.
The Bills beefed up their o-line in the offseason, hoping to accelerate the growth of their young quarterback.
19. Carolina Panthers
Former NFL MVP Cam Newton underwent surgery on his throwing shoulder this offseason.
Elsewhere, Christian McCaffrey looks to build on his otherworldly 2018 campaign, while wide receiver Curtis Samuel embarks on a potential breakout year.
18. Baltimore Ravens
All eyes will be on Lamar Jackson and whether he can make strides as a passer. He won six of seven starts as a rookie, spearheading the Ravens to a division title. But Baltimore’s defense played a huge role in its success down the stretch and that unit lost Eric Weddle, Terrell Suggs, and Za’Darius Smith in the offseason.
17. Tennessee Titans
It’s a make-or-break year for Marcus Mariota, who enters a contract season.
The Titans’ defense should not be overlooked after finishing third in scoring defense and 7th in yards allowed last season.
16. San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo must prove he can stay healthy for a full season.
Kyle Shanahan, one of the most respected player-callers in the NFL, needs a strong campaign after posting a 10-22 record in his first two seasons as the 49ers head coach.
15. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons were the most snake-bit team in the NFL a season ago in terms of injuries to key players. They lacked depth—which was evident as they finished under .500—but their roster is much deeper this year. Assuming they can retain better health this season, a playoff berth is a realistic possibility for the Matt Ryan-led squad.
14. Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers and new head coach Matt LaFluer must get on the same page. Rodgers and Davante Adams might be the deadliest QB-WR duo in the league, and signing Za’Darius Smith in free agency should enhance their pass rush.
13. Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks exceeded expectations last season. Can they return to the playoffs sans Frank Clark (traded to Kansas City), Earl Thomas (signed with Baltimore), and Doug Baldwin (retirement)?
12. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys won the NFC East last season and welcome the return of four-time center Travis Frederick, who was sidelined all of 2018 dealing with Guillain-Barré syndrome. Their roster is loaded with young talent.
Which NFL Team has the best YOUNG starting five? (Five players 25 or younger)
Dallas has an impressive group
Amari Cooper 25
Ezekiel Elliott 23
Leighton Vander Esch 23
Jaylon Smith 24
Dak Prescott 25
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) July 8, 2019
11. Pittsburgh Steelers
Bell and Brown are gone, but they still have running back James Conner and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
The Steelers, under the tutelage of under-appreciated head coach Mike Tomlin, should contend for the AFC North crown in 2019.
10. Cleveland Browns
Browns fans, arguably the most passionate and loyal in football, may finally have something to cheer about. The Browns, who have not reached the postseason since 2002, are the favorites to win the AFC North.
Baker Mayfield threw a rookie-record 27 touchdowns last year and looks poised to be one of the league’s best signal-callers in the near future.
Can head coach Freddie Kitchens handle the lofty expectations?
9. Chicago Bears
The defense remains perhaps the best unit in football. But, can Mitchell Trubisky replicate his success from last season?
8. Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz is expected to perform at an MVP-level this season. If he can retain his health, there’s no reason to doubt his ability to lead the Eagles deep in the playoffs.
7. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are flying under the radar after being a trendy preseason pick last year. They seemingly addressed their offensive line issues, most notably by drafting center Garrett Bradbury. Kirk Cousins received plenty of flak for his performance last season, some of which was merited. Entering his second season with the franchise, Cousins can spearhead the Vikings back to the top of the NFC North.
6. Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck looked like his old self last season, throwing 38 TDs, the second-most in the NFL.
Darius Leonard, a rookie sensation in 2018, will lead the defense this year.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes is the face of the NFL and the driving force behind the most lethal offense in football.
The Chiefs’ defense ranked 24th in scoring last season, a number they look to improve after adding the aforementioned Clark in a trade with Seattle and signing Tyrann Mathieu in free agency.
4. Los Angeles Rams
The defending NFC champions added Eric Weddle and Clay Matthews in the offseason to augment their talented defense.
The Rams are looking to avoid the Super Bowl hangover that often plagues the loser of the Big Game.
3. Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers should benefit from having tight end Hunter Henry back in the lineup.
Melvin Gordon’s holdout is a concern, but they have capable backups at tailback in Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson. In fact, the Chargers have potentially the most well-rounded roster in the NFL.
2. New Orleans Saints
The Saints’ defense is an underrated unit and their offense’s Big Three of Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Kamara is as talented as any trio in football.
Look for the Saints to repeat as division champions in the NFC South.
1. New England Patriots
The Patriots still have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and they are the defending champions, justifying their top spot in our way-too-early 2019 NFL Power Rankings.