1) New Orleans Saints
The Saints are the NFL’s best team in every way. At every level of this team there is a top 5 unit. Their QB is one of the best players this season, easily a top 3 O Line (with Andrus Peat being maybe the most underrated player in the sport), and the weapons are endless and perfect for what Sean Payton wants to do. The Defense is also finally coming into its own after struggling early. The run defense is great, and Baby Donald (as I now call him) Sheldon Rankins is a menace on the D Line. This team should be the favorite to win the Super Bowl, with the most well rounded team in the League.
2) New England Patriots
Despite the aging of Gronk and Brady, there is not a team I trust more in the AFC more than the Patriots. While a lot of the AFC seems to be enamored with scoring points, the Patriots are more than fine calling on their strong running game, and game planning you to oblivion. They may not have elite units anymore, and the Josh Gordon loss does hurt them, it seems as though every team in the AFC has a weakness, and if there is a person I trust to expose it, it is Bill Belichick.
3) LA Rams
Will the Rams get their mojo back? That’s the question. Because if they do, they are the most dangerous team in the playoffs. No team has the team the Rams theoretically had. If Todd Gurley is really healthy, he and Aaron Donald could single-handedly get them through the playoffs. It just remains to be seen if they will click come playoff time. I have the most questions about whether this team makes it through the playoffs, but of all the teams, I’m the most confident they will win the Super Bowl if they make it.
4) Chicago Bears
Every team in the NFC is thanking God that the Bears don’t have a home field advantage. If the Rams were to lose last week, the Bears would certainly have a guaranteed spot in the NFC Championship. But they don’t, and they will be relying on their 3 headed running attack and that elite defense to win games. It is a tried and tested debate: Defense or Offense. The Bears have both, wil be interesting to see if they can survive the NFC.
5) Kansas City Chiefs
Can Patrick Mahomes do it all by himself? Yes, but it is unlikely. Mahomes certainly proved against the Raiders that he is the best QB in football right now, but this team has real problems all over the place. They need Sammy Watkins to take the Cover 2 off of Tyreek Hill. They miss Kareem Hunt’s ability to keep defense honest. Most importantly, they miss having a secondary outside Fuller and Berry. This is a real problem for the Chiefs and every team facing them has been able to throw the ball. The way the Chiefs win: Mahomes outscores everyone.
6) Houston Texans
The Texans are dangerous come playoff time. They have a great Pass rush and dynamic offense. That’s about where it ends. The secondary and O Line are still major question marks with this team. However, this team could win with just Deshaun Watson, Lamar Miller and Nuk alone. They will have to protect against their weak points, but if Deshaun Watson plays to his potential, they could snatch the superbowl.
7) LA Chargers
The Chargers are just a team waiting to disappoint you. Their roster is about as perfect as any team in the league, yet I am not confident in their ability to win the Super Bowl. They continue to allow opposing running backs to run right through them, and their lack of ability to get physical on either side is concerning in the playoffs. The Chargers had a great season, but in the playoffs they may be facing an uphill climb.
8) Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens may be the hottest team entering the playoffs. They can beat anybody, and with Lamar Jackson they finally have a dual threat QB that allows them to make big plays in the run game. Baltimore can bully anyone with their size on both lines and their experience in their secondary is going to be key moving forward. I would not be surprised to see this team shock the world in the AFC.
9) Indianapolis Colts
The Colts were the real surprise of the season. Many were peggining them for a top 5 pick at the beginning of the season; now they’re a threat to go deep. This team sports the best offensive line in football (think about saying that 2 years ago) and has an underrated MVP candidate in Andrew Luck. Their defense is good with holes, but Darius Leonard plugs up a lot of them. This team will go as far as Luck takes them, and that’s a scary thought if you’re an opponent. Next year this team may be the team to beat. They have more money to spend than any other team.
10) Dallas Cowboys
I need to stop letting my biases get the best of me, but I really think the Cowboys are a pretender when it is all said and done. The health of Zach Martin is a real question mark for this team. Their defense is playing great, and Amari has been a blessing, but I am not sure that Dak Prescott will be able to take care of business without their elite offensive line.
11) Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have become a team that should have gone through a difficult rebuild. They instead decided to scratch that idea and build another great defense and have Russell Wilson take yet another step in his development. The run offense on this team has been a blessing in surprise, and Russell Wilson has been playing MVP type football. If the Seahawks had a home game in the playoffs, I would put them higher, but the have to go on the road, and I cannot be confident in their ability to win consistently on the road.
12) Philadelphia Eagles
The defending champs get to last another day with classic Nick Foles magic. Let me be the one to pump the breaks. This team needs this play calling AND Carson Wentz at the same time in order to win. I understand that Foles did it last season, but Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby played last year. Can Nick Foles score enough points in order to to patch up the secondary’s mistakes? Only time will tell.
13) Pittsburgh Steelers
What is going on in this locker room?! This team had the talent to make the Super Bowl, yet they collapsed in the biggest moment. James Conner is a clear step down from Le’Veon, AB seems to hate the organization. Something has to happen and it is unclear what. I hope this team figures it out. Next year Mike Tomlin starts the season on the hot seat, and nothing would scare me more than a Mike Tomlin pushed against the wall.
14) Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns ended the season as the hottest team in football, the best coaching destination, one of the best cap situations in football, and a proven franchise QB in Baker Mayfield. This team next year could be dangerous. They have a bunch of breakout candidates next year whether it be Calloway, Njoku, Peppers as well as stars ready to become superstars in Chubb, Baker, and Myles Garrett. With a good offensive line GM John Dorsey already has an impressive team on his hands.
15) Minnesota Vikings
GIVE THIS TEAM A BREAK. They disappointed this season, but it shouldn’t be so much of surprise. They had very little depth all season with an uninterested OC and an underreported abismal offensive line. This team was an accident waiting to happen. Towards the end they picked up steam and could be very well equipped to make noise next year. This season was all about Kirk Cousins who at times looked like an elite playmaker and at other times choked. I’m interested in what this team looks like next year.
16) Tennessee Titans
Even without a playoff berth, you can count this season as a success for Mike Vrabel. The team brought toughness on both sides of the ball each week. Unfortunately they fell short when it mattered most. This team had plenty of bright spots from their rookies. Rashaan Evans and Harold Landry played exceptionally and lived up to the billing, and Derrick Henry seems to have finally broken out. The Titans are a good team with a great foundation.
17) Carolina Panthers
To me this was THE disappointment of the season. The panthers were once a 6-2 Super Bowl contender, and they just collapsed on themselves. Next year this team could be a force if they get a pass rusher, but all else, this season was a disaster for the Panthers. Moving forward this team has bright spots. They have a star RB in McCaffery, and a good WR for the first time since Steve Smith in DJ Moore. I hope this team figures it out next season, they are too talented not to.
18) Atlanta Falcons
The story of the Atlanta Falcons is one of injury and yet seeming like it was all their fault. Steve Sarkisian’s uncreative playcalling was the real fault of this team. Yes they lost Deion Jones, Keanu Neal and Devonta Freeman, but the problem is that the team seemed disorganized from the beginning of the season. We know this team can be great, and as of late Matt Ryan has been playing the best football of his career. Next year they need to get together and figure out their struggles and find a way to get Vic Beasley out of the Twilight Zone.
19) Buffalo Bills
I know it's only been less than a year, but I see big things next year for the Bills. Josh Allen is legit and is here to run through and throw around the whole NFL. The Bills are set up with a great foundation for the future. With the most underrated HC in football in Sean McDermott, and potentially the best defense in football, this team became one of the best watches in football at the end of the season. Next year they will have to get Allen protection and weapons not named Zay Jones, and they could make noise. Buffalo has the makings of a rising contender.
20) Green Bay Packers
For the first time in my life there is Aaron Rodgers hate out there. For 6 years, Aaron Rodgers has been indisputably the best QB on the planet (unless you’re a Brady stan). Now that Aaron Rodger for the first time hasn’t willed his team into the playoffs by himself people out there wanna speak ill of his name. I will tell you this has been a down year for the Packers, but Aaron finally has talent on the come up. It’s no longer him and Davante Adams, they have a running game now. It took all season to get there, but it is there now. Jaire Alexander has an opportunity to be be one of the best corners in league. We all have our one opportunity now to hate on A.Aron, but I guarantee you next year, this may be a different story.
21) Washington Redskins
Jay Gruden deserves an award or something, because there is no way this team should be 7-9 with this roster and this many injuries. They brought Adrian Peterson back from the dead, and managed to win games through a good run defense and running the football. My hats off to this team and my best wishes go out to Alex Smith who may have played his last down of football ever. I don’t know if this is the year to address the QB position, but the Redskins need to figure something out.
22) Miami Dolphins
This is one of the least exciting 7-9 teams I’ve ever seen. This team had no business winning 7 games. They are the classic overachiever team. They got a lot of their wins with Matt Moore for crying out loud. Adam Gase did what he could and should be the No.1 coach on the market. I don’t know where the Dolphins go from ,but don’t be fooled by their record, this is one of the worst teams in football
23) NY Giants
This team could be sooo good. They really have a shot to be elite. They have Eli however. This team would be top 12 if they had Phillip Rivers or someone like that. Saquon and Odell are arguably (and probably) the 2 best at their position. They could single-handedly win games for you, but Eli is just holding them back. Even Evan Engram showed real growth this season and Sterling Shepard is a really good No 2. This team needs to say goodbye to the Eli Manning era, but this is not the offseason to do so.
24) Detroit Lions
The Matt Patricia Era got off to a rough start. But like any real culture change, you must be broken down to build back up again. The season was not pretty to open up, but towards the end of the season, the team began to play to their potential. Well at least the defense did. No longer can you gash the Lions run defense for 15 a play. Matt Patricia is installing his defense and the fruits may begin to bear as soon as the Lions get a pass rusher or a No. 2 CB. The Lions now just need to get over Matt Stafford’s worst season of his career.
25) Denver Broncos
In many ways the Broncos overachieved, and in many ways they underachieved. The Broncos did not have the roster and the health to compete in the AFC West, but no one outside a surprise undrafted rookie and Bradley Chubb made inroads on this team. I am perplexed about this team's future because the media wants a new QB and Elway may be looking for a QB who can save his job. But is this the year to look for one? At the end of the day, the Broncos will have hard questions to answer at the end of this season.
26) Jacksonville Jaguars
This team just saddens me. They had more talent and athleticism than any team in football. It just so happens they had the only QB in the league who could screw this whole team up. Next year may be different. With a nice veteran QB market this offseason, they can still contend next year with an easy schedule. At the end of the day this season was over the moment they started Blake Bortles. There will not be the same excuse next year.
27) San Francisco 49ers
Of all staffs and teams that will get a mulligan next year, it will be the 49ers. Their franchise QB and new RB both tore their ACLs within the first two weeks of the season. From then on they put in valiant efforts, but it just wasn’t enough. This team needs to get to the offseason and prepare to build up an unimpressive roster. I can’t accurately rate the 49ers season, but I have every faith that Kyle Shanahan will figure something out for this team.
28) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs ended the season the way it started: relying on large plays. The defense is still awful, and they are not ready to get the most out of their weapon, but there was nothing else to do with this lackluster roster than let Fitzmagic come in and faze out. Fitzmagic may be the perfect metaphor for the Bucs season: inspirational out of nowhere, only to go back into obscurity.
29) Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals finally took the first step in recovery: admitting they have a problem. After 16 seasons, Marvin Lewis was fired as HC, yet he leaves an intriguing roster in his wake. A team with hopefully a healthy Tyler Eifert, AJ Green, John Ross, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon should be an attractive offensive destination for any coach. Not to mention Carl Lawson, William Jackson and Jessie Bates on defense. This team has pieces, just not the coach, QB, or O Line to realize this talent. The Bengals this offseason need to have a plan of attack and a plan to move on from Andy Dalton.
30) NY Jets
The Jets have a foundation for the post-Bowles era. They have the best safety in football in Jamal Adams along with pretty good linebackers and D Lineman. They need to figure out their CB situation however. On offense you are looking to build on the recent success of Sam Darnold by getting a better O Line and weapons. This team has its building blocks on a solid foundation. Could be a real sleeper next year.
31) Oakland Raiders
The beginning of the John Gruden era has not gone as planned. The team traded Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, not the best start. The rest of the season did not produce much results either. They were as close to a guaranteed loss all season as you can get. The Raiders now will leave Oakland with no guarantee of a home stadium. The Raiders are now a blank canvas with a big Derek Carr contract as the first brush strokes. The Raiders have 3 1st round picks this year, it will be interesting to see if they can replace the value of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper with all these picks.
32) Arizona Cardinals
It’s honestly a toss up for who gets 32 between the Raiders and Cardinals, but the Cardinals have the 1st pick and worst record so it makes sense that they are the worst in these rankings. The season was as close to a dumpster fire as you could possibly get. The players who needed to did not take the necessary steps forward (Haason Reddick), and their rookies didn’t perform to expectations. It is however, unfair to judge the rookies especially Josh Rosen because he was manhandled by opposing defenses. This offensive line may go down as one of the worst in NFL history, which really isn’t an overreaction. Josh Rosen, already with his mobility issues, had no time to throw the ball all season. I am worried about his future and it has nothing to do with him entirely. The Cardinals have the most holes on their roster, and it may be a long road to fix them. Nick Bosa should be able to fix that.