As is tradition, my preseason NFL power rankings will offer something I like and something I don’t like about each team. Here’s something fun! As I type this intro, I genuinely have no idea what I could possibly say I like about the Houston Texans and they’re only 32 teams away! Will I figure something out by then? You’ll have to tune in to find out!
1. Kansas City Chiefs (14-2 final record last season, No. 1 final regular season ranking)
What’s to like: The league (and therefore the earth) revolves around their quarterback AND they decided to employ some people to try to keep him upright!
What’s not to like: If all of those quarterback protectors were to get hurt again, believe it or not, they probably can’t survive that.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5, No. 7)
What’s to like: Other than their wholly complete roster, not that much.
What’s not to like: No 44-year-old quarterback has ever won a Super Bowl. So they basically have no chance.
3. Buffalo Bills (13-3, No. 3)
What’s to like: Josh Allen. Stefon Diggs. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
What’s not to like: Chet Hanks somehow becoming only the second most problematic white rapper in America.
4. Tennessee Titans (11-5, No. 6)
What’s to like: The Los Angeles Dodgers think Derrick Henry, Julio Jones and A.J. Brown is a loaded offensive lineup.
What’s not to like: It appears as though one of their defensive starters is either going to have to be something called a “Teair Tart” or something called a “Woodrow Hamilton.”
5. Green Bay Packers (13-3, No. 2)
What’s to like: They managed to make the super difficult decision to “keep the reigning MVP of the league around for awhile.”
What’s not to like: I know a guy who once bumped into his own cousin at an orgy and it was less awkward.
6. Baltimore Ravens (11-5, No. 9)
What’s to like: They appear to be good enough that as long as their quarterback doesn’t get COVID 10 more times, we can bank on them being in the playoffs.
What’s not to like: That hasn’t worked out so well for them in the past.
7. Seattle Seahawks (12-4, No. 5)
What’s to like: Perhaps you’ve heard of their quarterback, Russell Wilson?
What’s not to like: Perhaps you’ve heard of their head coach, Pete Carroll?
8. Los Angeles Chargers (7-9, No. 17)
What’s to like: Justin Herbert is the most exciting football player in America other than Miles Robinson.
What’s not to like: I guess they should probably prove that they can win before I crown them but what’s the fun in that?
9. Los Angeles Rams (10-6, No. 14)
What’s to like: I get it. There’s every reason to expect that Sean McVay should be able to make things work with Matthew Stafford.
What’s not to like: Stafford “worked” in Detroit, too. It just didn’t matter that much.
10. Cleveland Browns (11-5, No. 13)
What’s to like: On paper, they’re pretty good.
What’s not to like: You want me to pretend like they’re not the Cleveland Browns.
11. Arizona Cardinals (8-8, No. 15)
What’s to like: They appear to be one of the most exciting teams in football.
What’s not to like: They’d be better off not being de-Chandlered.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4, No. 8)
What’s to like: The defense, still.
What’s not to like: When you gut your offensive line and then your 39-year-old quarterback shows up in the “best shape of his life” but the shape he chose was “John Daly-gram.”
13. Miami Dolphins (10-6, No. 11)
What’s to like: They truly have talent all over the field.
What’s not to like: “Starting center Matt Skura,” for one. “Best player on the roster (Xavien Howard) wants to be traded,” as well. “We’re politely ignoring the fact that they DID bench their quarterback late last season,” too.
14. Indianapolis Colts (11-5, No. 10)
What’s to like: A speedy defense, a stout offensive line and really good coaching.
What’s not to like: Even if they actually get their quarterback back, we’re still not totally sure they have their quarterback.
15. Chicago Bears (8-8, No. 12)
What’s to like: They managed to add to a roster that somehow won eight games last season.
What’s not to like: The thing where they’re inexplicably not just skipping ahead to the part where Justin Fields is the quarterback.
16. New Orleans Saints (12-4, No. 4)
What’s to like: They still have all of those other things they had last year and they were pretty good even in the games that Drew Brees didn’t start.
What’s not to like: But yeah, still.
17. San Francisco 49ers (6-10, No. 19)
What’s to like: Again, this is largely a solid roster. They could have probably done a bit more at receiver, but it’s a sound group.
What’s not to like: This sets up like a classic quarterback clusterf*ck. The veteran doesn’t play poorly enough to make it easy to go to the rookie. The team is competitive enough that they don’t want to rock the boat. Certain folks within the organization start muttering things to local reporters. That’s all right here, right now, on Niners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
18. Washington Football Team (7-9, No. 22)
What’s to like: The defense is still a thing and Chase Young will probably be even better.
What’s not to like: It’s been at least a couple weeks since their last international embarrassment. They’re long overdue.
19. Dallas Cowboys (6-10, No. 18)
What’s to like: They should be pretty capable offensively with a healthy Dak Prescott.
What’s not to like: It looks like they’ll need to be.
20. New England Patriots (7-9, No. 20)
What’s to like: They certainly spent a lot of money on football players this offseason.
What’s not to like: To be ranked in the exact same spot in preseason power rankings.
21. Las Vegas Raiders (8-8, No. 16)
What’s to like: Did you remember they won eight games last year? I feel like I would have guessed “four.” Or fewer.
What’s not to like: The thought that they could do it again.
22. Cincinnati Bengals (4-11-1, No. 23)
What’s to like: Their quarterback and their constant commitment to surrounding him with quality wide receivers.
What’s not to like: I’m no professional football general manager. But if I were and I had a quarterback who had just shredded his knee last season, I MIGHT have prioritized protecting him a bit more.
23. Minnesota Vikings (7-9, No. 21)
What’s to like: Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook and Patrick Peterson and Justin Jefferson.
What’s not to like: There’s probably going to be a quarterback controversy at some point.
24. Atlanta Falcons (4-12, No. 29)
What’s to like: They’re definitely still committed to Matt Ryan at this point.
What’s not to like: Just not to making sure he has the most possible talent around him.
25. Philadelphia Eagles (4-11-1, No. 26)
What’s to like: The only tweet sexier than this one
might be this one.
What’s not to like: Most of it.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15, No. 32)
What’s to like: Trevor Lawrence is almost certainly going to be good. Now can the Jaguars do anything with it?
What’s not to like: Gardner Minshew’s constipation.
27. New York Giants (6-10, No. 27)
What’s to like: Ummm … Aaron Rodgers might be available next year?
What’s not to like: They have to play 17 games before then.
28. New York Jets (2-14, No. 31)
What’s to like: At least they aren’t playing games at quarterback.
What’s not to like: They have to play games in general.
29. Denver Broncos (5-11, No. 24)
What’s to like: A healthy Courtland Sutton and I’m pretty high on Javonte Williams, honestly.
What’s not to like: I’m not sure that “maybe another team will just give up on the league MVP” was the MOST appropriate plan for the quarterback position. But again, not a general manager.
30. Carolina Panthers (5-11, No. 25)
What’s to like: Christian McCaffrey will likely be just as valuable to fantasy football owners as always.
What’s not to like: Same for Sam Darnold.
31. Detroit Lions (5-11, No. 30)
What’s to like: Did you know that Breshad Perriman played here now? That’s kinda neat information, right?
What’s not to like: I’m just not sure that the best way to solve “can’t get over the hump with Matthew Stafford” was to get significantly worse than Matthew Stafford.
32. Houston Texans (4-12, No. 28)
What’s to like: If I’m being fair? Their logo is STILL amazing.
What’s not to like: Literally everything else.
Photo Credits: Kenya Allen/PressBox