First NFL Power Rankings

1. Philadelphia Eagles– It was almost certain that they would be here at the top spot as week one approaches. All the jokes, memes, comments about them never having a championship can all be thrown in the trash by now. If you want to be at the top of the mountain, this is the team that you’re going to have to bring down. I love the build of this team. When key guys go down, others step in and step up and we saw that on multiple occasions last season. As most title-winning teams do, they lost some key pieces from last season and they were necessarily household names, but they made their impacts on the team and it’s always tough to replace guys like that. Will Carson Wentz be ready to go for the first game? The last time we saw him, his season was cut short after tearing his ACL. Or, will the hero Nick Foles be under center when everything kicks off? Only time will tell.

2. New England Patriots– It doesn’t matter where they rank, they will always be in everyone’s top five and that goes to show you how great of a team they’ve been. For the eighth time in the Bill Belichick, the Patriots enter the season as defending champions of the AFC and they’re the favorite once again to win the conference again and get back to the Super Bowl. The offense lost some key pieces from last years such as Danny Amendola, Brandin Cooks, Nate Solder and Dion Lewis and all four will be on new teams this year but as long as number 12 is under center, it really doesn’t matter who’s around because he makes them go. They’ll be without Edelman for the first four games, but the offense will still function without him. After all, they still won games without him last season, remember? Although the Patriots lost Malcolm Butler who became their best all-around cornerback, their secondary is still loaded. You have Stephon Gilmore, Duron Harmon ,and the McCourty twins. Good luck trying to throw the football on that defensive backfield.

3. New Orleans Saints– I truly felt that they were the biggest threat to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC in 2017 all because of the quarterback. What really caught my eye with them last season was the different way in which they were able to win football games. They just weren’t depending on Drew Brees to take over as he’s known to do. The running game with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara really took pressure off Drew, the receivers made big plays and the big improvement of the defense was also key in their turnaround and return to the playoffs. It’s a new year and they enter as the favorites to win the NFC South and compete for the conference and when you have Drew Brees under center, you’ll always be in contention. I’m very curious to see how this defense will build from their success in 2017.

4. Minnesota Vikings– It’s still surreal to say that they were a game away from playing in Super Bowl 52 in their own stadium in Minneapolis just seven months ago. Case Keenum had the season of his life last year and he along with the potent offense and stingy defense clinched the NFC North for the Vikings and gave them the number two seed in the NFC. Now, Keenum is gone and Kirk Cousins is the guy that they hope will take them over the top in the competitive NFC. Their offense returns Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph and Dalvin Cook will be back on the field after tearing his ACL last season. The defense will once again be a major strength for the Vikings in 2018.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers– It’s not a surprise that they round out my top five. They enter the year once again as the heavy favorites to win the AFC North for the fourth time in five seasons and to some, they’re the second best team in the AFC behind their rivals, you know who I’m talking about. With Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, they have the most explosive talent of skill position players in the NFL today and they possess nightmares for any defensive coordinator. I understand that Le’Veon is holding out, but he will be back because he won’t leave $1 million a game just sitting on the table. What will make or break the Steelers this year is their defense which I feel funny typing because they have always been one of the best defensive teams in the league for many years. How will they replace Ryan Shazier? We saw in the playoffs against the Jaguars how much he means to that team and how important his presence is.