NFL POWER RANKINGS

NFL Football Power Rankings

BRIAN BILLICK'S Brian Billick is an acclaimed NFL game analyst for FOX Sports and a Super Bowl-winning coach.

NFL Power Rankings Week 1


WEEK#    
Posted September 04, 2012 06:44 PM EDT
With a new season brings my first installment of Power Rankings. I've got a line on who's hot and who's not going into Week 1. Enjoy.
Watch as Brian Billick breaks down the rankings.

FOX SPORTS NFL POWER RANKINGS

RK Team RECORD CHANGE HIGH/LOW COMMENTS
1

0-0 - 1/30
They may not be the 'Dream Team' and they sure as hell are not a 'Dynasty' but they may end up being the best team in the NFL in 2012. If Michael Vick can stay healthy for 16 games this will be the best team Andy Reid has had since 2004. If, brother, if.
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2

0-0 - 1/12
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are 138-40 together as a starting QB-head coach duo. You have to put them here to start each year just on general principle alone. They are a better team, on paper, than they were last year.
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3

0-0 - 3/12
The Packers were 15-1 with the worst-ranked defense in the NFL. There is no way defensive coordinator Dom Capers is going to let that happen again. The Packers are 25-7 with a running game that was no higher than 24th in the NFL the last two years. CedricExpand Description
The Packers were 15-1 with the worst-ranked defense in the NFL. There is no way defensive coordinator Dom Capers is going to let that happen again. The Packers are 25-7 with a running game that was no higher than 24th in the NFL the last two years. Cedric Benson alone makes them better than that.Collapse Description
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4

0-0 - 1/17
May be the most complete team in the NFL. The addition of receivers Randy Moss and Mario Manningham could have a huge impact on the production of WR Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis. It may still require that Alex Smith show he is at least a toExpand Description
May be the most complete team in the NFL. The addition of receivers Randy Moss and Mario Manningham could have a huge impact on the production of WR Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis. It may still require that Alex Smith show he is at least a top-10 QB.Collapse Description
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5

0-0 - 2/10
Joe Flacco moved beyond the "is HE good enough" question in last year's AFC championship game for people to now have to say "are THEY good enough." Loss of Terrell Suggs could be huge, but they still have the best defensive personnel in the game, coupled Expand Description
Joe Flacco moved beyond the "is HE good enough" question in last year's AFC championship game for people to now have to say "are THEY good enough." Loss of Terrell Suggs could be huge, but they still have the best defensive personnel in the game, coupled with the game's best all-around running back in Ray Rice.Collapse Description
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6

0-0 - 1/14
The Texans may end up as the best team in the AFC given the transformation they went through last year and the fact that they reached the divisional round, and an Ed Reed interception away from going to the AFC Championship all without their starting QB. Expand Description
The Texans may end up as the best team in the AFC given the transformation they went through last year and the fact that they reached the divisional round, and an Ed Reed interception away from going to the AFC Championship all without their starting QB. I don't know many teams that could do that under the same conditions.Collapse Description
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7

0-0 - 1/15
The Falcons go as QB Matt Ryan goes, and he is going. Head coach Mike Smith and Ryan are 43-19 together, but they are the poster children for a league that demands, "what have you done for me lately?" Just making the playoffs is not enough, it's time to wExpand Description
The Falcons go as QB Matt Ryan goes, and he is going. Head coach Mike Smith and Ryan are 43-19 together, but they are the poster children for a league that demands, "what have you done for me lately?" Just making the playoffs is not enough, it's time to win.Collapse Description
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8

0-0 - 4/18
People always worry about complacency for any reigning Super Bowl champion. I have two words for them: Tom Coughlin. Still, we have to remember this team was merely 9-7 a year ago. Unlike last year there are no longer any questions about Eli Manning beingExpand Description
People always worry about complacency for any reigning Super Bowl champion. I have two words for them: Tom Coughlin. Still, we have to remember this team was merely 9-7 a year ago. Unlike last year there are no longer any questions about Eli Manning being an 'elite' QB.Collapse Description
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9

0-0 - 1/28
The Saints seem to take body blow after body blow, but are still the team nobody wants to play. Doesn't matter who is calling the plays, as long as Drew Brees is the one executing them they will be great. Defense may not be any better, but it will be moreExpand Description
The Saints seem to take body blow after body blow, but are still the team nobody wants to play. Doesn't matter who is calling the plays, as long as Drew Brees is the one executing them they will be great. Defense may not be any better, but it will be more sound.Collapse Description
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10

0-0 - 10/28
Like Houston, the Lions have taken the next step to legitimacy. Like the Texans, the expectations leave you saying, "Now what?" Matthew Stafford has reached elite status and Calvin Johnson blew past it several years ago. Lack of running game and secondaryExpand Description
Like Houston, the Lions have taken the next step to legitimacy. Like the Texans, the expectations leave you saying, "Now what?" Matthew Stafford has reached elite status and Calvin Johnson blew past it several years ago. Lack of running game and secondary are still a concern.Collapse Description
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11

0-0 - 11/32
Like most other teams in the NFL, the Chiefs will only be as good their quarterback. Matt Cassel has what could be one of the most explosive offenses around him, and he has no more excuses. The Chiefs are the best team in the AFC West, on paper, but that Expand Description
Like most other teams in the NFL, the Chiefs will only be as good their quarterback. Matt Cassel has what could be one of the most explosive offenses around him, and he has no more excuses. The Chiefs are the best team in the AFC West, on paper, but that won't mean anything if they don't translate that talent to production on the field. The return of Eric Berry in the secondary should not be understated.Collapse Description
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12

0-0 - 3/20
The offense will be much more balanced with QB Jay Cutler free to take advantage of mismatches under new offensive coordinator Mike Tice, as opposed to the timing and schematic play-calling of departed Mike Martz. Shea McClellin gives them a pass-rushing Expand Description
The offense will be much more balanced with QB Jay Cutler free to take advantage of mismatches under new offensive coordinator Mike Tice, as opposed to the timing and schematic play-calling of departed Mike Martz. Shea McClellin gives them a pass-rushing specialist opposite Julius Peppers, but may be a hazard in the run game. That's not all too bad in the NFC North . . . I don't see Green Bay or Detroit running the ball very often.Collapse Description
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13

0-0 - 5/18
I refuse to pick the Cowboys to win the division until they actually do. Every year, the hype machine is in full effect in Dallas, but the team always seems to disappoint. I have more faith in QB Tony Romo than others and the defense improved immensely thExpand Description
I refuse to pick the Cowboys to win the division until they actually do. Every year, the hype machine is in full effect in Dallas, but the team always seems to disappoint. I have more faith in QB Tony Romo than others and the defense improved immensely this offseason. The vulnerability of this defense was at the cornerback position, but with the addition of Brandon Carr and the subsequent drafting of Morris Claiborne, it has become a bright spot.Collapse Description
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14

0-0 - 3/20
I like the Bengals to finish second in the AFC North and compete for another wild-card spot. I really like what offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has established on the offensive side of the ball, but both QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green need to avoid theExpand Description
I like the Bengals to finish second in the AFC North and compete for another wild-card spot. I really like what offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has established on the offensive side of the ball, but both QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green need to avoid the proverbial sophomore slump. On defense, they are hoping first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick can do for the defense what Dalton and Green did for the offense as rookies. He certainly has the talent.Collapse Description
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15

0-0 - 5/17
It has been all about the knee ligaments in Pittsburgh with both Rashard Mendenhall and Casey Hampton trying to return from season-ending ACL injuries from last season. Now they are facing the reality that first-round pick David DeCastro may miss the entiExpand Description
It has been all about the knee ligaments in Pittsburgh with both Rashard Mendenhall and Casey Hampton trying to return from season-ending ACL injuries from last season. Now they are facing the reality that first-round pick David DeCastro may miss the entire season with an MCL tear. With second-round pick Mike Adams looking like his feet are stuck in the mud, it may be yet another year of piecing together a makeshift line in Pittsburgh.Collapse Description
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16

0-0 - 1/23
Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas will now live up to their potential in an offense that will finally use their talents as pass catchers. But make no mistake about it, the addition of Peyton Manning will also affect the defense. The quicker-paced offense wExpand Description
Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas will now live up to their potential in an offense that will finally use their talents as pass catchers. But make no mistake about it, the addition of Peyton Manning will also affect the defense. The quicker-paced offense will mean the D will be on the field more often, and that can be taxing.Collapse Description
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17

0-0 - 9/28
It seems like every year the Chargers are trying to find a rush end that can get after the quarterback. It finally seems like the Chargers have their man . . . or men. Melvin Ingram tallied two sacks in limited action during the preseason, and that is jusExpand Description
It seems like every year the Chargers are trying to find a rush end that can get after the quarterback. It finally seems like the Chargers have their man . . . or men. Melvin Ingram tallied two sacks in limited action during the preseason, and that is just a preview of many more to come. But don't overlook the acquisition of Jarret Johnson. While not a flashy player, he will be solid on the other side and keep the line balanced.Collapse Description
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18

0-0 - 14/30
The Bills made the sexy signing of the offseason by adding Mario Williams to an already impressive defensive line, but it is the other line I am most concerned with. After losing starting left tackles in consecutive seasons to the Eagles (Jason Peters andExpand Description
The Bills made the sexy signing of the offseason by adding Mario Williams to an already impressive defensive line, but it is the other line I am most concerned with. After losing starting left tackles in consecutive seasons to the Eagles (Jason Peters and Demetress Bell) the Bills are awfully thin and inexperienced. They will start Cordy Glenn on the blind side, and while I am high on his potential there will definitely be some growing pains.Collapse Description
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19

0-0 - 9/29
The Bucs had the most impressive offseason by signing WR Vincent Jackson, G Carl Nicks and CB Eric Wright, but we saw with the Eagles last season that there has to be an acclimation period. Doug Martin has the potential to be special in this offense, but Expand Description
The Bucs had the most impressive offseason by signing WR Vincent Jackson, G Carl Nicks and CB Eric Wright, but we saw with the Eagles last season that there has to be an acclimation period. Doug Martin has the potential to be special in this offense, but Josh Freeman needs to be the Josh Freeman of 2010 for this team to keep pace with the Falcons and Saints. I just don't see it this year.Collapse Description
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20

0-0 - 4/30
The Jets didn't get any better along the offensive line or at the receiver position, but they did acquire the most talked-about special teams player in the entire NFL. I'm not sure he improves this team, but Tim Tebow definitely gets them more media attenExpand Description
The Jets didn't get any better along the offensive line or at the receiver position, but they did acquire the most talked-about special teams player in the entire NFL. I'm not sure he improves this team, but Tim Tebow definitely gets them more media attention . . . something Rex seemed to do just fine on his own.Collapse Description
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21

0-0 - 15/31
The Panthers signed RB Mike Tolbert this offseason to go along with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, who along with QB Cam Newton make this the most physical rushing attack in the NFL. They also did a nice job in the draft by getting Luke Kuechly aExpand Description
The Panthers signed RB Mike Tolbert this offseason to go along with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, who along with QB Cam Newton make this the most physical rushing attack in the NFL. They also did a nice job in the draft by getting Luke Kuechly and Amini Silatolu, but I don't think they have the explosive playmakers on offense to keep up with the division. WR Steve Smith isn't getting any younger, and TE Greg Olsen is solid enough, but they needed to add another target for this offense to take the next step.Collapse Description
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22

0-0 - 16/30
I'm not sure naming Jake Locker the starting QB will help them this year, but it will set them up for a more successful future starting in 2013. Kendall Wright gives him an explosive weapon on the outside, and Kenny Britt only getting a one-game suspensioExpand Description
I'm not sure naming Jake Locker the starting QB will help them this year, but it will set them up for a more successful future starting in 2013. Kendall Wright gives him an explosive weapon on the outside, and Kenny Britt only getting a one-game suspension was a surprise, but Locker needs to complete better than 50 percent of his passes.Collapse Description
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23

0-0 - 8/23
I'm picking the Redskins to finish last in the NFC East, but that's not to say they won't be a tough out. RG3 was very deserving of the second overall pick, but it is the timing within the tenure of the coaching regime that makes this pick even more impoExpand Description
I'm picking the Redskins to finish last in the NFC East, but that's not to say they won't be a tough out. RG3 was very deserving of the second overall pick, but it is the timing within the tenure of the coaching regime that makes this pick even more important. I'm not sure that Mike Shanahan has the time, that say Chuck Pagano has in Indy, to develop a rookie QB, so RG3 better hit the ground running.Collapse Description
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24

0-0 - 5/31
Either Pete Carroll thinks he is smarter than everyone else, or he really is smarter than everyone else. In back-to-back drafts he has made the surprise pick of the first round, and now hands the reigns to Russell Wilson, a third-round draft choice out ofExpand Description
Either Pete Carroll thinks he is smarter than everyone else, or he really is smarter than everyone else. In back-to-back drafts he has made the surprise pick of the first round, and now hands the reigns to Russell Wilson, a third-round draft choice out of Wisconsin. We will see how it turns out, but I don't have lofty expectations.Collapse Description
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25

0-0 - 2/30
It would seem that there was a mass exodus in Indy, but they were able to retain Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis as a solid core group of veterans that can help guide this team into the future. I actually like them to finish ahead of the JaExpand Description
It would seem that there was a mass exodus in Indy, but they were able to retain Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis as a solid core group of veterans that can help guide this team into the future. I actually like them to finish ahead of the Jaguars in the AFC South and think they will be better than most anticipate. This is a much better Colts team that Luck has adopted than the one Manning took over in 1998.Collapse Description
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26

0-0 - 5/29
John Skelton got the good-news, bad-news proclamation by head coach Ken Whisenhunt. The good news is that he got the starting job. The bad news is the offensive line doesn't appear to be able to protect him. The running game seems iffy as well. Tough combExpand Description
John Skelton got the good-news, bad-news proclamation by head coach Ken Whisenhunt. The good news is that he got the starting job. The bad news is the offensive line doesn't appear to be able to protect him. The running game seems iffy as well. Tough combination for a QB. The defense came together late last year and should improve.Collapse Description
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27

0-0 - 14/32
Jeff Fisher is an extremely confident coach, and that confidence will be tested multiple times this year. On offense their best receiver is Danny Amendola, who would be a No. 3 on most teams. On defense, the Rams return the nucleus of a defensive front seExpand Description
Jeff Fisher is an extremely confident coach, and that confidence will be tested multiple times this year. On offense their best receiver is Danny Amendola, who would be a No. 3 on most teams. On defense, the Rams return the nucleus of a defensive front seven that gave up the second-most rushing yards in the NFL. Could make for another long season in St. Louis.Collapse Description
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28

0-0 - 22/32
The previous regime in Oakland bet the farm on Carson Palmer and all he did was throw 16 interceptions after obtaining the starting role midway through the season. In the preseason this year? Palmer threw four more interceptions . . . compared to no touchExpand Description
The previous regime in Oakland bet the farm on Carson Palmer and all he did was throw 16 interceptions after obtaining the starting role midway through the season. In the preseason this year? Palmer threw four more interceptions . . . compared to no touchdowns. This isn't looking good.Collapse Description
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29

0-0 - 8/29
The Vikings are desperate to get Adrian Peterson back, not only because he is still a top-3 running back in the NFL, but because he is really the only threat on this offense. Yes, Percy Harvin has shown flashes, but without anyone else to influence the coExpand Description
The Vikings are desperate to get Adrian Peterson back, not only because he is still a top-3 running back in the NFL, but because he is really the only threat on this offense. Yes, Percy Harvin has shown flashes, but without anyone else to influence the coverage, Harvin will have a tough time getting open. Collapse Description
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30

0-0 - 14/31
Starting Ryan Tannehill isn't going to translate to any more wins this year, but neither would starting Matt Moore. So they might as well see what they have in their future, but that could make for some ugly offensive outings this year.
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31

0-0 - 28/32
With MJD leading the league in rushing last season, the Jaguars were still one of the most unimpressive teams in the NFL. I'm not sure I have the words to describe how ugly this could get without him. Blaine Gabbert was given some weapons in Laurent RobinExpand Description
With MJD leading the league in rushing last season, the Jaguars were still one of the most unimpressive teams in the NFL. I'm not sure I have the words to describe how ugly this could get without him. Blaine Gabbert was given some weapons in Laurent Robinson and Justin Blackmon, but I'm not sure that will be enough.Collapse Description
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32

0-0 - 20/32
And Cleveland . . . well, Cleveland is just Cleveland. At least the Browns will get the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft!
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NFC STANDINGS

East Division 

TEAM W L T
Cowboys    6 1 0
Eagles    5 1 0
Giants    3 4 0
Redskins    2 5 0
 

West Division 

TEAM W L T
Cardinals    5 1 0
49ers    4 3 0
Seahawks    3 3 0
Rams    2 4 0
 

North Division 

TEAM W L T
Lions    5 2 0
Packers    5 2 0
Bears    3 4 0
Vikings    2 5 0
 

South Division 

TEAM W L T
Panthers    3 3 1
Saints    2 4 0
Falcons    2 5 0
Buccaneers    1 5 0
 

AFC STANDINGS

East Division 

TEAM W L T
Patriots    5 2 0
Bills    4 3 0
Dolphins    3 3 0
Jets    1 6 0
 

West Division 

TEAM W L T
Broncos    6 1 0
Chargers    5 3 0
Chiefs    3 3 0
Raiders    0 6 0
 

North Division 

TEAM W L T
Ravens    5 2 0
Steelers    4 3 0
Bengals    3 2 1
Browns    3 3 0
 

South Division 

TEAM W L T
Colts    5 2 0
Texans    3 4 0
Titans    2 5 0
Jaguars    1 6 0