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  • With the draft and free agency behind us, it's time to see how our power rankings have changed since the Super Bowl.
By The MMQB Staff
May 03, 2019

Welcome back to the MMQB Power Rankings Poll, for our first official poll of the 2019 season. The last time you saw us, we were dishing out rankings two days after the Super Bowl—with the champs in first place and the runners-up in fourth. (Still can’t tell if that made Saints fans feel any better.) Later that week, we also had our writers look into their crystal balls and forecast who will win the next five Super Bowls.

A lot has happened since then! The NFL has seen multiple blockbuster trades, franchise tags, free agency and the draft. We thought it would be fun to take a look at how things around the league have changed and how [we think] teams stack up right now.

This week’s voters:

Ben Baskin, Staff Writer
Andy Benoit, Staff Writer
Andrew Brandt, Business of Football Columnist
Mitch Goldich, Producer/Writer
Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Jonathan Jones, Staff Writer
Kalyn Kahler, Writer/Producer
Bette Marston, Associate Editor
Mark Mravic, Executive Editor
Jenny Vrentas, Senior Writer


1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Previous rank: 1
Points in poll: 313
Highest-place vote: 1 (6)
Lowest-place vote: 4 (1)
Season result: 11-5, Super Bowl champions

Will the Patriots repeat for the first time since the 2003 and ’04 seasons? Hard to say. But most of our voters seem to think either they’re the favorite, or the defending champs earn the No. 1 spot until somebody knocks them off.

2. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Previous rank: 3
Points in poll: 306
Highest-place vote: 1 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 4 (1)
Season result: 13-3, lost NFC Championship

We all know how the Saints’ season ended last year. Sean Payton getting the replay rules changed was their first win of 2019.

3. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Previous rank: 2
Points in poll: 297
Highest-place vote: 1 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 7 (1)
Season result: 12-4, lost AFC Championship

Obviously Tyreek Hill’s status is a major question that’s yet to be answered. Even with the possibility that we might not see him at all in 2019, the Chiefs remain a top team in our poll—with two votes in the No. 1 spot, even.

4. LOS ANGELES RAMS

Previous rank: 4
Points in poll: 296
Highest-place vote: 2 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 5 (2)
Season result: 13-3, lost Super Bowl

Is Todd Gurley 100%? One of the biggest questions from Super Bowl week still lingers over this team heading into training camp.

T-5. CHICAGO BEARS

Previous rank: 6
Points in poll: 265
Highest-place vote: 4 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 11 (1)
Season result: 12-4, lost wild-card

2018 Coach of the Year Matt Nagy now has even higher expectations heading into his second season at the helm in Chicago.

T-5. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Previous rank: 8
Points in poll: 265
Highest-place vote: 4 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 11 (1)
Season result: 10-6, lost divisional round

The Colts are going to be a popular Super Bowl pick out of the AFC for anyone who A) Expects some Chiefs regression, and B) Can’t stomach picking the Patriots.

7. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Previous rank: 7
Points in poll: 262
Highest-place vote: 2 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 10 (1)
Season result: 9-7, lost divisional round

The Eagles are now one year removed from their victory lap offseason, but they still have plenty of their Super Bowl contributors and a few new toys for Carson Wentz on offense.

8. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Previous rank: 5
Points in poll: 250
Highest-place vote: 5 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (1)
Season result: 12-4, lost divisional round

The Chargers are down a little from where they finished last season, but could easily hop back into the top five.

9. DALLAS COWBOYS

Previous rank: 9
Points in poll: 237
Highest-place vote: 5 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (1)
Season result: 10-6, lost divisional round

Dak Prescott’s contract extension will be the most interesting move of the Cowboys’ offseason and we’re still waiting for that domino to fall.

10. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Previous rank: 10
Points in poll: 220
Highest-place vote: 9 (6)
Lowest-place vote: 24 (1)
Season result: 10-6, lost wild-card

The Seahawks are ranked higher after giving Russell Wilson $140 million than they would be if they’d traded him away (like some thought might happen). The question is how much they can build around him the next few years.

11. CLEVELAND BROWNS

Previous rank: 16
Points in poll: 215
Highest-place vote: 6 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (1)
Season result: 7-8-1, third place in AFC North

The darlings of the NFL’s offseason are not the team that jumped the most in our rankings. But the Browns are higher than any other team that missed the playoffs last season.

T-12. ATLANTA FALCONS

Previous rank: 18
Points in poll: 197
Highest-place vote: 6 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (2)
Season result: 7-9, second place in NFC South

The Falcons made a big jump, likely because our panel views them as a good team that should bounce back from a disappointing 2018.

T-12. GREEN BAY PACKERS

Previous rank: 19
Points in poll: 197
Highest-place vote: 11 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 15 (3)
Season result: 6-9-1, third place in NFC North

The Packers made a big jump, likely because our panel views them as a good team that should bounce back from a disappointing 2018. Sound familiar?

14. HOUSTON TEXANS

Previous rank: 12
Points in poll: 192
Highest-place vote: 11 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (3)
Season result: 11-5, lost wild-card

The Texans disappointed in their playoff game last season, but have enough talent to get back there.

15. MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Previous rank: 15
Points in poll: 178
Highest-place vote: 8 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (2)
Season result: 8-7-1, second place in NFC North

The Vikings are one of the teams our panel had the hardest time agreeing on, but most seem to think they’ll at least be in pretty good shape.

16. PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Previous rank: 13
Points in poll: 172
Highest-place vote: 9 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (1)
Season result: 9-6-1, second place AFC North

The Steelers managed to win nine games last year after losing Le’Veon Bell. How many can they win after now losing Antonio Brown?

17. CAROLINA PANTHERS

Previous rank: 17
Points in poll: 165
Highest-place vote: 13 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (2)
Season result: 7-9, third place in NFC South

As has been the case for a few years now, Cam Newton’s ability to stay healthy will be the most important part of the Panthers’ season.

18. BALTIMORE RAVENS

Previous rank: 11
Points in poll: 160
Highest-place vote: 15 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (1)
Season result: 10-6, lost wild-card

The Ravens added speed on offense, but they lost enough talent on defense to suffer the biggest drop of any team in the poll.

19. TENNESSEE TITANS

Previous rank: 14
Points in poll: 153
Highest-place vote: 13 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (1)
Season result: 9-7, third place in AFC South

It could be a do-or-die season for Marcus Mariota in Tennessee, after losing a play-in Game 256 to end last season. Right now we’ve got them in the bottom half of the rankings.

20. BUFFALO BILLS

Previous rank: 21
Points in poll: 123
Highest-place vote: 17 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (1)
Season result: 6-10, third place in AFC East

The Bills are trying to make their famous tailgates less fun, so they better hope the product on the field is a little better.

21. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Previous rank: 30
Points in poll: 116
Highest-place vote: 18 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (1)
Season result: 4-12, third place in NFC West

Guess who had the biggest jump in our poll this time around? No, not the Browns. It’s these San Francisco 49ers, who spent most of last season in the bottom three and now expect to have a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo.

22. DETROIT LIONS

Previous rank: 25
Points in poll: 114
Highest-place vote: 16 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (1)
Season result: 6-10, fourth place in NFC North

The Lions may have been the best fourth-place team last season, but the NFC North will again be a tough one to compete in.

23. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Previous rank: 27
Points in poll: 102
Highest-place vote: 18 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (1)
Season result: 5-11, fourth place in AFC South

Welcome to town, Nick Foles. The former Super Bowl MVP takes over a team that, if you can remember, was No. 1 in these very rankings not so long ago.

24. DENVER BRONCOS

Previous rank: 20
Points in poll: 83
Highest-place vote: 21 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (2)
Season result: 6-10, third place in AFC West

Is Joe Flacco the answer? We dropped the Broncos three spots since the move was made.

25. WASHINGTON REDSKINS

Previous rank: 23
Points in poll: 81
Highest-place vote: 22 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (1)
Season result: 7-9, third place in NFC East

Will it be Dwayne Haskins or Case Keenum starting in Week 1? Either way, it sounds more promising than some of Washington’s options down the stretch last season.

26. NEW YORK JETS

Previous rank: 29
Points in poll: 80
Highest-place vote: 19 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (2)
Season result: 4-12, fourth place in AFC East

Our panel has a relatively wide range for the Jets, but almost all of the votes are in the 20s.

27. OAKLAND RAIDERS

Previous rank: 31
Points in poll: 65
Highest-place vote: 22 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 28 (4)
Season result: 4-12, fourth place in AFC West

Year 2 under Gruden and Year 1 under Mayock began with three first-round picks. I think we’re all interested in seeing how it ends.

28. NEW YORK GIANTS

Previous rank: 26
Points in poll: 60
Highest-place vote: 26 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (1)
Season result: 5-11, fourth place in NFC East

They traded Odell Beckham and drafted a quarterback they expect to stay on the bench, so the Giants have dropped a bit from the end of last season.

29. MIAMI DOLPHINS

Previous rank: 22
Points in poll: 33
Highest-place vote: 24 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (4)
Season result: 7-9, second place in AFC East

The Dolphins have sunk to the bottom tier in the rankings, and there’s definitely a steep drop-off in vote totals between 28 and the final four teams.

30. ARIZONA CARDINALS

Previous rank: 32
Points in poll: 32
Highest-place vote: 27 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (1)
Season result: 3-13, fourth place in NFC West

The Cardinals spent most of last season languishing in the last spot in our power poll. They have a new coach, a new No. 1 pick at quarterback and apparently a touch of optimism.

31. CINCINNATI BENGALS

Previous rank: 24
Points in poll: 29
Highest-place vote: 29 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (3)
Season result: 6-10, fourth place in AFC North

Three teams came away with at least one vote for last place, and the Bengals were not one of them. But consistent votes from 29 through 31 still have them in the penultimate spot.

32. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Previous rank: 28
Points in poll: 22
Highest-place vote: 27 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (5)
Season result: 5-11, fourth place in NFC South

Bruce Arians, you’ve got work to do.

• Question or comment? Email us at talkback@themmqb.com. But relax; they’re just power rankings.

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