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  • While the defending Super Bowl champions sit atop the first NFL power rankings poll of 2019, the Colts and the Dolphins are sliding given recent preseason developments.
By The MMQB Staff
September 03, 2019

The 2019 NFL season is just days away, and with that comes a fresh power rankings! Each week our staff will rank all 32 teams from best to worst. We then work our magic to determine the consensus staff ranking. Here’s how all 32 teams rank with 16 games to play.

This week’s voters:

Ben Baskin, Staff Writer
Andrew Brandt, Business of Football Columnist
Albert Breer, Senior NFL Reporter/Lead Content Strategist
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 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 3 (3 voters)
2018 Season result: 11-5, Super Bowl champions
Week 1 matchup: vs. Steelers (on Sunday Night Football)

The Super Bowl LIII champions were the No. 1 team in our offseason power rankings after free agency and the draft—and they’ll stay there for now.

2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Previous rank: 3
Points in poll: 310
Highest-place vote: 1 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 3 (2)
2018 season result: 12-4, lost AFC Championship
Week 1 matchup: at Jaguars

The Chiefs boosted their offensive depth a week before the season started by adding veteran LeSean McCoy after he was cut by the Bills, reuniting him with Andy Reid.

3. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Previous rank: 2
Points in poll: 293
Highest-place vote: 1 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 6 (1)
2018 season result: 13-3, lost NFC Championship
Week 1 matchup: vs. Texans (on Monday Night Football)

This group is the team to beat in the NFC this season. Can the defense keep up with the offense?

4. LOS ANGELES RAMS

Previous rank: 4
Points in poll: 291
Highest-place vote: 1 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 5 (2)
2018 season result: 13-3, lost Super Bowl
Week 1 matchup: at Panthers

The Rams are still among the NFL’s best, but has the rest of the league caught up with them yet? We’ll find out soon enough.

5. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Previous rank: 7
Points in poll: 283
Highest-place vote: 1 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (1)
2018 season result: 9-7, lost divisional round
Week 1 matchup: vs. Redskins

If the Eagles can stay healthy, there’s no reason they can’t compete for the Super Bowl title this year.

6. DALLAS COWBOYS

Previous rank: 9
Points in poll: 242
Highest-place vote: 5 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (1)
2018 season result: 10-6, lost divisional round
Week 1 matchup: vs Giants

Ezekiel Elliott’s contract situation hangs heavy over this team. Could they play Week 1 without their star running back?

7. GREEN BAY PACKERS

Previous rank: T-12
Points in poll: 237
Highest-place vote: 6 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (1)
2018 Season result: 6-9-1, third place in NFC North
Week 1 matchup: at Bears (on Thursday Night Football)

It’s a fresh start in Green Bay for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers under Matt LaFleur. Can the team reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season?

8. ATLANTA FALCONS

Previous rank: T-12
Points in poll: 231
Highest-place vote: 5 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (1)
2018 season result: 7-9, second place in NFC South
Week 1 matchup: at Vikings

Returning much of their injured defense will be key for this Falcons team this season.

9. PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Previous rank: 16
Points in poll: 229
Highest-place vote: 7 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 14 (1)
2018 season result: 9-6-1, second place AFC North
Week 1 matchup: at Patriots (on Sunday Night Football)

Antonio Brown is another team’s problem now. Can the Steelers still make it happen without him?

10. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Previous rank: 8
Points in poll: 227
Highest-place vote: 5 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (1)
2018 season result: 12-4, lost divisional round
Week 1 matchup: vs. Colts

The Chargers are in a tough spot—among the league’s best teams but not even the best in the division.

11. CHICAGO BEARS

Previous rank: T-5
Points in poll: 219
Highest-place vote: 4 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 11 (1)
2018 season result: 12-4, lost wild-card
Week 1 matchup: vs. Packers (on Thursday Night Football)

Can the NFL’s 2018 coach of the year keep Chicago on the upswing, even without former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio?

12. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Previous rank: 10
Points in poll: 213
Highest-place vote: 6 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (1)
2018 season result: 10-6, lost wild-card
Week 1 matchup: vs. Bengals

The Seahawks paid Russell Wilson big this offseason and recently acquired Jadeveon Clowney from the Texans for ... not that much.

13. CLEVELAND BROWNS

Previous rank: 11
Points in poll: 210
Highest-place vote: 6 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 15 (1)
2018 season result: 7-8-1, third place in AFC North
Week 1 matchup: vs. Titans

The hype around the Browns this offseason has been nearly deafening. Is this team for real?

14. MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Previous rank: 15
Points in poll: 208
Highest-place vote: 8 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (2)
2018 season result: 8-7-1, second place in NFC North
Week 1 matchup: vs. Falcons

If the Vikings can return to 2017 form—and snap the regression they saw last year—the team could be a contender in the NFC.

15. HOUSTON TEXANS

Previous rank: 14
Points in poll: 187
Highest-place vote: 8 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (2)
2018 season result: 11-5, lost wild-card
Week 1 matchup: at Saints (on Monday Night Football)

It’s been a confusing offseason in Houston to say the least. If the team can’t get it done with this squad, then they’re out of resources to build for the near future.

16. CAROLINA PANTHERS

Previous rank: 17
Points in poll: 167
Highest-place vote: 9 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (1)
2018 season result: 7-9, third place in NFC South
Week 1 matchup: vs. Rams

Cam Newton’s health, especially given his recent foot injury, will be a huge factor in their success.

17. BALTIMORE RAVENS

Previous rank: 18
Points in poll: 159
Highest-place vote: 10 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (3)
2018 season result: 10-6, lost wild-card
Week 1 matchup: at Dolphins

There’s talent on this roster, but the Ravens saw lots of departures, especially on defense, this offseason.

18. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Previous rank: T-5
Points in poll: 265
Highest-place vote: 4 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 11 (1)
2018 season result: 10-6, lost divisional round
Week 1 matchup: at Chargers

Andrew Luck’s retirement caused this team the biggest drop of any from our offseason power rankings until now. Can the newly extended Jacoby Brissett and the newly signed Brian Hoyer get the job done?

19. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Previous rank: 21
Points in poll: 149
Highest-place vote: 12 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (1)
2018 season result: 4-12, third place in NFC West
Week 1 matchup: at Buccaneers

Jerick McKinnon hitting the IR for a second straight season is a tough break for the team. Will Garoppolo finally reach his potential this year?

20. TENNESSEE TITANS

Previous rank: 19
Points in poll: 153
Highest-place vote: 19 (5)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (1)
2018 season result: 9-7, third place in AFC South
Week 1 matchup: at Browns

There’s a ton riding on this season for Marcus Mariota. Will the QB step up to the challenge?

21. BUFFALO BILLS

Previous rank: 20
Points in poll: 117
Highest-place vote: 18 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (1)
2018 season result: 6-10, third place in AFC East
Week 1 matchup: at Jets

Josh Allen and the Bills will continue to rise this season, but the team is still a year or two away from contending in the playoffs.

22. DETROIT LIONS

Previous rank: 22
Points in poll: 113
Highest-place vote: 15 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (2)
2018 season result: 6-10, fourth place in NFC North
Week 1 matchup: at Cardinals

Matt Patricia can’t hid behind the guise of being a first-year head coach anymore.

23. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Previous rank: 23
Points in poll: 111
Highest-place vote: 16 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (4)
2018 season result: 5-11, fourth place in AFC South
Week 1 matchup: vs. Chiefs

Blake Bortles is out and the Super Bowl LII MVP is in for Jacksonville. Will Nick Foles be the change the Jaguars need?

24. NEW YORK JETS

Previous rank: 26
Points in poll: 107
Highest-place vote: 16 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (2)
2018 season result: 4-12, fourth place in AFC East
Week 1 matchup: vs. Bills

A big range of placement for the Jets among our voters this week. This team will hinge on Sam Darnold’s performance this season.

25. DENVER BRONCOS

Previous rank: 24
Points in poll: 92
Highest-place vote: 18 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (2)
2018 season result: 6-10, third place in AFC West
Week 1 matchup: at Raiders (on Monday Night Football)

The defense is powerful, but is Joe Flacco enough on offense?

26. NEW YORK GIANTS

Previous rank: 28
Points in poll: 70
Highest-place vote: 22 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 28 (1)
2018 season result: 5-11, fourth place in NFC East
Week 1 matchup: at Cowboys

The Daniel Jones hype from this preseason has caused the Giants to rise ever so slightly from our offseason rankings, but starting Eli Manning will continue to keep the team near the bottom.

27. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Previous rank: 32
Points in poll: 55
Highest-place vote: 25 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (1)
2018 season result: 5-11, fourth place in NFC South
Week 1 matchup: vs. 49ers

Is this the Bruce Arians effect? In our offseason power rankings, the Buccaneers were ranked dead last. Rising five spots isn’t half bad.

28. OAKLAND RAIDERS

Previous rank: 27
Points in poll: 48
Highest-place vote: 24 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (1)
2018 season result: 4-12, fourth place in AFC West
Week 1 matchup: vs. Broncos (on Monday Night Football)

Between the Antonio Brown drama and Hard Knocks, this preseason hasn’t been the most kind to Jon Gruden’s and Mike Mayock’s team. Can they prove otherwise in the regular season?

29. CINCINNATI BENGALS

Previous rank: 31
Points in poll: 44
Highest-place vote: 25 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (5)
2018 season result: 6-10, fourth place in AFC North
Week 1 matchup: at Seahawks

There’s a new head coach in Cincinnati, but he’s got a lot to prove.

30. ARIZONA CARDINALS

Previous rank: 30
Points in poll: 41
Highest-place vote: 27 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (2)
2018 season result: 3-13, fourth place in NFC West
Week 1 matchup: vs. Lions

The Cardinals spent most of last season languishing in the last spot in our power poll—but in the first rankings of 2019, none of our voters picked them as the NFL’s worst team!

31. WASHINGTON REDSKINS

Previous rank: 25
Points in poll: 22
Highest-place vote: 29 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (1)
2018 season result: 7-9, third place in NFC East
Week 1 matchup: at Eagles

Apparently naming Case Keenum the starting quarterback does not inspire confidence in our voters.

32. MIAMI DOLPHINS

Previous rank: 29
Points in poll: 12
Highest-place vote: 31 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (8)
Season result: 7-9, second place in AFC East
Week 1 matchup: vs. Ravens

After trading Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills for a bundle of draft picks, it’s clear what this team’s mission is this season. Our voters ranked Miami accordingly.

Question or comment? Email us at talkback@themmqb.com.

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