“The Reality Check” Week 1 NFL Power Rankings

September 08, 2011 | Glenn Clark

16. Kansas City Chiefs

My guess is that the Chiefs are the team primed to take the “biggest step back” in 2011. They’ll have the chance to prove me wrong.

15. Chicago Bears

Remember when I said the Chiefs were primed to take the “biggest step backwards?” I actually meant the Bears. Sorry about that. I’m not expecting much from them in 2011.

14. Detroit Lions

Yes, I’m buying in. Matthew Stafford has to stay healthy. Jahvid Best has to really show he can run the ball consistently. The back end of the defense needs to improve. This team is capable of taking the next step.

13. New York Giants

There’s no reason for me to not like them. I don’t like them. I’m like that.

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs are legit. There’s no reason to think Josh Freeman, LaGarrette Blount or Mike Williams fall off this year. But the NFC South is brutal. This won’t be easy for them.

11. Indianapolis Colts

There’s something going on in Indy this week. I’m not really sure what it is. I wish people in the media would talk about it more.

10. Houston Texans

I think the Texans will win the AFC South this year. Haven’t I said that before?

9. Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons are the most likely team to be the “Packers of 2012.” But Matt Ryan hasn’t won a playoff game yet so he doesn’t get to move ahead of the Jets or Ravens in preseason power rankings.

8. New York Jets

If I’m betting, the Jets aren’t playing in their third straight AFC Championship Game this year. I don’t bet much though.

7. San Diego Chargers

Some teams would be better with different quarterbacks. Other teams with be better with different head coaches. See “Chargers, San Diego.”

6. Baltimore Ravens

The hopes of the Ravens ride on the arm of Joe Flacco. No pressure or anything.

5. Philadelphia Eagles

I like the Eagles a lot. I think they could make it to the Super Bowl. We love to hate teams that are full of talent. Somehow we tend to forget the Miami Heat played in the NBA Finals.

4. New England Patriots

They have Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. How far down the list can they possibly be?

3. New Orleans Saints

I’m not completely sold on Mark Ingram. That’s about the only bad thing I can say about the Saints.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers

They played in the Super Bowl a year ago. They have Ben Roethlisberger. What else do I say here?

1. Green Bay Packers

I’m going so far outside of the box here.