The NFL off-season has been unlike anything we have ever seen. Covid-19 will reduce OTA’s, practice time and pre-season games. New Coaches and new starting quarterbacks will have to adjust quickly if they want to make the post-season. Last week I posted my 32-16 NFL rankings.
Below are The Sports Whisperer’s Rankings, 15-1:
15) Pittsburgh Steelers:
The Steelers defense should be an elite unit, their offense is another story. Ben Roethlisberger is 38-years old and coming off an injury. Is James Conner a No.1 running back and is JuJu Smith-Schuster a No.1 wide receiver?
14) Tennessee Titans:
Is Ryan Tannehill a franchise quarterback? The Titans believe he is, but they took the ball out of his hands in the playoffs. Against the Patriots and Ravens, he threw the ball 14 and 15 times. If A.J. Brown can become a No.1 wide receiver this team could be a lot more than Derrick Henry at running back.
13) Cleveland Browns:
Nick Chubb could be the best running back in the NFL. The Browns defense should be improved, and their offense should be much more efficient under Head coach, Kevin Stefanski. Cleveland should compete for a playoff spot.
12) Chicago Bears:
I am higher on the Bears than most NFL Experts. Their defense should be impressive. Khalil Mack only had 47 tackles last season. Look for him to bounce back. Allen Robinson III had 98 catches for 1,147 yards. The Bears must get more production out of their running game. Their two starters averaged 3.7 and 3.3 yards per carry. If Mitchell Trubinsky fails early on, look for Nick Foles to take over as the starter. Matt Nagy is too good of an offensive coach to struggle back to back years.
11) Dallas Cowboys:
Offensively, the Cowboys have tremendous talent at the skill position. Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper and rookie, Cee Dee Lamb could help Dak Prescott have one of his best seasons as a pro. Their defense should be better than last season as well.
10) Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Todd Bowles will have the Bucs defense playing at a high level. Tom Brady should bring efficiency to this high-powered offense. The Bucs could be ranked in the top 10 on offense and defense.
9) Buffalo Bills:
The Bills are primed to win the AFC East. The acquisition of Stefon Diggs should help Josh Allen develop as a young quarterback. Sean McDermott is a young coach on the rise.
8) Philadelphia Eagles:
The Philadelphia Eagles suffered a major blow to their offensive line when Brandon Brooks was lost from the season after tearing his left Achilles tendon working out at the team’s practice facility. Brooks was ranked by Pro-Football Focus as the No.2 rated guard in the NFL. Carson Wentz should be in the running for MVP and this team has improved on offense and defense. I still see them winning the NFC East,
7) Minnesota Vikings:
The Vikings lost their offensive coordinator in Kevin Stefanski but they still have enough talent on both sides of the ball to win 11 games. Dalvin Cook could rush for 1500 yards this season.
6) Seattle Seahawks:
Russell Wilson is the most underrated quarterback in the history of the league. He has never missed a start and has never had a losing record in the NFL. He has won 86 regular season games and only lost 41 games. His 9 playoff wins is second to Tom Brady amongst active NFL quarterbacks.
5) New Orleans Saints:
The Saints added offensive line depth in the draft and acquired wide receiver, Emmanuel Sanders. Linebacker, Zach Braun out of Wisconsin, could have 100 tackles this season.
4) Green Bay Packers:
The Packers finished 13-3 last season. I don’t expect them to win 13 games, but they should have a very good year. Matt LaFluer is looking to run the ball more and improve their defense from 2020. If Aaron Rodgers is under center, the Packers have a chance to win every game. Green Bay’s core of young wide receivers should help Davante Adams. Jordan Love was the Packers first round draft pick. Rodgers playing with a chip on his shoulders is a scary thing for the rest of the NFL.
3) Kanas City Chiefs:
The Chiefs are set to bring back 20 of their 22 starters from their Super Bowl roster. Clyde Edwards-Helaire out of LSU should be a perfect dual threat running back in this offense. Linebacker, Willie Gay Jr. out of Mississippi State should start and contribute right away. Patrick Mahomes will continue to be an MVP candidate.
2) San Francisco 49ers:
The 49ers were number 1 in the NFL in rushing attempts. I expect them to continue their “ground and pound” philosophy. They dominate their opponents on the offensive and defensive line. They should win their division again and be in the hunt for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
1) Baltimore Ravens:
LSU’s Patrick Queen could be the next great Ravens linebacker. J.K. Dobbins will be a perfect complement to Mark Ingram in the backfield. The Ravens are primed and ready to take the next step in the AFC. Mark Andrews and Marquis Brown could be the best TE/WR combination in the NFL next season. Lamar Jackson is coming into the year with a chip on his shoulder. Look for the Ravens to win 12-14 games.
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