Updated: May 16
New York Jets (8-8) - Previously: 32.
The Jets are the worst team in the NFL. Outside of their defensive line, I can't name one positive unit on their team. The quarterbacks stink. The running backs stink. The receivers stink. The offensive line is meh. The linebackers stink. The secondary really stinks. And before any Jet fans comment, "WE WERE 8-8 LAST YEAR YOUR AN IDIOT!" let's not forget that the Texans went from division champ to 2-14 in just one season. These things happen in the NFL.
I'm going to continue to get hate mail from Jet fans - you can see it on the comment board of the 2015 NFL Mock Draft - but whatever. I'm confident New York will be much worse this season than in 2014. The big difference is that there are high expectations now. With Philadelphia's former quarterback and Chris Johnson in the mix, the media actually thinks the Jets will do well. As we've seen with QBDK and Johnson, they've always failed to meet expectations, which is why they've gotten so many coaches fired over the years. Rex is next, which is a shame because he's a good coach.
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12) - Previously: 31.
"If Jadeveon Clowney fell to the Jaguars, they still would have drafted Blake Bortles." - hot chick on ESPN. Ladies and gentlemen, the most incompetent organization in the NFL!
Cleveland Browns (4-12) - Previously: 30.
My favorite feature in my power rankings is the Gong Rant:
Since Browns knew Gordon was going to be gone. ****ing troll team.
They better hope Manziel is some sort of Vick, where he never uses his WRs, and Cameron is the second coming of Alge Crumpler.
I just am too sad right now to even be angry. There is no anger. There is only full retard. Always and forever full retard.
I have no idea what he took, but dumba** just ruined any chance we might have had to get to 7 or 8 wins this year.
Expect everyone to be fired, after Haslam gets 20 Years. Maybe Donald Sterling will buy the Browns. Talk about black man dong like he did with the Clippers. Couldn't be worse, could it?
Oakland Raiders (4-12) - Previously: 27.
Thanks to Jacksonville's incompetence, the Raiders were able to secure a blue-chip prospect with the fifth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, they followed that up with Derek Carr, who might just get everyone fired. Well, everyone except Mark Davis' personal barber because retaining that Captain Kangaroo haircut is the organization's No. 1 priority.
Buffalo Bills (6-10) - Previously: 29.
There's no need for a 2015 first-round pick because the Bills are going to the Super Bowl with the combination of E.J. Manuel and Sammy Watkins. It's not like Buffalo could get a franchise quarterback next spring anyway, since Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston both suck and are unworthy of being selected at all.
Dallas Cowboys (8-8) - Previously: 28.
Everyone is joking about the Cowboys going 8-8 again, but I think they'll be extremely fortunate to achieve that record this season. They have one of the worst rosters in the NFL. Sure, they have a few stars, but both Tony Romo and Jason Witten are getting up there, and the former is coming off his second back procedure. Who knows if Dez Bryant will be focused? And what's going to happen with that brutal defense? How will it stop anyone?
Unfortunately for Dallas fans, there's no hope. Jerry Jones will continue to run the team into the ground. In fact, I think Jerry has completely lost his mind. Four coordinators on a football team sounds like something a madman would come up with.
Miami Dolphins (8-8) - Previously: 23.
It must be repeated that the Dolphins hired Dennis Hickey as their general manager when his current employer, the Buccaneers, were set to fire him at an inferior position. As a result, the Dolphins are overpaying for Cortland Finnegan and drafting second-round tackles at No. 19 overall. This can't possibly end well.
New York Giants (7-9) - Previously: 24.
When I told Body Burner, an Eagles' fan, that the Redskins were the only team I could see challenging the Eagles in the division, he asked about the Giants. My answer: "Meh." That's all this New York team is to me. Meh. They're not terrible, but they're not good either. I feel like they're in store for another 7-9 or 8-8 season.
Carolina Panthers (12-4) - Previously: 21.
This picture properly illustrated how bleak the situation was for Carolina at wideout:
It's still pretty brutal. Cam Newton better hope Kelvin Benjamin can actually catch the football. Newton also better hope that the coaching staff finds someone who can protect his blind side. Basically, Newton is going to do a lot of hoping this year. Panther fans might actually begin worrying that Newton might hope he's on a different team.
Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) - Previously: 20.
The Chiefs lost their top four free agents and only gained Vance Walker in return. That's not good. What's worse is that they spent their first-round pick on a player who won't start anytime soon. And it even gets grimmer: They have to battle the Patriots, Steelers, the entire NFC West and both the Broncos and Chargers twice. Those are 11 difficult games, so Kansas City is definitely not starting a fraudulent 9-0 again. In fact, based on how the schedule looks, 2-5 is the most likely scenario before November.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12) - Previously: 25.
The running joke on ESPN during the draft was that the Buccaneers have a power forward-type team because of all the 6-4 and 6-5 targets they now have on the roster in the wake of the Mike Evans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins picks. That made sense because, you know, NBA power forwards are all 6-4 and 6-5.
I have to say this though: That type of ESPN proclamation is going to make the Buccaneers a bet-against team in 2014. You can make lots of money wagering against anything or anyone ESPN hypes up unnecessarily. Let's just see if the people on that network have a long-term memory with this "power forward" talk.
Washington Redskins (3-13) - Previously: 26.
I think the Redskins are the only team in the NFC East that can challenge the Eagles for the divisional crown. There's just one catch: Robert Griffin has to stay healthy the entire year. Considering how small and brittle he is, I don't see that happening. He's much like QBDK in this manner, and he has already gotten one coach fired. Let's see how long Jay Gruden lasts.
Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1) - Previously: 22.
The Vikings have enjoyed a pretty solid offseason. They've gotten younger on the defensive line and better in the secondary. They improved their pass rush during the draft and obtained a potential franchise quarterback in Teddy Brigewater. I didn't splooge all over my keyboard when Bridgewater was chosen, unlike some people on Twitter, but I still thought it was a solid selection. One team in the NFC considered him a fourth-round prospect, but most had him in the 26-40 range where Minnesota obtained him.
Detroit Lions (7-9) - Previously: 19.
Scott Wright of DraftCountdown.com said it best: The real winners of the Eric Ebron selection were Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler, who will continue to throw all over Detroit's poor secondary. That pick continues to be puzzling.
Tennessee Titans (7-9) - Previously: 14.
I think we can all agree that NBC is stupid for canceling Community. The ratings weren't good, but only because NBC didn't promote it well enough. NBC is completely incompetent, so it was not a surprise to see a prominent NFL analyst from that network proclaim that the Titans were the worst team in the NFL.
Uhh... what? They were 7-9 last year, and seven of their losses came by single digits. Oh, and the team was 3-1 at the beginning of the year when Jake Locker was still healthy. Yup, sounds like the worst team in the NFL to me.
Houston Texans (2-14) - Previously: 18.
The Texans will rebound, as nine of their 14 losses this past season were decided by seven points or fewer. Unfortunately, they won't unseat the Colts until they have a franchise quarterback. Perhaps Tom Savage will be that guy, but he'll take a while to develop. If anyone can do it though, it's Bill O'Brien, who somehow transformed Matt McGloin into the second coming of Kerry Collins at Penn State.
Baltimore Ravens (8-8) - Previously: 15.
I don't understand what happened to Ozzie Newsome this offseason. He used to make seemingly sharp moves, but he overpaid for Steve Smith and then proceeded to draft a linebacker who was deemed damaged goods by other teams we've spoken to. It's almost like Matt Millen kidnapped him, stuffed him into a closet and took over operations while wearing an Ozzie Newsome mask. I can't believe no one questioned "Newsome" when he invited all of the sexy men at the office back to his hotel room for a night of hot, kielbasa action.
Cincinnati Bengals (11-5) - Previously: 16.
No, Cincy fans, A.J. McCarron is not the answer. He's just not. He's not a winner; his defense won those games at Alabama. He was just along for the ride, just as any other quarterback would've been. I do wonder though: What did McCarron say in the team interviews that made him seem so abbrasive?
I can imagine it...
Team Interviewer: Hey, A.J., so what do you have to say to those who think you're a product of the system?
A.J. McCarron: I'M AJ MCCARRON I'M AWESOME YOU SUCK I'M SO GREAT HAVE YOU SEEN MY GIRLFRIEND SHES SO HOT.
Team Interviewer: What? Just calm down. Why do you think you would be a good fit for our club?
A.J. McCarron: BECAUSE I'M AJ MCCARRON AJ F***ING MCCARRON AND I'M GREAT AND YOU SUCK BECAUSE YOUR NAME IS NOT AJ F***ING MCCARRON AND I'M GREAT AND MY GIRLFRIENDS HOT AND YOUR GIRLFRIENDS NOT HAHA YOU SUCK.
Team Interviewer: Wow, what a dick.
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) - Previously: 17.
I like that the Steelers are getting back to their roots - strengthening what should be the core of their team: the front seven. Ryan Shazier and Stephon Tuitt were both solid picks. With Pittsburgh coming off an 8-4 finish to its 2013 campaign, it would not surprise me at all if this team won the division. The Steelers, Ravens and Bengals all appear to be pretty even at the moment.
Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) - Previously: 13.
I wrote this in my mock re-draft, but Chip Kelly reminds me of the drunk guy at a fantasy draft who doesn't know any of the names left, so he just takes a random kicker. Except Kelly drafts players he knows from the Pac-12 instead. That's the only explanation I have for that awful Josh Huff selection.
San Diego Chargers (9-7) - Previously: 12.
The Chargers are essentially returning the same team, as they didn't lose any major free agents. That would be a good thing, except that they are likely to miss the playoffs, considering that they go from playing the NFC East to the NFC West. There's no way in hell three teams from the AFC West are making the playoffs again. It's probably only going to be Denver, unless, of course, Philip Rivers kidnaps Peyton Manning, tortures him, chops off his manhood and begins referring to him as "Reek."
Atlanta Falcons (4-12) - Previously: 11.
I forget who said it - my mind has turned into mush after draft week - but they made a good point by opining that this draft could impact the Falcons more than any other team, since they were the best squad to own a top-10 pick. A great selection could have vaulted them back into Super Bowl consideration. Unfortunately, Atlanta disappointed, as many of its picks were perplexing. Even the first choice was a bit confusing, in that the team didn't move up to No. 4 for Khalil Mack. Jake Matthews should be a great tackle, but what's the point of picking linemen early if Mike Tice was brought in to coach them up?
Regardless, the Falcons will be on the cusp of playoff contention, but the Saints are still the class of that division.
Indianapolis Colts (11-5) - Previously: 10.
Hakeem Nicks, if he stays healthy, makes this offense pretty potent. He, Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton will be a dangerous trio. And let's not forget that Trent Richardson vowed to actually learn the playbook, so he may improve. Let's just hope this isn't a long process. It would not be good if I there was some little girl teaching him how to process everything, with Richardson constantly asking questions like, "Why's there a 'G' in 'night?'"
St. Louis Rams (7-9) - Previously: 9.
Excluding a defeat to the Panthers, the Rams lost just one game outside of the division after Week 3. They crushed the Saints and Colts despite missing their starting quarterback. If Sam Bradford can remain healthy, this will be a dangerous team in 2014. That's a big if, unfortunately.
I suppose that would explain why St. Louis picked Greg Robinson No. 2 overall. I wasn't a huge fan of that, but the Aaron Donald selection was awesome. How sick is the Rams' defensive line going to be? It would not surprise me at all if Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Carson Palmer all s**t themselves upon hearing the news - especially Palmer, who can't move around at all.
Arizona Cardinals (10-6) - Previously: 7.
The Cardinals would've done some major damage in the playoffs had they been included. It's just a shame that they played in the NFC West. Think about it: They went 2-4 in the league's toughest division, meaning they were 8-2 outside of it. Their only non-divisional defeats came against the Eagles and Saints, both on the road. They crushed the Panthers and Colts, and they were the only team to win at Seattle. Many will argue the 49ers would've beaten the Broncos in the Super Bowl. Call me crazy, but I think Arizona would've won the game as well, albeit by a much slimmer margin.
Arizona has improved after this offseason. The team lost Karlos Dansby, which will hurt, but Jared Veldheer and Antonio Cromartie make the Cardinals better.
Chicago Bears (8-8) - Previously: 8.
I think my relationship with Phil Emery is coming to an end. I don't know how I can trust him anymore. He denounced the idea of ever spending a late-round pick on a quarterback, yet he went and drafted David Fales. What a monster.
I don't know how Emery's wife can even trust him at this point. Every time he goes out to the convenience store, she won't know if he's really going to the nudie bar or hanging out with his No Ma'am club.
Green Bay Packers (8-7-1) - Previously: 6.
One underrated part about the draft are Aaron Rodgers' reactions to whenever Todd McShay is on TV. He always tweets out something like, "One person on ESPN right now has no idea what he's talking about!!!" Rodgers still has a chip on his shoulder because of all those who doubted him, including McShay, who said Brian Brohm was a better prospect than Rodgers.
Hey, no one's perfect. We've all said stupid things. But I really couldn't believe what I was hearing when McShay said that two people told him that the Cowboys would draft Johnny Manziel if he were available at No. 16. So much for that.
It seemed so stupid at the time, given Tony Romo's contract, so what happened? How did McShay hear from two people that this was going to happen? I have four guesses:
1. The Cowboys purposely leaked info to him so that Manziel would be chosen before their pick. That way, a better prospect would've landed at No. 16, perhaps Taylor Lewan. Jerry Jones would've had a seizure if Lewan dropped to 16.
2. The two people who told McShay this news were his buddies Alphonse and Georgio from the tanning salon. They always have the best scoops, but they didn't come through this time.
3. ESPN asked McShay to promote this story to generate ratings for the draft.
4. Rodgers paid off two low-level Dallas employees to give this false info to McShay, so that he would look stupid on TV.
Considering how much Rodgers hates McShay, I'm going with No. 4.
New England Patriots (12-4) - Previously: 4.
"Super Bowl XLVI is a four-horse race, and the lamest one is New England - only because the team failed to upgrade Tom Brady's receiving corps." This is what I wrote in my previous power rankings. Two things have happened since that have hurt the Patriots:
1. They wasted a second-round pick on a quarterback despite being in "win now" mode. Unless they think Jimmy Garoppolo can cover Wes Welker, I don't see the point of that selection.
What... the... hell... is... that...?
I've said many times, and I'll say it again: Brady's wife has completely derailed his career. I think he'd have at least five rings right now if it wasn't for her. Maybe that's why Belichick drafted Garoppolo.
Seattle Seahawks (13-3) - Previously: 2.
My Las Vegas Hilton Supercontest partner Matvei and I agree that the Seahawks are due to regress quite a bit this year. I picked them to win the Super Bowl last summer, so don't call me a hater; I just feel like there's too much going on. In addition to a post-Super Bowl hangover, Russell Wilson is completely distracted this offseason. He has gotten divorced, which undoubtedly took a toll on him - especially in the wake of the rumors that Golden Tate slept with his ex-wife. He also wasted time playing baseball and happens to be shooting way too many commercials. Plus, he's going to all of these basketball games and talking to Jay-Z and his wife. Wilson has always worked hard, but he has turned into too much of a superstar, much like Tom Brady in the middle of the past decade.
Speaking of Wilson at basketball games, did ESPN really have to pan to him every five minutes during the Spurs-Blazers contest? All he was doing was sitting there, so what was the point? What did they expect him to do, juggle several chainsaws for their amusement?
New Orleans Saints (11-5) - Previously: 5.
I didn't understand the sentiment that the TV analysts shared that the Saints had to go defense. With Marques Colston constantly injured, Lance Moore gone and Darren Sproles traded away, Drew Brees needed weapons more than anything. Despite dealing away a third-round pick, getting Brandin Cooks was a great move.
Denver Broncos (13-3) - Previously: 3.
The Broncos move up to No. 2, thanks to all of the hard work they've put in this offseason. They've done so many things to help themselves now that they've distanced themselves from everyone in the AFC, including New England. Unlike the Patriots, they weren't stupid enough to draft a quarterback in the second round. Speaking of which, check out the second round of my 2015 NFL Mock Draft.
San Francisco 49ers (12-4) - Previously: 1.
The 49ers are my No. 1 team heading into 2014. They nearly won in Seattle in the NFC Championship, which was a very evenly played game. They'll be hungrier after losing out to Seattle in the rubber match. They'll also have their top offensive weapons on the field for most of the season this time, unlike last year. They also ha a great draft and managed to trade for Stevie Johnson, who will improve now that he's with a legitimate franchise for the first time in his career.
I was concerned earlier in the offseason when Pro Football Talk published that bogus story about Jim Harbaugh leaving the 49ers. That seems like it took place years ago, doesn't it? No one has mentioned it in quite a while. It's shocking that PFT got something incorrect because they're always completely accurate, like that one time when they reported that Terry Bradshaw died. It's true - Bradshaw did die. He's been a zombie this whole time. It's not like anyone would notice the difference between an alive Bradshaw and a zombified Bradshaw anyway.