The Blog of Northern Aggression

The Blog of Northern Aggression: NFL Power Rankings

By David Wipperman (a.k.a. Ragnarok) – @Wipperman

David Wipperman, also known as Ragnarok (or Rags) on the forum, has been in charge of setting up the Wednesday fantasy football mock drafts for a few years. Ragnarok had his own section in the fantasy mocks this summer where he broke down the best and worst teams.

Ragnarok will be writing his own weekly column on this Web site. It will contain a different topic each week as well as some of his gut bets, which should be used for entertainment purposes only.

You can follow Ragnarok @Wipperman or leave a comment below.

This week I wanted to set up my first power rankings of the season along with likely playoff teams and seedings. I will keep altering these power rankings for the mock drafts I will be posting in the future. Now, being this early in the season, I am not going strictly by record. I am also taking into account which teams I believe can rebound from a slow start and which I think will cool down as we move forward. As opposed to doing a pure power ranking for the playoff teams, I will do projected playoff seedings.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars – I don’t think I need to go into much detail here. The Jaguars are truly awful at every level on both sides of the ball. This team is in serious contention for the worst team of the past 10 years.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – I’m sure this seems low, but when you have issues in the locker room, problems with the head coach and a rookie quarterback that I personally think will flop hard… that drags a team down. The Bucs have some very talented pieces, but are playing below that level right now.

30. Oakland Raiders – I never thought that Terrelle Pryor would look half as good as he has the past couple weeks. If the Raiders had any talent surrounding him, I would put them higher. That said, if Pryor keeps growing the way he has, this team could rise in the weeks to come.

29. Minnesota Vikings – This is another team that people may think is too low, but I have no faith in Ponder. He has a lot of talent around him on offense, but he just can’t get it done. Not to mention, the defense isn’t playing as well as it has in the past.

28. Buffalo Bills – E.J. Manuel hasn’t looked awful, but I expect plenty of rookie mistakes from him going forward. Plus, it’s Buffalo. The Bills will find new and exciting ways to lose games they could win.

27. Philadelphia Eagles – Philadelphia’s offense hasn’t looked very good outside of the first half of the season opener, and the defense has been pretty awful. With some members of the Eagles’ offensive line struggling, Michael Vick won’t make it all year, which will make things more difficult for Chip Kelly.

26. Washington Redskins – The Redskins’ defense this year has been absolutely atrocious. Adding to this is the rough start of Robert Griffin III. I do think that the second-year signal-caller will shake off the rust and get Washington a few wins, which is why I don’t have the team lower.

25. Cleveland Browns – Cleveland has a very good front seven and some solid pieces in the secondary. Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon are both studs and the offensive line is pretty good. While Brian Hoyer didn’t look awful last week, that may have just been because of the lack of tape on him. If he improves, the Browns could rise. Well, they could if they weren’t the Browns.

24. Arizona Cardinals – Arizona has a solid defense and Carson Palmer is average. While the Cardinals have Larry Fitzgerald, they have zero running game and a subpar offensive line. This is a team that I could see sliding further back in the rankings.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers’ history makes me want to put them higher, but I can’t. The offensive line is truly horrendous, and Mike Tomlin is a bit overrated as a coach. Not to mention a defense that has looked simply pedestrian so far this year.

22. New York Jets – Yep, I have the Jets this high. Their defense has looked fantastic, Stephen Hill is growing up and Santonio Holmes looks healthy. I’m not sold on the running game, and like the Bills, I expect Geno Smith to make mistakes. But New York certainly does look to be an improving team over last year.

21. San Diego Chargers – The Chargers have lost two games at the very end so far, so I believe them to be better than their record indicates. The offensive line, which I thought would be atrocious, has been semi-functional and Philip Rivers has looked very good. Not to mention San Diego’s front seven has been solid. The team needs some serious secondary help though.

20. New York Giants – Like with the Steelers, I want to put the Giants higher, but they look like crap on both sides of the ball. That said, I do think Tom Coughlin is one of the best coaches in the NFL and that he can turn New York around to a point. But right now, this team just doesn’t look that talented.

19. Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton is coming around and the front seven of Carolina’s defense is filthy. The Panthers do have some wide receiver and offensive line issues, but Newton showed last year that he can overcome those problems. The bigger issue is a secondary that is in the running for the worst in the league.

18. St. Louis Rams – The Rams have some great pieces on offense and defense and a coach whom I think is very good. Unfortunately, St. Louis is in an extremely tough division, and we haven’t seen Bradford lead a team to success yet. Until he does, I have to assume a record between 7-9 and 9-7.

17. Detroit Lions – Detroit has beaten Minnesota and Washington. That’s not impressive. The Lions have some excellent pieces, but I need to see them beat a team that isn’t 0-3 before I can move them up.

16. Baltimore Ravens – I know that people won’t like this one, but this ranking is due more to my thinking that other teams are simply better. Baltimore is still very good, but I don’t think two teams from the AFC North make the playoffs. The Ravens aren’t as good as their record suggests in my opinion.

15. Tennessee Titans – Tennessee has played very well to start the season and will be in a position for a wild card at the end of the year. If Locker keeps playing like he did last week, I think the Titans may get it.

14. Kansas City Chiefs – Kansas City has a solid offensive line, a great running back and an awesome defense. But how far can Alex Smith take the Chiefs? I don’t quite trust them enough just yet to put them any higher.

13. Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons just don’t look very good. I do believe they bounce back from a slow start, but they don’t deserve to be any higher as of right now.

    NFC Playoff Seedings

  1. Seattle Seahawks – This should be obvious. If the Seahawks get homefield advantage, it won’t even be fair.
  2. New Orleans Saints – Sean Payton is back, Drew Brees looks great and Rob Ryan has done an unbelievable job making the worst defense in history into an average unit.
  3. Chicago Bears – I’ll give the NFC North to the Bears for now since they are 3-0. Stupid Bears.
  4. Dallas Cowboys – The NFC East is garbage, so I have to give this to the Cowboys by default.
  5. San Francisco 49ers – I know the 49ers are 1-2 … but they have to bounce back … right? Tonight’s game should show us something.
  6. Green Bay Packers – Also 1-2, but I expect Green Bay to at the least get a wild card.

    AFC Playoff Seedings

  1. Denver Broncos – Like with Seattle, this should be obvious.
  2. New England Patriots – New England hasn’t been impressive and is still 3-0. Imagine what the Patriots will do when they get it together.
  3. Cincinnati Bengals – OK, I’m a believer. This is a damn good team. Giovani Bernard and Tyler Eifert make this offense so much better.
  4. Houston Texans – Matt Schaub has too much talent around him to keep Houston out of the playoffs.
  5. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill is really coming into his own as Joe Philbin has done an excellent job with him.
  6. Indianapolis Colts – It’ll be an interesting race for these wild-card spots, but for now, I have to give it to Indianapolis.

Gut Bets

St. Louis Rams -3 1/3 (-120) – Going with the underdog has been great on Thursday nights, and I think this will be a very close game. Not to mention these two teams played two very close battles last year.

Cincinnati Bengals -4 (-110) – I think Hoyer regresses as Mike Zimmer has some tape on him now. I think the Bengals’ defense dominates this one.

Kansas City Chiefs -4 (-110) – The Giants suck right now and the Chiefs’ defense is filthy. I could see Justin Houston getting 3 more sacks in this one.

The Blog of Northern Agression Menu:
NFL Power Rankings - 10/31
Surprises and Disappointments - 10/19
Hard Knocks - 10/10
Mock Draft - 10/4
NFL Power Rankings - 9/27
Football Team Bias - 9/11
Surprise Super Bowl Team - 9/6

Fantasy Football Rankings - May 23

2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 21

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

NFL Picks - Feb. 12