PFT’s preseason power rankings, sorted by division


PFT wrapped up our 2014 preseason power rankings Tuesday by unveiling our top-ranked team, the defending-champion Seattle Seahawks.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the top two teams are out of the same division, with the San Francisco 49ers — NFC West and NFC runners-up a season ago — taking the No. 2 spot.

With the ultratough West in mind — what a challenging draw for the Cardinals and Rams — here’s a division-by-division look at the power rankings. Teams are ordered within their divisions by their overall ranking:

AFC East

4. New England Patriots. (AFC rank: 2.)

19. New York Jets. (AFC rank: 9.)

28. Buffalo Bills. (AFC rank: 12.)

31. Miami Dolphins. (AFC rank: 15.)

AFC North

7. Baltimore Ravens. (AFC rank: 3.)

9. Cincinnati Bengals. (AFC rank: 5.)

15. Pittsburgh Steelers. (AFC rank: 6.)

22. Cleveland Browns. (AFC rank: 10.)

AFC South

8. Indianapolis Colts. (AFC rank: 4.)

25. Houston Texans. (AFC rank: 11.)

29. Jacksonville Jaguars. (AFC rank: 13.)

30. Tennessee Titans. (AFC rank: 14.)

AFC West

3. Denver Broncos. (AFC rank: 1.)

16. San Diego Chargers. (AFC rank: 7.)

17. Kansas City Chiefs. (AFC rank: 8.)

32. Oakland Raiders. (AFC rank: 16.)

NFC East

13. Philadelphia Eagles. (NFC rank: 8.)

18. New York Giants. (NFC rank: 10.)

23. Washington Redskins. (NFC rank: 13.)

24. Dallas Cowboys. (NFC rank: 14.)

NFC North

5. Green Bay Packers. (NFC rank: 3.)

12. Chicago Bears. (NFC rank: 7.)

21. Detroit Lions. (NFC rank: 12.)

27. Minnesota Vikings. (NFC rank: 16.)

NFC South

6. New Orleans Saints. (NFC rank: 4.)

10. Carolina Panthers. (NFC rank: 5.)

14. Atlanta Falcons. (NFC rank: 9.)

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (NFC rank: 15.)

NFC West

1. Seattle Seahawks (NFC rank: 1.)

2. San Francisco 49ers. (NFC rank: 2.)

11. Arizona Cardinals. (NFC rank: 6.)

20. St. Louis Rams. (NFC rank: 11.)

87 responses to “PFT’s preseason power rankings, sorted by division

  1. 16th in the NFC, thanks Minnesota for dragging our division down. Is it possible to trade them out of the division for say… Alabama?

  2. themeccalambeaufield says:
    Jul 22, 2014 6:41 PM
    16th in the NFC, thanks Minnesota for dragging our division down. Is it possible to trade them out of the division for say… Alabama?
    Yaaawn….oh look, another packer fan bashing Minnesota.

  3. I know you have to try and entertain us between the PC propaganda pieces, but , boy, are you going to e embarrassed at the end of the year when these rankings will have to be disappeared down the memory hole.

  4. I must admit that I got no further than Miami at 15 in the AFC and 31st overall. Really?

  5. Eagles are gonna end up better than 8th in the NFC, but I don’t mind seeing them there. I hope to be underestimated as long as possible this season. Probably ends hard early if we beat Indy in indy wk 2 or sf in sf wk4, though.

  6. As a Saints fan, I’ll trade ya for the Vikings. You guys can have the Panthers. I’ll take an easy win (plus Vikings fan’s tears taste so great) instead of an overachieving Panthers team that is a thorn in our side every year.

  7. The historic, talented Minnesota Vikings will be the #1 team by the end of the year.

    We have the most young, talented upcoming players out of every single team.

    Nothing will stop us from reaching a Super Bowl this year

    Especially not worthless preseason power rankings.


    We are the Vikings.

    The Dynasty Begins.

  8. I’m pretty sure all the ‘Hawk fans will gladly trade the 49er’s to the NFC North. We’ll take our farm team, the Vikings…


  9. The NFC West may be the strongest a single division has been in NFL history.

  10. Dolphins at 31 is really stupid. I’m not a fan, but they almost made the playoffs last year and Tannehill will probably improve. They have a top ten defense and an improving offense, and 31 is utter bull.

  11. Pretty much going by reverse draft order. Ever since 1999, look at preseason ranks to final results. There is always a team that unexpectectly makes playoffs. In some of those seasons, up to 4-6 teams make postseason that missed it previously. Predictions are that, predictions. We rarely guess right. Think people should give teams in bottom half more credit and not rank them almost the same way as they ended previously. Some of last yrs good teams will be average as some of last yrs will surprise you. Did anybody predict Carolina or Kansas City would be playoff teams last year? Nope. So theses rankings are so predictable. Playing it as safe as possible. Definately disagree with them and not post a carbon copy of last yrs final rankings. Hope this post don’t get erased. I tried to be as nice as possible to PFT cause if I disagree with something, you know, reason for comments section, they’ll erase it. Ill be crossing fingers.

  12. trefkennedy, a 34 year old Romo coming off back surgery is reason enough not to mention already losing Lee for the season and has been a .500 team over the past 10 years or so.

  13. Lol..jets. Is that you’re sleeper team or do you actually believe at this very moment, they belong at such high ranking? Either way, its why credibility is being lost here.

  14. I’m not trying to be a homer here…. okay I am. After looking at it like this, I really don’t think the Chargers are worse than some of the teams you have ranked higher than them….. Come on…

  15. How do you rank Dallas last in their devision, when they were 5-1. With a defence that was ranked 32th. And injury up the Yang yang. Who are these people? Dallas owns the NFC East. Always has, always will. This year out right!!

  16. *in the same whiney voice llojac1 used* Because the browns and jets are better then the bills. The bill who have missed the playoffs for 14 seasons straight.

  17. They ranked Dallas low so they would get clicks, they Dallas is better then 14th. Look how high they ranked Pitt, that alone will tell how this ranking stuff is junk. Plus Mikey hates Dallas…

  18. Packers above Saints is just downright crazy no matter how you slice it.

    Even the NFL pre-season rankings have the Saints at #4 overall.

    Just crazy…

  19. MostlyRight says:
    Jul 22, 2014 7:20 PM
    The NFC West may be the strongest a single division has been in NFL history.

    Funny you say that cause just a few years ago that Div had a 7-9 team make the playoffs & was considered the worst div in history. Guess all them top of the draft picks worked out some, but just a little it’s still only Sea & SF, the rest are meh. Def not the best in NFL history though…

  20. It is best to look at the Wild Card battles.

    NFC West will have at least one wild card team.
    Does the other come from the NFC South or North? (Bears, Cardinals, Falcons, Lions, Panthers battle for one spot)

    The AFC North will have a wild card team and probably the AFC West (Bengals, Chargers, Chiefs, Ravens, Steelers competing for 3 spots).

    You have to look at those wild card battles as a race almost like the division.

  21. Loungelizard,

    You can thank that crooked ref Pete Morelli for that SB. Corrupt scumbags.

  22. Dolphins are a playoff team. They played it close in nearly all their games last year. (lost last-second to the Ravens, lost a big lead in Foxboro, Panthers loss in last few seconds) .

    Bad losses to a winless Bucs team (following the Incognito/Martin fallout, so makes since), and 2 losses to a Bills team led by Thaddeus Lewis (the only two games he won as the starter).

    They could be a wild-card this year. Having them at 31 is a bit overboard.

  23. The ranking for Dallas is just insulting. They went 5-1 in the division with the worst defense in the league. The lone loss we should have won but we had a back up qb playing anyways. They are ranked last lol that’s laughable, they will easily be a top 5 NFC team if the defense improves mildly I mean really?

  24. Still don’t get why Green Bay is #5. They deserve top 10 still, but Aaron Rodgers only plays offense. And Julius Peppers will require double teams for maybe the first quarter of week 1, then everyone will see that he’s not really trying and that any old fullback or backup tight end can handle 10% effort Peppers.

  25. Disappointed with the Bengals spot but its ok. They didnt play well in the playoffs. They didnt do a good job representing the AFCN(per Ravens fans).Hopefully they do better especially Red Hair. Hoping for him to pull a Joe Flacco contract season

  26. No surprises here for me other than Baltimore being ranked 3rd in the AFC… Is the AFC that bad??? LOL… Frankly the Seahawks and the 49ers are #1 and #2 in the NFL… Were last year and this year. The AFC is full of weak Defenses and their offenses aren’t tested at the same level as the NFC’s offenses are. This is why when the #1 Offense faced off with the NFC’s #1 team the Denver Broncos got manhandled in a blowout!!!

  27. Vikings last in the NFC? I’ll bet $1,000 with anybody the Vikings don’t end the season with the worst record in the NFC- or tied for it.

  28. That’s OK, cause when Green Bay come to the Dome in Week 8, we’re gonna find out if they can go on the road and win a shootout with a team built very similar to them. It seems we always have to go to Green Bay. Remember what we did to the Packers last time they came to the Dome, YA dropped 52 points on that squad. People are gonna find out real fast how equipped this Saints team is in a hurry this year. And I’m talking about both sides of the ball…..

  29. The Bucs, Fins, and Steelers are too low

    The Panthers, Cards, Bears, Giants, and Ravens are too high.

    Stop trusting your gut. Do win total changes based on personnel and coaching upgrades or downgrades.

    This list was not well done. Plus, there’s the phrase “guilt by association.” There’s a little too much “praise by association” in these rankings.

  30. NFC WEST the best Division in history though ??? You obviously never watched football back in the old AFC Central, AFC West, NFC East, and the Good Old “Norris Division” days.

  31. So basically if Roger Goodell expanded the playoffs to the top 16 teams – the top 8 in each conference, the Jets STILL wouldn’t be expected to make the playoffs

    Yeah, that’s about right.

  32. That was REAL football. They didn’t have all these patty-cake, trick or treat, skirt-wearing rules back then like they have now……

  33. bottom line raiders (Reggie McKenzie) took two steps (years) backward , in order to take three steps forward…this is the first step (year) forward…..they bottomed out last year…haters can say what they want, but they are a way better team than last year

  34. What we should be doing is comparing and discussing the preseason power rankings PFT made from 2013 to the way things actually turned out. Seems like everyone just keeps making more predictions instead of analyzing the ones they made in the past.

    Here’s the first 16 of the PFT pre-season power rankings from 2013:

    1:49ers, 2:Broncos, 3:Ravens, 4:Seahawks, 5:Falcons, 6:Bengals, 7:Patriots, 8:Packers, 9:Saints, 10:Texans, 11:Redskins, 12:Colts, 13:Giants, 14:Cowboys, 15:Steelers, 16:Vikings

  35. First, PITTSBURGH at 15? And right below them at 16 is San Diego? SD may win the West, Pitt is a horrible team. There are several tweaks needed to this list, but SD being bashed and Pittsburgh living off the past is most glaring.
    Go Hawks!

  36. Overall rankings ..
    not sure Baltimore is a top 10 maybe 12-14
    Miami is not that bad ranked at 22-24
    Oakland at 32 is out of line maybe 24-26
    Philly is a top 10 team
    Carolina is Bad! 18-22
    TBis a 20th
    AZ little better 8-9
    St Louis is a13-15

    Just my thoughts based on finish,draft and FA

  37. I would honestly like to see the Bears do something this year. I mean we know the dysfunction of MN relegates them to the basement every year. But I do wish for more from the Motor City and Da Berrssss.

  38. NFC North Prediction looks about right.
    Chicago may challenge Green Bay, Detroit’s third And the Vikings bringing up the rear. Vikings up the rear, oops…

  39. I do not understand the Ravens win the division bologna. They won’t even make the playoffs more than likely. Rice has lost a step and it shows. The O-line is still lacking in talent and ability. A 36yr. old Smith is not the answer at WR. The defense still has a number of holes, and because of their inability to dominate defensively, and the inconsistency of the offensive line magnifying the slight talent in the passing and running attack. The Ravens have no chance for contention.

    Pittsburgh played over their heads at the end of last year thanks to Roethlisberger, and are going to have a number of years of rebuilding ahead of themselves. You can say what you want about coach Chin, but when he left the organization, so did their ability to analyze draft talent.

    Cleveland has talent, but can not get over their organizations efforts of sabotaging the team.

    The Bengals again win this division hands down, and I doubt anyone else from the North makes the playoffs this year either.

  40. Even with the Pouncey injury Miami will win 7-9 games. The rest of the line is rebuilt and, perhaps even more important, Sherman is gone. A blind monkey throwing darts at a playbook could call a better game than Sherman did.

    If someone steps up to cover center and they don’t start in a deep hole, Miami should at least be in the race and finish middle-of-the-pack at worst.

    Jets are 16 in the AFC. It’s painfully obvious. Oakland will win 1-2 more games that the Jets, who could finish in the 2-4 win range, unless Vick has something in the tank in which case…they win 5.

  41. The Giants above the Redskins is baloney. An argument could be made for the Cowboys above the ‘Skins maybe, but not the G Men.

  42. Obviously you forgot that Geno Smith is the Jet’s QB. EJ Manuel will prove he is much better than Smith and he would of already proven it if he hadn’t gotten hurt last year. You should of switched the Bills with the Jets in your rankings.

  43. MostlyRight says:
    Jul 22, 2014 7:20 PM
    The NFC West may be the strongest a single division has been in NFL history.


    The NFC East had 3 teams go into the playoffs multiple years at one point. The NFC west always sucked until recently. I wouldn’t say they’re the strongest in history.

  44. Steelers win the division. The team is younger and faster and still have a premiere qb in the league. The Bungles will finish second while the ravens finish third. The browns are in the dwellar again.

  45. Saint fans crack me up…. Complaining they always have to play at Green Bay. Football is made to played outside on grass…

    Would love to see how good Bress is playing outside 14 outta 16 games out of the year compared to 9-11 games in a controlled environment every year..

    (Which is why stats don’t win championships)

  46. I don’t really get it. The Vikings are thought to have one of the best O lines in the NFC. They overhauled their weak secondary, and while arguably a weakness, the linebackers have some up and comers. The defensive line added the run stopper they needed which will make everyone better. The have a hall of fame running back and a solid, perhaps strong, receiving core. At QB they have experienced talent that should be good for a 50/50 split (good one week, bad the next) and a young QB with a lot of upside.

    Why is this a last place team? A lot of people will look foolish next spring when these guys are 10-6 or better.

  47. So…..
    PFT thinks the AFC North is the 2nd toughest division?

    Respectfully, I disagree.

    The NFC South and North are both tougher divisions….it’s understandable how they’d be rated lower…because the NFC, as a whole, is much tougher than the AFC, (not even a bold prediction, Denver and New England will play for the AFC Super Bowl berth)


    After that….who really cares? The Eagles win the NFCE again, and the AFCS is literally pitiful.

  48. Remember you read it here first.


    San Francisco
    Seattle (miss playoffs)
    St. Louis

  49. Keep hating on the Vikings. smh This is the surprise playoff team. Coaching was the biggest issue and that has been much much improved. Just wait and see haters.

  50. Some rankings are going to be right, some will be wrong. PFT had the Broncos and Seahawks both top 5 and they made the Superbowl which is pretty solid. They also had

    3. Ravens 8-8
    5. Falcons 4-12
    8. Packers 8-1-7 (won division)
    10. Texans 2-14
    11. Redskins 3-13 (I thought they actual did even worse to be honest)
    25. Panthers 12-4 (won division)
    26. Eagles 10-6 (won division)

    Goes to show that you can’t pick them all right and the only safe bets are that the Patriots will be good, the Raiders will be bad, and that Tony Romo will blow it

  51. PFT and others putting the Vikings in last place must have forgotten the Vikings split with the Bears and Lions last year. Ponder isn’t handing out 5 loses this year. Zimmer will improve the defense too.

  52. More jokes for the packer clowns saying the vikings are in the basement like every year. In their history 50 plus years the Vikings have tied or been in last place 6 times. which is fewer than the packers in the same length of time. But nice story fellas.

  53. PFT WAY overrated the AFC North:
    AFC North

    7. Baltimore Ravens. (AFC rank: 3.)

    9. Cincinnati Bengals. (AFC rank: 5.)

    15. Pittsburgh Steelers. (AFC rank: 6.)

    22. Cleveland Browns. (AFC rank: 10.)

    Ravens, Steelers should have been way further down toward the middle or below. The Browns should have been close to the absolute bottom. The Bengals were rated decently, but maybe could have been a notch or two higher.

    This division ranking is an utter JOKE.

  54. Whenever Packer fans bring up their storied history and their championships from years past, Vikings fans are quick to point out it was too long ago to be relevant.

    But when the subject comes up about the Vikings failures, they are quick to mention their records since the dawn of the franchise. Very selective and self-serving.

    They’re a wishy-washy bunch.

  55. Overrated Teams:

    7. Baltimore Ravens. (AFC rank: 3.) Really?
    22. Cleveland Browns. (AFC rank: 10.) Without Gordon this team is bottom 5
    18. New York Giants. (NFC rank: 10.) Redskins will be better than the Gmen this year

    Underrated Teams:

    32. Oakland Raiders. (AFC rank: 16.) Not the worst team in the league
    31. Miami Dolphins. (AFC rank: 15.) Sleeper team this year
    21. Detroit Lions. (NFC rank: 12.) Will challenge for the division

    I’m not sure who made this list but they should be held accountable. Who compares these list to actual outcomes at the end of the season? Nobody does. These so called “experts” make these list and nobody checks the credibility of the work. I laughed while reading these rankings.

  56. Anyone believe the Cardinals are or will be better than Chicago? Wilkening and Florio for that matter must be in Denver… Inhaling!

  57. For those fans with lower ranked teams in 2012 the Seahawks were rated #22. They went 11-5 that year and almost made it to the Championship game except for a defensive lapse in the last minutes of the game with Atlanta.
    They went 5-0 over the last 5 weeks of the season. Put up two 50-point scoring efforts in a row, and a 42 point effort against the 49ers!

    Nobody knew who Russell Wislon was that year, they all talked about Flynn as the starting QB.

    Nobody predicted that they’d be able to stand with the 49ers toe to toe and only lose the NFC West by 1/2 a game.

    So preseason means nothing if your team lands a few draft picks that shine their lights brightly. Even Vikes fans can have something to hope for, but Minnesota is Minnesota. Just as Cleveland is Cleveland.

  58. How can a team “The Packers” be #3? All they have is Rodgers.

    #1 – Seahawks
    #2 – Broncos
    #3 – Patriots
    #4 – 49ers
    #5 – Saints
    #6 – Bengals
    #7 – Colts
    # 8 – Panthers
    #9 – Falcons
    #10 – Lions (Yes, much more talent overall)
    #11 – Packers (1 Trick Pony)

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