By: Lucas Kochevar
7. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are coming off a bumpy season that had some serious drama. There were rumors about star CB Richard Sherman getting traded. The Seahawks should still persevere as they are still almost the same team that went to back to back Super Bowls. The only difference is that their offense is not as strong as it once was. They struggle with finding a run game and the O-Line is still trying to find their identity. The defense is mostly the same but they are getting older and out of their primes. The only players that are still top players at their position are MLB Bobby Wagner and FS Earl Thomas III. They are still strong and will lead that defense.
6. Green Bay Packers
The Packers are still lead by the most skilled QB in the league, Aaron Rodgers, but they have a very rough defense. Luckily, they should all be healthy as that was a problem last season. They have a good new RB Ty Montgomery, who is a combo player as he was a WR. They also get Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams at full health. Another dangerous target they got over the off season was TE Martellus Bennett. The defense will be lead by rising FS Ha-Ha Clinton Dix. The Packers will be a threat, but one issue should be whether or not Mike McCarthy is still the right Head Coach for the Packers.
5. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders were very strong last season until Derek Carr was hurt. When Carr was playing like an MVP they were a one seed in the AFC. Now they added pieces like Marshwan Lynch. Obviously, he will be slow to come out the gate, but he should be nice if he gets things going. Amari Cooper had a down year but he should come back to be a great WR and Michel Crabtree should be as good as he was last season. TE Jared Cook should provide another solid target as he is coming from the Packers. The defense will has reigning DPOY in Khalil Mack and they should be growing as they still have many young pieces like safety Karl Joseph. They also still have a premier O-Line.
4. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are a dangerous team. I do not enjoy saying that knowing that the fan base believes they are the best franchise in sports. The Cowboys are nice but they are not the best team. Dak Prescott is a solid young QB and Ezkeil Elliot is a solid RB behind the best O-Line in the league. They have a great WR in Dez Bryant that is top five in his prime. He needs to be healthy in order to achieve that. They have one of the most reliable TE's in the NFL as well in Jason Witten. Their defense is nice with Barry Church leading their secondary and Tyrone Crawford anchoring their D-Line. They should be good enough to make it to the Super Bowl, but I do not think they will.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have been an offensive force the past couple of years as they boast the best trio of QB-RB-WR. They have a legend at QB with Ben Roethlisberger, the best RB in the NFL in Le'veon Bell, and the best route runner in the NFL with Antonio Brown. They also have a very respectable O-Line. They also just acquired TE Vance McDonald, who is a great run-blocking TE and will be a good TE. They have solid pieces on defense with Ryan Shazier leading them at MLB. They also have good young, developing edge rushers like Bud Dupree. They have lacked in the secondary ever since Troy Polomalu was at safety. They did just sign Joe Haden to boost their secondary and if he is healthy he will be a great addition.
2. Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons hold the most embarrassing loss in Super Bowl history. The biggest adversity they face is the infamous 'Super Bowl Hangover' that Carolina fell to last season. The Falcons should be able to avoid that, however, as they are a much better team overall than that Panthers team. The Falcons have the reigning MVP and they have the best WR in the game. They have a very hungry, young defense. Most of the players on defense were rookies last season and I am sure that last year provided a variety of good experiences. People are worried about the offensive production since Kyle Shanahan left, but I believe that they will be just as competitive with Steve Sarkisian as he will be running very similar concepts to Shanahan. The Falcons have no excuse to not be in the Super Bowl again.
1. New England Patriots
It is actually hard to believe that the Patriots improved over the offseason. They got a very scary weapon in Brandin Cooks, one of the fastest players in the league. They also got CB Stephon Gilmore, who can come in a play like a number 1 CB. They also still have the best QB in the league in Tom Brady. Bill Belichick should lead them to the Super Bowl. They lost a couple of player but the majority of the team is back with more weapons than ever.
This concludes my NFL preseason power rankings. I will be coming out with an NBA power rankings. The difference is that the NBA will be a countdown of 30 days for all 30 teams and it will be more in depth than this. Expect to see that on the 17th of September.