NFL Power Rankings: 49ers Aim For Redemption

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Aug 24, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid (left) jokes with Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin before the game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Finally.

The NFL season begins tonight, and it is about time. As always, this season is loaded with storylines and change, though it shouldn’t too surprising to know that the teams at the top are not much different than those from last year.

However, this is the NFL – a league where parity reigns. Several teams made moves this season to be the next Indianapolis Colts or Washington Redskins. Who will those teams be? Let’s find out.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars

2012 Record: 2-14

The preseason leader for the number one overall pick, Jacksonville will have an interesting question on their hands in the 2014 draft: Take the best defensive prospect in a decade or tackle the quarterback problem? Sad part is Jacksonville will be wrong either way.

31. Oakland Raiders

2012 Record: 4-12

It is almost a certainty Johnny Manziel will be a Raider next season. Fate has already decided this, right?

30. New York Jets

2012 Record: 6-10

What a disaster. What. A. Disaster. By December, the Jets will be challenging the Jags for the top overall pick in the draft.

29. Cleveland Browns

2012 Record: 5-11

There is a lot of talk about the potential of the Browns young roster. But as long as Brandon Weeden is playing quarterback for Cleveland, I don’t see the Browns making a move out of the bottom ten of the NFL

28. Buffalo Bills

2012 Record: 6-10

E.J. Manuel, huh? Well, good luck with that, Buffalo.

27. Tennessee Titans

2012 Record: 6-10

Tennessee bulked up the offensive line to help out Chris Johnson and Jake Locker. However, a 6-10 season is still a strong likelihood as Locker is not the answer at quarterback.

Aug 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarter back Carson Palmer (3) during the first half of a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

26. Arizona Cardinals

2012 Record: 5-11

Carson Palmer should provide better quarterback play than they got last season, and they still have a very good defense. Health and depth are going to be a big question, however. And playing in the NFC West isn’t going to help matters, either.

25. Carolina Panthers

2012 Record: 7-9

Cam Newton is a great talent with little else around him on offense. Steve Smith is getting old, and Carolina’s running game practically doesn’t exist despite all the money they’ve poured into DeAngelo Williams. The Panthers are going to be a perpetually mediocre team until they give Newton some weapons to work with.

24. San Diego Chargers

2012 Record: 7-9

San Diego did nothing in the offseason to improve the skill positions to help out Philip Rivers. The offensive line is still a mess – good luck to King Dunlap against Von Miller and Justin Houston four times this season – and the defense looks like it is going to stake a step back, even with Eric Weddle and Dwight Freeney on board.

23. Philadelphia Eagles

2012 Record: 4-12

Two questions: Can Michael Vick hold onto the ball this season? and Will Chip Kelly last the full season in Philly? If the answer is “yes” to both then the Eagles could end up being one of the better teams in the NFL.

22. Miami Dolphins

2012 Record: 7-9

Ryan Tannehill has Mike Wallace to throw downfield to, but can the offensive line keep him upright long enough to get the ball downfield? Keep in mind Miami’s running game probably takes a step back this season without Reggie Bush.

21. Kansas City Chiefs

2012 Record: 2-14

The first nine games of the season determine if the Chiefs go from worst-to-first. Their schedule includes nine games against teams ranked 23rd or worse in this power ranking. Six of those games are scheduled to be played in the first nine weeks of the Chiefs season.

Aug 16, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) on the sideline during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2012 Record: 7-9

Darrelle Revis, Dashon Goldson, and Johnathan Banks should clean up the secondary concerns from last season, and the offense should be better with another year of experience for Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson, and Mike Williams. Josh Freeman has few excuses this year to not be successful

19. Dallas Cowboys

2012 Record: 8-8

Monte Kiffin’s Tampa 2 defense is expected to solve Dallas’ secondary problems, and the offense has plenty of weapons to work with. Health and a tough division may be their undoing, however.

18. Minnesota Vikings

2012 Record: 10-6

Adrian Peterson: This year he won’t be eight yards short.

17. Detroit Lions

2012 Record: 4-12

The addition of Reggie Bush could help propel the Lions back into the playoffs with a more complete offensive attack. No doubt all of the talent is there for the Lions to be good. Actually being good seems to be a hurdle that’s been difficult for them to clear.

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