By Bryan Dietzler
The 2017 NFL season has arrived, and we are all set for another exciting season of professional football. The preseason revealed little, regarding how things should go during the regular season but there were key injuries that could have an impact. Taking those injuries into account, here is my poll for the first week of the NFL season. How do the 32 NFL teams stack up heading into Week One?
Look for this poll, weekly, right here on NFLgridirongab.
- New England Patriots-(LM 1) Not much has changed here. Right now, the Patriots look like world beaters. Is there anyone who can take them down?
- Atlanta Falcons-(LM 2) The NFC is theirs for the taking. But can they do it? I suspect they will fall a bit in this poll as the season goes on but remain one of the top teams in the NFC.
- Green Bay Packers-(LM 3) There are those that think the Packers will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. With consistent health, they have a great shot at doing that.
- Pittsburgh Steelers-(LM 6) The Steelers move up a couple of spots. I think that they will compete with the Patriots for a trip to the Super Bowl in the AFC.
- Oakland Raiders-(LM 4) The Raiders are a mystery heading into this season. They could be great, or they could be bad. Which Raiders team shows up early in the season?
- Seattle Seahawks-(LM 8) I think Seattle has what it takes to be competitive in 2016. They should be able to make a run towards another Super Bowl but could fall short.
- Kansas City Chiefs-(LM 9) Something tells me this team will do well this season. If their offense can get going, they should be able to earn a playoff spot when it’s all said and done.
- Dallas Cowboys-(LM 5) If Ezekiel Elliot misses some time and forces the offense fully into the hands of Dak Prescott, there could be trouble. I think Dak will take a step back in year two.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers-(LM 11) This is a sneaky good team. Expect big things out of them in 2017.
- Arizona Cardinals-(LM 12) With David Johnson their workhorse and their defense as strong as ever, this team could compete for a playoff spot.
- Tennessee Titans-(LM 7)-Marcus Mariotta had a little bit of a rough go of it in the preseason. They are still a very talented team and maybe the best in their division.
- Philadelphia Eagles-(LM 10) They have slipped a little bit but they could easily rise due to the talent they have on their roster.
- Carolina Panthers-(LM 16) If the Panthers can stay healthy then they could contend. Christian McCafferty will bring a lot to this team and is a rookie of the year candidate.
- Detroit Lions-(LM 13) With a big contract, will quarterback Matthew Stafford finally do something good for the team? Let’s see if he can prove he is worth the huge payday.
- New York Giants-(LM 18) The Giants may be better than I have them ranked. Will they overtake the Cowboys and knock them down off the top of the NFC East?
- Washington Redskins-(LM 14) This team has talent. Can they put it together in 2017 and do something positive? Will this be Kirk Cousins final season with the Redskins?
- Los Angeles Chargers-(LM 17) The Chargers may be able to do something positive this season if their key players stay healthy. This will be a team to watch this season.
- Baltimore Ravens-(LM 21) Will the Ravens be able to contend for a playoff spot? How will Joe Falco do after spending the offseason on the sidelines?
- Miami Dolphins-(LM 15) Can quarterback Jay Cutler take this team to the playoffs? Even Bears fans will be keeping a close eye on what he can do in Miami.
- Denver Broncos-(LM 19) Quarterback is the biggest issue for the Broncos. This will keep them from making the playoffs.
- Houston Texans-(LM 23) If Houston can figure out their quarterback problems, they may have a good season. Their defense will be great, so all they need is a signal caller to help keep them competitive. Will it be DeShaun Watson?
- Indianapolis Colts-(LM 20) Hopefully quarterback Andrew Luck can make it a full season. Without him the Colts will go nowhere.
- New Orleans Saints-(LM 22) The defense will continue to hold this team back. They can dominate on offense but when you can’t stop the other team from scoring, you won’t win games.
- Cincinnati Bengals-(LM 24) This may be Marvin Lewis’ last year if he can’t get it together and get this team to the playoffs. The years of mediocrity need to come to an end.
- Minnesota Vikings-(LM 25) If the Vikings defense can return to its early 2016 form, this team has a chance to shoot up the rankings. But their offense may not allow them to do that.
- Buffalo Bills-(LM 26) This is a confusing team heading into 2017. It’s hard to tell exactly how they will do but they have a bright future. It just might be brighter beyond this season.
- Jacksonville Jaguars-(LM 27) Lots of talent with no quarterback. But this team should do at least a little better.
- Cleveland Browns-(LM 29) Sure, preseason doesn’t mean anything when it comes to the regular season but the Browns must be better right? At least they might be fun to watch.
- Chicago Bears-(LM 28) It’s going to be a rough start for the Bears, but hopefully, by October they can get their offense figured out and start winning some games.
- Los Angeles Rams-(LM 30) The offense is going to be difficult to watch but the defense will be good.
- San Francisco 49ers-(LM 31) The 49ers and their new GM John Lynch are set to have some growing pains in 2017. Hopefully, he has them going in the right direction.
- New York Jets-(LM 32) This team has a lot of work to do. Let’s see if they surprise everyone and do better than anyone thinks they will do in 2017.
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