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Arizona Sports’ NFL Power Rankings Week 1: Patriot domination

When the NFL season kicks off Thursday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, not only will the world be watching the defending Super Bowl champions — they’ll be watching 2017’s best team as well.

The New England Patriots, at least according to our five-member panel at ArizonaSports.com, is once again the top squad even after adding a handful of new pieces like receivers Brandin Cooks and Phillip Dorsett, running back Rex Burkhead and cornerback Stephon Gilmore. They’ll take on the Kansas City Chiefs, who are also highly-regarded in our initial rankings of the season.

Each week, a panel of Dave Burns, Luke Lapinski, Mike Jurecki, Vince Marotta and Craig Morgan will vote each NFL team from 1 to 32 and we’ll lay out the rankings here for you.

Power rankings will normally be published on Tuesday, but this week, in conjunction with the beginning of the season, they’re live on Thursday.

Ties will go to the team that receives the majority of higher rankings from our panel.


Week 1 Composite Ballot
 

 

Burns | Jurecki | Lapinski | Marotta | Morgan

 


1. New England Patriots

Hi: 1
Lo: 1
Comment: Because who else are you going to pick? — Burns
Next: vs. Kansas City (Thursday)

2. Seattle Seahawks

Hi: 2
Lo: 4
Comment: Seahawks advanced to playoffs for the 5th consecutive season in ’16. Have won 10+ games in each of the past five seasons. — Jurecki
Next: at Green Bay (Sunday)

3. Green Bay Packers

Hi: 2
Lo: 7
Comment: Sure, their running back wears #88, but they’re still going to be good. — Marotta
Next: vs. Seattle (Sunday)

4. Pittsburgh Steelers

Hi: 2
Lo: 6
Comment: Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant. Oh, my. — Morgan
Next: at Cleveland (Sunday)

5. Atlanta Falcons

Hi: 2
Lo: 9
Comment: Bound to feel some after-effects from that Super Bowl meltdown. — Lapinski
Next: at Chicago (Sunday)

6. Oakland Raiders

Hi: 3
Lo: 9
Comment: If Beast Mode has a retro year or anything close, as some predict, this offense could be deadly despite a shift in philosophy. — Morgan
Next: at Tennessee

7. Kansas City Chiefs

Hi: 7
Lo: 9
Comment: Offense in flux, but Andy Reid always gets points out of his teams. — Lapinski
Next: at New England (Thursday)

8. Dallas Cowboys

Hi: 7
Lo: 12
Comment: Prescott won 13 games as a starter last year, tied for most by a rookie QB in NFL history. — Jurecki
Next: vs. New York Giants (Sunday night)

9. Arizona Cardinals

Hi: 8
Lo: 11
Comment: A return to glory led by a defense that I think is going to surprise some people. — Burns
Next: at Detroit (Sunday)

10. New York Giants

Hi: 4
Lo: 20
Comment: Can they win in Dallas if OBJ can’t play? — Marotta
Next: at Dallas (Sunday night)

11. Tennessee Titans

Hi: 6
Lo: 17
Comment: Marcus Mariota is healthy. Andrew Luck is not. That could be the difference in the AFC South. — Morgan
Next: vs. Oakland (Sunday)

12. Denver Broncos

Hi: 11
Lo: 13
Comment: The defense can still get it done. Can Trevor Siemian? — Burns
Next: vs. Los Angeles Chargers (Monday night)

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Hi: 9
Lo: 18
Comment: Dirk Koetter always believed he was an offensive genius. Now his team is a fashionable pick in the NFC. — Morgan
Next: vs. Chicago (Sunday, 9/17)

14. Carolina Panthers

Hi: 10
Lo: 18
Comment: I believe the Panthers will be back, but I still have early-season questions about Newton. — Marotta
Next: at San Francisco (Sunday)

15. Philadelphia Eagles

Hi: 11
Lo: 22
Comment: Good luck figuring out who their main running back is. — Lapinski
Next: at Washington (Sunday)

16. Houston Texans

Hi: 14
Lo: 20
Comment: They’re like the Broncos to me, except they have hope at QB with Watson waiting in the wings. — Marotta
Next: vs. Jacksonville (Sunday)

17. Minnesota Vikings

Hi: 14
Lo: 21
Comment: Bradford started the season 5-0 last year without throwing an interception. — Jurecki
Next: vs. New Orleans (Monday night)

18. Detroit Lions

Hi: 13
Lo: 25
Comment: Matthew Stafford made a billion dollars in the time you took to read this. — Lapinski
Next: vs. Arizona (Sunday)

19. New Orleans Saints

Hi: 16
Lo: 23
Comment: This team has a last-gasp feel to it. — Burns
Next: at Minnesota (Monday night)

20. Cincinnati Bengals

Hi: 14
Lo: 24
Comment: Over/under on Burfict fines is set at $400K. — Marotta
Next: vs. Baltimore (Sunday)

21. Washington Redskins

Hi: 15
Lo: 23
Comment: Looking forward to another year of talk about Kirk Cousins’ contract. Yes, that was sarcasm. — Marotta
Next: vs. Philadelphia (Sunday)

22. Baltimore Ravens

Hi: 15
Lo: 24
Comment: It’s really just a crapshoot when you get to the bottom third of the NFL. We’ll take the Ravens’ track record. — Morgan
Next: at Cincinnati (Sunday)

23. Miami Dolphins

Hi: 16
Lo: 24
Comment: Reuniting Gase and Cutler? It’s just so crazy it might…never mind, it won’t work. — Burns
Next: at Los Angeles Chargers (Sunday 9/14)

24. Los Angeles Chargers

Hi: 16
Lo: 25
Comment: Several Texas high school programs will have higher attendance figures than the Chargers this year. — Marotta
Next: at Denver (Monday night)

25. Indianapolis Colts

Hi: 19
Lo: 27
Comment: I don’t want to upset the Kaepernick crowd, but Scott Tolzien is starting for an NFL team this week. — Marotta
Next: at Los Angeles Rams (Sunday)

26. Jacksonville Jaguars

Hi: 25
Lo: 28
Comment: The Jags were a sleeper pick last year. This year, not so much. — Morgan
Next: at Houston (Sunday)

27. Buffalo Bills

Hi: 25
Lo: 29
Comment: Who’s running this team? Jackie Moon? The next thing the Bills get rid of will be their washing machine. — Marotta
Next: vs. New York Jets (Sunday)

28. Los Angeles Rams

Hi: 25
Lo: 29
Comment: I have a feeling they’re going to end up higher than this. But not until Aaron Donald shows up for work. — Burns
Next: vs. Indianapolis (Sunday)

29. Chicago Bears

Hi: 26
Lo: 30
Comment: Mike Glennon will be on the clock from the moment he takes his first snap. — Morgan
Next: vs. Atlanta (Sunday)

30. Cleveland Browns

Hi: 27
Lo: 31
Comment: This team is really going to struggle with Kizer learning on the job. — Burns
Next: vs. Pittsburgh (Sunday)

31. San Francisco 49ers

Hi: 30
Lo: 31
Comment: The Brian Hoyer Era has begun! — Lapinski
Next: vs. Carolina (Sunday)

32. New York Jets

Hi: 32
Lo: 32
Comment: Todd Bowles is going to be fired by Halloween. — Burns
Next: at Buffalo (Sunday)


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