Franz’s 2013 NFL Power Poll: Week 1
1) ATLANTA FALCONS: The number-one seed from last year’s playoffs add Steven Jackson to last year’s 29th-ranked run offense, I’ll take that.
2) GREEN BAY PACKERS: Giving Aaron Rodgers Eddie Lacy could mean a free February trip to NY…ready for the read option? Kaepernick and RGIII in first two games.
3) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Only two road games against 2012 playoff teams and one of them is in the division in
4) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Don’t tell me who they lost, tell me if they have the coach, the QB and the Jets, Bills and Dolphins for six games.
5) CINCINNATI BENGALS: Surprise!! Don’t sleep on them, five games vs. playoff teams with four at home.
6) DENVER BRONCOS: Only lose Von Miller for one of the six divisional games and it’s the easiest one of all — Oakland at home.
7) SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Huge home field advantage won’t matter for 48 days…only one home game from 9/23-11/2.
8) HOUSTON TEXANS: Underrated run defense adds an underrated safety in the draft and has an easy September schedule.
9) NEW YORK GIANTS: I’m going to assume a lot of good defenders had an off year in ’12…if not, I have them too high.
10) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: As I say every year, it’s coaching that matters and now Sean Payton’s back.
11) MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Two road games in the division to start the season, which could possibly end their season.
12) PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Amazing to me they fired Bruce Arians to get back to their Steelers roots and run the football, yet finished 26th in rushing.
13) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Speaking of Arians, how will they handle losing their “head coach?”…so many great comebacks last year begs the question of magical year that can’t be repeated or the building of something special?
14) WASHINGTON REDSKINS: I just don’t trust Shanahan with RGIII’s health.
15) BALTIMORE RAVENS: Lost too much for an overrated QB to overcome.
16) CHICAGO BEARS: Don’t count on a stretch run to the playoffs with four of five on the road before Christmas.
17) ST. LOUIS RAMS: Truly believe they will miss Jackson’s 1,000 yards rushing more than they realize.
18) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Storyline number one for the NFL is Chip Kelly’s QB use and number two, RGIII & Shanahan. Monday Night Football for Week 1 is the first storyline against the second.
19) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: If you like them as a surprise team, they have two games against Denver and one against Houston…everything else ranges from easy to average in difficulty.
20) TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Won’t be here for long playing Atlanta and New Orleans twice, drawing the toughest division (NFC West) in the schedule rotation with a QB that never should have been drafted in the first round is a recipe for failure…Revis at the Jets will be fun though.
21) MIAMI DOLPHINS: I watched TE Dion Sims for three minutes at Michigan State and wanted that guy and you’ll think the same thing watching him.
22) DALLAS COWBOYS: Jerry, you have the league’s worst GM and a head coach that can’t count or call a run play.
23) DETROIT LIONS: Hot-head head coach means hot-head players.
24) SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: If they’re close at the end, remember they have four of their last five at home with the last two games home divisional games.
25) CAROLINA PANTHERS: I like this team to stay in the playoff hunt until they play New Orleans twice and Atlanta once in their last three games…Star Lotulelei has looked great in the preseason.
26) BUFFALO BILLS: Talk about optimism all you want but tell me one thing — what have you done to improve the 31st-best rush defense?
27) TENNESSEE TITANS: I still laugh at how stupid the Locker pick was…only hit above 60% in completions three times last year, the same number of games he completed under 47%.
28) ARIZONA CARDINALS: This team will compete for a 2014 playoff spot…meaning at the end of the 2014 regular season, because the 2013 schedule is too tough for a rebuilding team.
29) CLEVELAND BROWNS: Not a big deal nationally, but Mingo vs. Tannehill in Week 1 interests me.
30) NEW YORK JETS: Rex Ryan…need I say anything else?
31) JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: In a passing league, Blaine Gabbert threw for 1,600 yards last year.
32) OAKLAND RAIDERS: December 8 it all gets decided…they’ll throw the records out…it’s for all the marbles…put-up or shut-up time — if you’re tired of the cliches, it’s when we find out who is truly the worst team in the NFL.