Published on May 20, 2019 by Connor Wolf  
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2019 NFL Power Rankings: The Top Half’s Reasons for Optimism

With both the NFL Draft and the close of restricted free agency taking place in April, alongside the start of preseason workouts happening this month, the NFL offseason is in full swing. With only two months left until the close of unrestricted free agency, and just four months till the first game of the year, teams are starting to settle in and prepare for the upcoming season. As rosters are being completed, many fans may be curious as to where their team stands in comparison to the rest of the league. This article provides the 2019 preseason NFL Power Rankings for the top half of the league, given by NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison, and a reason for each franchise’s fanbase to be excited about their team.

  1. New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees. Brees had an MVP-caliber season last year, while leading the league in both passer rating (115.7) and completion percentage (74.4%).
  2. New England Patriots – The Greatest Coach of All-Time. Bill Belichick has the most playoff wins in NFL history, with 30, and the most Super Bowl rings in NFL history, with 6.
  3. Los Angeles Rams – The Run Game. The Rams were 3rd in the league last season in rush yards per game, at 139.4, with Todd Gurley leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns, scoring 17. 
  4. Los Angeles Chargers – Strong Defense. After posting 70 tackles and 12.5 sacks in 2017, we can expect a stellar year from a healthy Joey Bosa.  The Chargers also added DT Jerry Tillery to the middle of their defense with their first round pick in the draft.
  5. Indianapolis Colts – The Return of Andrew Luck. With the Colts winning 9 of their last 10 games to end last season, we saw glimpses of the greatness a healthy Andrew Luck can achieve.  As he ranked top 5 last season in passing attempts and yards, the Colts are sure to use Luck’s arm a lot this year.
  6. Philadelphia Eagles – Additions to Run Game. While the Eagles had a top-ten (7th) passing offense last season, they ranked 28th in the league in rushing offense.  However, that may change this year with the additions of Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders to the backfield.
  7. Chicago Bears – Defense. The Bears finished 3rd in the league last season in opponent yards per game giving up 299.7, while leading the league in interceptions (27) and points against per game (17.7).
  8. Kansas City Chiefs – Reigning MVP. The Chiefs scored at will last season leading the NFL with 425.6 yards per game and 35.3 points per game.  Although their offense will have a much different look this season, they still have the reigning MVP, Patrick Mahomes, at quarterback.
  9. Dallas Cowboys – Loyalty, and Zeke. According to Mike Lewis’s Fanalytics, the Dallas Cowboys statistically are still the most loyal fans in the NFL.  It also helps to have Ezekiel Elliot, who led the league last season in both rushing attempts (304) and yards (1434).
  10. Cleveland Browns – Oozing Talent. With Nick Chubb and Baker Mayfield both showing glimpses of future greatness last season, and the additions of proven stars Kareem Hunt and Odell Beckham Jr., the Browns are oozing with talent on offense and look primed to make a playoff run this year.
  11. Seattle Seahawks – Filling the Holes. The Seahawks led the league last season with 160 rush yards per game, but ranked 27th in passing yards per game.  By drafting two wideouts in the draft, one being possible star D.K. Metcalf, the Seahawks are looking to fill the holes in their offense and return to an elite level both rushing and throwing the ball.
  12. Minnesota Vikings – Bulking Up the Line. The Vikings O-Line ranked 29th in the league last year in pass blocking efficiency, causing Kirk Cousins to be the 2nd most pressured QB in the NFL (Pro Football Focus).  However, taking two offensive linemen with their first two picks in the draft hints that Cousins should get some more time in the pocket this season.
  13. Baltimore Ravens – Defense. The Ravens led the NFL last season in opponent yards per game, only allowing 292.9 per contest, and finished 2nd in the league in opponent points per game, only giving up 17.9.
  14. Tennessee Titans – Youth. While the Titans had a top-ten (7th) rush offense last season, they finished 29th in the league in passing offense.  However, with a core of young receivers, an average age of 23.5 years old, and a young star at QB in Marcus Mariota, 25, the Titans will look to grow their passing game with time and experience.
  15. Houston Texans – J.J. Watt. Watt led the Texans defense last season with 61 total tackles.  More impressively, he was 2nd in the league last season in sacks, with 16, and led the NFL with 7 forced fumbles.
  16. Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers. As long as Aaron Rodgers is quarterbacking the Packers, they will be in playoff contention.  The perennial MVP-candidate led the NFL last season in touchdown to interception ratio at 12.5, throwing for 25 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions all of last season.

Sources

nfl.com
scholarblogs.emory.edu
nextgenstats.nfl.com
espn.com

About the Author

Connor just completed his sophomore year at Purdue University, where he is pursuing a double major in actuarial sciences and applied statistics, with a minor in management. He has had a passion for both sports and statistics since a very young age, and enjoys discovering all the new information statistics can give us about sports.