Seattle Seahawks

John McGrath’s 2015 NFL power rankings

After battling it out in Super Bowl 49, the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks still sit atop The News Tribune’s NFL power rankings.
After battling it out in Super Bowl 49, the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks still sit atop The News Tribune’s NFL power rankings. Staff photographer

1. New England Patriots: Jimmy Garoppolo’s quest to become next Tom Brady on hold after federal judge’s Deflategate ruling.

2. Seattle Seahawks: Best cure for Super Bowl 49 hangover? Russell Wilson’s first touchdown pass to new tight end Jimmy Graham.

3. Green Bay Packers: Seven months after fourth-quarter fiasco in NFC Championship Game cost assistant coach Shawn Slocum his job, Pack special teams still a concern.

4. Denver Broncos: Gary Kubiak, former understudy to John Elway, looking like inspired choice to succeed John Fox as coach.

5. Philadelphia Eagles: During preseason, quarterback Sam Bradford pushed every right button operating high-octane offense.

6. Baltimore Ravens: Future Hall of Famer Steve Smith, beginning his 15th and final season, attempting to become fourth receiver to catch 1,000 yards of passes after 36th birthday.

7. Indianapolis Colts: Amid rumors of power struggle with general manager Ryan Grigson, coach Chuck Pagano could be out when contract expires after season.

8. Kansas City Chiefs: Thanks to acquisition of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, offense appears liberated from stubbornly stodgy ways.

9. Arizona Cardinals: Jen Welter on conclusion of summer internship as assistant linebackers coach: “The question coming in was, ‘Would guys in the NFL respond to a woman coaching them?’ Obviously that’s a yes.”

10. Dallas Cowboys: Upgraded pass rush key to Cowboys Super Bowl hopes.

11. Detroit Lions: Golden Tate’s 2014 numbers — 99 receptions, 1,331 yards — were better than Calvin Johnson’s 71 for 1,077.

12. Cincinnati Bengals: At 13 years, Marvin Lewis is second-longest tenured head coach in the NFL behind Bill Belichick.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers: Injuries, suspensions and controversies will test Steelers’ mettle in September.

14. Minnesota Vikings: Six-time Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson poised for comeback campaign after sitting out 2014.

15. Miami Dolphins: Converted Texas A&M wide receiver Ryan Tannehill blossoming into big-time quarterback.

16. San Diego Chargers: NFL could determine fate of Chargers future in San Diego at January owners meeting.

17. Buffalo Bills: Awkward cut of running back Fred Jackson, a franchise pillar and fan favorite, suggests front-office dysfunction.

18. New Orleans Saints: Rob Ryan’s porous defense ranked 31st last season in yardage allowed, points allowed and rushing yards per attempt.

19. St. Louis Rams: Relocation to L.A. appears inevitable in 2016.

20. Houston Texans: Based on their “Hard Knocks” conversations, J.J. Watt and Vince Wilfork might be destined to co-star in a buddy cop movie.

21. Carolina Panthers: Timberline High product Jonathan Stewart is the real deal, but what’s the deal? Injuries have limited the running back to 28 starts since 2008.

22. Atlanta Falcons: Ex-Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn figures to energize one of league’s most listless teams.

23. New York Giants: Fireworks not in forecast for G-Men, who’ve come to learn the dangers of explosives.

24. Chicago Bears: John Fox oversaw a training camp that emphasized fundamentals foreign to his predecessor, passing-game guru Marc Trestman.

25. New York Jets: Franchise still reeling from incompetence of deposed general manager John Idzik.

26. San Francisco 49ers: When a rugby player from Down Under is the lone source of optimism during the offseason, it’s a sign of a really lousy offseason.

27. Cleveland Browns: If it’s not one thing with Johnny Manziel, it’s another. Just when the quarterback manages to get his head clear, his right elbow acts up.

28. Oakland Raiders: Stadium quandary keeping otherwise irrelevant Raiders in the news.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jags developing more of a presence in London than in northern Florida.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Coach Lovie Smith is as respected as anybody in the business, but another 2-14 record won’t cut it.

31. Washington Redskins: ’Skins have surpassed Jets as league leaders of soap-opera-subplots-to-victories ratio.

32. Tennessee Titans: If wideout Dorial Green-Beckham avoids off-field issues that sabotaged his college career, second-round pick will be recalled as steal of 2015 draft.

john.mcgrath@thenewstribune.com

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