We break out this year's The News Tribune NFL power rankings this morning, with the Seattle Seahawks debuting at No. 22 overall to start the season.
That's probably higher than most other media outlets have Seattle this season, but I'm bullish on the Seahawks' defense. So we see how they do in the first week against San Francisco.
1. Green Bay (1) (1-0): The defending Super Bowl champions looked in midseason form with a 42-34 win over New Orleans in the season opener.
2. Pittsburgh (2) (0-0): Don’t look now but the Steelers are a passing team, with Roethlisberger spinning the ball to WRs Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Hines Ward.
3. New England (3) (0-0): Will the acquisitions of Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth finally lead to the demise of Bill Bellechick? One can only hope. 4. Philadelphia (4) (0-0): Anointed by backup QB Vince Young as NFL’s “Dream Team,” these guys better win some games early, or it could get ugly quick. 5. Baltimore (5) (0-0): The window’s nearly closed for LB Ray Lewis to win another Super Bowl title. 6. Houston (6) (0-0): With Peyton Manning out indefinitely, this is the Texans’ chance to take over AFC South.
7. New Orleans (7) (0-1): Drew Brees-led offense is great, but defense can’t stop anybody. 8. N.Y. Jets (8) (0-0): Head coach Rex Ryan is bound to hit on one of his outrageous predictions any day now. 9. Atlanta (9) (0-0): WR Julio Jones better be the real deal after they gave up most of this year’s draft picks to get him. 10. San Diego (10) (0-0): Three of five at home before bye week should help Chargers get off to a good start.
11. Tampa Bay (11) (0-0): Bucs looked underwhelming during exhibition play; let’s hope they were just trying out some new things. 12. N.Y. Giants (12) (0-0): Injuries to CBs Prince Amukamara (foot), Tyrell Thomas (knee) and DE Osi Umenyiora (knee) could have Giants headed in wrong direction.
13. Chicago (13) (0-0): QB Jay Cutler still has to earn fans’ respect after finishing NFC Championship game on the bench with knee injury. 14. Dallas (14) (0-0): New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan should get that side of the ball turned around, but can O-line keep Tony Romo upright? 15. Indianapolis (15) (0-0): Kerry Collins is no Peyton Manning – he’s not even Jim Sorgi. 16. St. Louis (16) (0-0): Love Sam Bradford, but he can’t throw the ball to himself. 17. Kansas City (17) (0-0): Get your popcorn ready when RB Jamaal Charles touches the ball.
18. Detroit (18) (0-0): Every year we think the Lions are finally going to make the playoffs. And every year they fall flat on their faces.
19. Minnesota (19) (0-0): Here’s to the hope the Donovan McNabb has retired the Michael Jackson moonwalk after a big play. We don’t need to see a 34-year-old man do that, do we? 20. Jacksonville (20) (0-0): Head coach Jack Del Rio could be the first coach to get fired this season, with Luke McCown as his starting quarterback. 21. Arizona (21) (0-0): QB Kevin Kolb has proved a valuable addition so far, but they still have to protect him up front.
22. Seattle (22) (0-0): Hawks an afterthought even though they won the NFC West last year, and Pete Carroll likes the underdog role. 23. Oakland (23) (0-0): Raiders would have one of the best flag football teams in the league with all that speed on both sides of the ball. 24. Tennessee (24) (0-0): What’s the line on how long Matt Hasselbeck stays healthy? Eight games? Nine? 25. Denver (25) (0-0): Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller could be the best pass-rushing tandem in the league. 26. Cleveland (26) (0-0): If Colt McCoy plays like he did during exhibition play, Browns could be a sleeper team this year. 27. Miami(27) (0-0): No quarterback, no chance.
28. Buffalo (28) (0-0): Bills could make things interesting with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB and WR Steve Johnson on the perimeter.
29. Washington (29) (0-0): Whether it’s Rex Grossman or John Beck at QB doesn’t matter, this team still is headed nowhere. 30. San Francisco (30) (0-0): Unless Jim Harbaugh plans to make an appearance as Captain Comeback, the QB play will not be enough for this team to win consistently.
31. Cincinnati (31) (0-0): Bengals would be wise to kiss and make up with Carson Palmer.
32. Carolina (32) (0-0): Panthers will struggle, but expect Cam Newton to produce some highlights this season.