NFL Power Rankings: The Top 10 doesn't look anything like it did in Week 1
But the Patriots, who started the regular season at No. 1, are in the same spot at the end
There's nothing like an NFL season to make one look like a full-fledged idiot.
Take my Power Rankings.
As I do every year, I always look back at my Week 1 Power Rankings when it's time to work up the final batch.
The conclusion: Damn, I am dumb.
Of the 10 teams that opened in the top 10 of my first rankings before the season started, just three finished there and one -- the Atlanta Falcons -- barely made it.
The good news is the New England Patriots started in the top spot and they finished there. So I have that going for me.
The worst pick of the bunch was having the New York Giants at No. 5 to open the season. They finish at No. 29. The other teams that failed to live up to my perceived hype were the Green Bay Packers (No. 2 to open), Seattle Seahawks (No. 5), Arizona Cardinals (No. 7), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 8), Dallas Cowboys (No. 9) and Los Angeles Chargers (No. 10).
The biggest misses in terms of the other way were the Philadelphia Eagles (No. 18 to start), Minnesota Vikings (No. 22), New Orleans Saints (No. 23), Los Angeles Rams (No. 26) and Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 28).
All five of those teams finish in my top 10 as they head to the playoffs.
So just remember this major fail when I do the preseason rankings coming up after free agency and then again after the draft and before camps open.
We think we know. But do we really ever when it comes to the unpredictability of the NFL?
|1||Patriots||They head to the postseason with the playoffs going through Foxboro. They remain the favorite.||--||13-3-0|
|2||Steelers||The question now for them is whether they can beat the Patriots in Foxboro. I have my doubts.||--||13-3-0|
|3||Eagles||Nick Foles does not give the Eagles much hope of advancing to the Super Bowl. If they had Carson Wentz, they would be the favorite.||--||13-3-0|
|4||Vikings||They have a defense and the running game has come to life. Mike Zimmer is coach of the year.||2||13-3-0|
|5||Rams||They rested guys against the 49ers to get ready for the playoffs. Now they will face a tough challenge in the 2016 NFC-champion Atlanta Falcons.||2||11-5-0|
|6||Saints||The defense didn't look good last week, but they will be a dangerous team in the playoffs. Drew Brees has been there before.||2||11-5-0|
|7||Panthers||They didn't play well on defense the past two weeks -- giving up nearly 700 yards passing -- and that has to be concerning heading to New Orleans.||2||11-5-0|
|8||Jaguars||They looked bad the past two weeks, but they still got a home playoff game. If they play like they did at Tennessee, they could be a one-and-done team.||--||10-6-0|
|9||Chiefs||They found their quarterback of the future in Patrick Mahomes, but this is about Alex Smith now. Can he take them to a Super Bowl?||1||10-6-0|
|10||Falcons||That offense we saw against the Panthers was a much better Falcons offense than what they've showed most of the season. This is a playoff-tested team, which will help this week at the Rams.||2||10-6-0|
|11||Bills||They are in the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Sean McDermott has done an amazing job this season.||3||9-7-0|
|12||Titans||They found a way to beat the Jaguars Sunday to get into the playoffs, but they haven't looked like a playoff team the past six weeks. Can they turn it on against the Chiefs?||4||9-7-0|
|13||Ravens||That was a major choke job against the Bengals. That should mean changes are coming to the staff.||4||9-7-0|
|14||Seahawks||They need to rebuild their team around Russell Wilson. The days of running the football and playing great defense should not be the focus anymore.||3||9-7-0|
|15||Cowboys||The loss of Ezekiel Elliott for six games really impacted the Cowboys, but they need Dak Prescott to get better. What do they do with Dez Bryant?||2||9-7-0|
|16||Chargers||They will again look back at all the close games they lost and wonder why they are sitting home. They would have been a dangerous playoff team.||1||9-7-0|
|17||Lions||Jim Caldwell is out as coach, which means general manager Bob Quinn can pick his guy. Will it be a former Patriots assistant who worked with Quinn in New England?||--||9-7-0|
|18||Cardinals||The defense really took steps forward in the second half of the season, which they can build upon next year. Who's the next coach now that Bruce Arians is retiring?||1||8-8-0|
|19||Packers||They will have a new defensive coordinator with Dom Capers on his way out, but whoever takes over needs much better players on that side of the ball.||1||7-9-0|
|20||Bengals||They played well the final two weeks for Marvin Lewis. What happens next for the Bengals? Is Lewis back or not?||5||7-9-0|
|21||Raiders||With Jack Del Rio out, it looks like it will be Jon Gruden taking over. He won a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, but look at his last six years with the team. Not so good.||1||6-10-0|
|22||Redskins||The injuries crippled this team this season. Now they have to keep Kirk Cousins, no matter what.||1||7-9-0|
|23||49ers||They head to the offseason feeling good about their 5-0 finish with Jimmy Garoppolo. Watch out next season.||1||6-10-0|
|24||Buccaneers||They are bringing Dirk Koetter back, which is the right move. The offense came alive the past three weeks.||4||5-11-0|
|25||Broncos||It looks like coach Vance Joseph is coming back for a second season. Should he be?||2||5-11-0|
|26||Dolphins||Adam Gase is coming back, but they have some major decisions to make. Who will be the quarterback?||2||6-10-0|
|27||Bears||John Fox is out as coach, and I would expect they would hire a coach with an offensive background to take over to work with Mitchell Trubisky.||1||5-11-0|
|28||Jets||Giving Todd Bowles a contract extension was the right thing to do. Now they need to find a quarterback.||1||5-11-0|
|29||Giants||They showed some fight against the Redskins the past two weeks. Who will be the new head coach?||2||3-13-0|
|30||Colts||With Chuck Pagano out, they need to find a bright offensive mind to pair with Andrew Luck.||--||4-12-0|
|31||Texans||In the end, the injuries decimated this team. But they can storm back next season as a playoff contender when everybody is healthy.||2||4-12-0|
|32||Browns||They did it. They went 0-16. But they have a lot of assets for John Dorsey to fix this thing.||--||0-16-0|
Breaking down why the underdogs are very dangerous against the Patriots
All of the information you need to know about the 2018 Super Bowl
Here's all the details you need to know on watching Super Bowl LII between the Patriots and...
No one wants to give the Eagles any respect
Here's a look at the NFL's entire postseason schedule for 2018
Here's everything you need to know about Super Bowl LII