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ESPN's Early 2019 NFL Power Rankings: What They Got Wrong
The 2018 NFL season is over and analysts just couldn't wait a full week before revealing their "way-too-early" power rankings poll results. Since we have yet to enter free agency and not a single college player has been drafted to an NFL team (the draft is in April), these rankings really don't mean much other than showing what NFL experts think about current team's rosters and prospects going forward.The list ranks teams from 1-32 and gives reasoning as to why each team earned their given ranking. Here are four rankings I believe they got completely wrong#8. Seattle SeahawksESPN's Brady Henderson writes, "The Seahawks' winning 10 games and earning a playoff berth last season was a reminder that a team with an elite quarterback should never be counted out, no matter how many key pieces around him are gone." That isn't exactly comforting to Seahawks' fans.The 10-6 Seattle Seahawks are a team on the decline in my opinion (sorry @bethalea, Seahawks fan). Russell Wilson is on top of his game, but he's not getting any younger, weapons around him are not certain, and their defense is fading fast. The NFC West is a division that will improve this year, and playing two games each against the Rams and an improved 49ers team could result in 3-4 losses. I think the Seahawks are highly overrated by analysts at this point in the offseason.They were placed in the rankings ahead of the Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles, two teams I think will outperform them in 2019.#14. Minnesota VikingsComing off of an 8-7-1 season, the Vikings are stuck in a competitive division with a Bears team that is on the rise. The Vikings have defensive playmakers like Harrison Smith and Everson Griffen and two fantastic receivers (when healthy) in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, but RB Dalvin Cook and quarterback Kirk Cousins were mediocre at best last season. I would rather bet on the #16 Green Bay Packers, #18 Atlanta Falcons, and #19 Carolina Panthers than on the Vikings. Unless they can improve at quarterback and running back, don't expect the Vikings to make the playoffs in '19.#18. Atlanta FalconsWhile I feel that the Vikings and Seahawks are overrated, I think these rankings look past an Atlanta Falcons team that could contend for the NFC Championship. Yes, I said it, I think with the right moves the Falcons could push the Rams and Saints down the stretch.Atlanta will get Freeman back from injury on offense and with a healthy Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones, they still have some of the best weapons in the NFL. "...the Falcons should be much better equipped to challenge the Saints in the NFC South -- that is, if they can add more toughness on both the offensive and defensive lines," says Vaugn McClure. Only time will tell, but I would still take the Falcons over the Seahawks and Vikings, moving them into the top 10 of the power rankings.#27. Detroit LionsI'm biased as a Detroit Lions fan, but I just can't accept that the Lions will be the 27th best team in the NFL in 2019. Second-year head coach Matt Patricia and veteran QB Matt Stafford both have something to prove. The Lions also have young studs ready to take the next step on both sides of the ball.On offense, Kerryon Johnson (RB) and Kenny Golladay (WR) showed why they were drafted in the first three rounds of the past two drafts. Johnson finished the season with 641 yards and 3 touchdowns. Most importantly, he averaged an impressive 5.4 yards per carry. Golladay led all Lions receivers with 70 receptions and 1,063 yards.On defense, Jarrad Davis is starting to stand out. He led the Lions in solo tackles (73) and added six sacks and 10 tackles for loss.The Lions are not serious contenders in the NFC, but they are capable of making a run towards the playoffs and are much better than the #27 ranking given by ESPN analysts. What do you think about the above rankings and my assessment? What players would you change on ESPN's early NFL rankings?Read ESPN's "Way-Too-Early" Rankings HereWho do you support? We would love for you to consider voting for @teamgood here: http://www.guiltyparties.com/scorum.
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