2014 NFL Power Rankings: Who Takes Spots 8 Through 12?
The 2014 NFL season is inching closer, with the Thursday Night Football season opener just two days away. Many have their idea of who the best and worst teams in the league already are or will be, but with two days to spare, we still have time to figure it out for ourselves.
Then we have five months to truly see it all unfold. Guessing and tracking predictions is half the fun, though, so we continue on our break down of all 32 NFL teams. With over half of the league already accounted for, let’s continue our 2014 NFL Power Rankings by ranking and analyzing the teams that slide into spots 8-12:
12. San Diego Chargers
The Bolts surprised a lot of people last year by going 9-7 and even winning a playoff game. Second-year head coach Mike McCoy is the real deal, as he revived Philip Rivers and has a suddenly balanced Chargers team in the mix for another playoff run. How good they actually become will hinge on their defense, which was awful against the pass in 2013.
11. Philadelphia Eagles
The Iggles still don’t play elite defense, but they found their franchise passer last year and Chip Kelly’s offense works just fine in the big leagues. Nick Foles’ development is key, but how much better this defense can get is probably what takes the cake. Also up for debate; was losing DeSean Jackson a back-breaker or a move that actually helped this team?
10. Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta was a talented team ravaged by injury in 2013. Now healthy again, Matt Ryan and co. could be poised for an epic bounce back season. They still have a tough division and a less than easy schedule overall, but they’re built to contend.
9. Arizona Cardinals
AZ is a bit grittier than the first three teams on this list and after going 10-6 and barely missing out on the playoffs in 2013, they should come into the new year with a chip on their shoulder. They lost some key players on defense, though, so how they adapt will be huge for their bid to upset either the Niners or Seahawks for an NFC playoff spot.
8. Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore is another bounce back candidate, as they went lame in their defense of their 2012 Super Bowl title. They still are a very deep and balanced team and should get back to playing their breed of football on both sides of the ball. A John Harbaugh-led team isn’t going to miss the playoffs in back to back seasons.
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