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NFL power rankings, Week 1: I’ll keep my 49ers expectations low

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The San Francisco 49ers kick off the 2016 season on Monday Night Football, in what I think is a very winnable game against the Los Angeles Rams. That being said, they have a ton of question marks, and I am trying to keep my expectations fairly low. I do think they could surprise us on the back of an improved defense, but I also think the offense could be a huge problem.

Tuesday is power rankings day during the NFL season, and now that we’re through the Labor Day weekend, I thought I would put together my first set of rankings. I have the 49ers slotted in at No. 30 for the time being. I can find some reasons to be more optimistic about them, but virtually every team ahead of them has a strength, or some strengths that exceed that of the 49ers. For example, I think they will beat the Rams Week 1, but the Rams defense and Todd Gurley have them ahead of the 49ers. Jeff Fisher and a questionable QB situation keeps it close, but I’m not prepared to move the 49ers ahead of them.

I do stick with the NFC West at the top of the standings. There are quite a few Super Bowl contenders around the NFL, but right now, the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks are the two best teams in the league. Injuries will change things, as will poor performances, but for now, the NFC West reigns supreme.

And yes, I think the Eagles are going to be really bad this year.

Rank Team
1 Arizona Cardinals
2 Seattle Seahawks
3 Green Bay Packers
4 Cincinnati Bengals
5 Pittsburgh Steelers
6 New England Patriots
7 Carolina Panthers
8 Kansas City Chiefs
9 Minnesota Vikings
10 Oakland Raiders
11 Washington
12 Jacksonville Jaguars
13 Baltimore Ravens
14 New York Jets
15 Houston Texans
16 Denver Broncos
17 San Diego Chargers
18 Dallas Cowboys
19 Indianapolis Colts
20 New York Giants
21 Atlanta Falcons
22 Buffalo Bills
23 Tennessee Titans
24 Miami Dolphins
25 New Orleans Saints
26 Los Angeles Rams
27 Detroit Lions
28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
29 Chicago Bears
30 San Francisco 49ers
31 Cleveland Browns
32 Philadelphia Eagles