NFL Seattle Seahawks

2014 NFL Power Rankings Week 1: Seattle Seahawks Begin Season As Super Bowl Favorites

2014 NFL Power Rankings Week 1

2014 NFL Power Rankings Week 1
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

After a long four weeks of preseason--the NFL regular season is finally ready to get underway.

The Seattle Seahawks enter the 2014 season as early favorites to win the Super Bowl, but there are plenty of teams capable of taking home the Lombardi Trophy this year. Without wasting any more time, let's take a look at the 2014 NFL Power Rankings for Week 1 of the regular season to see where each team stands early on.

32. Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

32. Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Oakland Raiders are going all in for Week 1 by starting rookie Derek Carr at quarterback instead of Matt Schaub. This may seem like a questionable move, but this is the Raiders we're talking about here--a team that hasn't finished above .500 since the 2002 season.

31. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

31. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The most talked about quarterback battle during the preseason involved Brian Hoyer vs. Johnny Manziel and now--the job is Hoyer's to lose in 2014. While most fans would probably prefer to watch Manziel, let's not forget how impressive Hoyer was last season with the Cleveland Browns before tearing his ACL.

Then again, even if Hoyer does display impressive numbers--it may still not be enough for the Browns to compete in the AFC North.

30. Houston Texans

Houston Texans
(Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

30. Houston Texans

Houston Texans
(Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Give credit to the Houston Texans for extending J.J. Watt to a massive deal before the start of the regular season, but they still have lots of work to do after last year's disastrous 2-14 season--especially at the quarterback position. The starting job is Ryan Fitzpatrick's to lose, but the pressure will be on after the team recently traded for Ryan Mallett.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars
(Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars
(Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

If preseason is any indication, it seems like only a matter of time before the Jacksonville Jaguars decide to go with rookie Blake Bortles instead of Chad Henne at quarterback. And unfortunately for the Jaguars, they have one of the toughest matchups of Week 1 against Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles.

28. Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills
(Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

28. Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills
(Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

With the way EJ Manuel looked this preseason, the Chicago Bears may not have much to worry about when it comes to the second-year quarterback. On the bright side, at least Sammy Watkins has the potential to provide the team with some sort of excitement during his rookie season as he should easily become Manuel's favorite target.

27. Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans
(Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

27. Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans
(Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

After a rough start, Jake Locker seemed to progressively get better during preseason and the Tennessee Titans hope the former first-round pick can finally live up to the hype in 2014 after appearing in just 23 games over his first three seasons. Unfortunately, Locker and company will have their hands full in Week 1 against one of the league's toughest defenses from one year ago in the Kansas City Chiefs.

26. St. Louis Rams

St. Louis Rams
(Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

26. St. Louis Rams

St. Louis Rams
(Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Losing Sam Bradford for the season with another torn ACL is a major blow for the St. Louis Rams and it won't be easy to compete in the tough NFC West with Shaun Hill at quarterback. Luckily, the team has a strong defense along with a favorable Week 1 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings to hopefully start the year off on the right foot.

25. Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins
(Larry French/Getty Images)

25. Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins
(Larry French/Getty Images)

The Washington Redskins have enough weapons on offense where they could easily skyrocket this list if they can start out the season strong against the Houston Texans. Of course, whether or not that happens will rely heavily on the play of Robert Griffin III--who is coming off a season to forget in 2013 in which he came back way too early from that torn ACL injury from the year before.

24. Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

24. Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

He may be 32, but Matt Cassel appears to have enough gas in the tank where Mike Zimmer feels more comfortable with him as the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. While many may question the move considering the team seems hopeful about Teddy Bridgewater being the quarterback of the future, keep in mind Cassel did look impressive at times in 2013.

23. New York Jets

New York Jets
(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

23. New York Jets

New York Jets
(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

The New York Jets were one of the biggest surprises last year with an 8-8 record, but the defense is a major reason for concern heading into 2014. On top of that, the pressure will be on Geno Smith as the second-year quarterback will look to build off of the success from the final month of his rookie season in which he helped the Jets win three of their final four games.

22. Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins
(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

22. Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins
(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The good news for the Miami Dolphins is Ryan Tannehill has seen his numbers improve each of his first two seasons as the starting quarterback. With that being said, the team hopes Tannehill and Mike Wallace--who joined the team last year--will emerge as one of the league's top duos at quarterback and wide receiver this season and help the team compete in the AFC East.

21. New York Giants

New York Giants
(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

21. New York Giants

New York Giants
(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Now that the regular season is finally here, all eyes will be on Eli Manning and whether or not he can get everyone clicking in this new offense. The potential is certainly there, but living up to the hype will be a different story for the New York Giants--who will need a bigger season from Victor Cruz after the wideout caught just four touchdown passes in 2013 (three of which came in Week 1).

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Many believe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have what it takes to compete for the NFC South title this season, but it certainly won't be easy. The potential is certainly there with a new quarterback in Josh McCown and a dangerous duo at wideout with Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, but they'll be heavily tested right away in their Week 1 matchup against the Carolina Panthers.

19. Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys
(Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

19. Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys
(Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Is Tony Romo healthy enough to be the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys? Once again, expectations are high for this team heading into the regular season--especially after falling just short of the division title last year.

If Romo can stay healthy, there's no reason why this team shouldn't be able to compete in the NFC East, but that of course will also rely on the defense--which could be a disaster.

18. Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

18. Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

On paper, the Detroit Lions have one of the scariest offenses in football behind Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, and Reggie Bush. However, whether or not this team will be playoff contenders will rely on the performance of the defense--which has struggled to live up to their true potential despite looking dangerous on paper over the last couple of years.

17. Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

17. Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The argument can be made that no team was a bigger disappointment last year than the Atlanta Falcons as they went from strong contenders in the NFC to finishing with just four wins all season. With a healthy Julio Jones, things should be different for the Falcons in 2014 and don't be surprised if Matt Ryan bounces back with MVP type numbers to make this team contenders once again in the NFC South.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers
(Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

16. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers
(Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Back-to-back 8-8 seasons can't feel good for the Pittsburgh Steelers and their fans, but this could be a bounce-back season for Ben Roethlisberger and company. The division is tough with the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens, but the Steelers will need their defense to be on top of their game if that's going to happen.

15. Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

15. Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Was last year just a fluke for the Kansas City Chiefs? Only time will tell, but this is a top-10 defense from one year ago along with having one of the league's most dangerous running backs in Jamaal Charles.

It will be tough to match last year's 11 wins, but Kansas City should still cause problems for some teams in 2014.

14. Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

14. Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Despite last year's surprise run in the NFC, it will be difficult for the Carolina Panthers to match last year's success with a banged-up Cam Newton and a young, unexperienced group of wide receivers. Not to mention each of the four teams in the NFC South seems capable of winning the division title this year.

Sadly--this could end up being the highest ranking for the Panthers in 2014.

13. Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

13. Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The debate will continue when it comes to whether or not Joe Flacco is an elite quarterback, but keep in mind the former first-round pick has never thrown for more than 25 touchdowns in his career. The offense of the Baltimore Ravens should improve from last year, but the team will also need to see some improvement from Ray Rice--who finished with just 660 rushing yards last year.

12. San Diego Chargers

San Diego Chargers
(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

12. San Diego Chargers

San Diego Chargers
(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Don't let his age fool you--Philip Rivers is ready for another big season with the San Diego Chargers. And from a fantasy football perspective, we can't wait to see what's in store for Rivers and Keenan Allen after an impressive rookie season (71 catches for 1,046 yards with eight touchdowns).

11. Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

11. Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

With Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, the Chicago Bears arguably have the most dangerous wide receiving duo in the league. Now if only the offensive line can protect Jay Cutler and the defense improves from last year--this team would easily have the chance to be strong contenders in the NFC.

10. Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles
(Al Bello/Getty Images)

10. Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles
(Al Bello/Getty Images)

Every football fan is anxious to see what's in store for the Philadelphia Eagles in their second season with Chip Kelly as head coach, but things won't be as smooth as last year. Despite a tougher schedule along with the departure of DeSean Jackson, the Eagles' offense will still put up a ton of points on a weekly basis.

And if the defense can improve from last year--there's no reason why this team shouldn't be favorites in the NFC East.

9. Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

9. Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Will Andy Dalton finally lead the Cincinnati Bengals to a playoff win after appearances in each of the last three seasons? The quarterback better hope so considering the hefty contract extension he received this offseason, but at least Dalton's job will be easier with the Bengals hopefully having one of the league's top defenses once again.

8. Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

8. Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Despite finishing with 10 wins and having one of the league's top defenses, the Arizona Cardinals fell short of the playoffs last year--which means they'll be even more motivated to make a run in 2014. Carson Palmer had a big year during his first season (career high 4,274 passing yards) with the Cardinals and he should display big numbers once again thanks to a solid wide receiving duo of Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.

7. Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

7. Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Over his first two seasons, Andrew Luck has played a big role in helping the Indianapolis Colts record back-to-back seasons of 11 wins but the defense is still a reason for concern. With that being said, expect another big year for Luck and company--especially with the addition of Hakeem Nicks and the return of Reggie Wayne in the passing game.

6. San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers
(Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

6. San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers
Thomas B. Shea

With three straight appearances in the NFC Championship, there's every reason to believe the San Francisco 49ers will be strong NFC contenders once again as long as they overcome their defensive problems. Of course, whether or not this team contends will fall on the shoulders of Colin Kaepernick--who will have plenty to prove after signing a ridiculous contract extension this offseason.

5. New England Patriots

New England Patriots
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

5. New England Patriots

New England Patriots
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

As long as Tom Brady is healthy and starting at quarterback, the New England Patriots will always be strong contenders in the AFC and last year showed just how dangerous they can be. Not only did Brady establish an unexpected connection with Julian Edleman, but the Patriots hope to see the Rob Gronkowski from a few years ago--a tight end who is nearly impossible to contain inside the red zone.

4. Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

4. Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Just like the New England Patriots with Tom Brady, the Green Bay Packers will always be strong contenders as long as Aaron Rodgers is lining up under center. He only appeared in nine games during the regular season last year due to injury, but remember in the two previous seasons when Rodgers threw for 84 touchdowns and just 14 interceptions in 31 games?

That's right--expect another MVP type season from Rodgers as long as he remains healthy.

3. New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints
(Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

3. New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints
(Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Drew Brees has thrown for over 5,000 yards in each of the last three seasons and the quarterback received another dangerous weapon on offense after the New Orleans Saints drafted Brandin Cooks in May. The offense will obviously put up plenty of points each week and as long as Brees is healthy--this team will be tough to beat in the NFC once again.

2. Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos
(Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

2. Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos
(Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Losing Wes Welker for the first four games of the regular season will be difficult to overcome considering how tough their first four games are, but the Denver Broncos have enough weapons on offense where they should be able to recover just fine. If anything, the Broncos should look at the Welker suspension as an opportunity for Emmanuel Sanders to become one of Manning's new favorite targets.

1. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

1. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

It's never easy to repeat as defending Super Bowl champions, but if any team is capable of doing so--it would be the Seattle Seahawks.

Just look at what the Seahawks' defense did to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in last year's Super Bowl and it's easy to make them the early favorites to win once again this year--but it certainly won't be easy.

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