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2023 NFL power rankings: Jets, Steelers rise and Cardinals, Patriots fall after 2023 NFL Draft

What is the best NFL team in 2023? With the NFL Draft drawing to a close, the biggest events on the offseason calendar are over. It means everyone turns their focus to the season ahead, with preliminary 2023 NFL power rankings.

Plenty of things will happen in the months ahead that alter how we view every team across the league. Minicamps, trades, free-agent signings and training camp will all shape the perception of how teams are viewed. For now, we can only evaluate the rosters coming out of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Let’s dive into our first 2023 NFL power rankings following the NFL Draft.

2023 NFL power rankings: Worst NFL teams right now

32. Arizona Cardinals

  • Previously: 29th in NFL power rankings

The Arizona Cardinals are the worst team in the NFL and it’s not close. Quite frankly, Arizona has a shot at only winning two games next season. A bottom-three defense paired with an offense led by Colt McCoy at quarterback for half the 2023 season, that’s a recipe to land the No. 1 pick in 2024. If that happens, Kyler Murray can hit the trade block.

Related: 2024 NFL mock draft

31. Los Angeles Rams

  • Previously: 27th in NFL power rankings

The Los Angeles Rams are officially in a rebuild and it couldn’t come at a better time. The Rams will have the worst defense in 2023 and even with Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp on the field, wins will be rare at SoFi Stadium. Fortunately, every loss puts Sean McVay one step closer to landing an elite quarterback prospect to build his offense around in 2024.

30. Tennessee Titans

  • Previously: 28th in NFL power rankings

The Tennessee Titans fell short of acquiring the third overall pick, which might ultimately be for the best. Even if Ryan Tannehill stays healthy, our expectations for this offense are very low and this defense isn’t good enough to carry the team at this point. Even with Will Levis on the roster, Tennessee’s best move would be to tank for Drake Maye or Caleb Williams.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft picks by team

29. Chicago Bears

  • Previously: 31st in NFL power rankings

Rebuilds don’t happen in a day, but the Chicago Bears are taking all the right steps to eventually become an NFC North contender. Justin Fields will play behind a much-improved offensive line next season and the Bears’ offense should take a nice step forward. Defensively, there’s still a lot of room to improve.

Related: NFL MVP 2023

28. Indianapolis Colts

  • Previously: 30th in NFL power rankings

If Anthony Richardson reaches his potential, the Indianapolis Colts have an MVP-tier quarterback who can almost single-handedly carry this team on playoff runs. For 2023, though, Richardson will likely struggle and the Colts have issues on both the offensive line and defensively. It might be another rough year in Indianapolis, but the future is bright.

Related: Anthony Richardson scouting report

27. Houston Texans

  • Previously: 32nd in NFL power rankings

The Houston Texans took a massive gamble in trading their 2024 first-round pick to move up for Will Anderson Jr. It secured them a blue-chip talent for DeMeco Ryans’ defense and they did an excellent job adding young contributors and multiple starters on both sides of the ball. While we’re excited to see what play-caller Bobby Slowik can do with C.J. Stroud, it would be stunning if Houston doesn’t finish near the bottom of the NFL standings in 2023.

Related: C.J. Stroud scouting report

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Previously: 25th in NFL power rankings

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive line remains a weakness, Tom Brady is gone and the defense is getting older. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Buccaneers are betting on either Kyle Trask or Baker Mayfield to salvage this situation. You’ll find Tampa Bay higher in consensus 2023 NFL power rankings, but we’re not betting on this quarterback situation.

NFL power rankings 2023: On the bubble

25. Las Vegas Raiders

  • Previously: 24th in NFL power rankings

Jimmy Garoppolo might execute the fundamentals for Josh McDaniels, but there’s still very reason to believe in the Las Vegas Raiders heading into next season. Las Vegas was one of the most poorly-coached teams in 2022, blowing double-digit leads and collapsing in the fourth quarter. To make matters worse, this will likely still be a bottom-10 defense.

24. Atlanta Falcons

  • Previously: 26th in NFL power rankings

Keep an eye on the Atlanta Falcons. While drafting Bijan Robinson is an example of poor use of draft capital, he will immediately be one of the best running backs in the NFL and Arthur Smith will build the offense around him. In addition to Robinson, Atlanta boasts exciting weapons in Drake London and Kyle Pitts, all with a solid offensive line and an upgraded defense.

Related: Bijan Robinson scouting report

23. Denver Broncos

  • Previously: 23rd in NFL power rankings

Sean Payton will get whatever he can out of Russell Wilson, which should lead to a few more wins in 2023 than we saw last season. However, this still isn’t one of the more talented teams in the AFC and with the top of the conference loaded, Denver will likely get pushed around this fall.

Related: NFL games today – 2023 NFL schedule

22. Green Bay Packers

  • Previously: 21st in NFL power rankings

The Green Bay Packers finally moved on from Aaron Rodgers and now the focus turns to the future. In the short term, Jordan Love is in an ideal setting to prove himself with a strong offensive line, above-average weapons and an excellent running game. Whatever happens in 2023, the Packers will likely have $70-plus million in cap space and two first-round picks to use in 2024.

Related: 2023 NFL Draft picks by team

21. Washington Commanders

  • Previously: 22nd in NFL power rankings

Don’t sleep on the Washington Commanders. If Jacoby Brissett wins the starting job, he’ll fit perfectly into the Eric Bieniemy offense and that should translate into far more frequent red-zone scores than we saw in previous years. Add on a top-12 defense and the Commanders are a good team, but there are simply a lot better clubs out there.

Related: Everything you need to know about new Washington Commanders owners

20. New England Patriots

  • Previously: 15th in NFL power rankings

Bill Belichick clearly doesn’t like the questions he’s being asked about Mac Jones. However, the rift between the coach and quarterback is real, with Belichick’s decision playing a crucial part in it. We still like New England’s defense, especially with Christian Gonzalez and Bill O’Brien is a massive upgrade at offensive coordinator. There’s just too much going on right now to buy into the Patriots as a legitimate contender.

19. New Orleans Saints

  • Previously: 18th in NFL power rankings

Adding Derek Carr is the headliner for the New Orleans Saints and he’ll provide much-needed stability for the offense. With Carr under center, it’s easier to reduce the concern for a looming Alvin Kamara suspension and even more so with Kendre Miller in the backfield. We also have to give New Orleans credit for prioritizing a defensive line via the 2023 NFL Draft after it really thinned out over the past two years.

Related: NFL Draft TV ratings

2023 NFL power rankings: Playoff threats

18. Carolina Panthers

  • Previously: 19th in NFL power rankings

The Carolina Panthers have their franchise quarterback, finding the piece this team has missed for years. Bryce Young steps into a very good situation, playing behind a strong offensive line with a reliable supporting cast of pass-catching options and an excellent coaching staff. Throw in a defense that could be top-12 by December and the Panthers are the pick to win the NFC South.

Related: Bryce Young scouting report

17. Cleveland Browns

  • Previously: 17th in NFL power rankings

If the best on-field version of Deshaun Watson shows up in 2023, the Cleveland Browns have an outside shot of winning the AFC North. Cleveland shored up its defense this spring, added more weapons to its receiving corps and made a much-needed change at defensive coordinator. Now, everything rests on the shoulders of the only quarterback with a fully-guaranteed contract.

Related: NFL trade tracker

16. New York Giants

  • Previously: 16th in NFL power rankings

Here’s the problem for the New York Giants. Saquon Barkley isn’t happy about the franchise tag and he’ll commit to this holdout for a while. New York needed to create a much stronger receiving corps for this offense to take another step forward, but it will be relying on Parris Campbell, Jalin Hyatt, Darius Slayton and Wan’Dale Robinson next season. If that’s not enough reason for concern, the Giants don’t have a top-20 defend and that’s a big problem in the NFC East.

Related: Fantasy football dynasty rankings

15. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Previously: 20th in NFL power rankings

It all comes down to Kenny Pickett. If he takes a second-year leap, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be a playoff team. They addressed holes on both sides of the ball, which should translate to a top-10 defense and a higher-scoring offense. Pair that with Mike Tomlin, who has still never had a losing season, you’ve got reasons for optimism in Pittsburgh.

Related: Highest-paid NFL coaches

14. Minnesota Vikings

  • Previously: 14th in NFL power rankings

The Minnesota Vikings seem to keep flirting with a mini-reset, but they only inched their way closer toward it this spring. Kirk Cousins returns, Jordan Addison is an upgrade over Adam Thielen and Brian Flores will make this defense look a lot better than the league-worst unit we saw at times in the second half of last season. It will be an uphill battle, but the Vikings have a shot to win the division and host a playoff game.

13. Detroit Lions

  • Previously: 11th in NFL power rankings

The Detroit Lions didn’t have an impressive 2023 NFL Draft, but it came after efficient use of their cap space in NFL free agency. We expect this defense to take a step forward next season, at times playing like an above-average unit. With the offense maintaining its top-10 form, the Lions are the best team in the NFC North.

Related: Longest Super Bowl droughts

12. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Previously: 10th in NFL power rankings

The young Jacksonville Jaguars were quiet this offseason and that was expected after the free-agency frenzy in 2022. However, the big splash is the reinstatement of Calvin Ridley. As long as he stays healthy, the RIdley-Evan Engram-Christian Kirk trio plus a running back tandem of Travis Etienne and Tank Bigsby can put Trevor Lawrence in the running for NFL MVP.

Related: NFL teams that have never won a Super Bowl

11. Baltimore Ravens

  • Previously: 13th in NFL power rankings

The Baltimore Ravens saved their future. By signing Lamar Jackson to one of the biggest contracts in NFL history, Baltimore ensured it has an MVP-caliber quarterback for years to come. Plus, the Ravens’ offense will be a lot better than we’ve seen in recent years thanks to the additions of wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr and Zay Flowers plus the hiring of Todd Monken as offensive coordinator. Unfortunately for Baltimore, its defensive consistency and durability may be an issue.

Related: Best NFL Draft classes ever

10. Seattle Seahawks

  • Previously: No. 12 in NFL power rankings

The Seattle Seahawks might have the best NFL offense in 2023. As long as Geno Smith repeats what we saw last season, Seattle can beat opponents on the ground – Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet – or attack defenses with the best receiving corps in the NFL. Plus, Seattle’s defense looks a lot more talented and that should help it in the playoffs.

9. Los Angeles Chargers

  • Previously: No. 8 in NFL power rankings

The Los Angeles Chargers kept head coach Brandon Staley around and hired Kellen Moore as their offensive play-caller. It’s the right decision and should result in Los Angeles being a more well-rounded and consistent team next season. For now, what keeps them out of the Super Bowl tier is the lack of track record and some uncertainty with the run defense and player health.

Related: Biggest NFL Draft busts

NFL power rankings 2023: Super Bowl contenders

8. Buffalo Bills

Syndication: USA TODAY
Tina MacIntyre-Yee / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Previously: No. 7 in NFL power rankings

The Buffalo Bills are just hanging in as a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Josh Allen‘s penchant for forcing throws and bad decision-making – compounded by an average supporting cast around him – played a significant role in Buffalo’s collapse late last season. Buffalo’s defense is also showing some signs of regression. The Bills have another year, but they’re close to being viewed simply as a perennial playoff team.

Related: Highest-paid NFL players 2023

7. Miami Dolphins

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Miami Dolphins
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 9 in NFL power rankings

If Tua Tagovailoa stays healthy, the Miami Dolphins can win a Super Bowl. Already armed with one of the highest-scoring offenses, Miami landed defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and then provided him with Jalen Ramsey and David Long Jr. A top-five offense, top-five defense and a phenomenal coaching staff, all Tagovailoa needs to do is stay on the field.

Related: NFL offense rankings 2023

6. Dallas Cowboys

NFL: Super Bowl LVII-Kansas City Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 5 in NFL power rankings

The Dallas Cowboys needed a No. 2 cornerback, a No. 2 receiver and a bulldozer at defensive tackle before heading into the 2023 season. So, the front office added Pro Bowl cornerback Stephon Gilmore and wide receiver Brandin Cooks then drafted Mazi Smith. Dallas might have the best defense in the league and its offense could be just as good. Our one hesitation with this team is head coach and play-caller Mike McCarthy.

Related: NFL stadium rankings

5. Cincinnati Bengals

Syndication: The Enquirer
Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Previously: No. 3 in NFL power rankings

As long as Joe Burrow is healthy and Lou Anarumo is the defensive play-caller, the Cincinnati Bengals’ Super Bowl window is open. Cincinnati improved this offseason, adding left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and strengthening its defense in the 2023 NFL Draft. Best of all, top cornerback Chidobe Awuzie returns in 2023.

4. New York Jets

NFL: New York Jets-Aaron Rodgers Press Conference
Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 10 in NFL power rankings

Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have to play at an MVP-caliber level for the New York Jets to be a Super Bowl contender. New York almost ended its playoff drought last season because of its elite defense nearly overcoming a season-ending injury to Breece Hall and some of the worst quarterback play in the NFL. A healthy version of Hall with a Hall of Fame quarterback under center and a deeper roster, that’s everything a team needs to contend for the Super Bowl.

Related: NFL defense rankings

3. San Francisco 49ers

NFL: NFC Championship-San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 4 in NFL power rankings

Quarterback is a lingering concern for the San Francisco 49ers. Brock Purdy’s elbow surgery could sideline him through the start of the regular season or he’ll be available late in training camp. However it shakes out, the 49ers have one of the best NFL rosters and a phenomenal coaching staff. We’ll bet on them to make a playoff run, as long as they aren’t starting an emergency QB.

Related: NFL insider predicts surprising San Francisco 49ers starting QB in 2024

2. Philadelphia Eagles

Syndication: Arizona Republic
Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Previously: No. 2 in NFL power rankings

While the Philadelphia Eagles came up short in the Super Bowl, Jalen Hurts proved he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL with a historic performance. Now, Philadelphia heads into the summer with a rookie class that includes Jalen Carter – the best prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft – and a Haason Reddick clone in Nolan Smith. The Eagles are the best team in the NFC.

Related: Highest-paid NFL quarterbacks

1. Kansas City Chiefs

NFL: NFL Draft
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Previously: No. 1 in NFL power rankings

The Kansas City Chiefs are the reigning Super Bowl champions and should be favored to repeat. While they lost JuJu Smith-Schuster and Orlando Brown Jr, Patrick Mahomes led this team to the Lombardi Trophy after Tyreek Hill departed. Mahomes is Tom Brady and any team with an all-time great quarterback has to be viewed as the Super Bowl favorite.

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