Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes form the best coach-quarterback partnership in the NFL. But the Chiefs don't top my power rankings.
Our first and last 2023 NFL team – and division -- power rankings
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Editor's note: Tony Grossi is a Cleveland Browns analyst for TheLandOnDemand.com and 850 ESPN Cleveland. He has covered the Browns since 1984.
I’m not a fan of NFL team power rankings because I believe in the Bill Parcells saying: You are what your record says you are.
Guess what? The team with the best record is No. 1 in my power rankings. The next-best record is my No. 2, and so on down to No. 32. No matter how many algorithms somebody devises to argue a team’s power ranking, the only statistics that matter are wins and losses. Don’t overcomplicate it.
The only time power rankings make any sense to me is in the period after rosters are rebuilt and games have yet to begin. Like right now.
With that, I present my first and last NFL team power rankings of the 2023 season. Using these rankings, we can then power-rank the eight NFL divisions.
1. Philadelphia Eagles
My only concern is that Nick Sirianni had to replace both coordinators, who took head coach jobs elsewhere. But the roster, particularly at offensive and defensive line, is the strongest in the league, and the quarterback has made a believer of me. And they have tremendous team leaders.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
No team has a better coach-quarterback partnership than Andy Reid-Patrick Mahomes, and the GM consistently fits all the other pieces together.
3. Cincinnati Bengals
Funny how a franchise quarterback makes everybody smarter. In their case, though, these Bengals are much smarter than your father’s Bengals.
4. Baltimore Ravens
From the brink of disaster they have emerged from the Lamar Jackson contract drama with their best team since their 2012 Super Bowl championship.
5. Buffalo Bills
A lot to like here, but I wonder if Josh Allen’s shoulders have weakened from carrying too much of the burden.
6. San Francisco 49ers
They are real good in a lot of spots. Their quarterback situation is weird and uncomfortable, though.
7. Dallas Cowboys
Goodness, they are talented. But tough and smart enough to advance? I think not.
8. Miami Dolphins
Landing Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator was huge. Now, can Tua Tagovailoa please stay un-concussed for one season?
9. Seattle Seahawks
Three impactful additions – defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones, cornerback Devon Witherspoon and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba – make them a serious Super Bowl contender … if Geno Smith is real.
10. New York Giants
Even in Super Bowl championship seasons, the Giants were never sexy. This team falls in line with their history.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars
Let’s see. Emerging star quarterback, proven innovative head coach, superbly athletic defense, easy division schedule. They have arrived.
12. Los Angeles Chargers
They’re the only team in the AFC West to beat Mahomes, and they’ve done it three times. This probably is too high after their meltdown playoff loss to the Jaguars.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers
If Kenny Pickett improves measurably from a decent rookie season, watch out. They kicked butt in the transaction season.
14. Detroit Lions
I think the worm is turning in Detroit.
15. Cleveland Browns
Follow the yellow brick road to the Wizard of Oz. If they somehow acquire toughness, heart and intelligence, they could be real good.
16. New York Jets
Yes, I’m buying that Aaron Rodgers makes a difference.
17. New England Patriots
Bill Belichick with Tom Brady: 251-79 (.760). Belichick without Brady: 78-86 (.475).
18. Minnesota Vikings
Brian Flores as defensive coordinator was a big get. They could be better than this ranking.
19. Tennessee Titans
Instead of drafting Will Levis in the second round, they should have stood pat, taken their lumps and semi-tanked for the bountiful QB Class of 2024.
20. Atlanta Falcons
They could be sneaky good if Desmond Ridder pans out at quarterback. They did good work on defense in free agency.
21. New Orleans Saints
A reunion of Derek Carr and coach Dennis Allen does not inspire much optimism.
22. Denver Broncos
Did Russell Wilson forget how to play quarterback last year? If so, Sean Payton will remind him.
23. Carolina Panthers
The Frank Reich-Bryce Young era begins. Frankly, I don’t know what to expect.
24. Green Bay Packers
Brett Favre … Aaron Rodgers … Jordan Love. Which quarterback doesn’t belong with the others?
25. Las Vegas Raiders
I don’t understand the plan created by GM Dave Zeigler and coach Josh McDaniels – former John Carroll teammates -- other than to collect as many former Patriots as possible.
26. Chicago Bears
They’ve added some talent, but a glaring omission is not providing Justin Fields a solid veteran quarterback to mentor him through these tough times.
27. Washington Commanders
Ron Rivera lost me last year when he not only started Carson Wentz against the Browns with playoff hopes alive, but failed to yank him during an abysmal performance.
28. Los Angeles Rams
It’s payback time for their all-in moves for the 2021 season Super Bowl championship. They won’t see a winning season again with Matthew Stafford at quarterback.
29. Indianapolis Colts
A new coach, a new quarterback, a new era of growing pains.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Was signing Baker Mayfield their affirmation of tanking for the QB Class of 2024?
31. Houston Texans
New coach DeMeco Ryans and quarterback C.J. Stroud begin life together.
32. Arizona Cardinals
Former St. Ignatius HS star Jonathan Gannon takes over the worst NFL roster in his first year as a head coach. The good news is the Cards could have the top two picks in the 2024 draft -- theirs and Houston's -- which is loaded with quarterbacks.
Now to the division power rankings. We add the rankings of each team. Lowest scores rise to the top.
1. AFC North, 35
Cincinnati, 3; Baltimore, 4; Pittsburgh, 13; Cleveland, 15.
2. NFC East, 45
Philadelphia, 1; Dallas, 7; N.Y. Giants, 10; Washington, 27.
3. AFC East, 46
Buffalo, 5; Miami, 8; N.Y. Jets, 16; New England, 17.
4. AFC West, 61
Kansas City, 2; L.A. Chargers, 12; Denver, 22; Las Vegas, 25.
5. NFC West, 75
San Francisco, 6; Seattle, 9; L.A. Rams, 28; Arizona, 32.
6. NFC North, 82
Detroit, 14; Minnesota, 18; Green Bay, 24; Chicago, 26.
7. AFC South, 90
Jacksonville, 11; Tennessee, 19; Indianapolis, 29; Houston, 31.
8. NFC South, 94
Atlanta, 20; New Orleans, 21; Carolina, 23; Tampa Bay, 30.