NFL Power Rankings: Colts fall, Steelers rise, Redskins stagnate
All of these squads have some solid aspects of their team, but they simply aren’t built for postseason success as currently constructed.
22. Buffalo Bills – Previously 23. The Bills have an underrated defense and they did well to retool their entire offensive line this offseason. That said, Josh Allen is still growing as a passer, so it may take him another season of development before the Bills are ready to finish at anything better than .500. Still, head coach Sean McDermott has this team on the right path.
23. Tennessee Titans – Previously 21. The Titans have two big issues on offense. 1) Left tackle Taylor Lewan is suspended for the first four games of the season. 2) Marcus Mariota hasn’t stayed healthy or performed well much during his NFL career. If he can’t step up, the Titans will have a tough time winning, even with their solid defense and the presence of backup Ryan Tannehill.
24. San Francisco 49ers – Previously 24. There’s nothing really exciting about the 49ers. They have an okay offense and an okay defense with some top-level players (DE Dee Ford, DL DeForest Bucker). Jimmy Garoppolo’s presence should hypothetically improve the offense, but he is largely unproven and only has a bit of starting experience. He could have an up and down year, so it’s tough to imagine the 49ers going anywhere this year.
25. Arizona Cardinals – Previously 25. The Cardinals are undergoing a transformation under Kliff Kingsbury and new No. 1 quarterback Kyler Murray. However, it may take time before the air-raid style offense is in working order. Also, the team’s offensive line, outside of Marcus Gilbert, is still largely a weakness. Defensively, they should be solid, but it won’t be enough to overcome the new offense’s potential growing pains.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Previously 27. The Buccaneers have a really strong new coaching staff including head coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. However, the Bucs are still a work in progress on defense and their secondary and defensive line, in particular, aren’t great. Ndamukong Suh’s addition will help a bit on the defensive line, but Gerald McCoy, who they released, is superior to Suh at this point in their careers.
The offense is coming off a strong season, but they are moving away from Todd Monken’s system which was very successful. If the offense dips in production a bit behind a mediocre offensive line, the Bucs could have a tough season.
27. Washington Redskins – Previously 28. The Redskins defense should be strong this season. They looked very good in the preseason and have some great young talent in first-round picks Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, and Montez Sweat. The addition of Landon Collins should also improve the overall construction of their secondary, so there is reason for optimism on this side of the ball.
However, the offensive side of the ball has much less luster. The team lacks receiving weapons in any way, shape, or form and will hope that they can uncover some diamonds in the rough to go along with third-round pick Terry McLaurin. Elsewhere, Trent Williams’ holdout has significantly weakened the left side of the offensive line. So, they may struggle a bit more than usual with blocking.
Then there’s the quarterback situation. Case Keenum was fine in the preseason, but he struggled to get the offense to score. Ditto for Dwayne Haskins who is going to be developed on the bench, as he really needs some more time to improve at the NFL level. With poor supporting casts, neither figures to elevate this team much.
The only hopeful area on this unit is the running game. Derrius Guice looked good in his first action since suffering a torn ACL, so maybe he’ll be able to move the ball. However, that won’t be enough to help the squad score and win some games. If the Redskins want to win in 2019, they’re going to have to win ugly like they did last year. That will involve a lot of great defense, running the ball, and special teams excellence.