1. Seahawks: Roster is even better than last year, giving Seahawks best chance at a repeat championship of any team in years.

2. Broncos: John Elway won championships when he got Terrell Davis; now GM Elway hopes the slew of star defensive free agents he signed can do the same for Peyton Manning.

3. Packers: Aaron Rodgers looks ready for an MVP season. Now if Dom Capers' defense can show some improvement, there could be another Lombardi Trophy in Green Bay.

4. Niners: Problems on offense in the preseason? Plenty. But it's premature to assume those troubles will bleed over into the regular season. Still a very formidable team here. A contending team.

5. Patriots: Trade of Logan Mankins the latest summer surprise from Bill Belichick, who has a history of these roster-shaking preseason moves. We don't suspect the Pats will suffer, though. Still the class of the AFC East and a legit Super Bowl contender.

6. Saints: Drew Brees wants to play till he's 45, which doesn't seem all that ridiculous the way he looks at 35. Looking for another strong season in the Big Easy.

7. Colts: If you're looking for an alternative to the Denver/New England Super Bowl chatter, Andrew Luck offers a strong case for his team going to the big show.

8. Ravens: Joe Flacco didn't make the playoffs last year for the first time in his career. He didn't like it. He doesn't plan to let it happen again. We believe him.

9. Eagles: Nick Foles now entrenched as the starter and operates an offense that's loaded, especially with playmaker LeSean McCoy.

10. Chargers: Comeback player of the year Philip Rivers needs another big season to get the Chargers back into the tournament.

11. Buccaneers: Maybe the most improved roster in the NFL. Yes, there's a question mark with Josh McCown as the quarterback. But all he has to do is play efficiently and not turn the ball over, letting Lovie Smith's defense do the rest.

12. Panthers: Cam Newton's ankle and ribs are aching, and his receiving corps is in transition. Not sure we'll see the same Panthers magic as last season.

13. Chiefs: After a last-place-to-the-playoffs resurgence last year, it won't be easy to duplicate the formula.

14. Jets: Solid young team with a young quarterback who looks like he's ready to take a big step forward. Won't be surprised to see a wild-card playoff berth.

15. Steelers: Roster reshaping should bear fruit, especially if the Steelers avoid the dismal start that doomed them in 2013.

16. Bengals: Big investment in Andy Dalton, as the Bengals bet on his future. Still a capable roster around him, but what's it gonna take to win a playoff game in Cincy?

17. Falcons: It's a big year for coach Mike Smith after last season's debacle. Another clunker and he's on the hot seat . . . or out altogether.

18. Cardinals: Season-ending knee injury to Darnell Dockett was huge blow. Not sure offense is good enough to keep up with the Seahawks and 49ers.

19. Bears: A more mature Jay Cutler? A bona fide team leader? He'd better be after that $127-million contract.

20. Lions: Lots of talent on the roster for first-year coach Jim Caldwell. Now we see if Caldwell can instill the discipline the Lions lacked under Jim Schwartz.

21. Washington: If there are legitimate questions about whether RGIII or Kirk Cousins is best suited to run Jay Gruden's offense, then there are legitimate questions about this team.

22. Dolphins: If the new-look offensive line can protect Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins can at least be respectable.

23. Vikings: Matt Cassel holds off Teddy Bridgewater so far, but it's only a matter of time before the kid gets his shot.

24. Giants: There are legitimate concerns about the offense now that Eli Manning is making a clumsy transition to the West Coast attack. Defense has good depth in the secondary, but not much elsewhere.

25. Jaguars: Blake Bortles looks like he's got the goods, but it's Chad Henne's offense for now. Wonder how long that lasts.

26. Cowboys: Even the hyper-optimistic Jerry Jones calls this season "an uphill battle." More like a team headed downhill fast. But hey, at least the Cowboys are No. 1 in something. Too bad the most valuable franchise in the NFL doesn't translate into a Super Bowl contender.

27. Rams: Their chances ended as soon as Sam Bradford suffered a second season-ending knee injury. Tough break for the kid. Tougher break for the franchise.

28. Texans: Well, at least you don't have Matt Schaub to kick around any more. Not that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be much better.

29. Titans: Jake Locker or Zach Mettenberger? Take your pick. Either way, it's going to be a long year.

30. Raiders: Signed a ton of aging stars on defense, but it might be what rookie quarterback Derek Carr does that defines the season.

31. Browns: Johnny Football starts the year on the bench, but it probably won't be long before rookie rookie coach Mike Pettine gives his rookie quarterback a shot.

32. Bills: No pressure, E.J. Manuel. But it's all up to you.

More football news

YOU'VE BEEN SELECTED

FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.