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NFL Power Rankings: Where do the Chiefs stand ahead of training camp?



NFL Power Rankings: Where do the Chiefs stand ahead of training camp?

Believe it or not, NFL training camp is just around the corner. Soon enough, highlights and clips of your favorite playmakers will be cycling through your social media algorithms in the dog days of summer. A new season is so close to kicking off. And for the Kansas City Chiefs, they are looking to become the first-ever NFL team to three-peat.

How do the teams at the top of the NFL stack up as we enter training camp? Many teams are looking to jump up a tier or two. Admittedly, there were a few teams that were challenging to leave off of this list who did not make the cut. In the end, here are my top ten teams as we get set to enter NFL training camp, beginning with number ten.

10. Cincinnati Bengals

Some people may be surprised to see the Bengals slot this far down in the top ten. However, this Cincinnati squad must prove that they can stay healthy and get off to better starts. Joe Burrow will look for some revenge in 2024 after missing time due to a wrist injury. With him, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins still paired up, the Bengals will have the chance to outscore any opponent.

On the flip side, can the Cincinnati defense produce a bounce-back campaign? The secondary struggled immensely, especially late last season. The Bengals still have the ability to disguise a multitude of defensive looks. If they can get back to limiting passing yards and points, this team can challenge arguably anyone within the AFC. Solidifying that is going to be a crucial item early on.

9. Los Angeles Rams

Even with his age and occasional nagging injuries, Matthew Stafford is still one of the most accurate passers in the NFL. Paired with head coach Sean McVay, this offense is still one of the more difficult to prepare for. Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua are one of the most exciting wide receiver duos in the entire league. And even last season, LA showed that they can wear opponents down if they want to via the offensive run game.

This defense was extremely youthful last season. But overall, the group played complementary, sound defense throughout most of last year. Sustaining that defensive momentum may be the biggest question mark entering the Rams’ season. Nonetheless, this is another team that can challenge arguably anybody in their conference, if healthy.

8. Green Bay Packers

After some bumps early in 2023, the Green Bay Packers finished as hot as anybody down the stretch. They quickly dismantled the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs and nearly pulled off the upset at San Francisco in the Divisional Round. All of that came in Jordan Love’s first season as the starter and with one of the youngest supporting casts ever assembled. The mix of the run game and the play-action passing game truly opened things up for Love once he became more comfortable.

The Packers, like a few other NFL organizations, just continue to evolve while remaining near the top of the NFL. Green Bay should compete with Detroit for the NFC North crown in 2024, making for one of the more intriguing division races out there. Can the Packers carry over their hot finish into a tremendous start? If so, Green Bay has a chance to at least reach the Divisional Round, once again.

7. Philadelphia Eagles

From a team that finished on a high note, to one that crumbled down the stretch, the Philadelphia Eagles simply saw the bottom fall out on them late in 2023. Jalen Hurts was not seeing the field well or throwing accurate passes. Philly’s secondary and overall tackling were painful to watch. And in the end, franchise icons like Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox opted to retire after a tough finish.

The Eagles are still one of the deeper teams at offensive skill positions and in the trenches. Their style of play can adjust based on the opponent, to boot. Even with defensive questions and Hurts in need of a rebound, Philadelphia is the clear favorite in the NFC East. The Eagles are also still a top-three team in a weaker NFC, as well.

6. Buffalo Bills

Things will look much different for the Buffalo Bills in 2024. Stefon Diggs is no longer part of the offensive skill group. The long-tenured safety pairing of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde is no more. Finally, the team also moved on from cornerback and former first-round pick Tre’Davious White. The one constant, however, is Josh Allen at quarterback.

While Allen has not been able to get over the hump in the playoffs, his dual-threat ability makes him one of the more unique quarterbacks to match up against. Allen has produced as well as any quarterback in recent seasons, sometimes carrying Buffalo on his back singlehandedly. The changes on the roster will be a hurdle to work through but if Allen maintains his level of play, along with Buffalo learning how to win consistently in prior years, the Bills are still a dangerous threat.

5. Houston Texans

No team may have more hype than the Houston Texans entering 2024. To think that is where the Texans are at now is astonishing.

Given where the franchise was at both on the field and off the field just two years ago, Houston has built a new foundation with the right people in place. If Patrick Mahomes was unavailable, I would take C.J. Stroud over any other quarterback to lead my franchise for the next five seasons. His accuracy, poise, and anticipation led to one of the best rookie quarterback seasons we have ever seen.

The weapons for Stroud are a handful to deal with. Nico Collins is coming off a dominant year and received a contract extension. The aforementioned Diggs gets a fresh start with a hungry team. At tight end, Dalton Schultz was quietly a solid security blanket for Stroud last year. It is not impossible to imagine this team reaching the AFC Championship Game, given the veterans they brought in this offseason.

4. Baltimore Ravens

Last year seemed like the best shot the Ravens had at getting a Super Bowl win. Routinely, the Baltimore organization has set an incredible standard that is not matched by many other squads. Lamar Jackson won his second NFL MVP award last season. Defensively, names like Justin Madubuike and Kyle Hamilton dominated in multiple facets to help suffocate opposing offenses.

If you look at how the Ravens lost to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game, Baltimore will have to find a way to play cleaner offense against the best opponents. Baltimore also lost some pieces this offseason. It is not that bold to say the Ravens may take a step back in 2024, given how they were rolling last season. Yet, this is still a team that schemes better than almost any other team and can leave you dazed and confused after a grueling 60 minutes.

3. Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions just enjoyed one of their most successful seasons in franchise history. Obviously, a blown lead in the NFC Championship Game was a sting after being so close to getting to a Super Bowl. It is so hard to get back to that point the following season. But if anyone can do that within the NFC, it is the Detroit Lions.

We know the Lions will punch you in the mouth. We know they have a diverse offensive scheme. If Detroit can find even just a little more consistency defensively, not many teams are going to be better than them. With their mix of youth, physicality, and quickness, there is no denying that the Lions enter 2024 as a top-three team in the NFL.

2. San Francisco 49ers

Perhaps, no roster is more talented on paper than the San Francisco 49ers. Their offensive weapons are hardworking and can outwork you by being perfect on the little things. San Francisco’s left tackle is still among the best at his position, despite his age. And of course, the 49ers defense has been a thorn in everyone’s side for years. Pressure and turnovers just seem to come in bunches for the San Francisco defensive unit.

They are clearly the best team in the NFC. We know how commanding this team can be each week. Overall, many teams are left too battered and bruised to squeeze out a win a week after facing the 49ers. On the other hand, the 49ers have been able to win playoff games in different styles. The only thing missing from this recent stretch of San Francisco football is a Super Bowl win. With this roster established like it is, no team is better positioned in the NFC.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

With back-to-back Super Bowl wins and the best quarterback in today’s game, the Chiefs stand in the number one spot entering training camp. Even with another championship last year, it was not the most dazzling season for Kansas City in 2023. The defense was the best that the Chiefs have had in the Mahomes era, finishing second in both points and yards allowed. But offensively, Kansas City went out and made some notable additions to help get more secure production for Mahomes.

If Mahomes and his weapons are able to erase the little mistakes from last year, slowing them down is not going to be simple. And with the pressure that the KC defense can create, having to play catch up is not a spot where you want to be. With this team hyping up a potential three-peat, the Chiefs will once again be a fascinating squad soaking up the spotlight.

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