Monday Morning Quarterback's Peter King has used him column to offer his first off-season power rankings. His method is to rank higher the team that would win on a neutral field. He has the New England Patriots in fifth.
1. Baltimore Ravens - King likes the Ravens because they held two 14 points leads in Foxboro (leads that might not have evaporated on a neutral field), and believes that there is no true power house team at this point in time. The Ravens were probably the third best team in the playoffs and they were evenly matched against the Patriots.
2. Seattle Seahawks - The addition of Jimmy Graham offers another element to the offensive attack. It will be interesting to see if and how other teams try to mimic the Patriots offensive success in the Super Bowl. Quick passing might hurt the Seahawks ferocious defense.
3. Green Bay Packers - The last team to really beat the Patriots, but it was a nail-biter in Green Bay. Would they win on a neutral field? Maybe not last year. But Green Bay won by going to their WR3 against the Patriots CB3 with plenty of success. And now that CB3 is the Patriots CB1.
4. Kansas City Chiefs - The second to last team to really beat the Patriots. King likes their skill set in January. Hard to imagine they have the quarterback that can get them to January.
5. Patriots - Two teams that beat the Patriots, two teams that held and lost double-digit leads against the Patriots in the playoffs. New England might have to go a quarter of the season with Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm. Can Jimmy beat the above teams on a neutral field? I wouldn't feel overly confident against the top three teams, and that's why I don't really mind this ranking.
What're your thoughts?