In the last edition of the Un-Power Rankings, the Raiders were the first team in all of the land (opposite land). Oakland fans thought that was "pretty cool" (in opposite land), but things have changed since then. Teams have made more free agent moves, a few trades, a few injuries, and something called "the draft" happened. That's caused teams to shift in the Un-Power Rankings, where first is worst.
It's time for an update. (Most of the adds and any losses noted came since March 22).
1. Oakland Raiders (previous: 1)
There is definitely an alternate universe in which the Raiders make the playoffs next season because they play in the AFC West, but it's still gonna require several breakout seasons (notably from guys like Matt Flynn, Denarius Moore, Lamarr Houston, Miles Burris, etc.) and unprecedented health from players like Darren McFadden and Jacoby Ford.
And perhaps there is also an alternate universe where Kelly married Screech.
I appreciate the personnel and front office moves that Oakland has made since the last Un-Power Rankings, but they still have some rebuilding to do.
2. Bills (previous: 4)
When we did this, the Bills ranked high because Aaron Corp was literally second on the depth chart. He's now off the team and they've added three other quarterbacks. I don't feel all that much better about their 2013 chances. The selection of Manuel at 16th overall is a more interesting option than most of what the Bills have done over the last decade. It's hard to see how it's going to help them now. Is Woods going to turn into a steal or a disappointment? Is the defense really going to improve after finishing 26th in points allowed last year?
3. Jaguars (previous: 6)
Joeckel could turn out to be extraordinary in 2015 or so, but for next season he will only add so much to the Jags offense. What they didn't get is a quarterback. Right now, Jordan Rodgers and Matt Scott are actually maybes to compete for a starting spot against Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. If Gus Bradley can inspire even a marginal improvement on defense and if Joeckel and Maurice Jones-Drew can manage a marginal improvement on offense, they could find maybe six wins.
Otherwise, the Jags could be a little less than a year away from finding a Bridge over Teddy Waters.
4. Cardinals (previous: 3)
I was actually pushing the Cardinals as a possible sleeper after adding Palmer. They were so terribly bad at quarterback last year that even a mediocre QB would have been a major upgrade. Then they added a guard with the seventh overall pick. And an inside linebacker with their second-round pick.
Then, Daryl Washington was suspended for four games.
Now I sit back and see a team that might be worse than it was last year. A team that lost 11 of their last 12 games, getting worse? It could happen, especially in the NFC West.
5. Browns (previous: 2)
At this point in the year, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about a lot of teams, even the Browns. Cleveland could be slightly underrated. I don't know yet what to think of Rob Chudzinski as a head coach, but Norv Turner and Ray Horton as your coordinators seems like a non-Browns kind of move that could be interesting.
Still, the Browns had just two draft picks before the sixth round this year. Only Mingo was a top-60 pick. When it comes to the un-power rankings, always bet on Brown.
6. Lions (previous: 7)
I like "bad luck losers" as much as anyone. I want to believe in the Lions so badly. But I just can't see them as anything but the fourth-best team in the NFC North. May the Schwartz be without you.
7. Titans (previous: 11)
Healthy years from Jake Locker, Kenny Britt, and Chris Johnson and who knows what happens. In reality this team gave up the most points in the NFL last year and used their first-round pick on a guard.
What really makes it tough to foresee a better Titans team in 2013 is the schedule. Tennessee opens on the road against the Steelers, at Texans, Chargers, Jets, Chiefs, at Seahawks, 49ers, at Rams. Could they start out 0-8?
8. Jets (previous: 5)
The Jets probably have significantly improved since the end of March. A good draft, getting rid of distractions ... this is an improvement.
9. Chiefs (previous: 10)
I still think they could make the playoffs, but I am not enamored with adding a right tackle and Smith. Really, how much better does Fisher make the Chiefs, right now?
10. Eagles (previous: 8)
The Eagles could win the NFC East, or they could end up with another top-five pick next year.
11. Dolphins (previous: 9)
Yes, Miami made a power move to get Jordan. However, I'm not sold on the addition of Wallace as a threat that can perform at a high level on just any team. The offensive tackle situation is a concern. Will Ryan Tannehill take a step forward, or what if he doesn't develop as hoped? Is Daniel Thomas a lead back? Were they a little overrated last year?
12. Chargers (previous: 16)
Last time, I felt like, "they're not so bad!" Now, I'm thinking more like, "Eh, they might be kind of bad." Another down year from Philip Rivers could send them
down up to Raiders territory. A few close wins in the AFC could put San Diego at 10-6 because between the Chargers, Chiefs and Raiders, one team might just pick up a gift of four wins.
13. Saints (previous: 12)
The Saints, Bucs and Panthers are going to be an interesting fight to watch. I usually have a hard time valuing any one of those teams over the other. I hate placing Drew Brees a peg below those two teams, so it's a good thing these are reverse rankings. The Saints still have one of the worst defenses in the league, and Rob Ryan's likely not going to change that.
14. Panthers (previous: 14)
The Panthers doubled up at defensive tackle. They won five of their last six games last year. I still like them more than most. Carolina could be this year's version of the Vikings. It will take a few upsets, and this team might have fallen behind Tampa Bay.
15. Steelers (previous: 19)
A good-looking draft. But the Steelers are still behind the Ravens and Bengals. They didn't really replace Mike Wallace, either. The Steelers lost five games last year by three points or fewer -- they could have been 13-3 instead of 8-8. However, they still lost those games, and aren't quite as feared as they used to be.
16. Cowboys (previous: 17)
Dallas added a center with its first-round pick. It's really hard to overlook how talented the Cowboys can be on offense, and this team still has some really good players on defense. The possibilities are endless! (Fine print: the possibilities likely only fall between seven and 11 wins.)
17. Rams (previous: 15)
The 49ers and Seahawks just barely keep them out of the playoffs.
18. Giants (previous: 20)
There's little reason to think that the Redskins are all that far ahead of the other three teams in this division. Did the Giants get exponentially better? No. It could be a four-way tie at 8-8 in the NFC East.
19. Vikings (previous: 21)
Minnesota should move down the list, right? After all, the Vikings had three first-round picks. However, they had to replace Antoine Winfield and Percy Harvin. Are the Vikings better? That could be entirely dependent on Christian Ponder, and this team still looks like one of the worst passing teams in the NFL.
Cue the movie trailer voiceover guy: In a world where Matt Cassel has a chance at starting ...
20. Redskins (previous: 22)
I was tempted to move Washington higher on this list based on the fact that a crappy defense couldn't draft a corner until the second round. There is still the matter of "What if Robert Griffin III plays the whole year?" Even when teams knew what was coming, they couldn't stop it.
21. Bears (previous: 18)
Jay Cutler has a career year, Bostic steps up big as a rookie, the Bears don't collapse late in the season, and they are considered the "team no one wants to face" in the playoffs.
22. Buccaneers (previous: 13)
Big spending and high draft picks finally paid off for the Bucs. One of the worst secondaries in the NFL last year is now Revis, Banks, Goldson and Mark Barron.
23. Colts (previous: 23)
Some would say that Indianapolis was overrated last year. I wouldn't say that's out of line. But Andrew Luck should get better, and the Colts still play the Titans and Jaguars twice. The defense picked up some interesting players over the offseason.
24. Ravens (previous: 27)
The Ravens are falling up this list for me. They made some nice pickups, but where did they replace Boldin? He practically carried them at times over the last few years. How do you replace players like Reed and Lewis in the locker room? Who will be the next versions of Ellerbe and Kruger? There's a lot of potential on the Ravens but not enough for me to feel comfortable picking them as a sure thing to return to the playoffs. A different animal is best in the AFC North now.
25. Texans (previous: 24)
I expected the Texans to be more dominating in recent years. They haven't quite lived up to their potential, and people don't think of Houston in the same light as they see the Patriots and Broncos. When will it happen? Probably this year.
26. Bengals (previous: 25)
And the Texans won't face the Bengals in the first round again since they'll finally both be division winners!
27. Packers (previous: 28)
When I was doing this un-power rankings I got a weird thought in my head. What if they're overrated?
Blasphemous? The Packers went 2-4 in the regular season against playoff teams last year. In the playoffs, they beat Minnesota and Joe Webb, the first professional football player who was literally a game piece from the electric football board game. That was followed by a resounding loss to the 49ers. Do they still belong with the elite teams in the NFL?
28. Falcons (previous: 26)
Jackson replaces Michael Turner. Trufant and Alford look to improve a defense that ranked 23rd against the pass. Umenyiora replaces John Abraham. The Falcons look slightly improved, and they were already pretty close to going to the Super Bowl a year ago.
29. Patriots (previous: 29)
I could switch around Denver and New England just for the hell of it. It's a tossup. I guess the Pats' schedule looks a little more difficult, and Rob Gronkowski is having arm and back surgery. The Pats and Broncos are still way out ahead in the AFC. Both could win 14 games. They play each other in Week 12.
30. Broncos (previous: 30)
They get six games against the Raiders, Chargers and Chiefs. We can already start counting their magic number for winning the AFC West.
31. 49ers (previous: 31)
When I was writing this list, there was only one team that I hadn't written a blurb for when the news broke that Crabtree might miss the entire season. The 49ers lost perhaps the best weapon Colin Kaepernick has.
The 49ers will be fine. But after being pegged at 11.5 wins by Vegas, they could get knocked down slightly. Crabtree has really become what he was expected to become, if not more. Now they'll rely on A.J. Jenkins? Boldin helps, but this is an issue.
32. Seahawks (previous: 32)
I was going to switch Seattle and San Francisco on this list before the Crabtree injury. Now, I'm keeping Seattle at 32. The Seahawks have since added Antoine Winfield and Christine Michael among a slew of other lower-key draft picks and free agent signings.
There is bad news. Chris Clemons likely starts the year on PUP. Bruce Irvin was suspended four games. The schedule isn't all that favorable. The Rams and even the Cardinals seemed to have gotten better. There's reason to believe that the Broncos or Patriots should be last on this list based on their divisions and conference, but as of now, I'll stick with Seattle.
Rightfully placed at the bottom of a list on the Internet.