Updated: September 8, 2015, 1:12 PM ET

2015 NFL Power Rankings: Week 1


ESPN.com

Will Super Bowl 50 be a rematch of last season's Patriots-Seahawks thriller? Our experts seem to think the chances are pretty good.

On the eve of a new NFL season, ESPN's Power Panel (a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities) has Seattle and New England ranked first and second -- exactly where they were in our post-draft rankings in May.

The Packers, despite problems at receiver, are No. 3. The Colts and Broncos round out the top five. (Green Bay and Indianapolis both received first-place votes.)

If you're hoping for an early shake-up in the top 10, Week 1 could provide just that. The season kicks off Thursday night with New England facing No. 7 Pittsburgh. Denver has a tough opener against No. 8 Baltimore, while Dallas puts its No. 6 spot on the line against the rival Giants.

Note: Last season's records are noted below. "Last Week" refers to the post-draft rankings. The comments are provided by ESPN Stats & Information.

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2015 NFL Preview | Vegas Rankings Insider | Football Power Index | Team Power Rankings charts since 2002

Rk(LW)TeamRec
1(1)
Seattle
12-4-0
The Seahawks are returning most of the key pieces of a defense that has allowed the fewest points in the NFL for three straight seasons. They also added Jimmy Graham, who has the second-most receiving touchdowns since the start of 2011 (46).
2(2)
New England
12-4-0
The Patriots' first four opponents might be feeling deflated now that Tom Brady's suspension has been lifted. Brady is 39-5 in his career against the Steelers, Bills, Jaguars and Cowboys.
3(3)
Green Bay
12-4-0
Jordy Nelson is out for the year, but that might not be a problem until Week 2. The Packers are 11-1 all time against Week 1 opponent Jay Cutler.
4(5)
Indianapolis
11-5-0
The Colts have finished 11-5 each of the past three seasons, advancing a round further in the playoffs each year. A Super Bowl appearance is the next step if the trend continues.
5(4)
Denver
12-4-0
Which Peyton Manning will show up for the Broncos this season? Manning had three interceptions in his first seven games last season, but threw 12 over his last 10 games (including playoffs).
6(6)
Dallas
12-4-0
The Cowboys went 12-4 last season while rushing on an NFL-high 48 percent of offensive plays. Will they still be as committed to the run now that DeMarco Murray is in Philadelphia?
7(9)
Pittsburgh
11-5-0
The Steelers' offense set a franchise record for points last season. The defense, however, was 18th in points allowed, the team's lowest finish since 1991 (22nd).
8(7)
Baltimore
10-6-0
A new flock for Flacco. His top two wide receivers this season are a 36-year-old and a rookie, and his top three tight ends have a combined 10 career receptions.
9(11)
Philadelphia
10-6-0
The Eagles have three running backs who have notched 1,000 yards from scrimmage in a season before, but all eyes will be on QB Sam Bradford as he makes his return.
10(8)
Arizona
11-5-0
The Cardinals' season depends on the health of Carson Palmer. Last year, Arizona went 6-0 with Palmer at quarterback, but 5-6 (including playoffs) with someone else starting.
11(10)
Cincinnati
10-5-1
The Bengals are 0-4 in the playoffs the past four seasons, but they're also one of four teams (Broncos, Patriots, Packers) to make the playoffs each of the past four seasons.
12(12)
Detroit
11-5-0
The Lions had the top-ranked rush defense last season, but can Haloti Ngata anchor the line the way Ndamukong Suh did?
13(13)
San Diego
9-7-0
Philip Rivers' new contract has him earning the most guaranteed money in the NFL today, but he hasn't won 10 games in a season since 2009.
14(14)
Kansas City
9-7-0
Free-agent acquisition Jeremy Maclin had 10 more receiving touchdowns than all of the Chiefs' wide receivers had combined last season, which was zero. How long will it take Maclin to end the drought?
15(15)
Miami
8-8-0
The Dolphins' performance over the past two seasons: 16 wins, 16 losses, 705 points scored, 708 points allowed, 49 turnovers forced, 49 turnovers committed.
16(19)
New Orleans
7-9-0
Injuries are already piling up on defense (Jairus Byrd, Keenan Lewis, Anthony Spencer), which is bad news for a defense that allowed the fifth-most points last season.
17(24)
Minnesota
7-9-0
Teddy Bridgewater went 6-6 when starting last season, and four of those losses were by three or fewer points. Now he gets to play with former MVP Adrian Peterson.
18(18)
Buffalo
9-7-0
The Bills haven't made the playoffs since 1999, the longest active playoff drought in the NFL. Now they're relying on Tyrod Taylor, who has no starts in four seasons, to lead the way.
19(16)
Carolina
7-8-1
Cam Newton completed only 46.7 percent of his attempts to Kelvin Benjamin last season, so Benjamin's season-ending injury might not be that devastating for the Panthers' offense.
20(17)
Houston
9-7-0
How firm a lock will Brian Hoyer have on the Texans' quarterback job? In his final six games last season, Hoyer registered two touchdowns and nine interceptions.
21(23)
NY Giants
6-10-0
The Giants' offense could be one of the NFL's best, but the injuries keep piling up on defense. The Giants have already placed four safeties on injured reserve this preseason.
22(21)
St. Louis
6-10-0
The Rams boast a defensive line that is made up of five first-round picks. The Rams also boast an offensive line that features only one of their five Week 1 starters from last season.
23(22)
Atlanta
6-10-0
The Falcons went 13-3 in 2012 but have gone 10-22 since. The league's worst sack rate was one of the causes, a problem DE Vic Beasley Jr., the eighth overall pick, is hoping to fix.
24(20)
San Francisco
8-8-0
Sixteen players logged a defensive snap for the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. Only two of those players (NaVorro Bowman and Ahmad Brooks) are still with the team.
25(26)
Chicago
5-11-0
John Fox has a .572 career winning percentage as a head coach and has won playoff games with Jake Delhomme and Tim Tebow. Have faith, Bears fans.
26(25)
NY Jets
4-12-0
The Jets allowed 31 passing touchdowns and intercepted six passes last season, the worst TD-INT ratio in the NFL. Adding Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine should help even that out.
27(28)
Cleveland
7-9-0
Josh McCown will be the 23rd starting quarterback fielded by the Browns since the team's second run in Cleveland began in 1999. Only one of the previous 22 had a winning record with the team (Brian Hoyer).
28(29)
Oakland
3-13-0
The focus this offseason has been on building an offense around Derek Carr, but the Raiders still need to improve on defense. Oakland allowed the most points in the NFL last season.
29(31)
Tampa Bay
2-14-0
It's a new day for Tampa with Jameis Winston. A rookie QB hasn't started Week 1 for the Buccaneers since Doug Williams did it in 1978, the franchise's third year of existence.
30(32)
Tennessee
2-14-0
The Titans and Raiders were the only teams to rank in the bottom four in both points scored and points allowed last season. Marcus Mariota has his work cut out for him.
31(30)
Jacksonville
3-13-0
The Jaguars finished last in scoring in each of Gus Bradley's first two seasons as coach. Eventually the seven offensive players Bradley drafted in the top three rounds will help turn that around.
32(27)
Washington
4-12-0
Kirk Cousins is starting at least Week 1 for the Redskins. Cousins has averaged one turnover for every 29 snaps in his career, the worst rate of any player in that time (minimum 500 snaps).

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