Updated: September 2, 2014, 1:40 PM ET
2014 NFL Power Rankings: Week 1
Training camp. Preseason. Final cuts. It's all in the rearview mirror.
The real football is finally here, so let's examine the 2014 hierarchy.
Are the Seahawks, who reigned supreme in '13 and in our post-draft rankings, still the team to beat? Our ESPN Power Panel (a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities) says yes. The Broncos begin the season at No. 2, followed by the Patriots, 49ers and Saints.
If you're hoping for early movement up top, Week 1 certainly offers potential. Seattle hosts NFC North favorite Green Bay (No. 6) in Thursday night's opener, and Denver has a Sunday night date with defending AFC South champion Indianapolis (No. 8).
Even if the status quo survives Week 1, don't count on our hierarchy staying static for long. Once the season picks up steam, change becomes a constant.
Note: "Last Week" refers to the post-draft edition of our rankings. The comments below are provided by ESPN Stats & Information.
• SN: Rank 'Em | Seahawks' staying power hinges on D | Potential 2014 surprises | Team Power Rankings charts since 2002
|The past eight Super Bowl champions before Seattle failed to win a playoff game in the next year. A Fail Mary rematch is the Seahawks' first step to avoid that.|
|Peyton and the offense get the headlines, but this defense could be pretty scary with Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware (117 career sacks, fourth most among active players) both rushing quarterbacks.|
|What was Logan Mankins is now Tim Wright and a draft pick. Wright had the fifth-highest catch percentage among the 27 tight ends with at least 50 targets last year.|
|Colin Kaepernick finished last season with 10 touchdowns and one interception in the last six regular-season games. The Dallas defense won't inspire any fear in the Niners' opener.|
|New Orleans opens on the road, but the Saints have won four of their past five games at Atlanta. It's not the Superdome, but it's still a dome.|
|Even without Aaron Rodgers for seven games, the Packers made the playoffs for a fifth straight season, tying the Patriots for the longest active streak in the league.|
|With 27 touchdowns and two interceptions last year, Nick Foles is a lock for regression. But will he regress enough for anyone else to pass Philly in the NFC East?|
|Signing D'Qwell Jackson made a splash, but Arthur Jones may be a nice under-the-radar pickup. The Colts allowed 125.1 rushing yards per game last year, 26th in the league.|
|Geno Atkins missed seven games last year and the Bengals finished with the fourth-lowest QBR allowed. A healthy Atkins should bolster an already-fierce defense.|
|Chicago's looking for its fifth straight Week 1 win. A healthier defense and facing Buffalo will help the Bears avoid their first Week 1 home loss since 2004.|
|What kind of step can Keenan Allen take in his second season? Allen set a Chargers rookie record with 1,046 receiving yards in an impressive debut campaign.|
|The Ravens haven't allowed 4.0 yards per rush in a season in franchise history. Are C.J. Mosley and Timmy Jernigan enough to continue the streak?|
|2013 was the third straight season Pittsburgh finished with a negative turnover margin. Once a Pittsburgh hallmark, the Steelers' defense hasn't had more than 20 takeaways in a season since 2010.|
|After missing 2013 with a preseason broken leg, a toe injury has limited G Jonathan Cooper this summer. Carson Palmer needs him -- he was sacked a career-high 41 times last year.|
|The last wide receiver on the roster in 2013 was Tavarres King, who was cut Saturday. It's an entirely new group of wideouts for Cam Newton this year.|
|Chiefs quarterbacks completed 120 passes to wide receivers last year, lowest in the league. Despite the underwhelming performance, Kansas City did not draft or sign an additional wide receiver.|
|A trendy pick for 2013 success, injuries and offensive line instability grounded the Falcons. A healthy Julio Jones, Roddy White and offensive line additions could turn things around quickly.|
|Core offensive players Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Eric Ebron and Golden Tate are locked up through 2017. But can Ziggy Ansah & Co. create enough pressure to hide that secondary?|
|Just how good is Doug Martin? A solid rookie year preceded an injury-filled 2013; more than 13 percent of his career rushing yards came in one game against the Raiders.|
|Ben McAdoo's offense didn't click in the preseason for Eli and his receivers. Hopefully he can at least limit the turnovers -- Manning posted a career-worst minus-9 TD-Int differential last year.|
|After releasing Dimitri Patterson, who was signed to replace Antonio Cromartie, the only cornerbacks with at least 400 snaps last year on the roster are Dee Milliner and Kyle Wilson.|
|If the brand-new offensive line can keep Ryan Tannehill upright, the Dolphins' offense could be interesting. Jarvis Landry and Knowshon Moreno will join Mike Wallace, Charles Clay and Lamar Miller.|
|Dallas could have the worst defense in history. The The Boys lost Jason Hatcher, DeMarcus Ware and Sean Lee (again) from a defense that allowed the third-most yards ever last year.|
|Before Sam Bradford's Week 7 injury last year, only Peyton Manning and Matthew Stafford had better TD-Int differentials than Bradford (plus-10). Now, it's Shaun Hill's show in St. Louis.|
|Joe Theismann says Kirk Cousins (4 TDs, 1 INT on 12 preseason drives) should start over Robert Griffin III (0 TDs, 2 INTs on 10 drives). For now, Jay Gruden disagrees.|
|After seven straight seasons with at least 200 rushes, Adrian Peterson is still going strong. How short will Matt Cassel's leash be before Peterson has a new backfield partner?|
|How long will Ryan Fitzpatrick be the starter? Ryan Mallett (4 career pass attempts) and rookie Tom Savage are backing him up, but neither appears close to game-ready.|
|Tennessee had a positive turnover margin in one of the past five seasons. It's no coincidence that it was also the team's only season above .500 in that span (2011).|
|The Bills' defense allowed a lower QBR than any team except the Super Bowl champions. The offense finished 25th in efficiency, and Buffalo will go nowhere until that improves.|
|Brian Hoyer will get the nod against Pittsburgh, so for now Johnny Manziel is Johnny Clipboard. Hoyer was 3-0 with five touchdowns in three starts last year before a season-ending torn ACL.|
|The good news? Jacksonville was 4-4 to end 2013. The bad news? The Jags didn't win a game until Week 10 and were outscored by a league-most 202 points last year.|
|Derek Carr had a bigger TD-Int differential (plus-42) than any other FBS quarterback's touchdown passes total last year at Fresno State. This season could be just a little tougher.|