Power Poll

January 3, 2013

THE POINT: To rank each of the NFL’s 32 teams based on performance, perception and potential rather than merely by record.

THE PANEL: Our 10-man committee consists of:

Joe Bendel, 970 ESPN, Steelers Radio Network; Tim Benz, 105.9 The X, Steelers Radio Network; Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 970 ESPN, Steelers Radio Network; Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News; Jeff Legwold, Denver Post; Cole Pepper, Studio Host Jaguars Radio Network; Mike Prisuta, WDVE, 970 ESPN, Steelers Radio Network; Jon Saraceno, USA Today; David Todd, 970 ESPN, Steelers Nation Radio; Matt Williamson, ESPN.com.

THE PROCESS: Each panelist ranks the teams from No. 1 to No. 32. Teams receive one point for their spot in the rankings (the No. 15 team gets 15 points, etc.). An aggregate score is compiled from the 10 ballots and the teams are stacked in reverse order, with the lowest score achieving the No. 1 ranking and the highest score checking in at No. 32.

THIS WEEK’S POLL: The Denver Broncos head to the postseason as the team to beat after finishing the regular season atop our weekly rankings.

Denver collected six first-place votes and was rated No. 2 on the other four ballots. That helped separate the Broncos from the New England Patriots, who captured three first-place votes but were also designated No. 3 twice and No. 5 once.

The only division to have four teams in the final Top 20 was the NFC South (No. 3 Atlanta, No. 17 New Orleans, No. 18 Tampa Bay and No. 20 Carolina).

The AFC West was home to No. 1 Denver but also to bottom-feeders San Diego (No. 22), Oakland (No. 30) and Kansas City (No. 32).

The Chiefs were designated as the NFL’s worst team by nine of our 10 pollsters.

THE STEELERS’ STATUS: Pittsburgh wound up No. 16, between the 10-win Chicago bears and the 7-8-1 St. Louis Rams.


No. 1-Denver Broncos (6)-14

No. 2-New England Patriots (3)-22

No. 3-Atlanta Falcons (1)-33

No. 4-San Francisco 49ers-41

No. 5-Green Bay Packers-49

No. 6-Houston Texans-59

No. 7-Seattle Seahawks-65

No. 8-Indianapolis Colts-91

No. 9-Cincinnati Bengals-99

No. 10-Washington Redskins-101

No. 11-Baltimore Ravens-103

No. 12-Minnesota Vikings-113

No. 13-New York Football Giants-135

No. 14-Dallas Cowboys-142

No. 15-Chicago Bears-143


No. 17-New Orleans Saints-173

No. 18-Tampa Bay Buccaneers-190

No. 19-St. Louis Rams-194

No. 20-Carolina Panthers-205

No. 21-Miami Dolphins-211

No. 22-San Diego Chargers-224

No. 23-Cleveland Browns-233

No. 24-Detroit Lions-239

-Tennessee Titans-239

No. 26-Buffalo Bills-257

No. 27-New York Jets-262

No. 28-Arizona Cardinals-281

No. 29-Philadelphia Eagles-285

No. 30-Oakland Raiders-291

No. 31-Jacksonville Jaguars-311

No. 32-Kansas City Chiefs-319