It’s all anybody really wants to know about the NFL is who’s better than who.

All the analysis, previews, breakdowns and smack talk boil down to a simple hierarchy: If any two given teams played, who’d win? That’s what power rankings are all about, and I’m going to spend the rest of the year at The Comeback slotting all 32 teams exactly where they belong.

32. Cleveland Browns
Horrific. Josh McCown scores 20 points in a quarter, gets hurt, tries to play through it and they lose 25-20. With Cody Kessler at the helm, the Browns are almost completely uncompetitive.

31. Chicago Bears
There’s plenty of young talent on this team, but not at quarterback. Injuries to Jay Cutler and half the defense turn two rough early losses into a nigh-death sentence.

30. Buffalo Bills
The Bills have more than enough talent to make the playoffs, but so far have been far less than the sum of their parts. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman has already been made the scapegoat—but with widespread reports of ownership influence on the football decisions (including Roman’s firing) there are way too many chefs in this soup. Unless Rex Ryan gets everyone pulling the same direction, the Bills aren’t going to win many games.

29. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens looked terrible against the worst team in the league, but they can’t be any lower because they just beat Team No. 30 head-to-head.

28. San Francisco 49ers
They beat the Los Angeles Rams in the least-inspiring blowout win ever, then made the Carolina Panthers work for it a little in a blowout that felt more like a shootout. This defense still has real talent, but until the offense figures itself out the 49ers will remain an enigma…and not very good.

27. Miami Dolphins
Again, there’s definitely talent on this defense, but the offense didn’t show a sign of life against the New England Patriots until they were down 24-0. With each passing week, the Adam Gase Dolphins look more like a three-year rebuild than a one-year rebound.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Christine Michael #32 of the Seattle Seahawks runs as he is tackled by Dominique Easley #91 of the Los Angeles Rams during the second quarter of the home opening NFL game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 18: Christine Michael #32 of the Seattle Seahawks runs as he is tackled by Dominique Easley #91 of the Los Angeles Rams during the second quarter of the home opening NFL game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

26. Seattle Seahawks
Smart people who watch a lot of film are starting to freak out about how bad, and badly coached, the Seahawks offensive line has been. They can’t run the ball at all, can’t protect Russell Wilson at all, still have no idea how to use Jimmy Graham and have nobody else who can get open against NFL defenders. Legion of Boom or no, this team is going to lose until they can block.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars
Boy, it was nice while it lasted, wasn’t it? The surprisingly noble home loss to the Green Bay Packers looks less noble now that the Packers are struggling, and Old Man Rivers cut through the supposedly stacked defense like a bolo tie through butter.


What? Of course a bolo tie can cut butter, it just leaves the tie and the butter all gross.

24. Los Angeles Rams
Death. Taxes. Jeff Fisher keeping himself employed with a voodoo hex on Pete Carroll.

23. Tennessee Titans
It’s almost impossible to figure out the Titans right now: A fluky loss against a pre-Bradford Vikings, then a fluky, flag-drenched win over the Detroit Lions. I still don’t like how they’re using Marcus Mariota and I still don’t trust that defense against an opponent that both has a quarterback and doesn’t have three touchdowns called back on penalties.

22. Washington
Kirk Cousins showed a few more signs of life, but his level of play is far too inconsistent given the weapons he’s got. Jay Gruden’s got to get this figured out now, or else fall three games behind the Giants and Eagles.

21. San Diego Chargers
It’s the same old story with this team: On any given Sunday, Philip Rivers can turn back the clock and score at will. Too bad the Football Gods only give the Chargers four or five Sundays a year. If Joey Bosa could get on the field, that would be nice.

20. Atlanta Falcons
The reappearance of Good Matt Ryan is a much-needed relief for this squad, which needs to score points to win. We need to see more (and against better defenses) before we pronounce these Falcons contenders, though.

19. New Orleans Saints
Yep, still lumping the Saints in with the Raiders in flip-a-coin-between-them club. Losing a squeaker to the Giants, I think, suggests an improvement of the Giants defense more than a regression of the Saints offense.

18. Oakland Raiders
In Week 2, they lost the wild shootout. I expect them to hew close to this pattern all year, trending toward one of the most exciting 7-9 seasons ever.

17. Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott continues to keep it between the lines, and that continues to be just enough for the Cowboys to keep it competitive. A Bears team with no defense and no Jay Cutler should be a Monday Night Football layup if Dak doesn’t commit six weeks’ worth of turnovers and sacks in one game.

16. Indianapolis Colts
A blazing not-quite-comeback against the Lions, a relatively noble loss against the Broncos. This team still has the talent to contend for the AFC South title, but they absolutely have to beat teams like the Chargers if they’re going to avoid being dropped into the bottom third of these rankings.

15. Detroit Lions
These Lions should have dominated the Titans through the air — and who knows? Maybe they did. But a sea of yellow flags rendered that game unwatchable, and a sea of yellow in the Lambeau Field stands will do a much better job of determining if these Lions are a talented also-ran or an under-the-radar contender.

14. Philadelphia Eagles
I’m on the Wentz Wagon, but I’m manning the brakes. He’s looked mature beyond his years, but the Browns and Bears could end this season holding Top 5 draft picks. This week’s matchup against the Steelers will tell us a lot more about where these Eagles really slot.

13. Kansas City Chiefs
At this point it’s partly stubbornness, but I firmly believe the Chiefs are good, and improved from Week 1 to Week 2. The Chargers game also looks slightly less embarrassing in light of their follow-up performance, and the Texans are on track to be legitimately good.

12. New York Giants
Somehow, the Giants defense is dragging the offense to wins, kicking and screaming along the way. How does Eli Manning throw 41 times for 368 yards and the Giants go without a touchdown?

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Yeah, I’m filing that Cardinals game under “ran into a buzzsaw.” These Bucs are still talented as heck and set to win a lot of games.

10. Green Bay Packers
We’ve seen slow starts before, and we’ve seen bad days at the office for Mike McCarthy before. I still think this is at least a 10-win team, but McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers need to get on track very, very soon.

9. Houston Texans
Brock Osweiler keeps connecting with his talented young wideouts, and this team keeps winning. An absolutely fascinating primetime Bill O’Brien grudge match against the New England Patriots’ scout-team offense is must-see stuff.

About Ty Schalter

Ty Schalter is thrilled to be part of The Comeback. A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ty also works as an NFL columnist for Bleacher Report and VICE Sports, and regular host for Sirius XM’s Bleacher Report Radio. In another life, he was an IT cubicle drone with a pretentious Detroit Lions blog.