By CHRIS BROCKMAN
LOS ANGELES — I recently stopped following Buzzfeed on Twitter. Some millennial dope who had no business writing about baseball in the first place called Wrigley Field “Wrigley Stadium” in some piece and I lost it. It was the last straw. And I don’t miss them either. It was like breaking up with a girlfriend I enjoyed in the beginning but after a while just talked too much and made me do stuff I really wasn’t interested in doing. What I did learn in my Buzzfeed affair though is that people love lists. They love making them and reading them and having people tell them why they love them in the form of a list.
What I’m trying to say is… FOOTBALL IS BACK!! And I’m bringing my “You’re The Man” weekly power rankings to The Rich Eisen Show this season, which means there’s only one way to start this season proper: It’s time to ask some burning questions about each team! And for the sake of the upcoming gimmick, I ranked them as I see the NFL heading into the year. As always, there is no science in this list. Just my opinion and what I’m interested in (hint: lots of offense!) Just remember that. And please don’t break up with me. Not yet at least.
Let’s find out who’s The Man.
32.) Washington Redskins – I’m serious when I ask who will last longer in their position: Kirk Cousins as starting quarterback or Jay Gruden as head coach?
31.) Cleveland Browns – Who’s the quarterback? Who’s catching the ball? Who’s stopping people on defense (besides Joe Haden?) There isn’t enough room in this column for all the questions.
30.) Jacksonville Jaguars – Year 2 of the Blake Bortles Era is bound to yield better production and less turnovers but will it equal more wins?
29.) San Francisco 49ers – With the offseason this team endured, I think we’re all expecting a semi-disaster of a 2015 season, so the obvious question is will it get any worse before it gets better?
28.) Tennessee Titans – Not much is expected but with all eyes on him, can Marcus Mariota take the first steps toward moving this franchise in the right direction?
27.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Rookie quarterbacks make mistakes, that is a given, but will there be enough good Jameis Winston moments to think the future is bright in Tampa Bay?
26.) New York Jets – Of all the offseason chaos it’s always about the QB; so what happens if the Fitzmagic is playing well after four weeks? Do you go back to Geno Smith?
25.) Oakland Raiders – Will an explosive running back (Latavius Murray) and a superstar rookie receiver (Amari Cooper) be enough support for Derek Carr to right this Raiders ship?
24.) Carolina Panthers – I’m in three fantasy leagues this year and in every draft Cam Newton went FAR LOWER than he should have, will that be an indication of the type of season Superman is about to have?
23.) New York Giants – Eli Manning should excel in Year 2 of Ben McAdoo’s offense but will the defense be able to keep up with the explosive teams they’ll face this season?
22.) Atlanta Falcons – Another under-the-radar team, the Falcons have a new coach but a lot of the same parts in place; will a new voice be enough to get this team back to the playoffs?
21.) Pittsburgh Steelers – These aren’t your daddy’s Steelers with Big Ben and the offense leading the way; is it sustainable for a deep playoff run?
20.) Buffalo Bills – Rex is going to talk and talk and talk but will he finally have an offense good enough to walk the walk?
19.) Houston Texans – If there’s one thing “Hard Knocks” has done is make America fall in love with Bill O’Brien but can J.J. Watt back up all his talking with some playoff exploits?
18.) Chicago Bears – Marc Trestman and Brandon Marshall are out, John Fox and a new coaching philosophy is in but will it be the same old Jay Cutler for the Bears in 2015?
17.) Minnesota Vikings – Adrian Peterson is well rested and Teddy Bridgewater has a full year under his belt but will they have enough offensive help to keep pace with their NFC North foes?
16.) Cincinnati Bengals – If Andy Dalton struggles out of the gate will the memories of four straight winless playoff berths for the Bengals have fans clamoring for A.J. McCarron?
15.) Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs have flown under the radar this offseason but with the AFC West being arguably the most competitive in football will the make enough noise to garner notice?
14.) St. Louis Rams – The Rams are ready to make the leap in the NFC and have a top 5 defense leading that charge, which means the question is can Nick Foles take this team to its first postseason berth since 2004?
13.) Detroit Lions – Subtract Ndamukong Suh and add Haloti Ngata equals still one bad man defensive front but can the Lions get out of their own way and realize their great potential with their first playoff win since 1991?
12.) New Orleans Saints – With their best Red Zone threat traded away, and Drew Brees getting up there in age, could we see a power-run game carry the Saints offensively?
11.) San Diego Chargers – Another year in this quick-pass offense for Philip Rivers should again keep the turnovers down and production up but can the defense keep pace to get the Chargers back to the playoffs?
10.) Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals are one of two teams in the last three years to win at Seattle, and with a top defense another playoff berth is expected but does Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald have enough left in the tank?
9.) Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill had an impressive statistical 2014 but only won eight games; can he put those big stats to win Ws in 2015?
8.) Denver Broncos – As always with this team, the biggest question for me surrounds Peyton Manning and his “borrowed time” health; can he make it through another season unscathed?
7.) Dallas Cowboys – With Dallas there’s always myriad questions but I can’t get off the thinking: can a four-headed running attack be better than DeMarco Murray’s spectacular 2014 campaign?
6.) Philadelphia Eagles – Chip Kelly is the NFL’s Most Interesting Man, so it should come as no surprise he’s rolling the dice on Sam Bradford to run his high-powered offense but will the gamble mean playoff success?
5.) Baltimore Ravens – Just 30 minutes from the Super Bowl a year ago, did the Ravens study the playbook enough this offseason to finish the job this year?
4.) Green Bay Packers – Sure, the Packers still have enough offensive firepower to withstand the loss of Jordy Nelson but they were five minutes from the Super Bowl a year ago, so will the defense carry them to the promise land?
3.) Indianapolis Colts – We know the progression this team has made each year which means a Super Bowl appearance is in Andrew Luck’s future, but how will this team fare with the AFC target on its back?
2.) Seattle Seahawks – We know they were a half-yard from a second Super Bowl title and budding dynasty, but did you notice Russell Wilson was EVERYWHERE this offseason? I did. Will that have any effect on his 2015 season?
1.) New England Patriots – With DeflateGate, well, deflated, and Tom Brady back on the field, will the Patriots 2015 “Eff You Mode” be greater or less than the 2007 version?