Column Includes Predictions and Key Factors for Success for All 32 Teams
“The 49ers are a playoff team if [Jimmy] Garoppolo plays a full season.” – King
FMIA Features a Recap of Chuckstrong’s Record-Breaking Fundraising Event, How Tom Brady Stacks Up to Hall of Famers His Age and Why King Believes the Oakland Raiders May Be Featured in Hard Knocks
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 13, 2019 – Peter King’s latest edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com, ranks the 32 NFL teams following the completion of the draft and the majority of free agency.
The column also features a follow-up from last week’s edition detailing new Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano’s seventh annual Chuckstrong Tailgate Gala in Indianapolis, which aids cancer research. Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012.
FMIA includes a look at how Tom Brady compares to Hall of Fame quarterbacks after their 39th birthday and why King believes that the Oakland Raiders could be the next team featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks series this summer.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
POWER RANKINGS FOR ALL 32 NFL TEAMS FOLLOWING OFFSEASON MOVES
King: No. 1, Kansas City Chiefs: “This is an In-Mahomes-We-Trust pick, mostly. I wonder if you could ever say that a rookie picked as low as 56—that was the draft slot of the Chiefs’ top pick, Georgia receiver-returner Mecole Hardman—would enter a season as the rookie with the most pressure to produce at a high level from opening day.”
King: No. 3, Indianapolis Colts: “My first surprise, having the Colts this high. I’m relying on Justin Houston an awful lot here. I’m probably sold mostly by the fact I saw his last game for Kansas City—the overtime classic against New England in the AFC title game—and Houston played an astounding 95 of 97 snaps that cold Sunday at Arrowhead, frequently buzzing around Tom Brady.”
King: No. 7, San Francisco 49ers: “Here’s my big surprise. Only I don’t see it that way. In 2017 and 2018, the Niners were 6-2 when Jimmy Garoppolo started and 4-18 when he didn’t. I think the 49ers are a playoff team if Garoppolo plays a full season. And I think Garoppolo will be seen as a top 10 NFL quarterback if he plays a full season this year.”
King: No. 11, Cleveland Browns: “GM John Dorsey is gambling on the boldest chemistry experiment in recent NFL annals. I am too. I think the Browns enter the season as the best team in the division … but so much is riding on the risky calls Dorsey has made.”
King: No. 17, Atlanta Falcons: “I keep hearing owner Arthur Blank is getting restless. In the Falcons’ last 35 games (the first one in that 35-game string is the Super Bowl loss to New England), they’re 18-17.”
King’s full offseason rankings:
|1) Kansas City||9) Chicago||17) Atlanta||25) Tennessee|
|2) New England||10) Minnesota||18) Pittsburgh||26) New York Jets|
|3) Indianapolis||11) Cleveland||19) Oakland||27) Detroit|
|4) Los Angeles Rams||12) Baltimore||20) Jacksonville||28) New York Giants|
|5) Los Angeles Chargers||13) Seattle||21) Carolina||29) Tampa Bay|
|6) New Orleans||14) Green Bay||22) Washington||30) Cincinnati|
|7) San Francisco||15) Houston||23) Buffalo||31) Arizona|
|8) Philadelphia||16) Dallas||24) Denver||32) Miami|
LOOKING BACK AT THE CHUCKSTRONG TAILGATE GALA
King: “The average raised per year in the first six years of the event was about $800,000. On Thursday night, in Indianapolis, the seventh Chuckstrong Tailgate Gala raised a record $1.86 million. It’s how Chuckstrong got to the $1.86 million that is the story of the night.”
King: “Late in the evening, an Indianapolis entrepreneur, Gary Edwards, donated $250,000. And when emcee Pat McAfee was heading to the microphone to hip-hip-hurray Edwards, Colts COO Pete Ward intercepted him and told him he’d gotten a text from Colts owner Jim Irsay (not in attendance) that he wanted to tell the crowd about. Pete Ward went onstage and told the crowd: ‘I have a text message from Mr. Irsay. If the entire crowd can match the DEEM donation of $250,000, I will personally donate $1 million tonight.’”
McAfee: “All I can say is it was magic. Chuck gets… lots of questions whether Chuckstrong continues, and not only does it continue, but these two rivals, the Colts and Bears, team up. That … was a fulfilling night in my life, a night I’ll never forget.”
ON A POTENTIAL TEAM FOR THIS YEAR’S HARD KNOCKS
King: “Remember that the show has some restrictions…My feeling is that, far and away, the most attractive team this year is Oakland, because Jon Gruden is a TV star, and the specter of Antonio Brown in camp will be TV-worthy, and because, well, because the Raiders are inherently so interesting.”
TOM BRADY VS. HALL OF FAMERS
King: “There are 27 quarterbacks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame whose careers stretch from the 1950s to today.
Total playoff wins for those 27 quarterbacks after their 39th birthday: 1.
Total playoff wins for Tom Brady after his 39th birthday: 8.”
Read the rest of the column here.
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on NBCSN’s and NBC Sports Radio’s PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.
—FOOTBALL MORNING IN AMERICA—